Top 10 Violent Movies


Some movies feature intense violence that really stays with us after the final credits stop rolling. These films use dark intensity, and the most primitive instincts of man, to grab our attention and make us think. Here is our list of top ten violent films –

10. Kill Bill  (Vols. 1 & 2)

Quentin Tarantino directed these films with his usual gusto, casting Uma Thurman as the Bride, a vengeful former member of the Deadly Assassination Squad. When The Bride’s ex-lover, Bill, betrays her, turning her wedding day into a scene of epic bloodshed, The Bride vows revenge. These films display Tarantino’s excellent grasp of cinematic pacing, as well as slick, creative martial arts scenes that amp up the visual impact. The first film, and its equally grisly sequel, featured a dizzying pace of violence and aggression, as The Bride continues her quest for the only thing she wants – to kill Bill.

9. Rambo (2008)

John Rambo went back into action in this riveting, blood-soaked action film. Rambo had decided to live a quiet, peaceful life in Thailand, but his conscience led him to assist Christian missionaries as they attempted to aid the Karen people of Burma. The whole Burmese region was a war-torn powder keg of crime, murder, and injustice, and Rambo could no longer look the other way. He took the missionaries upriver to Burma, in his own boat, and they had little idea what bloodshed and horror awaited them there. Rambo tried to protect them, in his own, inimitable fashion. The river journey echoed Heart of Darkness, with its ominous sense of doom, and the battle scenes were harsh and realistic.

8. Saving Private Ryan

Steven Spielberg is a master, able to develop characters and create impact within any context. When he directed Saving Private Ryan, his genius was at its peak. His depictions of the D-Day invasion at Normandy on June 6th, 1944, will go down in history for their gritty realism. As usual, Spielberg tempered the terrible violence that the infantry suffered as they fought for the Allies with a sensitive storyline that made us care about the characters. Excellent casting and superb acting made this very violent film resonate with all of us.

7.  Kingdom of Heaven

The bloodshed and brutality of the Crusades is the backdrop in Ridley Scott’s epic adventure film, Kingdom of Heaven. A simple blacksmith, played by Orlando Bloom, finds out his father is a Knight, who is traveling on horseback to Jerusalem. His father invites him to go on the quest, but Bloom’s character, Balian, refuses. Only after Balian kills a village priest does he agree to go along. Eventually, Balian becomes a protector of Jerusalem, fighting against the Saracen king, Saladin, and his strong army. Ridley Scott creates a visually dazzling world full of swordfights and hand-to-hand combat, set within the Holy Land itself.

6. Natural Born Killers

Mickey and Mallory don’t kill for profit, or politics: they do it because it feels good. In Natural Born Killers, the male/female duo, played by Woody Harrelson and Juliette Lewis, begin a gruesome killing spree, down Route 666, as their sociopathic desires drive them onward. As Mickey and Mallory continue to kill, they become a media sensation. This dark, satiric film, directed by Oliver Stone, aims the spotlight at America’s unhealthy fascination with crime, murder, and serial killers.

5. War Of The Worlds

Steven Spielberg attempted to faithfully capture the vision and genius of H.G. Well’s novel (The War Of The Worlds) in this tense, taut film. The terror, indecision, and even selfishness, of humankind were underscored as the aliens began their massive invasion of the planet. Tom Cruise did an excellent job in this film, playing a character who grew and matured into a protector and a hero, from more immature beginnings. The gory violence and dripping blood that seemed to pervade this film was frightening and disturbing. In fact, some critics and moviegoers were shocked at how very dark this film was.

4.) Troy

Helen Of Troy is best known in myth and history as “the face that launched a thousand ships”. Her beauty brought forth the passion in Paris, the Prince of Troy. By giving into his love for Helen, who was married to King Menelaus, and taking her to Troy, Paris set an epic battle in motion. The forces of King Menelaus and his powerful, royal brother amassed to seek revenge. In this film, legions of Greeks and Trojans fell to their deaths as the two armies fought for dominance. This long, involved tale also featured Brad Pitt and Eric Bana as hunky soldiers (Achilles and Prince Hector). Girly Orlando Bloom played Paris, The Prince of Troy.

