The Other Guys

Movie review by
S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media
The Other Guys Movie Poster Image
Popular with kids
Quirky buddy comedy mixes action, some raunchy stuff.
  • PG-13
  • 2010
  • 107 minutes

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 35 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 83 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The movie is very silly, but underneath the goofy stuff is the message that promise and heroism hide in the most surprising of personalities -- and that teamwork rules. There's also a key subplot about corruption and stealing, but they're not presented as admirable behavior.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The two main characters are bumbling types who just can’t get much right. But when they do, it’s amazing. They’re also fiercely loyal to each other, even if they don’t see eye to eye, and to their girlfriends/wives.


Plenty of violence, though much of it is played for laughs. Shootouts, explosions, fistfights, traffic accidents, a suicidal jumper, two men falling to their deaths. A car slams into a double-decker bus full of tourists.


A couple exchanges some fairly detailed, raunchy sex talk, with her mother serving as go-between; plenty of risque one-liners and references. A woman practically demands sex from a character while her husband is in another room. A man ogles his work partner’s wife’s cleavage. Discussions about how one character was a pimp in college. Ferrell's character sings a song called "Pimps Don't Cry."


Many uses of "s--t," “hell,” "ass," "bitch," and “a--hole,”  plus occasional uses of "damn," "hell," "goddamn," and "d--k."


Mentions of VO Hot Oil treatments, Febreze, Grand Theft Auto, Toyota Prius, and more. Logos/signage for Bed, Bath & Beyond, Mister Softee, USA Today, and many more.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Cops race to a drug bust and wind up running over a big bag of cocaine, which explodes and coats their car.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this offbeat Will Ferrell/Mark Wahlberg comedy is an irreverent send-up of buddy cop movies that will likely appeal to older tweens but is more age-appropriate for teens. Although the tone is light and comic overall -- and it isn't quite as raunchy as previous Ferrell hits like Anchorman -- the movie does include plenty of bone-crunching, guns-a-flying action sequences. There isn’t a lot of gore, but there’s plenty of cartoonish violence. There’s also a fair bit of strong language (including several uses of "s--t") and risque sexual innuendo/banter (including one exchange that gets pretty detailed), plus one scene involving cocaine and a drug bust.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 9 and 12-year-old Written byMMStJohn August 9, 2014

Great cast, thin plot, disgusting sexual banter, misogynistic.

I so wanted to like this movie. I was watching it with a 13 year old boy and we both like Will Farrell and Marc Wahlberg. There is a bit of a story and some l... Continue reading
Parent of a 13-year-old Written byTrying Hard September 6, 2010

I really regret I brought my 13 yr old son

I thought the movie was OK for an adult that doesn't mind very sexual humor. I took my thirteen year old son and regretted it. I think the very clear crude... Continue reading
Teen, 15 years old Written byShade9099 June 2, 2019

Hilarious, Quotable Comedy Captures Ferrell and Wahlburg At Their Best

I don't care if other people think this movie isn't funny, it's hilarious. Maybe Ace Ventura or the Monty Python movies may spark more of an init... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMovieKid387 August 14, 2015

Surprisingly good Action Comedy

The Other Guys follows the story of two buddy cops who hate each other form together to take down bad guys. Yeah that's the plot. The movie doesn't ha... Continue reading

What's the story?

In the criminal justice system explored in THE OTHER GUYS, the people are sometimes represented by bean-counting police officers and their deeply frustrated partners: These are their stories. (Cue droll voiceover by Law & Order veteran Ice-T.) Allen Gamble (Will Ferrell) is an NYPD forensic accountant who’d rather file paperwork than be caught in the thick of action. His partner, Terry Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg), is a “peacock” who just wants to “fly,” but he’s been sidelined after erroneously shooting at none other than Derek Jeter. When the precinct loses its superstar cops (Samuel L. Jackson and Dwayne Johnson) in an oddball accident, a vacuum is created. Hoitz wants to be a hero, but Gamble doesn’t want to, well, gamble. But a seemingly nerdy case involving a famous finance whiz (Steve Coogan) and purloined billions just may get Hoitz the moment in the sun he’s seeking -- and Gamble a familiar taste of the thrills.

Is it any good?

Let’s get the basics out of the way: The plot of The Other Guys wouldn’t hold up in any court of law. That’s annoying, yes, and at times even distracting; the movie loses momentum in the end as it grapples with tying up the thin storyline’s dangling ends (and there are many) and winds up giving the audience a tutorial on corporate fraud. And Anne Heche as a testy financier is woefully underused.

But all of that’s a small-ish price to pay to watch Ferrell’s singular and witty absurdity unspool onscreen. He milks every moment, no matter how it strains credulity and humor, and often pulls it off. He’s paired perfectly with Wahlberg, whose air of danger is channeled into edgy hilarity. Some successes: A running bit about Gamble’s seemingly unexplainable ability to lure ridiculously attractive women like Eva Mendes (who plays his wife) and the bizarre fate that awaits a pair of celebrity cops who indulge in Bourne Identity-like action sequences, complete with explosions and gunfire and macho, canned repartee. Hoitz and Gamble are unlike most other guys, and what a gift that is.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to more typical buddy cop movies. Why does Hollywood love these pairings? And why are they mostly male?

  • Is the violence in this type of movie gratuitous? What is this comedy saying about them? Is it paying homage or lampooning -- or a little bit of both?

Movie details

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