By Michelle Reynolds, Staff Writer

What happens when a murder mystery goes wrong? This is the premise for the hilarious 2018 movie “Game Night.”

Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie’s (Rachel McAdams) weekly couples game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s charismatic brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler), arranges a murder mystery party, complete with fake thugs and faux federal agents. So, when Brooks gets kidnapped, it is all part of the game ̶ right? As the six competitive gamers set out to solve the case and win, they begin to discover that neither this game ̶ nor Brooks ̶ are what they seem to be. With no rules, no points, and no idea who all the players are, this could turn out to be the most fun they have ever had… or game over.

With “Game Night coming in fourth place its second week compared to competition, it definitely is an underrated gem. Everything from the characters to the dialogue was realistically relatable and the movie was genuinely delightful. The acting in particular was superb. Jason Bateman, who starred in “Horrible Bosses” and “Arrested Development,” Rachel McAdams who stared in the classic “Mean Girls,” along with the other actors nailed the comedy.

Though the plot followed a basic story formula, it can be forgiven because it was extremely well done. “Game Night” was well rounded, having a great balance between comedy, seriousness and character development. It had heart that made you laugh and care for most of the characters. It was silly, but not overly silly like the over the top, physical humor Kevin James has in his TV shows and movies. This R-rated movie also had a truly unique look about it, as if a game board became a movie. It was a look that has never been seen and served to bring the audience into the game with the actors.

“Game Night” had heart, great characters and a crazy ending. With the stresses of life, it is nice to sit down and spend an hour truly laughing as the troubles melt away. There was something extremely cozy about “Game Night” that by the end of the 100 minute movie, I wanted to run home and play board games with my friends. Though the ending is slightly predictable, I give “Game Night” a get out of jail card. “Game Night” is released on DVD on May 22.