Entertainment

The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops 

Ann Casano
Updated October 24, 2019 816 votes 220 voters 16.7k views 34 items

Is there anything worse than a corrupt cop? We know not to trust hardened criminals. However, we’ve been taught to rely upon the men and women in blue, who have sworn to uphold the law and protect the public. So, when cops turn to the dark side, it seems especially heinous and shocking. These are the best movies about corrupt cops.

With a few exceptions, all of the police officers on this list are despicable individuals, drunk with power. Some of the men on this list are even willing to murder to get what they want. Take Dennis Peck (Richard Gere) from Internal Affairs, he arranges to have his own partner killed. Is there anyone more vile than DEA Agent Stansfield (Gary Oldman) from Léon: The Professional? He’s a monster with no issue whatsoever murdering innocent children.

Harry Callahan (there are a total of five Dirty Harry movies) is not the same kind of bad cop. He’s actually the hero of the movie, the protagonist we’re rooting for to catch the bad guy. However, Callahan (Clint Eastwood) plays by his own rules, he is willing to break or bend any law to catch the villain. Dirty Harry appeals to his very own brand of justice. However, we have to put Callahan on this list, especially because he talks likes this, “I know what you’re thinking: 'Did he fire six shots or only five?' Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I’ve kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do you, punk?”

Make your voice heard on what you think are the best movies about corrupt cops by voting up the bad cop movie or police corruption movies you think are the greatest below.

list ordered by
1
Training Day is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Eva Mendes, Snoop Dogg, Denzel Washington

Released: 2001

Directed by: Antoine Fuqua

Training Day is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Antoine Fuqua, written by David Ayer, and starring Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The story follows two LAPD narcotics officers over ...more

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#309 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #4 of 722 The Best Black Movies Ever Made, Rankedlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

2
The Departed is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Alec Baldwin

Released: 2006

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

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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#380 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made All The Evidence Matt Damon's Character In The Departed Is Secretly Gaylisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Léon: The Profess... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Jean Reno

Released: 1994

Directed by: Luc Besson

Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and features the film debut of ...more

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#307 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #304 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies Did You Ever Stop And Think About How Messed Up 'Léon: The Professional' Was?

4
American Gangster is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe, Idris Elba

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ridley Scott

American Gangster is a 2007 American biographical crime film directed and produced by Ridley Scott and written by Steven Zaillian. The film is based on the criminal career of Frank Lucas, a ...more

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#406 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #13 of 113 The Best Mafia Films

5
The Untouchables is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
slaft added Robert De Niro, Sean Connery, Kevin Costner

Released: 1987

Directed by: Brian De Palma

The Untouchables is a 1987 American drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by David Mamet. Based on the book The Untouchables, the film stars Kevin Costner as government agent Eliot ...more

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#101 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #299 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
Serpico is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Al Pacino, Judd Hirsch, Abraham Murphy

Released: 1973

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Serpico is a 1973 American drama film directed by Sidney Lumet and starring Al Pacino. Waldo Salt and Norman Wexler wrote the screenplay, adapting Peter Maas's biography of NYPD officer Frank ...more

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#36 of 591 The Best '70s Movies #98 of 320 The Best Political Films Ever Made #58 of 101 The Best New York Movies

7
Cop Land is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro, Debbie Harry

Released: 1997

Directed by: James Mangold

Cop Land is a 1997 American drama film written and directed by James Mangold, and starring Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta, and Robert De Niro. The supporting cast features Peter ...more

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#40 of 113 The Best Mafia Films #22 of 87 The Best Robert De Niro Movies #141 of 520 The Greatest Crime Movies Ever Made

8
Magnum Force is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Clint Eastwood, Suzanne Somers, Hal Holbrook

Released: 1973

Directed by: Ted Post

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

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#83 of 180 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made #70 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

9
L.A. Confidential is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Kim Basinger

Released: 1997

Directed by: Curtis Hanson

L.A. Confidential is a 1997 neo-noir film based on James Ellroy's 1990 novel of the same title, the third book in his L.A. Quartet series. Like the book, the film tells the story of a group of ...more

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#150 of 265 The Best Ensemble Movies #67 of 710 The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Starslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

10
Bad Lieutenant is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Harvey Keitel, Victor Argo, Paul Calderón

Released: 1992

Directed by: Abel Ferrara

Bad Lieutenant is a 1992 American neo-noir drama film directed by Abel Ferrara. The film stars Harvey Keitel as the titular "bad lieutenant". The screenplay was written by ...more

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#14 of 16 16 Examples Of Shoddy Police Work In Films That Are Downright Laughable #27 of 45 20+ Great Drama Movies About Drugs and Addiction

11
Gone Baby Gone is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Morgan Freeman, Michelle Monaghan, Ed Harris

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ben Affleck

Gone Baby Gone is a 2007 American neo-noir mystery film directed by Ben Affleck and starring his brother Casey Affleck. The screenplay by Ben Affleck and Aaron Stockard is based on the novel of ...more

