15 Most Badass Assassinations In Movies

POSTED BY Ali Raza, UPDATED ON March 7th, 2024
Most Badass Assassinations In Movies

Films with assassins have many great moments in them. Scenes from many action movies over the years make their way to YouTube and are dubbed as the “most badass” whatever comes after it. Today, we’re talking about fifteen of the most badass assassinations in films. So, let’s dive right into it:


15. President Kennedy (Watchmen 2009)

President Kennedy (Watchmen 2009)

Watchmen is one of the most underrated films of the modern era. A lot of people consider it a cult classic already, based on the witty jokes, memorable quotes, outstanding sequences, and amazing characters throughout the film.

However, it’s the epic depiction of the Kennedy assassination that’s often hailed as one of the most impressive VFX shots ever achieved. From minute details to computer-generated images, it’s undoubtedly one of the best assassinations shown in films.


14. Jimmy Malone (The Untouchables 1997)

The Untouchables is another incredible film that’s not talked about as much as it deserves. The film is filled with a star cast and outstanding moments that are hard to forget. Making it one of the most memorable crime dramas ever.

But it’s the assassination of Jimmy Malone that’s badass for more than one reason. In his home, Jimmy is attacked by a thug but catches him in action. Only to throw him out of his house and get caught by a flurry of bullets.


13. Francisco Flores (Traffic 2000)

Francisco Flores (Traffic 2000)

Traffic is one of the best films based on the war against drugs. Focusing on multiple stories at once, Traffic is the kind of film that doesn’t breathe nor let the viewer settle down. While all the stories merge at one point, it’s the story of Francisco Flores that sits well in this regard.

First, Francisco is apprehended by a corrupt general as Flores is working for the rival cartel. Soon, he becomes a pawn for another character and is hired to assassinate a DEA agent. As he executes his plan to assassinate the agent, Flores himself is shot by a sniper hired by General Salazar.

As a result, what we get is a twisted tale of planned assassination where no one wins.


12. Don Fanucci (The Godfather Part II 1974)

The Godfather Part II is a favorite for many people—even more so than the first one. That’s because it shows the early days of Vito Corleone and how he earned the title of Don. Going through the ranks, Vito does many things to climb the ranks.

Soon, he finds himself against Don, at the time, Don Fanucci, the padrone of Hell’s Kitchen. As Vito progresses, he soon comes across a choice he needs to make—to assassinate Don Fanucci and supplant him as the leading force in Hell’s Kitchen.


11. Malcolm X (Malcolm X 1992)

Malcolm X is one of the most popular figures in the history of humankind. So, there’s no wonder they chose Denzel Washington to portray the black activist and leader of black liberation. His struggle is thoroughly portrayed in the film, including his conversion to Islam.

Now carrying the title of a black Muslim leader, Malcolm X makes a few enemies as much as he makes friends. Soon, he begins to find the true soul of Islam and goes against the ideology of the NOI (Nation of Islam), which results in his infamous assassination by the group.


10. Lee Harvey Oswald (JFK 1991)

JFK is one of the best conspiracy theory films ever. It answers and busts a lot of theories surrounding the JFK assassination. Now, JFK’s assassination in the film is reconstructed through a series of shots and archive footage of the actual assassination.  

But, it’s the assassination of Lee Harvey Oswald that takes the cake as being one of the best and near-accurate. The film also captures the shady events and motives around Lee Oswald’s assassination quite effectively.


9. Marcus Aurelius (Gladiator 2000)

marcus aurelius murder gladiator

Gladiator is one of the most critically acclaimed period pieces of all time. Even though there’s debate about its historical accuracy and whatnot, there’s no denying it’s a very gripping, gritty, dark, and captivating movie.

Now, Marcus Aurelius may not have been historically accurate in the film Gladiator. However, there’s no denying that his portrayal by Richard Harris made many roots for him. And, his assassination by Commodus, his son, made the latter even more loathly than ever.


