Critics Consensus

While over-the-top and gory, Robocop is also a surprisingly smart sci-fi flick that uses ultraviolence to disguise its satire of American culture.



Total Count: 64


Audience Score

User Ratings: 226,211
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Movie Info

In near-future Detroit, a murdered police officer is resurrected as an experimental crime-fighting cyborg named Robocop. Tormented by memories of his past, he soon deviates from his law enforcement program to seek revenge on his killers. This highly successful sci-fi action film balances ultraviolence with black comedy and cutting satire.


Peter Weller
as Officer Alex J. Murphy/RoboCop
Nancy Allen
as Officer Anne Lewis
Ronny Cox
as Dick Jones
Kurtwood Smith
as Clarence J. Boddicker
Miguel Ferrer
as Robert Morton
Robert DoQui
as Sgt. Reed
Ray Wise
as Leon Nash
Felton Perry
as Johnson
Paul McCrane
as Emil Antonowsky
Dan O'Herlihy
as The Old Man
Mario Machado
as TV Newscaster
Leeza Gibbons
as TV Newscaster
Lee de Broux
as Drug Dealer
Del Zamora
as Kaplan
Calvin Jung
as Steve Minh
Michael Gregory
as Lt. Hedgecock
Fred Hice
as Bobby
Charles Carroll
as Bail Bondsman
Kevin Page
as Kinney, OCP marketing executive
Tyrees Allen
as Starkweather
Karen Radcliffe
as Technician #1
Darryl Cox
as Technician #2
Jerry Haynes
as Dr. McNamara
Mike Moroff
as Hophead
Jo Livingston
as Grocery Pop
Diane Robin
as Chandra
Angie Bolling
as Murphy's Wife
J. Michael Hunter
as Peter the Homeowner
Bill Farmer
as Justin Ballard-Watkins
David Packer
as Emergency Doctor
Jesse D. Goins
as Joe P. Cox
Spencer Prokop
as Gas Station Attendant
S.D. Nemeth
as Bixby Snyder
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News & Interviews for RoboCop

Critic Reviews for RoboCop

All Critics (64) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (7)

  • Verhoeven's strong suits have always been visual energy and a Rabelaisan realism: a gutsy, jovial way of ripping through social systems.

    Feb 11, 2014 | Full Review…
  • RoboCop relies for most of its impact -- and, more disturbingly, for much of its comedy -- on an absurd exaggeration of physical force.

    Feb 11, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • When the law-enforcing RoboCop cleans up corrupt Motown, his victory is satisfying because he's got machinery and morals on his side. RoboCop is where high-tech meets High Noon.

    Feb 11, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Like the tormented figure at its center, this movie combines the mechanical with the human. And though much of the film is made up of spare parts from cop shows, exploitation flicks and comic books, it nevertheless comes to life.

    Feb 11, 2014 | Full Review…
  • A sci-fi action film with a silly title that turned out to be a biting satire of big business practices.

    Jul 14, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • There's a brooding, agonized quality to the violence that almost seems subversive, as if Verhoeven were both appalled and fascinated by his complicity in the toxic action rot.

