All Nighter

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
All Nighter Movie Poster Image
"One crazy night" buddy comedy has drugs, sex, swearing.
  • R
  • 2017
  • 86 minutes

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Amid the iffy stuff is the idea that sometimes, you may be the biggest thing in the way of your own success. Also, relationships aren't meaningless just because they don't work out -- they can teach you about yourself. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Martin is kind and well-meaning, if under-confident and self-questioning. He jumps in to help his ex-girlfriend's father look for her, despite having had his heart broken. 


Fist fights in bars and apartments. A man is Tasered during a confrontation with police.


Allusions to sex; one scene shows characters happening upon an S&M session (a woman whips a man's backside, they're dressed in leather, etc.). Kissing and brief nudity, including bare breasts. A stoned guy talks about having a threesome.


Everything from "f--k" (and its many variations) and "s--t" to "goddamn," "ass," and more.


The main characters spend much of the film driving around Los Angeles in a Volvo.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink and get high on weed (they use a bong). One scene shows a man brandishing magic mushrooms and later eating them. A guy talks about needing to call his dealer. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that All Nighter follows a man (Emile Hirsch) and his ex-girlfriend's dad (J.K. Simmons) on 24 hours' worth misadventures as they try to track down the woman they have in common, who's suddenly hard to reach. The unlikely pair end up in bar brawls and raucous nightclubs and eventually break a few laws. Expect plenty of swearing ("f--k," "s--t," "a--hole," etc.), as well as drinking and drug use -- including pot and a guy tripping hard on mushrooms. Sexual content is pretty racy, too: One scene shows characters happening upon an S&M session, and bare breasts are seen.

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What's the story?

In ALL NIGHTER, Martin (Emile Hirsch) snaps out of his post-break-up stupor when Frank (J.K. Simmons), the father of Martin's ex-girlfriend, Ginnie (Annaleigh Tipton), shows up at Martin's door three months after Ginnie left him. The two men had met once before, and it didn't go very well. (Martin made a tepid impression at best.) But now Frank can't reach his daughter, so the two of them spend the next 24 hours trying to track her down.

Is it any good?

Thanks to the chemistry between Hirsch and Simmons, this "one crazy night" comedy works. Watching the two of them make their way through this amusing, if not especially inspired, film -- a buddy comedy of sorts -- is lots of fun. But All Nighter's script is flabby, and the misadventures thrown the main characters' way aren't all that compelling. Plus, the conclusion to their heroes' journey, which was sparked by a seeming mystery (the sudden unreachability of Ginnie), ends up being much ado about nothing. 

All Nighter has some interesting things to say about relationships and what we learn from them, as well as what friendship means in this too-busy, too-hectic world. But it says them in such an unassertive and not altogether convincing way that it feels quite lightweight. Still, see it for the two stars.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how All Nighter depicts drinking and drug use. Are they glamorized? Are there consequences? Why does that matter?

  • What about sex? What role does it play in the film? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • How does this movie compare to other "one crazy night" films? Why do you think they're so popular? What does it take to make this genre work?

  • What do you think about the relationship between Martin and Frank? What makes them an "odd couple"? What do they learn from each other?

Movie details

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