Assassins and hitmen are always good fodder for the movies. This week, we get both AMERICAN ULTRA and HITMAN: AGENT 47, two very different movies featuring trained killers. So, why not compile the definitive list of movies featuring expert marksmen and murderers for hire. There are likely some classics we missed so feel free to let us know in the talk backs below if your favorite didn't make the cut.
Underseen by most domestic audiences, this British horror film is part thriller, part Lovercraftian horror, and definitely sprinkled with Kubrickian overtones. If that isn't enough praise, I don't know what is. Check out this movie as soon as you can because what starts as a hitman thriller devolves into something much more terrifying.
Part of John Cusack's resurgence as an actor in the late 1990s, GROSSE POINTE BLANK is a great dark comedy that plays on the teenage characters Cusack played through the 1980s. An awesome soundtrack highlights this romantic comedy that somehow turned Dan Aykroyd into a badass.
Jim Jarmusch's GHOST DOG may be the most unconventional film on this list. Forest Whitaker is phenomenal as the assassin who follows the ancient ways of samurai warriors. Future MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS director RZA shows up as a fellow hitman in this convergence of old school mob movies and urban action films.
Colin Farrell's forlorn hitman is dealing with a crisis of conscience after killing a child. He teams up with buddy Brendan Gleeson and goes into hiding from Ralph Fiennes' batshit crazy crime boss. While overall a comedy, IN BRUGES treats the characters as more than two-dimensional stereotypes and injects some humanity into them.
Unlike most movies that have to give us a massive backstory about a character, we learn who John Wick is long after he left the game. But, he is still a bogeyman whose skills frighten everyone in the underworld. Keanu Reeves is stellar as the titular character who displays those skills that would put anyone else to shame.
There is no doubt that Anton Chigurh is the most chilling hitman on this list, but what makes him especially scary is that he comes across as the closest thing to a human Terminator. Practically nothing can stop him from killing everyone on his path towards his assigned goal. Plus, he has Dora the Explorer's haircut and that is scary on any adult.
One of Tom Cruise's most badass roles, Vincent is a top tier killer who plays some mind games with Jamie Foxx's cab driver as he checks off names from his to do list. There is a human element to the relationship between Vincent and Max but it also shows that even the most trained murderer can be beaten at his own game.
Sam Mendes and Tom Hanks do not seem like the typical pairing for a drama about a mob hitman, but ROAD TO PERDITION is a widely underrated film in the annals of crime movies. Plus, you not only have Hanks as the traditional hitman but you also have Jude Law as a chilling outsider brought in to take him out.
Luc Besson's best film introduced the world to Natalie Portman while also giving us Jean Reno as the hitman with the heart of gold and Gary Oldman as one of his many insane characters. Great action scenes and a compelling plot about the relationship between Leon and young Mathilda, this is one of the best movies to appeal to action fans, drama fans, romance fans, and pretty much every other type of movie fan out there.
There is so much more to PULP FICTION than just the hitmen story segment, but John Travolta's Vincent and Samuel L. Jackson's Jules are such unique and original characters that their respective story arcs are the most penetrating in the entire film. They are good at their jobs and, despite how their stories end, they are consumate professionals. Sure, they have their comedic moments in this film, but if you saw them coming down your street, you would run and hide.