Cop Out (2010 film)

Cop Out is a 2010 American buddy cop action-comedy film directed and edited by Kevin Smith, written by Mark and Robb Cullen and starring Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Kevin Pollak and Seann William Scott. The plot revolves around two veteran NYPD partners (Willis and Morgan) on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card who find themselves up against a relentless, memorabilia-obsessed bloodthirsty gangster. This is the first film that Smith directed that he did not also write. It is also Smith's highest-grossing film, earning $55 million on a $30 million budget.

Cop Out
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKevin Smith
Written byRobb Cullen
Mark Cullen
Produced by
CinematographyDave Klein
Edited byKevin Smith
Music byHarold Faltermeyer
Marc Platt Productions
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • February 26, 2010 (2010-02-26)
Running time
107 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$30 million[2]
Box office$55.6 million[2]


James "Jimmy" Monroe and Paul Hodges (Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan) are NYPD detectives. Failing to capture suspect Juan Diaz (Cory Fernandez) and endangering civilians, they are suspended without pay.

Jimmy's daughter Ava (Michelle Trachtenberg) is getting married, and the wedding will cost close to fifty thousand dollars. His ex-wife Pam's (Francie Swift) arrogant second husband Roy (Jason Lee) offers to pay for the wedding, but he is determined to come up with the money. While Jimmy is selling a 1952 baseball card to pay for the wedding, the shop is robbed by Dave (Seann William Scott), who takes the card. Finding out Dave is robbing a house that night, they stake it out to retrieve the card and gun. Jimmy and Paul arrest him, but the card and gun were sold.

Jimmy and Paul go to the drug dealer, Poh Boy (Guillermo Díaz), who tells them if they retrieve a stolen car they can have it. They discover a woman named Gabriela (Ana de la Reguera) in the trunk. She was the mistress of a drug lord kidnapped and murdered by Poh Boy's gang. Jimmy previews the tape from Paul's hidden camera and sees what looks to be Debbie with another man, but he tells Paul there is nothing on it. Paul later sees it and is heartbroken. As she does not want to get Jimmy and Paul hurt, Gabriela flees.

Jimmy bails out Dave so he can retrieve the card, but he falls out of a tree and hits his head hard. Jimmy breaks into the house to retrieve the card but is surrounded by the gang. At the same time, Paul learns that Debbie tricked him by faking an affair for not trusting her. After killing most of the gang, Jimmy and Paul find Poh Boy holding Gabriela at gunpoint. They shoot him dead, but Paul's bullet goes through Jimmy's baseball card, in Poh Boy's shirt pocket. Pleased with the duo's investigation and assisting two colleagues (Adam Brody and Kevin Pollak) who were caught in the shootout, the precinct chief (Sean Cullen) restores Jimmy and Paul to active duty, giving them commendations.

Crestfallen at the destruction of his prize card, Jimmy lets Roy pay for the wedding. Pam asks Jimmy and Roy to give away Ava together. Jimmy says nothing about it. Paul discreetly points his pistol at Roy and orders him to sit down at the moment the priest calls out for who is giving away Ava.

In a humorous post credit-rolling scene, a female morgue worker rolls a gurney holding a body bag into the room as the phone rings. Homage to the opening of the film Scream follows, showing that the character Dave did not die.



Initially titled A Couple of Dicks,[3] the title went through various name changes before release, first as A Couple of Cops[4] and then to Cop Out,[5] with the final title emerging from Smith's belief that changing the original title was a "cop out".[6] The film marks the first movie that Smith directed that he did not write.[3]

[T]he Cullen brothers are dialogue crazy — the whole movie is like cops who are practically married but not actually, and, I mean, that's right up my alley. It's like Dante and Randal as cops.

— Kevin Smith, on why he wanted to direct the film[7]

The studio requested Smith to storyboard the entire film; Smith agreed, and he and Dave Klein, the director of photography, reviewed the results with Warner Bros. two months in advance.[7] Filming began on June 2, 2009 in New York City and finished on August 14, 2009,[8] for a February 26, 2010 release.

Smith took a pay cut in order to work on the film, which he wanted to do because of Bruce Willis's involvement.[9] However, in a 2011 interview with comedian/podcast host Marc Maron, Smith revealed that working with Willis ended up proving "soul crushing".[10]

Ultimately, Cop Out cost Warner studios $37 million to produce.[11]



The first trailer for the film was released on December 23, 2009, and then attached to Sherlock Holmes.[12] A red band trailer was also released on February 5, 2010. The film was also advertised extensively in the United States during NBC's coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.


The film was scheduled date on February 26, 2010 in the United States.

Home mediaEdit

In May 2010, DVD and Blu-ray Disc editions of the film were announced for release on July 20, 2010.[13] In July of that year, Cop Out was the #1 selling DVD in the US.[14]


Box officeEdit

Cop Out grossed $44.9 million in the United States and Canada and $7.4 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $55.4 million, against its production budget of $30 million.[2]

The film opened #2 behind Shutter Island,[15] earning $18.2 million its opening weekend.[2]

Critical responseEdit

Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave the film an approval rating of 19% based on 163 reviews and an average rating of 4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Cop Out is a cliched buddy action/comedy that suffers from stale gags and slack pacing."[16] On Metacritic, the film had an average score of 31 out of 100 based on 35 critics, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews".[17] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B-" on an A+ to F scale.[18]

