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(II) (2015)

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A new Christmas movie classic!
Hellmant20 November 2015
'THE NIGHT BEFORE': Four and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

Christmas comedy flick, from producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. It re-teams Rogen with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and director Jonathan Levine (the trio last worked together on 2011's '50/50'). The film tells the story of three best friends (Rogen, Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie), that reunite for one last Christmas Eve; of partying together (a tradition they've carried on for over a decade), before moving on to different adulthood things (like parenting). The movie was written by Levine, Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir. It costars Lizzy Caplan, Jillian Bell, Mindy Kaling and Michael Shannon. I loved it; like I love nearly every movie Rogen and Goldberg put out!

Ethan (Gordon-Levitt) lost his parents, in a drunk driving accident, over a decade earlier on Christmas Eve. His two best friends, Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie), have been celebrating the holiday with him, by getting wasted and partying, ever since (on Christmas Eve). Now Isaac is about to have a baby, and Chris is becoming a very popular athlete; so they've decided to end the tradition, with one last big 'night out'. Lots of drugs, sex and other crazy antics follow.

The movie is hilarious, from start to finish; I laughed-out-loud, nearly the entire film. The performances are great, and the script is brilliant. The only problem I have with the movie though, is the cheesy melodrama; whenever the film tries to get too serious, it doesn't work (and the romance sucks). That doesn't take place too often though; other than that, it's a new Christmas movie classic!

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A rather weird approach to friendship? Or friendship was just an excuse?
Dr_Sagan18 February 2016
Seth Rogen is a rather intelligent producer. He and his pals (including Evan Goldberg, James Franco, Mindy Kaling, Lizzy Caplan, Randall Park etc.) have created an unusual semi-surreal kind of weird comedies, like "The interview" and "This is the end".

In The Night Before (2015/II) (because there is another (2015/I) movie with the same name in 2015 starring David Faustino!)...3 friends spend every Xmas together in search for a great party and having a good time. The dramatic element here is that one of them lost his parents in a car accident and the other 2 are trying to be supportive.

The problem is that this movie seems like it is designed to provoke, even shock. Trying to extrude laughter through harsh and dramatic situations without actually entering the limits of a black comedy.

Drugs and "tripping" play a major part in the movie. A tone of supernatural. And of course sex and relationships and friendships, the "bro" kind. Yet there are a lot to be desired and a major part of the film, although uneven, takes the lead and makes lifelong friendship to seem like it is just an excuse for some crude jokes like blood from a dripping nose into someone's drink or vomiting into a church during Xmas mass.

Overall: You wont be missing much if you avoid to see this. In the end, the basic idea of bro-friendship seems like an excuse from some surreal gags.
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Great festive comedy
masonsaul22 March 2020
The Night Before is a great festive comedy that's familiar but also consistently funny, sweet and heartwarming. Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie are all incredible and have fantastic chemistry. Michael Shannon and Jillian Bell are both scene stealers and Lizzy Caplan is great with strong chemistry with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It's well paced and well filmed with really good direction from Adam Levine. The music by Marco Beltrami and Miles Hammond and the soundtrack are both good and suitably festive.
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Laughed through the whole thing
jasonchhangur25 December 2018
Can't understand people watching this moving looking for the next mircle on 34th Street....if you watch this for what it will find it hits all the right numbers. References to other Christmas classics throughout, celebrities poking fun at themselves, and just general bafoonary throughout. Rogan out does himself over acting his drug trip and its ups and downs. Great movie. (Horrible 'film'...but great movie)
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not the best of the Rogen/Goldberg productions, but has a lot of solid laughs and genuine surprises
Quinoa198420 November 2015
To say everything that makes The Night Before work so well, certainly if you haven't seen the movie yet, would spoil the fun. The basic gist of this is to give Seth Rogen and company a chance to tackle the Holiday Movie (in caps), and they pull it off, for the most part. And there is some genuine pathos to be had, certainly from the set-up which isn't very jokey: Ethan lost his parents when he was a teenager, and his friends Chris and Isaac came in and helped him not be all alone, at the least during the holidays, and spent every Christmas for years playing Goldeneye on N64, doing karaoke at the only place doing it on Christmas Eve, and getting f***ed up whenever possible. Now though, in present day, the three of them (Levitt, Mackie and Rogen respectively) have all moved on - except, possibly, for Ethan, who works at a department store and can't seem to get the courage to commit in a relationship with Diana (Lizzy Caplan). But there may be one last Christmas Eve to have - Chris is now a major athlete, Isaac about to have his first child - and for wackiness to ensue as they say. Or crazy holy s*** did that just happen-ness too.

If you've seen and enjoyed This is the End or Pineapple Express or The Interview or any of the movies Rogen and Goldberg have put together, this is not too much different, except that it's fully steeped in being a holiday movie as much as Pineapple was an action flick: it takes the tropes, twists them around with a full sense of outrageous comedy and (often) wonderful satire, and you either ride with it or not. For some reason, in a way, the sophomoric sensibility shouldn't be that far removed from Adam Sandler movies, but I just find Rogen and company - here from director Jonathan Levine (from the groups relatively more serious 50/50, also with Levitt, and The Wackness) - have a better sensibility, and a firmer grasp on what is actually FUNNY, and can be called back as funny.

There's one actor used so especially well here it seems like a sacrilege to even say who this actor is (if you look him he's the guy who portrays Mr. Green), and it brings a full sense of eccentricity into a movie that needs it - or at least isn't unwelcome to it. It's actually a running thread that goes on to even satirize The Great Gatsby of all things (not the 3D movie so much, ho-ho), and brings in a celebrity guest like Miley Cyrus. This latter part is good though not totally fresh in a way, since the team did this in This is the End with the Backstreet Boys, but it's fine. Not every single story thread in the film works; Anthony Mackie's subplot involves a 'Hipster Grinch' he hooks up with over the course of the night who steals his weed, and uh... OK.

It's actually Rogen for me who sort of steals the show from everyone else, as he goes through his night with a little kit of drugs (given to him as a gift by his wife, of all people, which comes back around in a wickedly funny scene set in church). Rogen fully commits to it to the point that he goes far beyond anything else he's done as far as this kind of wildly comic performance; even hints of Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas come in to how tripped out he becomes, and there's just a non-stop barrage of jokes. Just when I thought I'd get tired of what his character would do, Rogen would simply make it funny by how he delivered a line or gave a look, or how manic and surreal the visions get. By the time he's talking to the characters in the Nativity scene with them as, uh, not those characters, it's hit a height that is hard to top.

Levitt provides the sort of 'heart' of the film - he even gets into it with two Santa Claus men at one point - and has the sort of 'straight-man' role of the bunch. He plays it well, and yet he can be funny too - it could almost be a 3 Stooges deal, but not quite really, it's too hip and smart and clever for that, though there IS slapstick, and even Home Alone homages - but it is what it is. All three guys make up a really terrific group, and I hope to see Mackie more in these movies. There's some real debauchery and off-color humor (more than few awesome Jewish jokes, all at Rogen's expense and, yes, some of it set in Church so that helps to up the amazement), and yet the filmmakers do something tricky and pull it off: it's making fun of holiday movie tropes while being one deep down. Not every joke or line is a knock-out-the-park laugh-fest here, and there may be one or two story points that don't get paid off perhaps (including what really sets off a major part of this story in the first place), but there's so much that does work that it's hard to pass up.
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utgard142 April 2016
Another garbage man-boy comedy about an adult in his thirties who finally decides to grow up (to get a girl, naturally). He's got two friends who have seemingly already grown up but, of course, we'll see they really haven't. You can check off most of the expected clichés that you find in these movies, particularly the ones that Seth Rogen is involved in. There's the couple expecting a baby and, of course, there's nothing remotely happy about that. Because in these things parents and those about to become parents just hate their kids and are filled with resentment and loathing towards them because they're nothing but burdens that keep the parents from partying it up and having "fun." There's also an inordinate amount of time spent on the tired joke of the guy who doesn't normally do drugs suddenly doing a lot of drugs. It's sad that Mr. Rogen and his comedy writing buddies seem to think we still live in the 1970s. This isn't some moral issue for me, railing against drug depictions in films or something. It's just so passé at this point. Does anybody still find it provocative, let alone funny? Some fresh material is all I'm asking for. Anyway, the movie also peddles in more recent (but equally tired) clichés, such as the fascination recent comedies have with showing penises for cheap laughs. Oh, and the cast has no chemistry. I did not buy for one second that these three men would be friends. It's just such a POS movie. I'm going to give it a 3 for Michael Shannon's small part but I wouldn't recommend anyone watching it.
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Ghosts of Stoners Pasts
ThomasDrufke23 November 2015
Here is yet another 2015 gem. There wasn't a ton of marketing for this movie, so it kind of snuck up on me, but it is quite the Christmas comedy. You have one of the top comedic geniuses of this generation in Seth Rogen, one of the most underrated character actors turned lead actor in Anthony Mackie, and of course, Joseph Gordon Levitt, it's quite the trio. So perhaps I shouldn't be surprised all of them worked so well together on screen. I was surprised however just how funny this movie was.

