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(   The top 20 hitmen (and women) in movie history   ( divider line
    More: Cool  
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6919 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 07 Sep 2007 at 2:59 PM (9 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2007-09-07 02:07:08 PM
They missed a big one.

/first time I ever cheered for the bad guy.
2007-09-07 02:26:02 PM  
Um, I think The Terminator should be 1, not 20.

He's a machine. He doesn't feel. He doesn't sleep. And he won't stop until he kills you.
2007-09-07 02:49:12 PM  
Leon in The Professional

/not Leon in Leon
//Neon is a cool word btw
2007-09-07 02:51:07 PM  
clown-freak: Leon in The Professional
/not Leon in Leon

FAIL (new window)
2007-09-07 02:53:31 PM  
I won't click the URL, but as long as Cusack (the poor-man's Woody Allen) and Leon made the list, I'm good.
2007-09-07 03:03:39 PM  
Leon is the perfect hit man, but El Mariachi should be #2.
2007-09-07 03:05:11 PM  
EvelElecBlanket wins the thread!
/won't even mention the horrible remake atrocity of that movie
//thought Bourne was a spy not a contract killer
///quibbly and slashie
2007-09-07 03:08:21 PM  
squealie: thought Bourne was a spy not a contract killer

Bourne was a CIA Hit Man.
2007-09-07 03:08:54 PM  
Mister Shhh
2007-09-07 03:09:23 PM

2007-09-07 03:10:57 PM

I wasn't on this list because no one saw me.
2007-09-07 03:16:15 PM  
No James Gandolfini in True Romance?
2007-09-07 03:17:52 PM  
They got #1 right

I would have put Bourne at 2 though
2007-09-07 03:18:04 PM  
The Usual Suspects was awesome but I hated Baldwin in it.

The "Oswald was a fag" line/scene makes me cringe. It was so corny.
2007-09-07 03:18:52 PM  
Ever notice how things make these lists just because they are recent, not because they were any good. The Matador was a disposable tripe of a movie. Desperado sucked, while El Mariachi rocked. Lucky Number Slevin?!? This must be a vehicle for pumping up the DVD sales
2007-09-07 03:19:52 PM  
the list, for those who didn't want to click on multiple pages.

Who is he? Arnie's T-800 had the potential to do so well in a list of the movies' top hitmen. He was sent from the future and is a bona fide cybernetic bad-ass. So why isn't he higher? Well, despite the quotable lines and the shades, the T-800 couldn't seal the deal. Charged with the simple task of killing an annoying chick, he spends the film's running time being foiled at every turn. True, he was up against a young Michael Biehn, but he was a robot from the future and Michael Biehn is armed with nothing more than some primitive weaponry and a flasher mac. C'mon Skynet, you can do better than that.
Greatest hit? The Austrian automaton wastes no time in checking out the first two Sarah Connors in the phone book. Pow! Pow!

Who is he? Any hitman who can get a kill by persuading Amanda Peet to whip out her mams may just be the best ever. The reason why Jimmy The Tulip isn't, is the amazing restraint he shows in not giving Chandler a double tap to the back of the head. We really can't put our considerable critical weight behind someone so willing to kill, yet able to pass up such a remarkable opportunity. Anyway, in a movie where the only other highpoint is the aforementioned top bollocks, Bruce charms his way through in a manner in which only he can. Just don't mention the sequel.
Greatest hit? After shooting Jimmy in the back, Stanley Posilansky
took a really, really long time to die.

Who are they? Mr. Kidd and Mr. Wint, the homosexual hatchet men charged with taking the lead out of 007's pencil in one of the worst Bond films in the series, aren't very good hitmen. However, you have to admire their (perhaps stereotypically) flamboyant approach to their work: why aren't more of cinema's hired killers eschewing guns and knives in favour of dropping a scorpion down a shirt collar? And wearing suits with flared trousers? And not-so-subtly suggesting that they appreciate the man-love? Okay, we answered our own question there.
Greatest hit? Drowning an old lady schoolteacher in the canals of Amsterdam, then threatening to send photos of the body to her schoolkids.

