Night School (2018 film)

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Night School
Night School.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMalcolm D. Lee[1]
Produced by
Written by
Music byDavid Newman
CinematographyGreg Gardiner
Edited byPaul Millspaugh
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 28, 2018 (2018-09-28) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[4]
CountryUnited States
Budget$29 million[5]
Box office$103.1 million[5]

Night School is a 2018 American comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee and starring Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Taran Killam, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Al Madrigal, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Keith David, Anne Winters, Fat Joe, Ben Schwartz, Yvonne Orji, and Bresha Webb. Hart also produces the film alongside Will Packer, as well as co-wrote the script. The story follows a group of adults who set out to earn their GEDs.

The film was released in the United States by Universal Pictures on September 28, 2018, grossed over $103 million worldwide and received mixed to negative reviews from critics.


In 2001, high school student Teddy Walker drops out of school when he finds himself unable to concentrate during a crucial test.

Years later, in 2018, he works as a barbecue grill salesman while dating a wealthy woman named Lisa, having developed a careful financial strategy that allows him to maintain the illusion that he is better off than he actually is. However, his life falls apart just as he learns that he is going to inherit control of the store when the current manager retires. As he proposes to Lisa in the shop, Teddy accidentally triggers an explosion when a champagne cork pops open a gas tank, with the manager taking the insurance from the explosion and promptly moving away to Florida.

Now jobless, Teddy learns from his best friend Marvin that he could theoretically get a job at Marvin's financial investment firm, but it requires him to have a GED. Teddy goes to his old high school in the belief that he can just charm the new principal into giving him the relevant qualification, but this plan is ruined from the start with the discovery that the principal is Stewart, whom Teddy bullied when he was at school. Fortunately, Teddy is able to make arrangements to attend night school that semester taught by the unorthodox Carrie, but finds himself still frustrated by his old concentration issues. At the same time, he claims to Lisa that he has already got the job working for Marvin, while secretly working at a local fast food restaurant to give himself some financial support.

As the rest of the class struggle to cope, Teddy convinces them to join him in stealing the test answers. When Carrie realizes what happened, Teddy is expelled from night school after he takes the blame. When he returns to make a genuine appeal to Carrie that he wants to do better, she agrees to take Teddy back to night school if he gets tested for learning disabilities, allowing them to determine that he suffers from dyslexia, dyscalculia, and various processing issues. Carrie is able to devise new systems to help Teddy cope and he soon settles into the night school while genuinely befriending his classmates.

With their last class on the night of the senior prom, Teddy suggests that the night school students attend the prom themselves. In the process, Carrie opens to Teddy that she is a lesbian but he is confronted by Lisa who Stewart brought to the school that night under the pretense of wanting corporate sponsorship to improve the school. Hurt at the revelation that Teddy was lying to her, Lisa breaks up with him, prompting a devastated Teddy to give up on night school and the GED. However, he is subsequently visited by Carrie and Stewart with the latter apologizing to Teddy as he realizes that he crossed too many lines in his desire for revenge. Carrie convinces Teddy to return for the GED. Although Teddy does not pass the test with his classmates, he continues to persevere and completes the test after another four attempts.

At graduation that semester, Teddy makes a speech on behalf of the other night school students about how they all prove that second chances are possible, which is witnessed by Lisa. After the ceremony, Teddy apologizes to Lisa for lying to her and re-introduces himself. He asks her out and she accepts but he tells her she will have to pay for everything since he has no money. She responds affirmatively with "I figured" and "I got you". After that, all the night school graduates pose for a photo.

Before the credits, a party is held after the graduation. Stewart interrupts the party and proclaims it's "his house" before pulling off some epic dance moves (everyone else appreciates it) to prove it.


  • Kevin Hart[2] as Theodore "Teddy" Walker, Denise's brother, Gerald and Gladys's son, who worked as the mascot of Christian Chicken and has concentration issues. Back in high school, he was a school bully and an arrogant popular jerk.
  • Tiffany Haddish[6] as Carrie, Teddy's unorthodox teacher.
  • Taran Killam as Stewart, the school's strict principal, who was the school nerd that Teddy bullied when he was there.
  • Rob Riggle[3] as Mackenzie, a dimwitted but friendly man who is one of Teddy's classmates.
  • Romany Malco as Jaylen, one of Teddy's classmates.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub[7] as Theresa, who is a hardworking mom with several kids; she got pregnant in high school and is now trying to earn her GED.
  • Al Madrigal as Luis, a waiter who is fired due to his reaction to Teddy's false claim, and ends up as one of his classmates.
  • Anne Winters[8] as Mila, a deadpan hipster from a wealthy family, whose parents force her to get her GED at the night-school class.
  • Fat Joe as Bobby, an inmate and one of Teddy's classmates via the internet.
  • Ben Schwartz[9] as Marvin, Teddy's best friend and an investment adviser who wants to give his pal a job but can't until Teddy passes his GED.
  • Megalyn Echikunwoke[10] as Lisa King, Teddy's fiancée, who doesn't know at first that Teddy is enrolled in the night school.
  • Keith David[11][12] as Gerald Walker, Denise and Teddy's father and Gladys's husband.
  • Owen Harn as Randy, Theresa's husband.
  • Bresha Webb as Denise Walker, Teddy's sister and Gerald and Gladys's daughter.
  • Donna Biscoe as Gladys Walker, Denise and Teddy's mother and Gerald's wife.
  • Yvonne Orji as Maya, Lisa's friend.
  • Jeff Rose as Isaac, Teddy's boss at Christian Chicken.


