The best revenge films ever
Revenge has been a constant theme in films.
THIS is a special time of the year in Hollywood, when we express our thanks for our blessings and exact vengeance on the people who wronged us.
We can thank the Thanksgiving holiday for the good feelings associated with the former, and Dwayne “Don’t Call Me The Rock” Johnson’s new revenge movie Faster for the latter.
Well, it’s not really fair to blame Johnson for what we’re about to do. After all, the revenge theme has been a constant in literature and film for as long as people have been reading books and watching movies.
Faster, starring the wrestler-turned-actor as a man bent on avenging the death of his brother, has inspired us to think about a popular movie genre.
Here is a countdown of the 30 best revenge movies of all time:
30. The Italian Job – Although some see this as a two-hour Mini Cooper commercial, it’s still a pretty good action yarn.
29. The Patriot – If you ever wondered if Mel Gibson’s film career had a theme, think revenge. This will not be the first time you see Mel on this list, and we even left out a few.
28. The Karate Kid – Those nasty bullies in the skeleton costumes were scary, but they were waxed on and waxed off.
27. Four Brothers – Four guys who don’t look alike respond like a family to avenge the murder of their mother.
26. Ghost – Whoopi won an Oscar, but Patrick Swayze got even with the guy who arranged his murder.
25. Mystic River – In Clint Eastwood’s brilliant film, the lesson learned was that you should be careful about the revenge you wish for ...
24. The Crow – The late Brandon Lee literally came back from the dead to get his revenge.
23. Sleepers – A group of youngsters makes a terrible mistake, pays dearly for that mistake and then grows up to exact revenge.
22. The Virgin Spring – Swedish director Ingmar Bergman’s 1960 film won the foreign language Oscar.
21. V For Vendetta – Not a lot of people saw it, but those who did thought it was one of the coolest revenge movies ever made.
20. Straw Dogs – If you’re old enough to remember it, you’ll remember how shocking it was to see Dustin Hoffman get so violent.
19. Cape Fear – The next time your daughter brings home a guy you don’t like, remember this film. It could be worse.
18. Desperado – This is Antonio Banderas the way we like to see him in movies – not in those Spy Kids flicks.
17. Machete – Veteran character actor Danny Trejo got a chance to be an avenging hero and a leading man (he kissed Jessica Alba) in this recent classic (if you accept it as a spoof).
16. Trading Places – I’ve seen it 10 times and still don’t fully understand how they got those two old goats at the end of the movie, but it was great.
15. Nevada Smith – You might not have seen this 1966 film, but it had Steve McQueen and a revenge theme. It was awesome.
14. Munich – The Israelis taste revenge for the murders at the Olympics, but revenge often had a bitter taste.
13. Mad Max – A very young Mel Gibson plays a futuristic cop who hunts down the killers of his wife.
12. The Sting – Robert Redford didn’t get the revenge he wanted for the death of a close friend, but he took what he could get.
11. Kill Bill: Vol.1 and 2 – Hell hath no fury like a bride scorned.
10. Man On Fire – Denzel is Dakota’s bodyguard, and he takes that responsibility very seriously.
9. Revenge Of The Nerds – Come on; the word revenge is in the title. Very realistic. In real life, the nerds got their revenge by running the world.
8. Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan – Ricardo Montalban was really, really angry that his new car didn’t contain Corinthian leather.
7. Carrie – You might think twice about teasing that shy young girl in high school gym class.
6. The Count Of Monte Cristo – Novelist Alexander Dumas practically invented the revenge genre. The book has been filmed countless times; this 2002 version was pretty good.
5. Braveheart – It’s Mel again, this time all done up for Halloween.
4. The Outlaw Josey Wales – Of all the Clint Eastwood revenge Westerns ( Hang ’Em High and High Plains Drifter are two others), this is my favourite.
3. The Bourne trilogy – Once he figured out who he was, he went after the people who made him who he was.
2. Gladiator – Russell Crowe was a little intense when the movie started. Imagine his rage when the evil emperor murdered his family.
1. Death Wish – Forget the four sequels. Remember only the original. It struck a chord when it came out in 1974 that still resonates.
Identifying one of the muggers has become one of the most frequently asked movie trivia questions of all time. – The Orange County Register/McClatchy-Tribune Information Services
Getting even: Dwayne Johnson is a man bent on avenging the death of his brother