So many directors have talked about Revenge Movies. We put together 25 of the best ones.
From Frank Darabont, starring Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler
The Shawshank Redemption is a 1994 American drama film written and directed by Frank Darabont. Based on the 1982 Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption, it tells the story of banker Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), who is convicted of the murder of his wife and her lover, and is sentenced to life at the Shawshank State Penitentiary. During his time at Shawshank, Andy befriends Ellis "Red" Redding (Morgan Freeman), an inmate who helps him adjust to prison life. Over the course of the film, Andy slowly works to gain the trust of the prison guards and other inmates and eventually manages to gain control over the prison's financials. He also helps his fellow inmates and builds a strong friendship with Red, who eventually helps him escape from prison. After his escape, it is revealed that Andy had been wrongfully convicted and set up by the corrupt prison warden, who had been stealing from the prison. Red is eventually released from prison, and Andy reunites with him. Together, the two of them enjoy a new life of freedom.
From Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Oliver Reed
"Gladiator" is a 2000 epic historical drama directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe. Set in Ancient Rome, the movie tells the story of a once-powerful Roman general named Maximus Decimus Meridius, who is betrayed by the Emperor and forced into slavery. He rises up to become a gladiator and fight in the Coliseum, winning the hearts of the Roman people as he seeks revenge against the Emperor. Along the way, Maximus must battle corruption, betrayal, and his own inner demons in a quest for justice and redemption. The film also stars Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, and Oliver Reed in critically acclaimed performances.
From Luc Besson, starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman, Danny Aiello
Léon: The Professional is a 1994 action crime thriller written and directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno as the title character, a professional hitman in New York City who befriends a 12-year-old girl named Mathilda (Natalie Portman). Mathilda's family is murdered by a corrupt DEA agent, Stansfield (Gary Oldman), and she seeks refuge with Leon. Leon agrees to help her avenge their deaths and teach her the skills of his trade. As the two become closer, they must also evade Stansfield, who is determined to bring them to justice. The film is noted for its stylish visual style and intense action sequences.
From Quentin Tarantino, starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington
Django Unchained is a 2012 film directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film follows Django (Jamie Foxx), a freed slave who teams up with a German bounty hunter, Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz), to rescue his wife, Broomhilda (Kerry Washington), from a ruthless Mississippi plantation owner, Calvin Candie (Leonardo DiCaprio). Along the way, Django and Schultz face numerous obstacles, including the Ku Klux Klan and Candie's loyal house slave, Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson). In the end, Django and Schultz must rely on their wits, courage and skill to save Broomhilda, while exacting a violent revenge on those who have wronged them.
From Christopher Nolan, starring Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior
Memento follows Leonard Shelby, a man suffering from anterograde amnesia (the inability to create new memories), on a quest to find the perpetrator of a crime that left his wife dead and Leonard with permanent brain damage. In order to keep track of his progress, Leonard tattoos key clues, dates, and names onto his body. As the story unravels, we learn more about Leonard's history, motivations, and the truth behind his wife's death. Along the way, Leonard meets several people who either help or hinder his mission, and is eventually forced to confront a difficult truth. The film plays with non-linear storytelling and eventually reveals a powerful conclusion.
From Quentin Tarantino, starring Brad Pitt, Diane Kruger, Eli Roth, Mélanie Laurent
Inglourious Basterds is a 2009 American war film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film tells a fictional alternate history of two plots to assassinate Nazi Germany's top leaders, one planned by Shosanna Dreyfus, a young French Jewish cinema proprietor, and the other by a team of Jewish American soldiers led by First Lieutenant Aldo Raine. The film stars Brad Pitt, Christoph Waltz, Michael Fassbender, Diane Kruger, and Eli Roth. The film follows the two plots across Europe during World War II and culminates in a violent showdown in a theater in Paris, where the Basterds confront Shosanna. The film received critical acclaim and was a box office success, grossing over $320 million worldwide. It received multiple awards and nominations, including eight Academy Award nominations, winning for Best Supporting Actor for Waltz.