    Jun 5, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for RoboCop

  • Apr 25, 2016
    Paul Verhoeven's 1987 film "RoboCop" is at times bloody, at other times very poignant encompassing many themes. Its humorous at many times in the film in its portrayal of the media and consumerism. There are themes of corporate greed, privatization and capitalism present in the film that give it a timely factor. It may have been made in the conservative decade of President Reagan but the film is just as important now as it was then. But do I like this film because of my own political ideologies? I'm against privatization of certain government programs and it's definitely a bad idea to privatize the police force. When Detroit's police force is completely underfunded, the mayor signs away total control to a corporation called Omni Consumer Products (OCP). This causes a bit of conflict of interest if you think about it, what deeds could the corporation get away with if they pay and own the police? They attack the military industrial complex with Dick Jones's (Ronny Cox) ambitious attempt to get the ED-209 up and running and working so he can sell countless numbers of the product for use in the military. When this fails, that's when a young businessman with ambitions of climbing up the corporate ladder suggests the "RoboCop" program. They just needed a volunteer when cop and family man Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) is gruesomely gunned down by Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and his gang. Murphy then becomes RoboCop and he is designed to serve the public trust, protect the innocent and uphold the law. His fourth objective is to never arrest a OCP executive. RoboCop doesn't remember who he was but glimpses of his past come back to him and his partner Annie Lewis (Nancy Allen) recognizes him by a trick he does with his gun his son asked him to do off a kids' show. This film is very much an attack of the conservative era of Reagan's presidency and corporate greed.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 03, 2016
    Gruesome but fun and smart. Robocop is a well thought out film that features a cool premise, spectacular special effects and action scenes, as well as having some good performances.
    Mr N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2014
    I'd say that this isn't extreme sci-fi, because it makes sense that Detroit would have something this crazy, but Detroit has to have the money and intelligence to do this to begin with. You can say I'm stereotyping, but they set this film in Detroit, then shot in Pennsylvania and Texas, so even the filmmakers knew that they probably shouldn't take their chances if they're going to be talking some trash about Detroit. Seriously though, Paul Verhoeven went far into the past in "Flesh+Blood", and now he's going to the near future with "Cybernetics+Blood... Like, a Lot of Blood". He is one crazy Dutchman, but hey, he was born in Amsterdam, so the first bit of air that he breathed got him a little tripped out, I'm sure, although, this might be a little too surreal for him. He didn't even come up with this story, but he just to have helped in its inception, when he was hanging out with Edward Neumeier and Michael Miner, reading some "Judge Dredd" when his American buddies asked him to hand over some of that homeland hash. Man, I'd hate to be high while watching this film, because, when sober, I'm scared enough by its being set in Detroit; never mind that it's about a cyborg cop killing people in startlingly gory ways. Eh, well, it's still fairly entertaining, although it stands to settle down, certainly not when it comes to development. This should-be simple story is coming at you from various angles, from the cops to the scientists, and, to a lestter extent, the criminals, yet most all of these branches fail to go fleshed out enough for you to get all that firm of a grip on some sense of humanity, which you'd think shouldn't be too big of a deal to this sort of fluffy affair. As a matter of fact, there is a potential for depth in this film which goes reflected in a surprising intelligence that almost secures this subject matter as grounded in its own reality, thus, when things revert back to over-the-top, '80s action fluff, it's hard to not be worn down by the cheese, which derives from total lapses in believability, and unsubtle dialogue. Of course, if nothing else waters down the sophistication of this film, it's the violence, whose gory spots are few and far between, but rarely more than gratuitous and almost overwrought with a shock value which even loses a sense of satirization. Unrealized tones and graphic imagery betray the tastes of this film, and that's about as disconcerting as the lapses in realization with the originality, because as all around unique as the subject matter is, the plot hits some tropes and is ultimately predictable, so much so that there's no denying that this film is not as juicy as the filmmakers seem to want it to be. There's really not that much to criticize here, and that's largely because there's not much to talk about at all with this film, whose story is ultimately thin in depth, though not entirely so in concept. There really is a lot of potential here, and in terms of potential for action and fun, this film goes all the way, but it doesn't really go any further than that, being an ultimately fluffy flick with no true depth to exposition or tone. Nevertheless, the fact of the matter is that the film is plenty of fun, even if it's not quite as thorough in its exploration of intriguing subject matter as it could have been. There is a certain potential to this classic, if formulaic revenge story which doubles as a portrait on humanity within progress' attempts to defy of it, but really, this is ultimately a fluffy portrait on crime of the future as seen through the eyes of some dude who dies and is mechanically restored as the ideal figure of law enforcement, and such a fun idea is admittedly rich with originality, even if it's not exactly rich with depth. Still, if there is some sophistication to this story concept, then Michael Miner and Edward Neumeier milk it as best they can with a script of limited realization, but generally plenty of unexpected intelligence, with a well-drawn and, for what it is, buyable sci-fi mythology, flavored up by memorable set pieces. Alas, the script offers some seriously thin characterization, although yet another surprise stands in the characters' convincing portrayals, with supporting characters and the, of course, much more subtle and, at times, unexpectedly powerful Peter Weller delivering on enough charisma to give this film some humanity. The performances are memorable, as are the visuals, because, at the very least, this film showcases some technical proficiency, through dated, yet well-conceived effects which hold up well enough to give the film a distinctive look, and to compliment the action. Yes, indeed, when it comes to action, this film really flourishes, getting a little too over-the-top at times, maybe even a touch gory, yet still never letting up on tight staging and a booming intensity that, when backed by the aforecited technical proficiency, results in some solid shoot-outs that go well-orchestrated by Paul Verhoeven. Really, Verhoeven can be thanked for livening up the film in a lot of ways, because even though he is by no means consistently subtle, he does have some subtle touches to add to a sense of intelligence which punctuates consistently tight scene structuring which allows entertainment value to thrive. Again, if this film is nothing else, it's a lot of fun, which is good, because it really isn't much of anything else, although that is enough to make the final product a thoroughly entertaining and memorable action flick, despite some loss of what potential there is. Overall, a shortage on characterization and an unevenness in tone, in addition to some gratuitously gory occasions, fluff up what depth there is to a sometimes formulaically plotted and dramatically thin story, but there is enough intrigue and originality to the story, wit the scripting, charisma to the acting, proficiency to the effects, thrills to the action, and liveliness to the direction to make Paul Verhoeven's "RoboCop" a fun, if flawed classic in sci-fi action. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Feb 23, 2014
    A smart political satire disguised as a comic book revenge movie that combines hilarious dark humor, ultraviolence and science fiction without tonal problems, and it is a wonder to see that, even though a product of its time, it is still thought-provoking and able to entertain today.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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