Murphy's Law (1986) Poster

(1986)

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7/10
He's been framed!
paul_johnr10 February 2006
After the ridiculous yet entertaining 'Death Wish 3,' Charles Bronson and his fans needed to relax for a while. Fortunately enough, Bronson and director J. Lee Thompson came out in 1986 with the actioner/dark comedy 'Murphy's Law,' whose texture is almost the complete opposite of DW3. While still carrying its fair share of sex, violence, and overall bad taste, 'Murphy's Law' is a light-hearted film by comparison and makes neat changes to Bronson's on-screen persona.

In a workmanlike script by Gail Morgan Hickman (of TV's 'The Equalizer'), Bronson reprises his earlier cop roles as Jack Murphy, a Los Angeles detective who is going to pieces after breaking up with his sex-starved wife. Murphy is a heavy drinker who struggles to get out of bed in the morning; when he does manage to rise, he argues with other detectives on the force and nags his ex (Angel Topkins), who has begun stripping at a local nightclub.

To fulfill Murphy's Law - "if anything can go wrong, it will" - the justice system has released Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgress), a psychopath whom Murphy arrested for murder ten years before. Dead-set on revenge, Freeman returns to knock off everyone linked to her case, including Murphy and his acquaintances. Sure enough, Murphy is collared for the death of his ex-wife and finds himself in lockup with Arabella McGee (Kathleen Wilhoite), a foul-mouthed young woman whom he just arrested for driving off with his car. Handcuffed to one another, he manages to take McGee hostage and escape from jail. The bulk of 'Murphy's Law' follows Murphy and McGee in their search for the real killer, ticking off an already-livid mob boss (Richard Romanus) in the process.

Like other Bronson films from the 80s, 'Murphy's Law' doesn't boast Oscar-worthy scriptwriting, acting, or technical work. The film is geared towards an average Bronson connoisseur, with Charles quietly sweeping out the trash. But 'Murphy's Law' isn't without heart: Bronson looks very human, with a healthy amount of vulnerability. In what other 80s film does Bronson get arrested, bleed, pass out, have a concussion, make a friend, and even sit down for a sandwich?

Bronson and Kathleen Wilhoite don't have "chemistry" per se, but to watch an odd friendship develop between Murphy and McGee is entertaining in itself. Although Wilhoite is given a ridiculous number of swear words to toss around ("jock itch" and "camel crotch" are two good ones), McGee still comes off as lovable, a girl you'd actually love to hang around and steal cars with. Carrie Snodgress balances the humor of Murphy and McGee with an intense performance as the killer. The supporting cast, including Robert F. Lyons, Bill Henderson, and Richard Romanus, is quite good, although Romanus is guilty of overacting in certain scenes as mob head Frank Vincenzo.

Compared to J. Lee Thompson's other films of the decade, 'Murphy's Law' is above average technically. The film was decently edited by his son Peter and Charles Simmons (although you should watch Vincenzo's robe during the hooker scene) and crisp cinematography was supplied by Alex Phillips Jr., another Thompson mainstay. Of disappointing quality is the music by Marc Donahue and Valentine McCallum, which is synthesized and very repetitive. Wilhoite sings the more pleasing end theme.

Highly recommended for action fans and a must for Bronson collectors, 'Murphy's Law' is available on DVD from MGM Home Entertainment in dual widescreen and standard format with three-language subtitles. To my surprise, the digital transfer is excellent, showing crystal-clear visuals and almost no grain. Murphy's theatrical trailer is included as an extra, which looks shopworn and has Bronson saying "Don't -mess- with Jack Murphy." Fill in the blank yourself.

After 'Murphy's Law,' Bronson and Thompson hit a dry spell with 'Death Wish 4' and 'Messenger of Death.' They ended their collaboration in 1989 with the engaging 'Kinjite: Forbidden Subjects,' Thompson's last film as a director. Bronson's wife Jill Ireland, incidentally, co-produced 'Murphy' with Pancho Kohner.

