The movie gives you what you think you want, and then gives you some more, and just when you think things can't get any worse, Haneke swoops in and smashes the wall between fiction and reality, turning the viewer into a direct accomplice to what's transpiring onscreen. It is an astonishing film, sure to be controversial, and quite simply unforgettable. [30 Jan. 1998, p.6G]
It's a film you might argue with, but its sparing use of on-screen violence, some extraordinarily protracted scenes and sensitive handling of thorny subject matter make it also a film you ought to see.
Haneke's admonishments are disturbing only in the sense that they're never self-critical, and while watching one of his films, there's always a sense that he thinks he's above his characters, his audience, and scrutiny.
The film is shocking and upsetting, but never truly gets under the skin the way this kind of material often can. Whatever reservations are prompted by Haneke's approach, his direction is controlled and edgy. [20 May 1997, p.52]
Dave KehrNew York Daily News
Denying us any catharsis, Haneke becomes a stern, finger-wagging lecturer; he seems to mean his movie as punishment, conveniently forgetting his own role in the crime. [11 March 1998, p.38]
Ann HornadayBaltimore Sun
Funny Games condescends to its audience like a pretentious, preachifying graduate student in post-modernism. It would help us out of the cultural quagmire we're drowning in, if only we could understand its highly convoluted and exclusive language. [29 May 1998, p.1E]