Game Night: Every Twist and Ending Explained

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams in Game Night

Warner Bros. might have a cult hit on their hands with the hilarious, unpredictable black comedy Game Night. The movie revolves around married couple Max (Jason Bateman, who's found recent small screen success with the Netflix series Ozark) and Annie (Rachel McAdams), two hyper-competitive people who host a weekly game night with fellow married couple Kevin (Lamorne Morris) and Michelle (Kylie Bunbury), as well as their dimwitted friend Ryan (Billy Magnussen) and whatever woman he happens to be with that night - usually a vapid, age-inappropriate idiot, though on this night he's accompanied by the older, whip smart Sarah (Sharon Horgan).

The group is on a constant mission to dodge the advances of Max and Annie's neighbor, the sad-sack police officer Gary (Jesse Plemons), who's divorced from their friend Debbie. When Max's hot shot entrepreneur brother Brooks (Kyle Chandler) rolls into town, he decides to spice up the group's game night with something much edgier than board games and charades, kicking off a bewildering, hilarious chain of events. We're giving you a cheat sheet for every twist and turn in the movie, as well as an explainer on the film's ending.

Related: Game Night Trailer: Couples Night Goes Wrong

A Fake Fake Kidnapping

When the group convenes at Brooks' luxurious rented home, he lays out the rules of the night's festivities - one of them will soon be kidnapped, and the rest of them will be given a set of clues in order to find their missing friend. After a fake FBI agent (Jeffrey Wright, making a fun cameo before getting back to his day job on Westworld this spring) provides the group with their files full of clues, two armed henchmen bust down Brooks' door, knock out the FBI agent, and begin a brutal brawl through the house with Brooks, who they're attempting to kidnap.

The group is giddy at the seemingly realistic fight - unaware that this is not part of the evening's game, and that these are real armed men attempting to apprehend Brooks for reasons that will become clear later. Each duo engages in the game in earnest; Max and Annie forego the clues and follow the van with the armed men (with Annie picking up what she believes to be a fake gun that Brooks dropped during the fight), Kevin and Michelle try to play the "game" fair and square, following their file of clues, and Ryan and Sarah decide to cheat by paying off the murder mystery company that Brooks hired for the night. None of them realize they're playing a very real, very dangerous game.

Chekhov's Brother's Gun

Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams in Game Night

Max and Annie manage to track the henchmen who kidnapped Brooks to a seedy dive bar, still believing they're taking part in an elaborate party game. When the henchmen move in on them, Annie pulls out what she believes to be Brooks' fake gun and demands they all get on the ground in yoga positions. She dances and sings along two Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" while Max determines how mean their insults should be. They eventually realize Brooks is in the next room and assume they've won the game, but Brooks tells them that this is no game, and that these men intend to kill him. Max and Annie are incredulous, but as the henchmen attempt to bust open the door, Annie accidentally shoots Max in the arm, realizing her gun is real in the most emphatic way possible. They cut Brooks free and run for their lives.

Brooks The Smuggler

As they're pursued by the henchmen, Brooks admits to Max and Annie he's not an entrepreneur, but a high-end smuggler needs to get a Fabergé egg currently in the hands of a billionaire named Donald Anderton to a man known only as the Bulgarian, or he'll be killed. In an effort to save Max and Annie, Brooks throws himself out of the car, and he's recaptured by the henchmen. After a gag-inducing effort to fix Max's bullet wound, the entire gang reconvenes and decide to save Brooks by stealing the egg from Anderton - but they have to find him first, which they manage to do by staging an impromptu game night at Gary's house and secretly accessing his police database.

The group manages to break into Anderton's mansion, where he's hosting a Fight Club party, much to Ryan's glee. Ryan manages to grab the egg and, after a pretty impressive game of catch, they manage to escape the mansion with the egg in hand... before smashing it to pieces when Kevin accidentally throws on the brakes in their getaway car. To their surprise, they realize the egg is a fake, and the real treasure is on the inside - a list of names of people in witness protection, which Brooks intended to deliver to the Bulgarian.

1 2
Doctor Who TV Movie Paul McGann
Doctor Who: Why The Doctor Became Half-Human (& How It Was Retconned)

More in SR Originals