June 27, 2013 Slideshows

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20 Buddy Cop Movies Worth Seeing Again 

While the genre's been compacted into a cliche over the years (especially immediately following its heyday in the late '80s and early '90s), and also justly satirized for it, the fundamentals of the buddy cop film return each summer to theaters.

Here are twenty films from the genre that's been a mainstay in theaters and weekend cable programming. By Voice Film Club.

"Turner & Hooch (1989)
Scott Turner (Tom Hanks) is only days away from leaving the department -- a play on the buddy cop stand-by of the veteran officer being close to retirement, of course -- until a local man is killed and Hanks i
"48 Hrs. (1982)
A prototype of the '80s buddy cop movie, and one of its greatest: Grizzled cop (Nick Nolte) pairs with Eddie Murphy, who is at his most smart-assed."
"Cop and a Half (1993)
Ironically adored by anyone older than 8 who also doesn't have children, Cop and a Half stars Burt Reynolds and Norman D. Golden III, a precocious boy who adorably proclaims: "I'm your worst nightmare:
"FEDS (1988)
For these ladies, it's a battle of brains vs. braun. Rebecca De Mornay as Ellie DeWitt (physically tough but not very smart) and Mary Gross as Janis Zuckerman (the opposite) play FBI Academy cadets in FEDS, co-wr
"Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)
A hilarious take on old-school hardboiled detective novels, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang takes the best of the genre and turns it on its head with amateur detectives infiltrating Hollywood's dark side. Thi
"In the Heat of the Night (1967)
A winner of five Academy Awards -- but not one for Sidney Poitier's powerful performance -- In the Heat of the Night pairs Poitier's Detective Virgil Tibbs with Rod Steiger's Police Chief Bill
"Hot Fuzz (2007)
Secretly every buddy cop flick is a platonic love story, and there may be no better on-screen bromance than the one between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost in Hot Fuzz. Add in some explosions and you've got a flick
"Dirty Harry (1971)
Released in late 1971, Dirty Harry introduced the figure of the Legal Vigilante that would prove so useful to Richard Nixon in the upcoming election year. Dirty Harry was a dirty man for a dirty time&mdash
"Freebie and The Bean (1974)
This is the gritty '70s version of the buddy cop flick, which is to say you may find yourself laughing even though the characters are deplorable. They may be awful people, but they do get in to some migh
"Lethal Weapon (1987)
Murtaugh (Danny Glover) and Riggs (Braveheart), just hate each other at the beginning of this Richard Donner movie, but of course (SPOILER ALERT!) end up close friends by the end of this 1987 release that launc
"21 Jump Street (2012)
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill play up their dumb hunk and over-eager police cadet roles for an A+ revamp of the high school-based 21 Jump Street. Unlikely as besties, cops, and students in the flick, th
"Se7en (1995)
David Fincher's serial-killer classic pairs Morgan Freeman with Brad Pitt, veteran with younger detective. An unconventional buddy cop movie in that it holds generally strong reviews and doesn't feature a single scene
"Miami Vice (2006)

Holding only a 47 percent "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, Michael Mann's take on the '80s television series of the same name has been criticized for takin
"Tango & Cash (1989)

Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell are LAPD narcs (they can't stand each other, natch), forced to partner up and go after a crime boss with the worst name a crime boss could have: Yves Perret. Just
"Training Day (2001)
The anti-buddy cop film, Antoine Fuqua's Training Day essentially shows Denzel Washington's Detective Alonzo Harris torture and eventually try to kill Ethan Hawke's Jake Hoyt over the course of its two ho
"Rush Hour (1998)
Chris Tucker's Detective Carter doesn't want a partner -- but he gets Jackie Chan's Detective Lee in Brett Ratner's Rush Hour. There's a kidnapping the two cops need to resolve with explosions and martial ar
"The Guard (2011)
From Nick Pinkerton's 2011 review: "As an FBI agent visiting to intercept a massive drug drop, Don Cheadle is on hand to straight-man, and to instruct the audience to grudgingly appreciate Boyle [Brendan Gleeson] f
"Bad Boys (1995)
As Michael Bay's directorial debut, Bad Boys portrays Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as cops who are already friends from the get-go, allowing us to by-pass the meet-awkward beginnings of other buddy-cop movi
"Starsky & Hutch on ABC's Movie of the Week (1975)

The original 90-minute pilot movie that spawned the TV series. If you can find it, please watch this one instead of the reboot with Owen Wilson and Ben Stiller."
"Men in Black (1997)
Space cops Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith. You can gather which one is the grizzled vet."
"Turner & Hooch (1989)
Scott Turner (Tom Hanks) is only days away from leaving the department -- a play on the buddy cop stand-by of the veteran officer being close to retirement, of course -- until a local man is killed and Hanks i

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