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12 Best Assassin Movies of All Time

Updated June 26, 2018
8 min read

The roots of the word assassination come from the Arabic group, who used to kill the members of elite families, for political and religious reasons. True to the meaning of its original word, in today’s world, assassinations take place to bump off the influential, political and sometimes the rich. It’s the extreme measure that’s often implemented by terrorists and some times by the Government, to eradicate targets.

Over the years, Hollywood has come up with movies about hitmans, assassins and assassinations. Our list tells you about ten such movies, where either the assassination took place or they were supposed to but they didn’t and the aftermath associated with it. Read on.. here is the list of the top hitman movies ever. You can stream some of these best assassin movies on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.

12. The Machinist (2011)

Played by Jason Statham, Bishop is a professional assassin employed by an organization that provides him with names of high profile victims which includes a Colombian drug lord. He is an expert at stealth infiltration and skilled at hand to hand combat. He is also extremely resourceful and often uses his surroundings to help him in his mission. A completely cold and manipulative person Bishop is a highly calculating killer and like a snake that charms its prey he too can be affable and charming when required. He displays a great deal of sophistication as is evident in his music choices and is also adept at designing explosives. He is a thoroughly dangerous man and a cold blooded killer if ever there was one to grace the Hollywood screens.

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11. Valkyrie (2008)

There were many assassination attempts on Adolf Hitler but the 20th July plot or more commonly known as the Operation Valkyrie is the one, this movie talks about. This operation was a methodical approach to kill Hitler and then take Germany’s reign from the hands of the Nazis. Tom Cruise played Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg who had a major role in the operation. Beautifully detailed, ‘Valkyrie’ is one of those stories which tells about the bravery and the sacrifice of few people who loved their country. One of the best sequences of the movie is the actual event taking place at the wolf’s lair.

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10. The Conspirator (2010)

Among the list of people who were executed for the murder of Abraham Lincoln, there was a woman named Mary Surratt. Incidentally, she was the first woman to be executed by the United States Government. Although the movie deals sympathetically with Mary Surratt and portrays her as a victim of the situation, more importantly it highlights the need of fair trial instead of people pleasing judgements. Starring James McAvoy and Robin Wright, this one’s a period court room drama.

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9. In the Line Of Fire (1993)

An elite secret service agent who failed to avert the assassination of Kennedy, is forced to take up the weapon, at the advent of a former CIA agent turned psychopath who’s about to kill the president. Highly stylised and sleek, is how this thriller has been made. John Malkovich plays the rogue agent who wants to kill the president where as Clint Eastwood plays the agent who wants to thwart it. There’s a constant game of oneupmanship going between Malkovich and Eastwood which makes it highly entertaining.

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8. Of Gods And Men (2010)

This french movie depicts the events leading to the assassination of eight christian monks, during the Algerian civil war. The actual assassination remains mysterious till date where both the terrorists and the Government have been blamed for the murders. More than the motive behind the killing, the movie concentrates about the monks with unshakeable faith and belief in the religion. It received widespread critical acclaim upon release and received the Grand Prix award at the Cannes in 2010. One of the most poignant scenes of the movie is where the monks share red wine at the supper table, making it a reminiscent of the Last Supper.

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7. Conspiracy (2001)

For modern day historians, Holocaust is probably the most heinous crime ever to have occurred, during WWII. It took shape as the final solution of the so called Jew Problem and resulted in deaths of innocents. But how did the Nazis reach to the consensus so ghastly in nature? ‘Conspiracy’ depicts that closed room meeting of SS elites which decided the fates of the Jews. The movie begins and ends in a closed door meeting, without actually showing any violence. But a group of people sitting together to concoct a genocide is truly disturbing.

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6. Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

Perhaps the biggest manhunt for one of the most wanted persons in the world took place in the last decade. And it wasn’t easy because it came at a heavy cost. Apart from the devastation, it was one woman’s struggle with her self. Two third of the movie is devoted to the long search while the remaining is the actual operation. This movie raised many questions, the foremost being the waterboarding and other torture techniques that reminded of Abu Ghraib. Well crafted and brilliantly made, this movie went on to win many accolades.

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5. The Assassination Of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)

On paper, it can be seen as an outlaw getting murdered by one of his own henchmen. But then again, subtlety, thy name is art ! If you watch it closely, you can actually feel the devotion of an admirer or a fan turning into obsession. Was there more to the killing than the mere bounty? Did Jesse goad the cowardly Robert to be his killer? Guess, we’ll never know. Starring Brad Pitt as Jesse James and Casey Affleck as Robert Ford, this movie received widespread critical acclaim, earning Casey a nomination for best supporting actor at the academy awards.

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4. The Day Of The Jackal (1973)

Think of a suave and classy assassin, who can sweep women of their feet at one go and can assemble a rifle with equal precision. Are you thinking of James Bond? Okay, he’s akin to Bond, only badder. Conceptualised by Frederick Forsyth and brought alive on screen by Edward Fox, we are talking about a man who is only known by his code name – Jackal. On a mission to assassinate the French President, he moves into France and despite his plans becoming public, he boldly goes ahead with it.

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3. JFK (1991)

Was it a lone gun man? Was it planned by the commies? Was it the Mafia? The questions about one of the most intrigued, much discussed and till date unsolved murder of then American President John F Kennedy remain unanswered. What baffled people was the urgency of the officials to tag the murder to a certain individual and before the motive could have been established in the court of law, the man was publicly shot dead. Part fiction and part history, Oliver Stone’s ‘JFK’ was labelled by its maker as the counter lie to the Government’s official lie.

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2. Pulp Fiction (1994)

The iconic duo from Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, despite their comic mishaps are thoroughly dangerous. They shoot straight and are completely cold blooded – one only need remember how effortlessly they talk about foot massages to while away the time before breaking into an apartment and killing most of the residents. Employed by a gangster by the name of Marcellus Wallace, Vincent played by John Travolta and Jules played by Samuel L. Jackson, are quite professional and highly dangerous. Jules’ recitation of the Bible before killing his victims has become a cult dialogue and it is safe to say that this duo is, as it says on Jules’ wallet, ‘Bad motherfucker’.

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1. Z (1969)

When a political figure of the opposition party gets killed by a couple of hooligans, at first it’s thought of as an accident. As the investigation proceeds further, murkier details about a Government conspiracy surfaces. While the movie seems to end with punishments meted to the accused, subsequent events tell otherwise. The key witnesses get killed, the accused and the involved officials are dealt leniently and the Government uses force to subdue further revolution, including the letter ‘Z’ which means ‘He Lives’. The first film n the history of academy awards to have been nominated as the best foreign language film as well as the best picture, ‘Z’ is an audacious masterpiece.

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