Roger Ebert gave the film 1.5 out of 4 and wrote: "Many of the gags possibly looked good on paper, but watching Willis and Morgan struggle with them is like watching third graders do Noel Coward, if Noel Coward had been rewritten by Kevin Smith."[19] The film was later compared to The Other Guys, a buddy cop comedy film which was released several months afterwards and was better received by critics. Richard Roeper stated, "Note to Kevin Smith: THIS is how you do a spoof of the buddy-cop genre,"[20] and Stephen Whitty of The Star-Ledger said in his review, "Measured against this year’s other police farce – remember Cop Out? – it looks absolutely heroic."[21]


On the January 17, 2011 episode of WTF with Marc Maron, Smith discussed his disappointment with working with Bruce Willis and his satisfaction with working with Tracy Morgan during the making of Cop Out. Smith stated that one of the reasons that he agreed to direct the film was because he wanted to work with Willis, but that Willis "wouldn't even sit for a fucking poster shoot" and that "were it not for Tracy, I might have killed either myself or someone else in the making of fucking Cop Out."[22]

A talent rep associated with the production of the film reported conflicts on set between Smith and Willis, saying of Smith, "He smokes way too much pot. He sat behind his monitor. He didn't interact with the actors. The actors felt they were on their own."[23] Smith defended his use of marijuana while working, saying, "I dealt with every actor who wanted to be dealt with on that set" and pointed to the number of projects he worked on while making Cop Out to counter claims he was unproductive because of marijuana.[24] Smith admitted in an interview that heavy marijuana-smoking had become an integral part of his work ethic after claiming that he watched actor Seth Rogen on the set of Zack and Miri Make a Porno use marijuana as a tool to become a more creative and productive worker, saying, "The moment I start smoking, I start working.... That way, no one could ever take it away from you."[25]

In response to the critical drubbing his 2010 film Cop Out received, Smith lashed out at the community of film critics on his Twitter account saying, "Writing a nasty review for Cop Out is akin to bullying a retarded kid. All you’ve done is make fun of something that wasn't doing you any harm and wanted only to give some cats some fun laughs."[26] Smith also implied on Twitter that he may charge critics for advance screenings of his films, a service which has typically been provided free; this subsequently ignited a strong response from some critics condemning his stance as "dishonest" and "disingenuous".[26] Critic Roger Ebert, responding to Smith saying "Kevin Smith thinks critics should have had to pay to see "Cop Out." But Kev, then they would REALLY have hated it.[27]


  1. ^ "COP OUT rated 15 by the BBFC". Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d "Cop Out (2010)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  3. ^ a b "SModcast 79". Archived from the original on May 14, 2009. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  4. ^ "Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan are A Couple of Cops for Kevin Smith". October 17, 2008. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  5. ^ "(Exclusive) Smith's 'A Couple of Dicks' New Title Revealed, 'Inception' Trailer For Christmas". Archived from the original on September 1, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  6. ^ "Kevin Smith on why 'A Couple of Dicks' became 'Cop Out'".
  7. ^ a b Kevin Smith on A Couple of Dicks and the Collapse of Zack and Miri, a May 14, 2009 entertainment article from New York magazine
  8. ^ ""Dicks" About To Wrap It Up…". Archived from the original on August 17, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  9. ^ Chen, David. "Kevin Smith Did Not Direct 'Cop Out' Just For the Paycheck". Slashfilm. Retrieved September 25, 2016.
  10. ^ "Kevin Smith Says Working With Bruce Willis on COP OUT was "Soul Crushing"". Collider. January 19, 2011.
  11. ^ Fritz, Ben (February 25, 2010). "Movie Projector: 'The Crazies' could drive 'Cop Out' mad". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 2, 2010. Cop Out cost Warner $37 million to make the movie and setting its bar for success higher.
  12. ^ "Kevin Smith's 'Cop Out' Trailer". Archived from the original on August 15, 2010. Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  13. ^ David McCutcheon (May 13, 2010). "Cop Out Ousted to Home". IGN. News Corporation. Retrieved June 5, 2010.
  14. ^ "'Cop Out' tops U.S. DVD sales chart". Retrieved September 28, 2010.
  15. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for February 26–28, 2010". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved March 1, 2010.
  16. ^ "Cop Out Film Reviews". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 15, 2020.
  17. ^ "Cop Out reviews at". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved February 26, 2010.
  18. ^ "CinemaScore".
  19. ^ Ebert, Roger (2010). "Cop Out". Chicago Sun-Times.
  20. ^ Richard Roeper. "The Other Guys". Retrieved July 26, 2021.
  21. ^ Macall Polay (August 6, 2010). "'The Other Guys' movie review: Just silly enough". Retrieved September 26, 2010.
  22. ^ "Episode 141 - Kevin Smith" WTF with Marc Maron. Retrieved August 27, 2012.
  23. ^ Masters, Kim. "Kevin Smith: 'Alarmist Ninnies' Misinterpreted Sundance Outburst". The Hollywood Reporter. February 3, 2011
  24. ^ Smith, Kevin. "Some Questions & Answers About Red State". Blog. Smodcast. Archived from the original on April 13, 2011. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  25. ^ "Kevin Smith: 'I Became A Stoner Because Of Seth Rogen'". MTV. February 9, 2011. Retrieved August 25, 2011.
  26. ^ a b "Kevin Smith's Online Rant Gets Heated Response From Film Critics". MTV. March 25, 2010. Retrieved August 5, 2010.
  27. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 28, 2010). "Kevin Smith thinks critics should have had to pay to see "Cop Out." But Kev, then they would REALLY have hated it". Twitter.

External linksEdit