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Lethal Weapon (1987)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  6 March 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 181,288 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 254 user | 106 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

A veteran cop, Murtaugh, is partnered with a young suicidal cop, Riggs. Both having one thing in common; hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
The General
Ebonie Smith ...
Patrick Cameron ...
Cop #1
Cop #2
Jimmie F. Skaggs ...
Drug Dealer #1


Martin Riggs is an L.A. cop with suicidal tendencies and Roger Murtaugh is the unlucky police officer with whom Riggs is assigned. Together they uncover a huge drug-smuggling operation, and as their success rate grows so does their friendship. Written by Graeme Roy <gsr@cbmamiga.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


After 20 years on the force, police detective Roger Murtaugh has come face-to-face with the most dangerous killing machine in Los Angeles... his new partner. See more »


Action | Crime | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

6 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Arma mortal  »

Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$65,207,127 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (cut) | (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Danny Glover's character (Sergeant Roger Murtaugh) is 50 years old in the movie, but Glover was only 40 years old in 1986. See more »


While Riggs and Murtaugh are driving to question Amanda Hunsacker's pimp, Riggs lights a cigarette and Murtaugh complains about it. Riggs offers to open a window, but the passenger side window was already shown open in the previous scene. See more »


Martin Riggs: You want me to drive?
Roger Murtaugh: No, you're supposed to be suicidal, remember? I'LL drive.
Martin Riggs: Anybody who drives around in this town IS suicidal.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There is a dedication to Dar Robinson, a stuntman who died in a motorbike accident as Lethal Weapon was in Post-Production. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Crackerjack (2013) See more »


Jingle Bell Rock
Written by Joseph Beal (as Joe Beal) and James Boothe (as Jim Boothe)
Performed by Bobby Helms
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Lethal Magic!
28 June 2005 | by (Sweden) – See all my reviews

Do things like magic really exist? Well, if you've seen Lethal Weapon - not only the greatest action comedy, but perhaps also the greatest movie of all time! - you should know that the answer to that question is YES. If you don't, it's very obvious that you need to see a doctor. And in case you for some incomprehensible reason haven't seen Lethal yet, I have only one thing to say: stop reading this comment and go rent it immediately!!! There's simply no logical excuse for anyone old enough NOT to see this brilliant movie.

The Lethal Weapon series started out with this film back in 1987, starring the phenomenal Mel Gibson as psychotic loose cannon Martin Riggs and Danny Glover (truly wonderful as well) as his total opposite for a partner - family man and by-the-book police officer Roger Murtaugh.

Murtaugh lives a happy life with his loving family in a friendly neighborhood and is planning to retire from the force. But on his 50th birthday his life takes off in a different direction when the daughter of an old friend from Vietnam jumps out from a window and dies. This incident tosses Murtaugh into a dangerous and twisted investigation. And as if that's not enough: he is also teamed up with a new partner - a burned-out lunatic named Martin Riggs, who's been leaning on the edge of suicide ever since his wife was killed in a car crash. Roger is shocked when he meets this "lethal weapon". These two cops only have two things in common: they're both Vietnam vets and they both hate working with partners.

This is my all time favorite movie, because it gives you everything you could ever ask from a great flick: action, drama, suspense, and even love (without getting all sentimental). And if you love Mel Gibson (God, he used to be so beautiful!!)- like me - this is were he makes one of his strongest and most remarkable performances. Actually, I can hardly call it acting - he IS Riggs. The emotions he's going through is so evident in his eyes and so real and cuts right through your soul: you can actually feel his pain and his anger. And Mel also contributes a great deal to the humorous element of the film with his attitude, witty comments and eagerness of doing his job: "Man, I love this job! Can we put the sirens on?" Danny Glover is outstanding as Murtaugh and serves the audience a normal, middle-aged man who is fighting with his age, a daughter who's turning into a young woman and a partner who doesn't care whether he lives or dies. Danny's hilarious making those faces and throwing back at Mel! He plays his part with great sensitivity and I think he, just like Mel, gives so much life to his character that no other actor could have done it better. And together, he and Mel undoubtedly makes the best film team there was, is or ever will be! (The concept has been copied too many times, though..."

With the fantastic action, humor, performances and screenplay, Lethal Weapon and its sequels definitely top the list of all time action movies. Danny and Mel (naturally) won an award for "best duo on screen" on MTV Movie Awards once, and considering their work with these series, I believe director Richard Donner and producer Joel Silver makes the best duo OFF screen.

I'm convinced this is a movie that not only action fans would enjoy watching, so I recommend it to everyone. This is a movie you can't afford to miss!

28 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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The significance of the title, "Lethal Weapon." jeevese
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