Police The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
270 votes 34 voters 8.6k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest films with loose cannon policemen and detectives who can't be held down. They don't have to be wearing Stetsons.

Cowboy cops are loose cannons. These characters operate by their own set of rules, often throwing police protocol out the window to accomplish their goals and bring the bad guys to justice. The best renegade cop movies often find one lone maverick fighting against devious conspiracies and rampant crime. And while this genre sounds niche, some of the greatest action movies ever made qualify. Just read on and you'll see – the best cowboy cop movies include everything from Bad Boys to Beverly Hills Cop to Lethal Weapon.

What films will you find on this list of the best cowboy cop movies? Die Hard helped define the trend. John McLane (Bruce Willis) was such a cowboy cop that he made his catchphrase “Yippee-ki-yay, motherf*****.” Hot Fuzz is a hilarious example of an entertaining cowboy cop comedy. Clint Eastwood practically invented the cowboy cop with the Dirty Harry series. Other good films featured on this top renegade cop movies list include Training Day, Rush Hour, and Last Action Hero.

Which cowboy cop movie do you think deserves the top spot on this list? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any good movies that are missing.

list ordered by

1
16 3
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia 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

2
16 3
Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Andrew Robinson 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

3
12 5
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover 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

4
7 2
Sudden Impact is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Clint Eastwood, Mara Corday, Sondra Locke Sudden Impact is a 1983 American action film and the fourth film in the Dirty Harry series, directed by Clint Eastwood, and starring Eastwood and Sondra Locke. The film is notable for the ...more

5
8 3
Magnum Force is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Clint Eastwood, Suzanne Somers, Hal Holbrook Magnum Force is a 1973 American action film and the second to feature Clint Eastwood as maverick cop Harry Callahan after the 1971 film Dirty Harry. Ted Post, who also directed Eastwood in the ...more

6
8 4
Training Day is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington Training Day is a 2001 American crime thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics ...more

7
7 4
Demolition Man is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Sandra Bullock, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Black Demolition Man is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Marco Brambilla in his directorial debut. The film stars Sylvester Stallone and Wesley Snipes. The film was released in ...more

8
5 2
The Dead Pool is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Clint Eastwood, Jim Carrey, Axl Rose The Dead Pool is a 1988 American action flim directed by Buddy Van Horn, written by Steve Sharon, and starring Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan. It is the fifth and ...more

9
5 3
The Enforcer is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly, Bradford Dillman The Enforcer is a 1976 American action film and the third in the Dirty Harry film series. Directed by James Fargo, it stars Clint Eastwood as Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan, Tyne ...more

10
4 2
16 Blocks is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse 16 Blocks is a 2006 American crime thriller film directed by Richard Donner. It stars Bruce Willis, Mos Def, and David Morse. The film unfolds in the real time narration method.

11
8 7
Hot Fuzz is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman, Simon Pegg Hot Fuzz is a 2007 British action comedy parody film directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. The three and the film's producer Nira Park had ...more

12
7 6
Rush Hour is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Jackie Chan, Roselyn Sánchez, Chris Tucker 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

13
7 8
Beverly Hills Cop is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser 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

14
4 5
Street Kings is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Keanu Reeves, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans Street Kings is a 2008 American action thriller film directed by David Ayer, and starring Keanu Reeves, Forest Whitaker, Hugh Laurie, Chris Evans, Common and The Game. It was released in ...more

15
4 5
S.W.A.T. is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell, Michelle Rodriguez

16
7 9
Bad Boys is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Will Smith, Téa Leoni, Martin Lawrence 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

17
3 5
Cobra is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Sylvester Stallone, Ron Jeremy, Brigitte Nielsen Cobra is a 1986 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos, and written by Sylvester Stallone, who also starred in the title role. The film co-stars Reni Santoni, Brigitte Nielsen and ...more

18
2 4
Running Scared is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Paul Walker, Elizabeth Mitchell, Vera Farmiga Running Scared is a 2006 American crime thriller film, written and directed by Wayne Kramer, and starring Paul Walker, Cameron Bright and Vera Farmiga. It was released in the United States on ...more

19
2 5
Split Second is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Kim Cattrall, Rutger Hauer, Pete Postlethwaite Split Second is a 1992 British science fiction film starring Rutger Hauer, Kim Cattrall, and Neil Duncan. The film is directed by Tony Maylam and Ian Sharp.

20
2 6
Last Action Hero is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tina Turner, Sharon Stone Last Action Hero is a 1993 American action-comedy-fantasy film directed and produced by John McTiernan. It is a satire of the action genre and its clichés, containing several parodies of ...more

21
2 6
R.I.P.D. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges, Mary-Louise Parker

22
3 8
Hard Boiled is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Philip Kwok Hard Boiled is a 1992 Hong Kong action film written and directed by John Woo, and starring Chow Yun-fat as Inspector "Tequila" Yuen, Tony Leung Chiu-Wai as Tony an undercover cop, and ...more

23
2 7
The Killer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Chow Yun-Fat, Kenneth Tsang, Danny Lee The Killer is a 1989 Hong Kong action film written and directed by John Woo, and starring Chow Yun-fat, Danny Lee and Sally Yeh. Chow plays the assassin Ah Jong, who accidentally damages the ...more

24
2 7
Shaft is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn, Lawrence Pressman Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. An action film with elements of film noir, Shaft tells the story of a private detective, ...more

25
1 7
Wild Wild West is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked
Salma Hayek, Will Smith, Kevin Kline Wild Wild West is a 1999 American steampunk western action-comedy film directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. A big-screen adaptation of the 1965–1969 TV series The Wild Wild West, it stars Will Smith, ...more