50 Greatest Movie Antiheroes

It's good to be bad

Oh Dae-su

The Antihero: The ultra-violent protagonist of Korean revenge flick Oldboy , Oh Dae-su is understandably peeved at being held in captivity for the last fifteen years. Now free, God help anyone who gets between him and his tormentors…

Effortless Cool: Nobody but nobody wields a claw hammer with more panache than Oh Dae-su…

Richard

The Antihero: Paddy Considine’s avenging angel of death in Shane Meadows’ grim drama Dead Man’s Shoes . Grieving for his lost brother, Richard becomes the worst nightmare of the bullying thugs in his home town.

Effortless Cool: The way he toys with the gang is utterly terrifying, but also kind of delicious. They’re not exactly charmers, are they?

Randal Graves

The Antihero: A customer-loathing, porn-loving video store attendant, and the undisputed star of Kevin Smith’s Clerks . At RST Video, the customer is always wrong.

Effortless Cool:
The languid way in which Randal places his order with the video supplier is a joy to behold. “Okay, I need one each of the following tapes: Whispers in the Wind , To Each His Own , Put It Where It Doesn't Belong , My Pipes Need Cleaning " etc. etc.

Chev Chelios

The Antihero: A criminal by trade, Chelios sets about picking fights with anyone he can find in order to keep his adrenaline pumping. And then there’s the unpleasant business of his proclivity for al fresco sex…

Effortless Cool: Oh, make no mistake, there’s a lot of effort involved. Keeping that adrenaline pumping is a 24/7 job.

Eric Draven

The Antihero: An undead rock star, revived from the grave in order to gain vengeance upon those who put him there. It doesn’t get much more badass than that!

Effortless Cool:
The Crow contained an utterly seminal performance from the late Brandon Lee, which goes some way towards explaining why fans are so resistant to the proposed remake. Particularly when Bradley Cooper is being slated as a possible replacement…

Mickey & Mallory Knox

The Antiheroes: A pair of morally bankrupt degenerates who make their way across America, pointing their guns at anyone who crosses their path. But they do love each other, which is sweet…

Effortless Cool: Woody Harrelson has never looked cooler than when sporting Mickey’s circular glasses and brandishing a firearm. Not even in Zombieland .

Terrence McDonagh

The Antihero: Nic Cage stars as the titular Bad Lieutenant, a drug-snorting wreck of a man who puts the force into law enforcement.

Effortless Cool:
He’s more terrifying than cool. Put it this way, if you give him his drugs he’ll likely give you a free pass. Otherwise, he’ll do anything required to get hold of them.

Jack Sparrow

The Antihero: A rum-snaffling reprobate of the first order, Sparrow would feed his grandmother to a crocodile if it would get him a ship with a willing crew. Still, you can’t help loving him can you? For the first few hours at least…

Effortless Cool:
So what if it’s basically a trumped-up impression of Keith Richards? It’s still charm personified.

Roger Swanson

The Antihero: Rodger Dodger ’s slippery ladies man, who takes young nephew Jesse Eisenberg under his wing for an informative and educational night on the tiles.

Effortless Cool:
It’s apparent from the off that Swanson is profoundly unhappy, but he does a pretty good job of masking it with a blitzkrieg of silver-tongued charm.

William Munny

The Antihero: Munny has been killing people all his life, but has at last hung his gun up in favour of a life of pig-farming. Then a prostitute gets her face slashed and all bets are off…

Effortless Cool: He doesn’t want to be there, but now that he is, he’ll make damn sure the job is done properly.

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