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50 Movies Where The Main Character Dies

Titanic (1998)

The Movie: Titanic in name, titanic in nature, James Cameron's historical disaster flick sees poor boy Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) falling for rich girl Rose (Kate Winslet) aboard the doomed vessel.

The Deaths: Both Jack and Rose end up dead by the close of Cameron's flick - Jack as a young man, doomed to a watery grave, and Rose as an old woman, dreaming of her love as she dies.

How Shocking Is It? So shocking that people were caught openly weeping as they left the cinema - then going back for more.

Into The Wild (2007)

The Movie: Based on the autobiographical book by Jon Krakauer. Spoilt rich kid Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) graduates uni, donates all his savings to charity and decides to live in the wilds of Alaska.

The Death: After four months of seclusion, Christopher decides to head home, but finds himself isolated with no hope of rejoining civilisation. He eventually dies from malnutrition in his sleeping bag.

How Shocking Is It? It's more desperately sad than all-out shocking - though Hirsch's transformation is enough to seriously concern.

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

The Movie: Musical extravaganza in which starry-eyed poet Christian (Ewan McGregor) falls madly in love with dancer Satine (Nicole Kidman), unaware that she's terminally ill with tuberculosis.

The Death: "The greatest thing you'll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return." Satine sings Christian a love song. It's the last thing she does. When the curtains close, she dies.

How Shocking Is It? We're told at the beginning that Satine is going to die, so not particularly.

Seven Pounds (2008)

The Movie: An "extraordinary story" (according to the tagline) in which Tim Thomas (Will Smith) makes it his mission to change the lives of seven strangers for the better after killing seven people in a car crash.

The Death: Tim climbs into the bath with a deadly jellyfish, which kills him quickly - if not painfully.

How Shocking Is It? It's a weird way to go, to say the least - we definitely didn't see that coming.

The Prestige (2006)

The Movie: Warring stage magicians Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) and Alfred Borden (Christian Bale) attempt to outshine each other with increasingly mind-boggling shows.

The Death: It all becomes clear as a mortally-wounded Angier discovers that Borden is actually a pair of twins. He dies with that knowledge, though, having been shot by one of the brothers. Meanwhile, his tanks full of clones all drown.

How Shocking Is It? The death itself is somewhat overshadowed by what is a great final twist.

V For Vendetta (2005)

The Movie: Wachowski-produced adaptation of Alan Moore's dystopian graphic novel. In the near-future, freedom fighter V (Hugo Weaving) plans to bring down the UK's fascist regime with acts of terrorism.

The Death: After a stand-off with police chief Creevey, V is shot and mortally wounded, staggering back to thank Evey (Natalie Portman) before he finally dies. His corpse is sent into the Houses of Parliament alongside the explosive devices that will destroy them.

How Shocking Is It? It's more poetic than shocking - even though he's died, V lives on in the people, who don his signature mask.

Burn After Reading (2008)

The Movie: Black comedy from the Coen brothers. Personal trainers Chad Feldheimer (Brad Pitt) and Linda Litzke (Frances McDormand) discover governmental records and decide to bribe Osbourne Cox (John Malkovich).

The Death: While hiding in a closet, Chad is shot and killed by a surprised Harry Pfarrer (George Clooney). SPLAT. No more Chad.

How Shocking Is It? It's one of the most unexpected (and bloody) deaths ever. Not only is Brad Pitt killed, he's killed by buddy George Clooney!

Cloverfield (2008)

The Movie: A found-footage spin on Godzilla in which a group of New Yorkers attempt to escape the clutches of a giant monster that's tearing their city apart.

The Death: Well, we presume they're dead. Rob (Michael Stahl-David) and Beth (Odette Yustman) are caught in the path of another bomb as it detonates, and all we hear is screaming.

How Shocking Is It?
Matt Reeves expertly ups the stakes over the course of the film to such a degree that it becomes clear quite quickly that nobody's going to get out of this alive. In that sense, then, it's not hugely shocking.

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)

The Movie: Third film in the X-franchise. Jean Grey (Famke Janssen) unexpectedly returns after supposedly dying in X2, but she's evolved into the Dark Phoenix, a formidable weapon that Magneto (Ian McKellen) hopes to exploit.

The Death: During the film's standout action sequence, Dark Phoenix is responsible for killing Professor X (Charles Xavier) by using her powers to levitate and then obliterate him. Yes, Professor X!

How Shocking Is It?
This couldn't be more shocking if Phoenix had dispatched with Wolverine himself.

Philadelphia (1993)

The Movie: Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) fights back against the corporate law form who are his former employees when he believes he's been fired for contracting AIDS.

The Death: After winning his case (and receiving damages of $5m), Andrew passes away quietly.

How Shocking Is It? Not as shocking as the way Andrew's treated throughout most of the film - there's more an inherent sadness to his passing than any real shock factor.