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The Best Cowboy Cop Movies, Ranked

Updated June 14, 2019 984 votes 63 voters 9.4k views25 items

List RulesVote 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.

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  • 1
    Dirty Harry
    36
    14

    Dirty Harry

    Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel

    Released1971

    Directed byDon Siegel

    Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    Magnum Force
    26
    11

    Magnum Force

    Clint Eastwood, Suzanne Somers

    Released1973

    Directed byTed Post

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  • 3
    Sudden Impact
    21
    6

    Sudden Impact

    Clint Eastwood, Mara Corday

    Released1983

    Directed byClint Eastwood

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  • 4
    Die Hard
    35
    23

    Die Hard

    Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman

    Released1988

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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  • 5
    The Dead Pool
    20
    9

    The Dead Pool

    Clint Eastwood, Jim Carrey

    Released1988

    Directed byBuddy Van Horn

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  • 6
    The Enforcer
    22
    11

    The Enforcer

    Clint Eastwood, Tyne Daly

    Released1976

    Directed byJames Fargo

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  • 7
    Training Day
    27
    19

    Training Day

    Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg

    Released2001

    Directed byAntoine Fuqua

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  • 8
    Demolition Man
    17
    16

    Demolition Man

    Sandra Bullock, Sylvester Stallone

    Released1993

    Directed byMarco Brambilla

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  • 9
    Lethal Weapon
    28
    30

    Lethal Weapon

    Mel Gibson, Gary Busey

    Released1987

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 10
    Last Action Hero
    18
    18

    Last Action Hero

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tina Turner

    Released1993

    Directed byJohn McTiernan

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  • 11
    S.W.A.T.
    15
    15

    S.W.A.T.

    Samuel L. Jackson, Colin Farrell
  • 12
    Cobra
    13
    15

    Cobra

    Sylvester Stallone, Ron Jeremy

    Released1986

    Directed byGeorge P. Cosmatos

    Cobra is a 1986 American action film directed by George P. Cosmatos, and written by Sylvester... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Split Second
    10
    14

    Split Second

    Kim Cattrall, Rutger Hauer

    Released1992

    Directed byIan Sharp, Tony Maylam

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  • 14
    16 Blocks
    10
    16

    16 Blocks

    Bruce Willis, Mos Def

    Released2006

    Directed byRichard Donner

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  • 15
    R.I.P.D.
    7
    19

    R.I.P.D.

    Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges
  • 16
    Beverly Hills Cop
    14
    37

    Beverly Hills Cop

    Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans

    Released1984

    Directed byMartin Brest

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  • 17
    Hot Fuzz
    13
    37

    Hot Fuzz

    Cate Blanchett, Martin Freeman

    Released2007

    Directed byEdgar Wright

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  • 18
    Rush Hour
    13
    39

    Rush Hour

    Jackie Chan, Roselyn Sánchez

    Released1998

    Directed byBrett Ratner

    Rush Hour is a 1998 American buddy action comedy film and the first installment in the Rush... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Bad Boys
    13
    45

    Bad Boys

    Will Smith, Téa Leoni

    Released1995

    Directed byMichael Bay

    Bad Boys is a 1995 American action comedy film produced by Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer,... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Street Kings
    8
    30

    Street Kings

    Keanu Reeves, Hugh Laurie

    Released2008

    Directed byDavid Ayer

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  • 21
    The Killer
    5
    37

    The Killer

    Chow Yun-Fat, Kenneth Tsang

    Released1989

    Directed byJohn Woo

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  • 22
    Wild Wild West
    3
    25

    Wild Wild West

    Salma Hayek, Will Smith

    Released1999

    Directed byBarry Sonnenfeld

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  • 23
    Hard Boiled
    5
    40

    Hard Boiled

    Chow Yun-Fat, Tony Leung Chiu Wai

    Released1992

    Directed byJohn Woo

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  • 24
    Shaft
    4
    37

    Shaft

    Richard Roundtree, Moses Gunn

    Released1971

    Directed byGordon Parks

    Shaft is a 1971 American blaxploitation film directed by Gordon Parks, released by... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Running Scared
    3
    35

    Running Scared

    Paul Walker, Elizabeth Mitchell

    Released2006

    Directed byWayne Kramer

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