3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Return Of The King – Return of the King begins with the search for Mordor. Frodo and Sam use the Gollum to guide them, and the relationship between the two Hobbits suffers accordingly. Sam does not trust the Gollum, and Frodo seems to grow ever closer to the strange creature. In time, Frodo faces the true nature of the Gollum and hurls him into a crevasse. From these tense beginnings, Return of The King becomes an even darker quest, as our heroes attempt to reach Mount Doom. Many battles and many fierce creatures await the Hobbits as they face betrayal, great armies of bloodthirsty Orcs, and the power of the Ring.

2. Gladiator

This film was a triumph, a perfect blending of plot, atmosphere, action and dimensional characters. Director Ridley Scott created an eerie, ethereal atmosphere in the opening battle sequence, with amazing cinematography and stunning realism. Russell Crowe brought a rugged, believable quality to his portrayal of Maximus. As well, a stellar performance by Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus, the bitter, jealous son of the emperor Marcus Aurelius, was a highlight of this violent spectacle.

1. 300

The director of 300, Zak Snyder, also directed the remake of Dawn Of The Dead in 2004. His experience in the horror genre was put to good use during this adaptation of Frank Miller and Lynn Varley’s graphic novel. Bloody combat and the war cry of “Sparta” were the heart of this film, which told the story of the Battle of Thermopylae, in 480 B.C. Gerard Butler displayed his range as he portrayed the King of Sparta, who leads his army against the advancing Persians. This role represented a real change from past roles he played, such as The Phantom Of The Opera. In 300, epic bloodshed is the price that must be paid for a more democratic future.

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  1. Heather Matthews on

    Hi Anonymous,

    If you scroll back through the comments, you’ll see a little discussion about Burgess’ masterwork. πŸ™‚

    Thanks for your comment, have a nice day.


  2. Way too many recent blockbusters, not enough classics. Not one Arnold movie? Not even the terminator or Total recall? And First Blood, parts one and two are arguably superior to Rambo. I’m sorry my friend, but if its pg-13, it isn’t violent.

  3. M…. a Clockwork Orange, Saw (saga), Freddy vs. Jason… Lord of the Rings? SERIOUSLY?? I completely disagree with this list.

    • Heather Matthews on

      I'm sorry you don't agree with the list. Your comments make a lot of sense, I don't watch a lot of horror myself, so that element was missing. Thanks for your feedback.

  4. the most violent film in history is cannibal holocaust. it combines authentic and fake "FX" imagery so well that you dont know when the gore is real. well you do. obviously they wouldnt show actual people being cut up and eaten in what i can only describe as horrific footage. there are various animal killings. some for food, some for fun. but the worst aspect is the sheer brutality of the film. just as apocalypse now shows martin sheens decent into darkness this film portrays the film makers as anarchic killers, who venture into the endless amazon jungle to execute and torture as many tribesmen as possible in order to "win an oscar." this site is a joke.

    • Honestly, Cannibal Holocaust isn't that bad.

      Everyone makes it out to be the most terrible movie ever, and when I saw it I was severely disappointed.

      Yeah, so the animal violence was real.

      Like the turtle part I guess. It was cool. lol

      but honestly, there are so many movies out there with the sole purpose of overdoing the gore factor.

      They just happen to be very low-budget :p

      Troma movies for example.

      a lot of what I've seen is stupid as hell, but they get very violent.

      just watch Terror Firmer. you'll see what I mean.

      there's some pretty gruesome Japanese movies too.

      try Tokyo Gore Police

  5. "The" Gollum? It's his name, hon, not his species or something. Just "Gollum". Humour a Lord of the Rings geek here will ya?