Joel Coen, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, Woody Harrelson
No Country for Old Men is a 2007 crime thriller directed by the Coen brothers, Ethan and Joel Coen. The film follows Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin), an ordinary man living in Texas who discovers a large sum of money left behind at a drug deal gone bad. This sets off a violent chain of events involving Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), a brutal and relentless hitman, and Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones), an aging lawman struggling to enforce justice in a world that seems to have left him behind. The film paints a bleak picture of the modern West, as Moss, Chigurh, and Bell all race to capture the money and its bloody consequences for anyone involved. No Country for Old Men won the 2008 Academy Award for Best Picture and received four other Academy Awards.
From Quentin Tarantino, starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Daryl Hannah, Michael Madsen
Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a 2003 action-thriller film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film follows The Bride (Uma Thurman), an assassin who awakes from a four-year coma and seeks revenge on the team of assassins who betrayed her. With a vengeance, she sets out on a mission of revenge against her former master, Bill (David Carradine), and his deadly squad. Along the way, she encounters many colorful characters and kills countless adversaries in her quest for revenge. The film is a non-stop action-packed adventure that is full of Tarantino’s signature style of humor, violence, and colorful dialogue. The film was critically acclaimed, and was nominated for several awards, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay.
From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Gene Hackman, Morgan Freeman, Richard Harris
Unforgiven is a classic western directed by Clint Eastwood that tells the story of William Munny, a former outlaw who reluctantly returns to a life of violence in order to collect a bounty on the heads of two cowboys that viciously attacked a prostitute. With the help of his old partner, Ned Logan, and a young gunslinger named the Schofield Kid, Munny sets out to collect the bounty and face a ruthless sheriff and his posse. As the story unfolds, Munny's past catches up with him and he is forced to confront his own inner demons in order to succeed in his mission. Unforgiven is a powerful story of revenge, redemption, and justice, set against the backdrop of the wild and untamed American West.
From Martin Scorsese, starring Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Cybill Shepherd, Albert Brooks
Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. The film stars Robert De Niro as a lonely, depressed, and increasingly unstable Vietnam veteran, who works as a taxi driver in New York City. As he becomes increasingly isolated and desperate, Travis begins to descend into a violent and nihilistic worldview in which he targets criminals, the corrupt, and the morally bankrupt. Eventually, his increasing obsession with a young campaign worker leads him to attempt to assassinate a presidential candidate and rescue her from a pimp. The film has become a classic, and is often cited by critics, movie directors, and audiences alike as one of the greatest films of all time.
From George Miller, starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Zoë Kravitz
Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller and starring Tom Hardy as the titular character Max Rockatansky. The story follows Max as he joins forces with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to overthrow Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), the tyrannical ruler of the Wasteland. Along the way, they are pursued by Joe’s army of War Boys and face dangerous obstacles, including a sandstorm, marauders, and more. With the help of other rebels, Max and Furiosa ultimately succeed in overthrowing Joe and establishing peace in the Wasteland.
From David Fincher, starring Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry
Gone Girl is a 2014 psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher and written by Gillian Flynn, based on her 2012 novel of the same name. The film stars Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne, a man suspected of murdering his wife Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). The plot follows Nick's attempts to prove his innocence, while Amy's diary reveals the tumultuous relationship between the couple and the events leading up to her disappearance. As the media and police pressure mounts on Nick, it becomes increasingly apparent that there is more to the story than meets the eye. The film also features Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, and Carrie Coon as supporting characters.
From Alejandro G. Iñárritu, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson
The Revenant is a 2015 survival drama directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Set in the 1820s, Hugh Glass, a trapper and fur trader, is brutally mauled by a grizzly bear and left for dead. He must then use his extraordinary will to survive the wilderness and seek revenge on his betrayers who left him for dead. Along the way, he faces extreme weather, hostile Native Americans, and vicious wild animals. Along the way, he forms unlikely alliances and is driven by his unbreakable spirit to seek revenge and survive.
