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17 Coolest Movies with Hitmen and Assassins, Ranked

Moviegoers across the world can’t get enough of edgy action flicks, and many of these blood-pumping pictures feature thrilling and compelling hitmen and assassins. The cinema trope has been utilized and implemented for decades, with memorable and electrifying results. These films keep audiences on the edge of their seats and continue to captivate and rivet fans; some of Hollywood’s most famous and beloved creations depict these deadly assassins in all their gritty glory. In recent years, it appears the genre has found a resurgence in popularity, with action stars like Keanu Reeves, Jason Statham, and Matt Damon all breathing new life into the provocative style of storytelling.

Whether illustrating a ruthless and calculating hitman in the Coen Brothers’ Oscar-winning film No Country for Old Men or a bored married couple who just so happen to be competing assassins in the box-office hit Mr. and Mrs. Smith, some of the greatest and most exciting flicks feature these deadly killers. The edgy and innovative Quentin Tarantino has adopted this trope for his groundbreaking films countless times, most notably in the iconic 1994 black comedy crime classic Pulp Fiction and 2003 martial arts staple Kill Bill. Even John Cusack played a hitman (in one of his funniest and sexiest performances) in Grosse Pointe Blank. These are some of the coolest movies with hitmen and assassins.
Updated August 28th, 2023 by Darren Gigool: If you’re a fan of exhilarating movies about savvy assassins, then you’ll be happy to know this article has been updated with additional content and films.

17 Hanna (2011)

Saoirse Ronan in Hanna

Focus FeaturesUniversal Pictures 

In the frosty terrains of Europe, this movie tells a story of a young girl, meticulously trained by her father to be an assassin. Hanna narrates a compelling odyssey of an assassin, contrasting her youth with the world’s ruthlessness.
Saoirse Ronan’s portrayal has a mesmerizing quality that gets the audience emotionally invested in her, signifying a gripping storyline and an enticing evolution in the character’s cinematic journey. On top of the exfiltrating action thriller elements, the Chemical Brothers’ score pulse pundingly pushes the narrative forward, charging Hanna’s expedition and journey with dynamism.

16 Leon: The Professional (1994)

Natalie Portman and Jean Reno in Léon: The Professional (1994) Gaumont Buena Vista International

Amidst the rugged avenues of New York City, an unexpected camaraderie blossoms in Leon: The Professional. A seasoned hitman discovers an affinity for a child, orphaned by an assassin’s bullet. Luc Besson creates a narrative that oscillates between juvenile purity and the grim realm of hired killers.
Elevated by the action-packed training sequences is the bond between Leon and Mathilda, juxtaposing Jean Reno’s stern demeanor with Natalie Portman’s nascent luminance and brilliance on her debut. This movie bestows the assassin niche with seldom-seen soulful depth, taking it beyond your run-of-the-mill hitman flick.

15 In Bruges (2008)

Brendan Gleeson and Colin Farrell in In Bruges (2008) Focus Features Universal Pictures

Picturesque Bruges becomes the sanctuary for two hitmen after a botched London assignment. The duo find solace in this medieval Belgian town. However, subverted is the usual crime narrative with a dark comedic touch, creating a riveting blend of intensity and lightness.
Stunning canals and age-old buildings provide the setting for heart-rending scenes. Towering above all is the thrilling tower showdown, set against the myriad of whimsical encounters in the city, emphasizing Bruges as both sanctuary and battlefield. Displaying immense range were its lead actors. Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson masterfully tread between comedic elements and somber undertones, shaping characters that are simultaneously imperfect and profoundly human.

14 La Femme Nikita (1990)

A scene from Nikita (1990) GaumontPenta Distribuzione

Nikita dives into the story of a young woman’s rocky journey to salvation. This turbulent individual is handed a grim choice: serve as a state assassin or spend your entire life in prison after being convicted of murder. Even after commencing her transformation from a narcotics-afflicted miscreant to a clandestine professional, her dark history always casts a long shadow throughout the film creating moments of suspense that have audiences on the edge of their seats.
Memorable moments, such as the dramatic restaurant firefight, showcase the film’s exemplary craftsmanship, melding tension with raw brutality. With Nikita, Luc Besson demonstrated his knack for curating visually breathtaking, adrenaline-fueled cinematic pieces. Delivering an unfiltered and compelling performance as the troubled Nikita is Anne Parillaud, her stunning portrayal of a female assassin elevated the film’s prominence and laid a foundation for women in future hitman-genre movies.