We know Rogen can be funny. Pineapple Express is one of my all time favorite comedies, Superbad is a classic, and he was even great in a dramatic turn in Steve Jobs this year. But I don't think Rogen has ever been as funny as he is in The Night Before. He does his usual stoner gag, but it works so well up against two actors in Levitt and Mackie who are for the most part, the straight men in the film. The trio have a great balance of knowing when to hit hard on a big joke and when to pull back and give it a much more grounded scene. With that said, I think the film's few weaknesses are within those somewhat dramatic sequences. The Night Before can be extremely goofy and so when it then tries to be 500 Days of Summer with JGL, it falls short.

It's still one of, if not my favorite comedy of 2015. I really bought into the groups bond as they go through their version of the ghosts of past, present, and future with the surprisingly funny Michael Shannon character, who steals every scene he's in. It's also a very re-watchable movie, and one that I can see myself revisiting every few Christmases.

So in all, I have to commend the film for trying to add some dramatic flavor to an already hilariously packed Christmas film, but it's strengths are what get you to the theater. Rogen has never been funnier, JGL gives a balanced performance, and Mackie has plenty of time to shine. There are also quite a few fantastic cameos, some expected, some unexpected. But by far the best thing to take away from The Night Before is that it's a comedy actually filled with comedic moments, take notes studios.

+Rogen at his absolute funniest

+Chemistry between the 3

+Great cameos


-Some dramatic moments reach a bit and fall short

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Another worthless love-in.......
FlashCallahan20 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Every Christmas Eve for the last decade, best friends Isaac, Ethan, and Chris have reunited for a wild night on the town in New York City.

But since getting older and having to face new responsibilities, their tradition is about to come to an end.

As a result, they plan one last epic night together, which includes finding their way to a legendary party called the Nutcracka Ball......

Goldberg and Rogen must be going down the same route as Garry Marshall with his seasonal big cast story. Take an important date, Christmas, and interview, or the end of the world, add a plethora of star cameos, get Rogen into some drug induced paranoid state, and you have instant comedy........just add spite.

And here it's no different. We get our three 'heroes' dawdle through the New York streets on one of the most important days to be with your family, trying to deny the fact that they are getting old, and need to calm the partying down a little.

And when you think about it, the three are literal heroes in a sense. Any film starring Robin, Falcon, and The Green Hornet, should spark a little interest. But no, it's just another excuse to make a film about how much money they can get from the studio to make another comedy, because the writer and the stars are not afraid of a little controversy.

Oh, and they also use the Colombia sign from the early eighties, so not only are they slightly controversial in a cheeky way, they are also meta!!! Win win!!.


This stuff is starting to become really tiring, and it really irks me when Rogen is so good in something like Steve Jobs, and then just runs back to his safety net with this sort of unfunny tosh.

So he's the obligatory goofball in the film, getting high and then getting paranoid, Levitt playing the desperate romantic, and Mackie, looking for a Civil War poster somewhere subliminally in the film.

And then there's a weird cameo from General Zod himself, as some sort of Christ/Santa/Jacob Marley type character giving each of the three some sort of message about life lessons.

And then there's the obligatory cameo from James Franco.

Leave it. There's no Christmas spirit in this filth.

