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2.9 out of 5 stars91
2.9 out of 5 stars
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I had an interest in this film mostly down to the cast members both Watts and Roth are well respected for good reason. This film does tackle quite a difficult topic but it does make for uncomfortable viewing at times, not due to on screen gore or graphic violence but there are elements of torture here.

George Farber (Tim Roth), his son Georgie (Devon Gearhart) and his wife Ann played by Naomi Watts are having a break at their lake house, they arrive and notice their neighbours apparently playing golf with two unknown young men (Peter and Paul played by Brady Corbet and Michael Pitt) We have hints something isn't quite right their friends look out of place and as the story unfolds we find out why that is. Plot wise this is quite simple the two young men are disturbed but clever they introduce themselves into the Farber family and what ensues is a desperate struggle to survive.

There is nothing new in a kidnap storyline, but this adds some sadistic and torture elements that won't sit well with some viewers. The ending isn't quite what you would expect either (not always a bad thing) but here I'm left with rather mixed feelings on the film overall. Both Watts and Roth play their parts well enough and the two younger men who are at the centre of the story are fairly convincing too the acting is good. There isn't anything obviously wrong directing and script are up to a good level. I think the problem is the story itself which leaves could leave a viewer "left in limbo" we have no explanation as to the motives of the two men (not even a hint), and there is no real sense of morality of any kind. Some film reviewers have described it as a toned down "hostel" ie torture for entertainment purposes.

I don't mind a film breaking the rules or being off the beaten path but I didn't find it very satisfying despite some good performances. Granted avoiding obvious plot twists and the easy to do but likely boring "family overcomes attackers" ending again quite happy to have that thrown out the window. Some might feel it shows a more realistic take on two psychologically disturbed men in a prolonged attack on a family, others will feel it's wandering into gratuitous levels and there isn't really any point to the film (most films have a message of some kind on some basic level) this feels absent in that area at least for me. It could be worth a watch and does benefit from a second viewing, the subject won't appeal to all. Different but I can't help but feel in a way which isn't beneficial to the film or most importantly the viewer.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 August 2013
I first watched Funny Games (US) and enjoyed it (well, thought it was a film I'd like to watch again), so I bought it. However, half way through a second viewing, I decided I couldn't take any more and turned it off.

Some may say that's a sure sign that it's a bad movie. They may be right - even its star Tim Roth has since refused to watch it. The film is actually an American version (filmed shot for shot) of an Austrian `home invasion' movie and is supposed to be about `the nature of violence.' I didn't know this when I first watched it and just looked at it as a horrific film which was deliberately quirky.

It's about a family who get held hostage in their own (holiday) home by two nasty - yet annoyingly polite - young psychopaths. The first time I watched it I stuck with it and thought it was interesting/different enough to warrant a second viewing. I guess the reason I turned it off is because it was just too frustrating to watch. I practically wanted to jump into the TV armed with a chainsaw and... well, I won't give too much away.

If you don't know about the film, I won't spoil the `weirder' bits. It's definitely not a horror film, as there isn't much blood and gore (what there is happens off screen). It's more an experience in frustration making statements about the audience's desire to witness blood and gore on the big screen. Now, some may say that's a bit pretentious and, if you feel this way, this film probably isn't for you.

If you want to watch this - be prepared for the least `feel good' film ever made. It's not a horror and it's not a thriller. It's simply an exercise in watching. It's different enough to rise above a lot of its fellow genre films, but may not be everyone's cup of tea and is definitely hard to sit through.
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on 31 October 2015
When reviewing Michael Haneke’s Funny Games, (a remake of his own 1997 version) it’s easy to run out of adjectives. Dark, distressing, disturbing, and disquieting, are frequently used to describe this film. Normal conventions are turned upside down as a middle class family are subjected to a terrifying ordeal of kidnapping and violence…or are they? Violence is implied, but rarely seen, the threat of violence seems to be more potent than the actual act itself. The main antagonists, Peter (Brady Corbet) and Paul (Michael Pitt), seem the least likely of perpetrators. They are respectable looking, well mannered and polite, and yet their hold over the family hints at unseen menace and psychological control.

