Night School

Night School

2018, PG-13, 111 min. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee. Starring Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Brooke Butler, Taran Killam, Keith David, Ben Schwartz, Fat Joe, Romany Malco, Al Madrigal.

REVIEWED By Marc Savlov, Fri., Sept. 28, 2018

There’s not a lot to be said for comic Kevin Hart’s latest, which is something of a Hindenburgian riff on John Hughes' The Breakfast Club"Oh, the humanity!” – although in fairness it does remind you that the presumably throwaway comedies of the Eighties were, even at their worst, orders of magnitude more entertaining than post-millennial, submediocre yuk-fests such as Night School. Crafted within the broadest, not-quite-funny brushstrokes possible, director Lee’s movie about a class of troublemakers, hustlers, adult J.D.s, and Rob Riggle’s patented goofy man-child schtick struggling to earn their GEDs at the eponymous classroom fails, epically.

Living far, far beyond his means while wooing his lady love (Echikunwoke), Hart plays high school dropout Teddy Walker, another take on the actor’s hustler with a heart of gold go-to role. After managing to blow up his job as a barbecue pit salesman – via explosively cheap CGI effects – Teddy sets out to scam his way into receiving the coveted GED and a solid job as a financial adviser via an ultra-vanilla friend and cohort (Schwartz). Once enrolled, he finds himself caught in the crosshairs of the kid he bullied all through high school, now the principal of his ex alma mater, and his teacher (Haddish), neither of which is planning on letting him slide through on streetwise charm alone. Also spending his nights with him are a patently generic bunch o’ goofballs, among them the wildly woke, conspiracy-minded Jay (Malco), a vengeful former waiter who longs to be the Mexican Justin Bieber (Madrigal), and Fat Joe as a prison inmate Skyping into the classroom. It’s more than enough to say that hijinks ensue, precious few of them eliciting even the grimmest chuckle.

Blame that on the monumentally lazy scripting by Hart and no fewer than five other writers which takes the low road (i.e., fart, puke, and ass gags) at every opportunity. It all ends, no spoiler here, with an ABC Afterschool Special life lesson that redeems the preceding proceedings not one iota. Also of note: The real-life teacher and Oklahoma striker friend that I took to the screening was dismayed at how truly atrocious Night School was, commenting on how the film’s multimillion-dollar budget would’ve been much better off spent on improving teachers' woefully tiny salaries. Final grade? “F-.”

Showtimes

Wed., Oct. 17

2:30, 5:40, 8:35, 11:30

Thu., Oct. 18

11:30am, 2:25, 5:40, 8:35, 11:30

Fri., Oct. 19

7:25

Sat., Oct. 20

11:05

Tue., Oct. 23

7:25

Alamo Drafthouse Slaughter Lane

5701 W. Slaughter, 512/861-7060, drafthouse.com/austin/theater/slaughter-lane

Showtimes at this venue are subject to frequent change. Please confirm daily times by phone or website.

Wed., Oct. 17

1:10, 4:05, 7:00, 9:55

Thu., Oct. 18

12:15, 3:10

Barton Creek Square (AMC)

2901 South Capital of Texas Hwy, 512/306-1991, www.amctheatres.com

Matinee discounts available before 4pm daily. Bring Your Baby matinees the first Tuesday of every month.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 11:10am, 2:10, 4:50, 7:30

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 11:00am, 1:40, 4:20

Cinemark 20 and XD

N. I-35 & FM 1825, 512/989-8535

Cost for 3-D and XD shows is regular ticket price plus a premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 2:15, 5:05, 8:00, 10:00, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 2:15, 5:05, 8:00, 10:45

Cinemark Cedar Park

1335 E. Whitestone, Cedar Park, 800/326-3264

Call theatre for complete list of movies and showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 1:40, 4:50, 7:40, 10:30

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 1:40, 4:50

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:40, 10:30

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 11:10am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:40, 10:30

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:15, 10:20

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 10:40am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:15, 10:20

