1. Dirty Harry (1971): The first three in the series are fantastic films: Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973) and The Enforcer (1976). Perfectly shot, well acted with compelling characters, and a strongly conservative message, these film speak to the eternal struggle of stopping idiots from surrendering the public to thugs and terrorists and gave us super-cop Harry Callahan.
2. L.A. Confidential (1997): The definitive 1950’s L.A. cop film, this one was perfect... perfect sets, perfect props, perfect costumes, perfect script. It’s just a joy to watch this one twist and turn as the characters each play their own angles.
3. The Gauntlet (1977): This should have been the fourth Dirty Harry but it wasn’t. This is the tale of a washed up, drunken cop who must transport a supposedly meaningless eye witness from Las Vegas to Phoenix. The only problem, everyone wants them dead.
4. Cop Land (1997): A forgotten movie with a stellar cast that is anything but a normal cop movie, this tale of corruption in New Jersey/New York City contains some amazing performances and a really unpredictable plot.
5. Lethal Weapons (1992): The original (1987) and the sequel (1989) are both excellent films which did the formula for the cop film so well that every cop film to follow copied these films. Plus. they’re really enjoyable with great chemistry.
6. The French Connection (1971): You know, I can’t tell you why I like this one. Popeye Doyle is an ass. NYC looks like it had been hit by the apocalypse. The plot isn’t all that amazing. Still, this is an interesting and oddly compelling film.
7. Bullitt (1968): Starring the always fantastic Steve McQueen, this film contains the greatest car chase ever. It’s never been topped.