It's not quite as clever as it tries to be, but The Game does a tremendous job of presenting the story of a rigid control freak trapped in circumstances that are increasingly beyond his control. Michael Douglas plays a ric... more »h, divorced, and dreadful investment banker whose 48th birthday reminds him of his father's suicide at the same age. He's locked in the cage of his own misery until his rebellious younger brother (Sean Penn) presents him with a birthday invitation to play "The Game" (described as "an experiential Book of the Month Club")--a mysterious offering from a company called Consumer Recreation Services. Before he knows the game has even begun, Douglas is caught up in a series of unexplained events designed to strip him of his tenuous security and cast him into a maelstrom of chaos. How do you play a game that hasn't any rules? That's what Douglas has to figure out, and he can't always rely on his intelligence to form logic out of what's happening to him. Seemingly cast as the fall guy in a conspiracy thriller, he encounters a waitress (Deborah Unger) who may or may not be trustworthy, and nothing can be taken at face value in a world turned upside down. Douglas is great at conveying the sheer panic of his character's dilemma, and despite some lapses in credibility and an anticlimactic ending, The Game remains a thinking person's thriller that grabs and holds your attention. --Jeff Shannon« less
Margaret M. from HOUSTON, TX Reviewed on 9/25/2015...
Awesome movie! Suspenseful with terrific acting and a happy ending, can't recommend it highly enough!
Callie K. (ballofglitter) from GRAND ISLAND, NE Reviewed on 7/5/2014...
This was a crazy movie with a good twisted ending but you can pretty much figure it out before.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jessica L. (cestlaviejesse) from WAKE FOREST, NC Reviewed on 2/22/2010...
The ending is the best!!! Great job!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Daniel A. (Daniel) from EUGENE, OR Reviewed on 2/8/2010...
Although unpredictable and wild, the ending becomes absurd and something of a letdown. The direction is great, but the performances are hit or miss.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jon H. (vLame) from LONG BEACH, CA Reviewed on 10/24/2008...
As Fincher's other movies never fail to make the audience gasp "The Game" doesn't fail. Michael Douglas' character will keep you guessing and Sean Penn's will keep your answers wrong. Fight Club, 7 and Zodiac are some of my favourite movies, and now so is this.
3 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jessica R. from PRICE, UT Reviewed on 12/6/2007...
One of my favorites! Totally expecting!
Lonnie E. Holder | Columbus, Indiana, United States | 05/22/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"What happens when you are a powerful multi-millionaire and have everything you ever wanted? While you and I might think this situation is highly desirable, for Nicholas Van Orton, played by Michael Douglas, it is very boring. In fact, you might say that Nicholas is miserable. However, Nicholas' brother Conrad Van Orton, played by Sean Penn, has bought Nicholas a gift for his 48th birthday, an invitation to play "The Game".From this point forward the movie drags for what seems forever. I was beginning to regret watching this movie. Looking back, though, I now know that this beginning helps us to more fully understand how boring and awful Nicholas' life is, and further provides an excellent contrast with what happens later in the movie.Nicholas is in a very upscale restaurant when a waitress (Deborah Unger as Christine) spills wine on his shirt. Christine is fired by the restaurant manager and leaves, very upset. Before you can say white rabbit, a waiter rushes by Nicholas' table and drops off a note that tells Nicholas' to follow the girl. Prepare for the roller coaster ride.Within moments Nicholas finds himself involved with an apparently dying man, then just as quickly he finds he is being chased by the police, and police dogs, and things just get worse and worse. The list of things to which Nicholas is subjected is too long and would leave you with no surprises.Nicholas tries to figure out how to make all the action and events to which he is being subjected stop. Nicholas can't handle the loss of control. Further, the chaos of his experiences seems to follow no pattern or order. Eventually Nicholas gets back to where he thinks it all began for a showdown with the characters that he has discovered are actors. The ending had me stunned and amazed. You'll have to watch for yourself.There are several lapses in credibility, but unless you are an obsessive control freak (sort of like Nicholas Van Orton, for instance) you'll likely consider the lapses minor. This movie ultimately is an intelligent thriller that relies on action only when necessary to heighten Nicholas' fears and to pull him deeper into what begins to seem like a deeply nefarious conspiracy. After watching, this movie became one of my favorites, and I've now seen it several times.The most difficult part of this movie is the relatively slow first part. However, have patience; what you learn in the first part helps you to understand Nicholas and to be drawn more fully into his situation. Sympathy with Nicholas and his situation is highly desirable to fully appreciate the end of the movie. I was sympathetic, and enjoyed this movie. 5 stars for an intelligent thriller that relies on intelligent plot versus guns, fast cars and special effects."
Left my friends and i awake thinking
firstname.lastname@example.org | ohio | 03/17/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Game was directed by Fight Club director David Fincher and in many ways it prepares the viewer for the twists and turns of Fight Club. Michael Douglas as control junky investment banker Nicholas Van Orton is given an invitation to "the game" by his younger brother Conrad (Sean Penn). Before Van Orton knows it the game has started and it takes him on journey where he is in the dark so to speak and he never really gets out of it until it is over. Other reviews have said that it has no sense of humor, this movie doesn't need one. it's mysterious and intellectual strength is more than enough to keep most people fixed to it. Others have said that the ending is anticlimactic. If one cannot appreciate the ending of this movie, they haven't been paying attention. If you want a movie that makes you think, this movie is for you. my friends and i started it sometime after midnight a couple years ago and we didn't sleep for an hour after it was done because it made us think that much. the movie buff will not be disappointed."
Surprise, surprise! A great thriller!
scherf.com | Las Vegas, NV USA | 10/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Once in a while you come across a great thriller. To accomplish this you have to have a great story line, superb acting and cinematography, a generous budget and an excellent styling consultant so that everything's just perfect. And The Game has all these aspects. A wealthy financier (Michael Douglas) who has apparently everything and is bored with life gets a surprise birthday gift from his brother (Sean Penn): the participation in a very interesting and intense game. It is one of these movies that is unpredictable for the most part with action scenes that will take your breath away. The ending is unique and an unpredictable surprise and it gives the movie the final edge to classify it as one of these rare top-rated thrillers."
Horrible HD-DVD transfer
G. Rivet | 05/28/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I gave this flick a 7 out of 10 over at IMDB, but I would give it a 1 out of 10 for it's HD transfer. The movie in HD looks absolutely dull. Save yourself a few bucks and buy the standard DVD title. You'll end up with the same video quality."
The Only Movie you Will Never Guess The Ending To
mattaca | Boston, MA, USA | 06/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anyone who claims this movie was predictable, or that the ending was a let down obviously didn't get it. I regret that there are those who didn't bother suspending their disbelief for even a second to try and grasp the whole purpose of the film.I have reapeatedly recommended this movie to friends, telling them always, "This is the only movie I can promise you won't guess the ending to." At first watch, no matter how many times you think you've got it, you still don't. Without saying too much, the second viewing lets the purpose of the plot sink it, and your understand the sort of "suicide intervention" that takes place, as Douglas's character finally understands himself, his true motives, and his emotional health, independant of all the money in the world.This may not make much sense to someone who has never seen this, but I don't want to ruin "The Game" for you. Buy it, watch it, play along, and you'll love it."