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50 Greatest Movie Assassination Scenes

Crying Freeman (1995)

The Assassination : A Freeman and his assistant Koh (Byron Mann) take out Shido Shimazaki (Mako) outside a Vancouver precinct.

There are exploding cars and lots of guns .

Why It's Great: It’s all about the duck and roll…

Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind (2003)

The Assassination: Game show host and CIA assassin Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) discovers that Patricia (Julia Roberts) is the mole, and plays a game of cup-switching in order to kill her .

Why It's Great: The fact that Barris bothers to pretend he’s been poisoned is a genius turn, giving him time to let Patricia confess everything.

Wanted (2008)

The Assassination: Who wants to see a guy jump a really, really long way?

That’s what you get in this tongue-in-cheek, deliriously OTT assassination scene, in which Mr X (David O’Hara) leaps from one building to another to take down the hitmen that are gunning for him.

Why It's Great: It’s completely and utterly outrageous, revelling in its comic book roots.

Smokin Aces (2006)

The Assassination: Mercenary Pasquale Acosta (Nestor Carbonell) poses as a lift operator in order to take down Donald Carruthers (Ray Liotta).

Which results in a close-range shoot-out .

Why It's Great: The shot of Pasquale’s face reflected in the elevator door is great – Carruthers knows he’s up to something, but it’s impossible read. Until it’s too late.

Bangkok Dangerous (1999)

The Assassination: Deaf-mute assassin Kong (Pawalit Mongkolpisit) hides on a rooftop in order to carry out a job.

Meanwhile, a little girl playing across the street watches his every movement and decides to join in .

Why It's Great: The intense super-close-ups ramp up the tension brilliantly.

Sweat sliding down a cheek. Bullets being loaded. An eye exploding…

The Mechanic (1972)

The Assassination: Assassination from beyond the grave as Bishop (Charles Bronson) sets a booby trap for Steve (Jan Michael Vincent).

“Steve, if you're reading this it means I didn't make it back. It also means you've broken a filament controlling a 13-second delay trigger. End of game. Bang! You're dead…”

Why It's Great: This must be the only assassination a hitman’s ever pulled off despite being dead.


Bananas (1971)

The Assassination: “It’s over! It’s all over for el presidente!”

A news reporter narrates as fictional president of the ‘banana republic’ of San Marcos is shot. That doesn’t stop crowds of jubilant people gathering around his fallen body, though.

Why It's Great: “Could you people let me through, this is American television.” It’s all gloriously tongue in cheek – just as you’d expect from Woody Allen.

Zoolander (2001)

The Assassination: Alright, nobody actually gets assassinated in this scene, but it’s still worthy of inclusion for the sheer genius of its idea.

Ex-hand model Prewitt (David Duchovny) takes Zoolander (Ben Stiller) and Matlida (Christine Taylor) on a tour of a graveyard to explain how models were behind every assassination in history . Ever.

Why It's Great: It’s just silly.

Infectiously, hilariously, ridiculously silly.

Road To Perdition (2002)

The Assassination: “I’m glad it’s you,” says Mr Rooney (Paul Newman), as assassin Michael (Tom Hanks) gets his revenge in the rain .

Why It's Great: It’s moody as heck, soaked in a mizzling drizzle, Thomas Newman’s score gently insinuating something big is about to happen.

Then the flashes of gunfire come without the sound of bullets…

Inglourious Basterds (2009)

The Assassination: Adolf Hitler (Martin Wuttke) and a selection of his Nazi followers are trapped in a cinema by Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent).

Though she already lies dead, Marcel (Jacky Ido) proceeds to burn the place to the ground.

Why It's Great: It’s revisionist history of the most explosive kind.