No doubt, everyone loves to watch someone satisfying their thirst for revenge. And, why not? It is fair enough to seek justice for your own in this hostile and unfair world. But this looks good only in movies and not in practical life. Most of the movies have plot twists due to the theme of revenge. This theme of revenge has won many entertainment fans, and this will continue to happen with all the upcoming generations. However, revenge might seem pretty cool in the movies, but this is not true in the case of reality. If everyone starts seeking revenge in real life, well, that would lead to a lot of chaos, if you could imagine. So, let this sweet and sour revenge story be limited to the world of movies only.
Best Revenge Movies
The theme of revenge is popular in most movie genres, whether it is horror, action, romance, sci-fiction, thriller or anything else. As a result, there are plenty of movies wherein the protagonist are shown seeking revenge and finally becoming the spotlight of the movie. There are many worth watching revenge movies which you should watch on your next movie night. And of course, don’t forget to carry your snacks with you.
Directed by Pierre Morel, Taken(2008) is an action-thriller film. Starring Liam Neeson as Bryan Mills, a retired CIA agent is shown tracking the Albanian human traffickers who had kidnapped his daughter while she went to France for her vacation. When the kidnappers called Bryan to ask for the ransom to get his daughter released safely, Bryan confidently rejected, saying he didn’t have money for the ransom. Still, he does have skills that he had acquired over his career. No doubt, a father will leave no stones unturned to save his daughter. Whosoever watches this movie only wish that the father succeeds in releasing his daughter safe from the kidnappers. This movie has a complete classic revenge plot. The movie was also followed by two sequels – Taken 2 and Taken 3, released in 2012 and 2014. The film was also nominated for the Saturn Award in the category of Best International Film. Moreover, many similar action films were released around the time while Taken was released.
John Wick (2014)
Directed by Chad Stahleski, John Wick (2014) is an American action-thriller film starring Keanu Reeves as John Wick. The movie revolves around John Wick, who tracked the men who broke into his house who had stolen his vintage car and killer the puppy, which was the last gift from his deceased wife. He is shown as a retired hitman, becoming an active agent in the desire for revenge. This film is must watch for those who love watching action films. The way Keanu Reeves is shown killing people with efficiency and style deserves to be appreciated. The character of brutal and intense John Wick has been relatable for the audience and earned many positive reviews. John Wick is a franchise that began in 2014, followed by two sequels, John Wick Chapter 2 and John Wick Chapter 3. Both of these sequels also gained a lot of While John Wick Chapter 4 will be released on 22 May 2022. This is known to be the best critical action sequel in the history of movies and had gained quite a massive success as well.
The Equalizer (2014)
Directed by Antoine Fuqua, The Equalizer (2014) is an American vigilante action film. The movie is starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz, David Harbour, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo. Washington is shown performing a vigilant role to seek the revenge from Russian mafia to protect a teenage prostitute named Alina. The film was released just a few years after Taken(2008). Moreover, it had been included in the few action genre films which have a Black main character. The critics praised this movie for its visual style, acting, direction and soundtrack. The sequel of this movie, Equalizer 2, was released in 2018. Both the movies gained massive success worldwide.
The Handmaiden (2016)
Directed by Park Chan-Wook, The Handmaiden (2016) is a South Korean erotic psychological thriller film. The film is starring Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-Woong. The movie revolves around Nam Sook-he ( Kim Tae-RI), a young woman hired to take care of the rich and beautiful Japanese heiress, Izumi Hideko ( Kim Min-hee). The twist in the whole plot comes when Nam Sook-hee gets another job of helping a greedy man named Count Fujiwara ( Ha Jung-woo) marry the Japanese heiress for her money and send her to the asylum. But Count Fujiwara and Hideko’s horrible uncle, Kouzuki ( Cho Jin-Woong), were unknown about Nam Sook-hee and Hideku getting close to each other. This movie was a non-stop game of revenge where four people played cleverly. The fantastic and interesting plot shows the two women planning revenge for the men trying to manipulate them.
Kill Bill (2003)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Kill Bill (2003): Volume 1 and Volume 2 are some of her most interesting and iconic creations. The movie is starring Uma Thurman as Beatrix Kiddo (Bride), who seeks revenge from assassins (Lucy Liu, Michael Madsen, Daryl Hannah, and Vivica A. Fox) and Bill (David Carradine), shown as their leader after they attempted to kill her and her unborn child. Uma Thurman is seen in her best form of martial arts action. No doubt, she has performed the role of best female action protagonist in both Kill Bill volumes. Uma Thurman has won awards, including the Best actress in 9th Empire awards, Best female performance, and Best fight in 61st Golden Globe awards. She had also received a nomination for Golden Globe Best Actress nomination in the year 2004.
