The 50 Most Badass Movie Characters Of All Time

The Greatest Movie Badasses of All Time! Enough Said.

movie characters

movie characters

movie characters

It’s difficult to define the word “badass”—it’s not a tangible, measurable attribute, but you absolutely know it when you see it. To me, a badass is a rebel. A guy who plays by his own rules. A baller, shot caller, twenty-inch blades on the Impala type cat. If a character lights up a cigarette and then throws in on some gasoline, causing a car or, perhaps, a fucking building to blow up, there’s a pretty good chance he’s a badass. If he’s as rugged as the Brawny lumberjack, you’ve got a badass on your hands. If he rocks sunglasses, a leather jacket and he’s not in The Village People? Sounds like a badass to me, kemosabe.

And that leads us to following countdown of 50 badasses that all stand alone (but, like, together, I guess) in the cinematic canon of pure, unadulterated ass-kickery. They shave their faces with bowie knifes, have balls the size of watermelons and live life like they’re in a Whitesnake music video. Let's begin the countdown before someone gets the shit beat out of them.

Matt Rimer is a writer living in Boston. Follow him on Twitter here.

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50. Dutch, Predator (1987)

“Get to the choppah!”

Predator is a movie with all all-star lineup that rivals that of The Thin Red Line. Carl Weathers. Jesse “The Body” Ventura. Bill Duke. What? I forgot somebody? There couldn’t possibly be any more awesome fucking actors in this movie. That would be ridiculous. Oh wait, Arnold Schwarzenegger just decided to drop in and blow your mind. The scene at the end of the film when he’s covered in mud, standing up in his perch with a flare and he gives out that battle cry = Boner city.

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49. Bryan Mills, Taken (2008)

“I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

Liam Neeson is perhaps the scariest actor alive. I’d explain to you how his character, Bryan Mills, from the movie Taken is a grade-A hardo, but his famous monologue speaks louder than I ever could.

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48. William Wallace, Braveheart (1995)

“They can take our lives, but they can never take—OUR FREEDOM!”

He may look and dress like Eddie Vedder circa 1992, but William Wallace knows how to lead a nation. In the film, he legit must have murdered 200 people single-handedly. The fight scenes go on for twenty or thirty minutes at once, and the whole time he’s just cutting off dude’s heads while his kilt-wearing ass hangs out for all to see.

In typical Mel Gibson fashion, the film ends with Big Willie Style getting tortured, before becoming a martyr. All Christ imagery everything.

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47. Terminator, The Terminator (1984), Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

“I’ll be back.”

Is the Terminator a cliché choice for a list like this? Sure. But that doesn’t dismiss the fact that this guy is a badass down to his robot bones. Let me sight a few examples: The first time we see him in Judgement Day, he arrives on earth totally naked, so he walks into a nice bar full of men where he borrows some leather clothes. Okay, bad start. Let me try this again. He’s a robotic killing machine who is programmed to give zero fucks. Sometimes he fights for good, sometimes for evil and sometimes he runs for Governor of California. Mission accomplished.

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46. Chev Chelios, Crank (2006)

“Don't pop a blood vessel, you little penis.”

Crank is a movie that is self-aware that it’s over the top cheesy and stupid, which is exactly why it's awesome. In the film, Chev Chelios is injected with a synthetic drug that reduces the amount of naturally produced adrenaline in his body. So, to stay alive, he has to produce his own adrenaline—by being Jason Statham times a thousand. He picks a fight with a bunch of cops, drives a car through a shopping mall and even makes Amy Smart ride his bologna pony in the middle of a crowd of innocent pedestrians. The movie ends with him falling out of an airplane, bouncing off the pavement and living to make a sequel.

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45. Gordon Gekko, Wall Street (1987)

“Greed is good.”

It’s not often that a single character can represent an entire generation of assholes like Gordon Gekko does. While most people disagree with his message in a real world context, the romantic notion of living a life of excess and doing whatever the fuck you want no matter what anyone else thinks makes for a pretty tight movie. Although I will admit, whenever I watch Wall Street, I’ll subconsciously wait for Huey Lewis and The News to start playing, so I can watch a yuppie get hacked apart with an axe—until I realize that I’m not watching American Psycho and that I’m an idiot.