Who is he? As one of the usual suspects brought in by the cops at the ultimate behest of Keyser Sozé, Michael McManus brings some hitman cool to a group held back by physical disabilities, speech impediments, and Kevin Pollack. Later on, Mikey even proves he's been watching his John Woo movies by taking out two guys with two guns at the same time. Big brother Alec might have been in The Simpsons, but Stephen's involvement in this movie will always mean he's the best Baldwin. Although, it's the strangest thing...
Greatest hit? Sniping a target while singing Old MacDonald. "On that farm he shot some guys, badda boom badda bing bang boom..."

Who is he? Whatever you get up to in life, just make sure that you don't P.O. a Sicilian, as those guys really know how to avenge a slight. First they'll chop the top off an equine and have it delivered to your boudoir. Then a fat bloke will make out with you a little, and finally they'll call in the services of a guy like Paulie Gatto, the tough-talking, meatball-eating button man. Sure, his loyalties could are flexible, so there's every chance you might be able to save your bacon by making him an offer he can't refuse. But chances are, even if you go to the mattresses, you'll end up sleeping with the fishes.
Greatest hit? His greatest moment would have been setting up Don Corleone for the big checkout, but we all know how that worked out...

Who is he? Torn between protecting his family and paying back the mob boss who raised him, Michael Sullivan has made hitmanning (hitman - noun, verb; a hitman, to hitman; hitmanning - intr. v.; to hitman) his career. Sporting a dreadful lip-tickler but a rather natty hat, Tom Hanks is barely recognisable as there's nary a Meg Ryan in sight. Even without his usual sparring partner, Tom manages to save his son from both the dangers of Jude Law, and of emulating the murderous ways of his old man. What a period hero. Or even a hero, period.
Greatest hit? Sullivan Jr. realises his pop isn't as harmless as he though as he witnesses him executing an ex-goon in brutal fashion.

Who is he? A self-proclaimed Facilitator of Fatalities (and apparent alliteration admirer), Julian Noble was one of the industry's shining lights until his confidence took a wobble and he lost his taste for the job. Sporting a moustache that would even make Michael Sullivan blush, Julian's smarmier than Roger Moore's 007, and his business is his pleasure. Even when detonating a cool black Porsche (and its ill-fated owner), he isn't above trading childish bons mots with a teenager. He's right though, if he smells ya, he shouldn't have to tell ya.
Greatest hit? Noble remotely takes out a mark and simultaneously turns down a young kid's mom. "I'd only be interested in your mother if she lost 20 pounds and 30 years."

Who is he? When they bring a knife and send one of yours to the hospital, you can count on Frank Nitti to bring a gun and send one of theirs to the morgue. As Al Capone's chief hitman, Nitti is able to give Sean Connery (Sean Connery!) the bum's rush from life by giving him a nasty case of lead poisoning. However, despite being able to kill James Bond himself (James Bond!), Frank is careless enough to leave a vital clue on a matchbook, which leads to his subsequent arrest and Elliot Ness-assisted swan dive off the courthouse roof. An ignominious exit, sure, but hey: that's the Chicago way.
Greatest hit? Getting the jump on Connery's incorruptible paddy and pouring a box of bullets into him.

Who is he? His name's Goodkat, but you can call him Mr. Goodkat. Oozing cool, Mr. Goodkat Kansas City Shuffles his way through one of the best thrillers in ages; a movie with a better twist ending than a certain other Bruce Willis movie in which no-one but the kid speaks to him thoughout the entire bloody thing. Mr. Goodkat is a world-class assassin, the heaviest of hitters, and has more fingers in more pies (and you can see where this is going) than that time the leprosy wing had a day trip to the Ginsters factory.
Greatest hit? Shooting Lucy Liu's annoying wench in the heart. That'll learn her for Ecks Vs Sever.

Who is he? What's cooler than a musician? Not a lot, which is why guys like Chris Robinson get to do squelchy things with girls like Kate Hudson. What is cooler is a hitman musician like El Mariachi. (If Banderas had had a monkey sidekick like Clyde, audiences everywhere would have spontaneously combusted in the face of so much awesome.) So by combining the ineffable lure of a musician with balletic gunplay, we really shouldn't be surprised that Salma's drawers dropped quicker than Antonio could whip weapons out of his guitar case.
Greatest hit? That would be hitting up Ms. Hayek, the lucky bastard. Did he shoot as fast as he usually does?

