Beverly Hills Cop

  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Classic '80s Murphy vehicle; fun but foulmouthed.
  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1984
  • Running Time: 105 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The hero is an honest cop, but he disregards procedure.

Violence

Realistic hand-to-hand combat and gun-fighting.

Sex

Female frontal nudity briefly featured in strip club scene.

Language

Very strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Hero drinks lightly.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie features young comedian Eddie Murphy at the height of his fast-talking and foulmouthed power. Much of what makes the film funny is his use of obscene or at least inappropriate language in a multitude of situations. While he is a cop, his character, Axel Foley, uses the "ends justify the means" approach to police work, and almost every scene involves him lying to various people in order to pursue his goal. Violence is not pervasive, but when it appears, it's rendered realistically -- fistfights leave marks and gunshots produce blood and/or death. Sex is not a major factor in the film, but there is a scene that takes place in a strip club that does feature female nudity.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Detroit police officer Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) experiences a severe case of culture shock when clues in the murder of his good friend lead him to Beverly Hills. Put under the watchful eyes of two Beverly Hills cops (Judge Reinhold and John Ashton), the maverick outsider infuriates his superiors and rattles the ritzy city with his wildly unorthodox detective skills. But, Axel's entertaining antics expose the truth about Victor Maitland, a British art dealer who turns out to be the crime king who killed Foley's friend. It all comes down to an on-the-edge-of-your-seat shootout at Maitland's Beverly Hills mansion.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Twenty-plus years after its original release, BEVERLY HILLS COP has not aged quite as well as one might have hoped. In its day, Eddie Murphy's rapid-fire, uncensored wisecracking was almost revelatory for a big screen comedy, but since then, it has lost some luster. That's not to say that Murphy's Axel Foley isn't charming. It's still easy to side with Foley's mission to bring his friend's killer to justice. Yet this alone doesn't quite buoy the film as it did when it was completely fresh.

 

The soundtrack is definitive cheesy 1980s pop, however, the film stands above many subsequent action comedies. The look of it is impeccable, creating a time capsule of Beverly Hills's excess. Also, the action is relatively pared down to short but meaningful bursts, making it less cartoonish than a Tango & Cash (1989) or a Bad Boys (1995). That's why even with the age spots, BEVERLY HILLS COP still stands out as a stellar example of its genre. However, it is absolutely not appropriate for kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the following: Are Axel's illegal methods justified by the criminal behaviors of his suspects? What about the situations where his lying and scheming has no material effect on his investigation (as when he lies to an hotel clerk to get a room)? How much of the humor of the film is based solely on vulgar language? Would the film be as funny without it? Is it realistic that most of the characters are charmed by Axel's behavior? How does the humorous tone of most of the movie work with the more serious moments of violent action?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 1, 1984
DVD release date:January 29, 2002
Cast:Eddie Murphy, John Ashton, Judge Reinhold
Director:Martin Brest
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Comedy
Run time:105 minutes
MPAA rating:R

This review of Beverly Hills Cop was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Written byAnonymous April 10, 2014
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Axel Foley

This movie is good. It has a strip club scene and a lot of uses of F*** and S***. Overall, this movie is awesome
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old September 15, 2009
AGE
10
QUALITY
 

Perfect for older kids.

This movie is so good, I'm speachless!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great role models
Kid, 8 years old February 25, 2010
AGE
8
QUALITY
 

perfect for me

Its my favorite movie
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Great messages
Teen, 13 years old Written bymoviereviewer April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age
QUALITY
 

a good action movie!

Most of the reviews I saw were downing the movie by saying it is inapropriate for children but i wtched the movie anyway and noticed that the only real issue is thaat there are alot of inapropriate language.This movie has a very good storyline about a cop from detroit who goes to beverly hills on "vacation", but he is really there to investigate the killing of his friend.In the process he makes friends with a beverly hills cop

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