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The Spy Next Door (2010)


Average Rating: 3.5/10
Reviews Counted: 90
Fresh: 11
Rotten: 79

Critics Consensus: Lacking a script funny enough to cover up for Jackie Chan's fading physical gifts, The Spy Next Door fails on every conceivable level.

Average Rating: 3/10
Reviews Counted: 26
Fresh: 1
Rotten: 25

Critics Consensus: Lacking a script funny enough to cover up for Jackie Chan's fading physical gifts, The Spy Next Door fails on every conceivable level.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 105,878


Movie Info

Reminiscent of Kindergarten Cop, with a dash of Spy Kids, The Spy Next Door blends together an entertaining mixture of family fun and martial-arts comedy styling to form a familiar story that once again reminds us that even hardened action heroes have a soft side. Jackie Chan stars as Bob Ho, an international spy on loan to the CIA who gives up his job in hopes of leading a so-called normal life with his next-door-neighbor girlfriend and her rambunctious brood. There's nothing in Spy that the … More

PG (for sequences of action violence and some mild rude humor)
Action & Adventure , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Jim Greer , Jonathan Bernstein , Gregory Poirier
In Theaters:
May 18, 2010
Box Office:
Lionsgate - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Spy Next Door

All Critics (95) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (79) | DVD (6)

Even the outtakes barely raise a smile.

Full Review… | March 19, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

At some point, the social mores that functionally banned most other forms of ethnic stereotyping will catch up with the Slavs, a sad day indeed for middling screenwriters.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Chan's comedic gifts and still-nimble moves are wasted in a string of unimaginative household calamities and practical jokes.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

As for Mr. Chan, he has some passably choreographed bits with folding chairs, a bicycle and, later, some pots and pans at Gillian's house. But it's hardly enough to redeem -- or even make bearable -- this half-hearted hodgepodge.

January 15, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

The script -- which took three people to write -- is barely coherent, and it's unclear whether Brian Levant was even on set when he directed. All that's left for us to enjoy are the action scenes, and frankly most of those are a little depressing.

Full Review… | January 15, 2010
New York Daily News
Top Critic

If the lazy filmmakers don't care enough about their movie to offer at least one single original idea, then you shouldn't care enough to go see it.

Full Review… | February 10, 2012

This film plays it too safe and brings you only a smidgeon of charm and laughter.

Full Review… | October 22, 2010

An uncomfortable journey for everyone involved.

Full Review… | August 9, 2010

Though mixing espionage and family values in unraveling dysfunctional behavior among a bratty brood of siblings may be a stretch, Jackie Chan makes the most of it in his latest caper targeting unruly kids.

Full Review… | May 30, 2010

This is the broad, silly kiddie exercise it appears to be.

Full Review… | May 17, 2010


Full Review… | May 14, 2010
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

If you're still awake by the end credits, Chan's out-takes are sadly the funniest thing in this inane, silly and below-par effort. This one is for kids only.

Full Review… | April 2, 2010
Daily Record [UK]

The woeful screenplay, the mundane direction, by Brian Levant, and the indifferent acting all combine to sink a stupid plot which should never have got off the ground.

Full Review… | April 1, 2010
At the Movies (Australia)

[The movie] is [likable], bringing a peppy energy to Bob's segue from international spy to babysitter.

Full Review… | March 25, 2010
Moving Pictures Magazine

The slapstick comedy will amuse a young audience, but their parents will find it tedious.

Full Review… | March 25, 2010
FILMINK (Australia)

Definitely one for the kids to watch on their own when it comes out on DVD.

March 22, 2010
Little White Lies

Chan has just enough friendly charm to transcend this rubbish.

Full Review… | March 22, 2010
This is London

Tongue-in-cheek entertainment...

Full Review… | March 22, 2010
Radio Times

[It] may be a sign that age has finally caught up with this once most agile of action heroes.

Full Review… | March 22, 2010

A movie that posits Billy Ray Cyrus as a techno-genius and allows the baddies to get away with Russian accents that would put most meerkats to shame.

Full Review… | March 22, 2010
Sky Movies

It starts slowly and ends very predictably. In fact, the bloopers which come before the end credits are probably the best thing about it -- and that says a lot.

Full Review… | March 22, 2010
Sun Online

The results are always less than hilarious.

Full Review… | March 22, 2010
Daily Mirror [UK]

Only Chan's charm saves it.

Full Review… | March 22, 2010
Daily Mail [UK]

The closing credit outtakes are the best part of this feeble effort.

Full Review… | March 22, 2010
Daily Express

When people moan about the world's worst film-makers, the names Uwe Boll and Joel Schumacher invariably come up. If Brian Levant has escaped such infamy, it's only by sticking under the radar with kiddie-litter.

Full Review… | March 19, 2010
Times [UK]

Audience Reviews for The Spy Next Door


a silly premise and corny script actually works for a film like this. chan is fun to watch as always and my kids enjoyed it. an average and enjoyable family action comedy.

danny d

Super Reviewer

26/02/2011 (DVD)

A family buzz! Definitely a winner for the occasional family night in. Enjoyed it very much, the whole martial-art comedy thing is a plus and Jackie Chan is the right ingredient for that. This won't win any 'Oscar" but it will extract a giggle somewhere.

I don't think I could watch this alone, its not that kind of movie to soak in, it's more of a groupie flick where you don't really have to concentrate while you watch it because everything is easy to catch and predictability levels are heightened due to the fact that this plot has been done several times but still... a fun time goodie for the clan.

A one-time fun time experience for me but a definite recommendation for all. Honestly there are times in this flick where I'm like "I can't believe they left that line in or that scene" but I guess that's why I enjoyed it more... I sort like crap like that, it just makes me wonder and laugh and think whether they did that on purpose. I don't know?

EightThirty .

Super Reviewer

I have seen hundreds of movies go bad. I've seen plenty try and cram a ham-fisted saccharine, entirely phony message about family values or whatever hackneyed lesson needs to be delivered with the subtlety of a sledgehammer. Rarely have I seen a movie that tries to cram in EVERY banal family message possible into one exasperated running time. There was one point where I counted three clichéd platitudes in a row. Rarely have I seen a movie fail at comedy so badly, even the generous definition of comedy in family films, a subgenre that haunts all those who crossover into it. Rarely have I seen one single family film try to do so much and succeed so breathtakingly little. The Spy Next Door is that movie. Jackie Chan stars as a retired Chinese super spy who the American government wants to keep contracting. He's also dating his neighbor (Amber Valetta) who has three rambunctious kids that fall into easy slots (surly teenager smarting from parent's divorce, dweeby tech kid trying to learn to stand up to bullies, precocious little tyke who makes a mess). Chan agrees to watch over them for a weekend to convince those kids they should give him a shot, or else it's splitsville between he and the mom. It's the Vin Diesel Pacifier movie but done with even less finesse, if possible. The comedy is nonexistent, which is saying something for being as broad as it is, the physical action shows how badly Chan is aging, and the plot is painfully predictable. This is just a sad, uncomfortable viewing experience; it reeks of desperation and despondency. No one looks to be enjoying themselves for a single second. That's probably because The Spy Next Door is a vacuum of fun; it's lazy, incompetent, but worst of all, devoid of any effort to be something other than a mind-numbing, head-scratching waste of 90 minutes.

Nate's Grade: D-

Nate Zoebl

Super Reviewer


it was just a nice family friendly action comedy and i enjoyed it quite well

michael e.
Michael Edwards

Super Reviewer

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