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Like Bad Boys: Ride or Die? Then watch these three action movies now

The men in black point alien guns.
Sony Pictures

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are grabbing their badges and suiting up for the fourth installment in the Bad Boys franchise, Bad Boys: Ride or Die. In the sequel, detectives Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence) investigate the murder of Captain Howard (Joe Pantoliano), who was falsely accused of having ties to drug cartels. Mike and Marcus set out to find the person behind Howard’s murder.

The Bad Boys franchise features all the hallmarks of a successful buddy cop franchise. The action is intense, the jokes are funny, and the chemistry between the two leads is seamless. If you liked Bad Boys: Ride or Die, watch these three movies next, including one of the first great buddy cop movies, another blockbuster from Smith, and an underrated high school comedy.

48 Hrs. (1982)

Nick Nolte and Eddie Murphy sit in a car and look backwards.
Paramount Pictures

Eddie Murphy‘s performance in 48 Hrs. puts him in the running for the greatest movie debut in history. As soon as Murphy hits the screen as Reggie Hammond, he radiates movie star charisma. Pairing Murphy’s comedic jubilation with Nick Nolte’s gruffness was a stroke of genius. After a shootout leads to the death of two cops, San Francisco Police Inspector Jack Cates (Nolte) must track down the gunmen, Albert Ganz (James Remar) and Billy Bear (Sonny Landham).

Cates turns to Reggie Hammond (Murphy), an incarcerated criminal and Ganz’s former partner, for help. Cates gets Hammond released from prison for 48 hours, meaning the duo has two days to catch the killers. Cates and Hammond are complete opposites and find themselves at each other’s throats. Can this odd couple put aside their differences long enough to solve the case? Directed by Walter Hill, 48 Hrs. is in the upper echelonof buddy cop comedies.

Stream 48 Hrs. on Paramount+.

Men in Black (1997)

Bad Boys showed Smith’s action potential, while Independence Day demonstrated his bankability. In Men in Black, Smith put it all together — action star, comedic presence, and box office draw — and became a legitimate movie star. After showing promise as a cop, James (Smith), is recruited by Agent K (Tommy Lee Jones) to join the Men in Black, a secret organization that handles all things alien on Earth. The MIB monitors alien activity, keeping the peace between extraterrestrials and humans.

One night, a “bug” alien crashes in upstate New York and takes on the body of a farmer named Edgar (Vincent D’Onofrio). The bug is searching for the Galaxy, an energy source that will help his species win an intergalactic war. If the bug gets the galaxy, life on Earth could be destroyed. To help save the day, James joins the Men in Black as Agent J, teaming up with K to try and prevent the end of the world. Cue the earworm theme song.

Stream Men in Black on TNT and TBS.

21 Jump Street (2012)

Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill sit at a desk in 21 Jump Street.
Columbia Pictures / MGM

If you were to say that 21 Jump Street is one of the funniest movies of the 2010s, you would get no pushback from me. Based on the TV series, 21 Jump Street stars Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum as Schmidt and Jenko, two dim-witted police officers who join a secret unit, Jump Street. The boys go undercover as high school students, posing as brothers, to stop the spread of a new drug.

Schmidt, a social outcast as a teenager, is now the life of the party, while the once-popular Jenko now hangs with the science nerds. The clothes might be different, but high school is still high school no matter the era — a lesson the duo learns as they face their teenage anxieties all over again. Hill’s comedic performance was expected because of his track record within the genre. The revelation is Tatum, who garners some of the biggest laugh-out-loud moments of the movie. Fun fact: 21 Jump Street was the live-action directorial debut of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller.

Rent or buy 21 Jump Street on Prime Video, Google, or Apple

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Dan Girolamo
Dan is a passionate and multitalented content creator with experience in pop culture, entertainment, and sports. Throughout…
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