Despite being a website designed by and for cops, a Top 10 Cop Movies list has yet to be compiled on here. So I’m fixing that oversight. The hardest part of creating this list was deciding what was going to qualify. There are literally hundreds if not thousands of movies about cops in some form or another. So I narrowed it down. For the purposes of the list I’m focusing on the “boots on the ground” type police movies. That means leaving off the detective/serial killer dramas (sorry Silence of the Lambs, Seven) as well as movies that couple be considered police movies, but focus more on the criminals (looking at you Heat and The Town, though they can be found on an older list- Top 10 Heist Movies). Any Feds out there will also notice they are absent, as I am leaving out some stellar FBI movies as well (Sicario, The Kingdom, Point Break). Those are lists for another day. But as for this list, here are my favorite 10 cop movies of all time.
10. Super Troopers
I know I’d be crucified within law enforcement circles if I didn’t include this movie on the list. However, while it has some funny parts, I don’t enjoy it as much or find it as funny as many other people do.
I had to find a place on the list to give some love to one of the older cop movies out there. This is a really solid Steve McQueen movie with one of the best car chase scenes ever (us cops love our pursuits).
8. Inside Man
We are breaking into the world of police hostage negotiators with this entry on the list. This one features a stellar Denzel Washington performance, along with some really good twists and turns.
7. 21 Jump Street
No cop movies lists is complete without some from the “buddy cop” genre. This is one of the best from recent years. You could interchange this with the sequel and I’d be fine with it. I find them both about equally as good.
6. The Raid
The only foreign movie entry on the list, this Indonesian movie is a very tight, thrilling cops vs. criminals movie. It features some of the best hand to hand fight scenes ever as a swat team fights its way through a building.
5. Training Day
Denzel makes another appearance on the list, this time as a corrupt narcotics cop with a new partner, which leads to a very entertaining movie.
4. Lethal Weapon
The best of the aforementioned “buddy cop” movies. No doubt worthy of a spot this high on the list.
3. The Departed
This one is just a fantastic film overall. The story, the performances, the action. One of the few movies that really justifies its long run time.
2. End of Watch
This is probably the most realistic cop movie in terms of things we do every day on the job, as well as our relationships with our partners. I don’t cry much in movies, but the end of this one gets me tearing up every time.
1. Die Hard
My favorite movie of all time, and the best cop movie of all time. It is widely considered the best action movie as well, as it started pretty much its own genre, copied (usually poorly) by so many other movies.
Lots of Honorable Mentions for this one- Dirty Harry, Speed, The Negotiator, Beverly Hills Cop, Hot Fuzz, Bad Boys, Cobra
There are so many cop movies out there that some are missing from the list. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me what I missed, as well as your favorite cop movies ever. You should also go ahead and like Police Entertainment Network on Facebook (Police Entertainment Network) and Twitter (@copswatchmovies). A few new writers just came on board and you won’t want to miss out on all the great content.