From Joss Whedon, starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner
The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Directed by Joss Whedon, the film features an ensemble cast of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner as the Avengers. The film follows Nick Fury, director of the peacekeeping organization S.H.I.E.L.D., as he assembles a team of superheroes to save the world from destruction. The team is pitted against Loki, the adoptive brother of Thor, who is intent on conquering Earth with the help of the powerful Tesseract. With the help of the Avengers, Fury must find a way to stop Loki and his army from destroying the world. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $1.5 billion worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of all time. It also received mainly positive reviews, with critics praising the performances of the cast and the action sequences. The film spawned a sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, which was released in 2015.
From Quentin Tarantino, starring Uma Thurman, David Carradine, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah
Kill Bill: Vol. 2 is the second installment in Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill series. Picking up where Vol. 1 left off, The Bride (Uma Thurman) continues her quest for vengeance against the members of the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad who betrayed her. This time, she is joined by her former mentor and swordmaster, Pai Mei. As she tracks down the remaining members of the squad, she must also confront her other enemies, including her former lover Bill (David Carradine). In the end, The Bride must face off against Bill himself in an epic showdown. Along the way, she learns about her past, the strength of her will, and the bonds of love.
From Rob Reiner, starring Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright, Chris Sarandon
The Princess Bride is a classic fairy tale adventure set in the mythical country of Florin. It follows the story of Westley, a farm boy who sets off to rescue his beloved Buttercup from the evil Prince Humperdinck. Along the way, he meets a mysterious Spaniard, a giant, a vengeance-seeking swordsman, and a curious six-fingered man. Westley must battle obstacles such as the Fire Swamp and the Cliffs of Insanity, as well as the machinations of the evil prince and his sidekick, Count Rugen. Ultimately, Westley and his friends must battle their way to the castle to rescue Buttercup and live happily ever after.
From David Fincher, starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, Christopher Plummer, Stellan Skarsgård
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a 2011 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher and starring Daniel Craig, Rooney Mara, and Christopher Plummer. It is an adaptation of the 2005 novel of the same name by Stieg Larsson. The film follows investigative journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Craig) as he is hired by elderly Swedish industrialist Henrik Vanger (Plummer) to investigate the disappearance and possible murder of Vanger's niece, Harriet, 40 years prior. Blomkvist is aided in his search by the aloof but capable computer hacker Lisbeth Salander (Mara). As the duo links Harriet's disappearance to a string of unsolved murders, they find themselves in a violent struggle against a mysterious and powerful adversary.
From Bong Joon Ho, starring Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Jin Goo, Je-mun Yun
Mother is a 2009 South Korean psychological thriller film written and directed by Bong Joon Ho. The film follows an elderly woman, who is desperate to prove her son's innocence after he is accused of murdering a local schoolgirl. Out of desperation, she begins to investigate the case herself, leading her to uncover a much more complex and sinister truth than she had ever imagined. Throughout her journey, she discovers the dark secrets that haunt her small town and the corruption and injustice that have been hidden for years. Ultimately, she must confront the townspeople to get the justice for her son that he deserves.
From Pierre Morel, starring Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Leland Orser
Taken is an action-thriller directed by Pierre Morel in 2008. The film stars Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, a former CIA agent who embarks on a mission to save his kidnapped daughter after she is taken by human traffickers while on vacation in Paris. With the help of a friend, he uses his particular set of skills to track down and rescue his daughter, while also exacting revenge on those responsible. The film is known for its intense action scenes and for Neeson's iconic line, “I will find you, and I will kill you.”
From Clint Eastwood, starring Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Chief Dan George, Bill McKinney
The Outlaw Josey Wales is a classic western directed by Clint Eastwood in 1976. It follows the story of Josey Wales (portrayed by Eastwood himself), a Missouri farmer who is forced to go on the run after avenging his family's murder by Union soldiers during the Civil War. Along the way, he meets a disparate group of travelers who join his quest for revenge and justice, ultimately forming a makeshift family. In addition to being a thrilling adventure filled with action, The Outlaw Josey Wales paints a vivid portrait of the American frontier and the struggle for a sense of community in the wake of tragedy.
