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

Aaron Edwards
450 votes 113 voters 5.5k views 15 items Embed

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 Movies "Loosely" Based on True Stories

#1 on The Best War Movies Ever

#80 on The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

#50 on The Most Nausea-Inducing Great Films

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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

#10 on The Best War Movies Ever

#32 on List of Movies Like Inception

#24 on The Best Epic Movies

#67 on The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

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Inglourious Basterds is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The 15 Best Movies About Suicide (or Seemingly Suicidal) Missions
Photo: The Weinstein Company

The Characters: Lieutenant Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) recruits a team of Jewish-American soldiers to go behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany to kill as many enemy soldiers as possible and scalp them to spread fear.

The Mission: The team discovers that a movie screening will hold some of the Nazis' top leaders, including Hitler, and plan to bring it all crumbling to the ground.

Who Survived: The only two of the team we know for sure survived are Lieutenant Raine and Private Smithson (B. J. Novak). The entire Nazi brass, including Hitler, is killed.

Also Ranked

#29 on The Best War Movies Ever

#43 on List of Movies Like Inception

#66 on The Best Movies of All Time

#27 on The Greatest World War II Movies of All Time

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Seven Samurai is listed (or ranked) 4 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

#72 on The Best War Movies Ever

#43 on The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

#91 on The Best Adventure Movies

#61 on The Best Epic Movies

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