Funny Games Reviews

Top Critic
Wally Hammond
Time Out
April 6, 2008
It's not a reassuring vision but that's not the name of Haneke's particular game.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/6
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David Ansen
Newsweek
March 20, 2008
That this relentless barrage of psychological and physical torture is extremely well made and powerfully performed -- Watts hurls herself into her physically demanding role with heroic conviction -- somehow makes it worse.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
March 17, 2008
The fact that it features fine performances, talented direction and some moments of genuine suspense only makes the end product that much more grotesque and appalling.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
March 17, 2008
Haneke's assault on our fantasy lives is shallow, unimaginative, and glacially unengaged -- a sucker punch without the redeeming passion of punk.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 14, 2008
In addition to being borderline unendurable, Funny Games is inexplicable, and I don't mean in any philosophical sense. Who thought the world needed a shot-for-shot English-language version of Mr. Haneke's 1997 German-language film?
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
March 14, 2008
While Haneke is attacking our culture for being drawn to violent fare, he is also relishing in presenting it to us, in prolonged and detailed fashion.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
March 14, 2008
The performances are outstanding across the board. The direction and writing are masterful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
March 14, 2008
not what it appears to be on the surface.
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Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
March 14, 2008
A sour project that defines anti-imaginative.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
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Mark Rahner
Seattle Times
March 14, 2008
Are you complicit for watching the stuff? Would you be less of a jerk if you walked out? Is [Haneke] wallowing in the thing he's critiquing and consequently a bigger jerk?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
March 14, 2008
There's no denying Austrian director Michael Haneke's skill as a filmmaker, but Funny Games is just a vile cinematic exercise.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
March 14, 2008
It's a pity the movie is so smug, gimmicky and heartless.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
March 14, 2008
Michael Haneke hates you.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
March 14, 2008
Basically torture porn every bit as manipulative and reprehensible as Hostel, even if it's tricked out with intellectual pretension.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
March 14, 2008
If you're interested in intellectual abstraction, you might find Haneke's games intriguing. Just be warned: When the movie ends, you'll definitely feel like you've been played.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 14, 2008
Both versions of Funny Games force the audience to eat it, really eat it, and while they're eating it, to think about the mechanics and the narrative tropes of a typical revenge drama.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
March 14, 2008
The experience of watching Funny Games, be it the original or this version, is never forgotten, whatever your ultimate impression of the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
March 14, 2008
The worst of the violence occurs off-screen, but Funny Games is still a vicious, vicious movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Stephen Farber
Hollywood Reporter
March 14, 2008
It's not exactly entertainment, but it casts a poisonous spell.
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 14, 2008
You will be deeply disturbed, but you will watch obsessively. You will be haunted, and manipulated, and angered, and you will suffer pangs of guilt, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
March 14, 2008
It's one big ball of icky attitude, violence and nihilism.
Full Review | Original Score: D
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
March 14, 2008
All the things we hope from in a fright film with characters we recognize as very much like ourselves are toyed with.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jim Emerson
Chicago Sun-Times
March 14, 2008
This isn't a movie, it's a thesis.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
March 14, 2008
The earlier release helped make him a critics' darling with its meta-movie touches and baldly articulated strategy of implicating the audience in the violence; replayed a decade later, those stunts feel both rhetorical and redundant.
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
March 14, 2008
Director Michael Haneke abhors mindless cinematic violence as much as you do. He just has a different approach: high-minded shock therapy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Dana Stevens
Slate
March 13, 2008
Haneke's been quoted as saying he wants his movies to make people think, but Funny Games is 110 minutes of pure reptile-brain jolts (fear, mostly), with a couple of meta-narrative finger wags thrown in.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 13, 2008
Even if you're already aware that violence is sickening, thank you very much, Haneke's confrontational film stirs up distressing emotions and leaves you to resolve them as best you can. Good luck. You'll need it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 13, 2008
Funny Games, Michael Haneke's first English-language film -- and a compulsively faithful replica of his notorious 1997 German-language feature of the same title -- subjects its viewers to a long spectacle of wanton and gratuitous brutality.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
March 13, 2008
A chilly and extraordinarily controlled treatise on film violence, Funny Games punishes the audience for its casual bloodlust by giving it all the sickening torture and mayhem it could possibly desire. Neat trick, that.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 13, 2008
[Director Haneke is] an adept manipulator who goes one better by calling attention to his manipulations, questioning them, and then, still, managing to freak us out in the coldest, cruelest ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Anderson
Washington Post
March 13, 2008
While the movie's star -- and ruler, and ship's captain, and grand poobah -- is Haneke himself, his actors are sublime.
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
March 13, 2008
Funny Games is about as hostile a jest as has ever been aimed at American audiences by a foreign director. The joke wouldn't be half as galling were it not so expertly written and executed.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
March 13, 2008
It's not a fun ride, but Funny Games forces us -- almost against our will -- to examine its characterization of violence and our response to it.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
March 12, 2008
Can a movie be gripping and repellent at the same time?
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
March 12, 2008
You know what garbage is, but until you see Funny Games, a bucket of swill by Austrian wacko Michael Haneke, you have no idea how bad it can smell.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
March 11, 2008
Without ever acknowledging his own sadism, Haneke self-righteously lays his aesthetic and moral cards on the table.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
March 10, 2008
While I would stop short of calling Funny Games brilliant, I think it's forceful, unforgettable, and thought-provoking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
March 10, 2008
I would absolutely defend Haneke's right to relaunch his broadside on our voyeuristic vices, but he's not keeping up with the times; he's behind them.
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Derek Elley
Variety
October 23, 2007
As the film progresses, it becomes painfully clear there's no real point to the story; what we're witnessing is a cool, intellectual exercise, as devoid of character and motivation as the two psychos themselves.