*** out of 4
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7/10
Don't 'mess' with Jack Murphy!
legendaryunderdog18 May 2008
I found this Charles Bronson/J. Lee Thompson film combo to be not so bad after all. Bronson plays tough as nails detective/cop Jack Murphy who lost his wife and now has a big drinking problem. Along the way through his travels he runs into a very mouthy young lady who eventually becomes friendly with him. The action is all there along with some rare Bronson dark-humor as well. It seems as though somebody is getting revenge on Bronson and his cronies for an unfortunate incident that had happened years prior. Very well done movie, I thought at times it was a little cheesy (I keep forgetting that this flick was from 1986). Not bad at all. Definitely a rating or two (or three) higher than Director Thompson and Bronsons next film combo 'Death Wish 4 : The Crackdown'. It is worth a viewing. 7 out of 10 stars will definitely do.
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6/10
classic bronson doing what he does best; kicking ass
michellelocke00715 September 2010
while he was still making movies for cannon films which is no longer in existence, bronson took the lead in this cop thriller from the early eighties. he stars as jack murphy a worn and beaten down cop who has been framed for the murder of his wife who left him to become a stripper in a sleazy bar. while on the run from the mob as well, and trying to clear his name, he is handcuffed to a mouthy petty thief named arabella mcgee. considering it is kathleen whilhoite's first starring role in a feature (she plays arabella) she turned in a great and funny performance. she has a mouth like a trucker but has some very creative and imaginative ways of telling people off who displease her ie. snot-licking donkey fart among other things. while she is more than half of bronson's age the writers were trying to build some kind of weird sexual tension between the two and it clearly wasn't working. it came off more creepy and awkward than anything else. while bronson's later movies won't win any awards it will keep you entertained.
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Excellent action film
Nicholas Rhodes28 June 2003
I am a great fan of Charles Bronson, and this is indeed a great action film with plenty of violence in the same vein as the Death Wish series. You are not bored for one minute, as there's always so much going on. And I just love Bronson's way of dealing with tricky situations. The only thing that frightened me was the lady villain. Her face, her dialogues, her look were really FRIGHTENING. They certainly found the actress for the job. No doubt they wouldn't make films like that today since we are now living under the yoke of political correctness ! All the more reason to buy the dvd to get a breath of fresh air and personal liberty !
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A+ Bronson!
dtucker8617 October 2003
All right folks, we all know the late Mister Bronson wasn't a good "actor" in the traditional sense. When you went to see his films, you didn't go to see him do Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams, you went to see him blow scum away and he always delivered. I think he had a higher body count then Clint Eastwood. Murphy's Law is probably the closest thing he ever did to a comedy. He and Kathleen Wilhoite made a good team as a foul mouthed street girl and a drunken framed for murder cop on the run. Wilhoite has to set some kind of a record in this film for the most swear words (the most imaginative swear words). Bronson is stony faced as usual but that was just him. I like the scene where he plays Russian Roulette on that one mobster (he literally catches him with his pants down). Jack Murphy is a burnt out drunk but you still feel for him. The only thing I couldn't figure out is why he didn't show them that bump on the back of his head after those guys killed his ex wife and tried to make it look like he did it? Lapse of logic there. The jail break and helicopter scene are the best part of the film as is the final shootout. Carrie Snodgrass is wonderful as the female psychopath and I love this exchange she has with Bronson (You go to hell!...Ladies first!). Bronson was never really able to have another hit as big as Death Wish (who could top that?). However this film is worth a look, after all in how many films does the hero throw his groceries at the bad guys and get kneed in the cojones by the heroine? Look for 1940s gangster star Lawrence Tierney in a cameo.
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7/10
"What took you so long, butt-crust?"
Scott LeBrun12 January 2017
Mostly routine, but agreeably trashy goodness from the Charles Bronson-J. Lee Thompson- Cannon Group-1980s assembly line. The almighty Bronson plays Jack Murphy, a detective whose motto is simple: "Don't *beep* with Jack Murphy." But of course, somebody does: a vindictive, psychotic woman named Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgress), who goes about murdering people who Jack knows and framing him for the crimes. However, Jack seizes upon an opportunity, breaking out of prison while handcuffed (shades of "The Defiant Ones") to a foul mouthed car thief, Arabella McGee (scene stealing Kathleen Wilhoite).

