Lethal Weapon

Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    In a movie with the energy of this one, we're exhilarated by the sheer freedom of movement; the violence becomes surrealistic and less important than the movie's underlying energy level.
  2. 90
    Lethal Weapon opens with a shot of Mel Gibson in his birthday suit and just gets better. Likewise we meet costar Danny Glover in the bathtub, fĂȘted by his family on his 50th birthday. This endearing double exposure introduces us to the vulnerabilities of these superduper heroes, an odd couple of cops who mature into friends as they quell crime.
  3. After watching Gibson and Glover grow accustomed to each other, develop trust and confidence in each other and charge bullheadedly into dangerous situations, you can't help but hope there's a "Lethal Weapon II." It would be one of the few times a sequel would make sense and dollars.
  4. Gibson is truly frightening as the cop about to go into orbit, and Glover is a standout as the down-to-earth lawman with very much to lose.
  5. The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
    Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    88
    Lethal Weapon sinks an unexpectedly sharp hook at a delightfully unique angle, and never once lets up. A purposefully off- kilter flick, it fakes one way and moves another, thwarting our conditioned responses and fuelling our happy surprise. [6 Mar 1987, p.D1]
  6. The film is all fast action, noisy stunts and huge, often unflattering close-ups, but it packs an undeniable wallop.
  7. 80
    The pace never slows, the jokes never miss and the stunts never disappoint in this macho-dream of an actioner.
  8. 70
    Lethal Weapon is a film teetering on the brink of absurdity when it gets serious, but thanks to its unrelenting energy and insistent drive, it never quite falls.
  9. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    What a concept! Mad Max meets The Cosby Show. What a surprise! It works better than a fastidious mind might imagine. One reason is that Mel Gibson himself has been recruited to play Lethal Weapon's lethal weapon, Los Angeles Police Detective Martin Riggs. [23 March 1987, p.86]
  10. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    The skies are thick with whizzing bullets and strings being pulled by Shane Black's crude script and Richard Donner's cement-mixer direction. Predictably, the chicks-and-ammo stuff is punctuated by TV cop show repartee. [6 Mar 1987, p.36]
  11. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    60
    Lethal Weapon is vulgar, violent and predictable. Yet, in some outbreak of id, I got caught up in the shenanigans of Danny Glover and Mel Gibson as a mismatched cop team. Mr. Glover is more than solid and Mr. Gibson has added a kind of raw humor to his repertoire that is extremely sexy. [5 Mar 1987, p.1]
  12. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    50
    At bottom, Lethal Weapon isn't much. It's a big, shallow, flashy, buddy-buddy cop thriller; it attacks you like a stereophonic steamroller, flattening everything behind it. Snatches of "Hustle" "Magnum Force" and "48 HRS." float above this plot like scum on a polluted lake, and the holes in logic and mindless climax are (or should be) embarrassing. [6 Mar 1987, p.4]
  13. 30
    Unfortunately, director Richard Donner doesn't pay much attention to text, subtext, or anything else; his 1986 film is empty glitz in search of a style, with arbitrary action substituting for ordinary narrative coherence.
  14. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Johanna Steinmetz
    12
    The melodramatic clumsiness of the script, and, in one scene, its gratuitous endorsement of marijuana, betrays the youth of its writer, recent UCLA graduate Shane Black. And veteran director Richard Donner, whose credits include another cartoon movie, can't seem to thread the scenes together in any meaningful way. [6 Mar 1987, p.G]
User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 132 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Dec 28, 2012
    7
    Lethal Weapon is a fantastic start to the best buddy-cop movie franchise of all time. The chemistry between Gibson and Glover is fantasticLethal Weapon is a fantastic start to the best buddy-cop movie franchise of all time. The chemistry between Gibson and Glover is fantastic strait from the off. Lethal Weapon is just a classic film all round. Full Review »
  2. May 2, 2011
    7
    A very strange movie for me, mostly thanks to Mel Gibson as Riggs. He has weird hair, weird accent and his way of taking down bad guys isA very strange movie for me, mostly thanks to Mel Gibson as Riggs. He has weird hair, weird accent and his way of taking down bad guys is totally ridiculous. Thankfully, Danny Glover gives a more or less normal performance that really stretches the intentional difference between the two. Gary Busey is also quite strange. Also the end fight between the two is plain silly. Gibson and Busey deck it out in the mud and rain near the end surrounded by gun wielding police officers. Why doesn't Riggs just let them arrest Busey? Questions like these really make you wonder what they were aiming for when they shot this movie. Music is good and there are some good action scenes, but the rest isn't worth watching. Full Review »
  3. JayH
    May 31, 2009
    6
    One of Mel Gibson's better efforts, but it still has more than its share of cliche's. It is indeed very fast paced and has some One of Mel Gibson's better efforts, but it still has more than its share of cliche's. It is indeed very fast paced and has some great action sequences. I am not at all a fan Mel Gibson, so it may effect my rating. Others may enjoy it more. Full Review »