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44. President James Marshall, Air Force One (1997)

“Get off my plane.”

On the whole, film Presidents are pussies. Maybe “pussies” is a strong word, but they’re definitely not the hero-type. If they are under attack by an enemy force, they will typically run for their lives and hide behind whatever Secret Service agent, White House staffer or photo-op kissing baby they can find, turning them into a bullet-riddled, meat shield. It’s all for the greater good, right guys?

However, there’s one movie Prez who has the balls to fight back: President James Motherfucking Marshall. If you said Bill Pullman from Independence Day, then you can go eject yourself from Earth. President Marshall straight lays down some Clinton-era justice and goes H.A.M. on Gary Oldman and his Russian comrades. Then, after the credits roll, I can only assume he went back to D.C., melted faces with his saxophone and had a young government employee gobble on his POTUS.

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43. John Milner, American Graffiti (1973)

“If you ever get tired of going steady with somebody that ain't around, I'm up for grabs.”

John Milner is that kid from everyone’s high school who was going nowhere fast. Maybe he wasn’t smart in the traditional sense, but he was quick with his mouth and he knew his way around an auto shop. In American Graffiti, John cruises around in his banana yellow Deuce Coupe for literally the entire movie, hoping to find something to do. At the climax of the film, a young Harrison Ford challenges him to a race, just as the sun is coming up all while “Green Onions” by Booker T. & the M.G.’s is blasting like it’s a fucking Viagra commercial.

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42. Neville Flynn, Snakes On A Plane (2006)

“I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane!”

There certainly is an explanation as to why there are fifty snakes on an airplane in this movie, but do you really want to hear it? I mean, at the point where there are snakes on a plane your brain just automatically stops paying attention to the finer details of the plot and focuses all its energy on the plane and how there are snakes on it. I don’t suspect that you were trying to find the deeper esoteric meaning of the story. Are the snakes a metaphor for mass consumerism, strangling the life out of the average American? Nope. But Samuel L. Jackson is in this movie and he is the shit.

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41. Ellen Ripley, Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), and Alien 3 (1992)

“Get away from her, you bitch!”

Yeah, I have a woman on this list. Wha,t do you think I’m sexist? We here at Four Pins are an equal opportunity establishment. Plus, It’s not like I’m writing an article about the world’s best drivers or anything. Ellen Ripley absolutely deserves a spot on this countdown.

The Alien series is essentially a metaphor for rape. The “face-huggers” attack humans against their will and impregnate them with an unwanted alien life form. Then, a short while later, the alien will burst through their body and cause chaos. Throughout the movies, Ripley fights these monsters and ultimately ends up sacrificing herself to end the destruction. Essentially, she, alone, is fighting against rape, so I’m all for that.

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40. Frank Dux, Bloodsport (1988)

“Go for the gut.”

There’s nothing like a good Van Damme movie. He can’t act to save his life, but, frankly, that doesn’t matter when he’s round housing his enemies into next week.

Bloodsport was a movie so ill that it went on to inspire the video game Mortal Kombat. It was originally designed to star Jean-Claude Van Damme, instead of Johnny Cage. So, for turning me on to violence in my childhood, I say, “Thank you, Jean-Claude Van Damme, thank you.”

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39. Han Solo, Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

“Never tell me the odds”

Maybe it’s just me, but I always thought Luke Skywalker was kind of a pussy. He’s always whining about something or acting like a little shit. Grow up, kid, we’ve got a fucking galaxy to save. Stop making out with your sister already.

Han, on the other hand, is all man. He’s a space cowboy. He’s got style. He’s not afraid to pull out his nine and blast an alien fool in the middle of a bar. At the end of The Empire Strikes Back, Han waits to be frozen in Carbonite when Leia yells, “I love you.” The original line called for him to respond, “I love you too”, but Harrison Ford told George Lucas to go fuck himself and instead replied to Leia, “I know.” Maybe he was being badass or maybe it was because, earlier in the film, she called him a “scruffy looking nerfherder”, which is pretty much the equivalent to the N-word in the Star Wars universe.