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#75 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #20 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings

12
The Sting is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Robert Shaw

Released: 1973

Directed by: George Roy Hill

The Sting is a 1973 American caper film set in September 1936, involving a complicated plot by two professional grifters to con a mob boss. The film was directed by George Roy Hill, who had ...more

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#393 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #288 of 1,196 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

13
Insomnia is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank

Released: 2002

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial Insomnia is a 2002 American thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan, and starring Al Pacino, Robin Williams and Hilary Swank. It tells the story of two Los Angeles homicide detectives ...more

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#44 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #51 of 99 The Greatest Movie Remakes of All Time The Best Essential Oils for Sleep

14
Another 48 Hrs. is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
slaft added Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Tisha Campbell-Martin

Released: 1990

Directed by: Walter Hill

Another 48 Hrs. is a 1990 action comedy film and a sequel to the 1982 film 48 Hrs.. It was directed by Walter Hill and stars Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Brion James, Andrew Divoff, and Ed O'Ross. ...more
15
Unlawful Entry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Kurt Russell, Madeleine Stowe, Ray Liotta

Released: 1992

Directed by: Jonathan Kaplan

Unlawful Entry is a 1992 American thriller film directed by Jonathan Kaplan starring Kurt Russell, Ray Liotta and Madeleine Stowe. The film involves a couple who befriend a lonely policeman, ...more
16
Internal Affairs is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Richard Gere, Elijah Wood, Andy Garcia

Released: 1990

Directed by: Mike Figgis

Internal Affairs is a 1990 American crime thriller film set in Los Angeles about the police department's Internal Affairs Division. Directed by Mike Figgis, the film stars Richard Gere as Dennis ...more
17
Narc is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Busta Rhymes, Ray Liotta, Jason Patric

Released: 2002

Directed by: Joe Carnahan

Narc is a 2002 American thriller film written and directed by Joe Carnahan and starring Ray Liotta and Jason Patric. The plot revolves around the efforts of two police detectives in search. As ...more

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#542 of 548 The Greatest Movies for Guys #152 of 156 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made

18
Sin City is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Jessica Alba, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke

Released: 2005

Directed by: Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Frank Miller

Sin City is a 2005 American neo-noir thriller anthology film written, produced, and directed by Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez. It is based on Miller's eponymous graphic novel Sin City. Much ...more

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#21 of 165 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #336 of 460 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time #29 of 265 The Best Ensemble Movies

19
Crash is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Sandra Bullock, Brendan Fraser, Ludacris

Released: 2004

Directed by: Paul Haggis

Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial This movie is a 2004 ensemble drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described ...more

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#3 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck #74 of 93 The Very Best Oscar-Winning Movies For Best Picturelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

20
Dark Blue is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Kurt Russell, Brendan Gleeson, Master P

Released: 2002

Directed by: Ron Shelton

Dark Blue is a 2002 film directed by Ron Shelton and starring Kurt Russell. The film is based on a story written for film by novelist James Ellroy and takes place during the days leading to and ...more
21
Touch of Evil is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Charlton Heston, Orson Welles, Marlene Dietrich

Released: 1958

Directed by: Orson Welles

Touch of Evil is a 1958 American thriller film, written, directed by, and co-starring Orson Welles. The screenplay was loosely based on the novel Badge of Evil by Whit Masterson. Along with ...more

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#976 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #18 of 36 The Greatest Classic Noir Movies, Ranked

22
Bad Lieutenant: Port of ... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer

Released: 2009

Directed by: Werner Herzog

After Katrina, police sergeant Terence McDonagh rescues a prisoner, hurts his back in the process and earns a promotion to lieutenant plus an addiction. His drug-using prostitute girlfriend, his ...more
23
Mulholland Falls is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
slaft added Jennifer Connelly, Nick Nolte, John Malkovich

Released: 1996

Directed by: Lee Tamahori

Mulholland Falls is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film directed by Lee Tamahori and written by Pete Dexter. It stars Nick Nolte, Jennifer Connelly, Chazz Palminteri, Michael Madsen, Chris ...more
24
Q&A is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton, Charles S. Dutton

Released: 1990

Directed by: Sidney Lumet

Q & A is a 1990 crime film co-written and directed by Sidney Lumet, based on a novel by New York judge Edwin Torres. It stars Nick Nolte, Timothy Hutton and Armand Assante.
25
The Place Beyond the Pin... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies About Corrupt Cops
Eva Mendes, Bradley Cooper, Ryan Gosling

Released: 2012

Directed by: Derek Cianfrance

The Place Beyond the Pines is a 2012 drama film directed by Derek Cianfrance. In 1997, Luke Glanton (Gosling) is a motorcycle stuntman. In Schenectady, New York, Luke reunites with his ex-lover ...more