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93 Best Assassin Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

From sneaking in the shadows undetected to all-out ballets of bullets and blood, the movies have long been drawn to the seductive cinematic flair of assassins and contract killers. It’s about getting down and dirty in an underworld of amorality, cruelty, and violence…yet upheld by its own sacrosanct code of ethics and principles. They probably gave John Wick a rulebook the size of a Chilton manual when he joined the club.

In our guide to the best assassin movies, we’ll witness its smoky origins in film noir, like This Gun for Hire or Murder by Contract, the latter of which Martin Scorsese cites as an early influence. The 1960s saw the assassin naturally go international with some stone-cold classics like Jean-Pierre Melville‘s Le Samourai and Seijun Suzuki‘s Branded to Kill. The paranoid cinema of the ’70s brought out the likes of The Day of the Jackal, while John Woo in the ’80s delivered the blistering The Killer, jumpstarting a Hong Kong tradition of action storytelling carried into today with the likes of director Johnnie To (Vengeance, Election).

Of course, ever since Quentin Tarantino wrought forth the modern hitman template Jules and Vince in Pulp Fiction, we’ve seen plenty more of banter-driven, pop culture-heavy films: Smokin’ Aces, The Boondock Saints, Lucky Number Slevin, and most recently Bullet Train. And, sure, you can make a killing doing the opposite: Keanu Reeves, Jean Reno, Angelina Jolie, and Matt Damon are earning their checks with less words per kill.

To rank the list, we listed Certified Fresh films first. Then we added Fresh movies, like the The Long Kiss Goodnight, Hanna, and the Jason Statham Cranks. After that, we included Rotten movies with positive Audience Scores. The Equalizer, Shooter, The Accountant, Colombiana: Critics weren’t necessarily in love with them but audiences were.

Read on for the best assassin movies ever ranked by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#1

The Killer (1989)
98%92%

#1
Adjusted Score: 100274%
Critics Consensus: The Killer is another hard-boiled action flick from John Woo featuring eye-popping balletic violence and philosophical underpinnings.
Synopsis: Mob assassin Jeffrey (Chow Yun-Fat) is no ordinary hired gun; the best in his business, he views his chosen profession... [More]
Directed By: John Woo

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 101908%
Critics Consensus: A classic blend of satire and political thriller that was uncomfortably prescient in its own time, The Manchurian Candidate remains distressingly relevant today.
Synopsis: Near the end of the Korean War, a platoon of U.S. soldiers is captured by communists and brainwashed. Following the... [More]
Directed By: John Frankenheimer

#3

13 Assassins (2010)
95%88%

#3
Adjusted Score: 99334%
Critics Consensus: Takashi Miike's electric remake of Eiichi Kudo's 1963 period action film is a wild spectacle executed with killer, dizzying panache.
Synopsis: In this remake of a 1963 film based on historical events, Shinzaemon Shimada leads a team of assassins in 19th-century... [More]
Directed By: Takashi Miike

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 105067%
Critics Consensus: Bolstered by powerful lead performances from Javier Bardem, Josh Brolin, and Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men finds the Coen brothers spinning cinematic gold out of Cormac McCarthy's grim, darkly funny novel.
Synopsis: While out hunting, Llewelyn Moss (Josh Brolin) finds the grisly aftermath of a drug deal. Though he knows better, he... [More]
Directed By: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

#5

Looper (2012)
93%82%

#5
Adjusted Score: 103563%
Critics Consensus: As thought-provoking as it is thrilling, Looper delivers an uncommonly smart, bravely original blend of futuristic sci-fi and good old-fashioned action.
Synopsis: In a future society, time-travel exists, but it's only available to those with the means to pay for it on... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#6

Sicario (2015)
92%85%

#6
Adjusted Score: 101878%
Critics Consensus: Led by outstanding work from Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro, Sicario is a taut, tightly wound thriller with much more on its mind than attention-getting set pieces.
Synopsis: After rising through the ranks of her male-dominated profession, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) receives a top assignment.... [More]
Directed By: Denis Villeneuve

#7

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
92%91%

#7
Adjusted Score: 103072%
Critics Consensus: The Bourne Ultimatum is an intelligent, finely tuned non-stop thrill ride. Another strong performance from Matt Damon and sharp camerawork from Paul Greengrass make this the finest installment of the Bourne trilogy.
Synopsis: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) continues his international quest to uncover his true identity. From Russia to Europe to northern Africa... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#8

Pulp Fiction (1994)
92%96%

#8
Adjusted Score: 97944%
Critics Consensus: One of the most influential films of the 1990s, Pulp Fiction is a delirious post-modern mix of neo-noir thrills, pitch-black humor, and pop-culture touchstones.
Synopsis: Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) are hitmen with a penchant for philosophical discussions. In this... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#9
Adjusted Score: 108061%
Critics Consensus: John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum reloads for another hard-hitting round of the brilliantly choreographed, over-the-top action that fans of the franchise demand.
Synopsis: After gunning down a member of the High Table -- the shadowy international assassin's guild -- legendary hit man John... [More]
Directed By: Chad Stahelski

#10

John Wick: Chapter 2 (2017)
89%85%

#10
Adjusted Score: 108191%
Critics Consensus: John Wick: Chapter 2 does what a sequel should -- which in this case means doubling down on the non-stop, thrillingly choreographed action that made its predecessor so much fun.
Synopsis: Retired super-assassin John Wick's plans to resume a quiet civilian life are cut short when Italian gangster Santino D'Antonio shows... [More]
Directed By: Chad Stahelski

