Welcome to the second of my quintessential buddy cop movies list. If you missed it, you can checkout the first part here.

I’d like to reiterate and expand on my one rule for the list –

“There has to be at least one police officer of some type in the group.”

This includes police officers, private investigators, FBI, CIA or any other form of law enforcement.

20. The Rock (1996)

Starring: Sean Connery and Nicolas Cage
Directed by: Michael Bay

Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Cage) is an FBI chemical warfare expert and is sent to Alcatraz Island into San Francisco when a rogue military group takes the island over with nerve gas missiles and ready to launch them. Goodspeed is teamed up with British spy and ex-con John Patrick Mason (Connery), who is the only man to successfully break out of Alcatraz. When the SEAL team that accompanies is wiped out, the two have to put differences aside to stop the rockets from launching and killing millions of people.

19. Stakeout (1987)

Starring: Richard Dreyfuss and Emilio Estevez
Directed by: John Badham

Detectives Chris Lecce (Dreyfuss) and Bill Reimers (Estevez) are tasked with being on the night shift of a stakeout of a waitress, who’s ex-boyfriend has escaped from prison and the police think he might visit her. Everything is going smooth with some shenanigans with the day shift until Lecce officially meets the waitress ex-girlfriend and starts to fall in love with her. The two detectives have to keep this secret that finally comes apart when the ex-boyfriend does show up and things go sideways.

18. The Other Guys (2010)

Starring: Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg
Directed by: Adam McKay

Allen Gamble (Ferrell) and Terry Hoitz (Wahlberg) are two detectives for the NYPD, reluctantly partnered together and seemingly desk-bound for good. Gamble is a very straight-laced cop that does everything by the books, while Hoitz is a peacock that needs to fly. They seize an opportunity to step up when put on a case to investigate a scaffolding permit violation by a multi-billionaire. This leads to a much bigger plot of covering up losses, finding Gamble and Hoitz in over their heads.

17. The Hard Way (1991)

Starring: Michael J. Fox and James Woods
Directed by: John Badham

Nick Lang (Fox) is an actor looking to gain more credibility in Hollywood and snag the main character role of a new TV show about a gritty cop. He works a deal with an NYPD Captain who’s a huge fan and pairs him with detective Lt. John Moss (Woods), a tough cop that takes no crap from anyone. Lang drives Moss crazy as he constantly asks questions and imitates everything Moss does and says. This causes Moss to continually try ditching Lang while staying in pursuit of a serial killer.

16. Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

Starring: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover
Directed by: Richard Donner

With the third installment of the Lethal Weapon franchise, LAPD Sgt. Roger Murtaugh (Glover) is a week out from his retirement. His longtime partner Martin Riggs (Gibson) is trying to deal with the team ending soon. After the two are demoted to uniform duties for causing a building to blow up, they stumble onto a black market smuggling ring, led by a former LAPD officer. The two work with an internal affairs sergeant to take down the smuggling ring.

15. 21 Jump Street (2012)

Starring: Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum
Directed by: Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

In high school, Morton Schmidt (Hill) was a nerd and Greg Jenko (Tatum) was the jock that tormented him. The two are reunited in the police academy years later and find friendship this time around, becoming partners on bike patrol. They soon find themselves reassigned to a revived department from the 80s (very self-referencing), which specializes in infiltrating high schools. They go undercover to Sagan High School, to put a stop to a new synthetic drug and take down the dealers.

14. Bulletproof (1996)

Starring: Damon Wayans and Adam Sandler
Directed by: Ernest Dickerson

Jack Carter (Wayans) is undercover for the LAPD. He befriends a small-time car thief and drug dealer Archie Moses (Sandler) because he hopes Moses will soon lead him to the drug kingpin he ultimately works for. Carter’s cover is blown after a sting operation goes wrong and Moses accidentally shoots Carter. The two then end up in the crosshairs of the drug lord when Carter is set to hand over Moses to protective services. They have to work together if they hope to survive.

13. Super Troopers (2001)

Starring: Jay Chandrasekhar, Erik Stolhanske, Steve Lemme, Kevin Heffernan and Paul Soter
Directed by: Jay Chandrasekhar

Five of Vermont’s finest state troopers spend their days bored, patrolling a 50-mile section of the highway. They often tend to kill time pulling pranks on each other and getting into other forms of… shenanigans. The team find themselves about to be ousted for the more favorable local police department. The troopers set out to save their jobs, by taking down a drug ring they stumbled upon and found a massive amount of marijuana.

12. The Nice Guys (2016)

Starring: Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling
Directed by: Shane Black

Holland March (Gosling) and Jackson Healy (Crowe) are a mismatched team, one is a private eye and the other an enforcer that makes a living hurting people. After Healy is paid to scare off March from his investigation, the two reluctantly start working together to solve the mysterious death of a fading porn star. They’re also looking for a missing girl and need to find her before some dangerous people do.

11. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989)

Starring: Mel Gibson and Danny Glover
Directed by: Richard Donner

Martin Riggs (Gibson) and Roger Murtaugh (Glover) are back and badder than ever! This time the duo find themselves investigating a smuggling operation after chasing down a car that’s full of gold Krugerrands. They follow the money to a South African diplomat, who’s using his immunity power to get away with it. At first, they’re taken off the case, but they put their badges away when many of their fellow officers are killed off and they look to bring down the whole operation.

Stay tuned for the third and final part of my quintessential buddy cop movies list.

Featured image courtesy of Blair, LMO.