Desperately unfunny, and quite miserable.
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nothing happens
cdcrb30 November 2015
I was reluctant to see the film. I heard it was vulgar and tasteless. I saw bad santa in the day, and although it was filthy and offensive, I laughed a lot. the night before is neither vulgar or tasteless. it's just nothing. no one in the theater laughed, no one walked out. I actually couldn't give it a number. seth rogen is, well, seth rogan. no acting stretch of any kind. Joseph gorden levitt, who reminds me a great deal of a young johnny depp (pre-stardom), is totally wasted, no pun, here. I was hoping for laughs and instead was wondering what the film maker had in mind. I couldn't tell. I know movies are subjective and we all don't see the same movie. reviews are mixed. I wanted to laugh. no luck there.
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Dull and tonally awkward.
Troy_Campbell8 December 2015
In the vein of Bad Santa and National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation comes this strictly-for-adults Christmas-themed comedy that, going by the fantastic trailer alone, you would expect to be filled to the brim with hearty entertainment. Unfortunately The Night Before is one of those saddening experiences in which the trailer features all of the good bits and, worse still, even those moments aren't that funny once put into context. Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie play three mates who have celebrated Christmas together ever since high school– with tacky annual traditions and all – but are now heading in different directions. These genuinely hilarious actors throw everything but the kitchen sink at the screen in an effort to lift the otherwise lacklustre material, yet witnessing their effortless chemistry only underscores how much of a wasted opportunity this movie really is. As one of four scribes and the sole director, Jonathan Levine has to shoulder a large portion of the blame. There are jokes that fall so flat it's curious as to how Levine let them slide, both before and during production. The tone is also extremely wonky, veering from crude humour to mawkish sentimentality with the flip of a switch. These sudden mood changes muddy the aim of the film entirely and result in lengthy periods of corny emotion. Oh, and watching Rogen high on drugs has already worn exceptionally thin, so whoever decided it would be a good idea to have him strung out on mushrooms and cocaine for the whole movie should be banned from Hollywood. A nearly completely laugh-free affair (save for an amusing cameo late in the piece), The Night Before squanders its potential and ensures its place alongside any number of Vince Vaughn-led Yuletide yarns.
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Best use of a Kanye West song, and Michael Shannon best role yet ?
Cinema_Love23 November 2015
I saw this movie on a Sunday afternoon and I was happy to choose that film. It's a Christmas comedy that sounds like a film with all the cliché. But no ! Instead it turn out to be a very original Christmas over the top comedy film with three buddies who reunite during that time of the year to have fun, party and do all the funny thing during Christmas, new year's eve time.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie star in this film and it must be a first to me, i did not hate any of them. Levitt laugh of himself in the very first seconds as an elf in an hotel and he really got it. Seth Rogen maybe at his best in a while, because yeah he is the stoner but also at the edge of a new life... a daddy. But the funniest thing is that his wife give him a gift (and it's full drugs) haha. HE looks and act like he really did eat, smoke, etc.. theses things.

Anthony Mackie is good as usual but he may be the underrated one here as he really show his comedic skills without being too cocky even if his character his, he stay the most human most of the time.

BUT, what really impress me in that movie is thoses two things...

1- Michael Shannon, i thought it was a cameo but he end being in the film at least 25 minutes and stole every line of the film.

2- Kanye West song at the beginning in that toy store, imagine the movie BIG with Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia scene, it's that scene but with our three main characters, it really give a good tone to the film, awesome song !

Also, it's a huge homage to the Home Alone films. Which is something i really enjoy because it is made in a funny and not to overshadow the 1990 5 star classic film starring Joe Pesci, John Heard, Catherine O'Hara, Daniel Stern and Macaulay Culkin.
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A mess
Drawmort15 December 2022
Ok, this looks like a movie written by teenagers pretending to be and live like adults. Watching a buddy movie for Christmas is not a good idea, especially if it's badly written. There is a lot and nothing happening at the same time, everything is noisier than it should be, conveniences are given away at every corner, the performances are forced and unnatural (and for some reason, I expected more from the main trio of actors).

At no point did I feel in the Christmas spirit or feel like I was watching a Christmas movie. If you have other recommendations for the Holidays, take those instead. I don't recommend this movie at any time of the year.
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Another Hilarious Seth Rogan Film! And a Christmas one! Amazing!
roguecritic4220 November 2015
Another hilariously funny Seth Rogan film. I love all the movies this guy makes. This one was special and funny in its own way, but still filled with the classic adult and drug oriented humor that Seth is known for.

The movie is filled with great cameos and a great cast all around, but even Miley Cyrus is in this film and while I don't ever listen to her music and have never seen her perform, I have to say she did a brief acting job that was excellent and really added to the fun of the movie. I hope to see her in more movies in the future, because I loved the part they gave her in this movie. But also there were some other great comedian cameos that you are probably used to seeing in other Rogan movies.

But it's more than that. It's also a heartwarming movie that has some sentimental story telling that just might make you a little misty eyed. Its a great story about three life long friends really growing up in their own ways.

This is the first time this year I have finally felt the Christmas spirit and I loved it. 10 out of 10 comedy. Thank you to the entire writing cast that is involved with these Rogan movies because you guys don't disappoint, and if anything, this is probably one of his best movies to date.
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A brainless and unfunny comedy
Gordon-113 March 2016
This film tells the story of three friends who finally gets the tickets to go to the most epic Christmas party of all time.

