Box art for Dragnet (1987)

Dragnet (1987)

action & adventure, comedy

Just the facts: Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd star as unlikely partners in this hysterically funny action-comedy that pays homage to the famed original police drama of the '50s and '60s.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

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common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
Positive messages
0 out of 5
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Lots of naughty behavior, laughs in TV cop spoof.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that there are sexual shenanigans here, given a subplot about a millionaire porn merchant and a heroine stated to be a confirmed virgin. Pretty much nude is an exotic dancer wearing only nipple pasties and a thong. A storm of swear words issue from one female character old enough to be a grandmother (that's apparently the joke). Violent acts include bloodless gun violence, car crashes/police chases, and a modified tank as battering ram. A powerful priest with Jerry Falwell/Pat Robertson attributes turns out to be a lascivious, devil-worshipping master villain. His outdoor Satanist ritual looks like a big party (with Nazi rally overtones). There is a winking attitude towards drugs, drinking, and smoking. An older Dragnet exists on video -- also co-starring Harry Morgan -- but it's the original straight version, not this popular comedy.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the appeal of cop movies, TV shows, and other media, from the Dick Tracy comic strip all the way to CSI. Do they make kids want to be police officers? Ask some real-life officers if Joe Friday or other fictional characters inspired them to go into law enforcement. Or do they relate to any of these outlandish, outsized Hollywood versions at all? So kids get a full appreciation of Dan Aykroyd's Friday impersonation, check out some of the vintage TV show on DVD or streaming online.

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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Audience Reviews

3 stars

In this 80's classic, a pair of Detectives is assigned the case of stopping the P.A.G.A.N. (People Against Goodness and Normalcy) organization which is involved in some mysterious Satanic-styled rituals that are taking place on the outskirts of Los Angeles. They immediately clash as one officer (Dan Aykroyd) is a by-the-book officer all the way and the other, Tom Hanks is a goof-off slacker. Christopher Plummer is the slimy Reverend and Alexandra Paul is the virginal young beauty Connie Swail who is to about to be sacrificed by the cultists. With plenty of funny gags, this one is entertaining and worth a rental if you can just switch off your brains for about 106 mins.

- xxdebxx, Monday, March 29, 2010

2 stars

Not as bad as you think.

- EbertsLittleApprentice, Thursday, July 2, 2009

2 stars

Dan Aykroyd is perfectly cast as a uptight Detective, while Tom Hanks is mis-cast as his hip partner. Together they are out to prove that a famous reverend (Christoper Plummer) is the head of a cult and to bring him to justice. Hanks surprisingly only had two films that I know of in the 80's that were hits with critics and audiences and those films were of course Splash and Big. I think he did his best work in the 80's with those two films. Here he gets bad one liners and doesn't deliver them very good. Watching this film, it's hard to believe that he went on to be an Oscar winner. It's sad when Dan Aykroyd is more entertaining and is in better form than Tom Hanks but that's the case in Dragnet anyway. While the directors would have made a better Naked Gun movie, since the film feels like a Naked Gun film, except without Leslie Nielson and the laughs.

- jim222001us, Tuesday, February 16, 2010