141 user 57 critic

Kindergarten Cop (1990)

PG-13 | | Action, Comedy, Crime | 21 December 1990 (USA)
A tough cop must pose as a kindergarten teacher in order to locate a dangerous criminal's ex-wife, who may hold the key to putting him behind bars.


Ivan Reitman


Murray Salem (story), Murray Salem (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
1,553 ( 1,002)
4 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Arnold Schwarzenegger ... Kimble
Penelope Ann Miller ... Joyce
Pamela Reed ... Phoebe
Linda Hunt ... Miss Schlowski
Richard Tyson ... Crisp
Carroll Baker ... Eleanor Crisp
Joseph Cousins ... Dominic
Christian Cousins ... Dominic
Cathy Moriarty ... Sylvester's Mother
Park Overall ... Samantha's Mother
Jayne Brook ... Zach's Mother
Richard Portnow ... Captain Salazar
Tom Kurlander Tom Kurlander ... Danny
Alix Koromzay ... Cindy
Betty Lou Henson Betty Lou Henson ... Keisha's Mother


After numerous fruitless attempts, the veteran LAPD Detective, John Kimble, has one last chance to put behind bars once and for all the elusive drug kingpin, Cullen Crisp, who is trying to find the whereabouts of his son and his ex-wife who run away with millions of dollars. In high hopes of picking up clues, the massive officer finds himself at a bustling elementary school in Astoria, Oregon, posing as a substitute kindergarten teacher; however, to keep up the ruse without blowing his cover, John must keep under control a noisy classroom full of intimidating five-year-old adversaries. Can Kimble show them who's boss? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


He's the toughest undercover cop in LA. If you're bad he'll know it. If you're hiding something he'll find out. If you cheat he can tell. Now... See more »


Action | Comedy | Crime


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Arnold Schwarzenegger claimed that when he first started working with the kids he "was sweating. I felt like the character in the movie." See more »


The children of Kimble's class misquote the Gettysburg Address as OUR FOREFATHERS; the correct line is OUR FATHERS. See more »


Joseph: [to Phoebe] Boys have a penis, and girls have a vagina.
Phoebe: [to Kimble] Well, I see you've covered the basics.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film title logo appears at the end of the closing credits See more »

Alternate Versions

The UK cinema version was cut by 19 secs by the BBFC for a 12 certificate with edits to footage of: a woman being slapped in the face, a head-butt, a man's head being hit against a car door, a baseball attack on a woman being reduced to one hit and the subsequent sight of the bat aimed at her midriff, and a reduction in gunshots (from 5 to 2). The cuts were fully restored in the 15 rated video release. See more »


Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Arnold Schwarzenegger Quotes (2015) See more »


The Party Starts Now!
Music by Andy Shernoff
Performed by Manitoba's Wild Kingdom
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User Reviews

Reasonable entertainment
11 January 2004 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

John Kimble is a lonely, driven cop who has been tracking drug lord Cullen Crisp for years. When he finally catches him, the case requires the testimony of Crisp's ex-wife who has disappeared. Kimble and his partner O'Hara follow the only lead they have to find the wife - the name of a school in Oregon where she has been seen. When O'Hara gets sick, Kimble has to fill in on his hardest undercover assignment yet - as a kindergarten teacher.

Looking back on it, this was one of several films that saw Schwarzenegger opening up his resume to become more than just an action star. Here the film plays on his personae as a tough guy (as all his comedies do), and it works pretty well all said. The plot mixes comedy and a thriller element reasonably well without doing either that well. The comedy relies on cute kids doing things and Arnold looking out of place in the school. While it is rarely laugh out loud funny, it is still inoffensive and amusing. The thriller element is average and never really convinces as bookends on a comedy.

While neither strand works that well, they both shine like stars when viewed next to a romantic subplot that at best is unconvincing and at worst is lazy and smaltzy. It is written with so much convenience and ease that it never convinces and the film stutters for it's inclusion. Schwarzenegger is OK in the lead role - he doesn't need a real comic touch here because he is just playing his usual role but in a different setting, that brings the comedy (such as it is) rather than his performance. Reed is cheeky and pretty funny, Miller is just quite plain and never really makes me believe the romantic subplot. Tyson is a pretty poor baddie, while Baker is just plain poor.

Overall this is a pretty average film that has just about enough going for it to be entertaining even if it doesn't really excel itself as either a comedy or a thriller. Some reasonable laughs and the chance to see the Governor of California sending himself up.

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English | Spanish | German

Release Date:

21 December 1990 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kindergarten Cop See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,918,560, 23 December 1990

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (DeLuxe)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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