20 films about revenge and retribution

You can endlessly look at two things – how the heads of the guilty fly off and how justice is done. Pain, anger and a thirst for revenge drive the heroes of a selection of action-packed films about revenge. The spectacle is not conducive to peaceful slumber, events are unwinding, warming up the intrigue – and now the hunters turn into victims, and the avengers come up with more and more sophisticated punishments.

Promising Girl (2020)

A new film with a feminist message is a thriller nominated for Oscar 2021. Cassandra is the perfect university student. She is smart, beautiful, and plans to become an eminent doctor . It seemed that her future was full of incredible achievements. But one tragic event changes everything. Now she leads a double life. During the day she is a barista of a coffee shop, and at night she is a hunter of unprincipled men. What is the girl’s goal and why is she portraying a drunk in bars?

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Promising Young Woman

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Carey Mulligan, Bo Burnham, Alison Brie …

Country:
UK, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 7.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Snow blower (2019)

An interesting thriller worth watching for fans of films with black humor about revenge and original methods of retribution. In conditions of extreme cold, snowplow driver Mr. Coxman enters the bloody warpath. A man learns that his young son died from a drug overdose . Now the meaning of the life of a respectable citizen is to find and punish the perpetrators. Coxman goes on the trail of the drug cartel, and begins to meticulously remove the enemies.

Original title:
Cold Pursuit

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Emmy Rossum …

Country:
UK, Norway, Canada, USA, France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.2

Age restrictions:
18+


British Psycho (2019)

Kane Burgess landed in prison , succumbing to the influence of his older brother. In the inhuman conditions of the most severe penitentiary in England, the hero will have to survive for seven years. Other inhabitants of the prison are hostile – every day skirmishes and violent fights. The only thing that gives strength to fight is an unquenchable thirst for revenge. Finally, Kane is free and it remains only to find out who tried to make his prison life unbearable.

Original title:
Avengement

Genre:
Action, crime

Actors:
Scott Adkins, Craig Fairbrass, Thomas Turgus …

Country:
United Kingdom

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Crimson Mint (2018)

A foreign film about women’s revenge for the murder of loved ones received mixed reviews from the audience, but still the majority rated the action movie highly. The story of how a family on vacation becomes an unwitting participant in a street shootout where only a young woman survives. She will devote the next five years to becoming the perfect killing machine and taking revenge on all the offenders for the death of her family – bandits, lying lawyers and corrupt policemen.

Original title:
Peppermint

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama

Actors:
Jennifer Garner, John Gallagher Jr., John Ortiz …

Country:
Hong Kong, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
18+


Death Wish (2017)

The happy father of the family and successful surgeon Paul leads a measured quiet life. One day, while the doctor is at the clinic, robbers break into his house . Paul’s wife dies and his daughter falls into a coma. What is left for a desperate man to do when the police are inactive, and the criminals roam free? The hero takes everything into his own hands: he steals firearms and goes on the path of revenge.

Original title:
Death Wish

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:
Bruce Willis, Vincent D’Onofrio, Elisabeth Shue …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.5, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Survivor (2015)

The place of honor in the list of the best films about revenge is occupied by another masterpiece from the Mexican Inarritu. The adventure drama about betrayal, played out in the vastness of the Wild West, managed to get an Oscar in three categories. Hunter Hugh Glass is wounded and left to die by his comrade. He will have to challenge nature, himself, the piercing cold, wild animals and hostile tribes . The main thing is to survive and take revenge.

Original title:
The Revenant

Genre:
Adventure, western, action

Actors:
Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson …

Country:
USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.0

Age limit:
18+


Revenge haute couture (2015)

Once upon a time, Tilly had to leave her hometown because of false accusations. Years have passed, a self-confident and stylish woman returns home. Local residents are suspicious of the newcomer and do not favor her with a good attitude. However, Tilly’s wit and superb talent as a seamstress help win over the local ladies. Because sometimes the best revenge is to smile and move on.

