The top 25 movies hero/protagonist(s) dies in a shootout.

by Shankar Damodaran — on  ,  ,  ,  ,  , 


Back with another crazy movie countdown. It really is upsetting whilst the main protagonist of a movie gets killed, well it’s inevitable and we gotta get over it. As the title depicts shootout , only kills with a gun(s) is accounted for. Moreover, the list of movies compiled in here is a bit comprehensive and falls under a ruleset (see below). This post does not contain spoilers, just the list of names and it’s précis.

The Ruleset

  • No War Movies. (Hart’s War, Saving Private Ryan, etc.)
  • Only Confirmed Deaths. (No judgmental decisions)
  • No Animated Movies.
  • No Black and White Movies.
  • Animals as protagonists does not count.
  • No Suicidal Kills.
  • No Fantasy or Fairy Tale Movies. (The Crow, Pan’s Labyrinth, etc.)
  • No Political Personalities. (Gandhi, etc.)

0% SPOILERS : Other than the death of the protoganist(s), the in-depth details involving the death scenes aren’t discussed on this post as it may spoil the thrill factor.

Each flick is rated from the bottom to top (the usual countdown paraphernalia), will contain a very small overview about the film (collected from Internet and some on my own).

Disclaimer: Opinions expressed in this article are solely my own and not intended to hurt anybody. This is my own list of compilation. Some may or may not agree with these flicks the way I had rated. There is a separate “Close Contenders” section where you will find the movies you expected wasn’t up. I may have missed some masterpieces in this write-up (Apologies for that). However, I had put my best list in here. Skim through the article and I would love to hear some honest views from movie buffs, critics or anybody who’s been into this genre. Off to the countdown now.

25. No Country For Old Men (2007)

précis: A hunter’s life takes a drastic turn when he discovers two million dollars while strolling through the aftermath of a drug deal. He is then pursued by a psychopathic killer who wants the money.

24. Enter the Void (2009)

précis: Is this what happens after-life?

23. The Devil’s Rejects (2005)

précis: The murderous, backwoods Firefly family take to the road to escape a vengeful police force which is not afraid of being as ruthless as their target.

22. Man on Fire (2004)

précis: In Mexico City, a former assassin swears vengeance on those who committed an unspeakable act against the family he was hired to protect.

21. Children of Men (2006)

précis: In 2027, in a chaotic world in which women have become somehow infertile, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea.

20. 3:10 to Yuma (2007)

précis: A small-time rancher agrees to hold a captured outlaw who’s awaiting a train to go to court in Yuma. A battle of wills ensues as the outlaw tries to psych out the rancher.

19. Insomnia (2002)

précis: A police detective goes to an Alaskan town to investigate the killing of a teenaged girl. The main suspect plays a psychological game of cat and mouse with him, jeopardising his own mental stability.

18. The Cowboys (1972)

précis: Rancher Wil Andersen is forced to hire inexperienced boys as cowhands in order to get his herd to market on time but the rough drive is full of dangers and a gang of cattle rustlers is trailing them.

17. The Great Gatsby (2013)

précis: Nick Carraway, a World War I veteran, shares his experience on being attracted to Gatsby and his flamboyant lifestyle.

16. V for Vendetta (2005)

précis: In a futuristic, totalitarian Britain, a freedom fighter known simply as V, uses terrorist tactics to fight the oppressive society. Evey aids him in his mission to bring down the fascist government.

15. The Sixth Sense (1999)

précis: Malcolm Crowe, child psychologist, starts treating a young boy who acts as a medium of communication between Crowe and a slew of unhappy spirits.

14. Get Carter (1971)

précis: When his brother dies under mysterious circumstances in a car accident, London gangster Jack Carter travels to Newcastle to investigate.

13. The Wild Bunch (1969)

précis: A troop of aging outlaws plot a grand heist, before they could retire from the criminal world. They ride into a Texas border town in order to rob a local railroad office.

12. The Veteran (2011)

précis: A soldier returns from Afghanistan and uncovers a conspiracy between the intelligence services and a gang of drug dealers. Watch out for the intense street shootout.

11. Léon: The Professional (1994)

précis: When 12-year-old Mathilda’s family is killed, her neighbour Leon, who is a professional assassin, reluctantly takes her under his wing and teaches her the secrets of his trade.

10. A Bittersweet Life (2005)

précis: A gangster starts a violent feud after he refuses to kill his boss’s cheating girlfriend.Don’t miss the 10 minute Nail-biting edge of the seat shootout scene.

9. Road to Perdition (2002)

précis: An assassin is on the run after his son witnesses a murder committed by his boss. He is torn between being loyal to his boss and saving his own child.

8. The Killer (1989)

précis: Jeffrey, a hitman, faces the ultimate betrayal from his employer when he decides to retire after one last job. He then joins forces with Inspector Lee to confront the gangsters who’re out to kill him. Do not miss the climax church shootout scene.

7. American Beauty (1999)

précis: Lester’s life seems perfect, having a respectable job and a family. But inside, he is slowly slipping into depression. Struggling with life, he gets infatuated to his daughter’s friend, Angela.

6. Gran Torino (2008)

précis: A war veteran decides to reform his neighbour who steals his most prized possession. He soon finds himself battling a group of gangsters.

5. Scarface (1983)

précis: Tony Montana and his close friend Manny, build a strong drug empire in Miami. However as his power begins to grow, so does his ego and his enemies, and his own paranoia begins to plague his empire.

4. Robocop (1987)

précis: In near-future Detroit, a cyborg named Robocop is created to cleanse the crimes. Unbelievable and stunning movie that came out in the 80s, even the remakes made now doesn’t come close to this masterpiece.

3. Boys Don’t Cry (1999)

précis: Teena Brandon, a young transgender, adopts a male identity and becomes romantically involved with Lana, a single mother. However, he lies to her about his troubled past and sex change.

2. The Departed (2006)

précis: An undercover agent and an espionage agent try to counter-attack each other in order to save themselves from being exposed in front of the authorities.

Close Contenders.

You see the character dying, assumed dead, etc but they are not shown on screen.

  • Carlito’s Way (1993)
  • In Bruges (2008)
  • Life is Beautiful (1997)
  • Cool Hand Luke (1967)
  • Layer Cake (2004)
  • The World According to Garp (1982)

1. To Live and Die in L.A. (1985)

précis: A fearless Secret Service agent will stop at nothing to bring down the counterfeiter who killed his partner. Watch out for an epic car chase scene in this movie, leaves you breathless.

End. Comments and criticisms are welcome.