Who doesn’t like watching a good cop movie every so often? From buddy cop movies to gritty dramas depending on your mood.
Some may expect to Die Hard to be on this list, but I will clear this up now. It’s not. While Die Hard is an awesome movie, it is not a cop movie.
#10 Beverly Hills Cop
Beverly Hills Cop may have been the first buddy-cop movie I’ve ever seen. I can’t recall seeing one before it. Axel Foley is a troubled detective whose childhood friend is murdered. He goes on a mission to solve his friend’s murder and gets into much trouble.
Eddie Murphy and Judge Reinhold star in it, which is a fun movie. Although it is a little dated, it has still stood up to the test of time. If you haven’t seen it, you should.
#9 Lethal Weapon
It pains me to put this on the list after that horrible tv series, but it deserves it; well, the movies do.
Truly nothing too special with these as they are just funny cop movies. Lethal Weapon ended up being Mel Gibson at his peak. Mel has done some other great movies in this period, but this is what got the ball going. Gibson is a shell of what he used to be.
If you can’t think of anything new to watch but want a comedy, think of Lethal Weapon.
#8 Turner & Hooch
I take back what I said earlier. I think Turney & Hooch is the first buddy-cop movie I’ve seen if you count the dog as being a buddy.
I loved this fun movie as a kid, and my kids now love it. While it was a favorite as a kid, it still does great and holds you to the story as an adult.
Tom Hanks shines in this movie and is the true star. His interactions with the dog are believable, funny, and light-hearted. Turney & Hooch is about a detective who must adopt a dog with their own mind to use the dog to help find a killer. Watch this movie with the whole family or just by yourself with some popcorn or your favorite snack.
#7 21 Jump Street
21 Jump Street is equal parts comedy and action, which is a perfect blend. When this was announced, I had doubts about it, but they did the original tv series right and made it edgier and sexier.
Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum star in the film, and the sequel holds up just as well as the original. This is true not just one movie coming in at number 7, but two as 22 Jump Street is just as stellar.
#6 Bad Boys
A family man with a free-wheeling partner has the perfect balance with each other. They do it the only way they can, their way, which is not always the best way, but it will be an explosive way.
Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, and Tea Leoni star in this film. The first film is truly the best. The other two do not pull it off as well as this one. It has tons of action and crude language, and you just have fun watching them hunt the bad guy.
#5 The French Connection
The French Connection is a timeless classic telling of a couple of NYC cops who must get dirty to catch a drug smuggler. This is about as gritty as you could get dealing with tough crime in New York City.
The French Connection has a variety of characters in it, but it follows two tough-as-nails NYPD detectives played by Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider.
This movie has everything you want from a cop movie; it stands the test of time as it was filmed in the 1970s. Plus, I would add that this is a movie you should watch before you die.
A detective that has a flair for dramatics meets his match when he enlists the assistance of a flamboyant police dog.
The movie stars Jim Belushi and Rando as Jerry Lee, the police dog. This is just a fun movie, even though it has its dramatic moments as the two must stop a criminal mastermind.
If you have kids, you can watch this with them; if you are an adult, it’s a great movie to see, and if you are a teen, you won’t stop laughing.
#3 Dirty Harry
Dirty Harry is as gritty of a movie as you can get about the most old-school cop who will do what he has to to get his man. This movie is rated R, and it is for a reason; it does get realistically graphic.
We all know Clint Eastwood is Harry, but if you didn’t know that, you do now. This is just a classic cop movie that inspired a whole Dirty Harry franchise. You should watch all of them but at least watch the original. It is interesting, educational, and entertaining.
#2 The Departed
The Departed is not like your typical cop movie, as this is about a young undercover officer trying to infiltrate the mob while not being detected as a cop. It is really interesting and has some tough scenarios being played out.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Daman, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and many other stars are in this movie. This could not have been created any better. The Departed is truly a piece of art.
#1 End of Watch
I have to be truthful about this movie, as while it deserves to be the number one cop movie, it does star one of my favorite actors Michael Pena.
End of Watch is about two young officers trying to make it as LAPD officials and what happens with them in routine encounters and some high-level criminals.
You already know Michael Pena is in this movie, but so are Jack Gyllenhaal, Anna Kendrick, Frank Grillo, and America Ferrera.
I am not a big fan of documentary-style filming, but it works with End of Watch, and I would not have done it any other way.