(Photo by Columbia/Everett Collection)

The Bad Boys Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

The original Bad Boys released April 1995, the sleek action-thriller launching in full the film careers of Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, and director Michael Bay. Smith and Lawrence were leading their own sitcoms at the time (Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Martin, respectively, obviously) and Bay was a fast-rising commercial helmer. In the immediate aftermath of Bad Boys grossing $140 million in ’90s bucks, Smith would star in Independence Day, Lawrence would pull double acting/directing duty for A Thin Line Between Love and Hate, and Bay would release The Rock and Armageddon. (Both are in the Criterion Collection, though Bay let go of such arthouse aspirations with his next film, Pearl Harbor.)

All three reunited in 2003 for Bad Boys II, which is bigger, badder, and boysier in just about every way. A second sequel was always in discussion, but it wasn’t until the late-2010s that all the principal players were aligned. Filmmakers Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah were brought on to direct, and the end result, 2020’s Bad Boys for Life, would become the best-reviewed of the series. As a January release, it was also the last major box office hit (outside of February’s Sonic the Hedgehog) before COVID shut everything down.

The latest, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, arrives in a changed world, as Mike and Marcus are now on the run after uncovering possible major corruption in the Miami PD. And now, we’re ranking all Bad Boys movies by Tomatometer!

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 90556%
Critics Consensus: Loaded up with action and a double helping of leading-man charisma, Bad Boys for Life reinvigorates this long-dormant franchise by playing squarely to its strengths.
Synopsis: The wife and son of a Mexican drug lord embark on a vengeful quest to kill all those involved in... [More]

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 81421%
Critics Consensus: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence remain good company even when Bad Boys strains to up the ante, proving there's still life left in this high-octane franchise.
Synopsis: This Summer, the world's favorite Bad Boys are back with their iconic mix of edge-of-your seat action and outrageous comedy... [More]

#3

Bad Boys (1995)
43%

#3
Adjusted Score: 47845%
Critics Consensus: Bad Boys stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence have enjoyable chemistry; unfortunately, director Michael Bay too often drowns it out with set pieces and explosions in place of an actual story.
Synopsis: Miami-Dade detectives Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) blow a fuse when $100 million worth of heroin... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#4

Bad Boys II (2003)
24%

#4
Adjusted Score: 30405%
Critics Consensus: Two and a half hours of explosions and witless banter.
Synopsis: The drug ecstasy is flowing into Miami, and the police want it stopped. Police Detective Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay