After its release in 2001, Training Day quickly became one of the most talked about films of the decade. The blockbuster hit echoed many cop dramas that came before it, but no other film of this nature has captured the LA crime scene as well since. Combine the spectacular performances of Hawke and Washington with Antoine Fuqua’s gritty direction and David Ayer’s intense screenplay, it is no wonder fans are still raving about the movie today.
If King Kong ain’t got SH&% on Alonzo, let’s check out some movies that compare to Training Day. Here are eight films to watch next —
Joe Carnahan takes us into the depths of the narcotic underworld with his compelling characters and intense conflict in this dark mystery thriller.
Narc centers around a suspended narcotics officer (Jason Patric) who returns to the police force to investigate a fellow officer’s murder. He teams up with the slain officer’s partner, played by none other than Ray Liotta.
This one flew under the radar, but it has the performances and intense plotline to match Training Day. And yes, we know what you’re thinking, Ray Liotta in another dirty cop role?… But trust us when we say Narc is worth the watch.
After the death of his wife has left him vulnerable and disillusioned, Detective Tom Ludlow starts to question the dignity of his colleagues, but things turn from bad to worse when Ludlow is wrongly accused of killing a fellow officer. Street Kings is that kinda action packed cop against the world thriller that hardcore fans of the genre will love. With Keanu Reeves starring as the lead, who could be better at fighting his way out of corruption and heartbreak?
Reeves doesn’t carry the load by himself, Street Kings is stacked with an exciting supporting cast, hosting the likes of Forest Whitaker, Chris Evans, Cedric the Entertainer, the Game, Common, and more. And yes, it’s classic David Ayer. We are talking bitter rivalries, bad blood, shootouts, gang violence, and vigilant justice… Sound familiar?
Like Training Day, this one is directed by Antoine Fuqua and starring Ethan Hawke. No, no Denzel this time. I know, we’re sad too, but Brooklyn’s Finest makes up for Washington’s absence with the additions of Richard Gere, Wesley Snipes, and Don Cheadle.
It is a bit more nuanced than the above films on our list, though equally dark. The film weaves the complications and struggles of three cops at different junctions in their respective careers.
One is ready to retire, one is in need of cash, and the other is deep undercover. As you could guess, their paths intersect in a way that is both emotional and violent, but you’ll have to watch Brooklyn’s Finest to find out how.
End of Watch
Filmed mostly with a handheld camera, End of Watch explores the story of two partnering police officers who patrol the streets of LA and the horrific discovery that leads to their downfall. It will make you laugh, it will make you smile, it will make you cry, just don’t watch it with your grandparents.
Starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Micheal Peña, End of Watch might be the defining buddy cop drama of our era. These two have as much chemistry as Washington and Hawke, but the key difference is their characters are best buds from start to finish.
Where Alonzo is the one plotting and scheming in Training Day, The Departed has infiltrators on both sides, with DiCaprio playing a cop who is trying to infiltrate an Irish Gang and Matt Damon playing a gang member trying to infiltrate the police force. Oh yeah, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, and Jack Nicholson star in this Martin Scorsese masterpiece as well…
Can we say anything that hasn’t been said about The Departed? The script, adapted from Infernal Affairs, mirrors the flaws of cops and criminals beautifully. It’s violent, it is witty, it’s fun, and has earned enough acclaim to solidify its spot as one of the best ranked films of the century.
Triple 9 follows a crooked cop (Anthony Mackie) who tries to set up his straight-edged partner (Casey Affleck) as the fall guy for an upcoming heist. Things don’t go quite as planned thanks to a few other beguiling characters played by Aaron Paul, Norman Reedus, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, and Woody Harrelson.
Even with its stellar cast, Triple 9 underachieved at the American box office. Still, its plot has a whole lot of Training Day in it, and a hint of Reservoir Dogs too. If you want to check out movies like Training Day but with a western twist, look into Triple 9 Director John Hillcoat’s earlier films such as Lawless or The Proposition, they won’t disappoint.
One of the older movies on the list, Dark Blue features Kurt Russell in a classic chase to get the bad guy. To do so, Russel’s character has to overcome various obstacles that challenge his rough and tumble ways, including his Chief Officer and a new partner.
Set during the Rodney King Riots, Dark Blue showcases intense action from start to finish. Kurt Russel’s lead character mirrors Alonzo from Training Day in more ways than one, and like a lot of David Ayer’s work, this cop drama has been subject to criticism. Whether you love it or hate it, one thing is certain, Dark Blue doesn’t pull any punches.
“As far back I can remember I always wanted to be a gangster”
Where the rest of the list is filled with cop-gangsters and gangster-cops. Goodfellas is a classic film about plan old fashioned… Gangsters.
Scorsese directs his signature tale of Henry Hill, highlighting Hill’s lifetime rise and fall through the ranks of the Italian mafia. Goodfellas wonderfully displays the do’s and don’t of the mafia all the while posing one simple question throughout the film — is it ever okay to snitch?
I wonder what the characters on this list would say to that? You’ll have to watch these 8 movies like Training Day to find out.
Thanks for tuning in, and if you like 8 Movies Like Training Day, check out a few of our links below.