8 movie cops we’d trust to keep us safe

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Although they vary in quality, crime films come out with frightening regularity. It’s a form of escapism that audiences simply can’t get enough of, to step into the shoes of a law enforcement official as he tries to make the world a better place.

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Some movie cops are timeless, with an unwavering moral compass and a pragmatic approach to the law, while others are products of their time, corrupt and willing to break the rules to get what they want. One thing’s for sure, though, a good crime movie will always entertain audiences, especially when they spend a good chunk of their time looking for a lost swan.

Nicholas Angel – ‘Hot Fuzz’ (2007)


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Image via Rogue Pictures

Few police officers are punished for being too good at their job, but unfortunately that is the position of Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) Finds himself. He is dispatched from the busy streets of London to the seemingly idyllic village of Sandford because his arrest record makes the other officers look bad.

Upon arriving in Sandford, Nicholas spots a pattern in a series of “accidental” murders that leads him to an evil cult out to murder anyone who gets in their way of collecting the Village of the Year award. Angel can only take down the cult once he accepts that he sometimes has to break the rules and instead uses beloved cop action movies as inspiration.

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Mike Lowrey – The “Bad Boys” Trilogy (1995-2020)


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Picture via Sony Pictures

Has there ever been a cop as effortlessly cool as Mike Lowrey (Will Smith)? Of course, there was none. First appearance in 1995 film Bad Boys before resuming the role in bad boys II and the long awaited bad boys for lifeSmith is perfectly at home as the action-loving and always stylish Lowrey.

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The films have stood the test of time for many reasons, but primarily because of the incredible chemistry between Lowrey and his costar Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence), making it an absolute joy to watch the pair solve crimes and take on bad guys. Thanks to the financial success of bad boys for lifefans are hoping Lowrey and Burnett will return for a fourth outing.


Alex Murphy – ‘Robocop’ (1987)


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This one doesn’t require much explanation; Robocop is as reliable a cop as you can get. After being seriously injured in the line of duty, Detective Alex Murphy (Pierre Weller) is kept alive by merging with cyborg machines. Robocop is as effective a crime fighter as he can be, but he quickly becomes haunted by the memories of his past life that his creators tried to take from him.

Along with ridding the streets of crime, Murphy is soon forced to dismantle the corporation that created him after learning of their nefarious plans. Robotcop is a movie that still holds its own, which makes it no surprise that it’s considered one of the top 25 action movies of the 80s.

Marge Gunderson – ‘Fargo’ (1996)


Francis McDormand in Fargo

There’s nothing easy about being a police officer, especially when you live in one of the coldest cities on earth and are heavily pregnant. Margin (Frances McDormand) finds himself faced with the stupid plan of incompetent car salesman Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy), who has his wife kidnapped to extort a large ransom from his rich father.

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Things don’t go as planned for Jerry, mostly because Marge spots every clue he leaves behind. She is not happy to accept the simplest explanation of things and instead goes ahead with her intuition that things are not what they seem. Not only that, but she manages to stay cheerful throughout the ordeal. The only disappointment with Marge Gunderson is that she hasn’t returned to the TV adaptation of Fargobut there is still hope for season five.

Rhonda Boney – ‘Gone Girl’ (2014)


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When Amy Dunne (Rosamund pike) goes missing, all clues point to her husband Nick (Ben Affleck). A large amount of blood was cleaned from the floor, a diary detailing Nick’s abusive behavior, and even a letter titled “clue one” which alludes to Nick’s infidelity. For most cops, that would be enough to lock Nick in and throw away the key.

Rhonda Boney (Kim Dicken), however, knows when something is too good to be true, so she begins to work alongside Nick to uncover the truth about Amy and her sinister plot for revenge. Boney’s ability to listen, understand, and see things for what they are sets her apart from her colleagues and cements her place in the pantheon of movie cops.

John McClane – ‘Die Hard’ (1988-2013)


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If it is easier to get bogged down in the memory of the terrible sequels, John McClane (Bruce Willis) is a movie cop who deserves the utmost respect. He’s simply an off-duty cop trying to smooth things over with his wife Holly at his office’s Christmas party when the building is taken over by Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) and his thugs.

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Armed with nothing but his gun, his wits, and his will to survive, McClane takes down the thugs one by one while taunting Gruber and delivering one of the most memorable lines in movie history: you know that one. If you decide to watch the die hard movies, whatever you do, don’t watch the last one. Do what we all do and pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s better that way.


William Somerset – ‘Se7en’ (1995)


Somerset and Mills investigate

As a cop about to retire, you want your latest case to be as easy as possible. Unfortunately for William Somerset (Morgan FREEMAN), his last case is as complicated as it gets. Not only is he assigned a new partner, the impulsive and optimistic David Mills (brad pitt), but they are tasked with tracking down a serial killer whose work represents the Seven Deadly Sins.

Somerset is an old-school cop worn down by years on the force, and he makes it clear that he thinks Mills is making a mistake raising a family in his job. He was proven right in the film’s infamous final scene, where Mills realizes that happy families and police work don’t mix.

Billy Costigan – “The Departed” (2006)


When it comes to challenging missions, it’s hard to top the role given to Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio), who is ripped straight out of the academy and tasked with infiltrating the ranks of Frank Costello (Jack Nicholson), the head of Boston’s Irish mob.

Undercover in one of the world’s most dangerous gangs, Costigan faces exposure every day. He also can’t turn to his fellow officers for help, as only two officers know he’s actually a cop, and he can’t run into them often at the risk of being seen. Armed only with his wits and wits, Billy must seamlessly transform into someone else while buried in this dark, twisted and violent world. The film is one of the best crime thrillers ever made, and the director Martin Scorsese fully deserved his Oscar for Best Director.

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