Late Night (2019) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
102 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
Smart, funny, refreshing!
mdtrxwolf16 June 2019
Mindy Kaling did not disappoint with this one! I think this is an underrated film that a lot of people are just not ready to see. It really puts a mirror up to our society and ourselves, and we all know how uncomfortable that can get. Kaling hits on a lot of different issues from racism to ageism to gender disparity in a really clever and playful way, which helped to make the tone of the film rather light despite the seriousness of these issues. With all that aside, I believe the acting was superb, the pacing was rather smooth, and was genuinely thought provoking. If smart and witty comedy is your thing, this is definitely worth a watch!
35 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Top notch effort
jwwalrath-227-8548717 June 2019
Late Night is about a first-time comedy writer (played by Mindy Kaling) for a long-running and ill-tempered late night talk show host (played by Emma Thomspon) who is in danger of being fired due to low ratings. I thought this might be a fun time. I generally like Mindy Kaling. However, I was still surprised at how well handled this was.

The movie is an involving critique of the television industry. Kaling, who also wrote this, is clearly working from past experiences of a woman of color working in a white male industry. The message and plot are told in a smart, natural, and playful way. Yeah, the whole follows the ol' bright-eyed-newcomer warms the heart of the experienced curmudgeon trope, but the movie does such a fine job, that it didn't matter much.

Mindy does a fine job of being being bubbly and optimistic while also handling the character's low points well. However, this is Thompson's film. She is acting her butt off here. Yeah, the story does ham it up a bit in regards to her apathy and biting remarks toward her writing staff, but Thompson makes the character work. You end up understanding her and feel for her by the end.

This is one of those rare films where almost the entire supporting and ancillary cast and characters just work. Most personalities, even for the more minor members of Thompson's writing staff are well-crafted. I simply don't have time to credit all the actors in this.

For a comedy the movie isn't brightly shot, which is often the norm. However, this does kind of accentuate the New York setting and real world roots of the subject manner.

Overall, temper your expectations about plot originality, but still expect to be entertained.
28 out of 37 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Funny, Charming, and inspirational
Rainbowbeany4 April 2019
I saw this movie yesterday and I loved it! Emma and Mindy are an amazing pair. It's a little reminiscent of Devil Wears Prada but in only the best of ways. Emma Thompson brings a vulnerability to her stern, straight laced character who is stuck in her own ways. Mindy's character gets hired to work for Emma's Late Night talk show to help get it back on track to avoid cancellation. Mindy is incredibly charming, sweet and very opinionated in her role. These two ladies knock it out of the park and will make you laugh and cry. It's not every day we get to see a team up like this. The story is passionate, the jokes are hilarious, and the emotions are sincere. I highly recommend, it was a good time at the movies.
78 out of 122 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Pretty Woman Wears Prada.
bob-the-movie-man16 June 2019
Emma Thompson's latest film - Late Night - sees her as Katherine Newbury - a fictional long-standing British late night talk-show host on a US network. The similarities with James Corden (aside from the sex and the really annoying laugh) are obvious. Because the story thrusts itself into the real world, where references to the likes of Jimmy Kimmel and Jimmy Fallon (though curiously not Corden) appear.

Newbury is in a self-imposed rut, and has been for over 10 years: a lazy, formulaic rolling out of the same old schtick with the same boring types of older guests. This is progressively disenfranchaising her from the growing millenial audience; her rating are plummenting and her network boss (Amy Ryan) is happy to advise that the end is nigh.

"Personal excellence" is her watchword, so this comes as a big surprise to her. Less so though to her Parkinson's afflicted older husband, and famous ex-comic Walter Lovell (John Lithgow).

Things need to change. Katherine insists on hiring a woman: any woman. And Molly Patel (Mindy Kaling) is in the right place at the right time. She joins the misogynistic all-male, all-white writing team and sparks fly. So can Katherine - who also has never met the writers! - turn the ship around?

The script by Mindy Kaling drips with great lines. (She cut her comedy writing teeth on the US version of "The Office"). The exchanges between Thompson and Kaling are often the best. One of these is particularly sharp: where Thompson's Newbury launches into a diatribe about the narcissistic nature of youngsters on social media. She moans that young people are constantly spouting their deepest feelings online, in a constant search for some sort of collective redemption. This is a clever and perceptive piece of writing: Newbury comes from my post-war generation where life was just about "bloody getting on with it".

"TimesUp" messages heavily weight the script. But an issue, for me, is that these female empowerment (and the positive racial discrimination messages) are rather too firmly driven home. A scene that particularly grates is the final one that goes completely overboard with the saccharine.

