258 user 193 critic

Observe and Report (2009)

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Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective is recruited to close the case.


Jody Hill


Jody Hill
2,831 ( 171)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Seth Rogen ... Ronnie
Ray Liotta ... Detective Harrison
Michael Peña ... Dennis
Anna Faris ... Brandi
Dan Bakkedahl ... Mark
Jesse Plemons ... Charles
John Yuan ... John Yuen
Matt Yuan ... Matt Yuen (as Matthew Yuan)
Celia Weston ... Mom
Collette Wolfe ... Nell
Randy Gambill ... Flasher
Alston Brown Alston Brown ... Bruce
Cody Midthunder Cody Midthunder ... D-Rock
Debra-Jayne Brown Debra-Jayne Brown ... Female Reporter
Aziz Ansari ... Saddamn


Ronnie Barnhardt lives with his alcoholic mother. He's chief security guard at Forest Ridge Mall, where he's in love with Brandi, a cosmetic sales clerk, and gets a free coffee each day from Nell, a cheery clerk in the food court. A flasher haunts the mall's parking lot, and at night, thefts occur. Ronnie is intent on catching the criminals but has no investigative skills, is delusional about his abilities, and makes mad accusations. His bête noire is Detective Harrison, the city cop sent to investigate. Ronnie thinks he could be an officer, thinks he stands a chance with Brandi, and slowly loses his self control. Will reality set in? What about redemption? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Right now, the world needs a hero.


Comedy | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »






Release Date:

10 April 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Observe and Report See more »

Filming Locations:

New Mexico, USA See more »


Box Office


$18,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$11,017,334, 12 April 2009, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$23,993,605, 12 June 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


In Germany, the title was changed to "Shopping Center King." The phrase "observe and report" has connotations of surveillance, which has had devastating consequences for many Germans through the years and was thus considered inappropriate for a comedy. See more »


During the night robbery, several clothing racks are ransacked before the robber moves on to the shoe store. However, there are no visible clothing racks in the shoe store when the police investigates, and nobody ever says anything about a separate clothing store robbery - Ronnie and Harrison only mention the shoe store. See more »


Saddamn: Fuck you, Ronnie.
Ronnie Barnhardt: Fuck you.
Saddamn: Fuck you.
Ronnie Barnhardt: Fuck you.
Saddamn: Fuck you.
Ronnie Barnhardt: Fuck you.
Saddamn: Fuck you!
Ronnie Barnhardt: Fuck *you*!
Saddamn: Fuck you, Ronnie!
Ronnie Barnhardt: Fuck you.
See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Grumpy Cat's Worst Christmas Ever (2015) See more »


Lightsabre C**ksucking Blues
Written by Jonathan Chapple, Andrew Falkons and Matthew Harding
Performed by McLusky
Courtesy of Too Pure Ltd.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Disturbing and funny, but maybe not funny enough
12 April 2009 | by zetesSee all my reviews

We have a new auteur in comedy director/writer Jody Hill. With two films and one television series under his belt now, his vision is pretty clear: he makes comedies about nasty, mean-spirited people who can be extremely unpleasant to be around. His work divide audiences sharply, and even those who like it, like myself, have their reservations. Observe and Report is heavily influenced by Taxi Driver. Seth Rogen plays the head of mall security. He spends most of his days wishing he were more important, but he also likes to believe that he is very important where he is. He dreams of shooting the bad guys and getting the hot girl (Anna Faris, a bimbo who works at a makeup counter at the mall). When a local police detective (Ray Liotta) starts horning in on his mall and his girl, Rogen begins to fly off the handle. Like Hill's previous film, The Foot Fist Way, what Observe and Report really needs is a few more laughs. It was funny, but it always felt like it could be funnier. The movie's often very depressing, and Hill is effective in making those painful moments work. Even though Rogen is pretty crazy and frankly a bad person, I felt sorry for him. If Hill could pull off more humorous moments, the balance would work a lot better.

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