Cop and a Half Movie Poster Image

Cop and a Half



Slapstick violence in so-so kid-as-cop comedy.
  • Review Date: November 18, 2010
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1993
  • Running Time: 97 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Devon is determined to become a cop at the age of 8. But once he learns that real cop work isn't all fun and games, he decides that being a kid isn't so bad after all.     

Positive role models

Nick is Devon's number one role model. He's a well respected detective who comes across as cold and moody. But McKenna will go to any length necessary to protect his fellow officers and support his community. What McKenna lacks in sensitivity, Devon is able to eventually bring out. There are more villains in the movie than positive role models. Bullies and mobsters pick on the innocent but are reprimanded in the end.  


A man is murdered in the beginning, though not much is shown. Many scenes of slapstick violence. Cops beat up bad guys and get into bar fights. Bullies give school kids wedgies. 

Not applicable

Words like "jerk," "punk," "ass," and "idiot" are used frequently.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Nick smokes cigars until Devon convinces him to quit. A drug bust takes place, and mobsters are seen packaging their drugs. 

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this comedy has quite a bit of slapstick violence and potentialy frightening mobster characters. Bullies take money from smaller children, and kids call each other names, though bad guys always lose in the end. Expect a fair bit of rude/crude language ("ass," "jerk," "idiot") and plenty of unrealistic scenarios in which an 8-year-old character fends for himself.

What's the story?

Third grader Devon Butler (Norman D. Golden II) has one passion in life -- to be a cop. When left home alone one night, Devon follows a suspicious car and finds himself a key witness to a man's murder. Determined to make his dream come true, Devon bargains with the cops: In exchange for a real badge and a day as a cop, Devon agrees to give the police information about the murder suspects. But once the criminals discover that Devon is the murder witness, a turn of events leads them straight to his door. In the end it's unclear whether special detective Nick McKenna (Burt Reynolds) saves Devon or Devon saves the detective.

Is it any good?


COP AND A HALF might be bang-up fun for some, but overall it runs on an empty cartridge. The movie's adventures might appeal to kids with an interest in detective work -- or those who have an active imagination -- but expect lots of unrealistic police pursuits overdone with slapstick violence. Although the chemistry between Reynolds and Golden can be adorable, the only laugh-out-loud moments in this family comedy come when a criminal obsessesed with Buddy Holly delivers hopeful impersonations that put bad karaoke to shame.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how realistic this movie is. Was there anything kids could relate to? Kids: What are some of the safety rules your parents set for you, and why are they important to follow?

  • How did the movie portray violence? Was it funny or serious? What are the real implications of the kind of violence seen in this movie?

  • What role do police officers play in society?

  • What's their purpose in the community? Is McKenna good at what he

  • does, or did you notice any room for improvement?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:April 2, 1993
DVD release date:January 5, 1999
Cast:Burt Reynolds, Holland Taylor, Norman D. Golden II
Director:Henry Winkler
Studio:Universal Studios
Run time:97 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:mild language, violence and drug references

This review of Cop and a Half was written by

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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.

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Kid, 12 years old November 26, 2013

Not good for young children

I thought it was very crude for young children. It had many bad words, gangs and violence.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byemharv February 6, 2013

Good ending, bad language

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 8 years old June 23, 2011


Nothing Worse Then The A Word, GREAT MOVIE!
What other families should know
Too much swearing


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