Film and TV

Twenty buddy cop movies worth seeing again

Page 5 of 5

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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] for what he is, despite his racial ribbing of the Don Rickles all-in-good-fun school ("I'm Irish, sir, racism is a part of me culture," Boyle announces)." (Keep reading The Guard movie review.)

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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--an authority figure who hated authority. More than the original anti-Miranda, anti-Great Society cop film, Dirty Harry was Easy Rider in reverse, featuring a hippie as serial killer rather than victim. In its day, the movie was critically and commercially overshadowed by The French Connection, but en route to inspiring four sequels, it became a mainstream cult film. --J. Hoberman

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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 movies. This frees up screen-time for the kind of former-jock wise-cracking that usually doesn't arrive until halfway through the movie. Lines like, "You know I'm a better cop when I get some in the morning, I feel lighter on my feet" (Lawrence), and, "If you don't sit your lanky ass down right now, bottom-line, I will knock you the fuck out" (Smith). -- Nick Lucchesi

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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 mighty fine car chases. Why didn't more casting directors pair up James Caan and Alan Arkin? -- Cory Garcia


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