#11

La Femme Nikita (1990)
89%84%

#11
Adjusted Score: 91149%
Critics Consensus: A zany out-of-control thriller that gives lead Anne Parillaud a big character arc and plenty of emotional room to work within.
Synopsis: Convicted felon Nikita (Anne Parillaud), instead of going to jail, is given a new identity and trained to be a... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#12

Collateral (2004)
86%84%

#12
Adjusted Score: 95105%
Critics Consensus: Driven by director Michael Mann's trademark visuals and a lean, villainous performance from Tom Cruise, Collateral is a stylish and compelling noir thriller.
Synopsis: A cab driver realizes his current fare is a hit man that has been having him drive around from mark... [More]
Directed By: Michael Mann

#13

John Wick (2014)
86%81%

#13
Adjusted Score: 94040%
Critics Consensus: Stylish, thrilling, and giddily kinetic, John Wick serves as a satisfying return to action for Keanu Reeves -- and what looks like it could be the first of a franchise.
Synopsis: Legendary assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) retired from his violent career after marrying the love of his life. Her sudden... [More]
Directed By: Chad Stahelski

#14

Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003)
85%81%

#14
Adjusted Score: 93194%
Critics Consensus: Kill Bill is admittedly little more than a stylish revenge thriller -- albeit one that benefits from a wildly inventive surfeit of style.
Synopsis: A former assassin, known simply as The Bride (Uma Thurman), wakes from a coma four years after her jealous ex-lover... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#15

The Villainess (2017)
85%66%

#15
Adjusted Score: 90296%
Critics Consensus: The Villainess offers enough pure kinetic thrills to satisfy genre enthusiasts -- and carve out a bloody niche for itself in modern Korean action cinema.
Synopsis: Honed from childhood to be an elite assassin, Sook-hee embarks on a rampage of violence and revenge to finally earn... [More]
Directed By: Jeong Byeong-gil

#16

Prizzi's Honor (1985)
85%62%

#16
Adjusted Score: 87212%
Critics Consensus: Disturbing and sardonic, Prizzi's Honor excels at black comedy because director John Huston and his game ensemble take the farce deadly seriously.
Synopsis: For Charley Partanna (Jack Nicholson), life in the Prizzi family is good as long as he honors the wishes of... [More]
Directed By: John Huston

#17

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
84%89%

#17
Adjusted Score: 93405%
Critics Consensus: Kill Bill: Volume 2 adds extra plot and dialogue to the action-heavy exploits of its predecessor, while still managing to deliver a suitably hard-hitting sequel.
Synopsis: The Bride (Uma Thurman) picks up where she left off in volume one with her quest to finish the hit... [More]
Directed By: Quentin Tarantino

#18

In Bruges (2008)
84%87%

#18
Adjusted Score: 91907%
Critics Consensus: Featuring witty dialogue and deft performances, In Bruges is an effective mix of dark comedy and crime thriller elements.
Synopsis: After a particularly difficult job, hit men Ray (Colin Farrell) and Ken (Brendan Gleeson) head to Belgium to hide out... [More]
Directed By: Martin McDonagh

#19

The Bourne Identity (2002)
84%93%

#19
Adjusted Score: 89897%
Critics Consensus: Expertly blending genre formula with bursts of unexpected wit, The Bourne Identity is an action thriller that delivers -- and then some.
Synopsis: The story of a man (Matt Damon), salvaged, near death, from the ocean by an Italian fishing boat. When he... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#20
Adjusted Score: 86497%
Critics Consensus: An innovative blend of samurai and gangster lifestyles.
Synopsis: Ghost Dog (Forest Whitaker) is a contract killer, a master of his trade who can whirl a gun at warp... [More]
Directed By: Jim Jarmusch

#21

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
82%90%

#21
Adjusted Score: 89361%
Critics Consensus: A well-made sequel that delivers the thrills.
Synopsis: Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) is living in India when he is framed by Russian agent Kirill (Karl Urban) for the... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#22

Grosse Pointe Blank (1997)
82%87%

#22
Adjusted Score: 85426%
Critics Consensus: A high-concept high school reunion movie with an adroitly cast John Cusack and armed with a script of incisive wit.
Synopsis: After assassin Martin Blank (John Cusack) has trouble focusing on his work, resulting in a failed assignment, he returns to... [More]
Directed By: George Armitage

#23

Road to Perdition (2002)
81%86%

#23
Adjusted Score: 87724%
Critics Consensus: Somber, stately, and beautifully mounted, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition is a well-crafted mob movie that explores the ties between fathers and sons.
Synopsis: Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is an enforcer for powerful Depression-era Midwestern mobster John Rooney (Paul Newman). Rooney's son, Connor (Daniel... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 87997%
Critics Consensus: While not the classic its predecessor is, this update is well-acted and conjures a chilling resonance.
Synopsis: Years after his squad was ambushed during the Gulf War, Major Ben Marco (Denzel Washington) finds himself having terrible nightmares.... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Demme

#25

The Assassin (2015)
80%48%

#25
Adjusted Score: 86783%
Critics Consensus: The Assassin's thrilling visuals mark a fresh highlight for director Hsiao-hsien Hou, even if its glacial pace may keep some viewers at arm's length.
Synopsis: In ninth-century China, an exiled assassin (Shu Qi) must choose between love or duty when she receives orders to kill... [More]
Directed By: Hou Hsiao-hsien

#26

Exiled (2006)
80%80%

#26
Adjusted Score: 81939%
Critics Consensus: Exiled has non-stop action, tension and style -- making it an excellent summer action movie. Johnnie To brings beautiful scenery and camerawork to the film, enhancing the action even more.
Synopsis: Two hit men from Hong Kong go to Macau to kill a renegade member of their gang, who is trying... [More]
Directed By: Johnny To

