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Kindergarten Cop (1990)

PG-13  |   |  Action, Comedy, Crime  |  21 December 1990 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 101,675 users   Metascore: 61/100
Reviews: 105 user | 44 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

A tough cop is given his most difficult assignment ever: to masquerade as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a drug dealer.



(story), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sylvester's Mother
Joseph Cousins ...
Christian Cousins ...
Samantha's Mother
Zach's Mother
Tom Kurlander ...
Betty Lou Henson ...
Keisha's Mother


John Kimble is a tough city cop who's been on the trail of drug dealer Cullen Crisp for years. He finally tracks Crisp down but it seems the only person that can testify against him is his ex-wife. The problem is she's disappeared and all Kimble knows is the name of the school in Oregon where her son attends. When things don't quite go to plan, Kimble finds he has to go undercover on his toughest assignment yet - Kindergarten teacher! Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Go ahead, you tell him you didn't do your homework. See more »


Action | Comedy | Crime


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un detective en el kinder  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)


$91,457,688 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Angela Bassett makes a cameo as a stewardess. See more »


When Kimble tells all of the Kindergarteners to find a toy and bring it to the carpet, one boy gets his and sits on the carpet. In the next shot, we see him at the toy box getting a toy and sitting on the carpet again. See more »


Zach's Father: You must be the new teacher.
[Puts out his hand to shake Kimble's hand, but Kimble pushes the guy against his car]
Detective John Kimble: You hit a kid, I hit you.
Zach's Father: You bastard.
[Kimble blocks his punch and Kimble punches the guy in the stomach, then grabs him by the shirt and about to punch the guy in the face, but looks back to the kids and the principle]
Detective John Kimble: [Lets go of the guy] You're not worth it. I'm pressing charges against you.
See more »


Referenced in The Whitest Kids U'Know: Episode #3.12 (2009) See more »


La Manito
Music by Kinito Méndez
Performed by Alfonso 'Pochy' Vasquez y su Cocoband (as Pochi y su Cocoband)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

This movie should be so bad, and yet...
14 January 2004 | by (No VA) – See all my reviews

So I'm watching KINDERGARTEN COP in a bit of a stupor because the remote control is too far for me to reach when I suddenly realize something amazing: This movie is fantastic. In the calculus of Hollywood dreck, KINDERGARTEN COP doesn't add up. Take 1 muscle-bound action hero, a dozen too-cute kids and a plot so contrived it makes an episode of any television sit-com look downright plausible and you should have a mess fit only for release straight to video in Third World nations--do not pass "Go" (or your local metroplex) or collect $200. In fact, I would love to meet both the person who pitched this idea and the studio head who gave it the green light:

Pitchman: "Imagine MARY POPPINS without the namby-pamby animation and music and twice the butt-kicking! Oh, and instead of Dick Van Dyke faking a British accent we'll have Arnold Schwarzenegger faking intelligible dialog!" Studio Exec: "I love it! Here's umpteen million dollars to get it made!"

And the freakin' movie works! It really does. The script is filled with some great lines (My favorite, of course: "It's not a tumor!"), sweet characters and some low-key acting from the principles that keeps the story from becoming maudlin. This is one of maybe three movies I can think of that I would be comfortable watching with my parents, minor relatives or beer-drinking buddies. (Coincidentally, another one of the three is GHOSTBUSTERS, also an Ivan Reitman flick.) It has bloodless action, quotable lines and an ending that is satisfying. It just shouldn't exist. Maybe the fact that it does exist proves the William Goldman line about Hollywood: "Nobody knows nothing."

Take some advice from your Uncle Guy: If you're stuck with the kids or a date you don't know and you need to sit at home and watch a movie, put in KINDERGARTEN COP. You won't be disappointed, and you just might like it. And this advice comes from a big curmudgeon.

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