Thursday Movie Picks: Police Detectives

ThursdayMoviePicksHappy almost Friday! It’s TMP time! The Thursday Movie Picks blogathon was spearheaded by Wandering Through the Shelves Blog.

The rules are simple simple: Each week there is a topic for you to create a list of three movies. Your picks can either be favourites/best, worst, hidden gems, or if you’re up to it one of each. This Thursday’s theme is… Police Detective.

Well, there are SO many to choose from as Hollywood loves procedural movies! But there are a few that stood out to me from movies as well as TV. In fact, I’ve rewatched most of these recently and they’re still fun to watch.

In any case, here are my picks:


One of my favorite action comedy!! Edgar Wright is basically doing a spoof and homage to American buddy action movies like Bad Boys, in fact there’s a scene of them watching that movie! Seeing Simon Pegg as a goody two shoes policeman (hence his name is Nicholas Angel) is such a hoot!! Any movie w/ Pegg + his BFF Nick Frost is always fun. Plus there’s Timothy Dalton as the villain, so perfect!!

Fun Trivia:
Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright interviewed many real police officers while doing research for the film. Many lines in the film such as “I prefer to think my office is out on the street” came directly from those interviews. The stylized scenes of Nick doing paperwork were inspired by the officers noting that paperwork is a huge part of the job, but it is never depicted in cop shows and films.


I just rewatched this a few months ago as I’ve forgotten quite a bit of it since I first saw this a while ago. I actually enjoyed it more than I did the first time, perhaps my fave Tim Burton film. Johnny Depp is fun to watch as the rather bumbling Ichabod, probably one of my fave roles of his.

Fun Trivia:
Historically, Ichabod Crane was a very unattractive man. Johnny Depp offered to add prosthetics to his face to make himself look ugly, but director Tim Burton wanted to base the character on Crane’s more unattractive personality traits, his reported squeamishness and eccentricity.


This is one of my all time fave sci-fi movies and somehow a lot of the technology doesn’t seem dated even though this movie is almost 2 decades old! I suppose self-driving cars, personalized ads, home voice automation and gesture controlled computers, most of those have become part of our every day lives now. Tom Cruise is in top form here, definitely one of his best roles.

Fun Trivia:
For the scene where Anderton holds his breath in the bathtub, Steven Spielberg was going to create the air bubble rising with CGI, but Tom Cruise took the time and learned how to do it himself. Both Spielberg and Cruise agreed to waive their usual salary to help keep the film’s budget under $100 million. They agreed to take 15% of the film’s gross instead.

BBC’s Sherlock

Ok so this one is not a movie, though I think they’re still planning on adapting this popular series as a feature. It’s Benedict Cumberbatch‘s huge breakout role (launching the Cumberbitches phenomenon) and he’s definitely fun to watch here. I love his friendship with his partner/assistant Watson, brilliantly played by Martin Freeman, which is one the strongest part about this series.

Fun Trivia:
Many of the crew in Sherlock (2010) are related. Sherlock’s parents are actually actor Benedict Cumberbatch’s parents, Wanda Ventham and Timothy Carlton; Amanda Abbington (Mary Morstan) and Martin Freeman (John Watson) were real-life partners; producer Sue Vertue is writer Steven Moffat’s wife, and co-producer and writer Beryl Vertue is his mother-in-law; writer Mark Gatiss’ husband is the barrister in Sherlock: The Reichenbach Fall (2012); Steven Moffat’s son plays Sherlock Holmes as a child in a few episodes.

So who are YOUR favorite movie/tv detectives?

25 thoughts on “Thursday Movie Picks: Police Detectives

  1. People raved about Hot Fuzz so much before I watched it that I was rather let down by it. It was amusing in parts but less than the crazy comedy I had expected.

    I was surprised how much I enjoyed Sleepy Hollow since both Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are very variable to me. But this captured the unsettled strangeness of the story very well.

    I am not a Tom Cruise fan most of the time but he was okay in Minority Report though I remember Colin Farrell and Samantha Morton from it much more.

    I’ve only seen perhaps two episodes of Sherlock. It was fine but I wasn’t compelled to follow up on it. Maybe if I ever have the chance to watch it from the beginning I’d be more inclined to follow it.

    I went with a mini theme within the theme to help me winnow the many choices down.

    Serpico (1973)-Based on the autobiographical book of the same name this looks at honest NYPD cop Frank Serpico (Al Pacino) and his struggles against the corruption that permeated the department in the 60’s and his ultimate role of whistleblower after earning his detective shield. Gritty drama anchored by Pacino’s Oscar nominated performance captures the feeling of a grimy corruption plagued New York City.

    Brannigan (1975)-Chicago police detective Jim Brannigan (John Wayne) hops a plane to England to extradite American gangster Ben Larkin (John Vernon). His brash ways clash with the more reserved British methods of Scotland Yard Commander Swann (Richard Attenborough) but when Larkin is kidnapped before Brannigan can take him into custody rough and tumble cop takes off on a manhunt through the streets of London assisted by Detective Sergeant Jennifer Thatcher (Judy Geeson). Fun actioner was one of the Duke’s final films, the fresh locale invigorating his performance.

