48 Hrs.

48 Hrs. Image
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 8 Critics What's this?

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8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 104 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Detective Jack Cates (Nolte) takes convict Reggie Hammond (Murphy) out of jail for forty-eight hours to solve a case.

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. 88
    What makes the movie special is how it's made. Nolte and Murphy are good, and their dialogue is good, too - quirky and funny.
  2. Together Cates and Hammond take a thrill-a-minute trip through the San Francisco underworld and along the way develop one of the 1980s' more interesting cinematic buddy pairings.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    80
    That the fact they come to appreciate one other, the grudging respect of a million clichés, feels so satisfyingly, shows just how successful the film is.
  4. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Jay Scott
    75
    A quick and clever thriller as nasty as a piece of shrapnel snapping the sound barrier, 48 Hrs. is as violent as it is funny. It is very funny. [03 Dec 1982]
  5. 70
    The film is still an entertaining and invigorating thriller, with a structure and some curious sexual overtones that suggest Howard Hawks's "A Girl in Every Port."
  6. 70
    48Hrs. is a very efficient action entertainment which serves as a showy motion picture debut for Eddie Murphy.
  7. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    40
    Neither jokes nor fast, flashy action can completely distract audiences from the failure to establish an authentic, rather than a purely conventional connection between Nolte and Murphy.

See all 8 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. Aug 31, 2010
    9
    An Eddie Murphy classic. Is this movie going to change the way we view life??? No. But it will keep you laughing and nervous at the sameAn Eddie Murphy classic. Is this movie going to change the way we view life??? No. But it will keep you laughing and nervous at the same time and that is a delicate balance, one highly underrated. I like to rate films within their genre. And for its genre it is at least a 9 !!!! Collapse
  2. Feb 1, 2016
    8
    Another installment for Eddie Murphy's earliest years in movies. He didn't betray us with these kinds of movies, he saved his own movies fromAnother installment for Eddie Murphy's earliest years in movies. He didn't betray us with these kinds of movies, he saved his own movies from the 1980's and 1990's for the best. Expand
  3. Mar 22, 2016
    8
    Although dated, there is a brute edginess to this popular slice of formula odd coupling. It’s not just about Eddie Murphy’s foul-mouthedAlthough dated, there is a brute edginess to this popular slice of formula odd coupling. It’s not just about Eddie Murphy’s foul-mouthed comebacks, although they were never as bouncy or cutting as here, or Nick Nolte’s irresponsible bullyboy pose he has spent the rest of his career trying to unseat, but also the way Walter Hill pitches a ready Hollywood staple into a harder, dare-we-say more realistic world. It’s as if Lemmon and Matthau had stumbled into The French Connection, with the added spice of race.

    Indeed, there’s more than a casual tip-of-the-hat in Murphy’s (possibly career best) scene in which, posing as a cop, he saunters into a redneck bar, Confederate Flag pressed to the wall, humming with racist lunks, and jives his way to supremacy. It’s the direct inverse of Gene Hackman’s take-over of a black-filled Harlem bar in that famous thriller. “I'm your worst **** nightmare, man!” snaps Reggie to the dumbstruck clientele. “A **** with a badge.” The writing is an equal to Murphy’s whiplash tongue.

    As this is a film by Hill, who has busily traded in a violent, earthbound machismo (Southern Comfort, The Warriors) it hardly pulls its punches. If anything, this must surely count as the most violent “comedy” in film history, as Hill dwells on the many bare-knuckle beatings (usually involving Nolte) that are his particular filmic peccadillo. Yet, he’s also a skilled purveyor of a piquant, scuzzy atmosphere, a lurid, criminal underbelly where it takes two distrustful specimens to further the cause of good.

    Their story is regulation potboiling, the bad-guys are simply that, bad to the bone, the good guys have the bonus of character and the two stars are having a ball. Nolte no less than the showpiece his partner grants, threads in a sense of pressing moral determination beneath his louche, jack-the-rules exterior. That the fact they come to appreciate one other, the grudging respect of a million clichés, feels so satisfyingly, shows just how successful the film is.
    Expand
  4. May 6, 2014
    6
    No one in "48 Hrs." seems to have a brain or any common sense whatsoever, and the movie has no respect for women and is tastelessly sexist.No one in "48 Hrs." seems to have a brain or any common sense whatsoever, and the movie has no respect for women and is tastelessly sexist. It's just dumb, clichéd, genre fare that's somewhat entertaining. Expand
  5. Jan 13, 2014
    4
    Eh, it was ok. Certainly not as funny as other Eddie Murphy 80's hits "Trading Places" or "Beverly Hills Cop", but it certainly has a fewEh, it was ok. Certainly not as funny as other Eddie Murphy 80's hits "Trading Places" or "Beverly Hills Cop", but it certainly has a few laughs. The story is pretty weak and is really what holds this one back a lot. Expand

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