Reviewer's grade: D
You know, there's nothing quite like going to the movies, paying for your ticket, and then being assaulted for 107 minutes by a film — the message of which is American moviegoers are morons for liking the movies they do. Actually, there is something like it. They do it at Abu Ghraib.
Naomi Watts ("Eastern Promises") and Tim Roth ("Youth Without Youth") star as an upper-middle-class couple who are the victims of a home invasion. The invaders are two young, nicely dressed but smarmy sociopaths (Michael Pitt and Brady Corbet) whose idea of "funny games" is terrorizing, torturing, humiliating, and murdering families picked at random.
But the movie isn't a thriller — it's writer/director Michael Haneke's treatise on the low-brow taste of Americans who like violent entertainment. We know because one of the killers addresses the camera and tells us so. A cheap stunt or sophisticated avant-garde satire. Let's compromise on cheap avant-garde stunt. —Doug Bentin