13 Road to Perdition (2002)

A scene from Road to Perdition (2002) DreamWorks Pictures 20th Century Fox

Under the Great Depression’s looming gloom, a retribution-driven narrative unravels in Road to Perdition. Tom Hanks, enmeshed in mafia politics, traverses a realm where vendettas and kinship intertwine. Seeking vengeance, he and his son embark to confront and kill a mob kingpin responsible for murdering their family.
The nuanced portrayal of paternal bonds is magnetic, illustrating the extent people go for their families. More than mere mob drama, the film epitomizes kinship above and against a lawless panorama, all of this unravels against a visually stunning historical backdrop of the early 1930s.
Related: Every Tom Hanks Crime Thriller, Ranked

12 No Country for Old Men (2007)

A scene from No Country For Old Men (2007) Miramax FilmsParamount Pictures

Esteemed filmmakers Joel and Ethan Coen wrote and directed the 2007 neo-Western crime thriller No Country for Old Men, which centers on three main characters with interconnecting stories. A Vietnam War veteran and hunter stumble upon a drug deal gone wrong and over two million dollars; a violent and ruthless hitman is tasked with recovering the stolen money, and the local sheriff is investigating the crime.
The film is based on Cormac McCarthy’s dark novel and stars Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones, and Javier Bardem as the hitman devoid of remorse and compassion, who won the Academy Award, Golden Globe and British Academy Film Award for his chilling and engrossing performance. Hitman Anton Chigurh is practically the embodiment of evil.

11 Collateral (2004)

Tom Cruise in Collateral (2004) DreamWorks PicturesParamount Pictures

Action legend Tom Cruise said goodbye to his good guy persona when he took on the role of a lethal hitman in Michael Mann’s 2004 neo-noir action thriller Collateral, embracing the villainous role as the chilling assassin Vincent, who forces a Los Angeles taxi driver (Jamie Foxx) to drive him around to conduct a killing spree. The film’s writer, Stuart Beattie, was inspired to pen the script after taking a Sidney taxi home from the airport and imagined what it would be like if a homicidal, deranged maniac was lurking in the back seat and what a driver might do.
To prepare for the against-type role, Cruise secretly worked as a FedEx delivery driver and attempted to see if he could go undetected by his customers and remain incognito. Collateral was a massive critical and commercial hit, with the performances of Cruise and Foxx being raved about; Foxx earned an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor for his gripping portrayal. The thriller allowed both actors to showcase a different side and take on roles that demonstrated their stellar range as performers.

10 The Mechanic (2011)

Jason Statham in The Mechanic (2011) CBS Films

The talented Jason Statham has been widely praised for leading a resurgence of action films in the 2000s and 2010s, having headlined countless projects that showcase his martial arts and hand-to-hand combat skills. For the 2011 action thriller The Mechanic, he portrays Arthur Bishop, a professional assassin who specializes in making his hits look like accidents, suicides, or the acts of petty criminals.
When his close friend and mentor is brutally murdered, Bishop vows revenge and teams up with the man’s son to track down the killers. Co-starring Donald Sutherland and Ben Foster, The Mechanic features impressive action sequences, and Statham as the antihero audiences can’t help but root for. A successful sequel, Mechanic: Resurrection, was released in 2016.

