Starsky & Hutch

 
(i)

 

Silly, but lots of fun for older teens.
  • Review Date: July 19, 2004
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 2004
  • Running Time: 100 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable
Violence

The usual shoot 'em up stuff.

Sex

Explicit references, a threesome, gay humor.

Language

Some strong language.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Drinking, drug use and dealing, smoking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie has very explicit sexual situations and references for a PG-13, including "comic" gay overtones, a threesome (with girls kissing each other), and the swapping of mild sexual favors for information from an informant. A character accidentally ingests cocaine, and his strung-out meltdown is played for humor. Other characters drink and use cocaine (off-camera) and the plot centers on a huge cocaine deal. Characters are in peril. One is killed and a child is injured. There's some strong language, including racial epithets. A strength of the movie is the way that diverse characters work together. Some audience members may be offended by the fact that the villain is Jewish.

What's the story?

In this refresh of the classic 1970s TV show, Ben Stiller plays Starsky, the play-by-the-rules cop who takes everything very seriously. He has to try to live up to the standard set by his policewoman mother, but he acts as though he's following a script. He's teamed up with Hutch (Owen Wilson), the take-it-easy cop whose casual attitude makes him popular with everyone from pretty cheerleaders to cute neighborhood kids to slightly shady informants (including rapper Snoop Dog, the essence of real-life cool as Huggy Bear). At first they do not get along, then they develop grudging respect for each other, and then affection and true partnership. A murder leads to the pair investigating a businessman (Vince Vaughn) who may have something to do with a cocaine operation. S&H go undercover in Easy Rider drag as "Kansas" and "Toto" (you'll get that if you remember the 1970's) to question the owner of a biker bar. They interrogate a cheerleader (and are struck speechless when she takes her clothes off). There's a hilarious disco dance-off. Someone actually says "Sit on it." And the original Starsky and Hutch show up for a funny cameo.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Movies based on TV shows are tricky, but STARSKY & HUTCH gets it right. Cynical observers used to wonder whether the warm friendship between Starsky and Hutch was really deeper than 1970's television could contemplate. This movie tweaks the idea a little, with the pair stumbling cluelessly through some mildly suggestive situations that feel like a part of its retro vibe. Vince Vaughn brings his edgy silkiness to the role of the bad guy, a high class drug dealer. Will Ferrell contributes a funny cameo as a prisoner.

But the movie is all about the chemistry between Stiller and Wilson, who bring out the best in each other. Starsky narrows his eyes intensely as he looks down at a dead body. "You've punched your last ticket, amigo." Hutch peers over at him. "Are you trying to tough talk a dead guy?" After that, it's just ringing changes on the most appallingly cheesy aspects of that cheesiest of decades. The soundtrack features "Afternoon Delight," "I Can't Smile Without You," and the hit song by original Hutch David Soul -- "Don't Give Up on Us, Baby." The clothes are one hilarious "what were we thinking" after another. It's silly, but it's a lot of fun.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what made Starsky and Hutch change their minds about each other. Why is it good to have friends who are not just like us? What does it mean to say "To err is human, to forgive divine?" (By the way, contrary to the two mis-attributions in the film, that was said by Alexander Pope.)

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 5, 2004
DVD release date:July 20, 2004
Cast:Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Snoop Dogg
Director:Todd Phillips
Studio:Warner Bros.
Genre:Comedy
Run time:100 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:drug content, sexual situations, partial nudity, language and some violence

This review of Starsky & Hutch was written by

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Quality

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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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Teen, 13 years old Written bydean98 September 20, 2011
 

Hilarious movie with a little to much drug content

Starsky and Hutch is one of my favorite comedies. It contains sexual content, language, a little nudity, drug content, and violence. Violence: PG Language: PG-13 Sexual Content: PG-13 Drugs: an iffy PG-13 Expect many funny scenes for your teens to enjoy. There is one homosexual scene which should be avoided for younger kids. This movie is top notch!! 4 STARS!!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 13 years old Written byLoveOwenWilson September 10, 2010
 

teens of all ages!!

i am a die-hard an of Owen Wilson!!! i love him!!! love love love....and Ben Stiller is a comic!! great movie for just some laughs and very comedic and hillarious!! i have to give it a hundred thumbs up up up!!!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old November 4, 2014
 

Fun action comedy

Sex- 4 (Mature Themes and Sexual References) Language- 3 (Infrequent Coarse Language) Drugs- 4 (Frequent Drug References)
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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