Who is she? Luc Besson likes his hitmen, but he also likes his hitwomen, too. Nikita is just your average drugged-up Nihilist bank robber, but when she commits murder, she's spared the chair and whisked away to a top secret facility where she's trained to become a special operative. With her old life all but erased, Nikita slowly and surely morphs into a deadly (and dead fit) assassin, who becomes as adept with the guns as she was with the needles. Besson oversaw a toothless US remake with Bridget Fonda in the title role, but his French femme is clearly a) ten times cooler than her US counterpart, and b) has a much sexier accent.
Greatest hit? Left on her lonesome in a restaurant, Nikita is given a gun and told to pop a cap in the guy sitting next to her. At least she won't have to pay the bill.

Who is he? Crazy Scientologist Tom Cruise (who, like Drunk Anti-Semite Mel Gibson, should never be referred to without his prefix), puts in a career-best performance as Vincent, an aging contract killer. Well, he appears to be aging, but the greying hair could easily be part of a cunning disguise. Anyway, Vinnie is cold-blooded and ruthlessly efficient, slipping through Michael Mann's moodily shot L.A. in an attempt to kill a brace of targets before the sun comes up and ruins the cinematography. He's so good that he'd even be able to take time out from his busy assassinating schedule to kill anyone who dared to call him "Vinnie."
Greatest hit? Shooting a hit out a window and watching him smash through the roof of Jamie Foxx's taxicab below.

Who is he? In real life, Bradders is rapidly burning through his cool points. His wife seems to be in a fiercely fought orphan collecting competition with Madonna, and it's been an awfully long time since Fight Club rocked TheShiznit's world. But, as Mr. Smith, Mr. Pitt was one of the coolest hitmen ever. With a swagger that a man could only produce when having it away with Angelina IRL, Brad banters with Vince Vaughn and handles his weapon with the best of them. Okay, he couldn't take out the missus, but seriously, would you have wanted to?
Greatest hit? Charming a group of guys by playing a 'drunken' hand of cards, then whipping out the silencer to take the pot.

Who is he? Munich offers a much grittier look at the hitman community than most of the other movies featured on this list. We follow Eric Bana's group of Semetic avengers, charged with doling out vengeance for the Black September group's infamous attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympic Games. Most of the jobs are done at a distance, with bombs being the impersonal tool of choice, and none of them go smoothly. But before we mock their lack of professionalism, if we were given the task of terrorising terrorists, we'd cock it up too. Still, Avner remains a figure of cool, as the characters of Knocked Up confirm: "If any one of us gets laid tonight, it's because of Eric Bana in Munich."
Greatest hit? Blowing the shiat out of a target by bombing his hotel room, then feeling the full force of the blast through the wall. Ouch.

Who is he? Perhaps the most atypical hitman on our list, Ghost Dog is more likely to be found sitting on a bench in the park, talking about books and eating ice cream than whacking marks for coin. Ghost Dog is most definitely not your common or garden professional killer, as his simple lifestyle involves raising homing pigeons and following Hagakure, the Way of the Samurai. But just when you think you're watching the most boring hitman movie ever, he'll start waving his samurai sword around or will shoot his way through a gang of armed foes with ruthless efficiency. One man gets one bullet. Not bad for a fat bloke.
Greatest hit? Ghost Dog kills not for fun, only for honour. But when the Mafia take out his pigeons, just try and hold him back.

Who is he? He was Treadstone's top assassin, and he remembers the registration number of all the cars outside. He knows how far he can run at this altitude before his hands start to shake, how much you weigh and whether you can handle yourself. Just don't ask him where he left his keys. What Jason lacks in fond memories of long-lost loves and football scores, he makes up for with mad assassin skills. And in a business where skills mean kills, Bourne is up there with the best.
Greatest hit? Taking on a fellow assassin in Tangier with a towel and a hardback book. Happy reading, biatch.

