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Though John Badham's Stakeout doesn't flinch in the violence department, the film concentrates primarily on characterization. Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez play a pair of Seattle detectives, assigned to capture escaped hood Aidan Quinn. The twosome spends much of the film on stakeout in a lonely, deserted house; the object of their scrutiny is Madeline Stowe, Quinn's former girlfriend. Pretending to be a telephone repairman, Dreyfuss plants a bug in Stowe's apartment--thereby inaugurating a romance that compromises the detective's objectivity. In the climax, Quinn… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 87%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Slick, sure-footed entertainment, one part buddy comedy and one part police actioner stitched together with a dash of romance."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"A mature human farce that values characters' foibles over their firearms."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
‑ Michael E. Grost, Classic Film and Television
"Enough sophomoric jokes about sex to keep it pleasingly diverting."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"One of the best action comedy films to date. Estevez and Dreyfuss are the ultimate duo."
‑ Clint Morris, Moviehole
"Between Lecce's illicit courtship and Reimers' consternation, there are some hearty laughs of a juvenile nature."
‑ Derek Adams, Time Out
"You might want to stake out a theater near you."
‑ Rita Kempley, Washington Post
"Beats the Lethal Weapon movies at their own game."
‑ Alex Sandell, Juicy Cerebellum
"One of the better buddy films from the 1980's."
‑ Blake Davis, KFOR Channel 4 News
"An OK cop-buddy film; nothing special here. Not one of Badham's best."
‑ Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
"The director uses the conventions of the action-comedy in so adroit a way that you may even forget the hundred other films you've seen lately about a couple of cops kidding around with each other in between battling the bad guys."
‑ Walter Goodman, New York Times
"Dreyfuss and his style are the two best things in "Stakeout," a movie that consists of a good idea surrounded by a bad one."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Dreyfuss and Estevez have true comedic chemistry."
‑ Michael A. Smith, Nolan's Pop Culture Review
"An adequately wacky cops-and-robbers caper. Sharp dialogue and good chemistry between the actors make up for its routine plot twists."
‑ Rob Vaux, Flipside Movie Emporium
More reviews for Stakeout on Rotten Tomatoes