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50 Greatest Movie Assassination Scenes

Kill List (2011)

The Assassination: Ex-soldiers-turned-hitmen Jay (Neil Maskell) and Gal (Michael Smiley) kill a man who’s been making child pornography.

And they don’t spare him any cringes, taking a hammer to him in the kitchen.

Why It's Great: It’s unexpectedly, horrifically brutal.

One to watch through fingers.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

The Assassination: Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent Vega (John Travolta) confront Brett (Frank Whaley), who’s betrayed their boss, gangster Marsellus Wallace.

They talk. Then Brett gets shot.

Why It's Great: Only Tarantino could write an assassination scene that contains this much (glorious) dialogue.

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

The Assassination: Bourne (Matt Damon) attempts to help get Ross (Paddy Considine) safely through Waterloo Station, even though he’s being pursued by both the CIA and Blackbriar assassin Paz (Edgar Ramirez).

Why It's Great: The bustling London setting is awesome – and it proves that if you don’t follow Bourne’s instructions properly, you will end up dead.

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)

The Assassination: Hitman Martin (John Cusack) turns the tables on other hitman LaPoubelle (Benny Urquidez) when he attacks him at his high school reunion.

After an epic fight in a hallway, Martin gets the upper hand and rams a pen into LaPoubelle’s throat

Why It's Great: It’s sort of a precursor for Bourne, what with Martin using anything that comes to hand.

No Country For Old Men (2007)

The Assassination: Hitman Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) offers Carla Jean (Kelly Macdonald) the chance to live if she calls a coin toss correctly.

Then he drives away and gets into a car crash.

Why It's Great: It’s an assassination in which we don’t actually see any assassinating.

The Godfather (1972)

The Assassination: “Do you renounce Satan?” asks the priest, as Michael (Al Pacino) attends his baby’s baptism.

Meanwhile, men are being killed all over town.

Like Moe Green, who’s having a lovely massage when he gets shot through the right eye. Nice.

Why It's Great: We’ll file this one under ‘gallows humour’.

From Russia With Love (1963)

The Assassination: SPECTRE assassin Red Grant (Robert Shaw) attempts to take down Bond (Sean Connery) aboard the Orient Express.

However, he didn’t count on Bond being so handy with his fists .

Why It's Great: Red fails (because of course he does), but that doesn’t stop this being a brilliantly ballsy Bond fight.

Malcolm X (1992)

The Assassination: Malcolm X (Denzel Washington) starts to give his speech at a Manhattan Ballroom, but he’s interrupted when somebody starts shouting in the audience.

As Malcolm attempts to calm things down, a man hurries up to the podium, aims and fires.

Malcolm’s wife screams. Then there’s more gunfire

Why It's Great: Spike Lee captures the tragedy of the situation in unflinching detail.

Horrendous stuff.

Skyfall (2012)

The Assassination: Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Shanghai to track down assassin Patrice (Ola Rapace) and recover a stolen hard drive.

Cue one of the moodiest, coolest-looking fight scenes of the year.

Why It's Great: Never mind who Patrice killed, this scene’s all about that glass-busting fight between him and Bond.


Killing Them Softly (2012)

The Assassination: It’s drizzling rain. Jackie’s (Brad Pitt) car pulls up beside Markie’s (Ray Liotta).

And suddenly everything’s in slow-mo as the bullet leaves its chamber, shatters Markie’s window and explodes through his head in a bloom of red…

Why It's Great: This could just be the most beautifully-shot assassination scene we’ve ever laid eyes on.

Yep, pretty sure it is.