Who is he? The Operative is probably the man on this list you'd least like to hear was after you. When he's chasing you he'll kill everyone you know because he realises that when his target goes to ground, he should leave no ground to go to. He's interested only in making sure that important secrets are kept, and his weapon of choice is a sword (a swhat?) that he'll make sure you'll be the one falling on. After a gripping final tussle, Mal Reynolds does manage to best him, but only because fate has left the good Captain immune to the Operative's devastating finishing move.
Greatest hit? Dispatching a scientist by having him fall on his sword. "Would you die in your sleep, like an ailing pet?" Umm... yes, actually.

Who is he? So it may have been Travolta's comeback that got all the attention, but a hitman who gets taken out because of a bathroom break and a Kellogg's breakfast pastry ain't getting anywhere near our list. Yep, it's Sam's bible-quotin', pork-avoidin' BMF who's picking up the plaudits. Ezekiel 25:17 is undoubtedly the coolest kiss-off line ever, and if anything deserved a comeback it was Jules' wet curl hairdo. Even slapped into Quentin's old shorts, Sam manages to keep both his hitman cool and Marsellus' glowing briefcase. Despite his retirement, you would not mess with this man. Just ask Pumpkin and Honey Bunny.
Greatest hit? Divine intervention saves him from a volley of cannon fire; the last thing the poor shooter sees is a pissed off motherfarker with jheri curls.

Who is he? So why is Martin Blank so high on our list? Well, who else can lay a claim to killing the President of Paraguay with a fork? And if it wasn't for that little incident with a millionaire's prized retriever and a stick of dynamite, we're sure he would have been even higher. While attending his high school reunion, Martin manages to have one of the most awesome fights in cinema history, dispose of a body in a furnace, and have sex with Minnie Driver. At ours, we skulked around with a name badge and had sex with Minnie Driver. Just kidding. There were no name badges.
Greatest hit? Wrestling with Basque hitman Felix in a hallway, stabbing him to death with a pen.

Who is he? When a 12-year-old Natalie Portman's folks are rubbed out by a scenery-chewing Gary Oldman, she continues down the hall to Léon's pad for a crash course in cleaning. It's lucky that she lived next door to cinema's greatest hitman as it would have been a terrible movie if her neighbour had actually been Barry Scott, purveyor of all things Cillit Bang. Whether he's leading a skell around with a silenced gun in his mouth, or sliding out of the shadows with a knife poised and ready, Léon is the epitome of hitman cool. He even manages to get the last laugh when faced with an impossible situation and insurmountable odds. So hats (and round sunglasses) off to Léon, our number one with a bullet.
Greatest hit? Swinging down from a door frame and taking out a police goon in 1 second flat. Bad. Ass.

And the worst...

Who is he? This nameless, unkempt contract killer makes a complete mess of his hit, accidentally shooting through a wall, hitting a woman in the corridor outside. Unfortunately, this alerts a cleaning lady, who also needs her fat ass wiped out. Probably not best to shoot her hoover then, which subsequently sets off the fire alarm. Like the shadows, he was. Rich
2007-09-07 03:21:33 PM  
Please, the correct answer is Agent 47, but the movie hasn't come out yet.

/ okay, maybe it's Jules...
2007-09-07 03:22:43 PM  
vossiewulf: No James Gandolfini in True Romance?

Actually, James Gandolfini from "The Mexican" is pretty good too, if only for the line "I'm a professional".

If I picked anyone from True Romance, it would have to be Walken.
2007-09-07 03:23:12 PM  
Indignant Exclamation: This unit has earned the number one spot, even if this unit has not actually appeared in a movie, meatbag.
2007-09-07 03:23:28 PM  
And what about Dekard? He might of been a cop, but his job was assassination even if the were only replicants.
2007-09-07 03:24:50 PM  
squealie: /won't even mention the horrible remake atrocity of that movie

I was so disappointed by that POS movie.
2007-09-07 03:29:49 PM  
We should do something when this thread hits # 47....
2007-09-07 03:31:39 PM  
"No women, no kids."
2007-09-07 03:34:22 PM  
Charley Partanna and Irene Walker in Prizzi's Honor, the original married assassins who wind up with contracts on each other.
2007-09-07 03:34:57 PM  
vossiewulf: No James Gandolfini in True Romance?

