48 HRS


48 HRS

Critics 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.



Total Count: 40


Audience Score

User Ratings: 75,037
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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. Naturally, the two despise each other and even engage in fisticuffs, but eventually the danger facing them proves a strong enough common bond for them to play on the same team, and even achieve a little mutual admiration. ~ Jeremy Beday, Rovi


Nick Nolte
as Jack Cates
Eddie Murphy
as Reggie Hammond
Sonny Landham
as Billy Bear
James Keane
as Vanzant
Tara King
as Frizzy
Todd Allen
as Young Cop
Bill Dearth
as Thin Cop
Ned Dowd
as Big Cop
Jim Haynie
as Old Cop
Jack Thibeau
as Detective
Jon St. Elwood
as Plainclothesman
Sandy Martin
as Policewoman
Peter Jason
as Cowboy Bartender
Marcelino Sánchez
as Parking Attendant
Bennie E. Dobbins
as Road Gang Guard
Walter Scott
as Road Gang Guard
W.T. Zacha
as Road Gang Guard
Begonia Plaza
as Indian Hooker
Loyd Catlett
as Prison Guard
B.G. Fisher
as Prison Guard
Reid Cruickshanks
as Prison Guard
R.D. Call
as Duty Sergeant
John Hauk
as Henry
Ola Ray
as Vroman's Dancer
Bjaye Turner
as Vroman's Dancer
Nick Dimitri
as Torchy's Patron
John Dennis Johnston
as Torchy's Patron
Rock Walker
as Torchy's Patron
Dave Moordigian
as Gas Station Attendant
J. Wesley Huston
as Security Guard
Gary Pettinger
as Cop with Gun
Jack Lightsy
as Bartender
Bob Yanez
as Interrogator
Luis Contreras
as Gang Member
Suzanne M. Regard
as Cowgirl Dancer
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News & Interviews for 48 HRS

Critic Reviews for 48 HRS

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for 48 HRS

  • May 26, 2016
    After reading so many positive reviews I was left wondering what it is that made people like it so much, After thinking about it, It must be the onscreen chemistry between Nick Nolte and starring in his first film Eddie Murphy, They worked great together but the rest of the film is pretty average, No real great action, Not much comedy to speak of, The story is nothing new, And it's predictable, It's not a bad movie but with all this praise I expected allot more.
    Jamie C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2014
    Awful. Generic, predictable, and boring, this film is the sum of an endless number of tired buddy cop movie cliches. Cut those out of the film, and there's nothing left. Nothing at all. On top of that, there's only two good scenes in the entire film: the car chase/gunfight with the bus, and the scene at the redneck bar, which admittedly was very funny. Aside from that, there's nothing good about this film. The dialogue is amazingly repetitive (did the writers/producers/director even watch or edit this film while they were shooting it?). Murphy just makes cracks about getting laid (we get it, he's a playboy) and Nolte's character just keeps calling Murphy different slurs over and over again (we get it, he's a racist). None of this is funny, and it's hard enough to like Nolte's character without this anyway. Nick Nolte might just be the least likable actor I've seen in the history of cinematography. If not the least, he's sure as hell up there. There's not one thing about him here that's remotely redeeming or likable, and unsurprisingly, the character comes across as exactly the same way.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jul 26, 2013
    A stereotypical '80s buddy-cop type film, 48 HRS. is poorly made and overly contrived. In order to find an escaped prisoner named Ganz, detective Jack Cates gets one of Ganz's former gang members out of prison on a 48 hour pass to help him find Ganz. Nick Nolte is terrible, and angry acts in every scene. Eddie Murphy however, is pretty good and injects some much needed humor. The action is fairly well-done, but nothing too impressive or memorable. Dark and gritty, 48 HRS. tries to distinguish itself within the cop genre but ends up been typical schlock.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 20, 2013
    Unfairly undervalued. With all the confidence in the world, you can feel free to state that 48 Hrs. is just one in a million "buddy-cop" features that were so much exploited in the 80s and are still done and even parodied today, from the Lethal Weapons to the Rush Hours and then more (now that I think about it, most of them also decided to team up a black and a white guy). I have some arguments: a) This practically preceeded them all. 48 Hrs. gave birth to the violent action comedy trend and the buddy cop subgenre. Credit to what it is worth, this was a very attractive proposition that had new twists and turns to offer. You may argue that this is irrelevant as long as the film is not good, which leads me to the following points. b) The 80s seemed to be the decade that got everything right: two personalities drastically opposed to each other joining forces for a common purpose. So there are two conflicts to be solved: the crime-driven plot AND the partnership between each other. If these characters are a cold-blooded, badass-voiced, alcoholic, unscrupulous Nick Nolte and the comedic, scene-stealer, charismatic, hyperactive Eddie Murphy at the top of his game (the 80s), you've got a fun ride guaranteed, c) The villains WERE villains. Maybe the over-the-top amounts of violence shown today in all kinds of contexts have made the violence of before to seem tame in comparison, but people are not really capturing the vibe of the violence in these films: it is graphic, unexpected and relentless. Villains were soulless and would shoot unarmed cops and crime partners while laughing at it. d) I don't know if it is something regarding perception, the visual quality of the cameras of the 80s, the soundtrack, the vibe, the editing or the sound effects, but all action scenes felt more intense that they do now. The shootouts would pump you up easily. Action scenes were serious and tension was present. So, pay respect to the proper sources. 73/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer

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