Nothing beats a good revenge movie, you know why most people like movies about revenge? That’s because we all have some kind of grudge in the back of our mind, whether it be a betrayal or broken heart, we all have, for at least once in our life, thought of seeking revenge from someone. Sometimes all we want in a movie is to see someone beating the hell out of someone you don’t like, as the saying goes “Revenge is Best Served Cold”. So without further ado, here is a list of 35 best revenge movies of all time:
35. Payback (1999)
Not many people talk about Payback these days which actually is a disgrace, truly, given that actor Mel Gibson’s (as Porter) action flick is seen at the top of his acting career, whose acting seems to be more appealing, badass and of course out for some serious revenge.
The movie was the directorial debut for Brian Helgeland and was based on the novel The Hunter by Donald E. Westlake. The plot revolves around Porter, who sets out seeking revenge on those who had betrayed him after a heist had gone wrong. Payback is the very definition of a vengeance flick of the underestimated kind.
34. Dead Man’s Shoes (2004)
Certainly one of the best revenge films from the British shores, directed by Shane Meadows it is an immeasurably depressing and hard to ignore kitchen sink drama-like story of an ex-soldier’s mission to seek vengeance on those who had wronged his disabled brother.
The performance of lead actor Paddy Considine (as Richard) is what really makes the movie what it is. He brilliantly portrays a man who is completely possessed by his desire to give what is owed to those who had victimized his family.
33. Commando (1985)
It is by far one of the greatest, most thoroughly amusing example of bloodthirsty 80’s action, revenge filled stories directed by Mark L. Lester and starring the one and only Arnold Schwarzenegger as John Matrix. This movie was the 7th highest-grossing R-Rated film of 1985 worldwide. Its considered a cult classic when it comes to the best revenge movies and one of the best Arnold Schwarzenegger movies of all time.
When John Matrix’s, a retired elite Black Ops Commando, daughter is kidnapped by a group of South American criminals to blackmail him into starting a revolution to allow an exiled dictator to regain power, he launches a one man war against them.
32. Death Wish (1974)
It’s one of the most successful and well-known revenge movie in the film industry which sparked four sequels. Based on the novel Death Wish by Brian Garfield, it is an American vigilante action film directed by Michael Winner starring Charles Bronson as Paul Kersey, who previously being a liberal turns into a vigilante after his wife gets murdered and his daughter gets raped during a home invasion.
When this movie was released it was attacked by many film critics as it supported vigilantism, but nevertheless, the film was a commercial success and has been considered as a cult film and generated a strong following amongst vigilante films fans, who honor it as the first film to present the idea of “pedestrian” vigilante.
31. Dogville (2003)
Dogville is a Danish innovative drama film by Lars Von Trier, starring Nicole Kidman and Paul Bettany. It is a story that uses and extremely insignificant, stage-like set to tell the tale of Grace Mulligan (Kidman), a woman hiding from gangsters, who happens to arrive in a small town of Dogville, Colorado, and is provided shelter in return for her physical labor.
This movie was in competition for the ‘Palme d’Or’ at Cannes Film Festival 2003 but eventually lost to Gus Van Sant’s ‘Elephant’. In the sight & sound polls 2012, six critics and three directors named Dogville as one of the best movies ever made.
30. Gangs of New York (2002)
This is an American dramatized historical film directed by Martin Scorsese and starring the Legendary ‘Leonardo di Caprio’ as Amsterdam Vallon. It was nominated for many awards, including Academy award for Best Picture.
It revolves around Amsterdam Vallon, who in order to seek revenge for his father’s death against Bill ‘The Butcher’, returns to New York. Daniel Day Lewis’ relentless and vicious acting as Bill, might be one of the best movie villains of all time.
29. Gladiator (2000)
Ridley’s Scott’s inspiring sword and heroic movie, Gladiator is a vengeance flick of the highest order starring Russel Crowe as Maximus. It is somewhat of a B-movie disguised as an ancient epic and the lines between fiction and fact get blurred amongst the dreadful violence where Maximus’s rage shows no bound.
The sum of the movie guarantees that maximus quest for vengeance from the people who murdered his family will end in bloody satisfaction.
28. The Count of Monte Cristo (2002)
This is an adventurous dramatic movie directed by Kevin Reynolds and is taken from the book of the same name by Alexandre Dumas, starring Jim Caviezel as Edmond who was deceived and thrown into prison on wrong accusations by the dreadful traitor Fernand (played by Guy Pearce).
This movie has no bad-ass one-liners, no gun battles, no kidnapped daughters or murdered partners, rather its the story of a man deceived by everyone he loved and he rebuilds his entire life’s purpose on one thing, Vengeance.
27. Mad Max (1979)
Mad Max illustrates a dreadful form of Australia in which biker gangs’ intent on destroying and burning the hell out of what is left of humanity. Mel Gibson plays as Max, a man who finds himself drawn into the path of revenge when his wife, best friend and daughter are murdered. The pursuit for vengeance devours every inch of his being.
Gibson’s performance as Max is by turns, overwhelming, unhinged and dramatic. The film itself, directed by George Miller, holds up to this day. As much as vengeance and its associated madness is concerned, Mad Max is hard to beat.
26. Hara-kiri: Death of a Samurai (2011)
If you’re looking for a quiet and understanding film that goes into revenge, disgrace and honor, then this is the movie for you. Directed by Takashi Miike, it is a 3D remake of the film Hara-kiri (1962).
It tells the story of a poor Samurai, who asks for an honorable death by ritual suicide from his lord, but gets threatened in return which leads to some extraordinary fearsome sword fights. This was the first movie to be shown in 3D at the Cannes Film Festival (2011).