Hollywood's Dirtiest Cop Characters 

Hollywood's Dirtiest Cop Characters 

While the thought of crooked cops in real life is troubling, there's just something addictive about watching the story of a dirty cop play out in the movies and on television. Whether they are keeping dirty money or drugs, planting evidence, or killing anyone who stands in the way of their endgame, there is no shortage of dirty cops in Hollywood. 

Here are a few of the dirtiest cop characters from film and television that we hate to love but love to hate. 

The Lieutenant (Bad Lieutenant)

Obviously, the movie's title gives this one away. Harvey Keitel delivers an unforgettable performance as the movie's titular character, known only as the Lieutenant. He has a drinking problem, is addicted to gambling, and is regularly drunk or high on the job. He steals drugs from crime scenes, and these are just a few of his corrupt acts. He's not just bad; he's rotten. 

Terence McDonagh (Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans)

Released almost twenty years after Bad Lieutenant, this is neither a sequel nor a remake of the original. It's more like the continuation of a series. Nicolas Cage stars in this re-imagination as Sergeant, later Lieutenant Terence McDonagh. 

McDonagh is promoted to Lieutenant after he displays heroism while on duty during Hurricane Katrina. However, the movie is called Bad Lieutenant, so the good times are short-lived. McDonagh becomes hooked on narcotics and hookers. Like the other Lieutenant, he also has a gambling problem. 

McDonagh pulls out no stops to get his way, and Nicolas Cage pulls out no stops in his performance of the corrupt Lieutenant. 

Detective Alonzo Harris (Training Day)

Denzel Washington has portrayed many characters throughout his film career, most of them being respectable. However, his Oscar-winning portrayal of veteran narcotics detective Alonzo Harris lands him on this list. 

Harris steals money from drug dealers, gets his rookie trainee high, and tries to have him killed. His methods for cleaning the streets of drugs and dealers are more than questionable. The crazy thing is, while the plot of Training Day is not actually based on a true story, the character of Harris is. Alonzo Harris' character was inspired by real-life crooked cop Rafael Perez, who was caught stealing and dealing drugs from evidence. 

Colin Sullivan (The Departed)

Matt Damon does a fantastic representation as Colin Sullivan, a cop who is also an informant for a renowned Boston gangster. What makes Sullivan so bad is not that he's working double time for a gangster-he was pretty much born into that life. How easily he can pull off the good guy facade to everyone else makes him so evil. Unfortunately, as it often does, karma catches up to Sullivan. 

Remarkable fact: Sullivan's character was loosely based on real-life FBI agent John Connolly who was associated with Boston Irish gangster Whitey Bulger.  

Most of the Cast (Cellular)

What could possibly be worse than a dirty cop in a movie? How about a movie full of them. A citizen, Craig Martin, catches a group of detectives on film murdering drug dealers and stealing their drugs and money. 

The cops then attempt to get the video back from Martin, which involves breaking into his home, killing his housekeeper, and kidnapping his wife, Jessica, and their child. While held hostage, Jessica manages to put together a broken phone and randomly calls a stranger. He then goes on a wild goose chase with a soon-to-be-retired police officer to find her and the people who have her and her son. 

There is a team of crooked cops in Cellular. Still, the most notable performances are by Valerie Cruz and Noah Emmerich. Cruz portrays Dana Baybeck, the only female detective on the crew. While her time on screen is short, she plays an important role. And Emmerich plays Jack Tanner, the leader of the whole operation. Not only is he evil, but he's also good at pretending to be good for more than half of the movie. 

Hank Voight (Chicago P.D.)

If you regularly watch Chicago P.D., you may view Voight as more of a good guy than a bad one, especially in the later seasons. But the truth is, even though he's not as reckless and evil as he used to be, Voight still has an unconventional way of getting things done, which lands him on this list. 

Jason Beghe portrays Voight, who was first introduced on Chicago Fire as a crooked cop who tries to terrorize Matt Casey into not pursuing DUI charges against Voight's son. He is later caught and arrested but resurfaces as a "reinvented" man on the spinoff, Chicago P.D., where he is head of the new Intelligence Unit. 

While it's true that Voight has had an excellent character evolution since the show's earlier days, it doesn't erase the fact that he has tortured information out of suspects and committed murder and covered it up on more than one occasion. He also constantly abuses his position of authority to get the end result he wants. 


Cool post, my favorite is definately Alonzo from Training Day!

DC @ 2022-07-27 19:40:02 -0400
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