Best Cop Movies Of All Time: 21+ Thrilling Films Centered On Law Enforcement - Endless Popcorn

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If you’re in the mood for a good cop movie, then you’ve come to the right place. This list includes some of the best cop movies out there, so you can watch them and get your fix of police action.

From “Die Hard” to “The Departed,” these movies are sure to keep you entertained. So without further ado, here are the best cop movies you have to watch!

1.  The Departed

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The Departed Movie Description

Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), a South Boston cop, goes undercover to infiltrate the organization of gangland chief Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson).

When career criminal Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) infiltrates the police department, he gains the trust of the mobsters and starts reporting on its activities to his syndicate bosses. But when both organizations learn they have a mole in their midst, Billy and Colin must figure out each other’s identities before it’s too late.

2.  Hot Fuzz

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Hot Fuzz Movie Description

Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman team up to solve a series of accidents that have befallen the residents of a small town in Somerset.

Though they start out as strangers, the two eventually become close partners as they investigate the crimes.

3.  Training Day

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Training Day Movie Description

A new police officer in Los Angeles spends his first day on the job with a detective who may not be as upstanding as he seems.

4.  End of Watch

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End Of Watch Movie Description

Longtime LAPD partners and friends Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) know all too well the dangers that come with patrolling one of Los Angeles’ most dangerous neighborhoods.

Though they may break the rules on occasion, their commitment to the job is unquestionable. Taylor and Zavala always have each other’s backs, even if Taylor filming their everyday activities for a college course isn’t ideal. All chaos breaks loose for the officers when they cross paths with a ruthless Mexican cartel.

5.  Die Hard

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Die Hard Movie Description

John McClane (Bruce Willis), a New York City policeman, visits his estranged wife and two daughters on Christmas Eve. He arrives at her work’s holiday party, situated in the headquarters of a Japanese-owned business.

The celebration is quickly gatecrashed by terrorists who take control of everyone in the high-rise building. McClane soon realizes that it falls to him to save the hostages.

6.  RoboCop

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RoboCop Movie Description

Omni Consumer Products, an evil corporation, privatizes the police force in a nearly-apocalyptic Detroit. To test their new cyborgs’ abilities to stop crime, they lead street cop Alex Murphy into a confrontation with Boddicker, a ruthless crime lord.

However, once RoboCop becomes aware of the company’s diabolical plans, he turns against them.

7.  Internal Affairs

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Internal Affairs Movie Description

Dennis Peck (Richard Gere) is a questionable figure in the Los Angeles Police Department. Some officers love him and others view him with suspicion because of his disreputable behavior and dubious finances.

When Internal Affairs begins to investigate Peck, Sgt. Raymond Avila (Andy Garcia) realizes that his life is in danger. Avila’s wife is also in danger since the murderers of several witnesses have begun to target them as well.

8.  Lethal Weapon

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Lethal Weapon Movie Description

Los Angeles Police Department detective Martin Riggs becomes reckless and suicidal following the death of his wife (Mel Gibson). He is reassigned to a new partner, Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover), and the two clash at first.

However, they eventually uncover a drug-trafficking ring and work together to bring it down. As they do so, they face increasingly dangerous situations. Riggs’ wild behavior might just help them catch the criminals, but it also puts their lives in danger.

9.  The Untouchables

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The Untouchables Movie Description

Giving up on conventional law enforcement, Prohibition agent Eliot Ness (Kevin Costner) handpicks a group of clean cops to take down notorious crime boss Al Capone (Robert De Niro).

Despite the corruption and bribery rife throughout Chicago at the time, Ness is convinced that his team can put an end to Capone’s empire of bootleg alcohol and violence. With Irish-American cop Jimmy Malone (Sean Connery) by his side, he may just stand a chance.

10.  The Other Guys

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The Other Guys Movie Description

Gamble (Will Ferrell) and Hoitz (Mark Wahlberg) are two detectives who have been working together for years. They are desk-bound and not very well-known. Gamble loves his job, but Hoitz is eager to get back on the streets.

When they are given a chance to prove themselves, they take it. The case they are working on turns out to be more complicated than they thought.

11.  Street Kings

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Street Kings Movie Description

Tom Ludlow, a seasoned member of the LAPD, is trying to get through each day after his wife’s death.

When evidence ties him to the murder of another officer, he starts doubting those closest to him.

12.  Bad Boys

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Bad Boys Movie Description

Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), Miami-Dade detectives, are infuriated when $100 million worth of heroin they confiscated is heisted from station headquarters.

