National Security



Indistinguishable dumb action comedy.
  • Review Date: May 14, 2003
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know


Action violence.


Kinky scene, no nudity.


Some strong language.


Some product placement.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking


Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has a great deal of violence, some strong language, and a kinky sex scene involving handcuffs.

What's the story?

In NATIONAL SECURITY, police academy reject Earl (Martin Lawrence) is trying to retrieve the keys he locked in his car when police officer Hank (Steve Zahn), thinking he is trying to steal the car, asks him what he is doing. Earl's hostile response leads Hank to begin to arrest him. Earl, already agitated, gets even more upset when a bee flies toward him. A bystander making a family movie films what looks like Hank brutally beating Earl, when all Hank is doing is trying to get rid of the bee. Like the Rodney King video, it sparks a public outcry for justice, and Hank does hard time in prison for six months. They meet up again when the same bad guys Hank saw kill his partner show up in the warehouse Earl is guarding. They have to learn to work together and trust each other in order to save the day.

Is it any good?


National Security is another in a string of indistinguishable dumb action comedies. It is clearly modeled after classic action comedies like Beverly Hills Cop, but this one is less a movie than a three-minute coming attraction with 90 extra minutes of padding. Situations that can be set up in an instant are given drawn-out explanations that test the attention spans of even the most committed fans of the movie's performers. As in all buddy films, the buddies have issues they have to resolve with each other before they can resolve the issues they have together. In the sorry history of Hollywood "meet cute" set-ups, this one is particularly weak.

Zahn and Lawrence have no chemistry and they careen listlessly between dull banter and dull chases and explosions. Dugan has no feeling for action sequences. The only interesting moment comes when they hide something in the garage of Hank's ex-girlfriend. The movie wastes two exceptionally talented performers. Lawrence occasionally gets a chance to give a short riff that creates a bright spot, but Zahn seems bummed to be in the movie at all.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Earl's views on race and how he has to rethink his own prejudices when he takes Hank's ex-girlfriend for the maid.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 17, 2003
DVD release date:May 27, 2003
Cast:Eric Roberts, Martin Lawrence, Steve Zahn
Director:Dennis Dugan
Studio:Columbia Tristar
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:violence, language, and some sensuality

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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.

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Adult Written byWhatdoIthink? April 9, 2008
Another hilarious movie from Martin Lawrence. A guy that was thrown out of a police school and a cop whose partner was killed get into a fight. Lawrence's character charges the cop with police brutality and the cop (Steve Zahn) loses his job and is put in prison. Six months later, they are bothe security guards and together try to solve a crime. Good for ages 13+.
Adult Written byHaloFreak123 April 9, 2008

Hilarious and Cool....Perfect Combo!

This movie rocks out loud. If you like action and comedy, watch this movie.
Adult Written by4Spice October 22, 2009

funny movie 10 over

great movie very funny 10 and over


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