    Anyway, I think this would be better titled "Top Ten Violent Family Films" or even "Top Ten Violent Films That Most Ten-Year-Olds Have Seen". The really violent films are not so well known, and they certainly aren't summer blockbusters. They are truly horrific, honey. Even reading the summaries would mess you up for days. There are movies out there filled with stuff you can't even imagine. Cannibal Holocaust is one, "Salo" is another. DON'T watch it, don't attempt to watch it, don't even watch a clip of it. The really violent films are highly controversial, sometimes banned, and only a handful of people can bear to even watch them. You obviously have no knowledge of this type of film, which is good for your mental health but bad when you try to write an informative list. I'd say do your research in future, but with a topic like this it's not a good idea. Just maybe be a little less ambitious with your titles next time?

  6. Heather Matthews on

    Ok, it's just a top ten list. It's one point of view. Thanks for your feedback.

  7. I can't believe I've actually seen them all… However, there are films that are much more violent. Just see Hostel or Saw. Albeit, the movies on this list are good ones

  8. Nobody here a Tarentino fan? Reservoir Dogs is much worse than Kill Bill, the violence is much more cold blooded and realistic as in you could see this sort of thing happening. None of the movies on your list do. I agree with most of the comments, none of the movies on your list even made me wince once. Top Ten Violent Family Friendly Movies it is. Look, if you're going to write a Top 10 List that sounds like it is authoritative then you should at least be something of an authority! Every one of the movies on your list is something I would have no trouble finding at Blockbuster. Trust me, I have no interest in ever cruising your video/DVD library. However some of the commenters…well I'd love to exchange some tapes with some of you.

    This should have been titled Top 10 Most Violent Movies Seen By Heather Matthews Who Doesn't Like Violent Movies or Top 10 Violent Movies For People Who Don't Watch This Kinda Stuff

  9. Where is Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs?

    None of the above can beat Mr. Orange slowly bleeding to death

    from a gut shot while a cop's ear is hacked off with a razor blade…

  10. Why the hell isnt Braveheart on this list? thats hailed as one of the most violent movies of all time…the numerous battle scenes are so gory and blood-ridden im surprised its not at least number 3 on this list if not higher!

  11. Heather Matthews on

    hi Dirty Harry,

    There is a discussion about A Clockwork Orange in these comments, if you scroll back through all of them. It's a great idea, thanks for your feedback.

    Spencer, Braveheart is also a great idea. Sorry, it's more difficult to choose ten violent films than it might appear.

  12. Texas chainsaw massacre… Ichi The Killer… Saw… Hostel.. Cannibal Series.. MidNight Meat Train… Clockwork Orange… Tokyo Gore Police.. Hills have eyes… – Man, the movies really not for kids… and not for adult with a kid hearts too – Not violent, sadistic more agreed.

    btw, thank you Heather for the effort. At least you try.. ^_^

  13. Heather Matthews on

    Thanks Mr. Happy,

    How polite you are πŸ™‚ It's so nice not to be insulted. I'm very grateful πŸ™‚ Your picks are really good, I'm sorry if this list wasn't my best – I did try.

  14. ha ha my vilage names on travian answer this one i was just serching for some more untouchables and training dya still to come


    ? [A]merican history x (97|-14)

    ? [B]oyz In Da Hood (90|-10)

    ? [C]lockwork Orange (130|-8)

    ? [D]onnie Brasco (97|-11)

    ? [F]ight Club (95|-16)

    ? [G]odFather (94|-9)

    ? [G]oodFellas (90|-5)

    ? [M]enaceIIsociety (98|-12)

    ? [N]aturalbornkillers (98|-16)

    ? [P]ulp Fiction (94|-7)

    ? [R]eservoir Dogs (129|-10)

    ? [R]omper Stomper (98|-15)

    ? [S]carface (100|-14)

    ? [S]cum (99|-16)

    ? [T]he Krays (91|-8)

    ? [T]rue romance (86|-15)

    ? [U]sual suspects (93|-9)

    ? [W]arriors (92|-10)

    • great list! but "clockwork orange" is actually "A clockwork orange" so it would start with an A. (i really debated on even sending this. im not trying to be mean… just thought i should point it out ) have a good day!