Emma Thompson and John Lithgow, an acting dream-team, don't disappoint particularly when they bounce off each other. But it's a shame that they don't have more scenes together. Lithgow's role in general seems rather light and superficial. For example, there's a scene where Walter and Molly meet during a party, and I was expecting some sort of cute student:mentor relationship to develop; but no, he remains forever on the sidelines.

Thompson's 'wicked witch of the broadcasting west' is a heartless hatchet-women, performing Trump-like firings in withering fashion. It's a characterisation as vivid as Streep's equivalent from "The Devil Wears Prada". "Thawing" scenes where she reengages with real-life and hits the streets for outside broadcasts, are well done.

Kaling's role was, for me, fine without being totally sparkling. I found her character a tad annoying, and never 100% believable. I did enjoy though the performances of Reid Scott (famous for being Dan in "Veep") and Denis O'Hare as Katherine's right hand man Brad. My wife and I spent AGES trying to place where we knew the latter from: IMDB put us out of our agony.... he is the hilarious Judge Abernathy from "The Good Wife"/"The Good Fight" series.

There are some pretty dodgy films out there at the moment and "Late Night" is not one of them. It's a solid and entertaining night out at the movies: seeing Dame Emma Thompson strutting her stuff is good value for any movie dollar.

(For the full graphical review, please check out One Mann's Movies on t'interweb and Facebook. Thanks!).
15 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A nice night out
egdix15 June 2019
I am not sure where all the negative reviews are coming from, although I am not sure where all the 10's are coming from. I went to,the movies with my wife to see an adult movie. No superheroes, no CGI. This was a quaint little movie. The acting was fine. The story moved at a brisk pace and Emma Thompson was able to carry the movie as she was in most scenes. Felt that I got my money's worth.
20 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Surprisingly good!
kas82317 June 2019
I was expecting a typical fluff summer chick flick...instead I enjoyed a film which, while definitely funny, had some real "meat" to it's plot. I congratulate Kaling on an excellent script. Watching the expert acting of Thompson and Lithgow was a joy.
13 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
missed opportunity
ferguson-613 June 2019
Warning: Spoilers
Greetings again from the darkness. "A woman who hates women". That is how talk show host Katherine Newbury is described. Oh, and her show's ratings have been declining for 10 years, she doesn't even know most of her writers by sight (or name), and we are led to believe that her age has something to do with the new network executive wanting to replace her. Five minutes in, my opinion was that Katherine Newbury doesn't like people (not just women), is basically a narcissistic jerk, and her age has nothing to do with her being replaced ... it's the fact that her show is lame, she's not appealing to viewers, and advertising revenues drop with poor ratings. It's called business - not sexism or gender discrimination. Never once did this seem like someone getting a raw deal. However, it's only a movie, so I tried to play along.

Very talented actors fill the screen. Two-time Oscar winner Emma Thompson stars as Katherine Newbury, the stuck-in-her-ways, Emmy winning talk show host hanging on based on reputation and longevity in the business. Her character reminds me of David Letterman towards the end of his long run ... scandal and all. Mindy Kaling co-stars as Molly Patel, a factory, err, chemical plant worker, who dreams of being a comedy writer, but puts no effort into actually learning the craft. Instead, luck puts her in the right place at the time the show needs a token hire. Enter Molly, a woman of color in a writers' room full of white men. The interesting dynamic here is that most of the men in the room probably got their seat thanks to connections, while Molly got hers based on gender. Talent and skill seem to play no part for any of them.

The story is basically Molly trying to find her true self by helping Katherine modernize her evil ways and save her job. There are quite a few little sub-stories - can't really call them subplots - that mostly distract from the overall direction, but serve the purpose of allowing punchlines or supposedly insightful social commentary. John Lithgow plays Katherine's wise, Parkinson's stricken husband, and the writers' boys club includes Hugh Dancy ("Hannibal"), Reid Scott ("Veep"), Max Casella ("Ray Donovan"), Paul Walter Hauser (I, TONYA), and Denis O'Hare ("True Blood"). Ike Barinholtz plays the hot young comedian being groomed as Katherine's replacement, and it's Amy Ryan ("The Office") who really registers as the network President. More of Ms. Ryan's character and more attention to the network perspective would have improved the film.

