Parents' Guide to

A Cop Movie

By JK Sooja, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Gripping docu about becoming a police officer; violence.

Movie R 2021 107 minutes
A Cop Movie Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This Mexican hybrid movie is half-documentary, half-dramatization, suggesting that it not only defies any simple genre categorization, but also any quick comparison to other films. Largely, because of this, A Cop Movie is entirely original, unpredictable, and fascinating. To be considered a documentary for the Academy, the two primary actors had to film their preparations for their roles on their own cellphones, selfie style. These candid takes and self interviews blend perfectly with the "fictive" recreations of their stories. Certainly, for the first half of the film, viewers won't know what is real and what is being recreated, and this sense of confusion actually makes the film more exciting and unpredictable. Once the final third of the film begins and the way the film was made is revealed, there's almost a sense of relief because now we at least know real from not real. But by then, the overall sense of injustice, corruption, and struggle of every day police officers is well felt.

Beyond how the movie was made, and as a documentary, this film is also an unflinching condemnation of the Mexico City police force and the ways that rampant commonplace corruption affects the public at large, individual citizens, police officers themselves, and the common good. Extortion is ubiquitous and common, sexism is everywhere, and favors for politicians and public figures protect them from police attention. Indeed, getting to know these two police officers and their stories is a scary proposition, as you never know what dangers they might next face (disrespect, violence) or what kind of mistake they might make (like trying to arrest someone under police "protection"). Further, the whole system doesn't set up young cops for success. Most cops are trained right out of high school, often get into it because they have nothing else going on, are only in academy training for 6 months, and are then immediately put on the street.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate