Want more recommendations for your family?
Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Loyalty isn't rewarded, and people don't learn any particular lessons -- other than, perhaps, that crime doesn't pay.
Positive Role Models
Pretty much everyone makes poor decisions or is easily led. The main character has a head for business but no wisdom and is a selfish liar. No notable diversity. That said, the cop isn't a bad guy, and the two love interests aren't bad people, either.
Violence & Scariness
One big fight, and it's a brutal, bloody beatdown. A fatal shooting occurs just off screen. Evidence of a suicide.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A woman plays the piano in only her panties, but she's not shown from the front. Several teen sexual situations, including post-sex snuggling.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Frequent strong language, especially of variants of "f--k." Other words include "s--t," "d--k," "a--hole," "c--k," "butt," "bastard," and more.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Products & Purchases
Visible brands are used for '90s nostalgic value.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Drug use/selling is backbone of plot. Many instances of pot and (intended) coke use, almost all involving teens. Harmful effects of use aren't shown. Dealing is glamorized. Teens also drink and smoke tobacco.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that even though it's about teens, Hot Summer Nights isn't intended for kids. This '90s-set romantic-dramatic thriller stars Timothée Chalamet as a teen who moves to a summer resort town and joins a local bad-boy small-time weed-dealing operation. Expect lots of drug use among teens (plus drinking and smoking), a burst of bloody violence (as well as an offscreen fatal shooting and evidence of a suicide), and constant strong language (especially "f--k"). The drug trade is glamorized, and no real lessons are learned. While there's no graphic nudity or sex, there's definitely acknowledgment of teen sexuality (teen characters are shown snuggling after sex), and one character plays piano wearing only her underpants. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.