Cop Out

Movie review by
Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media
Cop Out Movie Poster Image
Crude Tracy Morgan comedy falls completely flat.
  • R
  • 2010
  • 110 minutes

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 6 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 18 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

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 & Representations

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.


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.


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.


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.

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.

What 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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMovieMan26 October 11, 2010

Funny, violent buddy-cop comedy

This was a funny movie. It's nice to see Bruce Willis in a comedy because he's really funny. Tracy Morgan and Sean William Scott provide a nice suppor... Continue reading
Adult Written byD-Fresh August 26, 2010
What an awful movie. There were funny parts, but you can see all of them in the 3 or 4 different trailers out there... literally the best parts of the movie are... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byram234533ds May 5, 2020

This movie is really good.

This movie is great!! Hilarious too. The violence isn’t too bad. The worst is when a man is all bloody and getting baseballs hit at him. The language though... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byBestPicture1996 August 19, 2012

Surprised to see all the negative reviews

I mean sure, the movie isn't "The Other Guys" but it did have some funny moments, especially the interrogation scene with Morgan. It's not... Continue reading

What's the story?

New York City police detectives Jimmy (Bruce Willis) and Paul (Tracy Morgan) have been partners for nine years, but a botched operation gets them unexpectedly suspended without pay. Jimmy, desperate for cash, decides to sell a prized baseball card he inherited from his father to pay for his daughter's dream wedding. Unfortunately for Jimmy, the priceless card ends up in the possession of a baseball-obsessed drug kingpin Po' Boy (Guillermo Diaz), who convinces the cops to return his stolen Mercedes in exchange for the card. When the duo recovers the car, they realize that it's not the Mercedes that Po' Boy wants, but the tied-up Mexican woman named Gabriela (Ana de la Reguera) in the trunk. As the baseball card takes a backseat to helping Gabriela, Jimmy and Paul fight off Po' Boy and his henchmen bent on killing them and kidnapping Gabriela.

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.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Jimmy and Paul's relationship. Are they good partners? How are they more loyal to each other than anyone else in their lives?

  • What about the violence? How do the violence and comedy relate to each other?

  • Is all of the swearing necessary? Does strong language make the dialogue funnier, or does it lose its impact, because it's used so often?

  • How do Kevin Smith and the screenwriters pay tribute to past cop comedies? How does this movie compare to others in the genre?

Movie details

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