9 Kill Bill: Volume 1 (2003)

Uma Thurman holding a sword in Kill Bill Volume 1 (2003) Miramax Films

The master of stylized violence Quentin Tarantino wrote and directed the 2003 martial arts spectacular Kill Bill: Volume 1, which stars Uma Thurman as the Bride, who swears revenge on a team of assassins and their leader after they attempt to kill her and her unborn child. She ultimately finds herself in Tokyo, where she battles against the yakuza. With an impressive supporting cast including David Carradine, Lucy Liu, and Vivica A. Fox, Kill Bill was inspired by grindhouse films that played in cheap U.S. theaters during the 1970s, such as samurai cinema and spaghetti westerns.
According to the visionary director, the most difficult part of making the martial arts flick was “trying to take me to a different place as a filmmaker and throw my hat in the ring with other great action directors.” Kill Bill: Volume 1 dominated at the box office and was heralded by critics, who praised Tarantino for his technique, action sequences, and innate gift for storytelling. Kill Bill: Volume 2was released the following year with similar success.

8 Wanted (2008)

 A scene from Wanted (2008) Universal Pictures

The 2008 action thriller Wanted touts an impressive cast of Hollywood elite including James McAvoy, Morgan Freeman, and action badass Angelina Jolie. The film follows frustrated account manager Wesley Gibson who discovers he is the son of a professional assassin and decides to join the secret society himself. Wanted is based on the comic book of the same name and was brought to the big screen by director Timur Bekmambetov, who was approached to helm the picture due to his unique and distinct visual style.
On what attracted him to the picture, he said, “It’s a comedy, a tragedy, a drama, a melodrama. Every scene, we change genres and that’s why our movie is different.” Angelina Jolie’s character Fox is a pro-assassin and accomplished member of the secret society, and mentors Wesley on how to become a hitman. Wanted was praised for its stylized action sequences and fast pacing, and grossed over $340 million.
Related: Best James McAvoy Movies, Ranked

7 Sicario (2015)

Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro and other FBI agents with guns in 2015 movie Sicario Lionsgate

Denis Villeneuve’s gritty 2015 action thriller Sicario follows an idealistic FBI agent who is enlisted by a government task force to bring down the leader of a vicious and powerful Mexican drug cartel. Emily Blunt stars as Special agent Kate Macer, who teams up with CIA Covert Operative Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and Alejandro Gillick (an astounding Benicio del Toro), a former Mexican prosecutor turned assassin.
The border drama’s name Sicario is the Spanish word for “hitman” itself, and its screenplay was written by Taylor Sheridan as the first installment in his neo-western trilogy exploring crime on “the modern-day American frontier.” Sicario was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, earning acclaim for its riveting screenplay, cinematography, direction, and performances by Blunt and del Toro. A follow-up, Sicario: Day of the Soldado, debuted in 2018 and a third sequel is currently in the works.

6 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

A scene from Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005) 20th Century Fox

Hollywood heavy-hitters and former “It Couple” Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie famously appeared in the 2005 romantic action film Mr. & Mrs. Smith, portraying a bored married couple who are surprised to learn they are assassins belonging to competing agencies, and that they have been tasked with killing one another. The action flick was notorious for establishing Pitt and Jolie’s relationship, with the stars’ chemistry being lauded.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the assassin-themed film was a knockout with moviegoers, earning over $480 million at the box office. A TV series reboot based on the original film, starring Donald Glover is also set to hit Amazon Prime Video in late 2023.

5 The Bourne Identity (2002)

Matt Damon in The Bourne Identity (2002) Universal Pictures

The Oscar-winning and dynamite performer Matt Damon leads the 2002 action-thriller The Bourne Identity, appearing as Jason Bourne, a man suffering from psychogenic amnesia attempting to discover his identity while being lethally pursued by assassins. Bourne realizes he has extraordinary talents in combat, self-defense, and linguistic skills, and slowly begins to realize he is a U.S. Army soldier and CIA assassin himself.
For the role, Damon insisted on performing many of the stunts himself and underwent three months of extensive training in stunt work, learning to use weapons, boxing, and eskrima (or arnis, a form of fencing). The actor was initially skeptical of the film’s financial prospects and was jobless for six months before being cast, yet his doubts would be proven wrong. The Bourne Identity was both a critical and commercial smash hit, kicking off theJason Bourne franchise that would ultimately lead to four highly lucrative sequels.

