Top 10 Revenge Movies

Script written by Tiffany Ezuma. Whoever said revenge is sweet knew what they were talking about! Whether it’s the story of someone who’s trying to avenge the death of a family member, or whether they’re just trying to do what’s right, these are the best movies where revenge is front and center. In this video, WatchMojo.com counts down our picks for the top 10 revenge movies. For this list, we’ve picked films whose protagonists spend the majority of their time searching, fighting and killing in order to punish people who’ve wronged them. WARNING: Contains mature content. Special thanks to our users Anthony Redford, Nichelle Phoenix Perez, Andrew A. Dennison, tom dray and Deither Dela Cruz for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Tiffany Ezuma.

Top 10 Revenge Movies


Whoever said revenge is sweet knew what they were talking about! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 revenge movies.

For this list, we’ve picked films whose protagonists spend the majority of their time searching, fighting and killing in order to punish people who’ve wronged them.

#10: “True Grit” (1969)

This classic movie was remade in 2010 with similar success but it’s the original that stands out. This Western tells the story of 14-year-old Mattie, who’s out to avenge her father’s death by hiring Reuben “Rooster” J. Cogburn, a one-eyed U.S. Marshall who’s seen better days, to track down the killer. Cogburn tries to ditch Mattie, but it’s clear she has “true grit” and is willing to do anything for revenge.

#9: “Munich” (2005)

You never think of governments trying to exact revenge against each other, but that’s exactly what happens in this thriller. Based on a true story, “Munich” tells the tale of a team of Israeli intelligence agents who go on the hunt for the Palestinians responsible for kidnapping and murdering Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Both a commercial and critical success for Steven Spielberg, the film earned five Oscar nods – but also fanned the flames of controversy.

#8: “Unforgiven” (1992)

This movie tells the story of William Munny, a down-on-his-luck former outlaw-turned-farmer, who’s tracking two cowboys that disfigured a woman in the hopes of grabbing the $1,000 reward. But, when Munny’s best friend, played by Morgan Freeman, is murdered and put on display, Clint Eastwood’s Munny dedicates himself to vengeance. Hailed as one of the best westerns ever, “Unforgiven” is considered a triumph, which earned four Oscars.

#7: “Gangs of New York” (2002)

Seeing your father brutally murdered in the streets will definitely mess up a kid’s psyche. After Vallon witnesses his dad’s death at the hands of Bill “the Butcher,” he returns five years later to extract revenge on father’s behalf. The movie is full of so many cross-betrayals and so much intrigue it’s unclear whether he’ll live to see his revenge fantasy fulfilled. But either way, the sweeping thriller was nominated for ten Oscars.

#6: “Hard Candy” (2005)

This movie is basically “To Catch a Predator” – but with a twist. Fourteen-year-old Hayley begins an online relationship with a 32-year-old man, only to trick him into inviting her to his house, where she tortures him for his sexual crimes against children. While we can’t really imagine many 14-year-olds who’d seek revenge in such a violent way, that just makes the movie more fascinating to watch. Hayley is ruthless, and audiences will find their sympathies tested.

#5: “Death Wish” (1974)

One of the best revenge stories ever, this film follows a seemingly normal architect who turns to the dark side after criminals rape his daughter and kill his wife. It’s thrilling to watch as he transforms from average Joe to killing machine. The movie was such a success; it went on to have a slew of sequels and knock-offs created in its honor.

#4: “The Crow” (1994)

Vengeance from beyond the grave sets this movie in motion. After a rock musician and his fiancée are killed on Devil’s Night, his ghost comes back to seek justice against those who are responsible. And his vigilante style is both dark, and explosive. The film was a critical and commercial success, which garnered a cult following after the accidental death of lead actor Brandon Lee, who was shot and killed during filming.

#3: “The Count of Monte Cristo” (1934)

Alexandre Dumas’ tale has been re-done many times, but the 1934 version stands above the rest. After Edmond Dantes’ friends betray him by writing a letter accusing him of treason, he has his freedom, his girlfriend, and his future stolen from him. He spends the next ten years plotting revenge against those who wronged him, proving that sometimes you have to play the long game to get what you want.

#2: “Gladiator” (2000)

After General Maximus Decimus Meridius’ father is killed and he is enslaved, Maximus vows revenge. He makes good on his promise as he works his way up from slavery to punish those who betrayed him. With countless duels and battles in the Roman arena, this action-packed movie is one of Russell Crowe’s best, winning several Oscars and redefining the revenge genre.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- “Payback” (1999)
- “Oldboy” (2003)
- “Man on Fire” (2004)

#1: “Kill Bill” (2003-04)

Quentin Tarantino is known for his stylized violence, and he’s become a master of the revenge film with titles like “Django Unchained” and “Inglourious Basterds” under his belt. But no film can top Uma Thurman as “The Bride,” a former assassin seeking revenge for those who killed members of her wedding party and ruined her big day. She’s a one-woman wrecking ball as she investigates to find who was responsible for her misfortune.

Do you agree with our list? What movies do you think show the sweeter side of revenge? For more justified top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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