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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 26.67%
Average: 20%
Pretty Bad: 4.44%
Total Crap: 5.56%

5 reviews, 60 user ratings

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Game, The (1997)
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by Filmink Magazine (owes us money)

"A dubious undertaking."
3 stars

With Seven, director Fincher tapped into a collective fear of the consequences of pure evil. With his latest he tries his hand at selling us the horrors of an individual's total isolation. The Game displays a similar mastery of mood - under-lit scenes, frantic editing, an often subliminal sound-scape and solid performances. It is nevertheless a dubious undertaking.

Nicholas Van Orton (Douglas) - a reincarnation of Wall Street's Gordon Gekko - is filthy rich and thoroughly anti-social. His idea of a great night is a sandwich in front of the CNN financial report - even on his birthday.

Unexpectedly, his wayward brother Conrad (Penn) gives him a mysterious gift certificate. It's from Consumer Recreation Services, a company specialising in tailoring 'games' according to the needs of an individual. Van Orton is understandably hesitant - he doesn't like surprises - but curiosity gets the better of him and decides to get with the program.

After a barrage of questionnaires and psychological tests, he is told his application for the game has been rejected. He can't believe it, and we really can't be sure, for a series of inexplicable and sometimes terrifying events begin to befall on our hapless hero. Is the game actually under way?

An unnerving question that both Van Orton and the audience have to grapple with is: how do you play a game with no rules, especially when its object is to find out its object?

If you felt cheated by the end of The Usual Suspects, then you might be wise to leave The Game before it ends. As Van Orton's odyssey unfolds, the increasing plot improbabilities escalate into absurdity, finally culminating in a 'punchline' guaranteed to make even the most ardent fans of the impossible groan in disbelief.

As a morality tale The Game only just makes the grade - man discovers what's important in life - though Capra's It's a Wonderful Life did it so much better.

As a true thriller it wanes, deriving most of its pleasurable moments from obvious cinematic references - Welles' The Trial, Frankenheimer's Seconds and lots of Hitchcock. The Game does have its moments, but the question remains, 'Can it beat a decent game of Scrabble?' ---Paul Garcia

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originally posted: 09/14/98 01:25:32
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User Comments

12/28/17 morris campbell tense & well made had problems with the ending 4 stars
2/25/15 stanley welles an exercise in plotting rather than characterization, albeit an elegantly directed one 3 stars
9/03/12 Courtney Incredible acting by Michael Douglas. Another great Fincher movie. 5 stars
7/21/12 Sean Harrison One of David Fincher's weaker films but still better than Alien 3. 3 stars
10/31/08 Shaun Wallner Awesome Story! 5 stars
10/15/07 fools♫gold Fincher's worst. 3 stars
8/12/07 Quigley Great puzzle of a film. Douglas is good. Superb direction by Fincher. Unreal ending, though 5 stars
6/13/07 al smith amazing script,acting and directing.gripping from start to finish 5 stars
11/06/06 Chris a good movie that held my interest. Have watched several times. 5 stars
10/22/06 Dillon A disturbingly clever thriller. 5 stars
12/03/05 Jennifer S. Kept me guessing the whole way through! I loved it! 5 stars
8/28/05 Evan Stupid people won't get this 5 stars
8/26/05 ES So confusing it looses you before the end, by then you probably won't care what's going on 2 stars
7/29/05 Nobody Truly amazing and suspenseful thriller. Made me almost give up trying to guess the end. 5 stars
3/18/05 indrid cold A mindbender even for modern, jaded audiences that expect twists and turns. 4 stars
11/25/04 Abbath Great concept, gets you very involved. 5 stars
11/12/04 jellica it was weird but i liked it 5 stars
8/16/04 Peter James Fans of the film should also see Se7en and Fight Club...more David Fincher work 5 stars
7/08/04 Spinz This movie ws SIKKKKK 5 stars
6/14/04 MyGreenBed Yet another good looking but lacking content film by Fincher (he needs better writers). 3 stars
3/21/04 john doesn't make a shred of sense once you think about it -utterly contrived and silly 1 stars
2/28/04 Kyle Razor-sharp filmmaking. Ranks among Fincher's best. 5 stars
11/20/03 Agent Sands (previously Mr. Hat) 1 movie that is 100% fun, well-made, & UNPREDICTABLE. 5 stars
9/25/03 Buck Amazing mind game. Fincher's most underrated film. 5 stars
7/09/03 natasha_theobald messes with your head in a creative and entertaining way 5 stars
6/26/03 Geo78665 Really good, up until the pathetic ending. 4 stars
5/23/03 mr. Pink A great adrenaline ride that keeps you guessing until the very end! Thrilling! 5 stars
1/04/03 Marc Hayden Great Film, that would be the greatest present ever 5 stars
12/29/02 Jack Sommersby An underrated masterpiece. Douglas' career-best performance. 5 stars
12/09/02 Agatha Great! 5 stars
11/24/02 Charles Tatum One of Fincher and Douglas' best 5 stars
10/23/02 palaboy101 Run to your local video rentals! 5 stars
4/09/02 jawsboy24 So far fetched, yet highly entertaining & well shot. The ending was great, but also silly. 4 stars
4/08/02 Nicole In no way realistic, but a great movie despite. 4 stars
4/03/02 Mo Anand Pretty good movie that keeps you watching 4 stars
3/25/02 Jimmy Great Movie !!! 5 stars
2/27/02 NWO4LIFE Highly entertaining, but I have mixed feelings about the ending. 4 stars
1/26/02 daniboy disappointing. I mean, it's David Fincher 2 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden Excellent Douglas Movie. 5 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk DAVID Fincher's third film is his second best next to Seven...Douglas is great. 5 stars
6/13/01 canuck When he jumps, how did they know where to put the net. So many plot holes. Yuck. 1 stars
5/22/01 Francois Asselin improbable but very entertaining 5 stars
4/04/01 Matthew Bartley I'm all in favour of suspension of disbelief but this was ridicolous! Really crap 2 stars
3/17/01 INCUBATOR Rulezzz 5 stars
2/16/01 Ray McCoy The ending: 5 mins of a 2 hr film and someone thinks it justifiable to comment Total Crap? 5 stars
2/12/01 Jake They ripped off the story from Total Recall. It sucked! 1 stars
1/05/01 Kelly Lotsa holes, but great escapism for 2 hours. A good fictional story. 4 stars
12/02/00 Angela Murtagh Very suspenseful...awesome! 5 stars
11/15/00 The EVIL Penguin This could happen to YOU!!!!!! 4 stars
11/03/00 Cristopher Revilla exellent movie, what an ending!!!! 5 stars
9/02/00 Rosalie Coleman I loved this movie! You could never tell exactly what was going on, a true mind fuck! 5 stars
4/14/00 JonnyAngel It's a MOVIE! 4 stars
3/03/00 Richard Wright I'm the first to vote Total Crap!Unbelieveable!Some good suspense,ruined by TERRIBLE ending 1 stars
6/09/99 Lucas jackson The movie was awesome,until the end 4 stars
2/18/99 Piz smart, dark, and fun...keeps u interested, needed a bit more action though. 4 stars
1/15/99 Dasha Interesting twists, but overall not really good 3 stars
11/25/98 Mr.Pink D. Fincher is one of the best directors around! This is one of the best thrillers of '90's 5 stars
8/24/98 The Capital City Goofball I felt dizzy. Which is usually good. Not this time. 3 stars
8/18/98 Johny Had no energy and was actually boring 2 stars
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  12-Sep-1997 (R)



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