Below is a list of films which inspired or were based on the Lethal Weapon formula.


  • 2 Guns: 2013 comic book adaptation where a DEA agent and NCIS officer realize that they're both out to stop the same drug cartel.
  • 16 Blocks: One of Richard Donner's last few films to date sees a retiring police officer (Bruce Willis) save a witness (Mos Def) who's about to be framed and murdered by corrupt policemen from the officer's same district.
  • "21 Jump Street" (1987 TV series)
  • 21 Jump Street: 2012 reimagined version of the series.
  • 22 Jump Street: 2014 sequel to the 2012 version.
  • 48 Hrs.: The movie that preceded and set up the whole buddy formula that is now often attributed to the more popular Lethal Weapon quadrilogy.


  • A Good Day to Die Hard: The fifth film in the franchise.
  • Alien Nation
  • Andar Baahar: 1984 Indian rip-off of 48 Hrs.
  • Another 48 Hrs.: The first and last sequel to 1982's 48 Hrs.
  • Another Stakeout: Sequel to 1987's Stakeout.
  • Armed and Dangerous


  • Bad Boys
  • Bad Boys II
  • Bad Boys 3
  • Badges of Fury: 2013 buddy cop vehicle with Jet Li.
  • Beverly Hills Cop: 1984 original film that much like 48 Hrs., pre-dates Lethal Weapon and started Eddie Murphy's successful film career.
  • Beverly Hills Cop II: First sequel to the original film.
  • Beverly Hills Cop III: Second sequel to the first film.
  • Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son
  • Black Rain
  • Blue Streak
  • Bullet to the Head
  • Bulletproof (1996)


  • Collision Course
  • Cop Out (2010): Send-up of 80s cop movies.
  • The Corruptor
  • Cradle 2 the Grave
  • Cyborg Cop III
  • "confidential assignment"


  • Dark Blue
  • Dead Heat: 1988 zombie buddy cop movie.
  • Dhoom
  • Dhoom 2
  • Dhoom 3
  • Die Hard: With a Vengeance: With a rewritten script which was originally intended to be one of the upcoming Lethal Weapon sequels, this film remains one of the few sequels in the Die Hard franchise that was generally well-received due to original director John McTiernan reuniting and the chemistry between John McClane (Bruce Willis) and Zeus (Samuel L. Jackson).
  • Direct Action (2004)
  • Downtown
  • Dragnet: Screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz's directorial debut (also written by Mankiewicz, along with Dan Aykroyd and Alan Zweibel) is a gentle spoof of the legendary '50s television police drama of the same name and pits '50s conservatism smack up against the attitudes of the '80s.
  • Drive (1997)


  • End of Watch



  • The Gauntlet
  • The Glimmer Man
  • Good Cop, Bon Cop
  • "The Good Guys" (2010 TV series)
  • The Guard
  • Gunmen (1993)


  • The Hard Way
  • The Heat (2013): Starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy.
  • Hickey & Boggs: A 1972 detective film that also pre-dates Lethal Weapon.
  • The Hidden
  • Hollow Point
  • Hollywood Cop: 1986 rip-off of Beverly Hills Cop
  • Hollywood Homicide
  • Hologram Man
  • Hot Fuzz: Parody and send-up of various buddy and cop films.


  • I Spy: Update of the 1960s spy comedy show with Eddie Murphy and Owen Wilson.
  • In the Heat of the Night
  • "In the Heat of the Night": TV continuation of the 1960 film of the same name.



  • K-9 (1989): A film about a police detective who works alongside a German Shepherd for a partner as they attempt to bring down a drug lord, although "one's just a little smarter than the other." It was released a few months before Lethal Weapon 2. Sherman Howard, who portrays a henchman in Lethal Weapon 2, appears in this film also as a henchman.
  • K-911
  • K-9: P.I.
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
  • Knock Off


  • Last Action Hero
  • The Last Boy Scout
  • Let's Be Cops
  • "Life On Mars" (2006 UK TV series)
  • "Life On Mars" (2008 US TV series)
  • Live Free or Die Hard (A.K.A. Die Hard 4.0): The third sequel and fourth film in the Die Hard series finds John McClane and a computer geek going up against a corrupt computer hacker and his terrorist group.
  • Loaded Weapon 1: Parody of various action, SciFi and horror blockbusters with Lethal Weapon being the main parody and way at connecting any sort of storyline.
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight: Another Shane Black action film.
  • Loose Cannons


  • The Man
  • Martial Law (TV show)
  • Maximum Force (1992)
  • Maximum Risk
  • Men in Black: Two government agents (one rather reserved, the other a former streetwise cop) must team up to stop an alien invasion. Loosely based on a Marvel comic book.
  • Men in Black II: First sequel to the 1997 original.
  • Men in Black 3: Second sequel in the series.
  • Metro
  • Miami Cops: 1989 low-rent Lethal Weapon rip-off with Richard Roundtree.
  • "Miami Vice" (1984 TV series)
  • Miami Vice: 2006 gritty version of the fun '80s television show of the same name.
  • Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous
  • Money Train


  • Narc
  • National Security
  • Number One with a Bullet: A Cannon Films release that pre-dates the Lethal Weapon film by a month. Detectives Barzak (Robert Carradine) and Hazeltine (Billy Dee Williams) are trying their hardest to bring down a drug ring, but they're meeting with trouble at every turn, which leads the officers to suspect a mole in their midst. When the detectives are dissuaded by their superiors from following a lead about the man behind the whole operation, Barzak and Hazeltine are forced to find the truth on their own without the support of their department.