#27

Black Widow (2021)
79%79%

#27
Adjusted Score: 98626%
Critics Consensus: Black Widow's deeper themes are drowned out in all the action, but it remains a solidly entertaining standalone adventure that's rounded out by a stellar supporting cast.
Synopsis: In Marvel Studios' action-packed spy thriller "Black Widow," Natasha Romanoff aka Black Widow confronts the darker parts of her ledger... [More]
Directed By: Cate Shortland

#28

Atomic Blonde (2017)
79%64%

#28
Adjusted Score: 104560%
Critics Consensus: Atomic Blonde gets enough mileage out of its stylish action sequences -- and ever-magnetic star -- to make up for a narrative that's somewhat less hard-hitting than its protagonist.
Synopsis: Sensual and savage, Lorraine Broughton is the most elite spy in MI6, an agent who's willing to use all of... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#29
Adjusted Score: 83856%
Critics Consensus: Rockwell is spot-on as Barris, and Clooney directs with entertaining style and flair.
Synopsis: Game show television producer Chuck Barris (Sam Rockwell) is at the height of his career. His creation, "The Dating Game,"... [More]
Directed By: George Clooney

#30

Munich (2005)
78%83%

#30
Adjusted Score: 86130%
Critics Consensus: Munich can't quite achieve its lofty goals, but this thrilling, politically even-handed look at the fallout from an intractable political conflict is still well worth watching.
Synopsis: After the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and their coach at the 1972 Olympics, the Israeli government secretly assigns Avner... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#31

You Kill Me (2007)
78%59%

#31
Adjusted Score: 82200%
Critics Consensus: Featuring wonderful performances from Ben Kingsley and Tea Leoni, You Kill Me is a charming, funny take on the familiar inner-lives-of-hit-men premise.
Synopsis: An alcoholic mob hit man, Frank Falenczyk (Ben Kingsley), is forced into rehab by his boss (Philip Baker Hall). To... [More]
Directed By: John Dahl

#32

Kill List (2011)
78%58%

#32
Adjusted Score: 80994%
Critics Consensus: Kill List is an expertly executed slow-burn crime thriller that thrives on tension before morphing into visceral horror.
Synopsis: Events take a darker turn as a contract killer (Neil Maskell) and his business partner (Michael Smiley) carry out a... [More]
Directed By: Ben Wheatley

#33

The Matador (2005)
75%65%

#33
Adjusted Score: 80755%
Critics Consensus: This humorously amoral, oddball comic thriller features strong performances by Pierce Brosnan and Greg Kinnear as a flamboyant, aging hit-man and an out of work suburban businessman, respectively.
Synopsis: Salesman Danny Wright (Greg Kinnear) is working through his shaky marriage and the untimely death of his child when he... [More]
Directed By: Richard Shepard

#34

Killing Them Softly (2012)
74%44%

#34
Adjusted Score: 82842%
Critics Consensus: Killing Them Softly is a darkly comic, visceral thriller that doubles as a cautionary tale on capitalism, whose message is delivered with sledgehammer force.
Synopsis: When rival crook Johnny Amato (Vincent Curatola) hatches a plan to rob a card game run by mob lackey Markie... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Dominik

#35

The Professional (1994)
74%95%

#35
Adjusted Score: 77102%
Critics Consensus: Pivoting on the unusual relationship between seasoned hitman and his 12-year-old apprentice -- a breakout turn by young Natalie Portman -- Luc Besson's Léon is a stylish and oddly affecting thriller.
Synopsis: Mathilda (Natalie Portman) is only 12 years old, but is already familiar with the dark side of life: her abusive... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#36

Red (2010)
71%72%

#36
Adjusted Score: 78811%
Critics Consensus: It may not be the killer thrill ride you'd expect from an action movie with a cast of this caliber, but Red still thoroughly outshines most of its big-budget counterparts with its wit and style.
Synopsis: After surviving an assault from a squad of hit men, retired CIA agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) reassembles his old... [More]
Directed By: Robert Schwentke

#37

Wanted (2008)
71%69%

#37
Adjusted Score: 78822%
Critics Consensus: Wanted is stylish, energetic popcorn fare with witty performances from Angelina Jolie (playing an expert assassin), James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman that help to distract from its absurdly over-the-top plot.
Synopsis: Wesley Gibson (James McAvoy) is an office worker whose life is going nowhere. After his estranged father is murdered, he... [More]
Directed By: Timur Bekmambetov

#38

Le Samouraï (1967)
100%94%

#38
Adjusted Score: 102269%
Critics Consensus: Le Samouraï makes the most of its spare aesthetic, using stylish -- and influential -- direction, solid performances, and thick atmosphere to weave an absorbing story.
Synopsis: Hit man Jef Costello (Alain Delon) goes through an elaborate set of rituals before carrying out a hit on a... [More]
Directed By: Jean-Pierre Melville

#39

Branded to Kill (1967)
100%84%

#39
Adjusted Score: 100024%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After botching his latest assignment, a third-ranked Japanese hit man becomes the target of another assassin.... [More]
Directed By: Seijun Suzuki

#40

Murder by Contract (1958)
100%80%

#40
Adjusted Score: 100434%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a hit man fails to carry through with the execution of a star witness, he finds himself marked for... [More]
Directed By: Irving Lerner

#41

A Bittersweet Life (2005)
100%90%

#41
Adjusted Score: 61655%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A gangster (Lee Byung-hun) starts a violent feud after he refuses to kill his boss's (Kim Yeong-cheol) cheating girlfriend.... [More]
Directed By: Kim Jee-woon

