Watch Kids' Reviews of
NIGHT SCHOOL

What to know: Mostly Enjoyable, With No Shortage of Humor and Heart.
KIDS FIRST QUALIFIED ENDORSEMENT
Recommended age 12-18
111 minutes
FeatureFilm
UNIVERSAL STUDIOS - THEATRICAL DIVISION
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NIGHT SCHOOL cover image Click to play video trailer
Night School is a mostly enjoyable watch with no shortage of humor and heart. The acting and writing perfectly encapsulate the fast-paced comedic delivery. This is sure to be an enjoyable watch for anyone looking for a serviceably hilarious time.

The story follows street-smart, but academically dull-witted Teddy (Kevin Hart) as he fails to pass his GED college admissions test. Even still, he finds success as a grill salesman with a financially successful, yet unaware fianc´┐Ż Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). However, when disaster arises with the accidental destruction of his workplace, Teddy must search elsewhere to support Lisa and hide his school failure from her as the GED is the only way out. With a determined teacher, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish) and a group of misfits by his side, Teddy must test his mental and physical boundaries to power past his setbacks to pass the GED if there is any chance of him supporting himself and Lisa.

Kevin Hart, as Teddy, brings his signature style, as his exaggerated reactions and loud mouth continue to entertain. His character's inspiring attempts to change through hard work and perseverance provide for newfound nuances in his performance. Tiffany Haddish, as Carrie, shines alongside Teddy providing great amounts of sharp banter which truly bring out some of the movie's funniest scenes. Megalyn Echikunwoke, as Lisa, is great in her support of Teddy despite all his misfortunes. Taren Killam, as Stewart, presents a relatable, yet ruthless threat for Teddy as he threatens to damage his relationship with Lisa for the bullying he suffered. Mary Lynn Rajskub, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Anne Winters and Al Madrigal round out the all-star cast, as the rest of the night school students, with each providing a uniquely hilarious persona. Romany Malcom shines as my favorite character, with his overdrawn reasoning providing for the movie's best jokes.

Malcolm D. Lee directs the movie with an effective grasp on character and comedic situations as there is never a dull moment. My favorite scene is the heist scene as its parody on heist movies is smartly done and the end gag leaves you breathlessly laughing. However, many of the movie's jokes don't land due to an overreliance on crass bodily humor, which come across as overly done for laughs. At times, much of it comes across as derivative of other school-based comedies, leaving much of the gags feeling unmemorable. Despite this, a good amount of smart deliveries and fun character work help balance it above many comedies that have failed to garner laughs.

The message of the movie to never give up, in spite of any obstacles as with proper rigor, we will succeed and learn the most. Teddy's disabilities and determined attempts to combat that compliment this message with a touching underdog story. I give this film 3.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18 because of sexual references and language. The movie releases in theaters on September 28, 2018, so check it out.

Reviewed by Arjun Nair, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 16

Mom always said, stay in school. Well, this cast of troublemakers did not. Night School is their effort to obtain their GED and matriculate back into productive society. I am not going to lie, the sophomoric approach to telling this tale did not light me up. I struggled to stay engaged with the themes of the film, as well as all the female stereotypes, racial stereotypes, schmaltzy, slap-stick and crude behavior.

Kevin Hart wrote and stars in Night School. He plays Teddy Walker, a successful sales man who blows up his one success and returns to night school to better his career choices. At times disjointed, I often felt the multiple story lines and activities of the cast do not coalesce into a coherent film or story. Fans of Kevin Hart's comedy shows will likely love the film, as there are a few good belly laughs.

Tiffany Haddish plays Carrie, the night school teacher and the leader of the pack. She plays a tough teacher, who also adds tough love to the mix as she corrals a ragtag group of students. The character contributes to a theme of second chances, which is the best part of this film. If you loved Tiffany Haddish's role in Girls Trip, do not look for the same comedic success here. She plays a more serious role in Night School and I venture she is much stronger in a pure comedic role.

I give this film of 3 out of 5 stars for lack of consistent story and character development. This is the most disjointed film I have watched in a long time.

This film will appeal to ages 13 to 18 as well as some adults. I caution younger viewing due to sexual references, crude language, drug use and reference, adult themes and violent scenes, which are inappropriate for younger children.

Reviewed by Kimbirly O., KIDS FIRST! Adult Juror

A group of troublemakers are forced to attend night school in hope that they'll pass the GED exam to finish high school.
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ARJUN NAIR

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