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48 HRS (1982)



Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 37
Fresh: 35 | Rotten: 2

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.


Average Rating: 6.6/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

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.



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Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 73,951

My Rating

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.

Jan 26, 1999

Paramount Home Video

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (35) | Rotten (2) | DVD (7)

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.

June 6, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (2)
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop 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.

October 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop 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.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A genuinely tetchy, risky race comedy

April 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

It remains one of the better action-comedy buddy pictures you'll find.

February 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

One of the first buddy action movies, 48 Hrs. laid the ground work for the sub-genre that was at its best during the 1980's.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

The perfect buddy-cop movie! Murphy and Nolte are awesome!

October 26, 2008

Fast-paced, frill-free action entertainment of the first order.

May 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Although dated, there is a brute edginess to this popular slice of formula odd coupling.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Hang on for the ride.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Stands with Midnight Run as one of the all-time great mismatched buddy movies.

August 31, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Ignited that whole anti-buddy genre.

November 23, 2004

Enjoyably edgy romp

November 8, 2004
Shadows on the Wall

This film never worked for me.

August 6, 2003 | Comment (1)
Juicy Cerebellum

Before Nolte was in Rehab, and Murphy was making movies like "Pluto Nash" (who can say which fate is worse?), the two got together for a pretty decent little buddy-cop movie

March 18, 2003 Full Review Source:

A streetwise, savage, hilarious film with an incredible debut by Eddie Murphy.

February 7, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

48 Hrs. may seem panfully dated and more than a little familiar, but keep in mind that this one hit the screns in 1982 - back when a buddy/cop flick was actually a novel proposition.

January 15, 2003 Full Review Source:

Slick and easy-going, though it's aging badly.

January 14, 2003
Flipside Movie Emporium

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.
December 31, 2011

Super Reviewer

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.
April 13, 2011

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.
March 14, 2011

Super Reviewer

An average cop movie, it does have some funny scenes because of Murphy, but otherwise it's not that good.
January 11, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Reggie Hammond: There's a new sheriff in town and his name is reggie hammond y'all be cool right on.
    – Submitted by Evan T (2 years ago)
    1. Reggie Hammond: I'm sorry about the doorman. Did that hurt? It looked real painful when you slammed into it.
    – Submitted by Evan T (2 years ago)
    1. Reggie Hammond: I'm your worst fucking nightmare, man! A nigger with a badge.
    – Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • Nur 48 Stunden (DE)
  • 48 Hrs. (UK)
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