"The Night Before" is a silly, drug fuelled journey that lasts for one evening. There are loads of eye rolling moments that are meant to be funny, but ends up frustrating me. It's tiring to see adults acting irresponsibly and recklessly as if consequences do not matter. The only redeeming part of the film is the extended cameo with James Franco. That part is funny and saves the film a bit. Overall, I think the film is not so entertaining, as it's too brainless and unfunny. Maybe I'll have to be in the right state of mind to enjoy it.
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This has got to become a new Christmas tradition..
kieranbattams6 December 2015
Amongst a busy year of blockbusters and dramas there have been very few good comedies that have made me laugh out loud, when i found out about a Christmas movie starring Seth Rogen, one of my all time favourites paired up with Joseph Gordon-Levit and Anthony Mackie.. well i thought, comedy of the year right? I didn't think wrong, The Night Before is hilarious and among that i will be making it a new Christmas tradition as it also tells a very touching story about friendship and the meaning of Christmas.

The story follows Ethan, played by JGL, who's parents died around Christmas time. His two best friends, Issac (Seth Rogen) and Chris (Anthony Mackie) make it a tradition to hang out every year. But as a result of them moving on with their lives that tradition will be coming to an end, with the biggest party in town "The Nutcracker Ball". What was arguably most important with these characters was the fact that they had to have great chemistry, which they do. All 3 of the main characters are played very well and are all different. The film sort of sets itself up to be one that deals with the troubles that Ethan has to overcome when realising his friends have grown up. Whilst it does do this, the other characters both have to overcome troubles of their own which was interesting to see.

Among the madcap humour, like the fact that most of the movie deals with Seth Rogen on every drug you can imagine, the message we ultimately take from the film is such a good message and done surprisingly well. Also, i heard huge buzz coming from Michael Shannon's role, and yes he steals this movie and makes all of his scenes so damn funny that you always look forward to seeing him on screen and some other great cameos really round it out to be a brilliant time. This is a film i could get on board with and watch every Christmas and im sure many others would too

A new Christmas tradition for sure and i highly recommend you see it before Star Wars completely dominates the box office.
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One entertaining holiday misadventure
DarkVulcan2930 November 2015
Three great friends(Anthony Mackie, Joesph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen) who have always had a wild night every Christmas Eve. But now they are all in there 30's and living different lives. But soon decide to have one more wild Christmas Eve before they all go into there mature lives, but will it be what they hope?

I like the chemistry between the actors, I believe the friendship and history they share. Mackie and Levitt where pretty cool, but it was Rogen that really brings the laughs, I mean he had me on the floor with laughter. The gross jokes are handled well, to the point where you know not to be disgusted, cause it had a good timing to it. But Lizzy Caplan loses her purpose has the movie goes on, and I always like to watch Lizzy Caplan. And there was one moment which I thought would get followed up on, but it didn't, won't say what it is, but I hope you'll see. All in all an entertaining raunchy holiday comedy, certainly would not want to sit through it again.

And you should not see it, if you get easily offended.
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Christmas is crap! And so is this movie!
cekadah21 February 2016
A real piece of crap. When you step into crap do you laugh? No! And that is what you step into if you watch this piece of crap movie. So scrape this one off your list.

Here's the lameacide plot - three half-wits get together every xmas eve to 'party' and seek the ultimate xmas eve party the Nutkrackers Balls party! After years of failed attempts this elusive party falls into their hands. Then they have to get there! Sounds like fun doesn't it? It's not.

To enjoy this sorry hot mess you have to have taken every hallucinogenic pill, eaten every mushroom, and smoked all the weed the Seth Rogen character 'Isaac' consumes throughout this entire movie. He's not funny! Joseph Gordon-Levitt in his elf costume isn't funny, and Anthony Mackie isn't funny (I never did understand the needle in his butt thing). Their adventure is lame, dialog forced, and the James Franco dick pics joke was just juvenile at best.

Fair warning --- this crappy movie looks like fun on the ad - and that's the only place it's fun.
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Less Traditional Christmas Movie
stevendbeard21 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I saw "The Night Before", starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt-Premium Rush, The Dark Knight Rises; Seth Rogen-The Interview, The Green Hornet; Anthony Mackie-Love The Coopers, Captain America:The Winter Soldier; Lizzy Caplan-The Interview, Hot Tub Time Machine and Michael Shannon-Man of Steel, Premium Rush.

