Whether told from the point of view of the cops, the perpetrators, or the victims, cop movies are usually intense.
They give an exhilarating feeling that makes you picture your life in a similar, parallel universe and pushes you to see more movies. If you want to imagine what you’d be like if you were a cop, here are the 19 best cop movies you should see.
The Heat (2013)
English 1h 57m IMDb
Director: Paul Feig
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Michael McDonald, Melissa McCarthy
Starting this list is this cop buddy comedy that got viewers laughing and asking for a movie franchise. According to critics, the movie would most likely get a bronze medal in the cop buddy category. The film stars Sandra Bullock as an uptight FBI agent assigned to a Boston case before she is promoted.
She partners with the lousy, foul-mouthed cop, Mullins, to catch an elusive drug dealer. The movie’s official trailer on YouTube has over 3 million views, and it is no wonder, considering that it is so good.
Brooklyn’s Finest (2009)
English 2h 12m IMDb
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke
This movie focuses on good cops gone bad; you can see this with the official trailer. This crime drama looks at the lives of three Brooklyn police officers who, at a point in their lives, experienced greatness but were now at a point of crisis.
The movie separately tells each of their stories but, in the end, connects the cops in one place. Although Sal and Tago get a tragic end, Eddie, the last cop, finds redemption after he saves a group of missing girls. To critics, this movie is watch-worthy, especially with Ethan Hawke’s blazing performance.
21 Jump Street (2012)
English 1h 49m IMDb
Director: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Ice Cube
This movie is a combination of fun, action, and cop buddies. No wonder it got so much audience at the time of its release. Two policemen on bicycle patrol are reassigned to an old scheme after attesting the motorcycle gang leader and failing to read him his rights.
The scheme 21 Jump Street has them going undercover in a high school to control and trace the supplier of a new drug HFS (holy fucking shit). They are in for a ride as the two try to navigate the world and walls of high school once again. The official trailer would whet your appetite for the main movie.
The Nice Guys (2016)
English 1h 56m IMDb
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice
You should check out this movie if you are up for a cop rollercoaster filled with twists and turns.
The official trailer on YouTube isn’t disappointing but doesn’t come close to how good the film is. In 1977, when Holland March, a private eye, is hired to investigate the death of a pornstar, he teams up with Healy, and the mismatched pair is faced with a confusing case with people hot on their trails.
Critics have a lot of things to say about The Nice Guys, including the fact that it portrays a perfect cop buddy comedy in a different time, and it does so seemingly effortlessly.
Bad Boys (1995)
English 1h 59m IMDb
Director: Michael Bay
Stars: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Lisa Boyle
‘Bad Boys! Whatcha going to do when they come for you?’ This movie and the other movies in the Bad Boy Franchise are known for their iconic theme song and the great chemistry between stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.
Mike and Marcus are partners in the Miami PD narcotics departments who must race against time to trace missing heroin worth 100 million dollars before their department is closed down.
The official trailer ends with the duo comically singing the theme song after a thrilling insight into the movie. Many recommend this slick and enjoyable movie for a Saturday movie night out with friends.
The Other Guys (2010)
English 1h 47m IMDb
Director: Adam McKay
Stars: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Derek Jeter
Terry, a cop with terrible anger issues, and Allen are partners who are often looked down upon and taunted by other police officers. When Charles Danson and PK Highsmith, two policemen everyone idolizes, die on duty, the other mismatched pair must take their place.
The two see this as an opportunity to change their status and become better cops. Their plans seem easy, but acting them out is not. Critics consider this an accurate parody of a cop-buddy movie and are impressed with the many funny scenes. Watch some of these funny scenes in the official trailer on YouTube.
Hell Or High Water (2016)
English 1h 42m IMDb
Director: David Mackenzie
Stars: Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Jeff Bridges
In Texas, after the death of their mother, brothers Tanner and Toby drown in debt because of a reverse mortgage on their ranch. They decide to raid a bank. Their plans go well, and with the help of a casino, they make the stolen money seem clear.
When Marcus Hamilton and Alberto Parker are placed on their case, things don’t go as planned, and what started as a bank robbery could become more profound. The official trailer is available on YouTube to show you what you are getting into.
A critic’s consensus says that this movie is well-crafted and shows a thrilling Western Heist. It is also complemented by great acting.
Rush Hour (1998)
English 1h 38m IMDb
Director: Brett Ratner
Stars: Jackie Chan, Chris Tucker, Ken Leung
Starring the iconic Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker, Rush Hour and the other movies in the other Rush Hour franchise have been referred to by critics as kickass movies and one of the best in the cop-buddy genre.
After the daughter of a Chinese diplomat is kidnapped in LA, he sends a Hong Kong detective to the States to help with the investigation. However, he is dumped in the hands of James Carter; a Detective looked down on.
The two who don’t get along have to settle their differences and find the girl when they figure out they have been played. The movie and its official trailer will not disappoint as they are all laughs. It is from the third movie in the franchise that the iconic I am you scene comes from.
The Departed (2006)
English 2h 31m IMDb
Director: Martin Scorsese
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson
First, see the official trailer of this movie about undercover gangsters and police. In South Boston, Billy Costigan goes undercover to infiltrate an Irish Mob. At the same time, Colin Sullivan, a mobster, gains access to the police department to give reports to his bosses in the syndicate.
When the organization the two parties belong to finds out that they each have a mole, the two would have to seek themselves out. This movie is phenomenal, and viewers agree. It tells the relationship between gangs and the police with so much originality.
