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The Best Shows & Movies About Police

Updated March 20, 2020 1.1k votes 89 voters 2.2k 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.

  • 1
    NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    The Departed
    The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Law & Order
    Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    Criminal Minds
    Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
    CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS, 2000) is an American crime drama television series... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Silence of the Lambs
    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Hawaii Five-0
    Hawaii Five-0 (CBS, 2010) is an American police procedural drama television series and a... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    Die Hard
    Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Hill Street Blues
    Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 11
    The Fugitive
    This film is a 1993 American action film based on the 1960s television series of the same name... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    Dirty Harry
    Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in... more on Wikipedia

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  • 13
    The Wire
    The Wire (HBO, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created and written by David... more on Wikipedia

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  • 14
    Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York... more on Wikipedia

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  • 15
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine
    Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, 2013) is an American police procedural comedy television series... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    The Shield
    The Shield (FX, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created by Shawn Ryan. Led... more on Wikipedia

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  • 17
    Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    The French Connection
    The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    No Country for Old Men
    No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    In the Heat of the Night
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  • 22
    Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann,... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Blue Bloods
    Blue Bloods is an American police procedural drama series shown on CBS in the United States... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Cold Case
    Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from September... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    Magnum, P.I.
    Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private... more on Wikipedia

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