#42

Fallen Angels (1995)
95%86%

#42
Adjusted Score: 95386%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An assassin (Leon Lai Ming), his boss, an entrepreneur (Takeshi Kaneshiro) and two women cross paths in Hong Kong after... [More]
Directed By: Kar Wai Wong

#43

On the Job (2013)
94%89%

#43
Adjusted Score: 69195%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Politicians secretly hire convicts to conduct hits, then quickly return to prison.... [More]
Directed By: Erik Matti

#44

This Gun for Hire (1942)
94%81%

#44
Adjusted Score: 95114%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Sadistic killer-for-hire Raven (Alan Ladd) becomes enraged when his latest job is paid off in marked bills. Vowing to track... [More]
Directed By: Frank Tuttle

#45

Deliver Us From Evil (2020)
94%79%

#45
Adjusted Score: 73067%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After a little girl is kidnapped, a government-agent-turned-mercenary is forced to re-emerge when he learns the incident is closely connected... [More]
Directed By: Won-Chan Hong

#46

Tokyo Drifter (1966)
93%79%

#46
Adjusted Score: 57975%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After yakuza boss Kurata (Ryuji Kita) dissolves his own criminal empire, a rival kingpin offers a position to Kurata's top... [More]
Directed By: Seijun Suzuki

#47

The American Friend (1977)
91%80%

#47
Adjusted Score: 80443%
Critics Consensus: The American Friend is a slow burning existential thriller that does justice to the Patricia Highsmith source novel.
Synopsis: American expatriate Tom (Dennis Hopper) treats Hamburg, Germany, like it's the Wild West and makes a living by hawking art... [More]
Directed By: Wim Wenders

#48

Vengeance (2009)
91%60%

#48
Adjusted Score: 86175%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A French chef hires three hit men to help him avenge the murders of his daughter's family.... [More]
Directed By: Johnnie To

#49

Pale Flower (1964)
92%91%

#49
Adjusted Score: 92142%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Japanese gangster Muraki (Ryô Ikebe) is released from jail after a few years and finds both organized crime and the... [More]
Directed By: Masahiro Shinoda

#50

The Day of the Jackal (1973)
90%88%

#50
Adjusted Score: 91551%
Critics Consensus: The Day of the Jackal is a meticulously constructed thriller with surprising irreverence and taut direction.
Synopsis: An underground French paramilitary group is intent on eliminating President Charles de Gaulle (Adrien Cayla-Legrand), but when numerous attempts on... [More]
Directed By: Fred Zinnemann

#51

The Hit (1984)
88%74%

#51
Adjusted Score: 64907%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hit men (John Hurt, Tim Roth) catch a stool pigeon (Terence Stamp) in Spain and take him on a wild... [More]
Directed By: Stephen Frears

#52

Blast of Silence (1961)
81%83%

#52
Adjusted Score: 54969%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A hit man (Allen Baron) comes to New York to kill a gangster and gets the gun from a big... [More]
Directed By: Allen Baron

#53

The Killers (1964)
80%71%

#53
Adjusted Score: 77262%
Critics Consensus: Though it can't best Robert Siodmak's classic 1946 version, Don Siegel's take on the Ernest Hemingway story stakes out its own violent territory, and offers a terrifically tough turn from Lee Marvin.
Synopsis: A hit man (Lee Marvin) and his partner (Clu Gulager) try to find out why their latest victim, a former... [More]
Directed By: Don Siegel

#54

The Suicide Theory (2014)
79%68%

#54
Adjusted Score: 57693%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A suicidal man (Leon Cain) hires a demented killer (Steve Mouzakis) to help him end it all, but he miraculously... [More]
Directed By: Dru Brown

#55

Pistol Opera (2001)
79%49%

#55
Adjusted Score: 60660%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An assassin (Makiko Esumi) fends off numerous attacks from her comrades, who are trying to move up in rank by... [More]
Directed By: Seijun Suzuki

#56

The American Soldier (1970)
77%55%

#56
Adjusted Score: 77195%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A soldier returns home from Vietnam and is hired by crooked cops to kill a few crooks but things get... [More]

#57

Salvo (2013)
75%47%

#57
Adjusted Score: 69183%
Critics Consensus: Stylish and inventive, Salvo parcels out the thrills that genre fans seek while anchoring its story with satisfying, slow-building tension.
Synopsis: A mafia assassin give his latest victim's sister her sight back.... [More]

#58

Best Seller (1987)
73%55%

#58
Adjusted Score: 39332%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Police detective and successful author Dennis Meechum (Brian Dennehy) has not been able to write since his wife's death and... [More]
Directed By: John Flynn

#59

Hanna (2011)
71%66%

#59
Adjusted Score: 79617%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic acting and crisply choreographed action sequences propel this unique, cool take on the revenge thriller.
Synopsis: Raised by her father (Eric Bana) in the Finnish wilderness, teenage Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) has trained all her life to... [More]
Directed By: Joe Wright

#60

Headshot (2011)
71%48%

#60
Adjusted Score: 41796%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A detective spends three months in a coma and sees everything upside down after he is shot in the head.... [More]
Directed By: Pen-Ek Ratanaruang

#61
#61
Adjusted Score: 69279%
Critics Consensus: Smart, sharp-witted, and fueled by enjoyably over-the-top action, The Long Kiss Goodnight makes up in impact what it lacks in consistent aim.
Synopsis: Schoolteacher and single mother Samantha Caine (Geena Davis) lives an average suburban life -- until she begins having strange memories... [More]
Directed By: Renny Harlin

#62

The Eiger Sanction (1975)
70%54%

#62
Adjusted Score: 54084%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Former government assassin Jonathan Hemlock (Clint Eastwood) now devotes his time to teaching and collecting paintings, but his quiet life... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

