The summer holidays may be right around the corner, but school is very much in on Sky Cinema this week with the side-splitting Night School…
Night School, available from Friday 28 June in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert 15. Also available in HD
Kevin Hart stars as Teddy Walker, a barbecue salesman who dropped out of high school 17 years earlier after struggling to focus during an important test. Teddy is convinced he’s next in line to take over the barbecue business when his boss retires, but an unfortunate accident scuppers his plans and ultimately leaves him jobless.
A potential lifeline soon emerges in the form of a lucrative job offer at the investment firm his best friend Marvin (Ben Schwartz) works for. But there’s a catch: to be in with a chance of landing the gig, Teddy must go back to school and earn the qualifications he missed out on the first time around.
Teddy joins a night class programme at his old high school, where he meets a series of fellow dropouts hoping to graduate, plus unconventional teacher Carrie (Tiffany Haddish). Does he have the drive to get the grades he needs, or is he about to come up short once again?
With Hart at his energetic best and more gags than you can shake a shatterproof ruler at, Night School is a class-act comedy that’s definitely not to be missed. But before you sit down to watch, let us take you back to school with a lesson on some of cinema’s most memorable teachers…
Bad Teacher, available now in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert 15. Also available in HD
Drinking, smoking, swearing, sleeping in class… no, we’re not talking about a student with a one-way ticket to detention. Cameron Diaz stars as a misbehaving Miss in this riotous comedy about a teacher who returns to the classroom after her retirement plans go awry. Here’s hoping Ofsted don’t do a surprise inspection anytime soon!
Raiders Of The Lost Ark
With all his whip-cracking, boulder-dodging, Nazi-thwarting adventures, it’s easy to forget Indiana Jones (or Henry Walton Jones Jr, to give him his full name) has a day job as a Professor of Archaeology. He’s basically that teacher you had who surprised everyone when he revealed he did a spot of abseiling on the weekends.
Mean Girls, available now in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert 12. Also available in HD
“Ms Norbury, you’re a successful, intelligent, caring, graceful woman,” Principal Duvall tells Tina Fey’s calculus teacher in this classic teen flick. And although Ms Norbury doesn’t quite believe it, it’s true. But for all her empathy and emotional acuity, let’s get one thing straight: she’s more than capable of delivering some absolute zingers when required.
Dead Poets Society
The late Robin Williams earned a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his towering performance as a passionate English teacher who shows his buttoned-up students how to live life to the full. Full of vim and vigour, Keating is one of those rare, inspirational educators few are lucky enough to have during their school years. “O Captain! My Captain!” (Now get off the tables, please.)
School Of Rock, available now in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert PG. Also available in HD
So what if he’s not technically not supposed to be anywhere near a school? Lessons would be positively awesome with Mr Finn at the helm. Jack Black is at his zany, aorta-straining best in this hit comedy about a substitute teacher’s attempts to transform his stuffy students into rock stars.
This edgy indie drama turns the inspirational teacher trope on its head. Ryan Gosling’s Mr Dunne works at a Brooklyn school, but his personal life is spinning dangerously out of control due to his drug habit. Can a platonic relationship with a student help pull him out of the darkness? A critical hit, Gosling’s performance saw him receive a Best Actor nomination at the 2006 Oscars.
To Sir, With Love, available now in Sky Cinema on demand. Cert PG. Also available in HD
Sidney Poitier teaching at a tough East London school? It happened! Well, on film. The arrival of Poitier’s Mr Thackeray at North Quay Secondary School doesn’t go down too well in this acclaimed social drama, with the students going out of their way to make his life a misery. But things soon change when he insists on treating them like adults.
When the overachieving Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) announces she’s running for student body president, popular teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) feels compelled to quell her rise to power. The question is, how dirty is he willing to fight to stop everyone from picking Flick? This sharply satirical comedy is as relevant now as it was 20 years ago.
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