50 Craziest Movie Cops

Keith Frazier Inside Man (2006)

The Crazy Cop: Detective Keith Frazier (Denzel Washington), who is on the case of a bank robbery perpetrated by Dalton Russell (Clive Owen).

Most Lunatic Moment: Like a total loon, Frazier actually enters the bank and talks with Russell.

Even worse, when he’s leaving, Frazier attempts to take Russell down. (He fails.)

Jack Wash Midnight Run (1988)

The Crazy Cop: What kind of cop chucks it all in to become a bounty hunter? Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) is that kind of cop.

He’s hired by a bail bondsman to bring an accountant, Jonathan Mardukas (Charles Grodin), charged with embezzlement back to LA.

Most Lunatic Moment: Any time he yells and points (“Marvin!”) in order to clock rival bounty hunter Marvin Dorfler (John Ashton) round the jaw.

It really shouldn't work every time.

J.J. Jake Gittes Chinatown (1974)

The Crazy Cop: A private investigator (so kind of a cop), J.J. ‘Jake’ Gittes (Jack Nicholson) is hired by Evelyn Mulwray (Diane Ladd) to keep tabs on her husband.

Meanwhile, Jake uncovers corruption at the city’s water supply company.

Most Lunatic Moment: Jake demands the truth from Evelyn Cross Mulwray (Faye Dunaway) and continually slaps her until he gets it. Takes a while .

Jack Grimaldi Romeo Is Bleeding (1993)

The Crazy Cop: A dirty cop who executes jobs for the Mafia, Jack Grimaldi (Gary Oldman) discovers he’s not top dog when he’s outwitted by Russian assassin Mona Demarkov (Lena Olin).

Grimaldi’s charged with taking Demarkov out. Instead, she seduces him…

Most Lunatic Moment: Taken to court for murder, Grimaldi spots Demarkov and lunges for an officer’s gun.

He shoots her. Turns the gun on himself. Only the barrel’s empty…

Henry Oak Narc (2002)

The Crazy Cop: Driven and goal-oriented, Henry Oak (Ray Liotta) is nonetheless a totally unstable cop.

How so? Well, he handles his investigations uber-violently, holding back next to nothing when he confronts criminals.

Most Lunatic Moment: Determined to solve his case, Oak turns on his partner, Tellis, and beats him with a shotgun.

He then turns his attention to a couple of dealers…

Robocop RoboCop (1987)

The Crazy Cop: When police officer Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) dies in the line of duty, his body is used by Omni Consumer Products to create the very first RoboCop.

Most Lunatic Moment: Well, for a start he’s a cop who’s a robot, which is pretty crazy in itself.

This moment , though, where his memory starts to return at a petrol station is pretty nuts – not least because he survives that giant explosion and continues after Mil (Paul McCrane).

Wendell Bud White L.A. Confidential (1997)

The Crazy Cop: Considered a “mindless thug” by his co-workers, Officer Wendell ‘Bud’ White (Russell Crowe) is a plain clothes officer whose speciality is taking down men who beat up women.

Most Lunatic Moment: When Ed Exley’s (Guy Pearce) interrogation of the Nite Owl Massacre suspect doesn’t seem to be going anywhere, Bud busts in to show Exley how it’s done

Oh, and then there’s that bit where he hangs DA Ellis Loew out a window…

John Scottie Ferguson Vertigo (1958)

The Crazy Cop: Former police detective John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson (James Stewart) is retired thanks to his vertigo and depression.

However, he’s hired as a private investigator to follow Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak), the wife of an acquaintance.

Most Lunatic Moment: It’s more the fact that somebody’s attempting to convince Scottie that he’s lost his marbles, than him actually losing them.

Still, he looks pretty crazy when he’s unable to climb the bell tower after Madeline because of his vertigo, helplessly watching her fall to her death.

Captain Dickson 21 Jump Street (2012)

The Crazy Cop: If Captain Dickson (Ice Cube) is angry, you’ll know about it from the spittle spraying you in the face.

He’s also the kind of crazy that means he thinks a police division that specialises in infiltrating high schools is actually a good idea…

Most Lunatic Moment:
“You some Justin Beaver, Miley Cyrus-looking motherfuckers!”

Dickson takes to the pulpit in order to deliver a ranting sermon about policing .

Inspector Clouseau The Pink Panther (1963)

The Crazy Cop: Police inspector Jacques Clouseau (Peter Sellers) hails from the Sûreté, and is on the trail of jewel thief known only as ‘The Panther’.

He’s basically a French relative of Mr Bean – clumsy and mostly oblivious to the carnage he creates during his investigations.

Most Lunatic Moment:
Convicted of being the jewel thief himself, Clouseau accepts his lot when he acquires the attention of young women the world over.


Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.