#63

The Iceman (2012)
66%62%

#63
Adjusted Score: 70143%
Critics Consensus: While it deserved stronger direction and a more fully realized script, Michael Shannon's riveting performance in the title role is more than enough to make The Iceman recommended viewing.
Synopsis: Hit man Richard Kuklinski (Michael Shannon) earns a well-deserved reputation as a cold-blooded killer but manages to keep his violent... [More]
Directed By: Ariel Vromen

#64

The American (2010)
65%39%

#64
Adjusted Score: 73346%
Critics Consensus: As beautifully shot as it is emotionally restrained, The American is an unusually divisive spy thriller -- and one that rests on an unusually subdued performance from George Clooney.
Synopsis: When an assignment in Sweden ends badly, master assassin Jack (George Clooney) retreats to the Italian countryside with the intention... [More]
Directed By: Anton Corbijn

#65

Crank: High Voltage (2009)
65%49%

#65
Adjusted Score: 67081%
Critics Consensus: Crank: High Voltage delivers on its promises: a fast-paced, exciting thrill ride that doesn't take itself too seriously.
Synopsis: After surviving an incredible plunge to near-certain death, Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) is abducted by Chinese mobsters. Waking up three... [More]

#66
#66
Adjusted Score: 75817%
Critics Consensus: Though less subversive than its predecessor, Sicario: Day of the Soldado succeeds as a stylish, dynamic thriller -- even if its amoral machismo makes for grim viewing.
Synopsis: FBI agent Matt Graver calls on mysterious operative Alejandro Gillick when Mexican drug cartels start to smuggle terrorists across the... [More]
Directed By: Stefano Sollima

#67

Salt (2010)
62%59%

#67
Adjusted Score: 71293%
Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie gives it her all in the title role, and her seasoned performance is almost enough to save Salt from its predictable and ludicrous plot.
Synopsis: When Evelyn Salt (Angelina Jolie) became a CIA officer, she swore an oath to duty, honor and country. But, when... [More]
Directed By: Phillip Noyce

#68

The Protégé (2021)
62%66%

#68
Adjusted Score: 66167%
Critics Consensus: Maggie Q's still waiting for the action movie that really deserves her -- but until then, The Protégé hits just hard enough to satisfy.
Synopsis: Rescued as a child by the legendary assassin Moody (Samuel L. Jackson) and trained in the family business, Anna (Maggie... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell

#69

Crank (2006)
62%71%

#69
Adjusted Score: 65315%
Critics Consensus: Crank's assaultive style and gleeful depravity may turn off casual action fans, but audiences seeking a strong dose of adrenaline will be thrilled by Jason Statham's raucous race against mortality.
Synopsis: Chev Chelios (Jason Statham), a hit man wanting to go straight, lets his latest target slip away, then he awakes... [More]

#70

Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
59%58%

#70
Adjusted Score: 67261%
Critics Consensus: Although this action-romance suffers from weak writing and one too many explosions, the chemistry generated by onscreen couple Pitt and Jolie is palpable enough to make this a thoroughly enjoyable summer action flick.
Synopsis: John (Brad Pitt) and Jane Smith (Angelina Jolie), a couple in a stagnating marriage, live a deceptively mundane existence. However,... [More]
Directed By: Doug Liman

#71

The Mission (1999)
60%89%

#71
Adjusted Score: 13358%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boss Lung (Ko Hung) knows that someone in the Hong Kong Triad wants him dead. After a botched assassination nearly... [More]
Directed By: Johnny To

#72

The Equalizer (2014)
60%76%

#72
Adjusted Score: 67386%
Critics Consensus: The Equalizer is more stylishly violent than meaningful, but with Antoine Fuqua behind the cameras and Denzel Washington dispensing justice, it delivers.
Synopsis: Robert McCall (Denzel Washington), a man of mysterious origin who believes he has put the past behind him, dedicates himself... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#73

Fulltime Killer (2001)
59%77%

#73
Adjusted Score: 59313%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Hong Kong superstar Andy Lau re-teams with directors Johnnie To ("The Mission") and Wa Ka Fai for a spectacular no... [More]
Directed By: Johnny To, Wai Ka Fai

#74

Bullet Train (2022)
53%77%

#74
Adjusted Score: 65375%
Critics Consensus: Bullet Train's colorful cast and high-speed action are almost enough to keep things going after the story runs out of track.
Synopsis: In Bullet Train, Brad Pitt stars as Ladybug, an unlucky assassin determined to do his job peacefully after one too... [More]
Directed By: David Leitch

#75

The Accountant (2016)
52%76%

#75
Adjusted Score: 68512%
Critics Consensus: The Accountant writes off a committed performance from Ben Affleck, leaving viewers with a scattershot action thriller beset by an array of ill-advised deductions.
Synopsis: Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a mathematics savant with more affinity for numbers than people. Using a small-town CPA office... [More]
Directed By: Gavin O'Connor

#76

The Equalizer 2 (2018)
52%60%

#76
Adjusted Score: 61605%
Critics Consensus: The Equalizer 2 delivers the visceral charge of a standard vigilante thriller, but this reunion of trusted talents ultimately proves a disappointing case study in diminishing returns.
Synopsis: If you have a problem and there is nowhere else to turn, the mysterious and elusive Robert McCall will deliver... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#77

Lucky Number Slevin (2006)
51%87%

#77
Adjusted Score: 56709%
Critics Consensus: Trying too hard to be clever in a Pulp Fiction kind of way, this film succumbs to a convoluted plot, overly stylized characters, and dizzying set design.
Synopsis: A case of mistaken identity puts a man named Slevin (Josh Hartnett) in the middle of a war between two... [More]
Directed By: Paul McGuigan

#78

Bangkok Dangerous (2000)
51%62%

#78
Adjusted Score: 51538%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Kong (Pawalit Mongkolpisit), a deaf-mute assassin, lives a life of quiet desperation working for Bangkok mobsters. Despite his disability, Kong's... [More]

#79

Flinch (2021)
50%89%

#79
Adjusted Score: 18290%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Joe Doyle (Daniel Zovatto) is a young hitman, like his father before him, who lives with his mother Gloria (Academy... [More]
Directed By: Cameron Van Hoy

#80

Shooter (2007)
48%80%

#80
Adjusted Score: 53827%
Critics Consensus: With an implausible story and numerous plot holes, Shooter fails to distinguish itself from other mindless action-thrillers.
Synopsis: A top Marine sniper, Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg), leaves the military after a mission goes horribly awry and disappears... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#81

Red 2 (2013)
44%63%

#81
Adjusted Score: 49268%
Critics Consensus: While it's still hard to argue with its impeccable cast or the fun they often seem to be having, Red 2 replaces much of the goofy fun of its predecessor with empty, over-the-top bombast.
Synopsis: Former CIA black-ops agent Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) and his old partner, Marvin Boggs (John Malkovich), are caught in the... [More]
Directed By: Dean Parisot

#82
#82
Adjusted Score: 58500%
Critics Consensus: The Hitman's Bodyguard coasts on Samuel L. Jackson and Ryan Reynolds' banter -- but doesn't get enough mileage to power past an overabundance of action-comedy clichés.
Synopsis: The world's top protection agent is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#83

The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
43%64%

#83
Adjusted Score: 46023%
Critics Consensus: Despite a charming cast, The Whole Nine Yards can't tickle funny bones consistently enough to distract from its sitcom-like story.
Synopsis: Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis), a mob hitman-turned-informant, ratted on the mob and put his life in jeopardy. Now... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Lynn

#84

Equilibrium (2002)
40%81%

#84
Adjusted Score: 42233%
Critics Consensus: Equilibrium is a reheated mishmash of other sci-fi movies.
Synopsis: In a futuristic world, a regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and... [More]
Directed By: Kurt Wimmer

#85

The Outside Man (1973)
40%78%

#85
Adjusted Score: 19793%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A waitress (Ann-Margret) helps a French hit man (Jean-Louis Trintignant) on the run from another hit man in Los Angeles.... [More]
Directed By: Jacques Deray

#86

American Assassin (2017)
34%60%

#86
Adjusted Score: 46171%
Critics Consensus: American Assassin hits a few easy targets, but without enough style or wit to truly bring its characters to life -- or stand out in a crowded field of more compelling spy thrillers.
Synopsis: When Cold War veteran Stan Hurley takes CIA black ops recruit Mitch Rapp under his wing, they receive an assignment... [More]
Directed By: Michael Cuesta

#87

Anna (2019)
33%75%

#87
Adjusted Score: 36090%
Critics Consensus: Anna finds writer-director Luc Besson squarely in his wheelhouse, but fans of this variety of stylized action have seen it all done before -- and better.
Synopsis: Beneath a woman's striking beauty lies a secret that will unleash her indelible strength and skill to become one of... [More]
Directed By: Luc Besson

#88

The Mechanic (1972)
33%65%

#88
Adjusted Score: 29392%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Arthur Bishop (Charles Bronson) is a veteran hit man who, owing to his penchant for making his targets' deaths seem... [More]
Directed By: Michael Winner

#89

Smokin' Aces (2007)
30%62%

#89
Adjusted Score: 36144%
Critics Consensus: A violent mess of a movie, Smokin' Aces has some Quentin Tarantino's style but not much of his wit or humor.
Synopsis: Sleazy entertainer Buddy "Aces" Israel (Jeremy Piven) incurs the wrath of crime boss Primo Sparazza when he agrees to testify... [More]
Directed By: Joe Carnahan

#90

Colombiana (2011)
27%67%

#90
Adjusted Score: 30162%
Critics Consensus: Zoe Saldana has the chops but she's taken out by erratic and sloppy filmmaking.
Synopsis: In 1992 Bogota, a little girl (Amandla Stenberg) watches crime lord Don Luis (Beto Benites) and his henchman Marco (Jordi... [More]
Directed By: Olivier Megaton

#91

The Boondock Saints (1999)
27%91%

#91
Adjusted Score: 27336%
Critics Consensus: A juvenile, ugly movie that represents the worst tendencies of directors channeling Tarantino.
Synopsis: Tired of the crime overrunning the streets of Boston, Irish Catholic twin brothers Conner (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy (Norman... [More]
Directed By: Troy Duffy

#92
#92
Adjusted Score: 33780%
Critics Consensus: Despite the charms of its ensemble, The Hitman's Wife's Bodyguard fails to protect the audience from repetitive and tired genre tropes.
Synopsis: The world's most lethal odd couple -- bodyguard Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) and hitman Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) --... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Hughes

#93

Polar (2019)
16%69%

#93
Adjusted Score: 17746%
Critics Consensus: An action thriller starring Mads Mikkelsen as the world's most dangerous assassin should be terrifically entertaining, but Polar proves it's possible to ruin anything if you try.
Synopsis: The world's top assassin, Duncan Vizla, aka The Black Kaiser, is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him... [More]
Directed By: Jonas Akerlund

#94

Run All Night (2015)
59%56%

#94
Adjusted Score: 65264%
Critics Consensus: Liam Neeson is in typically fine form, but Run All Night suffers from a convoluted plot and workmanlike execution.
Synopsis: Longtime hit man Jimmy Conlon (Liam Neeson), best friend of mob boss Shawn Maguire (Ed Harris), has seen better days.... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#95

