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Lethal Weapon (1987)

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A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.



694 ( 88)
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


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?


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 »


When McAllister's car is flipped by the bus, the hole in the floorboard for shooting out the section of telephone pole used to flip the car can be seen. The section of pole can be seen rolling down the street as the car is flipping over. See more »


Martin Riggs: Hey, look friend, let's just cut the shit. Now we both know why I was transferred. Everybody thinks I'm suicidal, in which case, I'm fucked and nobody wants to work with me; or they think I'm faking to draw a psycho pension, in which case, I'm fucked and nobody wants to work with me. Basically, I'm fucked.
Roger Murtaugh: Guess what?
Martin Riggs: What?
Roger Murtaugh: I don't want to work with you!
Martin Riggs: Hey, don't.
Roger Murtaugh: Ain't got no choice! Looks like we both been fucked!
Martin Riggs: Terrific.
Roger Murtaugh: God hates me. That's what it is.
Martin Riggs: Hate him back; it works for me.
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 Angry Video Game Nerd: Lethal Weapon (2014) See more »


Bad to the Bone
Written by George Thorogood
Performed by George Thorogood & The Destroyers
Courtesy of EMI America
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!

30 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What's a better version, the theatrical cut or the director's cut? GoodfellaSeinfeld
Anyone else miss the 80's? cmfalf
The significance of the title, "Lethal Weapon." jeevese
Favorite Mel Gibson quote from the movie? KyleH87
I'm too old for this ____. Really? bandcgattis
Characters/Actors Ages? JediRob
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