Director Nisha Ganatra ("Transparent") is working from the script by Ms. Kaling, whose real life experiences as a token hire in the industry could have been better presented. A lame stab at a romance distracts from the reactions of the threatened writers materializing in a lack of respect towards Molly, and most of the comedy felt forced and obvious, rather than real and painful (the sources of the best comedy). It's a shame that most any episode of "30 Rock" or "The Office" provides more insightful commentary and comedy than this film. It's such a missed opportunity.
13 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
red_tape-13 June 2019
Does Mindy Kaling ever do a character that isn't essentially the same as all the others she has done?
69 out of 137 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Cliched waste of Emma Thompson and John Lithgow
tessak8 June 2019
As a 66-year-old woman it us an understatement to say that I am all for many more opportunities for women to participate in film-making. This film's intentions may be admirable and its heart in the right place - but the script - well all I can say is it needed somebody to add a bit of pizzazz - or failing that, plausibility. What a missed opportunity. Can only assume that any rave reviews have been written by the cast's relatives. Emma T's clothes fabulous, though.
55 out of 108 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Not funny or interesting
conniestarkovs30 June 2019
Normally I love any movie with Emma Thompson but I did not find this script or characters funny at all. Audience chuckled a few times lightly but I kept wondering if a line was supposed to be a joke cuz just not working. Mindy was annoying and had zero good funny lines. Male writers were also not funny. I kept finding Emma's character awful- she was neither harsh enough to elicit horror nor sympathetic enough to appeal. Disappointing.
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Average comedy
macgregorama7 June 2019
Reminded me of an eighties film cliched plot with the actors doing the best they could with the script
30 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
lands in a scale of meh to bad.
thm998 June 2019
My review (or lack of since theres not much to say) may be too early, and will be surrounded by the marketing push raves that flood the first week.

On par with the bad batch of Sandler netflix comedies of late.

The only plus is the fact that if you watch it early you can carousel through the rest of netflix and avoid this one.
42 out of 82 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
cory18325 June 2019
Ironically, the movie about comedy writers was not funny at all. The subject of male supremacy is old-fashioned and the portrayal of the Katherine Newbury character is unreliable and exaggerated. I love Mindy Kaling but I'm afraid she failed this one (in writing, not acting).
8 out of 12 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great for Mindy Fans
skatermoon19926 June 2019
I don't give a lot of reviews on here, but looking at how low the rating is and how much I enjoyed the movie, I had to give one. I'll just go ahead and state I think there is a very specific subset of people who will not enjoy this movie: white men. What I can say from not being either of those categories is that I felt very empowered after watching it. There's plenty of laughs and a lot of heart. You can tell the cast enjoyed working on it. If you're a fan of Mindy in general, you'll love this film. I also liked seeing a different side to Emma Thompson. Overall, a fun film to see with friends, or a date night if you're SO doesn't suffer from fragile masculinity.
35 out of 70 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
If this is late night, im going to bed early.
darrenjclark7310 June 2019
Just awful. Casting seemed ideal, but no chemistry between cast members and the film just isn't worth a random watch on netflix. Emma Thompson just doesn't bring anything to this and havent we all had enough of Mindy.
50 out of 105 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
davemckendrick13 June 2019
Similar character traits to The Devil Wears Prada but with a very weak storyline and some poor performances by the main characters. Very underwhelming movie with very few comedy moments. Very disappointing considering the cast. Was hoping for more but it never delivered.
24 out of 46 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Well-written and entertaining film
lindaadams8883 June 2019
Saw this tonight at a fairly full Wimbledon Odeon. Although I find Emma Thompson sanctimoniously hypocritical in real life, I really enjoyed seeing her in this film. She plays Katherine Newbury, a late night talk show host in the US who finds that her ratings are falling, and needs to inject new life into her show. The part was absolutely made for her - as she stole every scene that she appeared in. Mindy Kaling played Molly (or No 8) who, as a female Indian was hired as a writer by the show mainly to boost their diversity - as she had no formal writing experience - but who actually comes up with many ideas to increase the ratings. The film had an intelligent and well-written screenplay (actually written by Mindy Kaling). There were many laugh-out-loud moments - mostly in scenes where Emma Thompson was involved. My last two films were Booksmart and I Love my Mum - both of which I loathed (with a vengeance). This film has restored my faith in humanity! My Score 8/10
34 out of 69 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Predictable, clichéd... disappointing
hailthequeenbaby11 June 2019
I had high hopes from the trailers and Emma Thompson's current stellar performance in Years and Years. After forcing a few laughs because I really wanted to like it, I knew it wasn't going to be great about 20 minutes in and was completely cringing by the last half hour. If it had been on TV you'd have switched over
22 out of 43 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another Get Woke, Go Broke movie
MovieCriticOnline16 June 2019
Geez, can we get back to some normal movies already? I am so sick of everything being politically correct social justice warrior driven films these days. Don't write or cast based on gender, ethnicity or other intersectional nonsense. Just write stories that you care about.

