Kindergarten Cop Movie Poster Image

Kindergarten Cop



The Terminator meets Mother Goose.
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

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 love. His partner is portrayed as a strong, intelligent female police officer.


The film begins with a murder and includes additional killings (of villainous family members). A child is put in jeopardy.

Not applicable

Some profanity.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Wine with dinner.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes some violence and a very small amount of cursing. The villains are evil drug lords that commit murder. Both a woman and a child are put in physical danger, but are saved in the end by the main character. The fight between separated parents for custody of the child may be disturbing for some kids, especially those of divorce.

What's the story?

John Kimball (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a kick-butt undercover cop who has 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?


KINDERGARTEN COP succeeds wildly in its attempt to soften an action star via the addition of an adorable rapscallion. Despite the goofy premise, Ivan Reitman's (Ghost Busters [1984], Dave [1993]) film includes an engaging story and an array of likable characters and fine performances. Somehow Schwarzenegger (Terminator [1984], (Total Recall [1990]) parlays his brawn into compassion. (Perhaps just speaking more quietly makes him appear less daunting.) This film also includes fabulous female costars. Pamela Reed is hysterical as John's gluttonous partner, and Linda Hunt (The Year of Living Dangerously [1982], Ready to Wear [1994]) continues her unbelievable career as the hardnosed school principal. The film's low points lie with Crisp, the murderous father, and his evil mother. The villains lack the character development dedicated to the good guys. Overall, the film provides good clean fun coupled with a little violence and a lot of kooky kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about nonviolent conflict-resolution with younger children. 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.

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
Run time:111 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:Violence, Language

This review of Kindergarten Cop was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

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

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

  • Arnold's Mr. Mom film lacks belly laughs.
  • Ahnold terminates the holiday spirit.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

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
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
Kid, 12 years old September 28, 2012

Some sex for a show with "kindergarten" in the name.

A little boy mentions that boys have penises and girls have vaginas; also, the main female character is heard moaning when she and her fiance are having sex; technically, no body parts are shown, but when the man falls out of the bed, he uses a pretty small pillow to cover his penis, although it could almost be shown. Could almost see his penis.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide