Ride Along Movie Poster Image

Ride Along



Odd-couple buddy-cop flick is violent, predictable but fun.
  • Review Date: January 17, 2014
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2014
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Even the toughest of us must sometimes learn to trust, and rely upon, others. You might even realize that other people are willing and eager to help out.

Positive role models

Ben clearly loves his fiancee and is willing to do almost anything to win the approval of her stern brother, James. But James is initially unwilling to give his future brother-in-law a chance and gives him a very difficult time before he gets to know him. Ride Along doesn't try to portray women in more than a damsels-in-distress role, however. Its sole female character does little more than argue, look pretty, and need rescuing.


Many explosions, gunfights, hand-to-hand combat, and other mayhem, which is partly offset by the movie's comedic tone. Some characters get shot, and bleed profusely but don't die. One scene includes thugs threatening a prisoner with a knife. The film also shows a gamer playing violent videogames, which is portrayed as an important source of expertise for a cop-to-be.


No sex or nudity, though there's some passionate kissing. A few scenes feature very colorful innuendo. One character makes numerous references to the size of his penis.


Language includes "bitch," "p---y," "ass," and several variations of "s--t."


The characters spend much of the movie driving in a Dodge Charger. During a high-speed chase, a cop in sudden need of a vehicle rejects a Toyota Prius, which he disparages as unsuitable for his needs. One character wears a Nike athletic shirt, and is excited to discuss its wicking properties. Several well-known gun manufacturers are mentioned by name.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

One quick scene shows people with beers at a party.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ride Along is a buddy cop comedy with lots of gunplay, fistfights, and car chases, and a few impressive explosions. Some scenes include lots of blood, but the movie's less-than-serious tone makes the action seem less brutal. Expect moderate swearing (mostly variations on "s--t") and some creative sexual innuendo.

What's the story?

A never-before-seen crime lord named Omar is building a presence in Atlanta, and detective James (Ice Cube) has been working his sources trying to identify and nab him before he does major damage. But the elusive mastermind keeps slipping his grasp. Meantime, his sister, Angela (Tamika Sumpter), is close to getting engaged with her boyfriend, Ben (Kevin Hart), a high school guard who thinks he has the goods to become a full-fledged cop (he's just been accepted to the police academy), thanks to his considerable video-gaming prowess. James wants to dissuade Ben from his line of work, and perhaps scare him off forever (from the job and his sister) by inviting him to ride along one day at work. But predictably, things go awry.

Is it any good?


RIDE ALONG won't breathe new life into the buddy-cop genre. It hews pretty much to the tried-and-true (and tired) principles, which include making sure said would-be buddies hate each other in the beginning, and wind up friends in the end. Much chaos and hilarity ensue in between. But here, plot points seem more superfluous than usual for the genre. The supposedly ridiculously hilarious setups don't seem ridiculous enough. (See: civilian confronting biker gang.)

Nonetheless, the movie perks up in its second half, with a delicious casting twist that will incite cheers and Hart and Ice Cube displaying chemistry before unseen. If only their earlier animosity had been convincing and creative. Instead, it relies on the usual and irritatingly superficial tropes (Ben talks too much). Also, it's a pity to see John Leguizamo relegated to a thankless small role; his signature banter could have enlivened earlier proceedings. The fairly thrilling driving sequences that open the film do a good job of luring audiences in, though. And by time time the movie ends, Hart wins you over, but only just.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the movie's take on video game violence. Ben appears to tap into skills he learned playing them, but does the film gloss over any downsides?

  • How does a movie's tone affect the impact of violent content?

  • Was it surprising to learn who the bad guys are? What do you think drove the choices they made?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 17, 2014
DVD release date:April 15, 2014
Cast:Ice Cube, John Leguizamo, Kevin Hart
Director:Tim Story
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:sequences of violence, sexual content and brief strong language

This review of Ride Along 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

  • TV-based buddy comedy is crude but hilarious.
  • Bad Boys meets Shaun of the Dead.
  • Classic '80s Murphy vehicle; fun but foulmouthed.

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

Teen, 15 years old Written byStevie111 January 17, 2014

Hysterical buddy comedy is quite predictable, but still very good

The movie is violent, crude, and profane, but all on moderate levels. 1 f-word, sex jokes and a strip club scene, shootouts and hostage situations. Teenagers should be fine, and my very mature 10 year old sister was fine, so just choose what's best for your kid.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Kid, 10 years old January 20, 2014

I'm gonna take you on a Ride Along

It was a perfect blend of action, comedy, short comedians, and Ice Cube.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Teen, 15 years old Written byironkid21 January 17, 2014

Hilarious and fun buddy cop comedy boasts great chemistry between Kevin Hart and Ice Cube...

After watching two stinkers released this week ("The Nut Job", "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit"), I was hoping Ride Along could give me what I wanted. And thankfully, Ride Along is a great surprise this January! While it may have lots of buddy cop cliches and twists you can see coming from a mile away, Ride Along is still consistently hilarious and entertaining throughout, has great chemistry between Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, and surprisingly fun action sequences! Kevin Hart, who's a very great stand up comedian and is great on his hit mockumentary series "Real Househusbands of Hollywood", but lots of his roles, as funny as they are, mostly don't match the hilarity of his stand up or his show. But this is without a doubt one of the first roles where he shows how great he can be! Kevin Hart, if he keeps this really good track record up, could be on the lines of other leading role comedians such as Will Ferrell and Steve Carrell! (he most likely already is!) Along with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube's hysterically fun to watch chemistry, there's also really good supporting performances from Tika Sumpter and Bruce McGill, and some really funny cameos from Benjamin Flores (The Haunted Hathaways), Gary Owen (Think Like a Man), and Jay Pharoah (Saturday Night Live). Overall, Ride Along is a really funny and entertaining buddy cop comedy and like last year's "The Heat", shows that the buddy cop comedy genre's still got it! I say you take this one on a ride along...
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing


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

Star Wars Guide