Game Night

I’ve always found Jason Bateman’s comedies to be a pretty good bet; he’s never doubled me over, but the movies he’s produced (Identity Thief, Bad Words, The Family Fang) are abundantly clever, with dialogue that manages to be hilariously mean but essentially harmless. In this energetic farce, he and Rachel McAdams (in a sparkling comic performance) are spouses who live for their social evenings playing board games and other contests with friends; one night the husband’s brother offers to host and hires one of those mystery-staging companies to come over, but real criminals arrive instead. The long joke of the narrative is adroitly handled, and for once the climax pays off in laughs. John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein directed; with Kyle Chandler, Jesse Plemons, Michael C. Hall, and Danny Huston in a bit role.