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38. Jimmy Markum, Mystic River (2003)

“We bury our sins here, Dave. We wash them clean.”

Mystic River is one of the few films that captures the true essence of Boston. It’s more Boston than talking about Nomar Garciaparra at a funeral. Living a peaceful life as an ex-con, Jimmy Markum hasn’t a care in the world. That is until his daughter gets murdered. Jimmy naturally goes bananas looking for the person who killed her. The lead detective on the case as well as the prime suspect is childhood friends of his, so shit gets weird fast. Cue awesome movie. Plus, he’s got this sweet leather duster that he wears around like it’s no big deal. Yeah, totally normal, Sean Penn.

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37. Jesse James, The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007)

“Don't tell me what I can and can not do, Ed.”

Throughout the history of film, Jesse James has been portrayed in twenty seven different movies. There was 1957's The True Story of Jesse James starring Robert Wagner, The Long Riders in 1980 with James Keach and even Jesse James Meets Frankenstein’s Daughter. But, by far the best interpretation of the character that I have ever seen is Brad Pitt’s role in The Assassination of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford. Although, I feel like Brad Pitt could play the most boring person in the world and still make them complex and interesting. Get ready for a biopic about Alan Rickman staring Brad Pitt and his washboard abs.

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36. John Rambo, First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), Rambo(2008)

"Don't push it...or I'll give you a war you won't believe."

The moral of the story was supposed to be that war psychologically damages soldiers and that you should be appreciative of their wounds, visible or otherwise. Instead, he comes off as a total badass because fuck it. Violence is cool. Deal with it. The phrase “going Rambo” has since become synonymous with going apeshit and killing a bunch of people, guerilla warfare style.

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35. Snake Plissken, Escape From New York (1981)

“…Call me snake.”

Snake Plissken is a mysterious man. He’s got an eyepatch, crazy-ass Fresh Prince of Bel-Air pants and the flowing mane of a lion. He’s also got a big ass snake tattoo on his stomach, the bottom half beneath his waistline and unseen. Is he trying to say that he’s got a big dick? Or is he overcompensating because his schmeckle is sub-par? Like I said, hella mysterious.

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34. Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men, (2007)

“What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss?”

Equipped with a silenced shotgun, a cattle gun and an awful haircut, Anton Chigurh likes to murder people. His character has been compared to the personification of death by some because of his cold, emotionless disposition. This guy just travels around the southwest, deciding the fate of his victims with the flip of a coin.

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33. Tony Montana, Scarface (1983)

“Say hello to my little friend!”

In the world we live in today, Tony Montana is immediately associated with guidos and douchebags. The twat that keeps Ed Hardy in business and speeds through residential neighborhoods while talking to his friend Chaz on his Bluetooth also watches Scarface twice a day. It’s a fact. That being said, Tony Montana is a badass that represents the American dream. He came from another country with nothing but the clothes on his back and built his way to the top so he could do as much blow as humanly possible.

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32. Max Rockatansky, Mad Max (1979), Mad Max II: The Road Warrior (1981), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

“It's that rat circus out there, I'm beginning to enjoy it. Look, any longer out on that road and I'm one of them, ya know? A terminal crazy, except I've got a bronze badge that says I'm one of the good guys”

Max Rockatansky lives in a futuristic, neo-wild western world of desolation and that’s exactly how he likes it. After his wife and child are murdered by a gang of bandit lunatics, Max makes it his mission to kill each and every Austrialian redneck with a Mohawk or bondage outfit, which in his world is absolutely everyone. Man, I miss you, pre-publically intolerant person Mel Gibson. If you make another Mad Max movie we’ll call it square. Just try not to be so anti-Semitic this time, okay?

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31. Harry Callahan, Dirty Harry (1971)

“Being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world and will blow you head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself a question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?”

Harry Callahan eats hotdogs, wears uncomfortable hot tweed suits and dishes out justice with his oversized Smith & Wesson Model 29. End of story.

