film The 15 Best Movies About Suicide (or Seemingly Suicidal) Missions  

Aaron Edwards
473 votes 122 voters 6.2k views 15 items

List Rules Vote up your favorite movies where the protagonists seem headed for disaster.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the latest in a long and proud tradition of suicide mission movies. Not to be confused with "men on a mission" films, these flicks aren't just about a group of people trying to accomplish a goal. No, these movies are about people going out... and they're not expected to come back. Whether it's in ancient Greece or World War II, there have been plenty of impossible situations that people have conquered in real life, so of course there's going to be films about it.

 It's no coincidence that most suicide mission films are set during the second World War. It's the perfect venue for setting up missions with impossible odds. Given that Star Wars was directly inspired by parts of World War II, expect to see a lot of influence from the following films in Rogue One. Curious which films are the best of the lot? Check out the list below!


Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The 15 Best Movies About Suicide (or Seemingly Suicidal) Missions
Photo: DreamWorks Pictures

The Characters: A group of American soldiers led by Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks). 

The Mission: The soldiers have to locate Private James Francis Ryan and bring him home.

Who Survived: Ryan is successfully rescued, but most of Miller's team (including Miller) is killed, with the exception of Private Richard Reiben (Edward Burns) and Corporal Timothy E. Upham (Jeremy Davies). 

Also Ranked

#1 on The Best War Movies Ever

#94 on The Most Rewatchable Movies

#14 on The Best Movies of All Time

#3 on The Best Movies Roger Ebert Gave Four Stars

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300 is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The 15 Best Movies About Suicide (or Seemingly Suicidal) Missions
Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures

The Characters: A group of 300 battle-hardened Spartans led by King Leonidas (Gerard Butler).

The Mission: The Spartans have to hold a pass against a vast army of thousands of Persians bent on conquering Greece.

Who Survived: Poor Dilios, who lost an eye in an earlier engagement, is sent away to convince other Spartans to join the battle and defend Greece. Everyone who remained was slaughtered, though they do succeed in delaying the Persians for three days. 

Also Ranked

#11 on The Best War Movies Ever

#20 on The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time

#69 on The Best Movies of the '00s

#24 on The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

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Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 15 Best Movies About Suicide (or Seemingly Suicidal) Missions
Photo: Toho

The Characters: Seven Ronin eagerly looking for work: Kambei Shimada (Takashi Shimura), Gorobei Katayama (Yoshio Inaba), Shichiroji (Daisuke Katō), Kyuzo (Seiji Miyaguchi), Heihachi Hayashida (Minoru Chiaki), Katsushiro (Isao Kamura), Kikuchiyo (Toshiro Mifune).

The Mission: The Ronin are hired by a poor village to defend them against bandits.

Who Survived: Katsushiro, Kambei, and Shichiroji survive. They manage to defend the villagers and defeat the bandits. 

Also Ranked

#78 on The Best War Movies Ever

#15 on Every Single Movie On Rotten Tomatoes With 100% Approval, Ranked By Sheer Watchability

#12 on Which Ensemble Films Should Be Remade With All-Female Casts?

#60 on The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The 15 Best Movies About Suicide (or Seemingly Suicidal) Missions
Photo: Disney

The Characters: Jyn Erso (Felicity Jones), a criminal recruited by the Rebellion, Cassian Andor (Diego Luna), a morally compromised intelligence officer for the Rebellion, Chirrut Îmwe (Donnie Yen), a blind warrior with a strong belief in the Force, K-2SO (Alan Tudyk), a reprogrammed Imperial droid, Bodhi Rook (Riz Ahmed), an Imperial pilot who defects to the Rebellion, and Baze Malbus (Jiang Wen), a heavy weapons specialist and best friend to Chirrut.

The Mission: Jyn Erso's team must steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's planet-destroying superweapon.

Who Survived: No one. Not a single one of them, not even the droid. They do, however, manage to get the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance before being killed.

Also Ranked

#4 on Every Star Wars Movie, Ranked Best to Worst

#5 on The Very Best Movies of 2016, Ranked

#31 on The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins

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