“Night Club” (2011) – An Exclusive Review


Exceptional, wondrous, entertaining and awe-inspiring are but a few words I can muster in describing Night Club, a film produced and directed by Sam Borowski, written by Larry Delrose and Tom Hass and starring a great cast of characters. This is a great and joyful film; an inspiration to the youth and the elderly alike.

PLOT: 10/10

The plot revolves around three USC students who begin jobs at an elderly home to help pay for college. After a rough two weeks of training, they are assigned the night shift, where they meet a great variety of elderly inhabitants of the home. They find themselves surprised when they discover many great souls amongst them, including Albert, a man of former great ventures at his club who now brings up the idea to craft great parties to keep the spirit of the residents alive.

Borowski’s film features many loving homages to films of the 1980s including Night Shift. There are a variety of scenes including the opening titles that follow a hearse through the streets of LA and one that features the director himself reconstructing a Ron Howard cameo from the aforementioned Night Shift, where he portrays a man kissing his girlfriend outside a party.

MUSIC: 10/10

The music of the film envelops you into the feel of classic 1980s film and plants you back into the time while regaining the modern day feel of life. Classic songs included in the film also act as an homage to films like Night Shift and Beverly Hills Cop. Borowski has certainly chosen the right soundtrack here.

CAST: 10/10

Leading an all star cast is Academy Award® Winner and SAG Life Achievement Award Recipient Ernest Borgnine portraying the elderly Albert, a former night club owner who basks in his former glories. Borgnine is top notch in his acting with a youthful and intelligent performance. Mickey Rooney provides a bout of humor as Jerry, Albert’s roommate who constantly battles with remaining on his bed.

The cast is a blast from the past that includes Daniel Roebuck (in his sixth outing with director Sam Borowski) as Frank, a rude orderly who finds distaste in the elderly, Paul Sorvino in a small appearance as himself, Sally Kellerman as Dorothy, an elderly woman with dementia and Rance Howard as Chuck, who always carries with him a trademark cowboy hat and a variety of other great actors and actresses.

The younger cast is led by Zachary Abel as Justin, Ahney Her as Nikki and Bryan Williams as Chris. The three are students at USC, working the night shift at the elderly home. They soon discover that aside from jobs to help pay for their future in life, their hearts are affected by the thoughts and creativity of the elderly. The three all are terrific young actors and each give a grand performance here.

Madison Liddy portrays the beautiful granddaughter of Kellerman’s Dorothy, who sparks a light of love in Abel’s Justin. She is a great addition to the cast and is a great light in Justin’s life.

Last but not least, the beautiful Natasha Lyonne portrays the supervisor of the nursing home. A woman who is an obsessive-compulsive and eccentric leader, she understands little of the residents’ needs and tends to usher that “State Law” is the reasoning behind some of her more misguided decisions.

The light shines bright with Borgnine and Kellerman, who are due for Oscar Buzz in their great performances. I found myself laughing and feeling sorrow for these characters in their times of grace, joy and pain. After the film’s theatrical release, if Borgnine were to become a second-time Oscar winner, he’d be the oldest performer to bring one home.

PACING: 10/10

The film moved along with splendid and great length. All of these scenes belong in the film as they only excel its majestic presentation and presents us with nothing less than a film of pure joy, love and inspiration. The moments of sorrow and tragedy strike hard…because you care about these characters. You care about their well-being and you care about how they strive in the world.

These characters feel as though they are family. They have the heart, courage and soul to earn the respect and love of the audience. I found myself grow attached to the film, yearning for every next moment.

TOTAL: 10/10

In closing, the film has sold out screenings across the country during festival season, including the 500-seat Cine Capri Theater as the closing night film at the Phoenix Film Fesitval, and a spirited sell-out crowd at the Newport Beach Film Festival. This comes as no surprise with the shocking and joyful film that returns some of the heart to Hollywood and guides youth to greatness.

The film begins as a blow to your funny bone and ends in your heart. With Night Club, you will gain a respect and a care for your elders and an instinct to encourage the youth to become more like the younger characters in the film. We must look up to our elders in a manor of pure respect and care. We must treat them as we’d treat any young person. They are the same as us, human. One day, we all grow old and it is a fact of life, but would we want to be treated with disrespect? No.