Promising Young Woman (2020)
Directed by Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman (2020) is a recently released thriller film. It stars Carey Mulligan as Cassie Thomas, a medical school dropout seeking revenge for her best friend. The story revolves around the revenge for the rape of Cassie Thomas’s best friend, Nina Fisher, by Al Monroe ( Chris Lowell), eventually followed up by the death of Nina by suicide. To seek revenge from this traumatizing experience of Nina’s take, Cassie started pretending to get intoxicated at the bars and, after that, gets men along with her home. If someone tried to get her advantage, she turned on her revenge mission, and this is when she found out that her best friend’s rapist was getting married. Promising Young Woman is quite a thriller and a thoughtful movie as it makes is think about the rape culture. It makes us realize that taking a stand against the wrong is important, and we should not bear it no matter what. Moreover, this movie is also entertaining, and it doesn’t fail to take sweet revenge in the best way.
Lady Snow blood (1973)
Directed by Toshiya Fujita, Lady Snow Blood (1973) is a Japanese film. This film is grounded from the manga series of the similar name by Kazuo Koike and Kazuo Kamimura. The film revolves around Meiko Kaji as Yuki, who seeks revenge upon three men who brutally raped her mother and killed her father and brother. After attaining the age of 18, Yuki sets on to her only mission of tracking down the rapists and murderers who ruined her life. The film very well portrays the tragic life of Yuki and what she was going through. Moreover, Lady Snow Blood is no less than an inspiration for Kill Bill and Quentin Tarantino. The film also had a sequel Lady Snow Blood: Love song of vengeance, released in 1974.
The Count of Monte Cristo (2004)
Directed by Kevin Reynolds, The Count of Monte Cristo (2004) is an American historical adventure film based on the novel of the same name authored by Alexandre Dumas in 1844. This film has an ultimate vengeance plot twist. The movie starts with Jim Caviezel as Edmond Dantès, a second mate on a shipping vessel. He is shown to have a good friendship with Fernand Mondego, a representative of a shipping company. Jim is shown to be happily in love with his fiancé, Mercedès ( Dagmara Dominczyk). While both of the friends ( Edmond Dantès and Fernand Mondego) were travelling together on a shipping vessel, everything was fine. The movie took a twist when Dante started getting promotions and attention from influential figures. As a result, Mondego teamed up with J.F. Villefort (James Frain), who was manipulative. Both of them got Dante imprisoned in an island prison in Chateau d’lf.
Moreover, Mondego also convinced Jim’s finance that Jim had been executed and she needs to depend on him for her comfort and safety. But there comes Dante seeking his final revenge, which took 13 years to plan for. This movie is as interesting as it sounds to be.
Directed by Park Chan-Wook, Oldboy (2003) is a South Korean action thriller film. The movie is starring Choi Min-sikas Oh Dae-su, who had spent his 15 years of imprisonment in a cell that looked more like a hotel room. He didn’t have any idea about who is behind the kidnapping. While Dae-su is planning to escape, he was released strangely, and after that, he went on his way to find out the person responsible for his kidnapping. On his way, he met a young woman named Mi-do (Kang Hye-Jung), with whom he built a deep connection. Dae-su found himself trapped in a trap of conspiracy, romance and violence. This film also won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Oldboy is a must-watch for all movie fans. The old boy had been regarded as one of the best films in the category of neo-noir films. Choi Min-Sik had also won the Asian Pacific Film Festival award in the category of Best Actor.
Mean Girls (2004)
Directed by Mark Waters, Mean Girls (2004) is an American teen comedy film that stars Lindsay Lohan, Rachel McAdams, Tim Meadows, Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler and Fey. Even though it is a teen movie, revenge plays a key role herein too. Mean Girls is the best movie in the category of teen revenge theme. The movie stars Lindsay Lohan as Cady Heron, a 16-year-old teenage girl who came to the world of public school after spending most of her life homeschooling and travelling. The story revolves around the intense bullying by a group of girls named “Plastic” headed by Queen bee Regina George (Rachel McAdams). Cady is shown teaming up with the two outcasts, Janis Ian (Lizzy Caplan) and Damian Leigh (Daniel Franzese), to avenge Regina and others for bullying.
