The “buddy cop” model is one that has been well-established in Hollywood for a while now, typically with conflicting personalities and objectives, being joined up in a lucky and amusing turn of events—but that doesn’t imply it is a successful formula. If anything, our study revealed that there has been an effort to revive the genre over the past 20 or so years, and many of the titles from the list of the top 10 buddy cop movies ever are a result of that.
While there are some oldies on this list, we were shocked to see how many of these entertaining and frequently action-packed movies have been released recently. It appears that the buddy cop genre is enjoying a bit of a revival in Hollywood along with indie comedy and superhero movies. Without further ado, we present to you some wild adventures with mismatched police officers and the cases they are expected to crack.
The following 20 buddy cop films have received acclamation from both viewers and reviewers:
1. Lethal Weapon (1987)
This classic buddy cop movie follows the unlikely partnership between the wise-cracking Martin Riggs and the more uptight Roger Murtaugh as they team up to solve a series of murders.
2. 48 Hrs (1982)
This classic buddy cop movie stars Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte as a cop and a convict who team up to catch a group of criminals. The unlikely duo must rely on each other and use their unique skills to take down the dangerous criminals, all while dealing with their own personal issues and clashing personalities.
3. Bad Boys (1995)
This action-packed buddy cop movie stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as two Miami detectives who must go undercover to take down a drug lord. The two detectives have very different personalities, with Smith’s character being more laid-back and Lawrence’s character being more uptight and serious.
4. The Other Guys (2010)
Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg star as two unlikely partners who team up to take down a corrupt businessman in this hilarious buddy cop movie? Ferrell plays a bumbling detective who is more interested in paperwork and bureaucracy, while Wahlberg plays a hot-headed detective who is more interested in action and solving cases.
5. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
Eddie Murphy stars as a wisecracking Detroit detective who goes undercover in Beverly Hills to solve the murder of his best friend in this classic buddy cop movie. Murphy’s character, Axel Foley, is known for his quick wit and irreverent sense of humor, and he uses these traits to his advantage as he works to bring down the suspects and bring justice to his friend.
6. The Heat (2013)
Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock star as mismatched FBI agents who team up to take down a drug lord in this hilarious and action-packed buddy cop movie. McCarthy plays a brash and unapologetic detective who doesn’t follow the rules, while Bullock plays a more uptight and by-the-book detective who is used to working alone. Despite their differences, they form a strong bond as they work together to take down the drug lord and bring justice to the city.
7. Rush Hour (1998)
This hilarious buddy cop movie follows the bickering but ultimately successful partnership between a fast-talking LAPD detective (Jackie Chan) and a by-the-book FBI agent (Chris Tucker). The two detectives are tasked with solving a series of kidnappings and must rely on each other and their unique skills to catch the criminals.
8. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
This dark comedy follows the unlikely partnership between a down-on-his-luck actor (Robert Downey Jr.) and a private investigator (Val Kilmer) as they work together to solve a series of murders and clear the actor’s name.
9. Shanghai Noon (2000)
This action-comedy follows the unlikely partnership between a Chinese imperial guard (Jackie Chan) and a bumbling outlaw (Owen Wilson) as they team up to rescue a princess and bring a group of criminals to justice.
10. Turner & Hooch (1989)
This buddy cop movie follows the partnership between a neat-freak detective (Tom Hanks) and a slobbering French Mastiff (Beau). The two characters are paired together when the dog’s owner, a witness in a murder case, is killed and the detective must take care of the dog while also solving the case.
11. The Nice Guys (2016)
Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe star as a bickering duo of private detectives who team up to solve a mysterious case in this hilarious buddy cop movie. The movie was praised for its comedic performances and clever script and is considered a modern classic in the buddy cop genre.
12. Men In Black (1997)
Working for a highly funded yet unofficial government agency, “K” (Tommy Lee Jones) and “J” (Will Smith) are the Men in Black, providers of immigration services and regulators of all things alien on Earth.
13. The Departed (2006)
This crime thriller follows the dual storylines of a cop (Leonardo DiCaprio) going undercover in a criminal organization and a criminal (Matt Damon) infiltrating the police department.
14. The Matrix (1999)
While not a traditional buddy cop movie, “The Matrix” follows the partnership between a computer hacker (Keanu Reeves) and a group of rebels as they team up to take down a powerful artificial intelligence system. The movie is known for its groundbreaking special effects and action sequences and is considered a classic in the sci-fi genre.
15. Zootopia (2016)
While not a traditional buddy cop movie, “Zootopia” follows the partnership between a rookie rabbit police officer (Ginnifer Goodwin) and a sly con artist fox (Jason Bateman) as they team up to solve a series of mysterious disappearances in the animal city of Zootopia.
16. The Blues Brothers (1980)
This musical comedy follows the partnership between two estranged brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd) as they team up to save the orphanage they grew up in by putting their old band back together.
17. Midnight Run (1988)
This action-comedy follows the partnership between a bounty hunter (Robert De Niro) and a bail jumper (Charles Grodin) as they go on a cross-country journey to bring the bail jumper back to justice.
18. The Guard (2011)
This dark comedy follows the partnership between an unorthodox Irish police officer (Brendan Gleeson) and a straight-laced FBI agent (Don Cheadle) as they team up to take down a group of drug smugglers.
19. Starsky & Hutch (2004)
Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson star as the titular characters in this action-packed buddy cop movie based on the classic TV show. The movie follows the partnership between two detectives as they work together to solve a series of murders and bring the criminals to justice.
20.The Rundown (2003)
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Seann William Scott star as a bounty hunter and his bickering partner as they go on a dangerous mission to bring back the son of a wealthy businessman from the Amazon.
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