With this team, you expect some pretty straightforward, and effectively sleazy, entertainment. It's fairly violent as well as exploitative (ever delectable Angel Tompkins, as Jacks' ex-wife Jan, plays a stripper and shows off some of the goods). Gail Morgan Hickmans' story is diverting, throwing in a subplot involving a mobster named Frank Vincenzo (Richard Romanus) and creating a reasonable body count.

What gives this otherwise formulaic scenario a shot in the arm is the give and take between Bronson and the sexy, husky voiced Wilhoite. She's constantly firing off insults at him. While they were much more profane in the original script, Wilhoites' one-liners are still ridiculously funny. And you can see that Bronson is having some fun with this premise. It's not often that he had a full blown sidekick in one of his vehicles.

Other familiar faces that turn up include Robert F. Lyons, Bill Henderson, James Luisi, Janet MacLachlan, and Lawrence Tierney. It is somewhat novel that our vengeance crazed villain is female, and Snodgress is just fine as the kind of psycho who's *well aware* that they're a psycho.

Capped off by a finale that offers up some fairly good suspense, and a typically amusing Bronson quip.

Wilhoite gets an "introducing" credit, although she'd actually made her film debut in "Private School" three years previous. She also belts out the theme song over the end credits.

Seven out of 10.
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6/10
Surprisingly Good 80s Bronson B Movie *** out of *****
Welshfilmfan3 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Another Charles Bronson Film from the 80's produced by Golan/Globus' Cannon Group - A Studio notorious throughout the 80s for making pretty trashy Films on a low budget starring Chuck Norris, Bronson or bigger stars out of work, so my expectations were very low....

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised, I know it's not going to win any awards but for what is, it's pretty good.

Bronson plays Det. Jack Murphy a Middle aged cop with relationship and drink problems whose stripper Ex-Wife and his various Friends are being bumped off by someone - The Police force thinks it's him and so he's arrested and stuck in jail with a young carjacker Arabella Mcgee (Kathleen Wilhoite) who tried to steal his car earlier on - So to clear his name and find out whose killing his buddies and why - he breaks out of Prison still handcuffed to the initially reluctant Arabella.

The Script is neither here nor there in 'Cannon Films' although the Insults Aimed at Murphy from Arabella throughout border on ridiculous and are probably the oddest ever filmed.

There's plenty of action and is directed well from the Director of 'Cape Fear' & 'Guns of Navarone' J.Lee Thompson, who made quite a few films with Bronson.

All in All not great, but far better than you would expect.

*** out of *****
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7/10
"Go To Hell.................. Ladies First"
bkoganbing21 May 2007
Warning: Spoilers
One of the more enjoyable Charles Bronson violence fest flicks I've always liked is Murphy's Law. If for no other reason than to enjoy the stream of original insults flowing from the mouth of Kathleen Wilhoite.

Jack Murphy as played by Bronson is a hard luck cop, whose manner seems to make him just as many friends among the good guys as the bad. His wife has even left him to earn money as a topless dancer.

And on the day when Murphy's Law comes crashing down on Murphy he gets himself stuck with a foulmouthed teenage runaway. First he arrests her and later when he's arrested for the murder of his ex-wife and her boyfriend, he escapes with foulmouthed Kathleen Wilhoite handcuffed to him.

Among Murphy's other enemies are mafioso Robert Romanus and his family, a jealous fellow homicide cop James Luisi, and recently released killer Carrie Snodgrass. One way or another they're all out to get him.

By the way all three of those players deliver wonderful performances, especially Snodgrass. She is one evil woman.

But the one who really steals this film is young Kathleen Wilhoite at whom I'm amazed at the writers of Murphy's Law were able to find so many insults to cram into her mouth during a 102 minute film. She delivers them with gusto to Bronson and anyone else in hearing range.