Blue Ruin (2013)
Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, Blue Ruin (2003) is an American thriller film. The movie stars Macon Blair as Dwight Evans, whose parents died twenty years ago. The movie portrays how Evans was emotionally drained after his parent’s death. His life worsened when his parent’s killer, Wade Cleland, was let out of prison. Since Evans had no reason to live, he set on his mission of tracking the killer and ended up killing him according to his plan. As a result, the whole Cleland family is against him. Blue Ruin is a violent and tense movie. The complicated and intense plot makes the movie more interesting as it could ever be. This movie also won the FIPRESCI prize while it was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.
Cape Fear (1991)
Directed by Martin Scorsese, Cape Fear (1991) is an American psychological thriller film. This film is a remake of a 1962 film with the identical name. This movie is, though, underrated, which it shouldn’t be. This movie stars Robert De Niro in his only chilled out roles. He is portrayed in the role of the convicted rapist as Max Cady. As soon as Cady is let out of his prison, he starts his journey of revenge upon the man due to whom he got imprisoned for fourteen long years, and that was his lawyer, Sam Bowden (Nick Nolte). Cady was disappointed with Sam as he kept some evidence hidden, which could have lessened the imprisonment time Cady. Though Sam did the right thing, this is unacceptable to Cady. Cady turned the tables on Sam and his family. He started making his laws to get Sam disbarred. The movie portrays how a rapist can go to any extent of being a psychopath. Cape Fear earned positive reviews from the viewers. The film also received nominations for Oscar and Golden Globe Award for De Niro being the best actor and Juliette Lewis as the best-supporting actress.
The Man from Nowhere (2010)
Lee Jeong-Beom’s The Man from Nowhere (2010) is a South Korean action thriller film. The movie stars Won Bin as Cha Tae-Sik, a reserved man who lived a simple life by running a pawnshop. His only joy in life was friendship with a little girl who lived in her neighbourhood, So-mi (Kim Sae-Ron). The little girl’s mother was a heroin addict, and she fell into trouble when she stole heroin from the bar where she worked. As a result, she started gaining attention from a crime lord, Myung-Gyu (Song Young-chang). The twist came in the movie when So-mi’s mother unknowingly kept the pawned bag of heroin with Tae-Sik, and unfortunately, it led to Tae-sik getting trapped in the situation. Tae-Sik escapes Myung-gyu with his extreme combat skills. Later on, Myung-Gyu and his men realized the only weakness of Tae-Sik, and that was the little girl, So-mi. So they kidnapped the girl forgetting about the Tae-sik skills. The movie portrays the strong heartfelt relationship between Tae-Sik and the little girl, So-mi, for whom he fought with everyone. The Man from Nowhere won many awards, including the Bull Film Award for Best music in 2019 and the Grand Bell Awards for Won Bin in the Best Actor and Popularity award.
Directed by Leigh Whannell, Upgrade (2018) is a science-fiction action film. Leigh Whannell was also the director of a famous 2020’s movie, The Invisible Man. The upgrade is a cyberpunk movie where the technology is much more advanced than it is now. The movie is starring Long Marshall-Green as Grey Trace, who is shown to be working as a mechanic who hates the control of technology in his society. But after his wife is killed in an attack, he got paralyzed down the neck, which changed his perspective of technology. Eron Keen (Harrison Gilbertson) was the former client of Grey, who had an experimental technology called STEM, which was a semi-sentient implant. It allowed Grey to walk again. This led to a technophobe like Grey, who was implanted with a chip to control his paralyzed body. Once this experimental technology started talking to Grey, it motivated him to take revenge which led to an overpowered rampage all around the city. Upgrade portrays the violent and dangerous results of advanced technology. It is a classic action movie for sure. The film director, Leigh Whannell, also won the SXSW film award in Audience award-Midnighters.
The Crow (1994)
Directed by Alex Proyas, The Crow (1994) is an American supernatural dark fantasy film. The film is quite successful as it was followed by a media franchise that includes three sequels and one television series. The movie is starring Brandon Lee as Eric Draven, who did quite a great job in his performance. The movie revolves around Eric, who was murdered and his fiancé on 30 October, which was known to be a Devil’s night. One year later, Eric was brought back to life by a crow which gave him the ability to take revenge upon the men responsible for his and his fiance’s death. The movie has a dark, vengeful and exciting story. This amazing movie might not have been released due to the death of Brandon Lee. But by that time, most of the scenes were already filmed by the actor, which finally led to this revengeful masterpiece getting released. This movie is dedicated to Brandon Lee and his fiancé, Eliza Hutton.
