The List: Top 10 buddy cop movies

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From the January 16, 2014 edition

With Ice Cube and Kevin Hart starring in “Ride Along” this week, we’re counting down our 10 favorite movies with the buddy cop dynamic (even if some aren’t technically cops … or buddies).

10. “Beverly Hills Cop”

Eddie Murphy’s fish-out-of-water Detroit cop didn’t exactly hit it off with the California cops played by Judge Reinhold and John Ashton, but it all worked out in the end thanks to that famous theme song by Harold Faltermeyer.

9. “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang”

Top-notch buddy-cop screenwriter Shane Black (“Lethal Weapon,” “The Last Boy Scout”) made his directorial debut in this underrated 2005 gem featuring a revived Robert Downey Jr. as a petty thief who teams with a gay detective (Val Kilmer) to solve a mystery.

8. “Point Break”

This quintessential ’90s movie has the buddy cop concept on two levels. Keanu Reeves’ Johnny Utah — O-H!— buddies up with his gruff, veteran partner Pappas (a surprisingly great Gary Busey) and the bank robber he’s chasing in Patrick Swayze’s Bodhi. The result is a ridiculously fun action flick that actually holds up over time.

7. “Midnight Run”

Although neither buddy is actually a cop — Jack Walsh (Robert De Niro) is a bounty hunter and Jonathan Mardukas (Charles Grodin) is an accountant — you can’t leave this movie off the list. Watching Walsh and Mardukas irritate the living s--- out of each other (oh, the facial expressions De Niro and Grodin exchange) as they travel across the country is timeless. Plus, “Midnight Run” asks the imperative question of whether the FBI’s sunglasses are government issued, or if they all just go to the same store.

6. “Training Day”

Just because it’s a serious movie doesn’t mean it can’t be a buddy cop movie too. Sure, Denzel Washington’s by-any-means-necessary Det. Alonzo Harris and Ethan Hawke’s fresh-faced Jake Hoyt don’t see eye-to-eye, but man they are one fantastic on-screen duo — “Didn’t know you liked to get wet, dog.”

5. “Lethal Weapon”

The first “Lethal Weapon” was the template for buddy cop movies for decades to follow. Forget the sub-par sequels, as we did eventually get “too old for this shit.” Fun fact: Director Richard Donner also directed “The Goonies.”

4. “48 Hrs.”

They ain’t brothers. They ain’t partners. And they ain’t friends. But convict Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy) and cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) sure are fun to watch, especially if it involves fisticuffs, (casually racist) insults and a crappy baby blue Cadillac.

3. “Seven”

It’s easy to forget how brilliantly constructed and executed “Seven” was, but the foundational relationship of Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman made the mystery — and especially it’s climax — indelible.

2. “Hot Fuzz”

This Simon Pegg, Edgar Wright, Nick Frost collaboration is utterly brilliant because no movie embraces the buddy cop concept whilst making fun of its stereotypes with such wicked intelligence and uproarious humor. “Yeah, Royyyyy!”

1. Die Hard”

NYPD Officer John McClane (Bruce Willis) and LAPD Sgt. Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson of “Family Matters”) don’t even meet in person until the end of McClane’s ordeal, but a friendship has definitely been forged in one of the greatest action movies ever.