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

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot is a 1992 American buddy cop action comedy 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 highly negative reviews upon release but grossed $70.6 million worldwide.

The film is generally considered a lesser film in Stallone's catalog. 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 famously signed on to the film based solely on Arnold Schwarzenegger claiming that he was interested in working with Estelle Getty, and she had been cast as an overbearing mother in an action-comedy, something Schwarzenegger had already accomplished in his career. In October 2017, Schwarzenegger confirmed the rumor that, knowing the script was "really bad", he had publicly faked interest in starring for producers to lure Stallone.[3]

Further information: Schwarzenegger–Stallone rivalry


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]

Critical response

The film has a 14% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 29 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."[5] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[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][10]

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 I've ever seen"; in his newspaper review (in which he awarded half of one star out of four), Ebert wrote while Stallone and Getty had both performed well in other comedic roles, Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was "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."[11] Siskel gave the film zero stars out of four and stated that if the script had been submitted to the staff of The Golden Girls, which co-starred Getty, 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."[12]

Sylvester Stallone has stated that Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was the worst film he had ever starred in. He told Ain't It Cool News that it was "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 that "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][2]

Later Stallone said:

Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot was supposed to be like Throw Momma From the Train with the mom as this really nasty piece of work. Instead you hire the nicest woman in Hollywood, Estelle Getty, who you wish was your mother. That's the end of that! Also, I had heard Schwarzenegger was going to do that movie and I said, "I'm going to beat him to it." I think he set me up.[14]


It was the recipient of three Golden Raspberry Awards: Stallone as Worst Actor, Getty as Worst Supporting Actress, and Worst Screenplay.[15]

Other media

In popular culture

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!"[16]

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.

In Mortal Kombat 11, during a pre-match dialogue exchange between John Rambo (voiced by Stallone) and Cassie Cage, Cassie references the film's title.[17]


  1. ^ a b "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)". AFI Catalog of Feature Films. American Film Institute. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  2. ^ a b 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 20, 2021.
  5. ^ "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot (1992)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved September 8, 2022.
  6. ^ "CinemaScore".[dead link]
  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. Retrieved September 10, 2010.
  9. ^ Wilmington, Michael (February 21, 1992). "'Stop!': Stallone KOs His Macho Image". Los Angeles Times. F14.
  10. ^ "MOVIE REVIEW : 'Stop!': Stallone KOs His Macho Image". Los Angeles Times. February 21, 1992.
  11. ^ Ebert, Roger. "Stop! Or My Mom Will Shoot movie review (1992)". Chicago Sun-Times.
  12. ^ Siskel, Gene (February 21, 1992). "STALLONE'S UNFUNNY 'STOP!' SHOOTS DOWN CREATIVITY". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on September 13, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 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. ^ Hibberd, James (November 7, 2022). "Sylvester Stallone Gets Candid About Career, Regrets, Feuds: "I Thought I Knew Everything"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  15. ^ Scott, Vernon (March 28, 1993). "Razzie Awards (dis)honor Stallone again". UPI. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  16. ^ "Watch Stallone Can't Save Everything From Saturday Night Live -". Archived from the original on April 30, 2017. Sylvester Stallone tries to help a couple (Norm Macdonald, Ana Gasteyer) after they get in a horrible car accident, but the two can't stop insulting Stallone and his movies despite being in pain. [Season 23, 1997]
  17. ^ MK11 Rambo All Sylvester Stallone Movie Easter Eggs References Mortal Kombat 11 by MKIceAndFire on YouTube