Kindergarten Cop Movie Poster Image

Kindergarten Cop



Terminator meets Mother Goose; lots of violence, profanity.
Popular with kidsParents recommend
  • Review Date: October 31, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1990
  • Running Time: 111 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Encourages being open to new experiences. Shows importance of trust, honesty, teamwork, and loyalty. Values moving on from mistakes and being willing to start fresh.

Positive role models

Aside from the bad guys, the film features several positive role models. An aggressive, socially inept cop learns to work with others, care for children, and find love. His partner is portrayed as a strong, intelligent female police officer. Some ethnic diversity.


Several suspenseful and violent sequences. Opening shows point-blank killing of a young man, establishing the ferocity of the film's villain. Characters carry and wield pistols and shotguns in a school, in a salon, in a bar, and while stalking innocents. Fights include a man punching a woman, men in fistfights, bashing a head into a car window, purposefully running down a woman with a car. A man sets fire to a school library, terrifying children and setting off chaos, gunfire, and death. A father holds a little boy hostage with a gun to his head. That same boy watches as a policeman shoots and kills his dad. A dead woman's face is seen close up. 


A warm kiss. A comic scene shows a couple interrupted in the midst of sex; the man attempts to cover his nakedness with a pillow; no actual sexual activity.


Profanity and potty language include "s--t," "ass," "bastards," "goddamn," "son of a bitch," "wipe tushies," "poo-poo," "penis," "vagina," "you idiot." A woman suffers from stomach flu and vomits (mostly off camera) repeatedly.


Alaska Airlines, Coca-Cola.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Villain is involved in sale of illegal drugs; references to drug deals, "junkies." Wine with dinner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Kindergarten Cop is a hybrid of slapstick comedy, character comedy, and the story of a violent, obsessed killer on the loose. Scenes of adorable little kids connecting with their unusually muscle-bound new teacher and his pet ferret are framed by gunfire and suspense and culminate in scenes with children in danger. Action includes (spoiler alerts): point-blank killings, a father holding his son hostage with a gun to his head, a little boy precariously hanging from a tower, and gunfire in a school. Numerous fistfights, head bashings, and a car purposefully hitting a lead character are among other violent sequences. The film is peppered with salty language, including "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "s--t," "ass," "penis" "vagina," and more. Several of the kindergarten kids are children of divorce; some of their stories may be unsettling to sensitive viewers. A bizarre relationship between the killer and his mother (with sexual overtones), a warm kiss between lovers, and a silly scene in which a couple having sex are interrupted account for the sexual content. Drugs are referenced; the villain is a narcotics dealer, and we see a motley assortment of his young people who appear to be under the influence. It's an unusual hybrid, but it works, so long as the kids who watch it are old enough to emotionally fuse the fun and the shoot-'em-up elements.

What's the story?

John Kimble (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a kick-butt undercover cop on a mission in KINDERGARTEN COP, having been assigned to pose as the husband of a female cop/grade school teacher, a turn of events that forces him to shed his machine gun and trench coat for a sport coat and pet ferret. The enormous educator must identify a drug lord's missing wife and her son before he catches up with them.

Is it any good?


The movie succeeds wildly in its attempt to soften an action star via the addition of his delightful relationships with captivating kindergarten kids. Despite its goofy premise, Ivan Reitman's thoroughly engaging film is filled with fine performances, a story that makes sense, and terrific comic timing. Reitman (and perhaps Schwarzenegger, too) must be adept at bringing out the best in children, because each and every one of them is delightful; twins Joseph and Christian Cousins as Dominic will melt your heart. And, in a surprising portrayal, Schwarzenegger parlays his brawn into compassion. Pamela Reed is impressive as a very funny cop with smarts and skills, and she's not afraid to look ridiculous either. Linda Hunt as the school principal and Penelope Anne Miller are wonderful as well. Overall, if audiences are old enough and wise enough to keep the over-the-top action and killing in perspective, the film provides suspense, great fun, and even a little romance.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about nonviolent conflict resolution with younger kids. How do John's skills as a police officer help him maintain order in his classroom? Parents may want to reassure their children of their safety.

  • Made in 1990, the character of policewoman Phoebe O'Hara was an important role model at a time when there were not many women police officers. Which qualities did she have that made her successful in her job? 

  • Arnold Schwarzenegger was a major action star. Were you surprised by the gentle nature of his character here, Mr. Kimble, and what he learned about himself? How did this role change Schwarzenegger's image for audiences? 

Movie details

Theatrical release date:December 22, 1990
DVD release date:January 20, 1998
Cast:Arnold Schwarzenegger, Pamela Reed, Penelope Ann Ann Miller
Director:Ivan Reitman
Studio:Universal Pictures
Topics:Friendship, Misfits and underdogs
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:Violence, Language

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byMrCrab August 21, 2009

Good movie.

For a supposedly family film, this has a number of intense action scenes and some sexual content (Arnie walks in on walks in on two people having sex. We briefly see thrusting. The man surprises the two, and they both fall out of bed. Part of the woman's bare breasts and the mans buttocks can be seen.) A man asks young kids to tell him what their fathers do. Two young girls stand up a say that there mom calls their dad a real sex machine. A young boy then stands up and says that his dad looks at vaginas all day. The same boy later states that boys have a penis and girls have a vagina.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Parent Written bySteve8765 March 6, 2013

a very good movie for children to watch *but some scenes may be unsuitable for very young children*

Well in the title "Kindergarten" and the "Cop" title have Arnie being first a tough L.A detective cop and later on he goes undercover as a Kindergarten teacher with 5 and 6 year old children,the kindergarten bits will be suitable for all children but as the age limit on the video/dvd is only suitable for 15 years old and over there are some gun violence and "bloody scenes" ....i think if your watching the movie with very young children just use your parental skills and try and let your younger children to only see the nice bits of the movie like the "Kindergarten" bits and not the "Cop" bits like the shooting etc as young children might be a bit scared by those scenes.
Teen, 13 years old Written byBandit16 October 8, 2011

LOL!!!!!!! :)

I love this movie! My brother was not allowed to see it, but he watched it anyway. If your child repeats words they should not( like my brother),it is not for them. Overall, great movie
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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