Buvette Masthead

Review: Game Night

Roslyn Hull

A group of friends who meet regularly for game nights find themselves trying to solve a murder mystery. IMDb

What a clever, funny film!

It had me from the credits where the Warners Bros. logo tumbles down the screen alongside tokens from iconic board games – part of the logo of one of the production companies is altered to look like a ‘pie’ piece from Trivial Pursuit – so I was having fun even before the action started.

As a survivor of international games of trivia that did not, repeat did not, end in anyone being put on a watch list; as an Escape Room failure and as someone who still bears the scars of family Monopoly games, I feel incredibly qualified to pass judgement on this film. And I loved it.


It has to have one of the best montages I’ve seen since the 80s too. Jason Bateman and Rachel MacAdams’ eyes meet when they get the correct answer at the same time in a pub trivia quiz and we see their whole relationship in a series of competitive games, even the proposal. Frankly, they are the couple everyone loves to hate in any friendship group – one line on the Pictionary paper and they have the answer. The sort of couple that seem to know each other’s thoughts and can be, well, a bit irritating. Luckily both stars are masters of deadpan comedy and are so likeable that they never let the lively script down.

A script which is, apparently, a remake of a 2014 movie of the same name that no one saw. But back to this film. It’s co-directed by the writers of Horrible Bosses – John Francis Daley (Sweets from Bones) and Jonathan Goldstein and these two know what is funny. This movie is actually more refined than their previous collaboration – the less smut, more story and the action is better.

In fact, for a comedy, the action is non-stop, as are the twists in the story. And each time there is a long shot, we see the buildings, cars and people as if they are part of a model layout, or perhaps a huge game board.

Jesse Plemons, as the couple’s creepy neighbour, shines early and never, ever breaks character – or changes out of his police uniform. Kyle Chandler is, naturally, very good as the older (and ridiculously competitive) brother that Bateman’s character cannot live up and it is delightful to see where that storyline goes.

Gah! This is the sort of film where I want to talk about the plot and cannot, for fear of giving anything away.

So I’ll just say that the cameos are delicious, the story is hilarious and it is tremendous fun.

Roslyn saw this film as a guest of Limelight Cinemas, Tuggeranong.


Ros Hull

Roslyn is a writer and storyteller who loves all things Canberra, her family, sci fi and movies – but not in that order. She has worked in museum education since 2001 and has a passion for imparting knowledge to others. Writing is her happy place, particularly if there is a dog at her feet and a coffee in her hand. More about the Author