Box art for The Other Guys

The Other Guys

action & adventure, comedy


Two mismatched New York City detectives seize an opportunity to step up like the city's top cops whom they idolize -- only things don't quite go as planned.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    79%
  • Audience Score
    59%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 13
Sex
3 out of 5
Violence
3 out of 5
Consumerism
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
1 out of 5
Language
3 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5

Quirky buddy comedy mixes action, some raunchy stuff.

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.

what families can talk 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 reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    79%
    reviews counted: 20
    see all The Other Guys reviews
  • Audience

    59%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: The Other Guys is most authentically itself when it indulges in a free-form but nonetheless highly disciplined silliness that has the effect of dissolving, rather than piquing, whatever worldly anger or frustration you may be harboring.

- A.O. Scott, New York Times, Friday, August 6, 2010

Fresh: Through it all, Ferrell is as Ferrell does. He's a non sequitur with frizz.

- Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle, Friday, August 6, 2010

Fresh: This is a startling late-summer surprise that's hysterically funny when it's not falling on its face.

- Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com, Friday, August 6, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Funny movie about two goofy cops who try to solve a financial fraud crime. It's a bit tongue and cheek about large corporations being bailed out. When the two hero cops The Rock and Samuel L Jackson die in the line of duty, the unlikely duo Will Ferrell and Mark Walberg step up. It also stars Michael Keaton and Eva Mendes. The scene where Mark goes to Will's house and meets Eva is very funny. It is. an usual role for Mark Walberg

- thmtsang, Thursday, October 21, 2010

2 stars

"I'm like a peacock, you gotta let me fly!" Over the decades, the buddy-cop action subgenre has been exploited and parodied countless times, leaving the distinct impression that there's little left to do with it. Additionally, if you had the misfortune of witnessing Kevin Smith's Cop Out earlier in 2010, you could be forgiven for believing there's nothing left to do with the subgenre. And alas, 2010's The Other Guys - despite being the fourth Adam McKay/Will Ferrell collaboration (after Anchorman, Talladega Nights and Step Brothers) - is further evidence of this. Credit where credit is due, though: The Other Guys is far more tolerable than Cop Out, as it's actually funny from time to time and it does not suffer from Kevin Smith's pedestrian directorial style. Still, there are not enough laughs here to sustain the movie for its full 105-minute runtime. Over-plotted and longwinded, The Other Guys begins with promise before gradually wearing out its welcome. At the centre of the picture is Will Ferrell as Allen Gamble; a buttoned-up, detective version of the star's proverbial man-child persona who's perfectly happy handling paperwork at the NYPD. He's partnered with disgraced hothead Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) who's dying for some action, but Allen is too cautious to place himself in danger. Meanwhile, the two hotshot stars of the NYPD - P.K. Highsmith (Jackson) and Christopher Danson (Johnson) - are killed, and Terry perceives this as a chance to prove he has what it takes to be out on the streets again. After forcing Allen to join him, the two become entangled in a complex case of financial fraud. They look to a shady moneyman David Ershon (Coogan) for answers, only to find a wall of bruisers and criminals determined to end their investigation. And, in true buddy cop film fashion, the mismatched partners reluctantly begin to bond. The Other Guys is unsurprisingly riddled with clichs. It would not be a buddy-cop movie unless the protagonists are reprimanded by their captain and are compelled to investigate on their own. It also would not be a buddy cop movie without rival detectives on the force. If writers McKay and Chris Henchy did something interesting or creative with the formula (like 2007's Hot Fuzz) there would not be a problem. But alas, The Other Guys is deficient in wit and creativity. It's merely a formulaic buddy-cop actioner with an insane bunch of characters. Sure, it's funny in the moment if everyone is insane and random, but the material is too forgettable. See, the movie seems oddly restrained and has an eye towards realism in the way it half-heartedly explores the relationships of the protagonists. It therefore never feels safe enough to run carefree and be monumentally stupid, and thus it's never even close to reaching the dizzying comic heights of Anchorman. Arguably, the material would have been far superior with an R-rating and the freedom to be edgy. For its first 40 or 50 minutes, The Other Guys is one of the funniest releases of 2010. Admittedly, this is not saying much considering other "comedies" which have come down the pipeline during the year (Tooth Fairy, The Spy Next Door, Cop Out), but the first half of The Other Guys is truly hilarious, with a rapid-fire stream of jokes and amusing plot detours. However, for the film's final half, plotting takes precedence over the comedy. Added to this, the ins & outs of Ershon's scheme - and the deeds of those hiding behind the curtain - are almost indecipherable. Either the screenplay was written poorly, or the plot is not interesting enough for a viewer to be bothered to follow it. At best, the plot is an interruption, and you'll only be willing to sit through the drab explanations of the evil schemes in order to get to the funny bits. Running at a bit over 100 minutes, the film is simply too long-winded and was not imbued with sufficient comic energy to maintain interest. As a consequence, the film becomes tedious by its climax. It does not help that McKay's handling of the shootouts and action scenes is quite subpar (one particular shootout in an office is incomprehensible). Stars Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg certainly feel like an odd couple, and this is why they're perfect for the roles of Allen and Terry (respectively). Ferrell relied a lot on overacting and being a man-child as per usual, but this is a positive if you enjoy Ferrell's comedic instincts. Alongside him, Wahlberg slipped into his straight man role with ease. Sure, anyone could have played Terry since it's a generic, thankless role, yet Wahlberg did a solid job. Special note should additionally be given to the side-splitting Michael Keaton, who truly shines as the TLC-quoting police captain. Keaton is well-suited to the Ferrell/McKay sensibility, and is the film's comic highlight. Meanwhile, Eva Mendes is effective as Allen's gorgeous wife, and Damon Wayans Jr. and Rob Riggle are passable as the precinct rivals. I understand why guys like Ferrell and McKay enjoy making these types of flicks. Wahlberg even spells it out for us at one stage: it was fun playing cops and robbers as kids, and now it's even more fun being paid to play with real guns and blow shit up. The problem is, that was the point of Hot Fuzz as well, which was among the greatest movies of the noughties. In comparison to Hot Fuzz, The Other Guys is subpar, lazy and simply lacking. Worse, you will probably forget about it a few hours after seeing it, as there are no crackling one-liners or interesting plot twists. The theatrical trailer for the movie showed 75% of the funny bits, and hence it's a more appropriate option to enjoy the trailer rather than endure the full 100 minutes. Look, the film has its moments, but there are not enough.

- PvtCaboose91, Friday, October 8, 2010

4 stars

This film is GREAT! So funny at times and it was really great to see Ferrell back on form. Its been a long time since he has been genuinely funny in a lead role. Wahlberg is the real suprise though, after "Lovely Bones" he proved he could do drama and his small role in "Date Night" gave a clue to his comic abilities. This though goes a long way to making his mark on comedy movies and hopefully will lead to more roles. I could see a sequel to this and hope that if they do, they emply some good comic writes.

- stuartb1234, Friday, September 24, 2010