DVD Review: Game Night

STUDIO: Warner | DIRECTOR: John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein | CAST: Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Billy Magnussen, Jesse Plemons, Danny Huston, Chelsea Peretti, Michael C. Hall
RELEASE DATE: May 22, 2018 | PRICE: DVD $22.95, Blu-ray/DVD Combo $22.96
BONUSES: featurette, gag reel
SPECS: R | 100 min. | Comedy | 2.40:1 widescreen| Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  | Audio | Video  | Overall 

Fleet in foot and mixed with loads of surprises, Game Night is a genuinely entertaining darkly comic concoction boasting a game cast and some big laughs.

Max (Jason Bateman, The Gift) and Annie (Rachel McAdams, Southpaw) are a couple obsessed with playing different games regularly with their friends. But they are taken for a loop when Max’s mysterious brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler, Manchester by the Sea) gets in on the act and contracts a company to engage the game regulars in a kidnapping caper. Soon, Max and Annie discover the abduction scenario is more realistic than originally thought and all of the competitive principals suddenly find themselves facing imminent danger.

Writer/directors John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, the folks behind the recent Vacation reboot, keep the picture moving at a fast clip, and prove their talents at staging elaborate chase sequences and keeping the timing sharp. Not surprisingly, Bateman and McAdams are, um, game as the adventurous twosome, and they’re buoyed by fine support in the rugged Chandler; Lamorne Morris (Sandy Wexler) and Kylie Bunbury (Prom) as long-time pair whose closeness is beginning to shred because of jealousy; Billy Magnussen (Ingrid Goes West) as a wannabe stud; and a scene-stealing Jesse Plemons (The Post) as the odd, sad sack cop who lives next-door to Max and Annie.

Game Night is fun and games, adult style, an R-rated roller-coaster ride with sequences of impressive physical humor and a few outbursts of startling violence. Aside from a few gaps in logic, it works most of the time like a well-oiled machine.

The movie brought in close to $70 million theatrically, a decent amount for an ensemble comedy issued in the generally slow month of February. It was effectively used as smart counter-programming to another February release, the behemoth that was Black Panther. Even stronger response is likely ahead with interest high in ancillary markets.

Buy or Rent Game Night

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.