Principal photography on the film began in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2017.[13]


Box office[edit]

Night School grossed $77.3 million in the United States and Canada, and $25.8 million in other territories for a total worldwide gross of $103.1 million, against a production budget of $29 million.[5]

In the United States and Canada, Night School was released alongside Smallfoot, Little Women and Hell Fest, and was projected to gross $25–31 million from 3,010 theaters in its opening weekend.[14] The film made $9.5 million on its first day, including $1.35 million from Thursday night previews, on par with Hart's Ride Along 2 ($1.26 million in 2016). It went on to debut to $28 million, finishing first domestically (although Smallfoot earned more worldwide) and marking the best opening weekend for a comedy in 2018.[15] It made $12.5 million in its second weekend and $7.8 million in its third, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.[16][17]

Critical response[edit]

On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 27% based on 134 reviews, with an average rating of 4.32/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Night School's funny stars and seemingly promising setup add up to a disappointingly scattershot comedy whose laughs are largely held in detention."[18] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[19] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.[15]

Variety's Owen Gleiberman said the film "wants to be a nasty sitcom but spends too much time playing it safe" and wrote, "Night School has a handful of laughs, but it's a bloated trifle that, at 111 minutes, overstays its welcome."[20] Writing for IndieWire, David Elrich gave the film a "D" grade, saying "Kevin Hart can be funnier than he is in this joyless and interminable comedy, but he no longer seems interested in trying."[21]

Home media[edit]

Night School was released digitally on December 11, 2018, and was on 4K UHD Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray and DVD on January 1, 2019.[22][23]

Television series[edit]

On January 10, 2020, it was reported that NBC is developing a comedy TV series based on the box office hit for the network.[24] The pilot was written by Christopher Moynihan and produced by Universal Television, Hartbeat Productions and Will Packer Productions.

On February 27, 2020, it was announced that Shanola Hampton is cast as Carrie Dawes, originally played by Haddish in the movie.[25] Ian Gomez, Collette Wolfe, James Earl and Joe Massingill were cast additions announced on March 2, 2020.[26] Josh Segarra was announced as Teddy Walker, the role originally played by Hart in the movie.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Fleming, Mike (2017-06-29). "Malcolm D. Lee To Direct Kevin Hart In Universal Comedy 'Night School'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  2. ^ a b Dave McNary (2017-04-13). "Kevin to Star in Comedy 'Night School'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-05-21.
  3. ^ a b Justin Kroll (2017-09-11). "Rob Riggle Joins Kevin Hart in Universal's 'Night School'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  4. ^ "Night School". AMC Theatres. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Night School (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  6. ^ Maureen Lee Lenker (2017-08-17). "Tiffany Haddish enrolls in Night School alongside Kevin Hart". Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  7. ^ Amanda N'Duka (2017-09-12). "Mary Lynn Rajskub Joins Kevin Hart's Comedy 'Night School'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017-09-16.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  8. ^ N'Duka, Amanda (September 26, 2017). "'13 Reasons Why's Anne Winters Joins 'Night School'; 'Trial By Fire' Adds Jade Pettyjohn". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  9. ^ "Ben Schwartz Joins Kevin Hart in 'Night School' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2017-09-14. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  10. ^ Lee, Ashley (September 25, 2017). "Kevin Hart's 'Night School' Adds Megalyn Echikunwoke (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  11. ^ "Instagram". Instagram. 2017-09-14. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  12. ^ Wilson Morales (2017-09-16). "Keith David To Play Kevin Hart's Dad In Malcolm D. Lee's Night School". Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  13. ^ Jennifer Brett September 14, 2017 celebrities. (2016-09-15). "Kevin Hart's movie is filming a fancy scene today | Atlanta Buzz with Jennifer Brett". Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  14. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (September 25, 2018). "Can the Team Behind 'Girls Trip' Land Another Box Office Hit With 'Night School'?". TheWrap. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  15. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (September 30, 2018). "'Night School' Top Of The Weekend's Box Office Class With $28M; Best Opening For A Comedy So Far This Year". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  16. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 9, 2018). "'Venom' Flies To Near $90M; 'A Star Is Born' Has Rhythm With $51M As Monday Fall Holidays Propel Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 9, 2018.
  17. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (October 14, 2018). "'Sony Swings Past $1 Billion As 'Venom' Bites $35M+; 'First Man' Lands Third With $16M+ – Sunday AM". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved October 14, 2018.
  18. ^ "Night School (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  19. ^ "Night School reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  20. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (September 26, 2018). "Film Review: Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish in 'Night School'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  21. ^ Elrich, David (September 26, 2018). "'Night School' Review: Not Even Tiffany Haddish Can Save this Painfully Unfunny Kevin Hart Comedy from Itself". IndieWire. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  22. ^ "Night School DVD Release Date January 1, 2019". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  23. ^ Prange, Stephanie (November 13, 2018). "'Night School' in Session on Digital Dec. 11, Disc Jan 1 From Universal". Media Play News. Retrieved January 3, 2019.
  24. ^ Porter, Rick (January 10, 2020). "Kevin Hart Comedy 'Night School' Based on Movie Snags NBC Pilot Order". The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 27, 2020). "'Night School': Shanola Hampton To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2020). "'Night School': Ian Gomez, James Earl, Joe Massingill & Collette Wolfe Cast In 'Night School' NBC Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood.
  27. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 6, 2020). "'Night School': Josh Segarra To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood.

External links[edit]