Night Club is a beacon of inspiration to the youth of the world and with it, I advise you to take note and take a part of it into your life. Learn to grant kindness and aid to those of experience and age. Grant them the chance to show us their young hearts and souls and become friends with them. Borowski’s film has heart…and heart is a thing we are beginning to lose in the film industry. Night Club leads us on the path to redemption and I welcome you to the walk.

Review by Kale Slade

Albert (Academy Award Winner Ernest Borgnine) dances with Dorothy (Academy Award Nominee Sally Kellerman) as Paul Sorvino serenades in the background in Sam Borowski's NIGHT CLUB.
Albert (Academy Award Winner Ernest Borgnine) dances with Dorothy (Academy Award Nominee Sally Kellerman) as Paul Sorvino serenades in the background in Sam Borowski's NIGHT CLUB.
Albert (Academy Award Winner Ernest Borgnine) and Dorothy (Academy Award Nominee Sally Kellerman).
Justin (Zachary Abel), Albert (Academy Award Winner Ernest Borgnine), Chris (Newcomer Bryan Williams) and Nikki (GRAN TORINO's Ahney Her) get ready to turn a seniors home into Sam Borowski's NIGHT CLUB.

Kale Slade

Kale Slade has written for Movie Vine and Entertainment Vine for four years. Striving to do what he can to aid filmmakers in promoting and crafting their projects, he enjoys lending a hand when he can. He also enjoys horseback riding, photography, writing poetry and novels and spending time in nature, experiencing the beauties of life.


  1. A fine family film highlighting a very serious disease. An all star cast directed by a very talented man. Hollywood needs more movies like this!!

  2. As one of the Producers of NIGHT CLUB, I want to thank all of you for your kind words about our film….Greatly appreciated. To, Sam, congrats once again on all the success surrounding your vision. Here’s to more opportunities to be the storytellers we want to be…..

  3. Enjoyed this film at the SIFF this year… a beautiful story told with a lot of heart.

  4. What a fun film and what a warm and endearing cast. The filmmaker really turns on their charm in this sweet little gem of a film. ‘Getting old sucks’ but clearly not in the mind of this filmmaker. Two thumbs up!

  5. Your comments are a blessing to me as a writer and fan of this fabulous and intricate form of art. It has touched the hearts of many yearning for that feeling of joy and pleasure inside them and will captivate the youthful generations of the next many decades.

  6. I am looking very forward to seeing this movie! I love the plot and the cast has so many people I have seen throuth the years,especially Ernest Borgnine!

  7. Saw NIGHT CLUB at SIFF this year, and was very impressed. Not that many films today are suitable for the young, and old, alike. Or would appeal to both generations, as this one did. Really enjoyed all of the 80s references that Kale Slade pointed out, and it’s amazing to me at 94 that Ernest Borgnine still has it! Performance was Oscar worthy! Great job by the director, who I met afterward and took a picture with. Can’t wait until this film gets a wide release. It wasn’t just good … it was special.

  8. Awesome review! Looks like all the fantastic qualities that I hope for in a movie!!!
    Please bring it to CANADA!!!

  9. I have read… and heard about this movie for months now. I can’t wait to see it! Bring it to Oklahoma theaters Already!! Thanks

  10. I’ve been hearing and reading so many great things about this film… I can’t wait to see it!

  11. One of my favorite films of the year. It is such a sweet film with a great comedic edge. It is full of nothing but stellar performances from the screen veterans all the way down to the younger cast. The film is clearly an homage to the 80s with a fantastic soundtrack. Much of the humor and plot of the film comes straight out of the early Ron Howard film Night Shift and is very much a worthy companion piece with modern sensibilities. I can’t recommend this film enough and I have heard it is playing at many more festivals in the future. Take your whole family because it has something for everyone to love. Also keep an eye out for great performances from Ernest Borgnine, Sally Kellerman and especially newcomer Bryan Williams (not a newcomer for long). Excellent direction as well from a director (Sam Borowski) who clearly exhibits great amounts of passion for the story and who has demonstrated he is a rising star in the directing world with plenty of his work still to come. I can’t express how much I enjoyed this film and how much my family enjoyed it as well. So keep an eye out for this indie gem at a festival near you (and hopefully a local theater in the future as well) and check it out if you get the chance.

  12. I was lucky to work with Director Sam Borowski and an all star cast. Great story by Larry del Rose and brought to life in this film. The set was filled with talent and great friendship that made it easy for everyone to get along. Almost.
    This is a must see movie and indeed it should win a lot of awards.
    Mara New in the role of Muriel.

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