5 Toughest NYC Detectives in Films


No matter what your favorite movie genre is, we believe that, every once in a while, you enjoy watching thrillers that keep you in suspense to the very last shot and make you forget that it is just a movie. You simply get caught up in the plot, and you can’t help but admire those tough detectives apprehending the bad guys and saving the world. Even though that may not be a realistic picture of the world we live in, we still worship these heroes, and we feel the joy watching how awesome they are in the battle for justice. We have made a list of top five unforgettable NYC detectives in movies. Take a look and see if you agree with us.

Nick Chen (The Corruptor)


Directed by James Foley, The Corruptor gave Chow Yun-fat the opportunity to show how great of an actor he is. While his roles of Li Mu Bai and the Bulletproof Monk turned out to be underrated, his memorable performance as Nick Chen in The Corruptor made the movie what it is. Even though Chen is a corrupt lieutenant, we still manage to forgive him as he is trying to become a better person, and eventually dies a noble death. If we turn a blind eye to the corruption, we can only say that he is the kind of a guy with whom you don’t want to mess – he is always the tough one.

Keith Frazier (Inside Man)


Inside Man stars Denzel Washington as Detective Keith Frazier, a New York City police detective who is well-known for his scrutinizing look which makes everyone talk, whether they want to or not. It seems as if Frazier has all the qualities a detective should possess – he is cool under pressure, he knows how to talk to people, and he knows how to catch them off guard. All in all, he definitely deserves to be on this list.

Scotty Appleton (New Jack City)


What’s interesting about this NYC police detective is that it is played by Ice-T, an American rapper who was initially known for his songs about law enforcement officers being people’s enemies. So, some people found it a little bit ironic that it was him who was trusted with this part. Nonetheless, Ice-T showed that he can be an excellent actor, too. We guess this character has changed the way he feels about “cops.”

Patrick Denham (The Wolf of Wall Street)


When it comes to Patrick Denham (played by Kyle Chandler), we believe there’s no need to explain why he is among the top five detectives in movies. Just remember how this character went after Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio), as it was then that he showed that he is the kind of person who will, without a doubt, find a way to prove his suspicions about someone no matter what – he is simply unstoppable.

John McClane (Die Hard)


Last but not least, Bruce Willis’s iconic role of John McClane, a streetwise New York cop, cannot be forgotten when we’re talking about the tough detectives. We’re sure you’ll agree that the famous actor did an excellent job portraying NYC officer McClane who takes on a group of highly organized criminals and manages to defeat terrorists who keep his wife Holly (played by Bonnie Bedelia) as one of the hostages. The franchise is directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. In addition to Bruce Willis, it also stars the late Alan Rickman who plays Hans Gruber, the leader of the terrorists. There’s a reason why it is considered one of the best action movies ever and why McClane is still one of the toughest detectives in movies.