“Game Night” Reviews Round-Up

The first reviews for “Game Night” are getting released, with only a few more days until the movie will be released nationwide in the United States. The first reviews are very promising and positive thus far. The movie currently holds a 89% rating at Rotten Tomatoes (with 18 reviews) and a 74 score at Meta Critics (with 9 reviews). We will round-up the reviews in this post and we will – as always – focus on the Rachel-centered excerpts. Rachel gets praised for her comedic skills and timing.

“And McAdams, whose comedic skills have gone unsung for way too long, is dizzy fun. The whole movie is, actually, even if it pretty much evaporates on impact — a kooky, vicarious loop of Mad Libs meets Cards Against Humanity, where whoever’s holding the popcorn last wins.”
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly

“But it’s McAdams that often shines the brightest here. The “Mean Girls” star has appeared in the odd comedy since Tina Fey‘s cultural phenomenon, but even the highlights like “Midnight in Paris” and “About Time,” haven’t fully played to her comedy skills. Thankfully, “Game Night” is a great showcase for her underused and undervalued comedic talents, which will hopefully see the actress given more opportunities to play these kinds of notes. ”
Will Ashton, The Playlist

3,5 stars
“Luckily, Bateman and McAdams both have that in spades — even when they’re totally losing, they’re very winning. The script’s willingness to go dark (there’s a twisted cop and lots of blood) keeps things edgy, too. The two top stars are delightful, and a couple of cameos are nice surprises.”
Stephen Whitty, New York Daily News

“The chemistry between Bateman and McAdams explodes in every scene and only grows stronger when, over the course of one very long and dangerous night, their characters get caught up in conspiracy. So, yes, this film has it all — the jokes, the action, intrigue, acting. Game Night is good, clean fun — with multiple gunshot wounds and one very unfortunate airplane-engine murder.”
Stephen Whitty, April Wolfe

“This fitfully funny goof on suspense cinema at least assembles an agreeable guest list—from McAdams, beamingly charming even when her character is fishing a bullet out of her husband’s arm, to a hysterically deadpan Jesse Plemons, playing the awkward, heartbroken cop who lives next door. As with any real game night, the company is more important than the game.”
A.A. Dowd, AV Club

“This sneaky dark comedy reworking of “The Game,” starring Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams, is as packed with laughs as it is with everything else. At first, you may be inclined to reject it outright, but “Game Night” works so hard to win viewers over that it eventually finds its way to a winning formula.”
Steve Greene, IndieWire

“Bateman and Rachel McAdams play the married Max and Annie, who are smartly flirtatious and nicely matched. “Game Night” pushes its premise to the wall of synthetic escapism. Yet the movie manipulates its audience in cunning and puckish ways. It’s no big whoop, but you’re happy to have been played.”
Owen Gleiberman, Variety

“While each of the performers get a chance to bring the laughs – and succeed – it’s Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman who do the comedic heavy lifting. Both are consistently hilarious, which might have something to do with the strength of their chemistry – seriously, the combo here is magic.”
Sophia Watson, FilmInk

4 stars
“Bateman and McAdams are also in sync. They’re a couple delighted to have found their mirror image in one another. They’re not only in love, they’re engrossed. Watching them, their less fortunate friends can be glimpsed rolling their eyes in a mingling of envy and disgust.”
Sandra Hall, Sydney Morning Harold

3 stars
“It’s a pleasure to see McAdams back in light, zippy mode and her character is as central as Bateman’s, the script refusing to suffocate her with the still-persistent nagging, joyless wife role. She’s as petty and competitive as he is and the two share a warm, sparky chemistry.”
Benjamin Lee, Guardian

“Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams strike comic gold — or at least silver plate — as a hyper-competitive game-crazy couple whose suburban couples gaming party goes way off the rails when an equally competitive globe-trotting/high rolling brother to the husband (Kyle Chandler, cast against type) comes home, initiates a murder/kidnapping mystery game that is in turn hijacked by real hoodlums who play for keeps. None is funnier than McAdams, who gets to hilariously act out the hostages in the diner opening to “Pulp Fiction,” never realizing she’s waving a real gun at real bad guys who really need to be taken hostage. And McAdams, doing an epic Amanda Plummer (“Pulp You Know What,” remember?) absolutely steals the picture. At gunpoint.”
Roger Moore, Movie Nation

“Jason Bateman (who also co-produced the film) is always likeable and here, he teams with an in-form Rachel McAdams. Her comic timing is a delight. ”
Louise Keller, Cine File

“The first act is flat-out terrific, with the core cast of old friends bouncing off each other while dealing with their own issues. Max and Annie’s obsession with board games and puzzles is never disparaged, and all of these folks seem to have mostly well-adjusted lives right until the capers kick into gear. These are real people, and McAdams gets to be just as funny as Bateman.”
Scott Mendelson , Forbes

“I’ll go see anything Jason Bateman does, especially if it’s a comedy. He just has to stand there, cock his head to the side and give that little wink, and I’m laughing. And when you pair him with an actress who can keep up with him (i.e. Jennifer Aniston), then it’s even better. Rachel McAdams fills those shoes quite nicely, and it’s great to see her doing some comedy again (more on her in a bit). Bateman and McAdams are a great comic duo. Bateman plays more of the straight guy in this, while McAdams gets to be the zany one. She’s done so many serious movies of late that one forgets she started her career in comedies like The Hot Chick and Mean Girls. Comedy suits her, and perhaps she and Bateman will do more together.”
Kit Bowen , We Live Entertainment

3,5 out of 4 stars
“Bateman and McAdams’ deft teamwork, helps a lot. Characters keep sustaining physical injuries that would kill or incapacitate people in reality, only to bounce back and resume the game, but their mishaps are calibrated so that they just seem to smack a bit of sense into them, like an exploding cigar or an anvil on the head in a Bugs Bunny short. This is one of the best surprises of a still-young movie year: a comedy that takes nothing seriously except fun.”
Matt Zoller Seitz , Roger Ebert

“McAdams shines equally well, in spite of primarily appearing in more dramatic fare as of late. Annie is, thankfully, an equal partner in the gaming madness here as opposed to a passive female character as is sometimes the case in modern comedies.”
Josh Spiegel , Slash Film

“Daley and Goldstein already have a track record with star Jason Bateman, who pairs nicely here with Rachel McAdams, and the added value of shadowy photography and an ’80s thriller score lace the laughs with just enough creeping dread to give the nonsense a sense of stakes. Everyman straight-man Bateman and luminous goofball McAdams play Max and Annie Davis, who share a bond as champions of every kind of board game, party game, and trivia contest.”
Peter Canavese, Groucho Reviews

3 out of 4 stars
“Though Bateman continues to plays a variation of the same vaguely smarmy, dry-as-yesterday’s-toast character in many of his films, he and the goofy McAdams are ideally and evenly matched. McAdams jumps at the chance to play a Pulp Fiction-esque scoundrel and dance to a little Third Eye Blind.”
Mara Reinstein, US Weekly

“Reliably funny Bateman and adorably spunky McAdams get the funniest scenes, including one in which Max must hurriedly clean bloodstains off a fluffy white dog’s fur. Another scene that has Annie trying to remove a bullet from Max’s arm using Googled instructions and tweezers is a keeper, too.”
Julie Washington, Cleveland

“And the movie is a pointed reminder that Ms. McAdams is one of cinema’s most accomplished and appealing comic actresses. It’s almost heartbreaking to contemplate how amazing she would be in a new comedy that was more than intermittently O.K.”
Glenn Kenny , New York Times

