Finding a cop movie is not hard. It’s a genre with a long tradition, and as long as there’s still both good guys and bad guys out there, there will always be more of them… Having said that, finding good cop movies might not always be such an easy task. You know, the needle and the haystack and all of that… Here are 5 good ones that you should give a go, however:
In ‘Serpico’, Al Pacino plays the honest cop taking on a corrupt police force and risking his life in doing so. The movie is based on the true story of Frank Serpico, with Al Pacino delivers one of his best roles ever, which says a lot. The movie came out in 1973, but the reality of police corruption is sadly one that still holds true today, making the movie anything but outdated concerning the main theme of the movie. Fun fact: the movie was shot in reverse, meaning Pacino shot the end scenes where he had a full beard first, whereas the scenes from the beginning of the movie, where he was clean-cut were shot last.
Quite possibly Sylvester Stallone’s most impressive acting achievement to date, ‘Cop Land’ not only provides us with a more sensitive “Sly” then we’re used to, but it also features one of the most impressive casts of the 90s. As with ‘Serpico’, the theme is police corruption, and Sheriff Freddie Heffan, played by Stallone, slowly realises that there are brute forces at play in the suburban New Jersey town populated by NYPD officers. In addition to Sylvester Stallone, the film has stellar performances by Harvei Keitel, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Peter Berg, Michael Rapaport, Noah Emmerich, Robert Patrick and Annabella Sciorra. Check out the trailer below:
Like in ‘Cop Land’, Ray Liotta shows up in yet another great cop movie, this one dealing with the undercover aspect of policing. After an undercover cop dies, former cop Nick Tellis is brought back from suspension to help out on the case, which has came to a stop lacking any good leads. He teams up with the rather aggressive Henry Oak, of course portrayed by Ray Liotta… of course.
It’s a dark movie, but effective, and Patric and Liotta make a good screen couple. The low budget movie was shot in only 28 days, and also has rapper Busta Rhymes in a small part.
Good guy Denzel Washington had to play a bad ass corrupt cop to finally land him the Academy Award for best actor in a leading role, and he absolutely deserved it. The partnership of Detective Alonzo Harris (Washington) and Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) is perfect for keeping us entertained, and as Hoyt gets to know his new partner… well, to say it like Denzel would probably say it… “shit is about to go down!” Denzel is pure brilliance in this movie, and Ethan Hawke is doing a pretty fine job himself. Scott Glenn, Raymond J. Barry (‘Justified’), Cliff Curtis and Eva Mendes also appear. Below is a clip of Detective Alonzo Harris showing Jake Hoyt his “office”, naturally set to Dr. Dre’s classic “Still D.R.E.”
End of Watch
The writer of ‘Training Day’ directed and wrote this movie, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Frank Grillo, Anna Kendrick and Natalie Martinez. The movie is shot documentary style, following two young detectives in South Central Los Angeles. The two detectives are on the hot trail of criminals dealing with big drugs and human trafficking, but things soon escalate and get a bit more dangerous than what was planned. It doesn’t really matter how much of a bad ass cop you are. You do NOT want the cartel coming after you… Pena and Gyllenhaal both do a solid job in this explosive cop thriller. Perfect entertainment f you’re up for some crime fighting ball busters. Check out the trailer below: