The “buddy cop” formula is one that’s been well established in Hollywood for quite some time now—two cops, usually with opposing personalities and agendas, get partnered up in a turn of fate that’s both fortuitous and hilarious—but that doesn’t mean it’s an unsuccessful formula. If anything, our research found that there’s been an effort to revitalize the genre over the past 20 odd years, and many of the titles from the following list, the 10 greatest buddy cop films of all time, are a reflection of that. While there’s some classics on here, we were surprised to find out just how many of these hilarious and often action-filled films had come out in recent years, and it seems that along with indie comedies and superhero films, the buddy cop genre is experiencing a bit of a renaissance in Hollywood. So without further ado, we give you some riotous romps about mismatched cops and the cases they’re tasked with solving.
10. Bad Boys II (2003)
We’d normally lament having to put a sequel on one of these lists rather than the original (what with sequels rarely surpassing the original, although this is not entirely impossible), but Bad Boys II, directed by Michael Bay and released in 2003, is most definitely superior to its predecessor, Bad Boys. Starring Martin Lawrence and Will Smith as Miami Police detectives Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey, respectively, Bad Boys II sees the narcotics detectives attempting to stop the flow of ecstasy, or “E,” into the Miami club scene. The film, whose plot takes some alarming leaps (especially in the third act, when Gabrielle Union’s character is introduced), doesn’t rely all that heavily on narrative, and that’s alright in the case of a film like this; the plot of Bad Boys II more than serves its purpose as a vehicle to intersperse comedy and action in equal doses, and above all, it works. Smith and Lawrence have excellent chemistry, and with a reported sequel on the way, it would appear this buddy cop duo isn’t quite tapped out yet.