I think viewers will enjoy this film, especially the last 20 minutes or so where Bronson takes on all his foes.
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6/10
Great insults!
exmfc14 February 2005
Our group watched this on valentine's day and I can tell you that it was a wonderful idea. We ended up writing down as many of those excellent 80's insults as possible, and our list ended up filling an entire page. You just don't see movies anymore where a major character says things like "I must have boogers for brains," or "eat it toe jam," let alone calls Bronson a "Snot Licking Donkey Fart" or a "Camel Crotch." We agonized over the seething sexual subtext throughout the film, wondering "would they or wouldn't they?" For maximum fun, appoint someone to yell "BRONSONED!!!!" whenever a heaping helping of snarling .44 Magnum super-justice appears imminent.
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8/10
I love this movie!
mwmerkelbach30 July 2004
Warning: Spoilers
I'm not a typical fan of Mr. Charles Bronson, whom I always respected for his appearance in 'Once Upon A Time In The West' (1969). There he was excellent throughout the whole movie. But I found 'Murphy's Law' really weird and entertaining, when I saw it first time by accident on TV. The atmosphere is terrific, the acting of both – Charles Bronson and young Kathleen Wilhoite – is convincing and I enjoyed their absurd relationship very much. Only Carrie Snodgress is a bit over the top and too much of a cliché in her attempts of being totally evil. But if you like b-movies because of their more 'realistic' approach contrary to those perfect illusions built up by the big ones, this is one you should definitely watch. It's dirty and obscure, a low life mystery placed in L.A. and I personally enjoyed it from the very start till the very end! Fantastic showdown anyway: a lot better than in those more recent, critically highly acclaimed crime movies I saw during the last 10 years. Hey you harsh critics, what's wrong with this one? "Murphys Law" has a solid plot, which is much better than most of those useless complicated stories of contemporary high-tech-productions. This Bronson/Thompson collaboration is definitely entertaining and surprisingly underrated. Give it a try! It's worth it.
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10/10
"Don't f*** with Jack Murphy!"
Renaldo Matlin4 October 2003
"Murphy's Law" was a refreshing change-of-pace for Charlie, not that it gives him less scenes to kick criminals around, and blow them away in cold blood, but it has a great flair of comedy and introduces the legendary superstar to the run-from-everybody-and-prove-your-innocence formula that was created by Hitchcock in the 1930's. The scenes between Bronson and Kathleen Wilhoite are fun to watch (exactly HOW many words of insult does Wilhoite come up with in this movie?) and Carrie Snodgress is downright scary as a female psycho. Her opening scene with B-movie-star legend Lawrence Tierney is chilling. To top it all of Bronson get to deliver a reeeaaally cool line before he blows away one of the bad-guys at the end. Nobody says the F-word like Charles Bronson, that's for sure.

Only one quibble: the score (the songs not included). It's like the composer walked out on the project and they had to do with some low budget prerecorded stuff. It's just awful how the music sometimes just seem to loop for two minutes and then tone down in a second when a phone rings, or a line is spoken. I hope someone was fired for this.

But asides from the soundtrack this really is one of Charles Bronson's best of the 1980's, together with "The Evil That Men Do" and "Death Hunt". If you're not a fan of Bronson I guess that's not saying much, but if you DO like him you can not miss "Murphy's Law"!
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8/10
Dont Mess with Jack Murphy
harry kelly1 February 2004
I think that Charles Bronson's performance as an alcoholic washed up cop is great. This is a great cop movie that doesnt fit the mold of most police films made. It is entertaining, and though Arabella's mouth gets a little annoying the film holds your attention. The villain in this film is unique and as mean as they come. Check it out if you like Bronson!!
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6/10
It is what it is.
The Grand Master28 November 2016
Charles Bronson enjoyed a career boost with the successful release of Death Wish (1974) and throughout the 1970's and 1980's Bronson was in a string of violent action movies, most of which were hit-and-miss. Murphy's Law was one of those movies which can be seen as one you just have to accept the fact that it is what it is.