Gone Girl (2014)
Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl (2014) is an American psychological thriller film. This film is predicated on the novel of the equivalent name by Gillian Flynn. The movie is starring Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne and Ben Affleck as Nick Dunne. Amy is shown as a brilliant though the psychotic woman who built a picture-perfect life with Nick. But unfortunately, after few years, both of them lost their job, and they had to move from NYC to his hometown, Missouri, to look after his mom. Later on, Amy found that Nick is having an affair. Out of anger, Amy executed a plan to get Nick arrested and convicted for her murder. However, initially, Nick didn’t have any idea about what was happening. This movie is a revenge oriented movie where Amy’s performance had took over the show. Rosamund Pike received several nominations for Academy award, BAFTA award, Golden Globe award and Screen actors guild award for her performance as the Best actress.
Ocean’s Eleven (2001)
Directed by Steven Sorderbergh, Ocean’s Eleven (2001) is an American heist comedy film. The movie director also directed two sequels, Ocean’s Twelve in 2004 and Ocean’s Thirteen in 2007, thus completing the Oceans trilogy. The whole movie is centred around revenge. The movie is starring George Clooney as Danny Ocean, Terry Benedict as Andy Gracia, Elliot Gould as Reuben Tishkoff and Julia Robert as Tess. The story revolves around Danny, who had a job robbing a casino in Las Vegas, owned by a man named Terry Benedict. There is another story when it was found that Elliot was a former casino owner, and robbing the casino was quite a sweet revenge for him. Later on, Danny realized that his ex-wife, Tess was Benedict’s girlfriend, who was another personal story. Isn’t the movie too suspenseful to handle?
The Lady Eve (1941)
Directed by Preston Sturges, The Lady Eve (1941) is an American romantic comedy film. The movie stars Barbara Stanwyck as Jean Harrington and Henry Fonda as Charles Pike. Jean was a young woman who used to trap rich men for their money and her father, Colonel. Charles was one such rich heir whom Jean started to fall in love with. Later on, when Charles found out the history of Jean, he broke up with her. But, the story is not over for Jean yet. She reappeared in Charles’s life seeking revenge. She changed her name as Lady Eve. She changed her accent too, and soon, Charles started falling in love with her all over. However, Charles somewhere felt her resemblance to Jean, but he couldn’t believe that she could be Jean. So, Lady Eve continues to play her game of sweet revenge with Charles. The Lady Eve had already been on the Top-100 films of all times list. This movie was also nominated for Best Original Story for Monckton Hoffee in 14th Academy Awards. It was regarded as the culturally, historical and aesthetic significant movie.
Hard Candy (2005)
Directed by David Slade, Hard Candy (2005) is an American psychological thriller film. The movie stars Patrick Wilson as Jeff Kholver and Eliot Page as Hayley Stark. The story revolves around a photographer, Jeff, who gets connected with a 14-year-old girl, Hayley, online. Both of them met in person, and Jeff took Hayley to his home. While Jeff was unknown about Hayley, who had an experience in planning against the men, she was believed to be a rapist, murderer or pedophile. This led to Hayley trapping the sexual predator. The movie portrays an amazing performance by Hayley, who completely transformed from an innocent teenager to a strong and intelligent character. Jeff also did a great job in the villain role. Hard Candy also won awards, including three in the 2005 Sitges Film Festival and four at the Malaga Film Festival. Hayley Page also won the Best Actress award at the Austin Film Critics Association awards in 2006.
Directed by Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven (1992) is an American western film. The movie is starring an Eastwood character, William Munny, who was a retired outlaw and took care of two kids on his own. After years of farming, he agreed to accept the one last job offered by a young man, “The Kid”. He wanted the help of William Munny to track down the men who were responsible for injuring a sex worker in town in return for an award of $1000. William also asked for help from his old friend, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman). Three of them, William, Ned and the Kid, stood against the corrupt sheriff, Little Bill (Gene Hackman). Unforgiven is one of the best revenge films ever made. Unforgiven has won four academy awards for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor and Best Film editing. It was praised for the acting, editing, themes, directing and cinematography. This film was remade in 2013 with a similar name and a slight change in the setting.
Directed by Kimberley Peirce, Carrie (2013) is an American supernatural horror film. This movie depicts the first novel by Stephen King. It is starring Sissy Spacek as the main character. She is a teenage girl who is exploring the world of telekinesis. Her life as getting worse at school due to the mean kids who used to outcast her. Her life was terrible even at home due to her way too religious mother.
She desired revenge upon the kids who bullied her and made her life worse than ever. This led her to use her telekinesis power on a senior prom with a devastating effect. This movie is filled with horror and villains. The character of Carrie is quite relatable to the audience as she is just a 16-year-old girl who wanted to be loved and was unaware of the mean world. The movie had also won the Saturn award for the category of the best horror film.