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30. Tyler Durden, Fight Club (1999)

“Listen up, maggots. You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique
snowflake. You're the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”

Fight Club has become the frat bro movie to end all frat bro movies. It’s overplayed, overly referenced and misinterpreted. Maybe calling Tyler Durden a badass is like Chris Brown beating a dead horse, but I don’t care. He is on a constant existential journey to find the meaning of his (aka the narrator’s) life, questioning the societal mores of America and he beats the shit out of Jared Leto. What’s not to love?

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29. RoboCop, RoboCop (1987)

“Dead or alive, you’re coming with me.”

On July 18, 2013, the city of Detroit filed for chapter 9 bankruptcy. In May, the prototype was completed for a 10-foot tall solid bronze tribute to Detroit’s fictional hero, Robocop. Coincidence?

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28. Bill “The Butcher” Cutting, Gangs of New York (2002)

“Somebody steals from me, I cut off his hands. He offends me, I cut out his tongue. He rises against me, I cut off his head, stick it on a pike, raise it high up so all on the streets can see.”

Wearing a top hat and a big porno mustache, Bill Cutting will kill you with a smile. He’s got more one-liners than Rodney Dangerfield and more kills under his belt than the Latin Kings. In one scene, he throws a butcher’s knife into the back of his rival, Walter McGinn (Brendan Gleeson), and then beats the weapon further into his body with a club. Next.

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27. Cameron Poe, Con Air (1997)

“Put the bunny back in the box.”

Some people love Con Air, and some people hate it. All that I know is it's the sweatiest movie of all time—just sweaty dudes throughout the entire thing grunting and being sweaty. I guess the plane doesn’t have A.C. or something. Cameron Poe is the sweatiest human in this movie with an agenda comprised of two things:

1. Killing everyone by blowing them up or throwing them out of the plane

2. Walking in slow motion.

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26. The Bride aka Beatrix Kiddo, Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003), Kill Bill Vol. 2 (2004)

“Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.”

If you can get past Quentin Tarantino’s fetish for Uma Thurman’s feet, the Kill Bill movies are actually pretty enjoyable. In the first film alone, Beatrix Kiddo kills close to a hundred people, most of whom with a samurai sword. A hot yellow catsuit, a motorcycle, David Carradine—what’s not to like? In Volume Two she’s even buried alive and digs her way to the surface. Meanwhile, I’m debating whether it's worth the effort to walk ten feet from my living room into my kitchen to make a sandwich. Way to make us all feel like shit, Uma.

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25. John McClane, Die Hard (1988)

“Yippee Ki-yay, Motherfucker.”

First, let me emphasize the fact that when I refer to John McClane, I’m talking about the John McClane from the first three Die Hard films. In the two newer installments, the John McClane character is almost a parody of himself. He’s an over the top caricature that is the antithesis of what the classic John McClane is: an everyman. In the first film, he’s just in the wrong place at the wrong time. There’s nothing special about him. He has no reputation. He’s not a master in kung-fu or an ex-marine or military experiment. He’s just an Average Joe that decides to take action and rip one-liners like it’s his job. And that is what makes him truly badass. I could write a novel about this shit.

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24. Ottway, The Grey (2011)

“Once more into the fray… into the last good fight I’ll ever know. Live and die on this day. Live and die on this day.”

I think I might be the only person on the planet who liked The Grey, but my position in unflinching. In fact, I think it’s the best Liam Neeson movie of all time. Bold statement, I know, but his character, Ottway, is an ass kicking machine through and through. In the film, his character’s profession is wolf killing, literally. He gets paid to protect a remote Alaskan oil rig from getting attacked by the local wildlife. Later, while on a trip home, his airplane crashes. The survivors must battle their injuries, the weather and a pack of fucking wolves who seem to have a palette that can only be satiated by human ass cheeks. Ottway stares down his demons and murks all of the digital wolves ever in the process.

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23. Maximus Decimus Meridius, Gladiator (2000)

“Death smiles at us all. All a man can do is smile back.”

