Rush Hour

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Rush Hour Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Buddy cop fun amidst explosions, bad guys, and language.
  • PG-13
  • 1999
  • 97 minutes

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 11 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 35 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

Appearances can be deceiving: a police officer who seems to be inept and out-of-control turns out to be heroic and responsible under extreme conditions. People of disparate cultures can learn to respect one another and work together to reach a positive outcome.

Positive Role Models

Both police and FBI agents are portrayed as ineffective, bumbling, and quick to jump to erroneous conclusions. The two heroes are loyal and compassionate, though they make a lot of mistakes and often are successful because they’re lucky rather than good.


Extensive martial arts fighting throughout. Though it’s definitely cartoon-like action in most instances, there are bodies strewn on the floor after a fight; there's a point-blank shooting of two bodyguards; and some minor bloody injuries are shown. A little girl is kidnapped and held captive; she’s seen struggling with her assailants. There are lots of gun fights, car chases, accidents, and explosions.


A girl briefly dances provocatively in a T-shirt; there’s one reference to "sleeping together."


Frequent swearing with repeated use of "s--t," "ass," "Goddamn," "hell." Sprinkled throughout is other coarse language: "kiss my fat ass," "punk bitch," "balls," etc. A few racial slurs are used: "Chun King Cop," "Mr. Rice-A-Roni," and the "n" word is uttered for humor by an African-American police officer, then copied by his Asian counterpart.


Brief visual or spoken references to Epson, Pacific Bell, Nikon, Fed Ex, Miller Lite, Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles. United Airlines is featured in several scenes.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

There’s some discussion of marijuana which is intended as comedy. Several characters are seen smoking it or are stoned, with one ironic comment "That’s bad for you." There’s a champagne toast, beer consumed at a card game, and one villain smokes.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that there is a lot of action and fighting in this film. While in scene after scene, the violence is meant to be funny, exaggerated and admired for Jackie Chan’s martial artistry, the destruction is still considerable. A child is kidnapped and held captive. There are gunfights; buildings are blown up; two men are shot point-blank while trying to protect the little girl; there are car chases and crashes; and participants are threatened with multiple weapons, including rifles, guns, and axes. Swearing and harsh language ("s--t," "ass," other vulgar expressions, and some racial slurs) are heard throughout the film, and, like the action, it's meant to be mostly comedic and to define the characters. Marijuana use is featured in a bar scene, referred to upon occasion, again with humor as a goal.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byDaniel L. August 1, 2020

Jackie Chang sucks in this movie

R; intense sequences of violence and action with some language
Adult Written byMelongman December 28, 2019
Kid, 10 years old November 9, 2020


This is one of the best action-comedy movies ever! I think 11 plus because it has language and violence.
Teen, 17 years old Written bynotthatgreat March 12, 2021


Okay, the person who said 11 plus, I don't think 11 year old's can take it. They have numerous threats, gun violence, and they say the S word a lot.

What's the story?

In RUSH HOUR, Jackie Chan plays Hong Kong police detective Lee, who comes to Los Angeles to find the kidnapped 11-year-old daughter of his close friend, a Chinese diplomat. The FBI doesn't want Lee getting involved in the case, so they team him up with James Carter (Chris Tucker), a "cop who doesn't work well with others but is so good they have to put up with him." Carter's job is really to keep Lee out of the investigation, but Carter also decides this is his chance to shine and digs into the case himself while trying to distract Lee.

Is it any good?

Hong Kong superstar Jackie Chan is always a delight to watch. His charm, wit, and impeccable timing make his kung fu moves closer to Charlie Chaplin or Jacques Tati than to Stephen Segal. He has had a hard time finding an American script to showcase his talent, but comes a little bit closer with this action comedy. Comedian Tucker brings energy and some freshness to the tired role of the difficult new partner. Chan and Tucker seem to genuinely enjoy one another, and both share gifts for physical comedy that provide some very funny moments amidst the usual round of explosions and bad guys. And the little girl (Julia Hsu) is adorable, with a Mariah Carey imitation that is utterly delicious.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the violence in the movie. Do you think seeing so much action has an effect on how you act later? How does the comedy change the way you experience the violence?

  • Talk about how race is portrayed in the movie. Do you think this movie challenges or reinforces stereotypes?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love action

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