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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Encourages being open to new experiences. Shows importance of trust, honesty, teamwork, and loyalty. Values moving on from mistakes and being willing to start fresh.
Positive Role Models
Aside from the bad guys, the film features several positive role models. An aggressive, socially inept cop learns to work with others, care for children, and find love. His partner is portrayed as a strong, intelligent female police officer. Some ethnic diversity.
Violence & Scariness
Several suspenseful and violent sequences. Opening shows point-blank killing of a young man, establishing the ferocity of the film's villain. Characters carry and wield pistols and shotguns in a school, in a salon, in a bar, and while stalking innocents. Fights include a man punching a woman, men in fistfights, bashing a head into a car window, purposefully running down a woman with a car. A man sets fire to a school library, terrifying children and setting off chaos, gunfire, and death. A father holds a little boy hostage with a gun to his head. That same boy watches as a policeman shoots and kills his dad. A dead woman's face is seen close up.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A warm kiss. A comic scene shows a couple interrupted in the midst of sex; the man attempts to cover his nakedness with a pillow; no actual sexual activity.
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Profanity and potty language include "s--t," "ass," "bastards," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "wipe tushies," "poo-poo," "penis," "vagina," "you idiot." A woman suffers from stomach flu and vomits (mostly off camera) repeatedly.
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Products & Purchases
Alaska Airlines, Coca-Cola.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Villain is involved in sale of illegal drugs; references to drug deals, "junkies." Wine with dinner.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Kindergarten Cop is a hybrid of slapstick comedy, character comedy, and the story of a violent, obsessed killer on the loose. Scenes of adorable little kids connecting with their unusually muscle-bound new teacher and his pet ferret are framed by gunfire and suspense and culminate in scenes with children in danger. Action includes (spoiler alerts): point-blank killings, a father holding his son hostage with a gun to his head, a little boy precariously hanging from a tower, and gunfire in a school. Numerous fistfights, head bashings, and a car purposefully hitting a lead character are among other violent sequences. The film is peppered with salty language, including "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "s--t," "ass," "penis" "vagina," and more. Several of the kindergarten kids are children of divorce; some of their stories may be unsettling to sensitive viewers. A bizarre relationship between the killer and his mother (with sexual overtones), a warm kiss between lovers, and a silly scene in which a couple having sex are interrupted account for the sexual content. Drugs are referenced; the villain is a narcotics dealer, and we see a motley assortment of his young people who appear to be under the influence. It's an unusual hybrid, but it works, so long as the kids who watch it are old enough to emotionally fuse the fun and the shoot-'em-up elements. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
The movie succeeds wildly in its attempt to soften an action star via the addition of his delightful relationships with captivating kindergarten kids. Despite its goofy premise, Ivan Reitman's thoroughly engaging film is filled with fine performances, a story that makes sense, and terrific comic timing. Reitman (and perhaps Schwarzenegger, too) must be adept at bringing out the best in children, because each and every one of them is delightful; twins Joseph and Christian Cousins as Dominic will melt your heart. And, in a surprising portrayal, Schwarzenegger parlays his brawn into compassion. Pamela Reed is impressive as a very funny cop with smarts and skills, and she's not afraid to look ridiculous either. Linda Hunt as the school principal and Penelope Anne Miller are wonderful as well. Overall, if audiences are old enough and wise enough to keep the over-the-top action and killing in perspective, the film provides suspense, great fun, and even a little romance.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.