Game Night ★★★½

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Thoroughly enjoyed myself, but rarely laughed. (To be fair, that might have been due to the location I saw it in, with college kids around me both talking at full volume and texting at full brightness.) But the laughs that do exist here are well-earned. It's nice to have a modern comedy with scripted jokes that are driven by circumstance and real conflict, and don't make me feel embarrassed for succumbing to them.

The consistency of tone, and the ease with which Daley and Goldstein switch between genres, is impressive. Feels rare that a modern movie has the budget to go from a trivia night to a showdown on the airline tarmac without being as broad as, say, The Hangover.

Some great composition and shot choices overall, from the initial montages and that 90-second one-shot to a camera that shudders in sync with a rotating door lock. But other decisions, like the neon titles, Wright-ian quick-cut montages of mundane acts, and opening credits, unsuccessfully strive to lend a thriller-esque feel to a film that is decidedly its own thing. Thankfully, the score does not have that problem: it knows exactly what type of movie it's in.

For a movie that claims to be about the discomfort with and joys of settling down, the final shot is legitimately shocking, as it seems to subvert and diminish that message entirely. It seems to reframe the film as an exercise in fucking with audience expectations, or as metatextual commentary on how characters in an action franchise are doomed to endure perpetual cycles of calamity.