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 10:25

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 10:25

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 9:20

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 9:20

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 9:20

Cinemark Round Rock

4401 N. I-35, Round Rock, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium. Call theatre for complete March 26-28 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 2:05, 5:00, 7:55, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 2:05, 5:00, 7:55, 10:45

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 2:00, 4:55, 8:00, 10:55

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 2:00, 4:55, 8:00, 10:55

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 2:00, 4:55, 8:00, 10:55

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 2:00, 4:55, 8:00, 10:45

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 2:00, 4:55, 8:00, 10:45

Cinemark Southpark Meadows

9900 S. I-35, 800/326-3264

Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:10

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:10

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:15

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:15

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:15

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:15

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 10:45am, 1:35, 4:30, 7:15, 10:15

Cinemark Stone Hill Town Center

18820 Hilltop Commercial Dr., 512/251-0938, www.cinemark.com

Wed., Oct. 17

digital 12:10, 3:25, 7:45

Thu., Oct. 18

digital 12:10, 3:25, 7:45, 10:30

Fri., Oct. 19

digital 12:10, 3:25, 7:15, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 20

digital 12:10, 3:25, 7:15, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 21

digital 12:10, 3:25, 7:15

Mon., Oct. 22

digital 12:10, 3:25, 7:15

Tue., Oct. 23

digital 12:10, 3:25, 7:15

City Lights Theatre

420 Wolf Ranch Parkway, Georgetown, 512/868-9922

Wed., Oct. 17

1:00, 4:00, 6:55, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 18

1:00, 4:00

EVO Entertainment

3200 Kyle Crossing, Kyle, 512/523-9009, www.evo-entertainment.com

Wed., Oct. 17

2:40, 5:20, 8:00, 10:40

Thu., Oct. 18

12:05, 2:40, 5:20, 8:00, 10:40

Fri., Oct. 19

11:35am, 2:25, 5:05, 7:45, 10:25

Sat., Oct. 20

11:35am, 2:25, 5:05, 7:45, 10:25

Sun., Oct. 21

11:35am, 2:25, 5:05, 7:45, 10:25

Mon., Oct. 22

11:35am, 2:25, 5:05, 7:45, 10:25

Tue., Oct. 23

11:35am, 2:25, 5:05, 7:45, 10:25

Flix Brewhouse

2200 S. I-35, Round Rock, 512/244-3549, www.flixbrewhouse.com/round-rock

Wed., Oct. 17

CC 12:00, 3:00, 6:30, 9:30

Thu., Oct. 18

CC 2:15

Galaxy Highland 10

6700 Middle Fiskville, 512/467-7305, www.galaxytheatres.com

No one under 18 will be allowed in the theatre on Friday or Saturday after 7pm without an adult.

Wed., Oct. 17

12:35, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20

Thu., Oct. 18

12:35, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20

Fri., Oct. 19

12:35, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20

Sat., Oct. 20

6:30, 9:20

Sun., Oct. 21

3:30, 6:30, 9:20

Mon., Oct. 22

12:35, 3:30

Tue., Oct. 23

12:35, 3:30

Gateway Theatre

9700 Stonelake, 512/416-5700

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 12:25, 3:45, 7:15, 10:00

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 12:25, 3:45, 7:15, 10:00

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 3:55, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 10:20

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 3:55, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 10:00

Hometown Cinemas

120 MLK Jr. Industrial Blvd. W, Lockhart, 512/398-4100, www.hometowncinemas.com

Wed., Oct. 17

11:55am, 2:20, 4:40, 7:10

Thu., Oct. 18

11:55am, 2:20, 4:40

Fri., Oct. 19

4:40, 9:40

Sat., Oct. 20

4:40, 9:40

Sun., Oct. 21

4:40

Mon., Oct. 22

4:40

Tue., Oct. 23

4:40

AMC Lakeline 9

11200 Lakeline Mall Dr., Cedar Park, 512/335-4793

Discounts daily before 6pm.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 1:00, 3:45, 6:45