  15. Heather Matthews on

    Hi There You Go,

    Great picks, what a cool idea to use these films as your village names πŸ™‚ have a great day, thx for commenting.

  16. I think the authors reach exceeded her grasp.

    Lord of the Rings? That movie trilogy was bloodless and the author clearly either didn't see the movie or wasn't paying attension. Gollum is not thrown into the volcano by Frodo. Gullom was consumed literally and thematically by his greed and his pursuit of the ring.

    • Also….Gollums death was the thematic conclusion of the third movie but according to the poorly written recap it sounds like Gollum died at the "begining" of the quest.

  17. Mike, if you read the lord of the rings trilogy, or even watch the movie, u will see that gollum is thrown into mt doom by frodo. there is no alternative. yes, gollum was consumed by the ring but thats not why he died…..frodo killed him. threw him into the lava……it happened in the movie and the book….what were u watching/reading? dont ppl have better things to do than badmouth other ppls opinions?? the only opinions worth badmouthing are religious ones…….sorry to anybody religious out there….my advice, watch the movie zeitgeist or zeitgeist: addendum. better still watch both. the venus project = something worth spending time on. a bit of a speel there, sorry ppl.

    • What movie and book did you read? Gollum tumbled into Mount Doom after getting his ring back. He's dancing around while Frodo is sprawled out on the ground clutching his newly fingerless hand. You should be really embarrassed for yourself.

  18. Hey not an impressive list! Try the asian flicks – Jap ones for sure. And where the hell is Takashi Miike??? Go watch Ichi The Killer for starters!!!

  19. Heather Matthews on

    Yes, I know the correct title. In comments here, sometimes things are less formal and more conversational. I've read the book several times.

    Thanks πŸ™‚

  20. Heather,

    If there's one thing you have accomplished with this list is, after 9 months since being published, it's still being discussed!

    I agree with Rambo & Saving Private Ryan. Both pretty violent flicks. However, since you are not a fan of horror, you have missed out on some great films. George A. Romero Dead films, especially 1968's Night of the Living Dead and 1978's Dawn of the Dead, are not only violent & gory, but are also classics. They comment on the state of the world in the times they were made; "Night" racism & government distrust, "Dawn" on consumerism & social status. In fact, Night of the Living Dead has been included the US Library of Congress as a film worthy of preservation.

    I am not fan of the so-called "torture" films, like Saw and Hostel. Not that I can't stomach the violence. It just doesn't provide a visceral thrill for me. But if you are interested in more mainstream films, I would suggest Kubrick's Full Metal Jacket or Stone's Platoon. It has the most horrific violence of all…human-on-human.

    This is a good list, based on your personal preferences. But as you can see, the horror fanboys have come out of the woodwork for this one.

    • Heather Matthews on

      Hi Zombizilla,

      Thanks a lot for your comment. I think your suggestions and opinions are great. I enjoyed reading them.

  21. spencerkaelin on


    come on like BATTLE ROYALE

    and whats that one… the japanese girl… turns out to be the murderer… brutalilly butchers everyone in her path.. complete schzophrenic…

    basically the list should have been primarily japanese movies

    • Heather Matthews on

      It does seem like there are some pretty insanely violent Japanese films I haven't seen. Thanks for the feedback πŸ™‚

  22. I am closing comments on this list. I believe we can all agree that this list was targeted to more mainstream movies and there are certainly more violent movies than those presented in the list. These list are for fun and debate. Certainly, at 101 comments, we can also agree that this list has been one of the most debated on this site. Thanks to Heather for writing this list and responding to many of the commenters, those who were polite and some who were not. Thanks to all of the commenters who gave their time and their opinions. Toptenz wouldn't be half has good without you.