No Country For Old Men (2007)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Stars: Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin
While Llewyn Moss is out hunting, he witnesses the result of a drug deal gone wrong. With ruins and a large sum of money left behind, he knows better than to take the money, but he cannot resist. Taking cash comes at a cost as he goes on the run from Chigurh, a killer on his trail for the money.
He is not alone, though, as Sheriff Bell is also on his trail to protect him. Audiences describe the movie as an outstanding adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s book. Glimpse the official trailer on YouTube before setting a date with this beautiful movie.
Training Day (2001)
English 2h 2m IMDb
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Stars: Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke, Scott Glenn
Jake Hoyt is up for a promotion, and for a day, he is left under the care of Alonzo, a high-ranking narcotics officer. Alonzo is to show him how things run in the narcotics departments. However, when Hoyt notices his superior’s manipulative, aggressive and unethical ways, he is left to question what is wrong or right in what Alonzo does.
Those who have watched it confirm that this fantastic movie with excellent casting doesn’t only leave Hoyt in a pool of questions, but it also leaves the audience in that pool. Watch a bit of action from Alonzo in the official trailer.
American Gangster (2007)
English 2h 37m IMDb
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Chiwetel Ejiofor
The official trailer is spiced with thrilling scenes to put you in the mood for the main movie, a biographical film based on Frank Lucas’s life. Richie Roberts, a veteran boss, is charged with bringing down crime boss Frank Lucas after a noticeable change is noticed in the crime world.
Frank Lucas once served as a chauffeur to one of Harlem’s mobsters. In the advent of his boss’s death, he used the opportunity to climb the social ladder in the crime world, making himself one of the leading bosses.
His illicit achievement is short-lived when he has a cop on his trail. With Denzel Washington in this movie, it was no surprise that it came out well with top-notch acting.
Mystic River (2003)
English 2h 18m IMDb
Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
This movie does not have much action, as it is a sad drama. However, it doesn’t stop it from being watch-worthy as the characters and plot will have you wanting to watch it one more time. To get familiar with the movie, start with the official trailer.
You’ll see that not all friendships last forever, especially when a possible betrayal is present. This is the case in this movie, where the lives of three childhood friends are disrupted after the death of one of their daughters.
With the possible involvement of Dave and Sean being Homicide detectives, Jimmy, the bereaved, plans to take the law into his own hands.
End of Watch (2012)
English 1h 49m IMDb
Director: David Ayer
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Peña, Anna Kendrick
The official trailer on YouTube will blow your mind. Two friends, Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala, are LAPD partners and best friends. In this movie, shot like a documentary, we follow their everyday lives and grind. We see how much they love each other and their jobs.
But when an issue more significant than them arises, they must sit up and figure a way to solve it. One thing critics praise the most about End of Watch is its character performance which anchors the movie.
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
English 1h 43m IMDb
Director: Shane Black
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Harry Lockhart is a thief who gets into a tricky situation when he is mistaken for an actor. After he gets a role to feature in a murder mystery, he is to be trained by a strict private eye, Perry Van Shrike.
In the cause of the training, the two are thrown into an actual murder mystery when Harmony Lane, Harry’s childhood sweetheart, crosses paths with them. This movie perfectly mixes satire and outstanding entertainment to create something phenomenal. Watch the undoubtedly funny official trailer on YouTube.
Die Hard (1988)
English 2h 12m IMDb
Director: John McTiernan
Stars: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia
Critics say that none of its sequels in the Die Hard franchise has measured up to its debut in 1988. Starring Bruce Willis, the movie revolves around a man’s attempt to save his family from a group of German terrorists.
While visiting his estranged wife, Policeman John Mcclane follows her and their daughter to a gathering at a restaurant. All seems to be going well when a group of terrorists takes them hostage.
Mcclane realizes that he is the only one who can save his family and the other hostages. The official trailer is not as exhilarating as the movie, but it would suffice as you prepare for the film.
Inside Man (2006)
English 2h 9m IMDb
Director: Spike Lee
Stars: Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster
Get started with the official trailer to know what you’d be getting into. Another cop movie starring Denzel Washington is Inside Man. In this movie, he is a tough detective in charge of a bank robbery turned hostage situation.
To get the hostages out safely, he has no choice but to negotiate with the bank robber and a power broker with a hidden motive. In a critics consensus, critics had no bad words to say about the movie.
Hot Fuzz (2007)
English 2h 1m IMDb
Director: Edgar Wright
Stars: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman
Back to buddy cop action, Hot Fuzz is a British cop movie and parody. Take a glimpse at what the audience calls a satire and comedy with the official trailer. After embarrassing his bosses, big-city cop Nicholas Angel is immediately transferred to a small dull village and is partnered with an oaf he’d instead not work with.
He is uninterested in his new place of assignment as there are no thrills whatsoever. Angel might eventually get the excitement he yearns for when some wild accidents occur.
The Fugitive (1993)
English 2h 10m IMDb
Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones, Sela Ward
The fast-paced and thrilling movie shows Harrison Ford in one of his best acting. After his wife is killed, Richard Kimble is accused of her murder.
He escapes the law and searches for who killed her, all while being chased down by a group of marshals led by Samuel Gerard, a detective ready to do anything to bring him to book. If you are searching for a chase thrill, anyone who has watched this movie would eagerly recommend it as, just like its official trailer, exhilarating.
Cop movies aren’t boring; instead, they fascinate you till the end while portraying some grim realities of the police force. Find some time to dig into the 19 best cop movies shared above. For more fun, you can see them in a cinema or have an all-night party with your friends.