I’m not sure how many real life detectives have the lives that movie detectives do. In fact I would bet that most of the job is boring paperwork. However I’m sure on occasion they get some amazing cases and it’s those cases that movie detectives are probably based on.
And just to not get too technical, not all the people below have the rank of detective in the movie but I couldn’t title the article best movie cops because it’s too broad. Trust me. These guys are detectives anyway.
Here are eight awesome movie detectives…..
Detective Lt. William Somerset – Se7en
One could also argue for Brad Pitt as well but let’s face it, Morgan Freeman is awesome in this movie. Somerset is basically retiring and taking his last case. Little did he know it would be the best case of his career taking on the criminal mind of Kevin Spacey’s character. He’s both a mentor to Pitt and a man who still feels he has much to learn.
Samuel Gerard – The Fugitive
I think this is probably Tommy Lee Jones’ best movie role. It’s tough to argue against it. First of all he’s hilarious constantly making light of situations and his team. But deep down you know he’s a sympathetic man and is only doing his job in trying to catch Richard Kimble. Best line: “I don’t care!”
Wendell “Bud” White – L.A. Confidential
White is the quintessential tough guy cop who is a bruiser. He gets his way by beating the crap out of people and breaking all the rules. Clearly he’s going to have to do it again to figure out all the corruption in his precinct.
JJ Gittes – Chinatown
Jack Nicholson is the slick , and slightly sleazy divorce detective, who gave up on doing the right thing a long time ago, back when he was a cop in Chinatown. If you haven’t seen this film then you must.
Patrick Kenzie – Gone Baby Gone
Played very well by Casey Affleck, Kenzie isn’t a detective in the conventional sense. In fact he works for detectives as sort of a freelancer. However for the purposes of this article I definitely count him as a detective because he does all the digging and finding in this film.
Billy Costigan – The Departed
You could probably go with Damon here. Or even Wahlberg. But I think Dicaprio probably did the best acting performance in this film. Costigan is a man torn by both his past and present and you can see it the entire movie.
Alonzo Harris – Training Day
You either really liked this performance by Denzel Washington or you hated it. Obviously the Oscars liked it.
Detective Prendergast – Falling Down
His last day on the job and he’s left to find psychotic Michael Douglas who’s basically terrorizing downtown LA because he’s had it with society.
*Arnold in Kindergarten Cop?