Throughout the film, the audience is constantly challenged. There’s no neat ‘package’ of violence. Instead, it’s presented as mundane and drawn out, losing the ‘glamour’ that mainstreams films often present it as. Peter and Paul act as though they’re seeking the audience’s permission to carry out violent acts. This engagement climaxes at the end of the film when the audience seems suitably repulsed. You want the family to gain revenge upon Peter and Paul, willing them on to inflict horrific acts against those who have tormented them. Alas, the neatness of ‘good’ prevailing over ‘evil,’ so often prevalent in Hollywood’s world view, is absent from this film, as it forces us to reconsider our attitudes towards how violence is portrayed on screen and the consequences of its deployment.
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on 28 January 2015
a disturbing film and not one to be watched over and over , hard to say what I thought of this as to say I enjoyed it almost seems wrong. if you view it as a clever twist on the usual type of fair then perhaps you can appreciate it but is it entertainment? I dont like tim roth as an actor even in the tarantino films he is weak. however it is uncomfortable viewing and perhaps this is credit to the performances
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on 16 October 2014
As weird as it can be (a "what the hell" kinda weird) I really, REALLY enjoyed this. If, like me you're into movies were people have (mild) psychotic tendencies, which jump straight into the film then watch it, like I said though, straaaaange, but good. I'd say you either like it or hate it
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on 27 April 2015
I have several problems with this movie, but the most problematic has to be how utterly unlike-able the family are. I felt no sympathy for them (apart from the kid obv) as they were just so ridiculous. They had no redeeming features and were irritating to the point of cheering on the bad guys.
The concept is sound, it's just badly executed. Maybe if I'd cared about the family I would have been more shocked. Michael Pitt is utterly underrated in this movie and it saddens me that he doesn't get more recognition as an actor (See Hannibal) I'd give this one a miss, there are excessively long periods where nothing happens (i.e the opening takes waaaaaaaay too long)
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on 21 April 2014
In this day and age it's nice to still be surprised by a film. This had a couple of surprises. It was also impossible to tell where most of it was going, another bonus.

It's very dark though, don't expect to come away feeling anything other than a bit sick.
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on 26 January 2014
The trailer for this movie actually does nothing to convey how shocking and provocative this is. The premise: a family including a husband, wife and young son (and dog) are off to their cabin at the lake in country. Their neighbors, of course, live around the area too, but far enough away to hear any screams or disturbances that may occur. They are visited by two impressionable, very polite young men (dressed in immaculate tennis white outfits) named Peter and Paul, who want to borrow some eggs for one of the neighbors nearby. This seemingly innocent exchange between Peter and the wife Ann starts of a campaign of terror, manipulation and humiliation for the family at the hands of these two Leopold and Loeb style psychos. What follows, as hinted by the movie's title, are a selection of 'games' that the family are forced to comply with, or else they will receive pain and suffering.

The uncomfortable and tense atmosphere is felt right from the beginning, as soon as the heavy metal rock music kicks in as the family drive off to the lake house, through to the psycho's odd behavior as they first walk through the door to the finish. German director Michael Haneke originally made the German version in 1997 but wanted to remake it as he felt it was always intended for an American audience in English. 'Remake' should be used loosely as this is a shot-by-shot of the original. Haneke points his finger at an audiences desire to be scared and be entertained by gratuitous violence in movies, and uses this movie to make this point. We feel frustrated throughout the movie, especially in certain scenes when you think there may be a breakthrough, only to receive a metaphorical gut punch. Disturbing this is, but in a different way then I expected. This is not a jumpy horror, rather a complete psychological head attack. Any violence is done off screen and you hardly see blood (just one scene where it is shown),however the horror aspect lies in within the situation and the complete powerlessness of the captives. Often hearing a scream of agony off camera is worse than actually seeing it.

'Funny Games' is definitely not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but there's no denying it's brave boldness and non-conformity. The actors are amazing, especially Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet as the house invaders. Tim Roth is also great and acts mainly with facial expressions and emotional intensity, as does Naomi Watts who really shows her vulnerability here.

If the purpose of a great film is to be memorable, than this fulfills it's purpose. This will stay with people for some time, whether they want it to or not!
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on 14 January 2009
Funny Games is a critique of violence in movies (and to a lesser extent reality) and how the audience
perceives it. Can we still be shocked or are we numb to it? Indeed,
consider this film to a big fat middle finger raised to the viewer. The
irony here is, if the `twist' does annoy you, then the film has
succeeded.

Both Haneke's 1997 and 2008 remake are identical, save for the english
language track and cast on the latter and his aim here is to test the
endurance of the viewer. Whilst we watch a family being mentally
tortured, the physical side of the nightmare is never completely shown. Instead Haneke craftily opts for this to take place off screen, or at least in very brief moments. He successfully cranks up the tension to
unbearable levels, constantly hinting that the worst is still to come.
All of this is deliberate of course, as when we finally witness the
family's long overdue and satisfying retribution, it is also the most
violent act of the film and yet completely and hypocritically, the most
acceptable.

It is at this point that Haneke LITERALLY rewinds the moment, taking
away all the postive feelings the viewer has and thrusting them straight
back into the nightmare. Now we realise just who has been the prey all
along and moreover, the villains of the film know it and address it.
Yes, they've been talking to you all along.

Are you sitting comfortably?
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on 1 August 2014
I don't get creeped or disturbed by ANY movies but this movie really unsettled me. Its an awesome film but i wouldnt watch it if everyone else is out the house. It doesnt rely on pure gory violence, it has a bit of that but its mainly the psychological parts of the film that get me. A true masterpiece
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