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The Best Police Movies 

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Updated March 6, 2020 59.6k votes 8.7k voters 1.3M views 145 items

List Rules Top films about cops, detectives, SWAT teams, investigators...

Here is a list of the best cop movies with trailers. What's the best police movie of all time? The police films listed below may be sorted by year of release, director, or actors. Check out more great movie lists that you can also watch on Netflix such as scary movies on Netflix, funny movies on Netflix and best action movies on Netflix

This list of the best and most popular cop movies of all time includes recent police dramas like End of Watch and cult comedy movies like Super Troopers. Whether they are old classics or new favorites, all the famous law enforcement movies can be found on this list. Many police films, such as Training Day and the Lethal Weapon series, usually center on two cops throughout the movie. 

All the police films can be reranked to make your own list of good cop/bad cop movies, list of police procedural films, or list of buddy cop movies. What are the best cop films? These movies may give you a new perspective the next time you watch serial killer films.

These may not be all the cop movies out there, but they are the best.

 

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1
End of Watch is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Police Movies
dwsteeniii added Anna Kendrick, Jake Gyllenhaal, America Ferrera

Released: 2012

Directed by: David Ayer

End of Watch is a 2012 American drama thriller film written and directed by David Ayer. It stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña as Brian Taylor and Miguel Zavala, two Los Angeles Police ...more

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2
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Police Movies
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin

Released: 2006

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack ...more

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All The Evidence Matt Damon's Character In The Departed Is Secretly Gay #548 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Training Day is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Police Movies
Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington

Released: 2001

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Training Day is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics officers over ...more

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4
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Police Movies
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Released: 1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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5
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Police Movies
Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover

Released: 1987

Directed by: Richard Donner

Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of L.A.P.D. detectives and stars Mitchell Ryan and ...more

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6
Heat is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Police Movies
Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro

Released: 1995

Directed by: Michael Mann

Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on ...more

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7
The Untouchables is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Police Movies
Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

Released: 1987

Directed by: Brian De Palma

The Untouchables is a 1987 American drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Based on the book The Untouchables, the film stars Kevin Costner as government agent Eliot ...more

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#105 of 349 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #65 of 571 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Police Movies
Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Andrew Robinson

Released: 1971

Directed by: Don Siegel

Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco ...more

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9
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Police Movies
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger

Released: 1997

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of ...more

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10
Bad Boys is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Police Movies
Will Smith, Téa Leoni, Martin Lawrence

Released: 1995

Directed by: Michael Bay

Bad Boys is a 1995 American action comedy film produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer, producers of Top Gun and Beverly Hills Cop, and directed by Michael Bay in his directorial debut. It ...more

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11
The Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Police Movies
Julianne Moore, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 1993

Directed by: Andrew Davis

This film is a 1993 American action film based on the 1960s television series of the same name created by Roy Huggins. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee ...more

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12
Colors is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Police Movies
Sean Penn, Robert Duvall, Don Cheadle

Released: 1988

Directed by: Dennis Hopper

Colors is a 1988 American police procedural action film starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall, and directed by Dennis Hopper. The film takes place in the gang ridden neighborhoods of South ...more

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13
Serpico is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Police Movies
Al Pacino, Judd Hirsch, Abraham Murphy

Released: 1973

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Serpico is a 1973 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino. Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler wrote the screenplay, adapting Peter Maas's biography of NYPD officer Frank ...more

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#30 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #4 of 34 The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops #107 of 322 The Best Political Films Ever Made

14
Beverly Hills Cop is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Police Movies
Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser

Released: 1984

Directed by: Martin Brest

Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California to ...more

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15
Seven is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Police Movies
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

Released: 1995

Directed by: David Fincher

Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

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16
Rush Hour is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Police Movies
Jackie Chan, Roselyn Sánchez, Chris Tucker

Released: 1998

Directed by: Brett Ratner

Rush Hour is a 1998 American buddy action comedy film and the first installment in the Rush Hour series, directed by Brett Ratner and starring Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker. It was followed by ...more

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17
Cop Land is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Police Movies
Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Debbie Harry

Released: 1997

Directed by: James Mangold

Cop Land is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by James Mangold, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Robert De Niro. The supporting cast features Peter ...more

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#34 of 114 The Best Mafia Films #6 of 34 The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops #22 of 87 The Best Robert De Niro Movies

18
Ranker Video
Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Idris Elba

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ridley Scott

American Gangster is a 2007 American biographical crime film directed by Ridley Scott, based on the criminal career of Frank Lucas. An outcast New York City cop (Russell Crowe) is charged with ...more

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19
Point Break is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Police Movies
Keanu Reeves, Gary Busey, Patrick Swayze

Released: 1991

Directed by: Kathryn Bigelow

Point Break is a 1991 American action film directed by Kathryn Bigelow, starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty and Gary Busey. The title refers to the surfing term point break, where ...more

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20
S.W.A.T. is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Police Movies
HaidarahAhmed added Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez

Released: 2003

Directed by: Clark Johnson

S.W.A.T. is a 2003 American action-thriller film directed by Clark Johnson, and is based on the 1975 television series of the same name. It stars Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle ...more
21
Bullitt is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Police Movies
Robert Duvall, Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bissett

Released: 1968

Directed by: Peter Yates

Bullitt is a 1968 American action police procedural film directed by Peter Yates and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn and Jacqueline Bisset. The screenplay by ...more

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22
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Police Movies
Steve Buscemi, William H. Macy, Frances McDormand

Released: 1996

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

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23
Speed is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Police Movies
Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper

Released: 1994

Directed by: Jan de Bont

Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more

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24
Super Troopers is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Police Movies
Lynda Carter, Brian Cox, Jim Gaffigan

Released: 2001

Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar

Super Troopers is a 2001 comedy film directed by Jay Chandrasekhar, written by and starring the Broken Lizard comedy group. Marisa Coughlan, Daniel von Bargen and Brian Cox co-star while Lynda ...more

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25
The French Connection is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Police Movies
Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey

Released: 1971

Directed by: William Friedkin

The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, and Roy Scheider. The film was ...more

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