Night School (2018 film)

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Night School
Night School.png
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMalcolm D. Lee[1]
Written by
Produced by
CinematographyGreg Gardiner
Edited byPaul Millspaugh
Music byDavid Newman
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • September 28, 2018 (2018-09-28) (United States)
Running time
111 minutes[4]
CountryUnited States
Budget$29 million[5][6]
Box office$103.1 million[5]

Night School is a 2018 American buddy comedy film directed by Malcolm D. Lee, produced with Will Packer and Kevin Hart, written by Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matt Kellard, Nicholas Stoller and John Hamburg, and starring Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, and Romany Malco with supporting roles done by Taran Killam, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Al Madrigal, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Keith David, Anne Winters, Fat Joe, Ben Schwartz, Yvonne Orji, and Bresha Webb. 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 negative reviews from critics.


In 2001, high school student Teddy Walker drops out when he can’t concentrate during a crucial test.

17 years later in 2018, Teddy sells barbecue grills while dating a wealthy woman named Lisa; a careful financial strategy makes him appear wealthier 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. Proposing to Lisa in the shop, Teddy accidentally triggers an explosion when a champagne cork pops open a gas tank. The manager takes the insurance from the explosion and promptly moves to Florida.

Now jobless, Teddy learns from his best friend Marvin that he could theoretically get a job at his financial investment firm, but only if he has a GED. Teddy goes to his old high school, intending to charm the new principal into giving him the relevant qualification only to discover the principal is Stewart, whom Teddy bullied when he was at school. Fortunately, Teddy can enroll in night school that semester, taught by the unorthodox Carrie, but finds himself still frustrated by his old concentration issues. At the same time, he tells Lisa he already has the job working for Marvin, while secretly working at a local fast food restaurant to give himself some income.

As the class struggles to cope, Teddy convinces them to help steal the test answers. When Carrie realizes what happened, he is expelled after taking the blame. He returns to make a genuine appeal to Carrie that he wants to do better. He is allowed back if he gets tested for learning disabilities. They do determine that he suffers from dyslexia, dyscalculia, and various processing issues. She is able to devise new systems to help him cope and he soon settles into night school while genuinely befriending his classmates.

As the last class is on prom night, Teddy suggests they attend too. He is confronted by Lisa who Stewart brought to the school that night under the pretense of corporate sponsorship to improve the school. Hurt that Teddy was lying to her, Lisa breaks up with him, prompting Teddy to give up on night school and the GED.

Following the incident, Teddy is visited by Carrie and Stewart with the latter apologizing to Teddy, realizing he crossed a line. Carrie convinces him to return for the GED. Although he does not pass with his classmates, he continues to persevere and completes it after another four attempts.

At graduation, Teddy makes a speech for the night school students about how they all prove that second chances are possible, witnessed by Lisa. Afterwards, Teddy apologizes to her for lying, re-introducing himself. He asks her out, and she agrees to support him financially while he seeks work.

Before the credits, a party is held after graduation. Stewart interrupts the party, proclaiming that it is "his house" before pulling off some epic dance moves to prove it.


  • Kevin Hart[3] as Theodore "Teddy" Walker, a man 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[7] as Carrie Carter, Teddy's unorthodox night school teacher.
  • Rob Riggle[2] as Mackenzie, a dimwitted but friendly man who is one of Teddy's classmates. He has worked in a removal company for thirty years and wants a GED so that he can move into a management position.
  • Romany Malco as Jaylen, one of Teddy's classmates. He was fired from a factory position when he was replaced by a robot and is now looking for a GED to improve his career options.
  • Taran Killam as Stewart, the school's strict principal who was the school nerd that Teddy bullied when he was there.
  • Megalyn Echikunwoke[8] as Lisa King, a wealthy woman and Teddy's fiancée who doesn't know at first that Teddy is enrolled in the night school.
  • Mary Lynn Rajskub[9] as Theresa, a hardworking mom with several kids who 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[10] as Mila, a deadpan hipster from a wealthy family whose parents force her to get her GED at the night-school class after she was caught with drugs in her locker.
  • Fat Joe as Bobby, a prison inmate and one of Teddy's classmates via the internet.
  • Ben Schwartz[11] 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.
  • Keith David[12][13] as Gerald Walker, Teddy's father.
  • Bresha Webb as Denise Walker, Teddy's sister and Gerald's daughter.
  • Donna Biscoe as Gladys Walker, Denise and Teddy's mother and Gerald's wife.
  • Yvonne Orji as Maya, Lisa's friend.
  • Tilda Del Toro as Luis' wife
  • Bryan Gael Guzman as Luis' son
  • Isabella Ribeiro-Sonera as Luis' daughter
  • Courtney Jackson Emerson as Jaylen's Wife


