Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a 1992 American buddy cop action comedy film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and starring Sylvester Stallone and Estelle Getty. The film was released in the United States on February 21, 1992. The film received mostly negative reviews, and was a box office bomb.

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRoger Spottiswoode
Produced by
Written by
Music byAlan Silvestri
CinematographyFrank Tidy
Edited by
  • Mark Conte
  • Lois Freeman-Fox
Northern Lights Entertainment[1]
Distributed byUniversal Pictures[1]
Release date
  • February 21, 1992 (1992-02-21) (United States)
Running time
87 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Box office$70.6 million

In 2006, in response to a question about the films Stallone wished he had not done, this film was the first one he mentioned.[2]


Sergeant Joseph Andrew Bomowski (Sylvester Stallone) is a tough cop. His seemingly frail mother Tutti (Estelle Getty) comes to stay with him and progressively interferes in his life, driving him crazy. After cleaning his gun with bleach and finding out she ruined it, Tutti buys him an illegal MAC-10 machine pistol, and witnesses the murder of one of the men who sold her the gun. Tutti is taken to the police station to give a statement, and starts poking around in Joe's cases. She learns the gun she purchased was part of a collection taken from a burned building, and the gun insurance money was received.

On her way back home, Tutti recognizes a man at the airport. He flees when she and Joe follow him, and Tutti remembers she saw him on America's Most Wanted for shooting his mother.



Development and writing

Sylvester Stallone signed onto the film based on rumors that Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested in the lead. In October 2017, Schwarzenegger confirmed a rumor that, knowing the script was "really bad", he had publicly faked interest in starring for producers to lure Stallone.[3]


Box office

The film brought in $28.4 million in the US and over $42.2 million internationally for a total of $70.6 million worldwide.[4]

Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[5]

Critical reception

The film has an 8% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 26 reviews. The critical consensus reads: "Thoroughly witless and thuddingly unfunny, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot gives its mismatched stars very little to work with - and as a result, they really don't work."[6] Rita Kempley of 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."[7] 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."[8] Michael Wilmington of the Los Angeles Times wrote that the film seemed like Stallone's response to Schwarzenegger's turn to comedies like Kindergarten Cop and added, "This is another 'high-concept' marketing hook job—a slick, slow-witted, shiny, 100% predictable movie—and the scriptwriters ... don't have anything richer on their minds than the usual feisty mother-son gags."[9]

Both Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert disliked the film and both gave it a thumbs down in their onscreen review of the film. Ebert said it was "one of the worst movies he'd ever seen"; in his newspaper review (in which he awarded half of one star out of four), 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."[10] Siskel gave the film zero stars out of four and 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."[11]

Sylvester Stallone has stated that Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst film he had ever starred in.[12] 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."[13]


It was the recipient of three Golden Raspberry Awards: Stallone as Worst Actor, Getty as Worst Supporting Actress, and the film earned Worst Screenplay.[14]

Other media

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 (1992)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  2. headgeek (December 6, 2006). "Round #5 - Stallone keeps slugging out answers to the AICN Mob!!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved March 19, 2018.
  3. Pearson, Ben (October 9, 2017). "Arnold Schwarzenegger Confirmed One of Hollywood's All-Time Great Troll Moves in a Fantastic Q&A [Beyond Fest]". /Film. Retrieved October 10, 2017.
  4. "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved October 17, 2017.
  5. "CinemaScore". CinemaScore. Retrieved November 5, 2019.
  6. "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 7, 2018.
  7. Kempley, Rita (February 21, 1992). "'Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot' (PG-13)". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  8. Terry, Clifford (February 21, 1992). "`STOP! OR MY MOM WILL SHOOT` MISSES THE MARK BY A MILE". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  9. Wilmington, Michael (February 21, 1992). "'Stop!': Stallone KOs His Macho Image". Los Angeles Times. F14.
  10. Ebert, Roger (February 21, 1992). "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot". Chicago Sun-Times. Sun-Times Media Group. Archived from the original on May 8, 1999. Retrieved September 10, 2010 via
  11. Siskel, Gene (February 21, 1992). "STALLONE`S UNFUNNY `STOP!` SHOOTS DOWN CREATIVITY". Chicago Tribune. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved December 12, 2010.
  12. Rollings, Grant. "Sylvester Stallone gives his most candid interview ever". The Sun. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  13. headgeek (December 4, 2006). "Round Three!! Dec 3rd's Sly answers to your Stallone'd Questions:". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  14. Scott, Vernon (March 28, 1993). "Razzie Awards (dis)honor Stallone again". UPI. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
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