A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Explores themes of what's important in life.
Positive Role Models
Main character is an emotionally vacant investment banker. His brother is a seemingly irresponsible drug addict in and out of rehab. The remaining characters may or may not be real.
Violence & Scariness
Distant, grainy image of a father committing suicide by jumping off the roof of a house. A dead body is discovered in a driveway, later revealed to be a toy. A man almost dies when a taxi is driven off a dock into a bay. A distraught man jumps off a building, driven to suicide after he believes he has accidentally shot and killed his brother. Characters fire machine guns. Frequent peril; characters run from seemingly deadly pursuers.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Explicitly sexual movie plays in a hotel room. Scattered around the room are Polaroid pictures of men and women in various states of undress.
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Frequent profanity includes "f--k" and variations, "s--t" and variations, "d--kface," "son of a bitch." Reference to masturbation.
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Products & Purchases
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Cigar smoking and alcohol drinking. In a hotel room, cocaine is spread out on a mirror. A character is drugged and weaves in and out of consciousness before passing out.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Game is a 1997 psychological thriller starring Michael Douglas as a wealthy investment banker whose ne'er-do-well brother gives him a strange gift for his 48th birthday: a live-action "game" that seems more dangerous and destructive than anything else. Suicide is a recurring theme; there's a grainy image of the lead character's father committing suicide by jumping off a roof, and the character himself attempts suicide. There's frequent profanity, including "f--k" and "s--t." An explicitly sexual movie plays in a hotel room in which there's also cocaine on a mirror and dozens of sexually suggestive Polaroids. There is frequent peril: The main character is driven off a dock into a bay by a cab driver, is pursued by machine-gun-wielding mercenaries, and has no idea what's really happening to him and why until the very end. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
While the movie's excesses at times feel ludicrous, no one can deny that The Game is a thoroughly engaging and entertaining movie with many unexpected twists and turns. Once "the game" gets started, the action is unrelenting, delirious, and frenzied, and within the world of this movie, the lines between reality and fiction become so blurred, nothing seems quite real, and yet nothing seems impossible either.
While some of the satire on society, as well as the self-satisfied message about the meaning of life, hasn't aged well, the action of the story itself is as much an exercise of the brain as it is a release of adrenaline. In fact, questioning how the different scenarios might have possibly been pulled off by the shadowy organization that is putting Van Orton through the proverbial wringer is as much a "game" as the game played in the movie itself. For this reason alone, it's a movie that's just as easy for some to hate as it is for others to love, but no matter the opinion, The Game is an unforgettable experience.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.