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Dirty Harry movies from best to worst

  • Apr 8, 2011
Dirty Harry, the epitome of cowboy cops has had 5 movies. Some were ups, some were downs but all were enjoyable enough to watch.
Dirty Harry (1971)
The first and still best Dirty Harry movie has Harry going after a sick son of a bitch sniper who is terrorizing San Francisco. After enough mind games and running around in circles Harry tracks down the creep but the villain doesn't stay in custody long cause of civil liberties. Is Harry right given the circumstances or isn't he? The movie gets those questions out there for the audience to ponder and ends powerfully.
See the full review, ""Harry! You broke the murderer's window when you caught him. Gotta let him go."".
Magnum Force (1973)
The second go around with Harry puts the squinty eyed Clint up against a pack of cops using magnums to shoot untouchable crooks. More discussion about Harry and his stance on the killers mirroring his own feelings is sadly an afterthought and the movie does have a couple of bland points, but otherwise good.
See the full review, ""Harry, those new cops down the hall have been dying to meet you!"".
The Dead Pool (1988)
Dirty Harry's final appearance on the big screen has a lighter touch with humor and subject matter about the media glamorizing crime while Harry deals with his name on a "dead pool" of figures in the public eye who are predicted to die soon. Clint could have gone out far worse and the movie isn't that bad.
See the full review, ""Harry! You left a toy car on my desk! I thought you didn't like me!"".
The Enforcer (1976)
The third Dirty Harry movie gives Harry an inexperienced female as a partner while going up against a terrorist group. Way too gimmicky for it's own good especially when you compare it to the original film, but does have a few bright spots, and that includes Harry softening up on his new partner and having a believable friendship with her.
See the full review, ""Harry with these kid gloves on, you'll have no trouble stopping those machine gun armed militants!"".
Sudden Impact
A sleazy and dirty revenge movie about Harry following a rape survivor who is gunning down her attackers that cops out similar questions that Magnum Force should have asked in relation to crime and punishment that the movie should have handled or asked better. Harry has a different gun, a different setting and the movie just feels off and that slobbering mutt doesn't help either. At least it isn't boring and did give us a new catchphrase, thats something.
See the full review, ""Harry, get out of town and go make a Lifetime Channel revenge movie. Maybe get a smelly mutt too"".

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April 15, 2011
I actually thought "Sudden Impact" was the best film after the original. It has all of the signature themes and ideas of later Eastwood-directed films (the effect of violence, the conflict between choosing to seek redemption or revenge, the importance of adapting personal philosophies to accommodate society as a whole). It's also one of the most brutally realistic and gritty of the films and the to offer a complex, fully realized, and empowered female character. For me, "The Dead Pool" was the weakest with its poor acting, unrealistic action scenes, over-the-top one liners, and some of the most shamelessly in your face stereotypes.
April 10, 2011
Hmm. I'd put THE ENFORCER above THE DEAD POOL just for the bad guy being taken out with Harry's shoulder-fired rocket, myself. Classic Schwarzenegger move before Schwarzenegger knew what taking out bad guys really looked like, which means that it'll always belong to Clint.
April 10, 2011
Something about The Dead Pool I really liked and The Enforcer ended on a bleak note even though you can see it coming that it hurts the awesome moment you mention.
April 08, 2011
aahhhh....this list just made my day ;P Thanks, John!!
About the list creator
John Nelson ()
Ranked #5
Born in Wausau Wisconsin. Move at an early age to Ventura California and lived for 8 years. Growing up in a big city landscape didn't prepare me for my next move: Archbold Ohio with a population of … more
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