Skip to main content

50 Greatest Movie Assassins

The Great Silence (1968)

The Assassin: Mute gunslinger Silence (Jean-Louis Trintignant), who specialises in killing other bounty hunters.

Weapon Of Choice: The law. Silence's method is to provoke his target in drawing first, so he can shoot them in self-defence.

Coolest Element: The fact he doesn't say a word.

Shooter (2007)

The Assassin: Gunnery Sergeant Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg).

Weapon Of Choice: Swagger is an expert with a sniper rifle, capable of a clean kill from a mile away.

Coolest Element: Swagger is equally proficient firing left- or right-handed.

Diamonds Are Forever (1971)

The Assassins: Blofeld's go to guys, the immaculately tailored and perfumed double act Mr Wint and Mr Kidd (Bruce Glover and Putter Smith).

Weapon Of Choice: In typical Bond villain fashion, they have quite a repertoire... but it's the scorpion down the back of the neck everybody remembers.

Coolest Element: They're a couple. Bless.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

The Assassin: A girl Vietcong sniper (Ngoc Le) who has a Marine patrol pinned down.

Weapon Of Choice: Sadism. She is trained only to wound, in order to bring more soldiers into the open where she can pick them off.

Coolest Element: A single girl vs a whole patrol, and she makes them look like idiots.

The Expendables (2010)

The Assassins: Elite band of mercenaries / washed-up action stars. Delete as applicable.

Weapon Of Choice: Strength in depth - Stallone, Li, Statham, Lundgren, Crews, Couture. Even their mission co-ordinator is Mickey Rourke.

Coolest Element: The lack of fear implied by the name - it's hard to intimidate a bunch of guys who see themselves as expendable.

Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead (1995)

The Assassin: Taciturn gunman Mr Shhh (Steve Buscemi).

Weapon Of Choice: His unnerving habit of showing up and standing there, letting his targets crumple into fear and panic under his withering gaze.

Coolest Element: The smart counter-casting of motormouth Buscemi as a guy who just stares at victims with those big bug eyes.

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007)

The Assassin: Clue's in the title. Robert Ford (Casey Affleck), disgruntled member of Jesse James' (Brad Pitt) gang.

Weapon Of Choice: A pistol shot to the back of the head while Jesse is dusting a picture.

Coolest Element: What happens afterwards. It's only an "assassination" because Ford tells it that way in a series of celebrity lectures… but the public doesn't believe him.

Daredevil (2003)

The Assassin: Bullseye (Colin Farrell), scourge of superhero Daredevil (Ben Affleck).

Weapon Of Choice: Literally anything - Bullseye's skill lies in being able to turn any object into a lethal weapon with unwavering accuracy.

Coolest Element: The throwing, of course - what else is there?

13 Assassins (2010)

The Assassins: A baker's dozen of samurai, hired to kill a ruthless lord before he becomes too powerful.

Weapon Of Choice: A converted village, transformed into a bespoke killzone with lots of hidden traps.

Coolest Element: Flaming cows!

Three Days Of The Condor (1975)

The Assassin: Frenchman Joubert (Max Von Sydow), hired by the CIA to cover up a covert operation.

Weapon Of Choice: Private enterprise - he'll happily change allegiances if the price is right.

Coolest Element: His old-school European courtesy.