Metascore
31

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 25
  2. Negative: 13 out of 25
  1. 75
    The film is profane. But who knew police brutality could play as a laughing matter?
  2. Entertaining and well done. Without losing its comic rhythm for a moment, it is also a withering spoof of black victimism and the corrupting effect of racial solidarity on the American legal system.
  3. A funny, raucous action comedy, effectively teams Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn in a film that's both laugh out loud funny and surprisingly subtle.
  4. It's only a notch above the routine, and it obeys all the conventions of its tired formula, but it also tones the anarchy with a serious edge and it works a surprisingly effective vein of race-relations satire.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    The picture is all Lawrence and Zahn, whose dynamics get something going, though not enough (please!) to spark a buddy sequel.
  6. Lawrence and Zahn generate enough comic tension and mayhem to jump-start this mass of action-comedy cliches into a fairly amusing show.
  7. 50
    Lawrence is often more irritating than funny, and it doesn't help that the direction is pedestrian and the screenplay dismal.
  8. Reviewed by: Scott Brown
    50
    The funny thing about Lawrence is he's often paired with a partner (e.g., ''Blue Streak,'' ''Bad Boys,'' etc.), yet has no aptitude for sharing the screen.
  9. 50
    The career of the lovably tense Zahn may benefit more from this movie than that of Lawrence, who’s funny, here and there, but who appears to be working at half speed.
  10. Reviewed by: Michael Miller
    50
    As the two cop manqués overcome their dearth of common sense to save the day, the film achieves a comic playfulness.
  11. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    50
    Comes off as a retro reprise of those slam-bang, buddy-buddy action-comedies that proliferated throughout the '80s in the wake of "48 HRS."
  12. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    40
    The cliched plot and unconvincing action sequences -- don't blend well with the comic scenes and make the film look painfully cheap.
  13. It's too bad the film never makes good on its early promise, but clearly, the rolling fireballs and flying bullets are the priority.
  14. 30
    Lawrence clamors for the spotlight. If he ever found a way to make desperation look like charisma, he'd be the funniest man in America.
  15. Has many more downs than ups, but this ragged action comedy, with Martin Lawrence and Steve Zahn as mismatched buddies, rings some outrageously funny changes on a deadly serious genre of amateur video that began with Rodney King.
  16. Martin Lawrence is all there is to National Security. And that's about two or three points out of a possible 10
  17. 25
    It's too bad Martin already made “What's the Worst That Could Happen?” The title really fits this one.
  18. Everything about National Security is so lazy and uninspired, it's hard to believe that director Dennis Dugan also made "Happy Gilmore," arguably Adam Sandler's funniest movie.
  19. 25
    Fails to meld suspense and farce or to bring even the wildest pursuits and smash-ups any visual sense of comedy.
  20. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    20
    The jokes are so tired and irritating in the film, I found myself anticipating the funny gags from the trailers because those were the only ones that were remotely humorous. In fact, I only laughed three times in the whole picture.
  21. In the final analysis though, the only real thing being smuggled in National Security is unwitting patrons' admission fees.
  22. 20
    To call Lawrence a poor man's Richard Pryor libels not just Pryor but also the 33 million Americans currently living under the poverty line.
  23. 20
    The plot is astoundingly senseless.
  24. Lacks the wit to do anything new and instead recycles tired jokes and attitudes.
  25. A sour story with a repellent lead character, deadly comic schtick and tin-eared direction to produce 90 minutes of sheer, plodding mirthlessness.
User Score
4.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 3 out of 6
  1. Oct 14, 2014
    2
    I'm a fan of Martin Lawrence and his works, but this is not one of them. One It's story is pointless and lacking depth, Second the writing is terrible. Don't blame Dugan for this wreck, he isn't the one writing this irritating production. Full Review »