Hardnosed alcoholic LAPD Detective Jack Murphy (Charles Bronson) successfully had serial killer Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgress, who was effectively good value as the villain) locked up behind bars years ago. When Freeman is finally released from prison, she vows to ruin Murphy's life by murdering his stripper ex-wife Jan (Angel Tompkins) and other police officers on her hit list, framing Murphy for her crimes. After he's arrested, the police handcuff Murphy to a foul mouthed car thief, Arabella McGee (Kathleen Wilhoite) who Murphy had arrested earlier. Still handcuffed to Arabella, Murphy breaks out of police custody and the two must work together to find the real killer.

By no means is the movie tame with it's R18+ rating deserved for its violence and sexual content. Leave your brain at the door and don't expect too much from Charles Bronson and the straightforward plot and you might enjoy some old school action. Otherwise, you may consider this a waste of time and look elsewhere.

6/10.
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7/10
"Ladies first" is the last thing this lady will hear, thanks to Jack Murphy
Terrell-47 October 2009
Warning: Spoilers
Murphy's Law: If anything could possibly go wrong, it will.

Murphy's Second Law: Don't mess with Jack Murphy. (Substitute the usual word for 'mess.')

Murphy's Law is a lot better than some people would have you believe. Yeah, yeah, it's a Charles Bronson film from the Eighties, a period when a lot of film enthusiasts sniffed that Bronson was little more than a stuffed dummy who phoned in his performances. Bronson is one of those actors who make condescension drip from the lips of some cineastes.

Charles Bronson was no typical Hollywood actor. He didn't have to be. With that worn-out, weary, tough face he could set a scene just by being there. Bronson was Bronson, and we knew the kind of taciturn, honest, relentless character he'd be. Bronson was a private man, kept to himself, was realistic about his talents and proud enough to deliver the goods. With all that said, you either kind of like his star movies, or at least some of them, or you kind of don't. Murphy's Law is one I like.

Jack Murphy is a police detective on the downslide. His wife, a stacked stripper at a gentlemen's club who fancies herself a dancer, has just divorced him. Murphy doesn't want to let her go, drinks himself into a stupor most nights and shows up for work with stains on his rumpled suit and bad breath. Then his wife is killed and he's arrested for her murder. Jack Murphy knows he must find out who the real murderer is, so he breaks out of jail. While he tries to identify the killer, the killer bumps off one person after another who helps Murphy or who was associated with him. Early in the movie we know who the killer is (this is no spoiler), a psycho named Joan Freeman (Carrie Snodgrass). Murphy put her behind bars ten years ago and now she's out. She's ready for some wet revenge. She leaves corpses in her wake. She pumps iron with a vengeance. She smokes. She's also handy with a garrote, a cross bow and a pistol. Never, never take a bath with her.

With just this as a plot Murphy's Law might have been an efficient, violent and reasonably entertaining Bronson movie. What I like about it is the gimmick -- the relationship between Murphy and a foul-mouthed young thief named Arabella McGee (played by Kathleen Wilhoit). Murphy had been handcuffed to Arabella at the stationhouse after he was arrested. When he broke out he had to take her along with him. A movie cliché? Sure. I think it works because of Murphy's tough stoicism and Arabella's creative and energetic profanity. There's nice chemistry between Bronson and Wilhoit. Wilhoit looks more like a tomboy than a cutesy starlet, more a gamin rough around the edges. She's a good actress and holds her own with Bronson's screen charisma. When the handcuffs finally come off thanks to Arabella's lock- picking skills, she decides to stick around with Murphy. If he can clear his name, he'll clear hers as being an accomplice in the escape. And off they go, with Murphy now fighting a three-front war. Freeman is after him. A cop who hates his guts is after him. And a mob smoothie he beat up is after him. The climax is a rough battle between Murphy and Freeman in a dark, gloomy building already loaded with some of her corpses. Arabella proves useful. Murphy proves capable.
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7/10
Well you just don't mess with him.
Spikeopath26 August 2008
Veteran detective Jack Murphy is a highly wanted man, after being framed for the murder of his ex-wife, he escapes and sets off in pursuit of the real killer. But Jack not only has the killer to occupy his mind, he also has the mob hoping to bring him down as well.