    Stone (1974)-In 70’s Australia members of the biker gang The GraveDiggers witness a political assassination while under the influence of hallucinogenics and shortly afterwards begin to be killed one by one. Police detective Stone (Ken Shorter) goes undercover within the gang to try and ferret out the killer. He bonds somewhat with the members but when he uncovers a conspiracy, he must make a choice between his job and loyalty to the gang. VERY 70’s film is more concerned with footage of motorcycles, skinny dipping and exploitation than telling a really cohesive story.

    1. Hey Joel, I actually haven’t followed Sherlock as regularly but the production quality and the acting are excellent. There are so many Sherlock adaptation and the series puts a fun modern spin on it.

      I haven’t seen any of your picks, but I really should see Serpico. Sounds like a film I’d like.

  2. I’ve seen these films and I like them. I haven’t seen Sherlock though as there’s just so many other things to see. I don’t know if I’ll get around to it.

    1. I hear ya, there are SO many series to catch up on. I have to simply accept that I can’t see everything, even popular ones like Game of Thrones, there are just way too many episodes.

  3. Nice list! I can’t believe these slipped my mind. Loved Johnny Depp in Sleepy Hollow, and Minority Report is one of my favorite Cruise / Spielberg films. Hot Fuzz is great too.

  4. I haven’t seen Hot Fuzz and Sleeping Hollow in a long time but I enjoyed both films quite a bit. Minority Report is definitely one of the best films of 2000s. Had Spielberg used the original ending of the Phillip K. Dick’s book that’s based on, I’d call it a masterpiece.

    I think my favorite detective films are Blade Runner 1 & 2. I also enjoy Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, The Last Boyscout and Bong Joon Ho’s Memories of Murder, which will finally be released here in the States by Criterion!

    1. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang!! That’s a good one. I haven’t seen Bong Joon Ho’s Memories of Murder, but sounds like I should. Btw you’ve seen The Age of Shadows right? That’s an excellent Korean action thriller.

      1. Memories of Murder is to me, Ho’s best film. I know a lot of western audiences are interested in his films now that he won an Oscar for Parasite, so I’ve been recommend then to check out Memories of Murder, it’s very similar to Fincher’s Zodiac.

        The Age of Shadows, is that WW2 theme film? I never seen it, I think I wasn’t that interested after seeing a trailer. I’ll give it a watch if/when it becomes available on Amazon or Netflix.

    1. Somehow I immediately thought of Sherlock when I saw this week’s topic. I wonder when they’d make a film version of it, I suppose Cumberbatch is now busy w/ being part of the MCU.

  5. Yes yes yes for Hot Fuzz! That’s one of my favourite ever movies. It’s a bit of a running joke in the UK that every weekend there’s a channel showing it – it must be one of the most broadcast movies ever here!

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  7. Birgit

    Love Sherlock but still need to see some of the latter episodes. Benedict is excellent I. This role and, well, everything he does. Hot Fuzz is a good movie and quite funny. Sleepy Hollow is an excellent version of this classic tale and one of the better films made with This team.

    1. Hi Birgit, I’ve not kept up w/ the latest of Sherlock either, but from what I watched, both leads are excellent. Glad you like Hot Fuzz and yes Sleepy Hollow is one of the best Burton/Depp collaborations.

  8. Great selection, Ruth! I didn’t take part in this one because I didn’t think I’d have enough to contribute. Kicking myself now after seeing everyone’s posts!

    I love that quote from Hot Fuzz – “I prefer to think my office is out on the street”. In fact, I love everything about Hot Fuzz.

    I haven’t seen Sleepy Hollow for quite some time. I think a rewatch is on the cards! I did not know that Ichabod Crane was a real person…

    You know, I’ve never watched Minority Report. Not sure quite why, but I’ve never been that interested in it. Will definitely give it a go based on your glowing review, though.

    And Sherlock – *insert heart eyes emoji here*. I so enjoyed that show.

  9. Hey Claire, hey you can always participate… I don’t think it matters if it’s a bit late. I’m curious which movies you’d pick.

    Glad we have Hot Fuzz in common too, yes it’s so quotable!! The one that always makes me laugh is this one ‘Is it true that there’s a point on a man’s head where if you shoot it, it will blow up?’ Nick Frost’s character always asked the dumbest questions! 😀

    Minority Report is excellent, perhaps the best Spielberg/Cruise collaboration and it’s got an outstanding cast, including Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton and Max Von Sydow.

    Sherlock is indeed a gem… I love both Cumberbatch and Freeman 😍

    1. Sherlock was my intro to Cumberbatch, yeah he’s great in the role. Sleepy Hollow is so artsy, kind of like Crimson Peak which isn’t as scary as I expected.

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  11. Other than not being a movie, Sherlock Holmes wasn’t a police detective was he? He was a private detective who was at times hired by the police as a consultant.

    Your Sleepy Hollow trivia, have you ever seen the series Patriot, there’s a character in that called Peter Ichabod who was made fun of for also looking like Ichabod Crane…I guess that is how Irving pictured Crane.

    1. Good point about Sherlock being a private detective, not police detective, but it’s a great show nonetheless.

      Oh I didn’t know about the Patriot series, I have to look that up. That’s interesting!

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