Gunpowder Milkshake (2021)
60%47%

#95
Adjusted Score: 66499%
Critics Consensus: Though it runs dangerously close to being a pure sugar rush with no substance, Gunpowder Milkshake is a brutal blast that will absorb audiences into its neon-infused universe.
Synopsis: Sam (Karen Gillan) was only 12 years old when her mother Scarlet (Lena Headey), an elite assassin, was forced to... [More]
Directed By: Navot Papushado

#96

The Bourne Legacy (2012)
55%58%

#96
Adjusted Score: 63881%
Critics Consensus: It isn't quite as compelling as the earlier trilogy, but The Bourne Legacy proves the franchise has stories left to tell -- and benefits from Jeremy Renner's magnetic work in the starring role.
Synopsis: When the actions of Jason Bourne spark a fire that threatens to burn down decades of research across a number... [More]
Directed By: Tony Gilroy

#97

Unknown (2011)
55%55%

#97
Adjusted Score: 62324%
Critics Consensus: Liam Neeson elevates the proceedings considerably, but Unknown is ultimately too derivative -- and implausible -- to take advantage of its intriguing premise.
Synopsis: After a serious car accident in Berlin, Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson) awakes to find his world in utter chaos.... [More]
Directed By: Jaume Collet-Serra

#98

Jason Bourne (2016)
54%55%

#98
Adjusted Score: 73004%
Critics Consensus: Jason Bourne delivers fans of the franchise more of what they've come to expect -- which is this sequel's biggest selling point as well as its greatest flaw.
Synopsis: It's been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a... [More]
Directed By: Paul Greengrass

#99

The Mechanic (2011)
54%51%

#99
Adjusted Score: 59789%
Critics Consensus: Jason Statham and Ben Foster turn in enjoyable performances, but this superficial remake betrays them with mind-numbing violence and action thriller cliches.
Synopsis: One of an elite group of assassins, Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) may be the best in the business. Bishop carries... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#100

Point of No Return (1993)
52%50%

#100
Adjusted Score: 52371%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A strung-out junkie named Maggie (Bridget Fonda) kills a police officer during the botched robbery of a drug store. After... [More]
Directed By: John Badham

#101

Bullet to the Head (2012)
45%39%

#101
Adjusted Score: 49826%
Critics Consensus: Bullet to the Head's unapologetically trashy thrills evoke memories of its star and director's proud cinematic pasts -- but sadly, those memories are just about all it has to offer.
Synopsis: When veteran hit man Jimmy Bobo (Sylvester Stallone) and his partner, Louis (Jon Seda), kill a corrupt ex-cop, Louis in... [More]
Directed By: Walter Hill

#102

Kate (2021)
46%51%

#102
Adjusted Score: 49299%
Critics Consensus: Mary Elizabeth Winstead does reliably gripping work in the title role, but Kate is disappointingly derivative of numerous other female assassin films.
Synopsis: Meticulous and preternaturally skilled, Kate is the perfect specimen of a finely tuned assassin at the height of her game.... [More]
Directed By: Cedric Nicolas-Troyan

#103
#103
Adjusted Score: 16304%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Lowly FBI clerk Walter Weed (Tom Berenger) unwittingly becomes the target of assassins when gangland kingpin Hal Leuco places a... [More]
Directed By: P.J. Pesce

#104

The Big Hit (1998)
43%57%

#104
Adjusted Score: 44194%
Critics Consensus: The Big Hit seeks to blend the best of Hong Kong and American action cinema, but ends up offering a muddled mush that mostly misses.
Synopsis: Affable hit man Melvin Smiley (Mark Wahlberg) is constantly being scammed by his cutthroat colleagues in the life-ending business. So,... [More]
Directed By: Che-Kirk Wong

#105

No Tears for the Dead (2014)
43%55%

#105
Adjusted Score: 11570%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A veteran assassin (Jang Dong-gun) accidentally kills a little girl, then falls in love with his next target -- the... [More]
Directed By: Lee Jeong-beom

#106
Adjusted Score: 20095%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: ... [More]
Directed By: Sergio Sollima

#107
#107
Adjusted Score: 39030%
Critics Consensus: Chow Yun-fat makes his dubious English-language debut in The Replacement Killers, a stylish but muddled knockoff of the Hong Kong shoot-em-ups that earned the star his international renown.
Synopsis: Hired assassin John Lee (Chow Yun-Fat) is asked by Chinatown crime boss Terence Wei (Kenneth Tsang) to murder the young... [More]
Directed By: Antoine Fuqua

#108

The Hunter's Prayer (2017)
33%24%

#108
Adjusted Score: 33520%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An assassin is sent to kill a young woman but finds himself unable to pull the trigger. They form an... [More]
Directed By: Jonathan Mostow

#109
#109
Adjusted Score: 32648%
Critics Consensus: With little to recommend beyond a handful of entertaining set pieces, Mechanic: Resurrection suggests this franchise should have remained in its tomb.
Synopsis: Living under cover in Brazil, master assassin Arthur Bishop (Jason Statham) springs back into action after an old enemy (Sam... [More]
Directed By: Dennis Gansel

#110

Desert Saints (2000)
29%55%

#110
Adjusted Score: 10299%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Arthur Banks (Kiefer Sutherland) is a top-tier hit man who works mainly for the South American drug lords. His MO... [More]
Directed By: Richard Greenberg