Murphy's Law is a very enjoyable and tidy thriller, it finds Charles Bronson in a role that requires a cool veneer, that he delivers is something of a given to this particular viewer, but the unflustered nature of the character actually lifts this film above many of Bronson's other 80s efforts. The plot is simple, and some of the dialogue comes heavy with a slice of cheese, but the set pieces stand up, and here we have a female villain worthy of the title. Carrie Snodgress is the lady in question and, although underused because of Murphy's other plot strands, she puts gusto and menace into the role of the vengeful Joan Freeman. A running plot strand involving Murphy and Kathleen Wilhoite's youthful, and foul mouthed Arabella McGee, only hinders the film instead of enhancing it, tho the simmering sexual tension between the two does makes for an intriguing arc, and it definitely helps the film's finale deliver the goods with added impact. Perhaps I'm being over biased towards Bronson? But I honestly believe that this film is seriously undervalued on internet sites, enjoy it's cool leading man and take in a great female villain-even if she is sadly under written. 7/10
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6/10
When you just can't take a break.
lost-in-limbo28 August 2007
Life for police detective Jack Murphy is the pits, especially after his wife left him and has become a stripper. He hit's the bottle, and gets into scuffles with his fellow officers. Things get worse when he's suddenly framed for his wife and lover's murder, and he's arrested. He gets handcuffed to the dirty-mouthed street thief he caught earlier. By chance they both manage to escape and Murphy goes after the real killer, to only find out he's the one being preyed upon by the mafia and psychotic murderer.

This tough guy image really works for Charles Bronson, and makes any standard revenge story compelling. In it's defence, this Bronson vehicle (produced by Cannon) might be routine, but Gail Morgan Hickman's above average screenplay has plenty going on and throws our way a few effective surprises. The strategic story is grounded by its hard as nails approach, where the sombre and seedy urban atmosphere can be a brutal smack in the guts. Even the humour has that dark touch, but what did get tiresome was the constant potty-language and banter erupting from Kathleen Wilhoite's explosively charming character. Did it grate! The compulsively uneven, but hard-bitten script keeps on the move and can draw tension, but never goes in to much depth of the characters and situations. What begins interestingly enough, changes course for a buddy story with awkward attempts of humour and nastiness. In parts it kinda reminded me of Eastwood's superior action film "The Gauntlet (1977)".

J. Lee Thompson's efficient direction is sharply observed and packs grittiness, but really lacked the avid jolts. The professional camera work visually gets amongst the dirt, but can provide some airy scope. The crisp sounding music score is very well balanced. A weary looking Bronson might look like he's slumming it in, but his low-scale turn works accordingly and keeps you hanging on. Kathleen Wilhoite's lively chemistry with Bronson wasn't bad. Carrie Snodgress neatly goes about her psychotic part with utter coldness and Richard Romanus is perfectly cast as a seamy mobster. Look out for an amusing cameo role by Lawrence Tierney.

Roughly engaging and mildly humorous revenge b-film.
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10/10
This film is fantastic...
Andrew Eastenegger30 November 2001
This film is great and great action sequences by Bronson. This movie as it all, it really kicks the ass of the puffy action stars today. The onny greats about now is Arnold and Sly... But back in the 70's the action stars was Bronson and Clint, which Sly and Arnold are the same as them...

I got a email of Kathleen (Maquee) last week and she said it was great working with Bronson. And he's a sweet guy, and not mean. But if you get on his bad side you'll probably end up getting fired. But she said he loved her.

