Funny Games (2008)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Though made with great skill, Funny Games is nevertheless a sadistic exercise in chastising the audience.

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Movie Info

In this provocative and brutal thriller, a vacationing family gets an unexpected visit from two deeply disturbed young men. Their idyllic holiday turns nightmarish as they are subjected to unimaginable terrors and struggle to stay alive.
Rating:
R (for terror, violence and some language)
Genre:
Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Tim Roth
as George
Devon Gearhart
as Georgie
Robert LuPone
as Robert
Susanne C. Hanke
as Betsy's Sisters-in-Law
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Critic Reviews for Funny Games

All Critics (140) | Top Critics (39)

It's not a reassuring vision but that's not the name of Haneke's particular game.

Full Review… | April 6, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | March 20, 2008
Newsweek
Top Critic

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.

March 17, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Haneke's assault on our fantasy lives is shallow, unimaginative, and glacially unengaged -- a sucker punch without the redeeming passion of punk.

Full Review… | March 17, 2008
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

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?

Full Review… | March 14, 2008
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic

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… | March 14, 2008
USA Today
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Funny Games

A shot-for-shot remake in English of the brilliant Austrian thriller that Haneke himself made ten years before - which makes me wonder what the point is, since it is the exact same plot. At least it is worth checking out for Naomi Watts' spectacular performance.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

½

Michael Haneke's 'Funny Games' is a work of existential nihilism that challenges the idea of 'Hollywood morals' and audience's complicity in acts of violence. The story sees two serial killers/ home invaders subject a family to a series of games in which humiliation is key and mercy is left behind. 'Funny Games' suffers from an undeserved sense of self-brilliance, the fourth wall is often broken as the killers question if viewers are enjoying/agreeing with what is happening on screen in a manner which assumes they don't,this is wrong. As the film progresses it becomes that which it criticizes, elevating itself to the enjoyable levels of 'torture porn' it desperately wants to parody. The failings of the film's proposed ideologies is furthered by the moments the family being tortured are alone, which are boring and over-long, somewhat building excitement for their deaths. Despite all this 'Funny Games' is strengthened by convincing performances and a few experimental devices that separate it from the norm. Overly heavy handed and boring, 'Funny Games' fails to reach the levels of greatness it's so sure it has and offers less than the torture films it grows to become.

Cameron Sherwell
Cameron Sherwell

Super Reviewer

½

Until this film, I don't think I had ever watched a shot-for-shot remake, let alone one made by the same filmmaker as the original. I mean, what's the point, exactly? Perhaps a wider appeal in America/the English-speaking world, which traditionally resists reading subtitles...? Unfortunately, I don't really like Tim Roth, (he's no Ulrich Muhe, not even close), and after seeing the original, there's not much punch in the remake, nor even any subtle corrections to strengthen what was already there. I'll give it a decent rating, though, because other than the Roth vs. Muhe question, it's hard to find much difference. Personally, I'd watch the original, because it was made when it needed to made, when its point might have been strongest - plus, on that DVD, you get the interview with Haneke that's crucial to understanding just what the heck is going on, and why anyone would make a film like this. You'll get a chilling story whichever version you choose though, and one that ably points out how calmly we accept violence on film - and why, perhaps, we shouldn't.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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