This is a Christmas movie-in case you could not tell from the title, The Night Before, is referring to Christmas Eve-but with Seth Rogen in it, it's not going to be your traditional holiday movie. About 10 years ago, Joseph lost both his parents in a car accident and his two buddies, Seth and Anthony, came over to keep him company and take his mind off the tragedy. They then turned it into a regular holiday tradition; All three would get together on Christmas Eve and wear ugly holiday sweaters, go to a Karaoke bar and sing, play Goldeneye on a Nintendo and then get drunk-or smoke a little. This year is decided to be their last Hurrah. Seth is now married with a child on the way and Anthony is a famous football celebrity. They just don't have time to get together anymore and it is mutually agreed upon that this will be their last time acting like teenagers, since they all need to just grow up. Joseph finds out about a secret holiday party that they have always wanted to attend, but could never find it. It's called The Nutcracka Ball and they finally get their hands on tickets! Lizzy plays Joseph's ex-girlfriend, that was dumped because Joseph was not ready for a commitment-and guess who shows up at the party?-and Michael is funny as a roving drug dealer, dispensing his holiday philosophy as he hands out his drugs. There are several cameos, including James Franco, Miley Cyrus and Tracy Morgan and some of the humor is pretty graphic-one running joke is about Seth getting a girl's cell phone mixed up with his phone and Seth keeps getting pictures of another guy's penis, which was meant for the girl. Seth is hilarious as he keeps taking more and more drugs-he starts having weird hallucinations and talking to inanimate objects. It's rated "R" for drug use, language and sexual content-including nudity-and has a running time of 1 hour & 41 minutes. If you are in the mood for a holiday movie that is a little untraditional-don't take the kids-you should enjoy this one. I did and I would buy it on DVD.
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Funny Ha Ha! A Christmas classic for Stoners
subxerogravity21 November 2015
It's a nice hard R rated comedy starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Ethan, who lost his parents around Christmas and over the years his two best friends became his family helping him get over his grief by spending every Christmas night together since, and as the boys become men with their own lives, they decide to do one last big Christmas night.

Though Gordon-Levitt is given top billing, Seth Rogen is steeling the funny, being typical Seth Rogen (does not hurt that he produced this thing). He's hysterical and it kind of overshadows his other two stars which include Antony Mackie, who's always a pleasure to see on screen. Gordon-Levitt does make a great Straight man for Rogen's comedy with Gordon-Levitt having a Dean Martian type of charm to him (Though I see more Lou Costello than Jerry Lewis in Rogen's performance).

Michael Shannon was also in the movie doing what he does best and even poking fun at his intense quietness. While Gordon-Levitt and Mackie were working on creating a solid story about the Christmas spirit, Rogen and Shannon made this movie funny, which in the long run was far more important.

Overall, the Night Before feels like Seth Rogen is going down the road of Adam Sandler by working with all his really cool friends (yeah, Franco is in it), convincing talented dramatic actors to try comedy, and getting big celebs to do funny cameos that prove they are people too. Luckily he's not at that point in Sandler's career where watching this has become unbearable. Rogen can still bring the funny!
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Shocked by all the bad reviews
awfhf-5395118 July 2016
I'm a pretty tough critic when it comes to movies in general, with comedies' standards differing a bit. I was very pleasantly surprised with this movie. I expected it to be pretty funny, but nothing special. I came away thinking it was pretty funny; but also found it to have a lot of heart and actually/shockingly, quite thought provoking. As I get older, relationships with friends are becoming confusing, complicated, and frankly quite difficult. And this movie hit on that really well. I also thought Mr. Green was an amazing character; and he's now a bit of a personal cult favorite of mine id say. This goes down as one of my three or four favorite Christmas movies.
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'The Night Before' a gift for those on the naughty list
visforhendrix2319 November 2015
Winter is the season audiences are forced to unwrap gifts of the latest Holiday- themed movie offerings. The taped wrapping paper – festive and jolly in it's presentation – causes the viewer to squint from the boisterous colors, like nursing a terrible hangover from downing an excessive amount of eggnog the night before. The films are usually lackluster efforts, forcing the message of 'joy to the world' down the consumers throat like a stale and unwanted candy cane left over from a Christmas past.

Watching 'The Night Before' – the latest offering from talented director Jonathan Levine (Warm Bodies, 50/50) – is like Santa fulfilling all your wants on a Christmas list, despite being very naughty all year.

Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie, and Joseph Gordon-Levitt star as three friends – a comedic parallel of the biblical three wise men – whom reunite each Christmas Eve to stage various shenanigans. After Ethan's (Levitt) parents tragically pass away, Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) step in to assume the mother and father role for the wayward youth. Several years later, the trio receive lumps of coal in their stockings in the form of adulthood – Isaac is an expecting father; Chris is a social media famous football player, juicing up to stay relevant; Ethan is a retailer belittled in an elf costume, unable to let go of his morbid past.

