Watch It

Enter your location to get local movie times + tickets:
On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Lethal Weapon Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    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.

    Read Full Review

  • 12

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    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]

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Julie Salamon

    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]

  • 80

    out of 100

    The New York Times Janet Maslin

    The film is all fast action, noisy stunts and huge, often unflattering close-ups, but it packs an undeniable wallop.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Lethal Weapon reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Mismatched cops spar in violent '80s action hit.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film contains graphic violence. Though the tone of this movie is mostly serious, it treats the deaths of villains and innocent civilians in a very casual manner, as if killing bad guys is simply part of the job of being a cop. The only violence that seems to have a psychic toll is the harm done to young, attractive women. Sex is portrayed only in the context of prostitution and murder.

  • Families can talk about the violence here. Do you think there is a message here amongst the carnage -- or is this simply an action film and not meant to be taken seriously? Another topic to explore is the film brought the archetypal "buddy picture" to the forefront of Hollywood cinema. Families may want to compare and contrast the ways in which this theme is presented in more recent films such as Rush Hour, Shanghai Noon, and Men in Black. How do these films use race as a comedic device?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Brute force always wins out here.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: On-screen shootings, suicide, torture.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Female nudity, talk of prostitution.

  • language false5

    Language: Plenty of cursing.

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: This is part of a series. Also, the movie features TV programs – Family Feud, Warner Brothers cartoons, The 3 Stooges.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, reference to marijuana, all portrayed in a negative light.