The Game (1997) Review – Chill, it’s just a game…

Lastresort’s post


Year: 1997

GenreDrama, Mystery, Thriller


Premise: Imagination and reality mix for a wealthy banker, when he chooses to participate in a life-changing game.



Being so rich that you don’t care about money anymore. This is a fantasy that pretty much everybody has had before. So did Nicholas Van Orton. The difference? He actually made it. But as it turns out, wealth isn’t everything and sometimes it can and will work against you. Nicholas was (un)fortunate enough to see this happen to himself.
The story begins on Nicholas’ birthday, with one particular present that he had gotten from his brother. It is an invitation to a game, where Conrad participated in before and had a life-changing experience apparently. Nicholas is skeptical about it, but after giving it some taught and the realization that he has nothing to lose, he gives it a try.
He very soon realizes that he cannot trust anybody. Everything might be staged and be part of the Game. This leads him to act unnaturally and question everything and everyone, but even doing so he gets tricked over and over again. One of my favorite scenes is definitely the Taxi scene. It catches you off-guard,  as you realize what is going on Nicholas is already drowning. The cinematography is very well done and is only outperformed by the acting.

      Please pay special attention to how well the music, colors, cuts and particular frames highlighted Nicholas’ loneliness without ever mentioning it actively. You can tell that he feels lost in this world searching for his place, yet not feel sorry for him due to his “asshole” character. Take for example the shot below. He wakes up on a graveyard in Mexico fully dressed in white. Around him white gravestones, smoke in the background, shot from a distance. You can barely see him, showcasing how small and  unimportant he is.

There were no moments in the Game where you legitimately knew what exactly was going to happen next. This state allowed the director to implement as many twists as he wanted. Believe me, when I say, David Fincher lived with the opportunity and kept the viewer wondering until the very end. And the ending… well let’s just say that the ending did not justify all the work that has been put into building this thing up. For me, it just feels a bit rushed and is one of the big disappointments in the movie.


If you are one of those people who like to predict every next move until the end of the movie, The Game is a must watch for you. In case you can’t or won’t dive deeper into the story, I would not recommend it because it would make very little sense.




Similar Movies: The Number 23 (2007), Memento (2000), The Truman Show (1998)


The Game (1997)













  • Outstanding acting
  • Main character development
  • Cinematography on point


  • Rushed ending
  • Perhaps a bit dragged out


"You're television incarnate, Diana: Indifferent to suffering; insensitive to joy."

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