The Best Vigilante Movies

If you’ve ever applied for a job on-line and had to take one of those personality surveys, you may have been asked to rate whether you agree or disagree with the statement, “It is maddening when the courts let guilty criminals go free,” or something like that. I don’t know what that tells your prospective employers about whether or not you’d make a good employee, but it may let them know whether you’d be a fan of vigilante movies.

Many people have daydreamed about taking the law into their own hands, hunting down criminals and bringing them to justice. I’m not recommending this, but I am recommending that you experience this sense of justice vicariously through some of the most kick-ass vigilante movies to ever hit the silver screen.

Death Wish

The Death Wish franchise is one of the golden standards for die-hard vigilante movie fans. There are five Death Wish movies, all starring Charles Branson. It’s considered by some to be the first movie to depict vigilante justice in a modern setting.


Mel Gibson’s Paparazzi isn’t the best movie in the world; I’ll be the first to admit it. But what it lacks in good acting, it makes up for in excitement and a smug sense of satisfaction. The movie wasn’t well received by media critics but hey, they’re the ones that pay the Paparazzi. Either way, the paparazzi in this film are definitely scumbags that deserve what they get.

The Punisher

There’s two movies called The Punisher, both based on the Marvel comic book series. The first came out in 1989 and the second came out in 2004. It’s about a former FBI agent named Frank Castle whose entire family is killed by a ruthless mob boss. Castle takes the law into his own hands and becomes the Punisher.

Dirty Harry

Clint Eastwood stars in this legendary movie about a cop who, after the “system” fails to incarcerate a criminal, takes the law into his own hands. This is, of course, the film that spawned the catchphrase, “Do you feel lucky?” And you should feel lucky if you’re watching this bad-ass film.

The Brave One

This recent movie stars Jodie Foster as a radio talk show host who, after she is beat up and her boyfriend is killed by criminals, buys a gun and starts killing people trying to commit violent crimes. This movie is notable because the main character struggles a lot with killing people. She also strikes up a friendship with the police officer trying to find the identity of the mysterious vigilante killing people in his city. Foster is nothing short of a bad-ass in this film.