Original title:
The Dressmaker

Genre:
Drama, comedy

Actors:
Kate Winslet, Judy Davis, Liam Hemsworth …

Country:
Australia

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.3, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


John Wick (2014)

The action-packed, highly rated film is on the list of the best revenge thrillers and deserves to be watched by all animal rights activists. The dog is man’s best friend. And if this is a friend donated by the deceased wife, it is definitely worth revenge for his murder. Especially if you’re a former high-class assassin. John Wick, armed with new weapons and connections in the criminal world, goes on the trail of bandits who dared to steal his beloved 1969 Mustang and kill his only true friend – the dog Daisy.

Original title:
John Wick

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:
Keanu Reeves, Mikael Nykvist, Alfie Allen…

Country:
China, USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
16+


Retribution (2013)

The biopic tells the story of a man whose fate was crippled by the war. British officer Eric Lomax during the Second World War was captured by the Japanese and sent to build a railway, nicknamed the “Death Road”. Inhuman labor, torture and deprivation accompanied the soldiers until the last day of their lives. But our hero survived. Decades later, Lomax learns that one of the camp’s most brutal officers is alive. Dreaming of retribution, the man decides to meet his tormentor.

Original title:
The Railway Man

Genre:
Drama, melodrama, military, biography

Actors:
Jeremy Irwin, Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard …

Country:
Australia, UK

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.1

Age restrictions:
16+


One less (2012)

Thanks to the famously twisted plot and Colin Farrell in the title role, the film about revenge for the family looks in one breath. Due to the actions of the criminal boss, Victor’s wife and daughter die. The hero, in order to settle scores with criminals, decides to study the enemy from the inside and becomes a member of the gang. But the mysterious neighbor Beatrice interferes with his plans. Circumstances are going well for her – she knows Victor’s secret, which means she can blackmail him. But the price of her silence is not money, but murder.

Original title:
Dead Man Down

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime, action

Actors:
Colin Farrell, Noomi Rapace, Terrence Howard …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.5

Age restrictions:
16+


Colombiana (2011)

Cataleya has one secret from her lover – she is a hired killer, and her own uncle is an important figure in the criminal environment. The brutal reprisal against her parents in front of her eyes led a nine-year-old girl to such a fate. Now Kata is a high-class killer, and years of training have only strengthened her desire to avenge the death of her relatives and the horror she experienced. Traces of an old crime lead to a Colombian drug lord .

Original title:
Colombiana

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama

Actors:
Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molla, Lenny James…

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.6, IMDb – 6.4

Age restrictions:
16+


I spit on your graves (2010)

A film about the sophisticated and extremely cruel revenge of the victim on his tormentors – a remake of the thriller “Day of the Woman”. Solitude in the wilderness for the young writer Jennifer turned into a real nightmare. Four local thugs break into her house one night. First, the bastards mock and rape the girl, and then decide to kill her. But Jennifer manages to survive, and her revenge will be inventive.

Original title:
I Spit on Your Grave

Genre:
Horror, thriller

Actors:
Sarah Butler, Jeff Branson, Andrew Howard…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.3

Age restrictions:
18+


Iron grip (2010)

The life of a fourteen-year-old girl, Matty Ross, was no different from the everyday life of other children. Everything turned upside down on the day when a hired worker killed her father and went on the run, getting away from punishment. Matty does not report the tragedy to her mother and takes up the cause of revenge herself. After finding two assistants – a federal marshal and a Texas Ranger, she goes in search of a killer deep into hostile Indian territory.

Original title:
True Grit

Genre:
Drama, Western, Adventure

Actors:
Jeff Bridges, Hailee Steinfeld, Matt Damon…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 7.6

Age Limits :
16+


22 Bullets: Immortal (2010)

The real case with the leader of the Marseille mafia, Jacques Imbert, who received 7 bullets and 15 buckshots during the assassination attempt, gave the idea to the creators of the French crime movie about revenge. It’s not easy to retire when you’re one of the godfathers of Marseille’s underworld. Mafiosi Charles Matei thinks he deserves a rest, but his co-workers disagree. Several friends make a brutal assassination attempt on the hero, putting 22 bullets into the poor fellow. But by some miracle, Charles remains alive, but the life of his offenders is now a big question.