She really a nice gal aswell, this film as it all, the theme score, the action and the star, "BRONSON"...
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8/10
Jack Murphy is the law and you just broke it!
The Bronson Fan21 July 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Spoilers ahead. Murphy's Law is a the way fans of Charles Bronson want to see him...kicking ass and not taking anything from anybody. Murphy's Laws is about a cop Jack Murphy (Bronson) who's down on his luck, likes the bottle and wife just left him. All this and he's a guy who's made a lot of enemies in the past and one just got out. One thing leads to another Bronson is framed for the murder of his ex wife and boyfriend and goes on the lamb stuck with a rather annoying punked out female character, who at least has some funny dialogue. Soon Bronson's friends and some others are killed leading him to who the real killer is and Bronson must face her...yes a scary female killer in the final showdown. This is one of Bronsons better films. Who wants to see great acting with Bronson, I want to see scum get blown away and this movie delivers it. I would say there was more then enough action and bit story to keep people happy. Along with that there is plenty of bad language and vile comments for entertainment value. Look for Bronson in the police station when he nails the other cop in the face, great moment. Much of the movie Bronson is stuck with a girl named Arabella, who has one of the foulest mouths one will come across who's gets to trash everyone she comes in contact with. Needless to say I didn't need to even see a hint of a love connection between the two. Bronson is way old and she is ugly, so luckily that was not pursued in depth. Overall I enjoyed this movie, although it does not have the action level of Death Wish 3, it packs enough of a punch for a Bronson fan. Overall 8 out of 10 stars. Don't mess With Bronson!
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7/10
Murphy's Law (1986) ***
JoeKarlosi21 June 2008
I revisited this for the first time in several years, and I really enjoyed it. It's got a stronger and different Charles Bronson performance in it as he plays a cop who's one of several targets on an insane woman's hit list as she seeks vengeance after getting out of jail. In addition to the good Bronson performance, I thought the female killer (Carrie Snodgress) was a welcome addition and was a fairly formidable villainess. The big problem in the film is the repetitive and childish "potty-mouth" name calling by the annoying Kathleen Wilhoite; it's not funny especially after a couple dozen times, nor are the names especially creative. She plays a young car thief who gets mixed up with Bronson and comes close to spoiling the movie; thankfully there is still enough action going on that I'm willing to ignore her and call this a good film of its type. *** out of ****
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Not bad
nko_12312 December 2006
1980's was the time of bad music on the Hollywood films. It doesn't make any difference in "Murphy's Law".

Only reason why I did buy "Murphy's Law" was Charles Bronson. Bronson makes good job as a drunk police who's wife has left him. Things starts look bad when Murphy is framed for the murder of his ex wife and her new boyfriend. Murphy goes to jail but escapes with young female criminal with him.

J. Lee Thompson was a fine director. This is not a "Cape Fear" but it isn't meant to be. This is fine entertaining from the magical duo; Bronson, Thompson and Cannon Group.

6/10
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7/10
"Ladies first!"
Predrag13 May 2016
Bronson plays the typical alcoholic cop chasing a crazed killer. He has unexpected company when a young lass becomes involved with him when she steals his car, and they somehow bond and work together to catch the criminal. She constantly batters him with insults ("butt crust"), which are hilarious and numerous. This one stands out as one of my all time favorite Charles Bronson films..

Besides the foul language, there is nudity and gore which I did not think added anything to the story, but helped get the R rating I believe the filmmakers were aiming for. Take all that away, and you have an excellent and suspenseful movie. You have a cop falsely accused of murder handcuffed to a young female thief who tried to rob from him earlier. The result is a relationship that makes one wonder if it is more of a September-may romance or a father-daughter relationship.