From Paul McGuigan, starring Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Morgan Freeman, Lucy Liu
Lucky Number Slevin is a neo-noir crime thriller film starring Josh Hartnett, Bruce Willis, and Morgan Freeman. The film follows Slevin Kelevra, a young man with no memory of his past, as he finds himself caught in the middle of a turf war between two rival crime syndicates. After being mistaken for a man named Nick Fisher, Slevin is blackmailed into carrying out a series of violent tasks by two powerful gangs, the Yakuza and the Mob. As the violence escalates and Slevin is pursued by both sides, he uncovers the identity of the mysterious figure behind it all. With help from his friend, Lindsey, and the mysterious assassin, Goodkat, he must find a way out before it's too late.
From Tony Scott, starring Denzel Washington, Christopher Walken, Dakota Fanning, Radha Mitchell
Man on Fire is a 2004 action thriller film directed by Tony Scott. The film stars Denzel Washington as John Creasy, a former Marine and ex-CIA operative who is hired as a bodyguard to a nine-year-old girl named Pita Ramos (Dakota Fanning). When Pita is kidnapped by a Mexican gang, Creasy embarks on a violent and relentless mission to save her. The film follows Creasy's relentless pursuit of the kidnappers and his transformation from a broken and unemotional man to a man consumed by revenge. Along the way, Creasy must also confront his past and his own inner demons in order to save Pita and the other innocents in his path. The film is a heart-pounding and violent thriller that culminates in a gripping and explosive climax.
From Kevin Reynolds, starring Jim Caviezel, Guy Pearce, Christopher Adamson, JB Blanc
The Count of Monte Cristo is a 2002 film directed by Kevin Reynolds and based on the classic novel by Alexandre Dumas. The film tells the story of Edmond Dantes, a young sailor falsely accused of treason by his jealous rivals and sentenced to life in prison. After escaping with the help of a mysterious benefactor, Edmond embarks on a journey of revenge and redemption as the titular Count of Monte Cristo. Along the way, he faces off against his former friends and enemies, all while trying to win back his long lost love, Mercedes. With its themes of justice, vengeance, and the power of forgiveness, The Count of Monte Cristo is an action-packed adventure full of swashbuckling excitement.
From Troy Duffy, starring Willem Dafoe, Sean Patrick Flanery, Norman Reedus, David Della Rocco
The Boondock Saints is a neo-noir action film directed by Troy Duffy, released in 1999. It follows two Irish Catholic brothers, Connor and Murphy MacManus (Sean Patrick Flanery and Norman Reedus), who become vigilantes after they kill two members of the Russian Mafia in self-defense. They are soon targeted by FBI agent Paul Smecker (Willem Dafoe) for the murders, and must go on the run from the Mafia and law enforcement. Along the way, they enlist the help of a local priest, Father Flaherty (Billy Connolly), who helps them complete their mission of wiping out organized crime in Boston. As their notoriety grows, so does the number of enemies they make, with the MacManus brothers now having to contend with a Russian hitman, Rocco (David Della Rocco), and a rival Irish gang. With the help of their ally, Il Duce (Billy Drago), the MacManus brothers manage to survive, eventually taking out the crime bosses in Boston. In the end, the brothers are cleared of their charges and are able to live in peace.
From Nicholas Meyer, starring William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is a 1982 science fiction action film directed by Nicholas Meyer and based on the 1960s television series Star Trek. The film follows Admiral James Kirks (William Shatner) and the crew of the USS Enterprise as they battle the renegade Khan Noonien Singh (Ricardo Montalbán). Khan seeks revenge on Kirk for marooning him and his followers on the planet Ceti Alpha V fifteen years earlier. As he and his genetically engineered crew attempt to seize the Genesis Device, a powerful terraforming tool, they are pursued by the Enterprise and its crew. In the end, Khan fails and is killed, but not before damaging the Enterprise and sacrificing the life of Lt. Commander Spock (Leonard Nimoy). With the loss of Spock, the crew of the Enterprise must find a way to overcome their grief and rebuild the ship.
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