Cinelinx is back to wrap up the 15 best movies about revenge, courtesy of guest writer Arcee from NFamousGamers. We’ve got more blood, guts, and hatred than we know what to do with on this list, so come in and see if your favorite revenge flicks made it.
[Much like last time, spoilers for these films will ensue. And if for some reason you missed the beginning, be sure to check out Part 1 to get caught up!]
The Last House on the Left (1972)
To be honest, I like the 2009 version of the film slightly more than the original but the original film’s acts of vengeance and the reasons for it are more compelling. Two friends Mari (Sandra Cassell) and Paige (Lucy Grantham) go to a concert to celebrate Mari’s 17th birthday. In search of some marijuana, they run into a vicious criminal (David Hess) and his gang who just escaped from prison. Brutally victimizing and raping both girls, Paige is murdered for attempting to escape. Mari is then shot in the back and left for dead in a nearby lake. Unknowingly, as the gang looks for a place to hide out for the night, they end up staying at Mari’s parents (Cynthia Carr and Gaylord St. James) house. Mari’s mom quickly realizes what is going on and the couple goes out in search of their daughter. They find her and bring her home and decide to make the criminal pay for what they did to their daughter. One by one, they go after each of the gang members and dole out their own brand of parental justice.
Law Abiding Citizen
In the middle of a home invasion robbery, Clyde Sheldon (Gerard Butler) is forced to watch as his wife and daughter are brutally raped at murdered by the two criminals Clarence (Christian Stolte) and Rupert (Josh Stewart). During the course of the trial, he is informed by the prosecuting attorney Nick Rice (Jamie Foxx) that the case is weak at best and that they will be settling the case in a plea agreement with the lesser of the two criminals, Rupert, being sent to death and the more violent one, Clarence, only serving three years. Ten years later, as Rupert is about to be executed by lethal injection, his execution goes horribly wrong, the machine having been tampered with. Clyde then goes after Clarence and video tapes the entire ordeal and murder. But Clyde isn’t done yet. He begins to go after those in the system that he feels failed his dead wife and daughter and begins killing members of the DA’s office and even a judge. Nick Rice must then find a way to stop Clyde before he kills even more including his family.
Leone “Leon” Montana (Jean Reno) is an Italian cleaner (hit man) for the local mob living a solitary life in New York City. One day he meets young Mathilda (Natalie Portman); sporting a black eye and smoking a cigarette in the hallway of their apartment complex. Mathilda’s father works for a corrupt DEA agent named Stansfield (Gary Oldman), who has her entire family killed when he discovers that her father has been stealing some of his drugs. Looking for sanctuary from Leon, she eventually discovers his secret life and begs him to teach her to be a cleaner so she may avenge the death of her four year old brother. In exchange, she will work as a maid and help him get over his illiteracy. Over time, she confesses her love for him, but he says nothing in return. One day, Mathilda sets out to kill Stansfield in the DEA building but he ambushes her and reveals that Leon has killed one of his men. This sets into motion a violent confrontation between Leon and Stansfield, along with several of his DEA agents. Leon helps Mathilda escape and enacts her revenge on Stanfield himself.
Munich is unique in this list as it is the only film that is actually based on real life events – the tragic murder of the Israeli Olympic team by the terrorist group Black September during the 1972 Summer Games held in Munich, Germany. Squads of assassins, put together by Israeli Mossad agent Avner Kaufman (Eric Bana), are charged with tracking down and assassinating every member of Black September that they know of during the mission known as Operation Wrath of God. Traveling to Italy, Cyprus, Lebanon, Greece, Spain and the US, they track down members and uncover other operational hazards that may impede their mission. What is interesting about this film is that it depicts the emotional toll the act of seeking revenge can take on a person as Avner is left questioning whether they made the right decisions or made a difference at all.