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Alpha, Game Night and More in This Week's MPAA Ratings Bulletin

View Chris Kavan's Profile

By Chris Kavan - 12/13/17 at 09:53 AM CT

I guess I'm not the only one excited about the new Star Wars movies. It's a short MPAA bulletin this week, but at least I have a couple of movies to talk about. One revolves around a group of friends who regularly get together for a game night, only to find themselves part of a very real murder mystery. The other sets us back to the early age of man - 20,000 years ago to be exact, in a story of survival. Any week is a good week when I have something to talk about, but I admit I'm also way more excited about the new Star Wars movie, so I may not be on my A game.

MPAA Official Logo

Going back in time can be fun - medieval, Roman Empire, Greek mythology - but Alpha is going way back - to the Ice Age (not the one with animated talking animals, either). Taking place 20,000 years ago, the film follows a young hunter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) who finds himself alone after a hunt goes wrong and mus brave the elements, and predators, in order to get back to his clan. Along the way, he befriends a wolf who becomes his companion and his protector, even though he could also very well be his death. It sounds like this is going to be pretty much a one-man show, as the rest of the cast are unknowns. Albert Hughes (along with his brother Allen) is more known for inner-city dramas - Menace II Society and Dead Presidents than this kind of action - though he also co-helmed the post-apocalyptic drama Book of Eli. Alpha should appeal to action fans, but I don't see it becoming a major hit. Rated PG-13 for some intense peril.

With a knockout cast, Game Night looks to be a combination of Clue and The Game. Max and Annie (Jason Bateman and Rachel McAdams) host a weekly game night between a set of ultra-competitive couples. When Max's brother, Brooks (Kyle Chandler) agrees to set up a murder-mystery for the players to solve, complete with fake agents and perps, things seem to be going well - until Brooks is kidnapped and the couples find the game turning real as they attempt to unravel what is truth and what is a setup. Lots of twists and turns involved here, the the rest of the cast looks great as well: Jesse Plemons, Billy Magnussen, Kylie Bunbury, Kylie Bunbury and Joshua Mikel help round out the lineup. This looks like a lot of fun - laughs and thrills, and I like the cast. Rated R for language, sexual references and some violence.

That's it for the big films this week, but be sure to check out the full MPAA Ratings Bulletin below and... May the Force Be With You!


Rated PG-13 for some intense peril.


Rated PG for sci-fi action/peril, suggestive material, thematic elements and some language. Edited for Re-Rating. Previous PG-13 Rating given on 8-9-17 Voided.


Rated G (Animated Short)


Rated R for language, sexual references and some violence.


Rated R for war violence, some grisly images, sexual material, and language throughout.


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