8. Howard and Maria Stark (Captain America: Civil War 2016)

Howard and Maria Stark assassination

A lot of fans say that Captain America: Civil War is one of the best MCU movies ever, second only to The Winter Soldier. This was one of the first films outside of The Avengers that brought the titular superheroes together on screen—or rather against one another.

Now, the reason Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are toe-to-toe throughout the film is the Sokovia Accords. However, towards the end of the film, the assassination of Maria and Howard Stark is revealed to be carried out by none other than Bucky Barnes—which makes it more tragic and puts Tony and Steve at each other’s throats.


7. John Dillinger (Public Enemies 2009)

Public Enemies is another film based on true events. It’s based on the true story of gangsters John Dillinger (Johnny Depp), Baby Face Nelson (Stephen Graham), and Pretty Boy Floyd (Channing Tatum). And the federal agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale), who is bent on bringing them down.

While the film may not be agreed upon all as the best depiction of those events, there’s no denying that a strong script and outstanding cast made it a watch-worthy movie. And then there’s the John Dillinger assassination, which made him the closest thing to a hero as he could be.


6. Judge Surrillo/Commissioner Loeb (The Dark Knight 2008)

The Dark Knight trilogy by Christopher Nolan had many magical moments, memorable quotes, etc. However, none came close to the quality and thrill that was found in the 2nd installment, The Dark Knight itself.

This sequence, right in the middle of the movie, is a testament to that fact, as Joker makes his move on Gotham’s finest, Judge Surrillo and Police Commissioner Loeb. In one fell stroke, Joker assassinates the two people standing in his way and attempts the third, Harvey Dent—who is barely saved by Batman.


5. Simon Ross (The Bourne Ultimatum 2007)

Simon Ross (The Bourne Ultimatum)

The Bourne Ultimatum is the best of the first three Bourne movies. It has a remarkable story with a lot of unique and outstanding action. Now, the film’s focus on Bourne is one thing, but the conspiracy behind it is another.

And the guy trying to unveil that conspiracy is a British Journalist named Simon Ross. Soon, he is contacted by Bourne, and they set up a meeting. But, the meetup location is compromised, and Simon Ross is then assassinated in one of the most well-shot assassination sequences in history.


4. Jesse James (Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford 2007)

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is a bit of a mouthful. But, even though the film’s premise is inevitable and foreboded by the title, there’s no denying it’s one of the best portrayals of this real story.

Even though Jesse James was widely considered a cruel and cold gang leader, he’s made out to be the martyr in this case. Why? Jesse James couldn’t look him in the eye when he finally planned to go through with Jesse James’ assassination.


3. Brick Top (Snatch 2000)

Snatch is another 2000s classic where a lot of stories converge on the same problem. Widely considered one of Guy Ritchie’s finest films, Snatch has many great moments. And it has a star cast as well.

Now, Brick Top (Alan Ford) is one of the most despicable villains to ever grace the screen. He is a bookmaker and gangster who controls all the boxing betting rings. However, the plan and execution of Brick Top’s assassination make it one of the most satisfying kills in film history.


2. Tommy DeVito (Goodfellas 1990)

Goodfellas is widely hailed as one of the best gangster movies ever made. With an outstanding story and remarkable music and cinematography, the film is widely hailed as one of the best gangster movies—second only to The Godfather. Now, Tommy DeVito is perhaps the most iconic character in the film.

Played by the charismatic Joe Pesci, the character gives you every reason to love and hate him. However, it’s his people who turn against him and assassinate him the same way he’s killed so many making this kill one of the top assassinations in films ever. 


1. Colonel Walter E. Kurtz (Apocalypse Now 1979)

Apocalypse Now is one of the best war movies ever made. Not because it has great battle sequences (it does) or because of outstanding direction, but because of the film’s portrayal of war’s horror and issues surrounding it.

Now, Colonel Walter E. Kurtz’s portrayal by Marlon Brando is absolute perfection. Throughout the film, it’s foreboded how unhinged and deranged his character has truly become, but even in all that, he has a philosophy. One that makes even his assassin admire him briefly before finally putting an end to it.

What are your favorite badass assassinations in movies? Share with us in the comments!

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