4 The Killer (1989)

A scene from The Killer (1989) Golden Princess Film Production 

Touted as one of the greatest and most influential action films of all time, John Woo’s 1989 Hong Kong action thriller The Killer stars Chow Yun-fat as a seasoned but weary hitman who decides to take on one final job before retiring in hopes of paying for a medical procedure for a kind-hearted nightclub singer. Plagued by guilt due to the accidental role he played in the young woman’s vision getting damaged, Ah Jong sets out to make it right but finds the noble action complicated when he attracts the unwanted attention of other deadly assassins and a ruthless police detective.
Woo wanted to create a film that represented both honor and friendship and set out to tell a story of two men with opposite moral compasses who join forces for the greater good; he viewed the thriller as a “romantic poem” and sought to “find out if there is something common between two people.” The Killer has been lauded by film scholars, critics, and audiences alike, and has had a profound impact on both Asian and Western cinema.

3 John Wick (2014)

A scene from John Wick (2014) Summit Entertainment

Acting chameleon Keanu Reeves headlines the 2014 neo-noir action thriller John Wick, which follows the former hitman who is forced back into the criminal underworld he abandoned after his vintage car is stolen and his beloved puppy is murdered. On portraying the character that revitalized his long-lasting career, Reeves once expressed, “When we first see him, he’s a guy grieving for his lost wife. But it turns out he has lived in two worlds: one in which he’s a happily married man and one in which he’s an assassin. He has tried to bury his past, but without his wife, he is lost.”
For the mega-hit action flick, Reeves spent four months learning Judo, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and Japanese ju-jitsu and showed off his skills in epic combat scenes that were thrilling for audiences. The actor’s brilliant performance and financial success of John Wick led to it becoming a beloved and fruitful franchise, with John Wick: Chapter 4 dominating the box office upon its March 24, 2023 release.
Related: Best Keanu Reeves Movies, Ranked

2 Le Samouraï (1967)

A scene from Le Samouraï (1967) S.N. ProdisFida Cinematografica

Alain Delon portrays a stoic and meticulous assassin who after being double-crossed by the crime bosses who hired him must out-maneuver both the dangerous criminals and police in the 1967 neo-noir crime thriller Le Samouraï. Jean-Pierre Melville directed and co-wrote the riveting screenplay for the picture, and the filmmaker specifically wrote the role for Delon; the French cinema icon frequently collaborated with Melville and the duo experienced widespread success with their projects.
Le Samouraï had a vast influence on both the film industry and its many creative minds, with the aforementioned Hong Kong thriller The Killer directly drawing inspiration from the former’s plot as well as other celebrated hits like The American, Drive, and Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. The film currently holds a highly-coveted 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and landed on Empire’s list of “The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema.”

1 Pulp Fiction (1994)

Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction (1994) Miramax Films

The always entertaining and charismatic John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson famously portrayed hitmen Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 black comedy crime masterpiece Pulp Fiction. The critically-acclaimed picture centers on the lives of the two mob assassins while intertwining with three other plots revolving around a boxer, a gangster, and his wife, and a pair of diner bandits.
Pulp Fiction won the Palme d’Or at the 1994 Cannes Film Festival (which upset many fans of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s nominated film, Red) and premiered to rave reviews, with many considering it a cultural watershed, influencing countless films and media that adopted elements of its style. The dark comedy has appeared on numerous critics’ lists of the greatest films ever made, with Entertainment Weekly writing, “Tarantino’s dialogue, with its densely propulsive, almost lawyerly fervor, its peppery comic blend of literacy and funk, has more snap and fight than most directors’ action scenes.” For their iconic portrayals of the fascinating and bickering hitmen, both Travolta and Jackson received Academy Award nominations.

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‘I am officially off the market’: When Margot Robbie revealed she made the ‘conscious’ decision of not dating actors

Margot Robbie revealed her decision to not date actors because of the media scrutiny that came with a public relationship of two high-profile actors
Back in 2015, A-lister Margot Robbie made a declaration that she would not be dating any actors. The actress may have alluded to her fiance Tom Ackerley, who she married the following year in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that being in a relationship as an actor herself came with its own set of challenges. She believed that dating someone who was popular would add on to the media scrutiny.

Margot Robbie opened up on why she made a conscious decision to not date actorsTalking to Marie Claire, she claimed, “I am officially off the market.” She then shared the reasoning behind her decision and added, “I made a conscious decision not to date actors.” She continued to explain, “But not because I hate actors. That’s a nasty generalization to make, and that’s not the case. People take such an interest in your love life when you have a profile, it puts a lot of stress on a relationship.”
The Barbie actress continued, “So two people with profiles, I figure it’s just double the amount of scrutiny, and I’d like to avoid that at all costs.” This came after reports of her locking lips with Tarzan co-star Alexander Skarsgard started making rounds. It was reported that she was caught kissing the actor during the Sundance Film Festival.

Margot Robbie revealed she opted for a minimal lifestyle even after becoming an actorIn the interview, Robbie also opened up about how she was adapting to fame. She shared, “I have a normal 24-year-old life. If I were a waitress, I’d probably have the exact same lifestyle. I’d go to the same clubs I go to already, live in the same house with the same housemates, hang out with the same people.”
However, Margot Robbie tied the knot with Tom Ackerley who is an English producer and actor. The duo met on the sets of 2013 movie Suite Francaise where Tom was working as an assistant director. Post marriage, both of them launched their production company LuckyChap Entertainment.

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Monica Bellucci and Tin Burton at lunch in the restaurant in Selci Lama

For All Saints’ Day, the Hollywood star from Tiferno returned to his native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and then visit his parentsOn the occasion of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the Hollywood star of Tiferno origin, Monica Bellucci, returned to her native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and to visit her father Pasquale and her mother Brunella.Flanked by her current partner Tim Burton, she went to lunch, together with about twenty old friends, at the Osteria del Musicista, which has always been her favorite restaurant, in Selci Lama.Menu dedicated to typical dishes of the area, which includes an appetizer with breadsticks lined with coppa, duck in porchetta and grilled pork livers, polenta with wild boar sauce accompanied by the very typical cappelletti in broth.To conclude, a dessert based on fried “ciaccia” with Nutella and roasted chestnuts.
Having paid the bill and greeted the restaurant owner and lifelong friend, Roberto Polchi, Monica brought home cappelletti and broth for a family dinner.

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‘Rocky’ Was Quite Different In His Original Screenplay, Sylvester Stallone Claims

Sylvester Stallone took his friend’s advice on a rewrite of the original screenplay to Rocky. A few tweaks later, he was on his way to major success.
In the new Netflix documentary Sly, Stallone discussed how he initially conceived of the project, which had a much harder edge. In the early version, Rocky was depicted as a “thuggish” character, inspired by Martin Scorsese’s crime drama, Mean Streets.

But Stallone’s perspective changed when a friend read the script and thought the boxer was too cruel for audiences to actually care about him.
Stallone recalled her crying.

“She goes, ‘I hate Rocky. I hate him. He’s cruel. He hits people. He beats them up.’”
Stallone took it to heart, and asked what he could do to soften the character.

“I said, ‘what if you stop short of it?’ Like, maybe he almost did. He could have, that’s his job, but he doesn’t?’ ‘That’d be nice,’” he added. “I said, ‘What if he had a girlfriend or something?’ ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’ So I go back, start writing that: ‘Girlfriend. Nice.’”
$117 million in box office later, a franchise was born.

Stallone also revealed that actor Dolph Lundgren sent him to the hospital during one fight scene in Rocky IV.
“Dolph Lundgren… he pulverized me,” Stallone says in the documentary. “Later that night, my heart started to swell—which happens when the heart hits the chest—and then my blood pressure went up to 260, and they thought I was going to be talking to angels. Next thing I know, I’m in intensive care, where I’m surrounded by nuns, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s curtains.’”
Stallone was in the hospital for nine days following the incident, praying for “one more round.”
“For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all,” Stallone told Lundgren. The Swedish actor joked in a separate interview that all he did was “obey orders,” explaining, “[Stallone] was the boss. I did what he told me.”
Doctors allegedly told Stallone that he received a blow to the ribs that made his heart rattle around in his ribcage, a condition typically seen in head-on collisions. “I did hit a bus, of sorts,” Stallone joked.

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