The loner with a score to settle who breaks ALL the rules...that's our kind of movie vigilante! Here is our list of the top twelve. And just to be clear, we know there are a ton of movie bad***es out there, but we've left off comic book vigilantes, groups of vigilantes, and video game vigilantes to focus on those "regular"-type individuals with revenge at heart...so now...who you lookin' at?
By John Halecky
Mel Gibson in Edge of Darkness (2010)
Mel is the latest 'cop-gone-rogue' vigilante as he investigates his daughter's murder in Edge of Darkness. Gibson's return to the big screen comes 7 years after his last role in the comedy/musical/murder mystery The Singing Detective. You've come a long way, Mel, and we're glad to have you back!
Michael Caine in Harry Brown (2010)
Who says old men should retire quietly?! Caine plays an elderly ex-serviceman who avenges his best friend's murder by a group of young street punks. Judging from the trailer, you don't want to mess with the Caine!
Liam Neeson in Taken (2008)
One of the biggest box office hits of 2008 was this action-filled vigilante tale of a man trying to rescue his daughter from a ring of middle eastern sex slave traders. It helps when the hero in question used to be a secret service operative.
Jodie Foster in The Brave One (2007)
Not all vigilantes are men. After a group of guys assault her and kill her fiance while she and her man are walking their dog one night in Central Park, Foster's character buys an illegal gun and takes ultimate revenge on them.
Kevin Bacon in Death Sentence (2007)
Bacon plays a mild mannered family man who goes over the edge when his son is killed in a gang initiation ritual. He must then protect his family from the rest of the gang. We're sure he'll cut '(Foot)loose' on them!
Denzel Washington in Man on Fire (2004)
When a Mexican gang kidnaps the young girl he's hired to protect, Denzel's ex-CIA/assassin vows to kill each one responsible for the kidnapping. Denzel's aces as a vigilante on a mission who'll let nothing stand in his way.
Uma Thurman in Kill Bill series (2003, 2004)
Quentin Tarantino's Kill Bill Volumes 1 & 2 showcase Thurman's talents with swords, guns and her bare-knuckle fists as a bride left (for dead) at the altar seeking revenge on the ones who left her there.
Mel Gibson in Payback (1999)
The title says it all in this 1999 remake of the original 1967 Point Blank starring Lee Marvin. Gibson plays Porter, a small-time robber who gets double-crossed by his wife and best friend who shoot him and leave him for dead. Bad idea!
Jean Reno in The Professional (1994)
Also known as Leon, Reno is a professional assassin who takes in a young girl after her family is brutally murdered. She wants him to teach her his skills so she can have her revenge.
Fun Fact: This was Natalie Portman's motion picture debut at age 11.
Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979)
Best known as the movie that introduced Mel Gibson to the world, Gibson is a policeman who turns into 'Mad Max, the road warrior' after his wife and son are killed in this apocalyptic actioner.
Charles Bronson in Death Wish (1974)
One of the first everyman vigilantes who wasn't an ex-cop or a CIA assassin, Bronson's Paul Kersey is a New York City architect who goes out and kills the muggers responsible for his wife's murder. The film went on to spawn four sequels.
Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry (1971)
"Go ahead, make my day." Clint Eastwood as police inspector 'Dirty' Harry Callahan uttered this famous phrase in 1983's Sudden Impact, but it all started in the 1971 original. Probably the best known movie vigilante, Dirty Harry can always be counted on to dispense justice...proper procedure be damned!
Which vigilantes did we forget about? Leave a comment below and let us know!