Famous Cop Movies

, , Leave a comment


The cop movie is and has been for a long time a popular genre that people with a wide range of interests can enjoy. Whether action, comedy, action-comedy, drama or thriller, you cannot always easily define a cop movie as belonging in one sub-category or another. Here is a list of ten of the most famous and interesting cop movies, mostly from recent years


1. Hot Fuzz


A parody of shoot-out cop movies, it stars Nick Frost and Simon Pegg. Pegg, an award-winning top London officer is transferred to the rural town of Sandford in Gloucestershire. Finding that rural policing is a world away from urban policing, he soon finds the town has a very high accident rate ‘ but other crimes are mysteriously low. The town’s community leaders want to win ‘Britain’s Best Village’ every year and they are prepared to kill to ensure that and make them all look like accidents. A hilarious shoot out ensues in which the farmers and their mothers are trying to take out Pegg.

2. Lethal Weapon


The film that made international stars of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, the two are thrown together because neither man likes to work in pairs; what’s more, nobody else wants to work with them. Together the mismatched pair must uncover a drug ring and find those responsible for the death of the daughter of Murtagh’s (Glover) old Vietnam friend. The film had no fewer than three sequels and countless homages in other films. The film and its sequels mixed serious cop drama with dark humour

3. Beverley Hills Cop


Another star-making film, this brought the quick-talking Axel Foley to our screens. Played by Eddie Murphy, he is at first out of his depth as he moves from inner city Detroit to the exclusive Beverley Hills to investigate the murder of his friend. Two sequels followed and Murphy would recycle some of his lines and some of the characteristics of the character and from 48 hrs (below) as homage in the Shrek series (I’m a donkey on the edge! I’ve got a dragon and I’m not afraid to use it!)

4. Dirty Harry


One of the hardest, toughest cops ever to grace the screen ‘ Harry Callahan is sent into the mean streets of LA to find a serial killer referred to as ‘The Scorpio Killer’. Mean, gritty and typical of 1970s cop dramas, Clint Eastwood was already a big star when he took the role. The character’s catchphrase ‘Go ahead, make my day punk’ did not actually feature in this first film, it came much later in the franchise with Sudden Impact which was the fourth in a five film series

5. Robocop


The 1980s was a time of experimental sci-fi. In near-future Detroit, Alex Murphy is brutally killed by a gang of criminals. His body is quickly recovered and the company that funds and supplies the PD with weapons in order to experiment their ‘Robocop’ programme ‘ the creation of a cyborg crime fighter because the PD is losing too many humans. The former Murphy must come to terms with who he used to be and uncover the corruption at OCP. Two lacklustre sequels followed and the original was remade in 2014

6. Bad Boys


Another dark comedy, this features Will Smith in his first real straight-laced role whom is the top of his class, highly respected cop with a slobbish partner Mike Lowry (played by Martin Lawrence) and together they must protect the witness in a murder case and uncover a drugs ring. The pair would reprise their roles in a sequel that is more highly regarded than the original and would even be given its own homage as part of Hot Fuzz (above)

7. 48 Hours


Another tale of mismatched investigators, only this time the hard-nosed cop played by Nick Nolte teams up with a criminal played by Eddie Murphy who is temporarily assigned to him to help catch a cop killer. Murphy’s character (Reggie Hammond) is a former associate of the suspected cop-killer so the authorities reluctantly let him out of prison. Pre-dating Beverly Hills Cop, it is considered the first of the ‘buddy cop’ dramas that inspired most of the others on this list. A well-received sequel came a few years later named Another 48 Hours

8. Cop Land


Sylvester Stallone, Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta and a number of other icons appear in this surprising late 1990s hit. In his most understated role, Stallone as a small-town cop decides to do something about the corrupt New York cops in his town and local area. He soon comes to discover that the town he is sheriff of is a front for mob business. Stallone won rave reviews for his portrayal, moving away from his typical role as an action hero

9. Rising Sun

Original Cinema Quad Poster - Movie Film Posters

Based on a Michael Crichton novel, this ‘buddy cop’ techno thriller teams inner city black cop played by Wesley Snipes with a former Police Captain and expert on Japanese customs played by Sean Connery. The pair investigate the apparent murder of a while prostitute inside the secretive US headquarters of a Japanese business. They uncover intrigue, prejudice and come to understand each other’s different ways of doing things while both trying to understand the strictures of Japanese customs. As with most Crichton novels, emergent technology features heavily

10. Police Academy


One of the greatest films about uniform officers as well as the most celebrated comedies of all times, an unnamed American city is struggling to find recruits for the police service and turns to jailed petty criminals ‘ giving them a chance of a new start and early parole if they go through and pass police training. We follow the likeable Mahoney as he first tries to get himself thrown out and eventually comes to want to become a police officer. A number of sequels followed, some well-received and others not so much


Cop dramas have been around for many decades and considering how diverse they are and can be (as seen above) then the future is bright for the genre. Who knows what stars of the future may come through in the next few years?

Tea Time Quiz

[forminator_poll id="23176"]

Leave a Reply