Film Review: Cop Car

Ben Human
3 min readSep 14, 2022


Well, lookee — another fantastic movie that I’m absolutely sure nobody in my family will like, so now I have to tell you about it.

Image credit: Cop Car — Rotten Tomatoes

This is Cop Car, and what’s great about it is the script — not the story but how it’s put together, and not in what’s written, but more often what’s not.

In fact, let’s just dispense with the story altogether by calling it a series of unfortunate events, involving:

  • 2 American kids exploring the outskirts of their faintly atmospheric desert town;
  • a cop car;
  • its largely absent owner; and
  • two crooks in differing degrees of animation.

Get your write on

This is a movie for writers. What’s so fantastic about it is with what inexorable force, direction and appalling certainty of outcome it proceeds, purely by the actions of its characters, and to some degree their dialogue.

And what I find most refreshing about that is that there’s not a lick of exposition, the main reason I find Hollywood movies so tiresome. I’m sorry. It has to be said. Hollywood movies are fucking dumb.

In fact, there’s no dumbing down whatsoever, because everything about the proceedings is so irredeemably dumb already, and yet so intrinsic to the behaviour of two small-town kids out adventuring, a sheriff who got himself in the situation he’s in, an innocent passer-by, and the crooks who aren’t even the prime antagonists. What we have here is a genuinely inextricable multiparty car crash of a human tragicomedy, and none of it preventable.

It’s a thing of such pared-down beauty, I was probably on some mood upswing or other. But maybe not. I’m already making plans to see it a third time.

Let’s see. What else?

It’s a feature of film not to have the luxury of seamless descriptions and pontificating, but few movies have managed to overcome these restrictions and still sketched the inner motivations and character of their, well, characters as well as Cop Car has — merely by way of seemingly throwaway dialogue and inessential actions.