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Parents' Guide to

Hot Summer Nights

By Michael Ordona, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Pervasive drug culture, strong language in drama/thriller.

Movie R 2018 107 minutes
Hot Summer Nights Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 6 parent reviews

age 12+

Nothing kids can’t handle

This movie has a good amount of drug use in it, and off screen deaths behind-camera. I watched this with my 11-year old and she absolutely loved it, but she is also mature. This is a good movie if your kids are mature.

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
age 18+


It promotes drugs

This title has:

Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (6 ):
Kids say (4 ):

The nostalgic elements and well-captured moments of teen romance are memorable, but this dramatic thriller ultimately feels poorly motivated and doesn't arrive at a satisfying destination. That said, Hot Summer Nights does benefit from fine casting. Chalamet is a rising star; here, he's awkward and too smart for his own good. Monroe is an intriguing screen presence, and the dependable William Fichtner -- in a small role as a higher-level drug dealer -- is unpredictable and menacing. But the true find here is Roe, who commands the screen as Hunter. Fans of MTV's The Challenge will note a resemblance to that reality show's "character" CT that enhances Roe's portrayal of a similar Boston-ish bruiser.

Elijah Bynum directs from his own script, which does boast some engaging dialogue and character detail. But despite a fatalistic voice-over, we're not drawn into the dramatic vortex; it seems inevitable that Daniel's ambition will be the undoing of all ... but only because we're told it is. His dishonesty and foolishness hold us at arm's length from the emotional experience. Thematically, the film takes a stab at myth-making -- and stylistically at noir -- but neither lands convincingly. Hot Summer Nights has some nice, visceral moments, as when McKayla unexpectedly shares Daniel's lollypop or when Hunter reveals just how formidable a physical force he really is, but it mostly feels like a ride on a track whose destination everybody knows.

Movie Details

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