A decent cop movie is a classic. Fortunately, Hollywood appears to enjoy producing them as much as we enjoy watching them. We have cop movies to thank for Hollywood’s long-standing fascination in the realm of law enforcement. In addition to depicting the usual gunfights, arrests, car chases, and nasty bad guys, many also show the more human aspect of police officers and the difficulties they face on a daily basis.
One of the best things about cop movies is that they can be so varied.. Some cop movies are serious and dramatic, while others take a lighthearted look at the men and women of the law enforcement community. All of the above are welcome to participate in this discussion of the ten greatest cop movies ever made!
10. The French Connection
During the decade of the 1970s, Hollywood began to produce films that were more?realistic.’ A good illustration of this is the film The French Connection. After a hesitant start, this picture quickly became packed with the kind of action-packed and suspenseful scenes that fans of cop movies crave. For a film that was released in 1971, the film’s set design and subject captured New York City in an impressive manner.
It was the first R-rated film to win Best Picture, Best Actor (Gene Hackman), and Best Director at the Academy Awards (William Friedkin). It is still regarded as one of the greatest pictures ever made. The film did not age very well, but it is still a classic and deserves to be included here. In spite of the picture costing less than $2 million to produce, it made millions at the box office.
This film had a significant impact on how police officers and other law enforcement officers will be portrayed in Hollywood moving forward. True to truth, this film portrays the story of Frank Serpico, a respectable detective who ends up going undercover to bring down his corrupt coworkers.
Despite the fact that he’s surrounded by people who are doing wrong, Al Pacino does an excellent job as the film’s central character. There were several Oscar nominations (but no wins) for this film, including Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. Profitable, even if the film took in only $30,000 per screening. In addition, it continues to be hailed as one of the best cop movies ever filmed by critics.
Fargo is one of the few great cop movies to provide the best of both worlds.
Everything from humor to brutality to suspense can be found in the Coen Brothers classic. One may still appreciate it now, over two decades after its first release in 1996, because of the film’s excellent script (for which it won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay).
Even if you’re not a big fan of movies, you’re likely to love Fargo. The film was nominated for several additional Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actress, while also being a big triumph at the box office. If you haven’t watched it, I highly recommend it; you won’t be sorry. After that, you can watch the 2014 spin-off of the FX television series.
Two detectives (Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman) work together to catch a serial killer in Se7en. One of the killer’s recurring themes is the Seven Deadly Sins, and the film delves considerably deeper into his deranged mind than most films have done. Instead than focusing on the tension before the bad guy is caught like in other cop movies, this one explores the human condition and asks whether we are born good or bad.
Not many thrillers, much less cop movies, look at society as a whole in this way. One of Kevin Spacey’s most iconic roles is as the soulless killer in the film’s last scene (“What’s in the box?”). If you’re looking for a gritty, hard-boiled police drama, this is the movie for you.
6. Training Day
A gritty cop movie, Training Day focuses on the corruption and justice of the police force. In this Antoine Fuqua film, we get to know each character on a deeper level, allowing us to empathize with them throughout their journey. This level of character development is rarely seen in police dramas, which is a real tragedy.
There’s no denying that Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke provide some of their best performances in this picture towards the final third, despite the fact that it feels a bit rushed and convenient. As well as being nominated for an Academy Award (Washington was the winner, but Hawke was not), the film received high praise from critics and went on to gross more than $100 million worldwide.
5. Beverly Hills Cop
Beverly Hills Cop was the picture that catapulted Eddie Murphy into superstardom. A tough-talking officer from Detroit is sent to California to investigate the death of his closest friend, and Murphy plays the lead role. Throughout the film, Murphy and his supporting cast are undoubtedly excellent, and Murphy as Axel Foley is one of the best characters in a cop movie.
While other cop movies had a diverse cast, Eddie Redmayne was the only one in this one. At its core, this is an action-comedy and can be considered as the inspiration for later films like Rush Hour, which featured action sequences. It wouldn’t be considered “gritty,” but not every cop movie needs to take itself so seriously. One of the best comedy films ever made, the film made more over $300 million, and was nominated for a slew of accolades, including a Best Writing nod at the Oscars. It also produced three sequels, which got worse and worse and (of course) did not make this list.
4. End of Watch
As far as cop movies go, this is one of the most overlooked in recent memory, but it’s also one of the best. One of the best cop dramas ever made, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena, as well as some of the best acting. The film follows two LAPD officers as they go about their daily routines, and it’s tense from beginning to end.
There is a fair deal of attention paid to subjects such as drug violence and gang participation in this film. In addition to being praised by critics for its realism and adherence to accuracy, the film made over $55 million at the box office. As a director, David Ayer stated his desire to make a cop picture that emphasized relationships between colleagues and honest police work instead of the conventional corruption storylines. He did a fantastic job of it.
Having a star-studded cast like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Val Kilmer was a given. Heat had everything you could possibly want in a cop movie. Overall, the cast and director were excellent, and the picture included multiple excellent confrontations, which are a mainstay in cop movies.
As a result, it clocks in at nearly three hours in length. Unlike some other crime dramas, this one had a satisfying conclusion and never dragged on, which is a common complaint. It was a big hit at the box office, grossing about $200 million, and received overwhelmingly positive reviews from critics and audiences alike.
2. Hot Fuzz
An English community has been plagued by bizarre and unusual killings, which two British police officers must investigate. One is a longtime resident of the town, while the other has relocated and is accustomed to a much larger metropolis. As a whole, the film is entertaining, and the characters play off of one other perfectly (Simon Pegg and Nick Frost star).
With some action, suspense and even a little gore, the picture is just almost funny enough to be considered a real comedy. In my opinion, it is one of the greatest cinematic works of all time. With filmmaker Edgar Wright (Ant-Man, Baby Driver) at the helm, the film is a must-see for fans of action, comedy, and intrigue. A critical and financial success, it also raked in over $80 million at the theaters.
1. The Departed
Finally, we get at the Martin Scorsese masterwork The Departed, which I consider to be the greatest cop film of all time. For this film, a police officer is compelled to join the mob in Boston. Meanwhile, the mob sends one of their own through the police academy in order to become an insider. In this picture, Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon star alongside Alec Baldwin, Martin Sheen, Jack Nicholson, and Alec Baldwin in an outstanding cast.
While the film has its flaws, such as clunky dialogue and shaky graphics, these are outweighed by the film’s numerous high points, such as its star cast, outstanding acting, superb directing, and outstanding musical score. At the box office, it raked in more than $300 million, and it won four Academy Awards (including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing). After losing six prior Best Director nominations, this was the film that finally gave Scorsese the recognition he deserved.