The shifts of maturity have made them distant from one another; with their lives moving in different directions, they decide this Xmas reunion will be their last together. Mischief abounds when Ethan discovers tickets for the "Nutcracker Ball" in a patrons clothing at a coat check- a fabled party that the boys have sought to attend since they originally started the tradition.

Rogan steals the show. When Isaac's wife slips him a hodgepodge of various illegal substances as reward for being a devoted husband, Rogan displays each violent hallucination with hilarious intensity.

There are plenty of 'Ho Ho Hos' to go around, and the sleigh-loads of laughs lasts the entire movie – a rarity in comedies when the third act is usually a reprieve for various characters to have epiphanies and change their lives.

'The Night Before' is destined to be a Christmas cult classic akin to 'Bad Santa'.
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Panders to the lowest common denominator
estatelawcanada6 March 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The only reason I got to the end of this stinker of a movie is that I paid money for it.

I thought the premise for it was alright - 3 longtime friends go out on the town for their last Christmas together. As it turns out, each of them is dealing with a personal issue. One is going to be a father and is afraid he's not prepared. One is a professional athlete who is using steroids to stay in the game. The third is making excuses for why his life is going nowhere.

Then, it gets really, really stupid. Isaac's wife gives him a box of street drugs for Christmas and he takes all of them. Instead of dying of an overdose, he throws up, bleeds into a woman's drink, and generally goes around being gross. This is, believe it or not, one of the main punch lines of the movie.

Drugs are so prevalent in this movie, they are practically a character of their own. There is a superficial attempt to draw on Dickens' "Christmas Carol" by calling their dope dealer the Spirit of Christmas Present, and drug-taking in general is made out to be synonymous with partying and friendship. Even the fabulous party they finally get to after years of trying literally has a bowl of drugs on the table. And yet, for some reason, their athlete buddy is called out and shamed for taking steroids. I don't get that steroid use is so horrible when everyone else is taking cocaine, dope, mushrooms, and every other drug they can find.

I also disliked the fact that nobody in this movie could actually explain anything or say anything adult. Isaac's wife says to him that she is a "f*cking piece of sh*t". As it turns out, she means that she fears she might not be a good mother. What happened to "I'm worried" or "I feel unprepared"? Why can't anyone actually articulate anything beyond the most basic grunting sounds? These are meant to be educated people (Isaac is a lawyer) and yet they all speak like 14-year-olds who think it's cool to swear when their parents aren't around.

At the end of this movie, I just felt depressed. I feel sorry for anyone whose life is anything like these pointless characters, and anyone who thinks that the "partying" portrayed in this movie is even remotely fun.

There was no real plot to this movie. The characters are flat and uninteresting, and don't actually learn anything or develop, despite the premise of the movie. The humour is beyond juvenile. Conclusion: a complete waste of time.
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Sunsphxsuns17 November 2021
What is it about "The Night Before" (2015) that divides critics, fans, entire countries and continents? Why do whole planets become unaligned over this benign yet cringy holiday themed movie? And what is this loathing some people have for Seth Rogen? Is it fear or is it loathing (Oh, sorry, that's a different film)? Didn't you just scream with joy at Rogen's portrayal as a stoned out cop in Superbad? How often does great comedic writing join forces with a superb cast? Be honest . . . Not often enough.

"The Night Before" is all those Christmas films combined to make a funny, charming and absolutely ridiculous experience that practically anyone over the age of 15 can watch and enjoy, not just once, but every Christmas holiday. It's like witnessing 2 hours of out of control, monumental improv, threaded within a more pedestrian setting. And by golly - it works!

"The Night Before" has enough big laughs to offset the more sober, dramatic moments. And oh, by the way, if you're easily offended by overt sexual innuendos, onscreen drug procurement and usage, and a generous amount of self-inflicted (and humorous) anti-Semitic barbs, you better choose something else to watch. But it's Christmas Eve in New York, there's snow on the sidewalks, and anything that could happen on this particular Christmas Eve ultimately does.

Rogen is teamed up with Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie, and supported by a bevy of big name cameos. There is so much great chemistry between the featured trio that when, for example, they mischievously blow up a snowman, they are instantly forgiven. Boys will be boys, even though we secretly understand they are in reality grown men.

