Bad Boys for Life parents guide

Bad Boys for Life Parent Guide

A boring, predictable movie filled with brutal police violence, lazy comic relief and as much profanity as the screenwriters could pack between inane car chases and illegal police shootings.

Overall D

Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are on the verge of retirement after years of regular (if destructively chaotic) service for the Miami PD. Those plans are put on hold when a bitter cartel boss puts out a hit on Mike...

Release date January 17, 2020

Violence D
Sexual Content C+
Profanity D
Substance Use D

Why is Bad Boys for Life rated R? The MPAA rated Bad Boys for Life R for strong bloody violence, language throughout, sexual references, and brief drug use.

Run Time: 123 minutes

Parent Movie Review

Detective Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) has been feeling older, not least because he has just become a grandfather. His attempts at a quiet retirement are put on hold, however, when his partner Mike Lowery (Will Smith) is nearly killed in an attempted revenge shooting. On the hunt for the shooter, Burnett and Lowery gang up with Rita (Paola Nunez) and her team of tech-savvy young cops. But before they get to the bottom of this rabbit hole, Lowery is going to have to confront some of the demons of his past…

Fairly early in the film, Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano) delivers a line which neatly summarizes the entire picture: “There’s nothing sadder than old men reliving their past.” Will Smith, although seemingly ageless, certainly needs to find better ways to prolong his career. What happened to powerful performances like 7 Pounds? I Am Legend was more action focused but still highlighted Smith’s talents. That being said, I completely understand why Martin Lawrence is here. He’s been in ten movies since the last Bad Boys, and not one of them has been especially successful.

So, does Bad Boys for Life miraculously resuscitate Martin Lawrence’s dying career? If it has the same effect on him that it had on me, it’s unlikely, seeing as the film put me in a near-comatose state. I forgot how to use my limbs entirely until the lady next to me got up for a bathroom break. The plot is as predictable as they come and the dialogue could have been written by a computer, leaving your brain free to wonder such things as: “I wonder if I’ll ever be able to move again” and “Time is relative right? So if this movie is two hours long, and I feel like it’s been three and a half months, how long will it be ‘til I get out of here?” Unfortunately, the movie drags on so long that your mental process moves from innocuous existential crises and onto profound despair before the credits roll. Then, to twist the knife further, scenes continue well into the credits as a form of slow torture to make you reconsider all your life choices; not just the purchase of this movie ticket.

Unfortunately, this film seems to be holding a moderately good grade on a couple of review-aggregator sites, so the sequel they’re hinting at in the credits may well become a reality. If so, I fully expect more of the same: brutal police violence, lazy comic relief, and as much profanity as you can pack between inane car chases and illegal police shootings. If so, I’m doing what Martin Lawrence does here - calling in a body double and having a donut in bed. If he can get paid for that, so can I. Right?

Directed by Adil El Arbi & Bilall Fallah. Starring Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, and Vanessa Hudgens. Running time: 123 minutes. Theatrical release January 17, 2020. Updated

Bad Boys for Life
Rating & Content Info

Why is Bad Boys for Life rated R? Bad Boys for Life is rated R by the MPAA for strong bloody violence, language throughout, sexual references, and brief drug use.

Violence: Dozens of individuals are shot, stabbed, blown up, crushed, set aflame, or impaled. A character uses a meat tenderizer on a man’s hand to coerce information from him. A person falls to his death from a great height, presumably having been pushed.
Sexual Content:   There are a number of sexual innuendos of varying levels of detail. Several women are shown in revealing outfits as servers in a nightclub.
Profanity: There are approximately 160 uses of profanity and coarse language, including 50 uses of a sexual expletive and 88 uses of a scatological term. There are dozens of uses of other moderate and mild profanities, as well as terms of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Adult characters are shown drinking in bars. An individual is shown snorting a significant quantity of cocaine.

Page last updated

Bad Boys for Life Parents' Guide

This movie cost 90 million dollars to make. Can you think of a better use for 90 million dollars than producing some high school sophomore’s creative writing attempt with a couple of aging action stars?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

Gemini Man also stars Will Smith as an aging killer with a bad case of guilt and regrets about his ill-spent life. It’s considerably less irritating, although not much more intelligent. At least it’s well shot - mostly.

Will Smith shines in the far more thoughtful I Am Legend.

For a more lighthearted law enforcement film that’s also family friendly, you can watch Paul Blart Mall Cop.