“Also underserved is McAdams, whose Annie is lacking in any real arc or motivation of her own. She’s essentially support staff for Bateman. It’s a testament to McAdams’s talent and charm, then, that she doesn’t get lost in the movie, asserting herself in every scene with a goofy brightness. For all her warmth, McAdams can sometimes seem a little guarded in movies, as if she’s protecting herself from the material—so I wasn’t sure she would quite work in a comedy this antic and blue. But she commits—if only that commitment was justly rewarded. We’ve seen Bateman do this a million times. The bigger thrill would be focusing on McAdams, as Annie cavalierly wields a gun, bashes goons with a fire extinguisher, and proves herself a heck of a getaway driver.”
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

“Jason Bateman is, once again, the perfect everyman; Rachel McAdams is ideal as his plucky wife and their comedic chemistry is terrific.”
Liz Braun, Toronto Sun

“The chemistry between Bateman and McAdams explodes in every scene and only grows stronger when, over the course of one very long and dangerous night, their characters get caught up in a conspiracy.”
April Wolfe, Los Angeles Weekly

“Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams are enormously likable on their own, but paired, they are exponentially more so. She tempers some of his sarcastic edge, while he brings out a sharper side of her, and the combination proves quite winning. McAdams seems selective about the films she does, and while she may not have unerring taste, it seems personally driven, rather than commercially. She is delightful here, especially early in the film when she’s enjoying what she still thinks is pretend. There’s a scene in a biker bar where she gets to cut loose, gun in hand, and it is both adorable and terrifying.”
Drew McWeeny, The Wrap

“McAdams is a constant winner as she frolics around unaware that she’s carrying a loaded pistol, and nearly pukes when she’s called upon to do some emergency surgery. ”
Travis Hopson, Punch Drunk Critics

“While lead Jason Bateman can do this kind of thing in his sleep – his Max is literally the same deadpan character Bateman always plays – his on-screen mate is a terrific Rachel McAdams, who hasn’t been this much fun to watch since MEAN GIRLS.”
Eric Walkuski, Joblo

“The reliably reliable Bateman and the always appealing McAdams play nicely off one another, even if the latter’s role is almost insultingly thin.”
Jon Frosch, THR

“Part of what makes the film work so well is the pairing of McAdams with Bateman because she has a playfulness and comedy chops that balance out his sarcastic nature, making him more likable.These two make a swell ‘Game Night’ team.”
Michael Smith, Tulsa World

“But the actors are infectious in their approach to the material: McAdams brings a zesty exuberance even to the film’s most grotesque gags (including a back-alley surgery scene).”
Keith Watson, Slant Magazine

“While the ten year age gap between Bateman and McAdams is a bit jarring, the pair share a crackling chemistry and expertly bounce banter and barbs off each other. Playing another self-involved jerk, Bateman’s cozy in his niche, and cruises competently. But McAdams shines, her eyes alive with excitement whether she’s wielding a gun about to push tough guys into a submissive “child’s pose,” or if she’s giving a go at curbside emergency surgery. Her charisma and comedic timing make McAdams the film’s true star, even though its plot often sidles back to Max and his need to best his older, more handsome, more successful brother.”
Keith Watson, Slant Magazine

“With her natural delivery and impeccable timing, Rachel Mc­Adams channels the screwball comedians of yore as Annie.”
Stephanie Merry, Washington Post

“McAdams, meantime, does all she can to activate the screwball fizz amid the improbabilities. I find her terrific in just about everything, and after so many so-so romantic comedies (“Morning Glory,” et al.) it’s about time she got ahold of some truly inspired material.”
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribute

“McAdams is really good (more fun: “Mean Girls”).”
Bill Goodykoontz, USA Today

“McAdams shows formidable gung-ho comedic chops. They’re [Bateman & McAdams] a terrific team.”
Neil Pond, Parade

“Rachel McAdams brings a light touch to ‘Game Night’. McAdams nearly saves the show with a light touch we’d forgotten, amusingly spoofing “Pulp Fiction” armed-and-dangerous showboating, and infusing her character with quirky resourcefulness.”
Neil Pond, Boston Globe