Original title:
L’immortel

Genre:
Action, drama

Actors:
Jean Reno, Kad Merad, Jean-Pierre Darroussin …

Country:
France

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
18+


Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

A few years ago, a tragedy occurred in the life of Clyde Shelton – a gang of criminals killed his wife and daughter. Like any citizen of the rule of law, Shelton hoped for justice. However, the district attorney made a deal with the criminals, releasing the killer from prison. Then the desperate man decides to create retribution with his own hands, and his wrath will fall not only on personal enemies, but on the entire judicial system as a whole.

Original title:
Law Abiding Citizen

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, Colm Mini…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 8.0, IMDb – 7.4

Age restrictions:
18+


Death Sentence (2007)

A film about justice and revenge takes us to the everyday life of an ordinary office worker Nick. He is living the American dream come true – love, two beautiful sons, a successful career. Nick’s ideal worldview will crumble when street thugs slit his son’s throat in front of him. The indescribable rage in the soul of the father and the desire to protect the family at any cost will transform the man and lead him on the path of bloody revenge.

Original title:
Death Sentence

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Kevin Bacon, Garrett Hedlund, Kelly Preston …

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.8

Age Limits :
16+


Courageous (2007)

The heroine of the crime drama Erica Bain hosts a show on the radio station Walking in New York. In the evenings, Erica and her future husband David walk the dog around their beloved city, enjoying each other’s company. On one of these evenings, young people are attacked by criminals and severely beaten. David died from the beatings, but Erica survived. A previously calm and modest girl decides to acquire weapons in order to take revenge on street bandits.

Original title:
The Brave One

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Jodie Foster, Terrence Howard, Naveen Andrews…

Country:
USA

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Sympathy for Lady Revenge (2005)

The final film of the highly acclaimed retaliation trilogy by South Korean director Park Chan-wook. Like the previous films in the cycle, this is a cruel picture with frank scenes of violence. The story of 19-year-old Lee Geum-ja who served time in prison for kidnapping she didn’t commit. Having been released after 13 years, the girl is still obsessed with revenge. With the help of prison friends, she will go in search of the one who broke her fate.

Original title:
Chinjeolhan Geumjassi

Genre:
Thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Lee Yong-ae, Choi Min-sik, Kim Shi-hu …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.5, IMDb – 7.6

Age restrictions:
18+


Anger (2004)

The revenge action movie begins in Mexico, a country where a kidnapping occurs every hour . The goal of the criminals is to get a large ransom for children from wealthy families. So Mexican businessman Samuel decides to hire a bodyguard for his daughter Pita. The choice falls on the well-trained former marine Kreese. At first, the talkative girl terribly annoys the serious uncle, but they soon become friends. When Pita is kidnapped, Creasy vows to return the baby at any cost and punish those who started this game.

Original title:
Man on Fire

Genre:
Action, thriller, drama, crime

Actors:
Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning, Radha Mitchell, Christopher Walken, Mickey Rourke…

Country:
USA, UK, Mexico, Switzerland

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.7

Age restrictions:
16+


Kill Bill (2003)

The film about the adventures of a crazy blonde has not left the top of the most epic films with a bloody denouement for more than 15 years. A hired killer named Black Mamba is about to get married. However, the former colleagues of the woman see the wedding celebration in their own way. They make a bloody mess at the wedding, killing the groom and trying to finish off the Mamba. After the events in the church, the girl wakes up in the hospital 4 years later. While her body is not yet ready to take revenge, but the soul is already burning with hellish fire. Retribution awaits all those involved, but Mamba’s main target is her former boss Bill.

Original title:
Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Genre:
Action, thriller, crime

Actors:
Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Vivica A. Fox, Julie Dreyfus …

Country:
USA, Japan

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.6, IMDb – 8.1

Age restrictions:
18+


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Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

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