#111

Killer Elite (2011)
28%42%

#111
Adjusted Score: 32132%
Critics Consensus: A rote, utterly disposable Jason Statham vehicle that just happens to have Clive Owen and Robert De Niro in it.
Synopsis: Danny Bryce (Jason Statham), one of the world's deadliest special-ops agents, returns from self-imposed exile after his mentor, Hunter (Robert... [More]
Directed By: Gary McKendry

#112

Ninja Assassin (2009)
26%54%

#112
Adjusted Score: 30033%
Critics Consensus: Overly serious and incomprehensibly edited, Ninja Assassin fails to live up to the promise of its title.
Synopsis: Trained in methods of killing from an early age, Raizo (Rain) is a member of the secret clan of assassins... [More]
Directed By: James McTeigue

#113

Proud Mary (2018)
25%45%

#113
Adjusted Score: 27857%
Critics Consensus: Proud Mary proves Taraji P. Henson has more than enough attitude and charisma to carry an action movie -- just not, unfortunately, one this indifferently assembled.
Synopsis: Mary is a professional assassin who works for Benny, a ruthless gangster who heads an organized crime family in Boston.... [More]
Directed By: Babak Najafi

#114

The Jackal (1997)
25%51%

#114
Adjusted Score: 25941%
Critics Consensus: The Jackal is a relatively simple chase thriller incapable of adding thrills or excitement as the plot chugs along.
Synopsis: During an FBI raid on a Moscow nightclub, the brother of Russian gangster Terek Murad (David Hayman) is killed. Murad... [More]
Directed By: Michael Caton-Jones

#115
Adjusted Score: 23909%
Critics Consensus: This sequel to the cult favorite The Boondock Saints is more of the same -- unoriginal, absurd, violent, over-the-top, and occasionally mean-spirited.
Synopsis: Connor (Sean Patrick Flanery) and Murphy MacManus (Norman Reedus) have been living in Ireland for several years, working on a... [More]
Directed By: Troy Duffy

#116

Terminal (2018)
20%36%

#116
Adjusted Score: 22501%
Critics Consensus: Worth seeking out for only the most hardcore of Margot Robbie completists, Terminal lives down to the medical definition of its title in dreadfully derivative fashion.
Synopsis: In the dark heart of a sprawling and anonymous city, two assassins carry out a sinister mission, a teacher battles... [More]
Directed By: Vaughn Stein

#117

The Gunman (2015)
16%31%

#117
Adjusted Score: 21995%
Critics Consensus: With an uninspired plot and rote set pieces that are overshadowed by its star's physique, The Gunman proves a muddled misfire in the rapidly aging Over-50 Action Hero genre.
Synopsis: Eight years after fleeing the Congo following his assassination of that country's minister of mining, former assassin Jim Terrier (Sean... [More]
Directed By: Pierre Morel

#118

Hitman (2007)
16%57%

#118
Adjusted Score: 19793%
Critics Consensus: Hitman features the unfortunate combination of excessive violence, incoherent plot, and inane dialogue.
Synopsis: A professional assassin known only as Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) gets caught up in a dangerous political takeover. He flees... [More]
Directed By: Xavier Gens

#119

Assassins (1995)
16%45%

#119
Adjusted Score: 18086%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Assassin Robert Rath (Sylvester Stallone) arrives at a funeral to kill a prominent mobster, only to witness rival hired gun... [More]
Directed By: Richard Donner

#120

Ava (2020)
18%29%

#120
Adjusted Score: 19581%
Critics Consensus: Ava seems to have all the components of an entertaining spy thriller, but not even this spectacular cast is enough to salvage the dull, clichéd story they're given to work with.
Synopsis: An assassin becomes marked for death by her own black ops organization after questioning orders and breaking protocol.... [More]
Directed By: Tate Taylor

#121

Elektra (2005)
11%29%

#121
Adjusted Score: 17251%
Critics Consensus: Jennifer Garner inhabits her role with earnest gusto, but Elektra's tone deaf script is too self-serious and bereft of intelligent dialogue to provide engaging thrills.
Synopsis: Assassin-for-hire Elektra (Jennifer Garner) works for a mysterious international organization known as the Hand, for which she kills her targets... [More]
Directed By: Rob Bowman

#122

Bangkok Dangerous (2008)
9%26%

#122
Adjusted Score: 11376%
Critics Consensus: With murky cinematography, a meandering pace, a dull storyline, and rather wooden performances, The Pang Brothers' Hollywood remake of Bangkok Dangerous is unsuccessful.
Synopsis: Remorseless assassin Joe (Nicolas Cage) is in Thailand to complete a series of contract killings for a crime boss called... [More]
Directed By: Oxide Pang, Danny Pang

#123

Hitman: Agent 47 (2015)
8%40%

#123
Adjusted Score: 12035%
Critics Consensus: Hitman: Agent 47 fails to clear the low bar set by its predecessor, forsaking thrilling action in favor of a sleekly hollow mélange of dull violence and product placement.
Synopsis: Genetically engineered from conception to be the perfect killing machine, he's the culmination of decades of research, endowed with unprecedented... [More]
Directed By: Aleksander Bach

#124

The Whole Ten Yards (2004)
4%40%

#124
Adjusted Score: 8117%
Critics Consensus: A strained, laugh-free sequel, The Whole Ten Yards recycles its predecessor's cast and plot but not its wit or reason for being.
Synopsis: After faking his death, former killer-for-hire Jimmy "The Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis) retires to Mexico with his new wife, Jill... [More]
Directed By: Howard Deutch

#125

The Contract (2006)
0%26%

#125
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Frank Carden (Morgan Freeman), one of the world's greatest assassins, is handed a lucrative contract to kill a highly secretive... [More]
Directed By: Bruce Beresford