Live Poll: Movies Where the Villain is the Hero

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  • Updated 9 months ago
  • (Edited)
Who said the villain couldn't be the hero?

Of course, the term is to be taken very loosely... in its "main protagonist" sense, and let's forget about gangster pictures where it's pretty much a genre-defining trope.

Which of these movies where the bad guy is the main character is your favorite?

https://www.imdb.com/list/ls028812636/

https://www.imdb.com/poll/kOLnSSRM8kM/
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ElMo

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Posted 11 months ago

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ACT_1

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ElMo

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yep, seems like I've been making polls forever :)
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Stephen N Russell

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Falling Down
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SeventhAr7

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What about Gone Girl?
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ElMo

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Good call, I'm trying to avoid movies where good and bad characters are equally prominent but here's a case where the whole plot is driven by the villain, that's also why I included Amadeus although Mozart was as much a lead as Salieri.
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SeventhAr7

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I think there are many, but I don't know if this is what you are looking for, such as ...

Nighcrawler
The Social Network (if you consider Mark a selfish douchebag)
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albstein

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I second Nightcrawler. Mark Zuckerberg may be a douchebag but not an outright villain like the (sole) main character in Nightcrawler.
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ElMo

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OK for Nightcrawler, thanks.

As for The Social Network, I agree with al, Mark acts like a selfish prick but if anything, he's not a malicious character.
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ElMo

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Not sure there are many, I mean movies with leading villains and no heroes... 
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SeventhAr7

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Alonzo in Training Day
Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

I don't know if you define Jake or McCarthy as a hero.
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ElMo

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Alonzo yes. I add him.
Nurse Ratched no, she's a lead but she reacts more than acts. And Jake is a tragic hero, antihero first but ultimately hero.
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SeventhAr7

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What about Clyde Shelton in Law Abiding Citizen ?
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ElMo

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I didn't see the film. If you think he fits, then he fits:) Lead villain in a movie that doesn't center on good protagonists?

EDIT: from what I gathered, he seems pretty much like a vigilante-type of protagonist, doesn't he?
(Edited)
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SeventhAr7

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Kind of.

He is just a bad guy because of the circumstances.
Two bums kill and raped his wife and daughter, when they comes to justice just one of these guys was considered guilty and it was the "less guilty" from the crime and the other after make a deal with the prosecutor gets a released.

So, Clyde frustrated by how the system works, generates a grand killing plan in order to do away with corrupt judicial justice...

... but he's considered a villain as the movie continues. At certain he crossed the line of being "vigilante." Normally, a vigilante does not kill innocent people purposely but Clyde does, if you consider that some people do not have a direct correlation with their family tragedy.

I don't know if attends your criteria?
(Edited)
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ElMo

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I just don't want to open the gate to other vigilante, some might think Travis Bickle went a little "overboard" too (in fact he was listed in the AFI's Top 50 villains list). I don't know, really, I don't...
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SeventhAr7

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Travis is more a Vigilant. Clyde not so.

... But in order to know and formulate your own opinion on this you need to watch the movie one day ;)
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ACT_1

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? ?

Beetlejuice  (1988)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094721/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0094721/reference
Michael Keaton   ...  Betelgeuse 
Alec Baldwin   ...  Adam
Geena Davis   ...  Barbara 

A recently-deceased husband and wife
commission a bizarre demon to drive an obnoxious family out of their home.
- - -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betelgeuse
is on average the ninth-brightest star in the night sky
and second-brightest in the constellation of Orion


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ElMo

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Yep it works
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Silitonga

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OMG, there is no The Terminator (1984). Definitely would got my vote.

And I think The Usual Suspect also could work
(Edited)
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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To be fair, despite having a top billing (actually being first in the credits) and a centerpiece of the movie, The Terminator is a CLASSIC antagonist, very much comparable to those of a slasher movie formula. Moreover his screen time (which I am incidentally accounting for a few weeks this month) seems to be less then half an hour: right now I have 26 minutes and that's very inclusive (keep in mind that nearly ten minutes out of those are stunt doubles and special effects, not Schwarzenegger himself). 

One of the most underrated and overshadowed parts of The Terminator is its actual protagonist, Kyle Reese, whom I find an ideal and captivating counterpart to T-800's brutal and menacing machine. 
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ElMo

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I agree that Kyle Reese is criminally underrated. I wouldn't include Arnie for a simple reason (that seconds your reasoning), the title says "Where the Villain is the Hero" granted the word 'hero' isn't meant in its traditional senses, but if they are movies "where the heroes are the heroes" (so to speak) then it doesn't work. 
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Silitonga

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But Terminator is one of AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes & Villains. He's rank at 22 greatest villain. From that point I think he's definitely qualify.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AFI%27s_100_Years...100_Heroes_%26_Villains
(Edited)
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ElMo

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Lol, no need for that link, I'm an AFI buff since 2007 and many of my polls are AFI related.

He's not really the main protagonist, except for the beginning, and it's a movie with a clearly identified hero, two heroes actually, if you check the AFI list there are other great villains I didn't include for the same reason.

If you can give me a movie where there's a villain and no hero (mainly victims or some law enforcers), I'll be glad to add it.
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Silitonga

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LOL
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groovyvic

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My Vote: Baby Jane, with Shining & Henry close behind

My suggestions:

  •  Cannibal Holocaust (1980) could even work, because the tribe leaves the white people alone & minds their own business until the white ppl start climbing in their huts and snatching their people up
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ElMo

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Thanks groovy but I've decided to avoid horror pictures, same reasons than for gangster movies: so many movies are based on that trope. 
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ACT_1

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? ?

The Mechanic  (1972)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068931/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068931/reference
An aging hitman befriends a young man who wants to be a professional killer

Charles Bronson   ...  Arthur Bishop
Jan-Michael Vincent   ...  Steve McKenna
- - -

The Mechanic  (2011)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472399/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0472399/reference
Follows an elite hit man as he teaches his trade to an apprentice
Who has a connection to one of his previous victims

Jason Statham   ...  Arthur Bishop 
Ben Foster   ... Steve McKenna 
- - -


The Equalizer  (1985-1989)    (TV Series)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088513/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0088513/reference
A retired Intelligence Agent turned private detective
helps various threatened clients to equalize the odds.

Edward Woodward   ...    Robert McCall (88 episodes, 1985-1989) 
- - -


The Equalizer  (2014)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455944/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0455944/reference
A man believes he has put his mysterious past behind him
and has dedicated himself to beginning a new, quiet life.
But when he meets a young girl

Denzel Washington   ...  Robert McCall 
- - -


The Equalizer 2  (2018)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3766354/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3766354/reference
Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed,

Denzel Washington   ...  Robert McCall 
- - -

https://www.imdb.com/find?q=The+Equalizer&s=tt





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Stephen N Russell

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Loved Equalizer TV serial then love to see updated with todays weapons & spytech
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ACT_1

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? ?

Add Every movie with
Jason Statham
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005458/





.
(Edited)
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ElMo

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I'd be ready to add any suggestion but even without watching these movies, their plot summaries remind me of 'vigilante' movies, are they clearly represented as bad guys or are they more like Leon the Professional, you know... "killers" with a heart of gold.
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ACT_1

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Vigilante | Revenge movies be different lists ? ?

https://www.imdb.com/search/title-text?plot=Vigilante
1,500 titles

https://www.imdb.com/search/title-text?plot=Revenge
18,018 titles
- - -


Maybe find a movie for your list by

Liam Neeson
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000553/

.


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Peter, Champion

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Downfall?
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Nikolay Yeriomin (Mykola Yeromin), Champion

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I can't plus that suggestion more. Bruno Ganz is terrific as Hitler and makes the character as multi-dimensional as possible. Making Hitler a multi-dimensional character you can relate to in something is a VERY hard task, given how far from common sense real man was. I've only seen that a few times in media, with latest example being Noah Taylor jaw-dropping good and charming performance as highly fictionalized Hell-dwelling Hitler in "Preacher".
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Jessica, Champion

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Bump.
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ElMo

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Ganz was one of my initial thoughts, but I don't know if it would be such a good idea to include him and keep the title the way it is... I know users would get the point but I'm not sure about having the notion of "hero", even if meant loosely, mixed up with that character 
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Peter, Champion

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Okay, I wasn't sure about it myself.
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Simo98

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My vote: Gone Girl (2014)
(Edited)
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rubyfruit76, Champion

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urbanemovies

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 "Good Guys" in Superhero Movies Commit More Violent Acts Than Villains, Study Finds

Sounds like the flip-side could be a poll too, PS: Movies Where the Hero is the Villain
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Peter, Champion

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Should have suggested Mr. Ripley.
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ElMo

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And Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer just came to mind, too.
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ACT_1

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? ?

So, the CIA (Good guys) are after Jason Bourne (Bad guy)
but things are reversed


Jason Bourne  (2016)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4196776/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt4196776/reference
The CIA's most dangerous former operative is drawn out of hiding
to uncover more explosive truths about his past.

The Bourne Ultimatum  (2007)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0440963/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0440963/reference
Jason Bourne dodges a ruthless C.I.A. official and his Agents
from a new assassination program
while searching for the origins of his life as a trained killer.

The Bourne Supremacy  (2004)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372183/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0372183/reference
When Jason Bourne is framed for a CIA operation gone awry,
he is forced to resume his former life as a trained assassin to survive.

The Bourne Identity  (2002)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258463/
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0258463/reference
On a stormy night, a young man is pulled out of the Mediterranean Sea
by the crew of a fishing boat.
Bourne scours Paris for clues about his identity and past life...
and finds himself in the middle of two assassination plots
masterminded by the CIA.


Matt Damon   ...  Jason Bourne
https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000354/


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Intelligence_Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
is a civilian foreign intelligence service of
the Federal government of the United States,
asked with gathering, processing, and analyzing
national security information from around the world

.

(Edited)
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Congratulations ElMaruecan82 on your 521st live poll! As of 8-Nov-2018 8:33 PM Pacific your polls have 1,009,575 or more votes, for an average of 1,938 votes per poll.

Movies Where the Villain is the Hero
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