Let's Be Cops

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
Let's Be Cops Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Over-the-top comedy has tons of swearing, other iffy stuff.
  • R
  • 2014
  • 104 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 15 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Amid the over-the-top action/humor is the idea that it's important to be who you are and not to pretend to be something you aren't, a lesson the main characters eventually learn. And also, if you believe in your work, then be prepared to advocate for it.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Ryan and Justin start the film as meek and somewhat ashamed for their lack or career success. Over the course of the movie, they learn to become more assertive and more comfortable with who they are. Of course, they get there by impersonating police officers, which isn't the best example, but it's played for laughs. The main female character is a love interest in need of rescue.


Several scenes show policemen and criminals engaged in shoot-outs, with many people injured or dead. Other scenes feature violent fist fights that leave combatants unconscious. One character is threatened with torture by someone who's prone to explosive moments (he head-butts his minions and gets into battles at the drop of a hat). Some mobsters show their contempt for others by spitting in their faces. 


A man and woman flirt with each other and later kiss passionately. In one scene, she takes off her top and tries to kiss him -- she's shown partially nude from behind. Another sequence includes a woman who aggressively comes on to two men, making a variety of crude and suggestive comments, though she's also quite awkward, and the scene is played more for laughs than raciness. Four police officers try to apprehend a very large, naked man and must tackle him. The scene leaves one character quite close to the man's genitals; much is made of how the proximity made him uncomfortable.


Heavy swearing in almost every scene, including "f--k," "d--k," "p---y," "s--t," "ass" and many, many permutations and variations. Male characters call each other "p---y" and "bitch" to impugn each other's manhood.


Friends relax while drinking Budweiser beer. Many Apple products are shown on-screen, including phones and computers. Also Ford vehicles.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Several scenes show adults drinking beer or wine at restaurants, nightclubs, or at home. Multiple sequences feature people smoking pot, including one scene that shows billowing clouds coming from the windows of a parked car. An extended sequence includes one main character who's coerced into smoking crystal meth, and he then comments on how it's affecting him.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Let's Be Cops is an over-the-top comedy about two average guys who decide to impersonate Los Angeles police officers and end up becoming embroiled in a real mob scheme. There's a lot of shooting and fighting, as well as tons of swearing (with every word you can imagine in almost every scene), some drinking, and drug use (both pot and crystal meth). The violence is pretty realistic, and when people get shot or punched, it really hurts.  Characters also make sexual references, flirt, and kiss; in one scene, a woman takes off her top (she's shown from the back), and in another, an officer trying to apprehend a naked man ends up in close proximity to the man's genitals.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byzeekattacklee January 16, 2015

Lets Be Cops review..

A nice comedy.. Although I would suggest parents to use judgement when letting their young teenagers watch this film.. The film does contain multiple use... Continue reading
Parent Written byDan G. August 19, 2014

An R-rated movie with too much objectionable content for any age child

If you are considering taking a child of any age to this movie, be aware of multiple serious issues: 1. The language is the worst, a constant barrage of the w... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old August 28, 2014

Fine for tweens

Although the film received an R rating it contains only extremely brief nudity and like 30 f bombs so if ur okay with your child hear bad words you should be ok... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPriscillaBlackie July 11, 2018

Includes Strong Language, Extreme Violence, some Sexual Activity and, Alcohol/Drug Use

I think that this movie is very funny but it is not age appropriate for kids under the age of 13. Every few sentences that the people say in this movie have at... Continue reading

What's the story?

Justin (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Ryan (Jake Johnson) are both pushing 30 and still haven't made it big after moving to Los Angeles from Ohio. Justin's desperate to get his video game project launched, but his company still treats him like an intern; Ryan's got no acting gigs (or actual professional goals, for that matter) after one stint in a herpes commercial. After dressing up as LAPD officers to attend a costume party, the duo discovers that the uniform lends them some cachet. Jaded with their real identities, they decide to start patrolling the city. But wearing the uniform comes with major responsibilities, including dealing with a vicious mobster who's marauding L.A. in partnership with an unknown criminal.

Is it any good?

LET'S BE COPS owes a lot to New Girl; its two leads successfully migrate the strikingly warm and funny rapport they share on that sitcom to this formulaic but still (somewhat) entertaining comedy. Both Wayans and Johnson throw themselves into the plot with such gusto ... which  makes it even more of a pity that the screenplay is a retread of every single buddy comedy that ever was.

As a love interest, Nina Dobrev isn't given much to do besides play girl needing rescuing. (Aren't we tired of this cliche yet?) Then again, neither is anybody else, including Andy Garcia, who's criminally underused, and even the two headliners, who manage to eke out something close to entertaining even though they're left to their own devices by the so-so material and all-too-basic direction.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the appeal of "hard R" comedies like Let's Be Cops. Would they be as funny without all of the swearing and crass humor? Who are they intended to appeal to?

  • How does the movie portray drinking and drug use? Are there realistic consequences?

  • How do people's reactions to Ryan and Justin change when they're in uniform? How does this affect them? Why does Josie's opinion of Justin change when she learns more about his true identity?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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