Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Roger Spottiswoode
Produced by Ivan Reitman
Joe Medjuck
Michael C. Gross
Written by Blake Snyder
William Osborne
William Davies
Music by Alan Silvestri
Cinematography Frank Tidy
Edited by Mark Conte
Lois Freeman-Fox
Northern Lights Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release dates
  • February 21, 1992 (1992-02-21)
Running time
87 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $45 million
Box office $70,611,210

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a 1992 American buddy cop comedy film directed by Roger Spottiswoode. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty. The film was released in the United States on February 21, 1992.

In 2006, Stallone said that this was the worst movie he ever did and that he regretted making the film.[1]


Joe Bomowski (Sylvester Stallone) is a tough cop. When his seemingly frail mother Tutti (Estelle Getty) comes to stay with him and progressively interferes in his life, it drives him crazy. After cleaning his gun with bleach and finding out she ruined it, she buys him an illegal MAC-10 machine pistol, where she witnesses the murder of one of the men that sells her the gun. While taken to the police station, she refuses to work with and starts poking around in his police cases. The gun purchased was part of a collection taken from a burned building, and the gun insurance money was received.

At the end, when Tutti is going back home, she recognizes a man at the airport. After he flees, Joe and Tutti follow him, where Tutti remembers that she saw him on America's Most Wanted for shooting his mother.



The film received extremely negative reviews, and has a 4% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 23 reviews. The Washington Post called it "your worst nightmare" but stated that "the concept is actually better for Stallone than the premises of his earlier awful romps, Rhinestone and Oscar."[2] Clifford Terry wrote in the Chicago Tribune that the film "plays like an extended sitcom-perhaps four episodes of She's the Sheriff" and also that "About two-thirds into Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot, Sylvester Stallone actually delivers the title line. That's how numbingly awful this is. Give it half a star for being in focus."[3] The film found more success on VHS and DVD.[4]

Both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert aggressively disliked the film and both gave it a thumbs down in their onscreen review of the film, with Ebert claiming it to have been "one of the worst movies he'd ever seen"; in his newspaper review, Ebert labeled it as "one of those movies so dimwitted, so utterly lacking in even the smallest morsel of redeeming value, that you stare at the screen in stunned disbelief. It is moronic beyond comprehension, an exercise in desperation during which even Sylvester Stallone, a repository of self-confidence, seems to be disheartened."[5] Siskel stated that "if the script of this picture were submitted to The Golden Girls television show staff it would be summarily dismissed as too flimsy for a half-hour sitcom. There is not one laugh nor surprising moment to be found, starting with the scene where Stallone and Getty happen upon a jumper atop a building and Getty manages to bring the man down safely using a bullhorn."[6]

It was also the winner of three Golden Raspberry Awards, for Stallone as Worst Actor, Getty as Worst Supporting Actress and the film earning Worst Screenplay.

Sylvester Stallone's reaction

Sylvester Stallone has stated that Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst film he had ever starred in.[7] In an interview with Ain't It Cool News, Stallone referred to it as "maybe one of the worst films in the entire solar system, including alien productions we’ve never seen", that "a flatworm could write a better script", and "in some countries – China, I believe – running [the movie] once a week on government television has lowered the birth rate to zero. If they ran it twice a week, I believe in twenty years China would be extinct."[8]

Box office

Despite the poor reviews, the film was somewhat successful at the box office. The film brought in only $28.4 million domestically but did a little better overseas with over $42.2 million internationally to a total of $70.6 million worldwide.

The film was mentioned when Stallone hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live in 1997; in one particular skit Stallone comes across someone in a terrible car accident (Norm Macdonald) who does not like any of his work and ridicules his films. As he lies dying, he mutters something quietly that only Stallone can hear, and when a passerby (Will Ferrell) asks what he said, Stallone is reluctant to say it until he is grilled some more, at which point he virulently yells "He said Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot...SUCKED!"

The title of The Simpsons episode "Stop! Or My Dog Will Shoot" is a reference to the film. That episode involves the Simpsons dog joining the Springfield Police Force after saving Homer from a corn maze.


  1. "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot". Washington Post. 1992-02-21. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  2. Terry, Clifford (1992-02-21). "'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot' Misses The Mark By A Mile". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  3. Stallone's Mom Boosts His DVD Sales imdb
  4. "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot". Chicago Sun Times. Archived from the original on 1999-05-08. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  5. Siskel, Gene (1992-02-21). "Stallone's Unfunny `Stop!` Shoots Down Creativity". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
  6. Rollings, Grant. "Sylvester Stallone gives his most candid interview ever". London: Sun. Retrieved 2010-09-10.
  7. "Stallone Q/A". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved 2012-08-12.
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