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Lethal Weapon (1987)

tomatometer

84

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 50
Fresh: 42 | Rotten: 8

The most successful installment in a phenomenally successful series, Lethal Weapon helped redefine action movies for the 1980s and 1990s.

83

Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2

The most successful installment in a phenomenally successful series, Lethal Weapon helped redefine action movies for the 1980s and 1990s.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 341,144

My Rating

Movie Info

L.A. cop Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson), whose wife has recently died, is a loose cannon with a seeming death wish. This makes him indispensable in collaring dangerous criminals, but a liability to any potential partners. Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), a conservative family man who wants to stay alive for his upcoming 50th birthday, is partnered with Riggs. As Riggs gets to know Murtaugh and his family, he begins to mellow, though his insistence on using guerilla tactics to catch criminals is still

R,

Drama, Action & Adventure

Shane Black

Jun 6, 2000

Warner Bros. Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

Latest News on Lethal Weapon

July 15, 2014:
Joel Silver Still Wants More Lethal Weapon
He says it'll be "maybe something like" a reboot.
August 14, 2012:
Mel Gibson Isn't Interested in Lethal Weapon 5
He's still working on his Viking movie "Berserker," though.

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All Critics (50) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (42) | Rotten (8) | DVD (19)

At center is the first big, juicy mythic-hero part Gibson has had since Mad Max.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The story, which proceeds with inevitability, is enlivened by Donner's rousing action sequences.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As action-adventure, it's pointlessly puerile, a movie where the heroes are so childish they try to one-up each other with fancy shots at the pistol range.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

From a distance, Lethal Weapon might appear generic, but a closer look reveals something special.

July 7, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelViews
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What a concept! Mad Max meets The Cosby Show

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lethal Weapon is a film teetering on the brink of absurdity when it gets serious, but thanks to its unrelenting energy and insistent drive, it never quite falls.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What this premise needs is a serviceable plot, but screenwriter Shane Block hasn't provided one. Indeed, for an action thriller, Lethal Weapon is unacceptably slow.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Implausibility is a large part of the entertainment in this romp par excellence, with each overblown set piece becoming ever more ludicrous.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Thanks to a peculiar chemistry and a terrific script, Mel Gibson and Danny Glover lift this movie above mere TV-cop fodder.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Nothing, however, can really prepare audiences for the generally good, though offbeat, performances, gritty action and serio-comic exploits of the Good Guys vs. the Bad Guys.

May 13, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

What does it say that I loved it as a boy of fourteen?

August 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Yeah, I know, I know: It's considered an action classic and routinely pegged as one of the best "buddy cop" films, but it's always held just marginal appeal for me -- besides, compare it to Die Hard, and its "classic" status seems even more ludicrous.

June 14, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing | Comment (1)
Creative Loafing

Mismatched cops spar in violent '80s action hit.

January 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A phenomenally successful, noisy, violent buddy movie.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

the best buddycop film ever

February 12, 2008

The pace never slows, the jokes never miss and the stunts never disappoint in this macho-dream of an actioner.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Gibson is truly frightening as the cop about to go into orbit, and Glover is a standout as the down-to-earth lawman with very much to lose.

December 4, 2006 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Granted, the film doesn't feature the most interesting story-line to come across a movie screen, but that doesn't matter all that much because we're having a whole bunch of fun watching the chemistry between Glover and Gibson...

August 4, 2006 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Audience Reviews for Lethal Weapon

The movie that changed how we see action movies. It's a movie that showed that we can have our cake and eat it too. Not only does it have clever dialogue and interesting characters, we get exciting action too. It's not just another buddy cop movie. I can think of a lot of reasons why I love Lethal Weapon. First off, the characters are very endearing and down right likable. We've got Mel Gibson playing a crazy guy before he himself went crazy in real life. Danny Glover is Roger Murtaugh who's getting to old for this sh- well, you know. The dialogue is more clever than you see in most buddy cop movies. This and Lethal Weapon 2 are on my list for favorite action movies of all time. It proved you don't need a big dumb Hollywood action ending to make a satisfying conclusion. Here we've just got two guys fighting on a lawn and it's awesome. Letter Grade: A
June 24, 2013
Dr114
Chris Miele

Super Reviewer

At times here, the humor can be a "Lethal Weapon" to your lungs.

Full review coming to themoviefreakblog.com on 5/30.
May 21, 2013
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]

Irresistible with brilliant chemistry shared between Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, Lethal Weapon is one of the best action comedies of the 80's. This is what Bad Boys should have been, fast paced but also with heart and likable characters. It's one of the best buddy cop films i've ever seen and one of the most iconic, engaging and hilarious. An essential must watch classic for action fans and film lovers.
April 29, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

Roger Murtaugh: I'm too old for this shit! 

"If these two can learn to stand each other... the bad guys don't stand a chance."

Lethal Weapon is a classic buddy cop/action comedy. I really liked it, but just like Die Hard; I still feel it is a little overrated. It isn't the coolest thing I have ever seen or the most fun action comedy I have seen. What it is is still good, but I was somewhat expecting more because everyone loves it so much. To me this is just a solid and entertaining film. I won't argue its classic status, though.  It's obviously a genre staple, seeing as it is one of the most talked about movies in the genre. 

The most likable thing about the movie are the cops, played by Danny Glover and Mel Gibson. Glover plays the old cop who can still get the job done. Gibson plays the younger, crazier cop. He pretty much plays the character the exact same way as he acts in his everyday life today. Those two together make for some great fun and some hilarious dialogue exchanges. They have great chemistry on screen together in this, and I would assume that they have that same great chemistry in the other three. One actor I really didn't like in this was Gary Busey. He plays the villain, and although the guy is nuts in real life; he gives an extremely bland and overall underplayed performance. With a better villain, this could have been even better.

The plot is pretty obvious, as it has been done many times. Two cops are partnered up, and hate each other off the bat. After awhile they start to grow on each other, and once they get really into their case, they are best friends. The case they are trying to solve is that of a young woman's murder, which was made to look like a suicide.

I may not love it as much as some, but I still really enjoy it. It's the type of movie you can just sit back and enjoy anytime. You don't have to be in the mood to watch a movie like Lethal Weapon. If I'm flipping through the channels on tv and I see this is on, more than likely I am going to watch it. Plus how can you argue with Murtaugh's classic line.

Roger Murtaugh: Have you ever met anybody you didn't kill? 
Martin Riggs: Well, I haven't killed you yet. 
January 12, 2012
blkbomb
Melvin White

Super Reviewer

    1. Roger Murtaugh: I'm too old for this shit.
    – Submitted by Matthew D (5 months ago)
    1. Roger Murtaugh: God hates me. That's what it is.
    2. Martin Riggs: Hate him back; it works for me.
    – Submitted by Tanner L (2 years ago)
    1. Roger Murtaugh: I'm too old for this shit.
    – Submitted by Brian S (2 years ago)
    1. Roger Murtaugh: So we should just registar you as a lethal weapon?
    – Submitted by Steven P (3 years ago)
View all quotes (4)

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Foreign Titles

  • Lethal Weapon - Zwei stahlharte Profis (DE)
  • L'Arme fatale (FR)
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