48 HRS (1982)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Marking an auspicious feature film debut for Eddie Murphy, 48 Hrs. is a briskly paced action comedy that succeeds largely due to the outstanding chemistry between its two leads.


Movie Info

A variation on the "buddy-cop" hybridized genre, 48 HRS. greatly bolstered the career of Nick Nolte and made comedian Eddie Murphy a bonafide box-office sensation. When a pair of reckless cop-killers break out of prison, grizzled detective Jack Cates (Nolte) is left no alternative but to spring fast-talking hustler Reggie Hammond (Murphy) from the penitentiary in order to find the criminals. The catch: the pair only have 48 hours to complete their assignment before Hammond must return to prison. … More

Rating: R
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Walter Hill, Larry Gross, Steven E. de Souza, Roger Spottiswoode, Christopher De Vore
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 26, 1999
Runtime:
Paramount Home Video

Cast


as Jack Cates

as Reggie Hammond

as Haden

as Billy Bear

as Kehoe

as Rosalie

as Vanzant

as Frizzy

as Casey

as Young Cop

as Thin Cop

as Big Cop

as Old Cop

as Detective

as Plainclothesman

as Road Gang Guard

as Policewoman

as Cowboy Bartender

as Parking Attendant

as Road Gang Guard

as Road Gang Guard

as Prison Guard

as Prison Guard

as Prison Guard

as Duty Sergeant

as Indian Hooker

as Henry

as Vroman's Dancer

as Vroman's Dancer

as Torchy's Patron

as Torchy's Patron

as Torchy's Patron

as Gas Station Attendan...

as Security Guard

as Cop with Gun

as Bartender

as Interrogator

as Gang Member

as Cowgirl Dancer

as Bar Girl
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for 48 HRS

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

Login

Critic Reviews for 48 HRS

All Critics (38) | Top Critics (5)

Neither jokes nor fast, flashy action can completely distract audiences from the failure to establish an authentic, rather than a purely conventional connection between Nolte and Murphy.

Full Review… | June 6, 2009
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

All in all, a superior genre piece, if not the height of Hill's artistry.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

A down-the-line thriller, plain, fast and efficient.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The movie's story is nothing to write home about. It's pretty routine. What makes the movie special is how it's made. Nolte and Murphy are good, and their dialogue is good, too -- quirky and funny.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

[It] is more memorable for its characters than for its high style, more a series of energetic scenes than a collection of handsome imagery. It has life, ferocity and humor in place of icy, stylized elegance, and that seems more than a fair trade.

Full Review… | August 30, 2004
New York Times
Top Critic

Violence, profanity, racial epithets in dated '80s movie.

Full Review… | August 26, 2014
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for 48 HRS

This is yet another formulaic action film from the overblown eighties, complete with naked broads, gunplay, and a maniacal killer. Much like other eighties films there's a deadline before everything blows up in the protagonist's face and someone dies. This is the first Eddie Murphy vehicle, made during his time on SNL and led to his impressive film career. Here a hostage situation leads to a craggy policeman going on a vendetta with the unneeded deaths of two police officers, and springing a convict from his cell for 48 hours to help catch the guys responsible. While Cates (Nick Nolte) is an irresponsible, violent, and corrugated kind of cop, he does abide by some rules. Though he continually tries to apprehend the criminals and get information he needs through illegal means he always comes close before being foiled by other policemen who don't know he's a cop. After finding out that a convicted criminal may hold the key to finding the place where money for a hostage will be exchanged, he springs Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy). The rest of the film is the two playing off one another while being shot at and running after bad guys in elaborate car chases throughout the city. Though there's a lot of great dialogue and social commentary in this film, Nolte and Murphy are not an appropiate pairing. Both are loose cannons, and though Reggie is more talk than anything, he still engages in dangerous situations and exhibits little to no fear. Cates also shows no fear, and bumbles through every encounter with a crook like a godlike entity that can ricochet bullets and kill off everyone in his way. They aren't tortured heroes and aren't especially interesting except for their feats of daring. I don't see any real character development besides Nolte being grumpy and Murphy being a smart ass. If there was more balance, or at least some backstory for Reggie this would feel like a much more comprehensive film. The action isn't very engaging and very little of this doesn't drag. Except for being a platform for Murphy's off the wall humor at times this has very little appeal.

FrizzDrop
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

½

I feel REALLY late to the party on this one. Good, but nothing spectacular. To be fair this movie has been copied, parodied, and ripped-off so much it's hard for it so seem as fresh as I'm sure it was when it came out.

kenstachnik
Ken Stachnik

Super Reviewer

A great action comedy film about a partnership between a cop and a convict as they try to bring down a cop killer. The combination between Murphy and Nolte is fantastic! The plot is solid and the action is in full supply. A film with lots of action, laughs, and great acting make this film engaging and an enjoyment to watch.

shawnewing92
Shawn Ewing

Super Reviewer

48 HRS Quotes

– Submitted by Evan T (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Evan T (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Chris P (4 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss 48 HRS on our Movie forum!