movies that take place over one night

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. This week we head into the night for films that start near dusk and end before dawn.)

Movies that take both characters and viewers on a short journey through a single night aren’t exactly rare. Numerous horror films employ the time crunch as an easy way of focusing and ramping up the intensity – imagine John Carpenter‘s Halloween (1978) spread over a full week and you’ll see why a single night of terror is far more terrifying. Carpenter also used it to increase suspense in films like Assault on Precinct 13 (1976) and Escape from New York (1981), while other action/thrillers followed suit including The Warriors (1979), Judgment Night (1993), Collateral (2004), Attack the Block (2011), and more.

Comedies have played the overnight game too, with films as diverse as Superbad (2007), Go (1999), Clue (1985), Dazed and Confused (1993), and Adventures in Babysitting (1987). Hell, the entirety of The Purge franchise is built on the concept. There are so many examples that it’s difficult to pick the best of the bunch.

Ha! Just kidding, the best film set across a single night is Martin Scorsese‘s After Hours (1985), with a short list of runners up that includes 25th Hour (2002), American Graffiti (1973), Die Hard (1988), and Carpenter’s aforementioned 1976 classic. But you’ve seen all of those, so what do you say we find some new journeys into the darkness?

Keep reading for a look at great but lesser known movies set over a single night that you’ve probably never seen.

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Wright Beverly

Both Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz were born out of a basin of movie history. Each film is drenched in movie reference, be it visual or a line of dialogue, which adds a whole other layer of enjoyment on top of the individual stories. For the third film in The Cornetto Trilogy, writer/director Edgar Wright gets away from that. The World’s End is a movie obviously influenced by the history of film, but in a much less overt way. If anything, it’s overtly referencing Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz, making it a great end to the trilogy.

The World’s End has plenty of influence though and, for his third screening series at the New Beverly Cinema in Los Angeles, CA, Wright has picked 14 films, on seven double features, that all had some inspiration in his latest work. The screening series is called The World’s End Is Nigh and it takes place August 9 through August 22, the eve of The World’s End. Check out the full line up below. Read More »

Tribeca Film is teaming with Miramax to release some of the films that were left in the Miramax library when Disney closed the label a while back; one of them is Last Night, in which Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington play a married couple who, when separated for a night, end up confronting temptation. There’s a new trailer for the film, which you can see after the break. Read More »

‘Last Night’ Trailer

One smaller film I’ve been looking forward to is Massy Tadjedin‘s Last Night, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall. The movie centers around married couple Keira Knightley and Sam Worthington, who each find themselves tempted to stray on one fateful night. Worthington’s character goes on a business trip with sexy coworker Eva Mendes, while Knightley runs into old flame Guillame Canet (star of Love Me if you Dare, director of Tell No One, baby daddy of Marion Cotillard). If the last trailer seemed to emphasize Worthington’s infidelity, this one focuses more on Knightley’s. And it’s just as good, if not better. Watch the new trailer after the jump.

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Miramax has new ownership, and is making moves as a real working company once more. This might mean good things for some of the films that were looking orphaned when Disney decided to shutter the label. The first filmto get a new lease on life is Last Night — not the Don McKellar millennial drama, but the film that was well reviewed out of TIFF last year that stars Keira Knightley, Sam Worthington and Eva Mendes. Miramax partnered with Tribeca Film for the release, and the full press release with more info is after the break. Read More »


Last night we got a brief preview of some of the films that will appear in the always-entertaining Midnight Madness lineup at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. Now we’ve got the full nine, which in addition to the three announced last night (Super, Bunraku and The Butcher, The Chef and the Swordsman) include John Carpenter‘s The Ward, Brad Anderson‘s Vanishing on 7th Street and Insidious, by James Wan.

But TIFF isn’t stopping there: a whole host of other high-profile films were announced for the fest today. They include Clint Eastwood‘s Hereafter, Casey Affleck‘s I’m Still Here, Matt ReevesLet Me In, Dustin Lance Black‘s directorial debut What’s Wrong With Virginia? and the Will Ferrell dramedy Everything Must Go, along with confirmation of Danny Boyle‘s 127 Hours, for which there’s a new photo. (Above.) This year’s TIFF looks like a good one: check info about all the films after the break. Read More »