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Lethal Weapon (1987)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Thriller  |  6 March 1987 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 179,656 users   Metascore: 67/100
Reviews: 253 user | 106 critic | 14 from

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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Title: Lethal Weapon (1987)

Lethal Weapon (1987) on IMDb 7.6/10

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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 <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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


The first movie to feature a cellphone. It can be seen when Murtaugh calls his wife to tell Amanda Hunsaker's death, and when later Murtaugh calls Dr. Stephanie Woods to talk about Riggs' insanity. After Michael Hunsaker is killed, The General can be seen using a cellphone to communicate with Mr. Joshua. See more »


When Riggs and Murtaugh dive into the pool, Riggs has been and is wearing boots. When he climbs out, he's in his socks. But, he never took off his boots. See more »


Beat Cop: Had a jumper here last night, Dixie was walking by, saw the whole thing.
Roger Murtaugh: You got a statement from her, send her home.
Dixie: Oh, thanks, I'm beat. You know how it is...
Roger Murtaugh: Yeah, yeah, sure. All dressed up and no one to blow.
Dixie: You're hilarious. God, I don't believe this...
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 Con Air (1997) See more »


Bugs Bunny Theme - This Is It
Written by Mack David and Jerry Livingston
Performed by Mel Blanc
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An exciting cop drama cleverly constructed...
27 September 2003 | by (Mexico) – See all my reviews

The film opens with a panoramic aerial shot of Los Angeles, where a beautiful blonde girl in a penthouse apartment is lying, in a sexy white satin nightgown, on a luxurious red sofa... Drugs comes into focus on a table next to her...

She rouses herself to sniff some white powder, steps out (completely unbalanced) onto the balcony and stands on the railing, ready to plunge peacefully down...

Mel Gibson is remarkable as Martin Riggs... He is talented as both a cop and a clown... His character carries a great level of tension... He is both charismatic and enigmatic... Riggs is a homicide detective suffering harmful levels of stress, after losing his wife in an automobile accident... He seems unstable... He slaps and pummels a drug dealer in the manner of the "Three Stooges," and dares his hostage taker to shoot him...

He is on the brink of despair... He takes out a bullet, loads it in his .9 millimeter Beretta, puts the gun into his mouth, and appears ready to pull the trigger...

He is suicidal... He snaps a handcuff on a jumper's wrist, and snaps the other end onto his own wrist... Then he holds up the key to the cuffs, and flings it out into space...

He is a sharpshooter... He raises his gun and fires without blinking, and claims that killing is "the only thing he could ever do well."

He is partnered with a black middle-aged police detective to investigate the death of the girl that leaped off the balcony... Both quickly build up a strong friendship that lead them to uncover a very dangerous heroin ring...

Danny Glover is at his best against an actor who can easily steal scenes... He plays an old-fashioned detective who is obsessed about his age, and goes by the book... We simply see him scanning, reading the odds...

Murtaugh - on his 50th birthday - wears his past like a scar... He is a conservative family man who has to follow Riggs' hurtful plan to get his daughter back...

Gary Busey plays Mr. Joshua, a trained expert killer, cool as ice, deadly calm... It's essential for him to find out how much the police know... He tries his best to get Riggs out of the picture... His boss the General (Mitch Ryan) is a rugged man with eyes like chips of stone... The ruthless general thinks that it's now the precise time to turn up the heat... He wants Murtaugh to be tortured... He kidnaps Murtaugh's little girl, the gorgeous Rianne (Traci Wolfe) to make him speak...

Richard Donner's 'Lethal Weapon' is one of the finest films to offer its audience the combination of strong acting, and scenes out of hell... It is an exciting cop drama cleverly constructed... The final battle, where the two cops team up against the general and his henchmen, is especially thrilling... Donner's film also skates around the sexual implications of male bonding, but the scene in which Gibson and Glover are captured by the crooks and tortured dramatizes male vulnerability in a manner that became familiar in the action film...

64 of 83 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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