Principal photography began in Atlanta, Georgia in September 2017.[14]


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.[15] 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.[16] It made $12.5 million in its second weekend and $7.8 million in its third, finishing fourth and sixth, respectively.[17][18]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 26% based on 143 reviews, with an average rating of 4.3/10. 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."[19] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 43 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[20] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale, and PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it 3.5 out of 5 stars.[16]

Variety's Owen Gleiberman wrote 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."[21] For IndieWire, David Elrich gave the film a "D" grade, stating "Kevin Hart can be funnier than he is in this joyless and interminable comedy, but he no longer seems interested in trying."[22]

Home media[edit]

Night School was released digitally on December 11, 2018, and on 4K UHD Blu-Ray, Blu-Ray and DVD on January 1, 2019.[23][24]

Canceled television series[edit]

On January 10, 2020, it was reported that NBC was developing a TV series based on the movie.[25] 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 was cast as Carrie Dawes, originally played by Haddish in the movie.[26] Ian Gomez, Collette Wolfe, James Earl and Joe Massingill were additions announced on March 2, 2020.[27] Josh Segarra was announced as Teddy Walker, the role originally played by Hart in the movie.[28] On December 11, 2020, NBC announced that the pilot would not be moving forward.[29]

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 Justin Kroll (2017-09-11). "Rob Riggle Joins Kevin Hart in Universal's 'Night School'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  3. ^ a b Dave McNary (2017-04-13). "Kevin to Star in Comedy 'Night School'". Variety. Retrieved 2017-05-21.
  4. ^ "Night School". AMC Theatres. Retrieved July 10, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c "Night School (2018)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  6. ^ "Night School (2018) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  7. ^ Maureen Lee Lenker (2017-08-17). "Tiffany Haddish enrolls in Night School alongside Kevin Hart". Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  8. ^ Lee, Ashley (September 25, 2017). "Kevin Hart's 'Night School' Adds Megalyn Echikunwoke (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved September 26, 2017.
  9. ^ Amanda N'Duka (2017-09-12). "Mary Lynn Rajskub Joins Kevin Hart's Comedy 'Night School'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2017-09-16.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ "Ben Schwartz Joins Kevin Hart in 'Night School' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2017-09-14. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  12. ^ "Instagram". Instagram. 2017-09-14. Archived from the original on 2021-12-24. Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  13. ^ Wilson Morales (2017-09-16). "Keith David To Play Kevin Hart's Dad In Malcolm D. Lee's Night School". Retrieved 2017-10-18.
  14. ^ Jennifer Brett September 14, 2017 (2016-09-15). "Kevin Hart's movie is filming a fancy scene today | Atlanta Buzz with Jennifer Brett". Retrieved 2017-09-16.
  15. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (September 25, 2018). "Can the Team Behind 'Girls Trip' Land Another Box Office Hit With 'Night School'?". TheWrap. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ 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.
  18. ^ 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.
  19. ^ "Night School (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved October 10, 2021.
  20. ^ "Night School reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
  21. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (September 26, 2018). "Film Review: Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish in 'Night School'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved September 26, 2018.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ "Night School DVD Release Date January 1, 2019". DVDs Release Dates. Retrieved 2018-11-19.
  24. ^ 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.
  25. ^ Porter, Rick (January 10, 2020). "Kevin Hart Comedy 'Night School' Based on Movie Snags NBC Pilot Order". The Hollywood Reporter.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie; Petski, Denise (February 27, 2020). "'Night School': Shanola Hampton to Star in NBC Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood.
  27. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 2, 2020). "'Night School': Ian Gomez, James Earl, Joe Massingill & Collette Wolfe Cast In 'Night School' NBC Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood.
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (March 6, 2020). "'Night School': Josh Segarra To Star In NBC Comedy Pilot". Deadline Hollywood.
  29. ^ Otterson, Joe (December 11, 2020). "'Night School' Pilot Not Moving Forward at NBC (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved December 11, 2020.

External links[edit]