Top 10 Movie Antiheroes

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With the passing of each week, the more I enjoy concocting these top 10s, and this week’s entry is no different. As you may have guessed from the title or header image, this top 10 will feature, in my opinion, the best antiheroes in cinema history. As always, if you feel I’ve overlooked a contestant or listed one that shouldn’t have been considered, leave all comments and questions below. I’m always looking to improve the segment and love interacting with fellow film lovers.

Every now and then there comes along a protagonist who might go off the deep end. You know, beat someone half-to-death, take pleasure in humanities destruction, or have the occasional soul erased from the face of the earth. Now, however they chose to go about there business is irrelevant. We, as cinephiles love these colourful characters for their more shady characteristics and the nonchalant way they handle things that would send normal people into spiralling depression.

Let’s do it!

Honourable Mentions: 

Severus Snape (Harry Potter series, Alan Rickman), Oh-dae Su (Oldboy, Min-sik Choi), Marv (Sin City, Mickey Rourke), Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara), Patrick Bateman (American Psycho, Christian Bale), Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day Lews), Kim Soo-hyeon (Byung-hun Lee, I Saw the Devil).

10: Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson)

Jules is someone who really radiates anti-heroism. Almost like a gun-slinger with a bible in one hand and a gun in the other.

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9: Charles Bronson (Bronson, Tom Hardy)

Talk about taking pleasure in abhorrent behaviour. All Bronson wanted was to fight for the sake of fighting and to become Britain’s most violent prisoner.

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8: The Driver (Drive, Ryan Gosling)

Torn between his only skill-set and doing right by his friends. The Driver may lull you in with his heartwarming nature, but make no mistake, he is ruthless and unforgiving.

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7: Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Brad Pitt)

Driven by a desire to disrupt the world and destroy his opinion of oppression. Tyler may be trying to help out his bud, but he accomplishes it in true antihero fashion.

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6: Alex (A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell)

Alex simply wants to see others suffer, whether it be through violence, mental degradation, or dominance.

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5: Leon (Leon: The Professional, Jean Reno)

An assassin with a heart of gold.

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4: Tony Montana (Scarface, Al Pacino)

Willing to do whatever is necessary to become his own interpretation of king. Tony Montana is as cold-blooded as they come.

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3: Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro)

One can’t help but feel for Travis, attempting to free the unfortunate girl sucked into prostitution. However, his sociopathic mentality, obsessions with firearms, and desire to murder is too repulsive to overlook.

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2: Henry Hill (Goodfellas, Ray Liotta)

From the beginning, we are led to believe that Hill and his fellow thugs are normal, everyday hard-working guys. However, the truth is much more sinister and ferocious.

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1: Michael Corleone (The Godfather, Al Pacino)

Although we’ve been given a veritable gaze into the Corleone family and begin to care for them. There is no denying that this mafia family will do whatever it takes to remain atop, especially Michael.

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Okay all, that’ll do it for this week’s edition of the top 10, hope you all enjoyed it. Have a great weekend!

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About Joseph@thecinemamonster

Aspiring writer who absolutely adores film and television. thecinemamonster.com

Posted on August 16, 2013, in Top 10s and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 37 Comments.

  1. If we’re talking about Leon as an anti-hero, count him as number one in my book – it’s my favorite movie!

  2. Great list. So happy you included Bronson. With your list and honorable mentions, I don’t know if I can think of any others. Maybe the dude from I Saw the Devil?

  3. Nice list, but now I think there is something wrong with me as these are some of my favorite movie characters 😉

  4. Excellent post Joseph. It’s very hard to argue with any of these. Don’t know if it qualifies for sure but I’d include Paddy Considine from Dead Man’s Shoes.

  5. My favourite antihero is Snake Plissken from escape from new york

  6. Great list! All essential antiheroes. Love the honorable mentions as well. But where’s Beatrix Kiddo? 😉

  7. Great list. Very “guy”! 🙂

  8. Superb list, Joseph! Those anti-heroes are interchangeable in my opinion. All are awesome in their own special way. But I agree with Fernando, Beatrix Kiddo should be Number 1! 🙂

  9. Great list man, really no arguments here 🙂

  10. Fantastic list! LOVE seeing Michael up so high!

    • Thanks Zoe :). Of course he’s up there!

      • He deserves it. I’m on such a Godfather bender at the moment it’s not even funny. I found a box set I’m going to buy! 😀 😀

      • I have the three films but on DVD. I really need to get the box set as well. You’re lucky ;).

      • 😛 Such a fantastic collection to have for sure! Will have to show you when it arrives! All my stuff is on DVD (in case this was going the DVD/Blu-Ray route). You’d probably find box sets easier where you are than I do here.

      • Yes, that’s probably true. It is difficult here to get hard copies of films to some degree, when compared to the United States obviously, but I’d assume it’s easier than where you are currently. Not a fan of Blu ray? Or just simply haven’t upgraded yet?

      • Is it difficult to get there? Hmmm, so then it is not just us. We have access to a lot, but there is also so much that isn’t that easy to come by unless shopping online. Nah, not that I am not a fan, just haven’t upgraded, and it is ridiculously expensive. I don’t think there is anything wrong with DVD, so I just shop like that anyhow.

      • I feel I should clarify. In Canada, it isn’t that hard to get hard copies of films, but it is no where near as simple as it is in the States. I mean, I’m sure we’ve got it easier than where you are (no offence), but it’s not like we’re so much better off, you know what I mean?

        What’s the pricing like where you’re at? Here, a DVD of a rather new release will run you about $20, with Blu-rays going for about $24. Of course older films very in price and drop as low as, let’s say, $5.

      • No offense taken at all! We can get a bit, just pretty bland, no nice collector’s editions without social order and what not. Sucks sometimes. But you big and new ones are easy to come across.

        Hmmm, Blu Ray here will cost easily double what a DVD would, hence I haven’t upgraded. Say you buy a DVD box set for R499, Blu Ray is for instance R899 sometimes. Other times one will be R400 and Blu Ray R600. A regular DVD R100, the other R199. So it isn’t necessarily catching on here too quickly. Seems pricing is relatively similar everywhere, which is alright then.

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