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 1:15, 4:15

Metropolitan

901 Little Texas, 512/447-0101

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 1:45, 4:45, 7:40, 10:35

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 1:45, 4:45, 7:40, 10:35

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 2:00, 10:35

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 2:00, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35

Moviehouse & Eatery

8300 N. FM 620, Bldg. B, 512/501-3520, www.themoviehouse.com/trails/

Wed., Oct. 17

11:25am, 2:30, 5:40, 8:45

Thu., Oct. 18

11:25am, 2:30, 5:40, 8:45

Fri., Oct. 19

11:00

Sat., Oct. 20

11:00

Sun., Oct. 21

11:00

Mon., Oct. 22

9:00

Tue., Oct. 23

9:00

Schulman Theatres Lost Pines 8

1600 Chestnut St, Bastrop, 512/321-0123, www.schulmantheatres.com

Wed., Oct. 17

10:20am, 1:15, 4:25, 7:40, 10:35

Thu., Oct. 18

10:30am, 1:35, 4:35, 7:35, 10:30

Fri., Oct. 19

10:10am, 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 10:00

Sat., Oct. 20

10:10am, 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 10:00

Sun., Oct. 21

10:10am, 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 10:00

Mon., Oct. 22

10:10am, 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 10:00

Tue., Oct. 23

10:10am, 1:05, 4:05, 7:00, 10:00

ShowBiz Cinemas 8 Marble Falls

2600 Hwy 281 North, Marble Falls

Call theatre for August 22-23 showtimes.

Wed., Oct. 17

2:35, 4:35, 7:40

Thu., Oct. 18

2:25, 5:00, 7:40

Fri., Oct. 19

11:45am, 2:25, 5:10, 7:40, 10:30

Sat., Oct. 20

11:45am, 2:25, 5:10, 7:40, 10:30

Sun., Oct. 21

11:15am, 4:20

Mon., Oct. 22

2:25, 5:10, 7:40

Tue., Oct. 23

2:25, 5:10, 7:40

Sky Cinemas

13201 US-290, 512/457-0700, www.skycinemas.com

Wed., Oct. 17

3:00, 5:35, 8:15

Thu., Oct. 18

3:00, 5:35, 8:15

Fri., Oct. 19

1:25, 9:20

Sat., Oct. 20

1:25, 9:20

Sun., Oct. 21

1:25, 9:20

Mon., Oct. 22

12:25, 2:15

Tue., Oct. 23

12:25, 2:15

Wed., Oct. 17

4:15, 6:45, 10:50

Thu., Oct. 18

3:45

Starplex 12 San Marcos

1250 Wonder World Drive, San Marcos, 512/805-8000

Wed., Oct. 17

2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Thu., Oct. 18

11:45am, 2:30, 5:15, 8:00, 10:45

Westgate 11

4477 S. Lamar, 512/899-2717

Discounts daily before 6pm. Cost for 3-D shows is regular ticket price plus a $3.50 premium.

Wed., Oct. 17

CC/DVS 11:45am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 10:05

Thu., Oct. 18

CC/DVS 11:45am, 2:20, 4:55, 7:30, 10:05

Fri., Oct. 19

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:50, 5:25, 10:35

Sat., Oct. 20

CC/DVS 12:15, 2:50, 5:25, 10:35

Sun., Oct. 21

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 10:20

Mon., Oct. 22

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20

Tue., Oct. 23

CC/DVS 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 10:20

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Malcolm D. Lee Films
Girls Trip
A raunchy and empowering time in New Orleans

Danielle White, July 21, 2017

Barbershop: The Next Cut
Cutting hair and cutting up

Steve Davis, April 22, 2016

More by Marc Savlov
The Hate U Give
Astounding adaptation of YA novel critiques race in modern America

Oct. 12, 2018

Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Slappy returns in this perfectly timed sequel

Oct. 12, 2018

KEYWORDS FOR THIS FILM

Night School, Malcolm D. Lee, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Brooke Butler, Taran Killam, Keith David, Ben Schwartz, Fat Joe, Romany Malco, Al Madrigal

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle