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Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes

Updated September 10, 2020 1.8k votes 270 voters 8.0k views25 items

Many memorable movie protagonists ride in on their white horses to save the day, but some of the best heroes are complex characters with a dark side. The top films about very dark heroes feature brave characters who with cross moral lines in order to ultimately do the right thing. This is a list of the greatest movies about dark heroes including everything from Taxi Driver to V for Vendetta to The Crow.

What films will you find on this list of the best movies about dark heroes? Batman is famous among superheroes for his brooding tendencies, and The Dark Knight pushes him further into murky territory than he's ever gone before. The Devil's Rejects is another movie that finds audiences rooting for some very flawed heroes. When they become trapped inside a den of vampires, a family must work with their murderous kidnappers to make it out alive in From Dusk till Dawn. Other good films featured on this list include Birdman, Dirty Harry, and Falling Down.

Which dark hero would you call to save the day? Vote the best films up to the top of this list and please add any good movies that are missing.

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  • 1
    The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics... more on Wikipedia
  • 2
    The Dark Knight Rises is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    The Dark Knight Rises

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2012

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Dark Knight Rises is a 2012 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC... more on Wikipedia
  • 3
    Logan is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    Logan

    Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart

    Directed byJames Mangold

    Logan is a 2017 American superhero drama film featuring the Marvel Comics character Wolverine.... more on Wikipedia
  • 4
    Deadpool is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    Deadpool

    Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin

    Released2016

    Directed byTim MIller

    Deadpool is a 2016 American superhero film directed by Tim Miller, based on the Marvel Comics... more on Wikipedia
  • 5
    The Good, The Bad And The Ugly is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    19

    The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

    Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach

    Released1966

    Directed bySergio Leone

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is a 1966 Italian epic Spaghetti Western film directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    V For Vendetta is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    23

    V For Vendetta

    Natalie Portman, John Hurt

    Released2005

    Directed byJames McTeigue

    V for Vendetta is a 2006 American political thriller film directed by James McTeigue and... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Léon: The Professional is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    24

    Léon: The Professional

    Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman

    Released1994

    Directed byLuc Besson

    Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action thriller film written and... more on Wikipedia
  • 8
    Batman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    21

    Batman

    Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

    Released1989

    Directed byTim Burton

    Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton, based on the DC Comics... more on Wikipedia
  • 9
    Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    22

    Taxi Driver

    Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster

    Released1976

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin... more on Wikipedia
  • 10
    Mad Max: Fury Road is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    32

    Mad Max: Fury Road

    Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron

    Released2015

    Directed byGeorge Miller

    Mad Max: Fury Road is a 2015 action film directed by George Miller. In a post apocalyptic... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    The Punisher is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    The Punisher

    John Travolta, Rebecca Romijn

    Released2004

    Directed byJonathan Hensleigh

    The Punisher is a 2004 American comic book vigilante action film based on the Marvel Comics... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Payback is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    1

    Payback

    Mel Gibson, Lucy Liu

    Released1999

    Directed byBrian Helgeland

    Payback is a 1999 American action film directed by Brian Helgeland and starring Mel Gibson,... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    The Crow is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    22

    The Crow

    Bai Ling, Brandon Lee

    Released1994

    Directed byAlex Proyas

    The Crow is a 1994 American fantasy action film directed by Alex Proyas, written by David J.... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
    39
    21

    Dirty Harry

    Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel

    Released1971

    Directed byDon Siegel

    Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    Pitch Black is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
    34
    19

    Pitch Black

    Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell

    Released2000

    Directed byDavid Twohy

    Pitch Black is a 2000 science fiction horror film co-written and directed by David Twohy. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 16
    Darkman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
    0
    0

    Darkman

    Liam Neeson, Frances McDormand

    Released1990

    Directed bySam Raimi

    Darkman is a 1990 American superhero action film directed and co-written by Sam Raimi. It is... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    The Wolverine is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    The Wolverine

    Hugh Jackman, Tao Okamoto

    Released2013

    Directed byJames Mangold

    The Wolverine is a 2013 American superhero film directed by James Mangold, based on the Marvel... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    The Boondock Saints is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
    34
    24

    The Boondock Saints

    Willem Dafoe, Norman Reedus

    Released1999

    Directed byTroy Duffy

    The Boondock Saints is a 1999 American film written and directed by Troy Duffy. The film stars... more on Wikipedia
  • 19
    Falling Down is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    24

    Falling Down

    Robert Duvall, Michael Douglas

    Released1993

    Directed byJoel Schumacher

    Falling Down is a 1993 drama film directed by Joel Schumacher and written by Ebbe Roe Smith.... more on Wikipedia
  • 20
    The Devil's Rejects is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
    28
    19

    The Devil's Rejects

    Diamond Dallas Page, Danny Trejo

    Released2005

    Directed byRob Zombie

    The Devil's Rejects is a 2005 American horror film written and directed by Rob Zombie, and the... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    From Dusk Till Dawn is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    From Dusk Till Dawn

    Salma Hayek, George Clooney

    Released1996

    Directed byRobert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly

    From Dusk till Dawn is a 1996 American horror-crime thriller film directed by Robert Rodriguez... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas

    Johnny Depp, Cameron Diaz

    Released1998

    Directed byTerry Gilliam

    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is a 1998 American dark comedy film co-written and directed by... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Birdman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    Birdman

    Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

    Released2014

    Directed byAlejandro González Iñárritu

    Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), commonly referred to as Birdman, is a 2014... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
    5
    6

    RoboCop

    Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller

    Released1987

    Directed byPaul Verhoeven

    RoboCop is a 1987 American cyberpunk action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by... more on Wikipedia
  • 25
    A Prophet is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Great Movies About Very Dark Heroes
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    18

    A Prophet

    Leïla Bekhti, Tahar Rahim

    Released2009

    Directed byJacques Audiard

    A Prophet is a 2009 French prison drama film directed by Jacques Audiard from a screenplay he... more on Wikipedia
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