Game, The

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -2

What do you give the man who has everything for his birthday? Michael Douglas plays Nicholas Van Orten in this intriguing film with a unique answer to that question. As Nicky celebrates his 48th birthday alone, he remembers the childhood trauma of his father's suicide at the same age. His brother, Conrad (Sean Penn), gives him a prepaid adventure game with Consumer Recreation Services (CRS). CRS won't say what the game is or what the rules are. But once the game starts, Nicky can't tell what's real and what isn't. For Nicky, it seems CRS is stealing all his money and placing his life in danger. Joined by Christine (Deborah Kara Unger), a seemingly innocent waitress caught in the game, Nicky tries to figure out who's in charge and what is going on. Will the game drive Nicholas to a suicide like his father's? And is death even real in the game? Suspenseful plot twists and turns will keep audiences guessing along with Nicky.

The dialogue and sexually suggestive material contribute to the "R" rating. Conrad and Nicky both demonstrate foul mouths with more than 35 f- and s-words. God's name is used in vain a dozen times and at least ten crude phrases appear. The "rich life" is indicated by private clubs, alcohol use and cigar smoking. Conrad refers to past drug use and a white powder is seen on the table as Nicky appears to be set up for blackmail. The blackmail setup includes photos and a pornographic video from which only sounds are heard. The psychological tests by CRS include some sensual images and sexual words. Christine takes her sweater off to reveal a red bra which is later seen in the blackmail photos. She also tells Nicky at one point that she's not wearing underwear but it's not treated in a sexual manner and no nudity is shown. Nicky is a tough "Scrooge-like" businessman sometimes treating his employees harshly but is not a harsh man. In the end, Nicky learns that his brother and friends really care about him. Without foul language and sexual elements, THE GAME would be more playable.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Polygram Filmed Entertainment, 9333 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Many (10) times - Mild 3, Moderate 7

Obscene Language: Many (38) times - f-word 29, s-word 7, other 2

Profanity: Many (13) times - Regular 10 (GD 8, J 2), Exclamatory 3 (OG, OMG)

Violence: Several times - Moderate (man suicide-jumps from roof, guard dog leaps at man, man trapped in taxi under water, house shot up, gun threat, bloody gunshot wound, suicide fall shown)

Sex: None but sounds and brief images on videotape

Nudity: None; Near nudity - Woman removes sweater revealing bra

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Several times - Reference to self-gratification, sensual images and words during psych test, woman tells man she's wearing no underwear, sexual pictures for blackmail seen briefly

Drugs: Conrad talks about past drug use, white powder seen in hotel room, cigarettes/cigars smoked, alcoholic drinks

Other: Man in commode stall asks for paper, John 9:25 quoted, Mary figurine is wine bottle, man wakes up in coffin in crypt, brotherly love shown, man treats ex-wife poorly but later apologizes

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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