Internal Affairs suspects it was an inside job and gives the detectives five days to track down the drugs before shutting down the narcotics division. To gain the trust of a key witness in their investigation, a call girl, Marcus must masquerade as his partner.

13.  21 Jump Street

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21 Jump Street Movie Description

The Jump Street unit uses their youthful appearances to go undercover as high-school students and shut down a dangerous drug ring.

As time goes on, they discover that high school is nothing like they remembered it and must confront the teenage terror they thought they had left behind.

14.  Bright

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Bright Movie Description

In an alternate present day, coexistence has been a reality between humans, orcs, elves, and fairies since the beginning of time. On one particular night, two police officers, one human, the other orc, experience an event that will forever change their world.

While patrolling their beat, they are forced to battle various enemies in order to protect a young female elf and a relic that, if in the wrong hands, could mean the end of everything.

15.  The French Connection

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The French Connection Movie Description

New York Detective “Popeye” Doyle (Gene Hackman) and his partner (Roy Scheider) are in pursuit of a French heroin smuggler.

16.  No Country for Old Men

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No Country For Old Men Movie Description

Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the grisly aftermath of a drug deal while out hunting. Desperate for money, he cannot resist taking the cash left behind and becomes the hunted when Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a merciless killer, picks up his trail.

In addition to looking for Moss, Sheriff Bell (Tommy Lee Jones) is an aging lawman trying to find and protect Moss while also reflecting on a changing world. He has a dark secret of his own that makes this task more difficult.

17.  Se7en

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Se7en Movie Description

When Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) tackles his final case with the help of new transfer David Mills (Brad Pitt), they discover a series of grizzly murders.

The serial killer specifically looks for people he believes have committed one of the seven deadly sins. Somerset also befriends Mills’ wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow), who is pregnant and afraid to raise her child in the crime-ridden city.

18.  Bad Lieutenant

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Bad Lieutenant Movie Description

The Lieutenant (Harvey Keitel) is a corrupt cop who exploits his authority to sexually harass teenage girls, embezzle money, and abuse drugs.

However, he gets a chance at redemption when he learns about a $50,000 reward being offered for catching some thugs who raped a nun.

19.  Hell or High Water

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Hell Or High Water Movie Description

Toby, a divorced father, and his brother Tanner, an ex-convict with anger issues, plan heists against the bank that’s about to foreclose on their family ranch.

Marcus, a Texas Ranger nearing retirement stands in their way. As they prepare for the final robbery and showdown with Marcus, will things go as planned?

20.  Face/Off

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Face/Off Movie Description

Agent Sean Archer (John Travolta) is obsessed with bringing terrorist Castor Troy (Nicolas Cage) to justice. He tracks Troy down to Los Angeles, where he has boarded a plane.

Troy is injured in a plane crash and Archer takes his face in order to try and get information about a bomb from Troy’s brother. However, Troy wakes up from his coma and forces the doctor who did the surgery to give him Archer’s face instead.

21.  Rush Hour

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Rush Hour Movie Description

The FBI and LAPD set Detective Inspector Lee (Jackie Chan) and wisecracking Detective James Carter (Chris Tucker) to solve a case of a diplomat’s daughter being kidnapped in Los Angeles.

Though they can’t stand each other, they choose to work together instead of following protocol when they’re both dumped by their agencies.

22.  Manhunter

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Manhunter Movie Description

The FBI calls on criminal profiler Will Graham (William L. Petersen) to help investigate a serial murder case involving a killer known as the “Tooth Fairy” (Tom Noonan).

Graham enlists the help of imprisoned serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox), with whom he had a previous connection. They soon find themselves in a deadly game of cat and mouse, with the Tooth Fairy, Lecktor, and an interfering journalist.

5 More Cop Movies (Honorable Mentions)

While our top picks for the best cop movies showcase some of our favorite and most memorable films in the genre, there are also many other noteworthy movies that deserve recognition. These honorable mentions offer a diverse range of styles and perspectives on the complex and often dangerous world of law enforcement.

From thrilling crime dramas to more introspective examinations of the psychological toll of the job, these films offer a rich and diverse look at the lives of those who serve and protect. So if you have watched through all our top picks and need something else to entertain you, make sure you add these next to your watchlist!

  • Speed (1994)
  • Chinatown (1974)
  • Inside Man (2006)
  • Mystic River (2003)
  • Gone Baby Gone (2007)

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