Will Smith and Martin Lawrence attend the Trailer Release Celebration For Sony Pictures' "Bad Boys: Ride Or Die"
Source: Getty Images

'Bad Boys for Life': A Comprehensive Ranking of the 'Bad Boys' Films

The 'Bad Boys' franchise debuted in the 90s and was an instant classic. Here are all of the 'Bad Boys' films ranked based on overall success!


Apr. 5 2024, Published 1:08 p.m. ET

Following the release of the 1995 film Bad Boys, the franchise has become a favorite among action movie fans. Led by Will Smith and Martin Lawrence, the films carved out a place in cinematic history, with massive box office success and acclaim from critics. The trilogy came full circle with the release of 2020’s Bad Boys for Life.

However, a new Bad Boys film hits theatres on June 7, and fans are excited. The fourth installment, Bad Boys: Ride or Die, sees Will and Martin return to their crimefighting ways alongside a new cast of characters. Tiffany Haddish and Melanie Liburd are joining the beloved franchise in undisclosed roles.

will smith l and martin lawrence arrive at the premiere of columbia pictures bad boys for life
Source: Getty Images

Will Smith (L) and Martin Lawrence arrive at the premiere of Columbia Pictures' "Bad Boys For Life"

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While each installment of the Bad Boys franchise has its strengths and weaknesses, the films have left a lasting mark on the action-comedy genre. Whether it's the banter of the original or the over-the-top spectacle of the sequel, the movies remain a part of a timeless franchise.

We ranked the films based on their overall success — here's how your faves stacked up!

3. The O.G. ‘Bad Boys’ movie was just a preview of the franchise’s success.

The original Bad Boys film laid the groundwork for the franchise's success, earning approximately $65 million worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo.

Directed by Michael Bay, Bad Boys received generally positive reviews for its action sequences and the chemistry between Will and Martin. The movie holds a special place in the hearts of fans, introducing them to Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett.

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While most can’t imagine anyone other than Will and Martin in the roles, they were not the first choices for the action movie.

“Yeah, it was Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz, who were the original Bad Boys,” Will told Entertainment Tonight. “That would have been a little bit of a different movie.” Martin went on to call Will “best partner that I chose.”

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2. ‘Bad Boys II’ was a box office smash!

bad boys ii
Source: Columbia Pictures, FilmFlex, Sony Pictures Releasing

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence appear in 'Bad Boys II.'

It took nearly a decade for Will and Martin to reunite for a sequel, but the finished product was worth the wait. Despite mixed critical reviews, the second installment in the franchise remains a fan favorite. It scored a measly 23% on Rotten Tomatoes. However, the Audience Score was 78%.

Additionally, Bad Boys II emerged as a box office powerhouse upon its release, grossing over $273 million worldwide (per Box Office Mojo.)

While critics were divided on the movie’s length and sometimes over-the-top action sequences, Bad Boys II received praise for its chemistry between Will and Martin as well as its showstopping set pieces.

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1. Fans showed up in droves for ‘Bad Boys for Life.’

After a lengthy hiatus, the long-awaited third installment, Bad Boys for Life, arrived in 2020. From its opening sequence to its nerve-wracking climax, the film delivered on its promise to be the best in the franchise.

Bad Boys for Life exceeded box office expectations, becoming the highest-grossing film in the franchise with a global haul of over $426 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

Furthermore, the movie received the best critical reception of the trilogy, earning a Metascore of 59/100, indicating generally favorable reviews.

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