Best Police Movies

Winter is here and although I may have chores or errands that require me to go outside I would much prefer sitting by the wood stove and enjoying a good movie. If you are looking for your own excuse to avoid the wind and show let me help you find a good cop film to pass the time.

Here are some of my favorite police movies, those I can watch repeatedly tuning in whenever I see they are playing. Warning- they are not ranked in any order and if you don’t agree with them just change the channel!

Die Hard – the first in the series is by far the best and has become a Christmas tradition for me (it’s not Christmas unit Hans falls from the tower!). NYPD Det. John McClane visits his estranged wife in California and finds himself in the middle of an uncomfortable holiday party and even more uncomfortable hostile takeover (i.e. robbery disguised as a terror attack). What follows is over 2 hours of explosions, violence, action with a capital A and some witty one-liners.

Serpico – set in the 1970’s, a period of sometimes questionable ethics for the NYPD, this film features Al Pacino as real-life Det. Serpico and chronicles his battle to resist and then take down corruption within his various assignments. While this may be difficult to watch for those who wish to ignore the not always shining reputation of law enforcement it is a valuable lesson as well as a good view.

Dirty Harry – every fan of cop films knows about Dirty Harry and no list would be complete without Inspector Harry Callahan. While his methods may not be condoned, and certainly a thing of the past, they make for an entertaining and action-filled afternoon.

Bullitt– to be honest, this 1968 blockbuster is not a great cop drama, it’s okay but fairly simple in terms of storyline, but the classic car chase makes it worth watching every time. Who wouldn’t die for the chance to take a Mustang GT on a high-speed chase against a Charger through the hills of San Francisco? Just wouldn’t want to use my POV!

End of Watch– shot in a documentary style this 2012 film follows two LAPD partners as they battle a violent drug gang and do what they need to in order to go home at the end of their shifts. The level of violence and mayhem may be more than the average patrol officer encounters, but the mix of loyalty and friendship makes it as realistic as anything Hollywood has produced in a long time.

Of course, this is but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to compelling crime cinema but it should be enough to get you started, or at least through January.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell

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