This is the one that really put the buddy cop genre on the map. Nick Nolte is San Francisco cop Jack Cates and Eddie Murphy is convict Reggie Hammond. Cates needs to spring Hammond from jail (for 48 hours, naturally) to help track down one of his former gang mates, Ganz (James Remar), who has broken out of jail and is on a killing spree. Director Walter Hill brings real grit (helped in no small way by Remar’s performance) counter-balanced by the repartee between Nolte and Murphy, and an absolutely incredible score by James Horner. This marked Murphy’s big screen debut, and there’s no question why he went on to such stardom.