No spoilers here as usual, but I will reveal there is one particular scene which takes place during a midnight mass in a prestigious church that will blow your Candy Cane socks off!
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"The Night Before" seems to mimic a lot of holiday movies that came before, but it's still pretty funny.
dave-mcclain22 November 2015
Let me tell you about one of the funniest Christmas movies of all time. Friends who have drifted apart get back together for a Christmas Eve quest in New York City. The night turns into a wild, drug-fueled adventure which includes hallucinations, a Santa Claus who's under the influence, an ill-timed encounter at a midnight mass and a major plot point involving a cameo by a very famous celebrity. There are jokes about sexuality, male body parts, sexting, and a baby acting like an adult, as well as friendships between Christians and Jews and the clash of cultures between their religions during the holiday season. Meanwhile, there are subplots concerning one of the friends freaking out about becoming a father, one friend regretting that he let his ex-girlfriend get away and conflicts between the guys about the state of their friendship, their growing differences (stemming from one of them having gotten wealthy), anxiety about what the future holds for them and a character with supernatural powers trying to help heal the rift between the friends. The movie that I just described is 2011's "A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas". And everything listed above also applies to 2015's "The Night Before" (R, 1:41). But don't get the idea that just because one seems to repeat so much from the other that these movies can't both be funny.

In the raunchy holiday comedy "The Night Before", old friends whose lives are moving in different directions get together for one last Christmas Eve celebration with just the three of them. Ethan (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is a struggling musician who hasn't done much with his life and, at 33, finds himself making a few dollars by playing an elf at a hotel Christmas party. He's also lonely, having recently broken up with his girlfriend, Diana (Lizzy Caplan). Isaac (Seth Rogen) is Ethan's proudly Jewish friend, who is newly married to Betsy (Jillian Bell) – and they're about to have their first child. Chris (Anthony Mackie) is a 6-year NFL veteran who's finally coming into his own and having his first great season. Chris owes his newfound prowess on the football field to steroids, but he's unashamed and is thoroughly enjoying his enhanced fame. All three men have issues, but they've always been there for each other.

Ethan lost both his parents in a car crash shortly before Christmas 2001, leading Isaac and Chris to cheer him up by beginning what became a tradition of enjoying a night on the town each Christmas Eve. Every December 24th, they stop by the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, visit FAO Schwartz (to dance on the big keyboard from the movie "Big"), eat Chinese food and go to their favorite bar to do karaoke and drink. They have fun, but one Christmas Eve tradition has eluded them all these years – finding and attending NYC's fabled underground party, The Nutcracker Ball. But this year is different. While on elf coat check duty, Ethan lifted three invitations from a snooty rich guy's coat, and is beyond excited that he and his two best buds will cap off their last Christmas Eve together at the city's most exclusive party.

It becomes clear as these three best friends go through their annual routine that this year it will be anything but. In preparation for the Nutcracker Ball (and to impress his team's quarterback), Chris calls the guys' old high school drug dealer, Mr. Green (Michael Shannon), so he can buy some weed. Unfortunately for Chris, his party preparations are frustrated by a strange girl (Ilana Glazer) whom he keeps running into. This isn't a problem for Isaac, who has gotten a "head" start thanks to a box of assorted drugs that his wife gave him as an early Christmas present, leading to all sorts of altered states for him over the course of the night. Ethan keeps running into his ex and her best friend (Mindy Kaling). In the midst of all this (besides all the parallels to "A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas"), there are moments in this movie which pay homage to Christmas classics as varied as "A Christmas Carol", "It's a Wonderful Life", "How the Grinch Stole Christmas", "Home Alone" and "Die Hard" (among others).

"The Night Before" is better than I expected, but not as good as the other holiday movies it references. Full disclosure – I'm not a Seth Rogen fan and don't find him funny – usually. However, I'm careful to keep an open mind with all movies, and I admit that Rogen was very good in this one. Actually, the entire movie was well cast with actors who are enjoyable to watch. Some of the jokes and sight gags seemed kind of random, but more hit their marks than missed, and the movie has a strong narrative thread on which to hang them. Even with its many echoes of Christmas films past, this movie works pretty well on its own terms. I still think that the Harold and Kumar movie did better at what this one tries to do, but "The Night Before" is better than most Christmas comedies. "B+"
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Trying WAY too hard
jellopuke9 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A couple of laughs, but the whole Christmas theme mashed up with a raunchy drug movie just didn't mesh all that well and came across as forced. The attempts at pathos were hackneyed and broad and the callbacks to much better holiday movies just hammered the point home that this is not destined to be a classic, or even remembered. The dick pic gag was great though.
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