  • Osmosis Jones
  • The Other Guys: Another comedic takedown of various cop movies.
  • "Ozzy & Drix" (2002 TV series): Cartoon television spin-off to the 2001 animated film Osmosis Jones


  • Point Break
  • Police Story III: Supercop (A.K.A. Supercop): Second related-in-name only sequel to the everlasting Jackie Chan series of comedic and stunt-laden film franchise.



  • R.I.P.D.: Comic adaptation that bares resemblance to the Men in Black films.
  • Red Heat (1988): A buddy cop movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Belushi, one who portrays a Russian police officer (Schwarzenegger), and the other a hotheaded Chicago Police Officer (Belushi) who must track down a wanted fugitive responsible for killing the former's partner back in Russia.
  • Renegades: An American cop is teamed with a Native American civilian in order to take down a gang of criminals.
  • Ride Along (2014): Ice Cube stars as a police officer from Atlanta who reluctantly brings a partner along with him (Kevin Hart) as they attempt to bring down a criminal whose identity has never been revealed.
  • Ride Along 2 (2016):
  • The Rookie (1990)
  • The Rundown: 2003 action-adventure film with various comedic moments and based around a bounty hunter trying to rescue the son of a billionaire from a South American villain and his goons who have devastated a village.
  • Running Scared (1986): A 1986 action/comedy film directed by Peter Hyams, written by Gary Devore and Jimmy Huston and starring Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal Chicago police officers who, after nearly being killed on the job, decide to retire and open a bar in Key West, only to get caught up in making one last arrest before they go.
  • Rush Hour (1998): Starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, the movie shares a little resemblance with Lethal Weapon 4, which was released earlier that year. Detective James Carter (portrayed by Tucker) has a similar personality to Lee Butters in LW4 and the main villains of both films are the Chinese Triads.
  • Rush Hour 2 (2001)
  • Rush Hour 3 (2007)


  • Samurai Cop: 1991 film by the director of Hollywood Cop that was rediscovered due to it's "so-bad-it's-good" reputation.
  • Samurai Cop: Deadly Vengeance: 2015 tongue-in-cheek sequel that was funded through the movie donation site
  • Se7en
  • Shanghai Noon: Comedic Action-Western in the tradition of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Lethal Weapon
  • Shanghai Knights: Sequel to 2000's Shanghai Noon
  • Shotgun: 1989 PM Entertainment Group film about a former Los Angeles police detective (Stuart Chapin) and his ex-partner (Riff Hutton) hunt a sex maniac and bust a drug ring.
  • Showdown in Little Tokyo
  • Showtime: Robert De Niro is L.A.P.D. detective Mitch Preston, a gruff, no-nonsense 28-year veteran whose bust of a drug gang is botched one night by Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy), a bumbling patrolman who's really a frustrated actor at heart. When Mitch's aggravation is captured by a television news crew, he fires his gun in their direction and becomes an instant media celebrity, while earning himself a temporary suspension at work. After his fame draws the attention of network TV producer Chase Renzi (Rene Russo), Mitch is soon informed that the only way he can get back to work is to allow a production crew to trail him on the job for a new cop reality series called "Showtime". In order to make the taciturn lawman more palatable to the viewing public, he's paired with the camera-friendly, fast-talking Trey. The new partners drive each other crazy, but their mismatched sensibilities make for great TV, while their newfound fame has its advantages in getting them back on the trail of those escaped drug dealers, who possess a powerful new weapon. The film co-stars Frankie Faison and William Shatner, who sends up his own TV cop role in "T.J. Hooker".
  • The Silencers (1996)
  • Split Second
  • Stakeout: 1987 buddy cop film that came out months after the original Lethal Weapon.
  • Starsky & Hutch: 2004 adapted comedic version of the '70s cop show.
  • Street Kings
  • S.W.A.T.


  • Tango & Cash
  • Theodore Rex
  • Tiger on Beat: 1988 buddy cop movie starring Chou-Yun Fat.
  • Tiger on Beat II
  • Top Dog
  • Training Day
  • Turner & Hooch
  • T-Force




  • White Chicks (2004): Two undercover police officers (brothers Marlan and Shawn Wayans) are given an assignment to protect two white females. After a mishap in their car and being targeted by an underground gang, the cops disguise themselves as the very same females to conceal their identities on the case.
  • The Wild Pair (1987) [1]
  • Wild Wild West




Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.