“But the stealth MVP is McAdams, who appeared on most of our radars as an effortless comedic actor in Mean Girls, but who has rarely been called upon to do the same since. Annie is twitchy and gung-ho, but also so soft-spoken that at times I wondered if her dialogue was actually recorded at a lower volume, making her stressful mutterings as she clocks guys with a fire extinguisher all the more strange and funny. There’s a standout scene between McAdams and Bateman in which Annie attempts to remove a bullet from Max’s arm, which utilizes a squeaky toy, a bottle of Chardonnay, and dual nausea to sublime comic effect. The moments where Game Night stands out are these, where the absurdity of the details can be the sum total of the joke.”
Emily Yoshida, Vulture

“And the ridiculously likeable McAdams proves yet again she’s the Meryl Streep of her generation.”
Ned Lannamann, The Stranger

“It helps Game Night boasts a talented ensemble cast, led by Bateman and McAdams. The two have terrific chemistry with each other, naturally coming across as a longtime married couple (one that’s trying to work through some issues) in their various interactions. Both are a great deal of fun in their roles and anchor Game Night with committed turns that ask them to shift between comedic and action beats.”
Chris Agar, Screen Rant

“Bateman and McAdams are a lot of fun together, and it’s exciting to see McAdams enjoying herself on screen for the first time in what seems like forever. “Game Night” is a crowd-pleaser to which you’ll want to be invited. Play along.”
Adam Graham, Detroit News

“IS THERE anything Rachel McAdams can’t do? From tense dramas to terrifying thrillers to swooning romances, McAdams rules them all. But she’s never greater than when she puts her comedic talents to the screen, and she’s never been funnier than in Game Night. The Canadian Oscar-nominated actor has impeccable timing in both verbal sparring and physical comedy. Her warmth and joyful zest is a perfect match for the more sardonic spirit of Jason Bateman, her on-screen husband — they’re such good scene partners it’s a wonder no one has put them together before.”
Wenlei Ma, News.com.au

“Even though a lot hangs on the ensemble’s chemistry, each actor is given ample time to shine – a true feat. McAdams, tasked with emphasizing humor and heart, radiates, demonstrating how adept she is at comedy.”
Courtney Howard, Fresh Fiction TV

“Kyle Chandler, Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams shine in a mystery party gone wrong. The cast is worth braving multiplex crowds to see. McAdams earns her comedienne wings.”
Tim Appelo, AARP

“Game Night Is a Team Effort, but Rachel McAdams Is the Big Winner. Rachel McAdams and Jason Bateman ground an increasingly outlandish satire. The back and forth between McAdams and Bateman is what makes Game Night sing.”
Sam Adams, Slate

“Chief among its delights is Rachel McAdams return to comedy. While her performance isn’t of the icy genius of Regina George or tinged with emotion like she’s exhibited in films like The Family Stone, she elevates Game Night to a purely fun romp. After more recent understated work (including a layered and moving performance in the upcoming Disobedience), the actress lets loose and the film benefits greatly. Her pluckiness is infectious, turning Annie’s competitive ego into a high art of self-aware goofiness and reckless affability. She’s just the tops, guys.”
Chris Fei, The Film Experience

“The delightful McAdams shines the brightest in her first full comedy role since 2013’s About Time but she is surrounded by an effervescent cast.”
Violet Powell, New Burgh Gazette

“It also helps that McAdams and Bateman have palpable chemistry, especially during a standout scene involving rubber gloves, a bottle of Chardonnay, a squeaky toy hamburger and a bullet-removal attempt.”
Amy West, Empire

“The pairing, here, of Bateman and McAdams — who hasn’t been used this well since her very different role in The Notebook — is nothing short of inspired. ”
Vicky Roach, news.com.au

4/5 stars
“McAdams is on riotously good form as the doggedly ambitious Annie, clearly having a ball in her zestiest comic role since the career-making Mean Girls.”
Simran Hans, The Guardian