The Nightingale (2018)
Directed by Jennifer Kent, The Nightingale (2018) is an American Western film. It was filmed mostly in English with few parts of Irish and Palawa Kani. The movie is starring Aisling Franciosi as Clare Carroll, Sam Claflin as Hawkins and Baykali Ganambarr as Billy. The movie revolved around the Irish woman, Clare, living in Tasmania and serving a cruel British man, Hawkins. Clare had a happy life with her husband and baby until her whole family lost the grip of her hands one night. This led Clare to seek revenge from the people who destroyed her family. The movie portrayed Clare as a strong and tough character who sought revenge for her family’s horrible violence. On her way of revenge, she also met Bill, who was a skilled Aboriginal tracker. He guided Clare along the wild Tasmanian bush to help her track the men who took away everything from her. The Nightingale is an intense, emotional and realistic horror movie. The Nightingale competed for the Golden Lion at the 75rh Venice International Film Festival, and it also won the Special Jury Prize.
The First Wives Club (1996)
Directed by Hugh Wilson, The First Wives Club (1996) is an American comedy film. The film is grounded on a novel by Olivia Goldsmith. The movie is a complete justice for three best friends who set on their mission to seek revenge from their ex-husbands. The movie is starring Diane Keaton as Annie, Bette Midler as Brenda and Goldie Hawn as Elise. Three of these friends reunited once again due to the death of a mutual friend. They realized that all of them were dealing with their ex-husbands who left them behind for younger women. After that, three of them united together as “The First Wives Club”. The movie is one of the best comedies of the ’90s with a fantastic combination of the lead actresses. Moreover, the film composer Marc Shaiman was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. Midler also received Satellite Award-nominated for her portrayal in the film.
I Saw the Devil (2010)
I Saw the Devil (2010) is a South Korean psychological action thriller film directed by Kim Jee-Woon. The movie is starring Lee Byung-hun as Kim Soo-Hyun and Choi Min-sikas Jang Kyung-Chul. The film portrays Kim Soo-Hyun as a NIS agent who sets on his path of revenge upon the psychopathic serial killer, Choi Min-Sik, who brutally murdered his fiancé. This film was screened at various other international film festivals, including the Fantasporto Film Festival, Sitges Film Festival, San Sebastian Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival and the London Korean Film Festival.
Django Unchained (2012)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino, Django Unchained (2012) is an American revisionist western film with a highly stylized tribute to the Spaghetti Westerns. The movie stars Jamie Foxx as the title character, Kerry Washington as Broomhilda, Leonardo DiCaprio as Calvin J.Candie and Christoph Waltz as Dr King Shultz. The movie revolves around Jamie, who is freed from slavery, and he had to return to free her wife, Broomhilda, from her spit, Calvin, with the help of Dr King Shultz. Jamie’s performance was an eye-catcher as he succeeded in his mission to save his wife from the slaver while he also saved other slaves on his way. Moreover, Waltz won awards for the Best supporting actor at the Academy Awards. Django Unchained received several awards as well as nominations at the 85th Academy Awards. The director of the film, Quentin Tarantino, also won the award for his screenplay.
Directed by Coralie Fargeat, Revenge (2017) is a vindictive action thriller film. This movie has a similar storyline to most of the movies, which revolves around the protagonist who gets raped and seeks revenge upon those responsible. Even though this plotline is quite a trend, there is something new to every movie. The movie is starring Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Guillaume Bouchede and Vincent Colombe. Revenge revolves around a young woman who was assaulted by three men in a desert and then, she was left there to die. As soon as she recovered, she had her eyes on revenge upon the men who assaulted her. This movie received praises and appreciation for Lutz’s performance.
Sweeney Todd (Demon Barber of Fleet Street) (2007)
Tim Burton, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007) is a musical slasher film. Sweeney Todd appeared first as the villain in a Victorian serial, The String of Pearls, as a fictional character. The movie is more like a musical version of The Count of Monte Cristo. It is a darker, bloodier horror film. The Sweeney Todd is grounded on the Tony Award-winning musical by Stephen Sondheim. The movie revolves around the title character (Depp), who had returned to Fleet Street in London from an exile to fulfil his desire for revenge upon the man who stole his wife and daughter. Todd became a murderer for the rest of London as he kept killing whosoever came to his barbershop. He finally killed Tupin, who was the judge who convicted him and destroyed his whole family. After that, along with the assistance of his partner in crime, Mrs Lovett (Bonham Carter), he built an elaborate scheme to dispose of the bodies he killed as the meat pieces in her store. This sounds too gross, right? Even though the plot is too dark, the music in the movie makes Todd appear as an extreme serial killer.