The Spy Next Door

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The Spy Next Door
Spy next door ver2.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Brian Levant
Produced by Robert Simonds
Screenplay by
Story by
Music by David Newman
Cinematography Dean Cundey
Edited by Lawrence Jordan
Distributed by Lionsgate
Release date
  • January 15, 2010 (2010-01-15)
Running time
95 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $28 million
Box office $45.2 million[1]

The Spy Next Door is a 2010 American spy comedy family film directed by Brian Levant, written by Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer and Gregory Poirier, produced by Robert Simonds with music by David Newman and starring Jackie Chan, Amber Valletta, Magnús Scheving, Madeline Carroll, Will Shadley, Alina Foley, Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez. Filming started in late October 2008 in Rio Rancho, New Mexico and was finished in late December 2008. The film was released on January 15, 2010 in the United States by Lionsgate. The film was released on DVD, and Blu-ray on May 18, 2010. The film tributes Chan's films by showing clips, references and even referencing Chan's real life childhood. The film received negative reviews from critics and it earned $45.2 million on a $28 million budget.


Bob Ho is a CIA undercover agent who decides to retire after completing his last mission i.e. putting Anton Poldark behind bars and marry Gillian who has three children from previous relationships. Bob and Gillian then start dating but Bob feels he should tell Gillian about his job. Gillian suddenly leaves to visit her father in the hospital and leaves Bob to take care of her step-daughter, Farren, and her two kids, Ian and Nora, who all despise him, and start plotting to get rid of him. Bob is then shortly informed by his partner, Colton James that Poldark has escaped prison and that they suspect that there is a mole in the CIA. Ian accidentally downloads a file for a top-secret formula on Bob's computer onto his iPod while looking for things that might cause Gillian to break up with Bob. Poldark then discovers that Bob has downloaded the file and has his people go to his house to retrieve the file but Bob overpowers them.

After the attack, Bob and his children hide at a Chinese restaurant when Poldark's teenage henchman, Larry, tries to stab Bob with a cook's knife. Bob defeats him and steps out the window, where his former boss Glaze points a gun at him. He realizes that Glaze is actually the mole in the CIA working for Poldark and the Russians when Glaze demands the downloaded file. Glaze is knocked out by Bob with a turtle. Afterwards, Bob tells Gillian over the phone that he is a spy, and Gillian breaks up with him. Gillian flies home to take the kids back.

Bob heads to a former steel manufacturing factory to confront and defeat the Russian terrorists, but finds that Ian, wanting to become a spy, and Farren have run away from home. Bob, Farren, and Ian are captured by the Russians. They hear the Russians discussing their plans to go to Gillian's house and steal the iPod. Bob escapes, fights and overpowers the terrorists, knocking them out. They then go to Gillian's house, and the terrorists arrive a few minutes later. Bob and the terrorists begin to fight, with the children using Bob's secret weapons to defeat some of them. Soon after, Colton and his crew arrive to arrest the Russians. Bob realizes that Colton is not the mole, and apologizes. Gillian initially rejects Bob, but soon realizes that Bob is a good man after Nora says, "I want Bob to be my daddy," and Farren and Ian confess that Bob did everything just to protect them. Bob and Gillian then get married.




Box office[edit]

In its first weekend, in the US, The Spy Next Door made $9,726,056 in 2,924 theaters, opening at #6. It grossed $12,877,043 over the four-day period, ranking #5 on that term. The film has grossed $45,082,365 to date on a $28 million budget.[2]

Critical reception[edit]

The Spy Next Door has received negative reviews from some critics.[3] It holds a "Rotten" 12% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 89 reviews with an average score of 3.5/10.[4] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating of 0–100 top reviews from mainstream critics, it holds an average score of 27 based on 21 reviews.[3] Most film critics targeted the film for "lacking a script"[4] such as Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune for being "True Lies without the striptease or the Arab-maiming"[5] and Kyle Smith of The New York Post who also claimed the film is "ripping off True Lies."[6] Lael Loewenstein of Variety gave the film a negative review saying the film's "cartoonish jokes and misfired gags are likely to elicit more eye rolls than laughs."[7] Daniel Eagan of The Hollywood Reporter also disliked the film saying most of the film is "pretty tired stuff from Pacifier-style slapstick to comic relief delivered by, of all people, erstwhile country star Billy Ray Cyrus" and that Chan "seems stiff" and "clad in unattractive clothes and forced into dumbed-down situations."[8] David Stratton of At the Movies dismissed the film calling it "a sad viewing experience". He added "The woeful screenplay, the mundane direction, by Brian Levant, and the indifferent acting all combine to sink a stupid plot which should never have got off the ground."[9] Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film 2½ stars.[10] Rickey, giving the film the benefit of the doubt, wrote "The plot may be forgettable, but the execution is frantic and funny. The Spy Next Door is a movie that will bring smiles to kids – and their grandparents."[10]

Home media[edit]

The Spy Next Door was released on DVD and Blu-ray on May 18, 2010.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Subject Nominee Result
Razzie Award Worst Supporting Actor Billy Ray Cyrus Nominated
George Lopez

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Spy Next Door (2010)". Box Office Mojo. 2010. Retrieved 2014-09-21. 
  2. ^ The Spy Next Door IMDb
  3. ^ a b "The Spy Next Door (2009): Reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks. Retrieved 2010-01-15. 
  4. ^ a b "The Spy Next Door Movie, Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Retrieved 2013-06-29. 
  5. ^ Phillips, Michael (January 15, 2009). "'The Spy Next Door' – 112 stars". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  6. ^ Smith, Kyle (January 15, 2009). "He's Bland, James Bland". New York Post. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  7. ^ Lael Loewenstein (January 9, 2010). "The Spy Next Door Review". Variety. Retrieved January 13, 2010. 
  8. ^ Daniel Eagan (January 11, 2010). "The Spy Next Door – Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 13, 2010. 
  9. ^ Stratton, David; Pomeranz, Magaret (March 31, 2010). "The Spy Next Door review". At the Movies. Archived from the original on April 9, 2010. Retrieved April 9, 2010. 
  10. ^ a b Rickey, Carrie (January 15, 2009). "It's Bob, the bouncing babysitting spy". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 

External links[edit]