Overall rating: 7 out of 10.
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7/10
Bronson's law, is the only law you need to know
Murphys Law is a tight, action packed, psychological adventure, thriller. There, I said it. It's one of his better vehicles. I love adventure thrillers like this, and it's revenge theme is a bonus. Settling an old score, psycho killer (Snodgress), who's escaped from the looney bun, sets up Bronson good, only having him escape, handcuffed to a reluctant foul mouthed prisoner (the great versatile character actress, Kathleen Wilhoitte) where they escape in a helicopter off the top off the police building then crash into a barn, occupied by druggie bikers. I'll just let you see how Bronson handles this one. Wilhoitte's insults deserves recognition for their originality. Soon the two become pals, where she assists him in tracking down the SOB responsible for killing his wife, then framing him. One suspect, a gangster, who Bronson cautions, with his own brand of Murphy's Law, after he made threats towards him, is literally caught with his pants down down. If you love watching Bronson do what he does best, just add this better title to the list. Murphy, a bit of a boozer too, doesn't like other cops insulting his wife either.
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7/10
Murphy's Law
Scarecrow-883 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Life has been pretty tough on Jack Murphy(Charles Bronson), a cop whose ex-wife left him for the owner of a strip club(she dances there!)and has become a victim of a female psychopath(Carrie Snodgress), recently paroled after being put away by him for ten years after shooting her boyfriend. When we first are introduced to Murphy, his car is being stolen by a thief, Arabella(Kathleen Wilhoite), a disrespectful young woman with an abusive mouth and bad manners. Then we recognize that he's a boozer after his wife left him. Murphy has to kill a pimp when this nutcase goes berserk shooting people at an airport..this pimp had murdered one of his prostitutes and is the brother of a mafioso named Frank Vincenzo(Richard Romanus)who vows to get revenge on Murphy. When Murphy is set up for the murder of his ex-wife and her lover by Freeman he must go on the lam, escaping lock up with Arabella in tow(they are handcuffed and he was responsible for finally finding and arresting her). When Freeman kills Murphy's former partner, Jack is again considered the one responsible. Then Freeman kills a judge and prosecutor and when Murphy finds out through his partner, Art(Robert F Lyons), that she is the one he helped send to prison, all the murders become perfectly clear..Freeman is taking out everyone who put her in prison. With Bill Henderson, on crutches(because of his being shot in the back by a 16 year old teenager), as Ben Wilcover, Murphy's partner, and Angel Tompkins as Jan, Jack's ex-wife who has a strip tease at one point in the movie. Lawrence Tierney has a cameo as a private investigator who gets Freeman the names and addresses of those associated with her imprisonment suffering a rather unpleasant fate when he insists on payment for extra expenses. One of several collaborations between Bronson and director J Lee Thompson. Meanspirited and violent, MURPHY'S LAW gets its laughs come from the unlikely partnership of Murphy and Arabella who become friendly as they attempt to evade law enforcement, while trying to clear Jack's name. The ending has Snodgress, as you've never seen her before, equipped with a crossbow(having kidnapped Arabella right from under Murphy's nose), and Vincenzo, with his gangster thugs, both aiming to kill Murphy in the old Bradbury building. Many might get a kick out of Wilhoite's smart aleck mouth as she spouts foul gibberish such as "Eat boogers", "Watch out snot-rag", and "penis envy" towards those who get on her bad side. This movie certainly stacks the deck against poor Murphy who has his share of difficulties thanks to Snodgress.
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5/10
Typical Charles Bronson film with psychopath included
ma-cortes23 November 2006
Warning: Spoilers
A psychopatic series killer(Carrie Snodgress) executes a criminal rampage(among others Laurence Tierney) and a police named Newman(Charles Bronson) is accused for killing .Also his ex-wife, a stripper(Angel Tompkins)is murdered and Newman is sent to the jail.He breaks out from the prison shackled to a thief adolescent girl named Arabella(Kathleen Wilhoite).Both early are coping with mutual hatred for different character and age as they run from the police although later they team up.They gather together escape prison handcuffed leading a chase that involves a helicopter and numerous shootouts. Meanwhile he asks the help a friend police(Robert F Lyons)and the killer goes to murder a friend of him and the newspaper publishes: Escaped cop kills again.

The film is an action packed formulaic tale of two escaped convicts,one tough and one rebel,foul mouthed young ,they flee from the authority and confront nasties mobsters(Richard Romanus).Here there isn't ¨Death Wish¨story but it's a plot utilized in previous films as ¨The Defiants:version 1958,1986;The Gauntlet;48 hours,and Fled¨all of which are quite better movies.The picture is produced by Cannon production,Menahen Golan,Yoran Globus, in their splendor time. The motion picture is regularly directed by the veteran and recently deceased J.Lee Thompson,a successful director although in his last period he only directed various violent Charles Bronson vehicles,like this one.Rating : Average though sometimes is a little entertained.The picture is exclusively for Charles Bronson hardcore devotees.
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