Most people avoid “violence” in real life, but when it comes down to movies, oddly enough, most enjoy violence. For whatever reason we like seeing cars being blown up or bad guys getting beaten. But today’s list isn’t about senseless violence. The list below features some of the most important movies where violence plays a key part of the narrative. (Of course, Quentin Tarantino features heavily on the list).
Whether these films are worth considering is for you to decide, because admittedly a good number of them are hard to take in, but every film that we’ve ranked up on here is interesting in their own ways, though not all of them may have been widely accepted, critically speaking. Our main criteria for ranking these films has been based on both extremity of violence and their cinematic merits. You can watch some of these best violent movies on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime or YouTube. The list includes most violent action movies, violent fighting movies, violent martial arts movies and violent thriller movies.
20. Hostel (2005)
‘Hostel’ starts off generic and bland, which director Eli Roth claimed in interviews was intentional, because later, at about 45 minutes in, the three leading protagonists end up in a torturous hostel, wherein violence knows no bounds. From there on out, the film is all gore and gut and nothing else. The elements of merit that are generally considered in cinema, like a good plot, developed characters, exquisite cinematography, and well-written dialogues are either absent or sedated here, but all of that is replaced with a discomforting sense of inhumanity, and from this viewpoint, the film is effective. It is a unique horror feature that seems to follow the footprints of its clear inspiration ‘Saw’ (2004), placing characters in a claustrophobic atmosphere and having them witness gruesome acts while developing a sense of captivity and inevitability. Roth has an edge here with his atmospheric depiction of hopelessness, which is perhaps the best thing about the film. Though ‘Hostel’ is excessively violent, I still feel it could’ve done a lot better. With a storyline of this kind, the film could’ve sunk a lot deeper into the minds of the audience, had it had better character writing and realistic scenarios.
19. Stoic (2009)
I’m well aware that the terms ‘quality content’ and ‘Uwe Boll’ don’t exactly go along with each other, and I’m not saying ‘Stoic’ is that good a film, but I do think it is the heavily criticized director’s most interesting piece of work. The 2009 film is a pessimistic arthouse thriller, characterized by a lack of human consideration and physical acknowledgment of pain, and it follows the lives of three cellmates who pitilessly torture a fellow fourth, in a gruesome, disturbing, and unforgettable manner. Though Boll is called a terrible filmmaker, the moments of torture in ‘Stoic’ feel all too real and authentic, which makes the experience of watching it that much worse (or better, considering your interests now that you’ve selected this article to read through). The film has its share of problems, like how some scenes just drag because of how poorly written they are, but then again, a lot of it is entertaining, thought-provoking, and different. Boll’s idea of appealing to his audience is one that I’ve never agreed with myself, but there’s something about this one film – perhaps the low-budget feel to it all, or the effective portrayal of violence – that makes me reconsider his skills as a filmmaker. Is he really all that bad?