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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Despite several underlying positive messages -- a strong theme of cooperation and teamwork, wives should be trusted, daughers will love fathers even if they can't pay for fancy weddings, and people should know better than to mess with police partners -- the violence, language, and immature behavior the police officers engage in makes getting a positive message out of this film difficult.
Positive Role Models
Between unrepentant drug dealers and criminals, a husband who doesn't trust his wife, and police partners who violate their suspension for a personal, financially motivated reason, the characters in this movie aren't exactly positive role models. Even the supporting characters are negative role models: the generous step-father character is a jerk, the wealthy robbery victim is a gun-toting materialistic woman, and the Russian doctor is willing to sacrifice his wife before his new Mercedes.
Violence & Scariness
There's at least a dozen murders in this movie, several of which are brutal gangland executions. Others are the result of shoot-outs between criminals and cops. It's not bloody violence, like "Pulp Fiction" because the camera tends to pull away or focus on the killer, as opposed to the murder victims. There are two scenes of torture, in which a drug kingpin with a baseball bat hits balls into a victim's torso. In one scene a kid kicks a cop in the groin and the cop kicks the boy back.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Although there are no actual love scenes in the movie, there are many, often graphic, sexual references. For example: Dave makes jokes about several specific sexual positions that Paul's wife enjoys. He also makes jokes about anal rape and sex while temporarily in jail. Paul waggles his eyebrows at his wife and tells her he knows she married him because he's "orally fixated." Debbie wears lingerie and pretends she's going to sleep with a man, in order to get back at Paul for placing a nanny-cam in their bedroom. Paul tells Jimmy about Bonobo chimpanzees and their sexual proclivities in the wild.
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Unsurprisingly, this is a veritable F-word-fest. It's fair to say that every conversation includes several F-bombs and its cousin, "motherf--ker." Other oft-said words include "p---y," "bitch," "a--hole," "dick," "s--t," "c--ksucker," and more. Occasional "goddamn" and "Jesus Christ" used as exclamations.
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult characters drink at dinner and at a bar. The movie's central criminal is a drug dealer. There are many discussions about the drug trade, his connections, and his ambitions to rule the New York drug supply.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this buddy cop comedy (starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan) is directed by Kevin Smith, who is infamous for pushing the limits of an R-rating. This movie is no exception. Both the movie's humor, language, and violence are pretty extreme. Not only are there so many swear words (F-bombs in particular) it's nearly impossible to count, but there are lots of explicit sexual jokes (about everything from positions to prison rape to infidelity), though no actual sex scenes. The violence isn't grisly, but there is a considerable body count and several gang-style executions. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
There are so many ways Kevin Smith's latest comedy disappoints, it's difficult to know where to begin. Clearly this is an homage (or "hoe-midge" as Paul would say) to classic cop buddy comedies like 48 Hours and Lethal Weapon. But as with on-screen lovers, the odd-couple effect among the "buddies" has to crackle with comedic chemistry for these types of movies to work. In COP OUT, Willis and Morgan don't exude a believable buddy appeal. Sure, Willis seems modestly amused by Morgan's antics, which include quoting dozens of films (even Die Hard, in a moment of wink-wink self-indulgence) as he interrogates a suspect, but that's about it.
The audience never grows to care about Jimmy's desire to pay for his sweet daughter's wedding or Paul's misguided and incessant jealousy over his wife's (Rashida Jones) harmless relationship with their neighbor. Diaz (best known for his work as a drug dealer on Showtime's Weeds) hams it up as the sandwich-monikered druglord, and supporting actors Kevin Pollack and Adam Brody are entertaining as fellow NYPD detectives who are trying to solve the rash of gang-related murders that trace back to Po' Boy. Their brief banter and quirky idiosyncrasies (one is a luxury boot aficionado, and the other tries to impress him with his own pair of fancy boots) make them far more compelling partners than Jimmy and Paul. Clerks and Chasing Amy fans beware, this is one of Smith's worst offerings, and that includes Jersey Girl.
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.