Here is another men and bad, women are good film hammering SJW gibberish down our throat. All of is based on feelings over facts. I'm sick of fake diversity, i.e. gender and race, but rather lets see some real diversity of thought out of Hollywood.
18 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
ilovefoodcoma14 June 2019
This movie is inspiring not just for minority or women alone. It is such a motivation of not giving up your dream. This movie also gives me a insight of what a TV writers world. Really enjoy the story and the acting!!
12 out of 21 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Tired and boring
jeremy-whittington14 June 2019
Yet another script out of Hollywood that completely ignores content to focus on diversity and women by demonizing white men. Very little chemistry between the actors. Shocking lack of humor in what's supposed to be a comedy.
26 out of 53 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Buy tickets for your worst enemy and send them to this movie.
bjfirestarter23 June 2019
This is a total cringe-fest. One third through I thought 'this might be half-good' but ten minutes later I thought 'no, this is diabolically bad!' There were so many cliche-packed scenes, so many maudlin moments, so many sentimental sequences - each one chasing the other into thankful forgettability. What on earth was the talented Ms. Thompson doing in thin dump truck of a movie? Mindy Kaling means well but her tendency to appear cute has become tedious and obsolete. Can't forget quickly enough.
11 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Very contemporary look at our diverse society
cmkdakota-6536930 May 2019
I love almost ANYTHING produced by Mindy Kaling! The reviewer who condemned her acting has every right to their opinion, but I disagree 100%. Somehow Kaling almost "underplays" some scenes in this movie and the intention is likely to go over the heads of those who are not critical thinkers.

This movie has a lot of heart. It touches upon many tenets: gender discrimination, age discrimination, nepotism, elitism, the corporate "food chain," formal education and more. It does not simply criticize the existence of the inequalities in society but instead actually explains and perhaps justifies their existence.

This is one of the best movies I've seen this year. In fact, I'm going back to change my "9" to a "10!"
43 out of 101 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Tough is not so bad in the hands of the gifted Emma Thompson.
jdesando10 June 2019
"Your earnestness can be very hard to be around." Katherine Newbury (Emma Thompson)

Molly (Mindy Kaling), a new writer on the old Katherine Newbury late night talk show, is as earnest as Katherine is tough. Despite firing Molly more than once for that honesty, Katherine calls her back each time for Molly's connection to contemporary social media culture, her youthful optimism, and most importantly--being a woman

Late Night is a savvy and witty deconstruction of the ego-driven talk show hosting and the relentless adjustment older hosts must make to contemporary culture and openness. Katherine's rapid fire, spit fire putdowns are worthy of screwball comedy and hosting invective best exemplified by an original host, Jack Parr. But, of course, her supercilious, caustic attitude is eventually what puts her on the employment chopping block.

Besides the aging business is her staffing challenge: all male writers, who never meet with their boss. The sexism usually suspected in the entertainment business is only too apparent when the camera pans the table of male writers. (It works both ways as she is thought not to like women anyway.) Their acceptance of Molly is cold and ignorant because she is warm, honest, and funny.

Molly's down-to-earth spunk gets the beleaguered host's attention. Although no audience will be surprised by the turn of events, the acting is so top flight and writing spot on that waiting for the next bit of humor is the chief delight. While the plot is formulaic, the two actresses command attention.

Because I loved the Meryl Streep's Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, uncompromisingly tough while being uncommonly talented, Katherine appeals to me. Tough is not bad, and it can be tamed for the times.

The theme of the need to love your fellow humans is clear and applicable to the audience and the characters alike. To the characters the theme becomes the powerful advice to get a life, a behavior that just may provide the skills necessary to keep a job and enjoy a life.

Late Night shows it's not too late to change, and the denouement is as positive as you might expect a comedy to offer. Although J K Simmons' Fletcher in Whiplash defines the tough teacher, Emma Thompson's Katherine takes the role of leader a step farther toward charity and happiness.
10 out of 19 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
mjsreg3 June 2019
Well, I wasn't expecting much from this film and wasn't disappointed.

As usual, Thompson plays a shallow one-dimensional role that seems the same as every other role she has played (and no doubt will play) - it's just Thompson on a different set.

This is a big miss and not worth spending your time or money on.
45 out of 115 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed