Watchworthy

The Best Shows & Movies About Police 

Ranker Entertainment
Updated March 20, 2020 778 votes 85 voters 2k views 45 items

List Rules Vote 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.

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list ordered by
1
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
The Departed is a 2006 American crime drama film directed by Martin Scorsese, and a remake of the 2002 Hong Kong film Infernal Affairs. Irish Mob boss Francis "Frank" Costello (Jack ...more

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2
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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3
NCIS is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
NCIS is an American police procedural drama television series, revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which conducts investigations ...more

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4
Fargo is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Fargo is a 1996 American neo-noir dark comedy crime film written, produced, edited, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant Minnesota police chief who ...more

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5
Hill Street Blues is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police ...more

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6
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Dick Wolf and part of the Law & Order franchise. It originally aired on NBC and, in ...more

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7
The Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
This film is a 1993 American action film based on the 1960s television series of the same name created by Roy Huggins. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee ...more

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8
The Wire is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
The Wire (HBO, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created and written by David Simon. The series features the Baltimore drug scene, as seen through the eyes of drug dealers and ...more

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9
Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
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

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10
Criminal Minds is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Criminal Minds (CBS, 2005) is an American police-procedural television program. The series follows a team of profilers from the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit based in Quantico, Virginia. The ...more

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11
Hawaii Five-0 is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Hawaii Five-0 is an American police procedural drama television series and a remake of the original 1968-1980 television series. The series is produced by K/O Paper Products and 101st Street ...more

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12
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
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

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13
CSI: Crime Scene Investi... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS, 2000) is an American crime drama television series created by Anthony E. Zuiker. The series follows Las Vegas CSIs working for the Las Vegas Police ...more

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14
The Shield is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
The Shield (FX, 2002) is an American crime drama television series created by Shawn Ryan. Led by Detective Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), a corrupt LAPD team does anything to stop crime, ...more

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15
Kojak is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Kojak is an American television series starring Telly Savalas as the title character, New York City Police Department Detective Lieutenant Theo Kojak. Taking the time slot of the popular Cannon ...more

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16
Seven is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

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17
The French Connection is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
The French Connection is a 1971 American dramatic thriller film directed by William Friedkin and produced by Philip D'Antoni. It stars Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, and Roy Scheider. The film was ...more

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18
Cold Case is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Cold Case is an American police procedural television series which ran on CBS from September 28, 2003 to May 2, 2010. The series revolved around a fictionalized Philadelphia Police Department ...more

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19
Blue Bloods is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Blue Bloods is an American police procedural drama series shown on CBS in the United States and Canada and on Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. The series is filmed on location in New York ...more

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20
No Country for Old Men ... is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

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21
In the Heat of the Night... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 American mystery drama film directed by Norman Jewison. It is based on John Ball's 1965 novel of the same name which tells the story of Virgil Tibbs, a black ...more

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22
The Mentalist is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Jody added
The Mentalist (CBS, 2008) is an American police procedural television series created by Bruno Heller. After his family is murdered, a con man posing as a psychic medium (Simon Baker) uses his ...more

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23
Heat is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on ...more

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24
Columbo is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Columbo is an American television series starring Peter Falk as a detective with the Los Angeles Police Department. The character and show, created by William Link and Richard Levinson, ...more

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25
Brooklyn Nine-Nine is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Shows & Movies About Police
Brooklyn Nine-Nine (NBC, 2013) is an American police procedural comedy television series created by Dan Goor and Michael Schur. Jake Peralta (Andy Samberg), an immature but talented NYPD ...more

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