Overheard in the Cinesphere: 'Cop Out'

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Warner Bros.



Cop Out, starring Tracy Morgan and Bruce Willis, is the latest film to be added to Hollywood's arsenal of buddy-cop romps—for better or worse. Written by Mark and Robb Cullen (Lucky, Las Vegas), the film follows its two protagonists as they search for a rare baseball card stolen by a Mexican drug gang boss, which Willis' character plans to use to pay for his daughter's wedding.

Many critics are left feeling a little short-changed, expecting more from director Kevin Smith—a notable master at executing lowbrow humor in a stylish way (Clerks, Zack and Miri Make a Porno), while others remind viewers that it's exactly what you'd expect, and that's okay.

Cop Out is "a crime against talent"

  • Kurt Loder, MTV: The bad news about "Cop Out," some will probably think, is that Kevin Smith didn't write it. He did direct it, but unfortunately that's bad news, too. The good news? There is no good news [...] The picture has no comic rhythm, and no action style. It sits on the screen imploring you to take an interest, when your interest lies elsewhere—over by the exit.
  • A.O. Scott, NY Times: "Cop Out" does not amount to much more than a blooper reel in search of a movie.

  • David Hiltbrand, Philadelphia Inquirer :You want to cut Cop Out some slack because it's just so darn eager to please. So let's grant that it will make a reliably fun companion when it's on cable 10 times a week. But it's not worth shelling out cineplex money for a comedy that gets its biggest laugh from a crotch kick.

But maybe it's so bad, it's actually good?

  • Betsy Sharkey, LA Times: It's in the execution of high concepts where Smith sometimes gets lost, but that doesn't happen here. There isn't a high concept in sight.


  • Colin Covert, Star Tribune: "Cop Out" is a silly waste of time. In other words, it's just what we need right now.

  • Karina Longworth, Village Voice: Cop Out works as a love letter to film fandom, and, amid the ample violence and genitalia jokes, its strength is its sincerity. Working with a full-on studio budget for the first time in his decade-and-a-half career, Smith is still making movies about guys just like him. It may be masturbatory, but it's also some kind of creative integrity.
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Aylin Zafar is a freelance writer based in New York.

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