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The Best Police Movies

List Rules
Vote up your favorite movies about cops, detectives, SWAT teams, and investigators.

Here is a list of the best cop movies, but which one is 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 action 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 top 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, sad cop movies, 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.

list ordered by
  • End of Watch
    1
    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 Department ...more
  • Following the death of his wife, Los Angeles police detective Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) becomes reckless and suicidal. When he is reassigned and partnered with Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), Riggs ...more
  • Die Hard
    3
    New York City policeman John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his estranged wife (Bonnie Bedelia) and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the ...more
  • The Departed
    4
    South Boston cop Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) goes under cover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson). As Billy gains the mobster's trust, a career ...more
  • After building an empire with bootleg alcohol, legendary crime boss Al Capone (Robert De Niro) rules Chicago with an iron fist. Though Prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) attempts to take ...more
  • Seven
    6
    When retiring police Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles a final case with the aid of newly transferred David Mills (Brad Pitt), they discover a number of elaborate and grizzly ...more
  • Wrongfully accused of murdering his wife, Richard Kimble (Harrison Ford) escapes from the law in an attempt to find her killer and clear his name. Pursuing him is a team of U.S. marshals led by ...more
  • Training Day
    8
    Police drama about a veteran officer who escorts a rookie on his first day with the LAPD's tough inner-city narcotics unit. "Training Day" is a blistering action drama that asks the audience to ...more
  • Heat
    9
    Master criminal Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) is trying to control the rogue actions of one of his men, while also planning one last big heist before retiring. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Hanna (Al ...more
  • Dirty Harry
    10
    Cop Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) attempts to track down a psychopathic rooftop killer before a kidnapped girl dies. When he is found Harry abuses the murderer's civil rights putting him back on ...more
  • Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant ...more
  • Colors
    12
    In this gritty police drama from director Dennis Hopper, street-wise cop Bob Hodges (Robert Duvall) and hotheaded rookie Danny McGavin (Sean Penn) grapple with their new partnership on the ...more
  • Three policemen, each with his own motives and obsessions, tackle the corruption surrounding an unsolved murder at a downtown Los Angeles coffee shop in the early 1950s. Detective Lieutenant Exley ...more
  • Bullitt
    14
    Senator Walter Chalmers (Robert Vaughn) is aiming to take down mob boss Pete Ross (Vic Tayback) with the help of testimony from the criminal's hothead brother Johnny (Pat Renella), who is in ...more
  • African-American Philadelphia police detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is arrested on suspicion of murder by Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger), the racist police chief of tiny Sparta, Mississippi. ...more
  • Rogue San Francisco cop "Dirty Harry" Callahan (Clint Eastwood) doesn't believe in blind obedience to the rules, but when a vigilante group starts executing criminals who have escaped punishment on ...more
  • After his childhood buddy is murdered while visiting Detroit, rebellious cop Axel Foley (Eddie Murphy) follows the leads to Beverly Hills, Calif., under the auspices of a vacation. He checks in with ...more
  • Point Break
    18
    After a string of bizarre bank robberies in Southern California, with the crooks donning masks of various former presidents, a federal agent, Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves), infiltrates the suspected ...more
  • Serpico
    19
    Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) is an idealistic New York City cop who refuses to take bribes, unlike the rest of the force. His actions get Frank shunned by the other officers, and often placed in ...more
  • South African smugglers find themselves being hounded and harassed by Riggs and Murtaugh, two mismatched Los Angeles police officers. However, the South Africans are protected by diplomatic immunity, ...more
  • Bad Boys
    21
    Miami-Dade detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) blow a fuse when $100 million worth of heroin they recently confiscated is heisted from station headquarters. ...more
  • Die Hard 2
    22
    A year after his heroics in L.A, detective John McClane (Bruce Willis) is mixed up in another terrorist plot, this time at Washington Dulles International Airport, where he is waiting for his wife ...more
  • Chinatown
    23
    When Los Angeles private eye J.J. "Jake" Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray to investigate her husband's activities, he believes it's a routine infidelity case. Jake's investigation ...more
  • Speed
    24
    Los Angeles police officer Jack (Keanu Reeves) angers retired bomb squad member Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) by foiling his attempt at taking hostages. In revenge, Payne arms a bus with a bomb that ...more
  • Cop Land
    25
    When hotheaded Superboy (Michael Rapaport) accidentally gets involved in an ugly racially-motivated incident, his uncle Ray Donlan (Harvey Keitel), a corrupt New York City cop, attempts to sweep it ...more