Let's Be Cops Movie Poster Image

Let's Be Cops



Over-the-top comedy has tons of swearing, other iffy stuff.
Parents recommendPopular with kids
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 104 minutes

What parents need to know

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

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.

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.

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.

Families can talk 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

Theatrical release date:August 13, 2014
DVD/Streaming release date:November 11, 2014
Cast:Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr., Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle
Director:Luke Greenfield
Studio:Twentieth Century Fox
Run time:104 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:language including sexual references, some graphic nudity, violence and drug use

This review of Let's Be Cops 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

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

  • Female buddy-cop comedy mixes humor, violence, drinking.
  • Buddy cop fun amidst explosions, bad guys, and language.
  • Mismatched cops spar in violent '80s action hit.

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

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 worst obscenity in movies today. 2. There is significant sexual banter, all of it in an irresponsible portrayal of sexual relations. E.g., a female character continually tries to seduce the two main characters into sexual activity. There is also full frontal male nudity. 3. Illegal drug use is obvious and a main part of one of the story elements. 4. The violence is pretty brutal and gory. This movie is rated R for a reason. If you love your children and work to prevent bad influences in their upbringing, you will not allow them to see this movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byHealthymom5 August 15, 2014

Funny and fine for kids

I think it was a very funny movie some swearing but besides that it's fine for kids. The movie was very funny I brought my 13 year old son and he enjoyed it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written byflowergirl2 August 15, 2014

really funny!

i took my 12 year old to see this movie and i think its fine for children. me and my child haven't laughed so hard.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


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