Sponsored
92 voters

The Best Shows & Movies About Police

Updated March 20, 2020 1.1k votes 92 voters 2.3k views45 items

List RulesVote up the most entertaining films & shows about police and law enforcement, including streaming series.

Love them or hate them, the cops are out there protecting and serving their communities. However, because police officers are so ubiquitous throughout civilized society, TV shows and movies about them and their lives have often been of great interest to the public. Just what are police officers like in real life and how do they go about their investigations? Movies and TV shows about police, detectives, and law enforcement often dig deep into how an investigation can turn on the discovery of even the most microscopic of clues, while other shows depict the police from the perspective of the accused. From exposing the darker side of operations to depicting them as heroes, the best shows about cops span a range of genres and topics.

Whatever your interest in watching the police on your TV screen or in the movies, there are a number of genres suited to the topic. Action and adventure films like Die Hard feature a lone cop trying to survive and save the day during a hostage situation while television shows like Law & Order tend to follow a more procedural drama in depicting the police. Then you have somewhat new shows about law enforcement, such as the comical Brooklyn Nine-Nine. This list compiles some of the more recent examples of police TV shows and films anyone interested in the topic are sure to enjoy.

Which police movies and shows deserve the top spots on this list? Help decide by giving your favorites a thumbs up and adding any good police movies or shows missing from the list.

Photo:
...more
  • NCIS1
    25
    9
    NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional...  more

    More NCIS 

    The Greatest Guest Stars on NCIS, Ranked#182 of 277 The Most Overrated TV Shows Of All Time

  • The Departed2
    The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of...  more

    More The Departed 

    All The Evidence Matt Damon's Character In The Departed Is Secretly Gay#310 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • Law & Order3
    Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by...  more

    More Law & Order 

    All The Detectives From 'Law & Order,' Ranked#126 of 297 The Best Duos of All Time

  • Criminal Minds4
    Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series...  more

    More Criminal Minds 

    How Accurate Is The Depiction of Behavioral Analysts In 'Criminal Minds?'#3 of 124 All The TV Shows That Ended in 2020, Ranked

  • CSI: Crime Scene Investigation5
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS, 2000) is an American crime drama television series...  more

    More CSI: Crime Scene Investigation 

    The Greatest Guest Stars to Ever Appear on 'CSI'#39 of 389 TV Shows That Only Smart People Appreciate

  • Hawaii Five-06
    Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 2010) is an American police procedural drama television series and a...  more

    More Hawaii Five-0 

    Best Seasons of Hawaii Five-0#195 of 339 The Best TV Shows of The Last 20 Years

  • The Silence of the Lambs7
    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime...  more

    More The Silence of the Lambs 

    Small Details And Trivia From 'The Silence Of The Lambs' That Left Us Hungry For More#5 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • Die Hard8
    Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de...  more

    More Die Hard 

    Behind The Scenes Of Alan Rickman's Defining Role: Hans Gruber#25 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • Hill Street Blues9
    Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and...  more

    More Hill Street Blues 

    #9 of 15 15 Shows That Survived Big Cast Changes#194 of 538 TV Shows Canceled Before Their Time

  • Fargo10
    21
    14
    Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and...  more

    More Fargo 

    Small Details, Trivia, And Interesting Tidbits About 'Fargo' That Made Us Say 'You Betcha!'#277 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made

  • The Fugitive11
    This film is a 1993 American action film based on the 1960s television series of the same name...  more

    More The Fugitive 

    #479 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#940 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies

  • Dirty Harry12
    Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in...  more

    More Dirty Harry 

    #8 of 553 The Best '70s Movies#43 of 45 The Most Controversial Movies of All Time

  • The Wire13
    The Wire (HBO, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created and written by David...  more

    More The Wire 

    The Best of The WIRE Characters#95 of 266 The Best Cult TV Shows of All Time

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine14
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, 2013) is an American police procedural comedy television series...  more

    More Brooklyn Nine-Nine 

    18 Small But Poignant Details From 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' That We Never Noticed Before#6 of 129 The Best Shows Currently On The Air

  • Kojak15
    Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York...  more

    More Kojak 

    #47 of 78 The Best CBS Shows of All Time#29 of 95 The Best Serial Cop Dramas of All Time

  • Blue Bloods16
    Blue Bloods is an American police procedural drama series shown on CBS in the United States...  more

    More Blue Bloods 

    The Best Seasons of 'Blue Bloods'#22 of 267 The Best TV Shows Returning In 2021

  • The Shield17
    The Shield (FX, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created by Shawn Ryan. Led...  more

    More The Shield 

    The Best Seasons of 'The Shield'#60 of 253 The Best TV Shows Streaming On Hulu

  • Cold Case18
    Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from September...  more

    More Cold Case 

    #114 of 284 The Best Female-Led TV Shows#239 of 640 The Best TV Shows To Binge Watch

  • Magnum, P.I.19
    Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private...  more

    More Magnum, P.I. 

    #8 of 70 The Best Crime Fighting Duo TV Series#5 of 89 The Best 1980s Primetime TV Shows

  • Castle20
    Castle (ABC, 2009) is an American crime-comedy-drama television series created by Andrew W....  more

    More Castle 

    The Best Seasons of 'Castle'#25 of 97 The Best Dramedy TV Series

  • Seven21
    Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars...  more

    More Seven 

    Behind The Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Se7en'#2 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • The French Connection22
    The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin...  more

    More The French Connection 

    #17 of 46 Movies That Won Best Picture at the Oscars and Golden Globes#108 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • No Country for Old Men23
    No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel...  more

    More No Country for Old Men 

    #9 of 54 The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins#24 of 675 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

  • Columbo24
    Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los...  more

    More Columbo 

    The Best Seasons of Columbo#102 of 397 The Best TV Shows to Rewatch

  • In the Heat of the Night25
    In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 American mystery drama film directed by Norman Jewison. It...  more

    More In the Heat of the Night 

    #174 of 661 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Ranked#9 of 175 The Best Movies Of The '60s