Central Intelligence

Critics Consensus

Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson make for well-matched comic foils, helping Central Intelligence overcome a script that coasts on their considerable chemistry.

71%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 184

61%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 54,208
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Movie Info

The story follows a one-time bullied geek, Bob, who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent, coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of former "big man on campus," Calvin, now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he's getting into, it's too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than Calvin can count.

Cast

Dwayne Johnson
as Bob Stone
Kevin Hart
as Calvin Joyner
Amy Ryan
as Agent Pamela Harris
Tim Griffin
as Agent Stan Mitchell
Timothy John Smith
as Agent Nick Cooper
Sione Kelepi
as Young Robbie
Dylan Boyack
as Trevor - 17 Years Old
Megan Park
as Waitress
Slaine Jenkins
as Thugged Out
Annie Kerins
as Lady MC
Nate Richman
as Big Bro
Kumail Nanjiani
as Jared the Airport Security Guard
Phil Reeves
as Principal Kent
David Stassen
as Randy's Husband
Kyle Washburn
as Flunkie #2
Sarah K. Thurber
as Beautiful Restaurant Woman
Lawrence Koplin
as Dashing Restaurant Man
Rawson Marshall Thurber
as Handsome Pants-Catcher
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News & Interviews for Central Intelligence

Critic Reviews for Central Intelligence

All Critics (184) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (130) | Rotten (54)

  • This is a tongue-in-cheek buddy movie that's above average, but not too far above average.

    Oct 10, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kevin Maher

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Summer blockbusters used to be reliably homophobic but, thanks to Johnson, this one's approach to love and lust seems genuinely new wave.

    Jul 4, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Inevitably, the creepiness fades, the charm increases, and the film becomes progressively more bland and predictable as a result.

    Jul 1, 2016 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • This is a likable odd-couple action comedy from director and co-writer Rawson Marshall Thurber, who gave us Dodgeball.

    Jun 30, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • If the race were on to find 2016's best stupid buddy-caper comedy, Central Intelligence just took an early lead.

    Jun 30, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • The thin, disjointed thriller plot is little more than an excuse to show the characters reacting in opposed ways: Bob typically cruising through life-or-death situations, while Calvin freaks out.

    Jun 29, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Central Intelligence

  • 2d ago
    A decent buddy comedy that's motiv is as old as the old Hope & Crosby or even Laurel & Hardy movies (and perhaps older), to wit: the "leader" (Johnson) of the pair "innocently" suggests something that leads to the "comic" (Hart) getting into more trouble than he thought and thus freaking out, and there's the comedy. The stars handle their parts competently but they've got lots of help, namely Amy Ryan, Jason Bateman, and Aaron Paul, all as red herrings in this faux spy mystery. Actually this was better than I thought it was going to be.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2017
    Its anti-bullying message is a bit misguided and it never rises to comedic genius, but Central Intelligence makes good use of Kevin Hart, who tones down his usual heightened obnoxious behavior, and Dwayne Johnson, who is lovable but slightly forced in a role that requires him to be just a bit more uncool. It's a fun lark, with a bare-bones story. Rating: 58
    Bradley J Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2017
    Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star in the buddy comedy Central Intelligence. When Calvin meets up with an old high school friend he accidentally gets drawn into a covert CIA op to catch an international arms dealer. Johnson and Hart make for a good comedic duo (though Johnson does a lot of the heavy lifting). And for the most part the comedy is well-written and playful. But at times it gets a little too raunchy and overly stupid, and most of the characters are clichéd stereotypes. Yet while it's formulaic and predictable, there's some fun to be had in Central Intelligence.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 26, 2016
    First things first, much like Ride Along, this film's surprise success will definitely get us a sequel. That's just the way things are in Hollywood. They something that makes them a lot of money, compared to its budget at least, and they want to replicate that. It doesn't usually work from a creative standpoint, Ride Along 2 was a just a bad film. And I'm not saying that if we ever do get a Central Intelligence sequel, that it'll be a bad movie, but I think we should go in with tempered expectations, because it could very well be a repeat of the first film with only very minor changes. With that said, while I only gave this 3 stars, I found this movie to be a whole lot of fun to watch. But it is one of those movies, much like Ride Along, that depends solely on the chemistry between its two leads and not necessarily a great script that was written around them. Like Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe had phenomenal chemistry in the Nice Guys, but they also had a pretty fantastic script and dialogue to go along with that. And, as if it wasn't obvious, this movie isn't The Nice Guys in terms of quality or chemistry between its leads. It was never intended to be, though. This is something that's more light, silly fun. It goes without saying, though, that The Rock and Kevin Hart do have great chemistry together. They clearly had a blast working with each other and that adds more than you think, particularly in this type of film. But, as I mentioned, it's not like they had a great script to work with. There were definitely some funny lines, for sure, but the enjoyment I got from the film was pretty much all Rock and Kevin. If nothing else, Kevin and the Rock did a great job carrying this movie, because there's no way I should have enjoyed this as much as I actually did when you take into consideration that there's no real narrative to speak of. I mean they certainly try, but it's really just there to set up Kevin and The Rock for their next gag. I will say that one of the film's other weaknesses is the fact that they rely on Kevin Hart's screaming voice way too much. I'm not saying that it can't be funny, but constantly relying on it as a crutch sort of kills the joke. I find Kevin Hart to be really likable and he's a talented comedic actor, but he doesn't need to be screaming in my ear every five minutes. Maybe that's exaggerating a bit, but that's what it felt like at some points. There's some slightly intriguing body image issues, what with Rock's character being made fun of because of his weight in high school. They literally go nowhere with this outside of, maybe, one scene where Rock, being made fun of as an adult by one of the former school bullies, looks at himself in the mirror and he says himself like the same fat kid from school. They do go somewhere with that at the end, what with Rock giving a speech about always being yourself, which came across as corny as it sounds, but it's sort of weird to see such a goofy movie tackle, however brief it was, a serious topic like body image. It, honestly, felt a little out of place all things considered. I suppose it's done to give Bob, Rock's character, some edge. It was still weird. I'm not gonna say that the Rock is an amazing actor, because he's clearly not, but he's clearly gotten to the point where he's actually a pretty damn good actor given his limitations. He'll never be able to carry a serious drama on his own, but he's super charismatic, has an imposing presence and great delivery. Kevin Hart is Kevin Hart, I find him likable and entertaining when put in there with someone he can play off of. And he definitely got that with The Rock. Like I said, they're great together and, realistically speaking, they're the only reason you should even watch this film. The scripting isn't anything special, but the movie is still quite a lot of fun to watch if you're in the right mindset. I'd definitely recommend this as a rental for sure.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer

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