GAME NIGHT Review – ANNIHILATION Review — Laugh On or Nod Off

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In her Game Night review and her Annihilation review, Lisa Johnson Mandell says one is frightful and the other is frightfully funny.


annihilation review game night reviewYou know those films where you feel like you’ve seen all the best parts in the trailer? This is not one of them. In fact, the trailer doesn’t do the film justice. Packed with delightfully quirky characters and zany plot twists, it’s far better and more amusing than the trailer would have you believe.

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams play Max and Annie, an energetic couple who host the same friends for a rousing Game Night every week. But when Max’s brother (an annoying, rich know-it-all played by Kyle Chandler like you’ve never seen him) joins them and ups the game by hosting a kidnap mystery night, let’s just say things get real.

All the performances are good, but Jesse Plemons as the creepy cop next door is beyond.

Now it’s rated R for some adult situations and language so it’s not something you’re going to want to take the kids to see, so get a babysitter or send them to the theater next door to see Petter Rabbit, and treat yourself to a Game Night out.

Rated R

1 Hour 40 Minutes


annihilation review game night reviewFive women with guns, endlessly creeping through the woods: Annihilation is a tedious schlep full of images you wish you’d never seen and won’t be able to forget.

Based on a bestselling sci-fi novel, it’s about a troop of female soldiers and scientists who take their turn venturing into Area X to find out what happened there. All that’s known about it is there was an alien landing at a light house in its center, and the miles around it have been altered to a state that’s known as “The Shimmer.”

Few who venture in make it out, and those who do are not the same.

Natalie Portman stars as the obscure Lena, in a pack that includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tessa Thompson, Tuva Novotny and Gina Rogdriguez. Oscar Isaac plays Portman’s husband.

Through most of the film, you spend your time wondering, “why don’t they just…?” and “Who would really do that?”

Still, a lot of folks like it for its dreamy yet terrifying features.

And I did find it dreamy, in sort of “buy more popcorn to keep from falling asleep” sort of way.

Rated R

1 Hour 55 Minutes

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In her Game Night review and her Annihilation review, Lisa Johnson Mandell says one is frightfully funny and the other just plain frightful.

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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