good call
2007-09-07 03:38:01 PM  
Wow, that was a horrible list. The two worst performances of Bruce Willis' career, the take the cannoli victim from Godfather who doesn't even kill anyone, the guy who gets thrown off a roof by Costner, and farkin Stephen Baldwin. And Munich wasn't exactly filled with great hitmen either - shooting the guy is a lot easier than putting a bomb in his hotel bed or phone, idiots. Oh, and El Mariachi isn't a hitman, you might as well put Paul Kersey on the list. I'm putting a contract out on the author of this link.
2007-09-07 03:41:58 PM  
Paulie GOT hit, man. I don't think he killed anybody in that flick.
2007-09-07 03:44:20 PM  
William Munny from Unforgiven.
2007-09-07 03:46:02 PM  
Another list done by a young whipper-snapper.

FTW: Lee van Cleef in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

John Lithgow in Blow-out was another great one.
2007-09-07 03:46:12 PM  
No Ogami Itto "Lone Wolf and Cub"?
No Victor the Cleaner?
No Deadly Viper Assassination Squad?
No Nameless, Broken Sword, Sky, and Flying Snow from "Hero"

2007-09-07 03:57:32 PM  
vossiewulf: No James Gandolfini in True Romance?

I don't remember him killing anyone. He tortured a girl, and then got taken out by a toilet.
2007-09-07 03:57:34 PM  
No Charles Bronson? Whole lot of LOSE in that list.
2007-09-07 03:59:04 PM  
If Leon wasn't #1 I would have been disappointed.

Though I couldn't help but think that John Malkovich from "In The Line Of Fire" should have been on that list.

Or Bruce Willis in The Jackal (Even though he already has two slots on the top 20)
2007-09-07 03:59:50 PM  
I'll give them some points for Ghost Dog
2007-09-07 04:00:15 PM  
vossiewulf: No James Gandolfini in True Romance?

Shouldn't he have managed to kill someone on screen to count? He got slaughtered.
2007-09-07 04:02:19 PM  
While I don't dig on the order per se, there wasn't a hitman on that list that I didn't think was unworthy of the list. Hell I give the author +20 points just for not listing Lucy farking Liu.
2007-09-07 04:04:16 PM  
They forgot Charles Bronson in "The Mechanic".
One of Bronson's most memorable roles.
2007-09-07 04:04:47 PM

/This list really sucks.
2007-09-07 04:07:03 PM  

2007-09-07 04:07:20 PM  
StopArrestingMe: Oh, and El Mariachi isn't a hitman, you might as well put Paul Kersey on the list.

Yeah, Azul was the hitman.
2007-09-07 04:09:10 PM

Not to mention Beatrix Kiddo.
2007-09-07 04:10:03 PM  
Cheesy as some might think...

... The Long Kiss Goodnight was a heck of a lot better than I expected.

// Wow - Geena!
2007-09-07 04:10:16 PM  
what about D and Borghoff?
2007-09-07 04:12:00 PM

She should have been on the list, but hollywood farked it up.
2007-09-07 04:12:21 PM  
I got three hitmen into the article and I'm already barf/pissing. This is the last retarded list I'll ever click on FARK.

2007-09-07 04:15:59 PM  
EvilElecBlanket: They missed a big one.

The best one of all.
2007-09-07 04:19:56 PM  
Chow Yun Fat looked pretty slick in The Replacement Killers even if his character wasn't that impressive.
2007-09-07 04:24:46 PM  
Damnit, forgot all about geena davis. Everytime that movie comes on cable I wait til the part where Sam Jackson gets blown out of a window...priceless.
2007-09-07 04:28:52 PM  
LE SAMOURAI, biatches.
2007-09-07 04:29:54 PM  
Heffaloo: vossiewulf: No James Gandolfini in True Romance?

Shouldn't he have managed to kill someone on screen to count? He got slaughtered.

Oh come now. Tell me you don't believe this guy is a hitman. That's my measuring stick.

James Gandolfini, True Romance (pop)
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