A fight to the death is a curious thing. It seems to measure a person’s true aptitude toward being a badass. After being betrayed and sold into slavery by Joaquin Phoenix and his cleft lip, Maximus, once commander of the Roman army, must fight for his life on the reg. It's, like, his actual job. He is forced to compete in the Colosseum, against gaggles of competitors, murdering his way to the top. So, pretty much an Aaron Hernandez biopic. Our boy Maximus even sons couple of Bengal tigers for good measure.

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22. Léon, Léon: The Professional (1994)

“I never really sleep well. Got one eye open, always.”

Just a quick public service announcement for all you parents out there. Don’t let your daughter hang out with your creepy French neighbor. Nine times out of ten he’s an assassin and he’ll train your daughter to kill people. Also, he’s friends with a plant. So, pretty much bad news bears all around, folks.

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21. Marv, Sin City (2005)

“I'll stare the bastard in the face as he screams to God, and I'll laugh harder when he whimpers like a baby. And when his eyes go dead, the hell I send him to will seem like heaven after what I've done to him”

Marv is a pill popping, foul mouthed, degenerate with an ugly mug. After the stripper he was in love with is murdered, he becomes a one man wrecking ball, dropkicking, punching and decapitating anyone who gets in his way. Marv sticks to his guns and stays a bitter son-of-a-bitch all the way to the electric chair. Well played.

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20. Sgt. Donny “The Bear Jew” Donowitz, Inglorious Basterds (2009)

“Fuck. A. Duck.”

*Clink*, *Clink*, *Clink*. The Bear Jew emerges from his hibernation under his bridge, slowly walking over to the Nazi scum in front of him. He raises his big-ass Louisville Slugger, signed with the names of the all the Jews in his Boston neighborhood (and also Anne Frank, apparently), and beats the sauerkraut-loving shit out his helpless foe's luftballon until it pops.

Oh yeah, and he kills Adolf Hitler too, if you’re into that sort of thing.

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19. Hando, Romper Stomper (1992)

“Nice place you’ve got here.”

Listen, I do not like white supremacists. Just getting that out of the way real quick. However, for some unexplainable reason, movies about neo Nazis seem to produce badass characters. Ed Norton’s character in American History X was pretty legit at curb stomping people and what not. It just wasn’t cool because it was a hate crime. In Romper Stomper, instead of beating up African American people, Russell Crowe takes out his inner Paula Deen on the local Vietnamese. It would just be easier to root for him if he was fighting about, oh, I don’t know, a parking space disagreement instead of the purifying the white race. So, I’m not sure what to think. I’m about as confused as a Liza Minelli superfan at a Christian scared straight camp.

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18. Jim Stark, Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

“You’re tearing me apart!”

James Dean was forever immortalized in Hollywood after his starring role as too-cool-for-school Jim Stark in Rebel Without A Cause, a character that became the inspiration for such squinty eyed, car leaning, heartthrobs like James Franco and Ryan Gosling. Jim’s favorite pastimes include slaying Natalie Wood, competing in a game of chicken by racing toward the edge of a cliff in stolen cars, and looking fly as shit in his Lee 101 Rider jeans.

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17. Sgt. Barnes, Platoon (1986)

“I shit on all of you.”

While everyone else is cowering and hiding behind cover, Sergeant Barnes is on his feet, slowly walking amongst the gunfire and explosions. This war torn antagonist has both emotional and physical scars (like the big ass one across his face). He has a history of being wounded, patched up and sent back into the shit. Barnes wasn’t built for apple pies and The Andy Griffith Show, he was built for war with all of the moral ambiguity that comes along with it.

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16. Priest, Super Fly (1972)

“You don't own me, pig, and no motherfucker tells me when I can split.”

The crown jewel of the Blaxploitation-era of the 1970’s is undoubtedly the low budget Superfly. It was a movie that starred a man named K.C., who was a real life pimp, as well as Charles McGregor, who was released from prison shortly before production started. But the baddest character in the film was unquestionably Priest (Ron O’Neal), the young blood drug dealer, looking for a way out of the game. Priest uses cocaine like Popeye the Sailor Man uses spinach, acquiring superhuman strength and laying down street justice on the White Man. He also chills with Curtis Mayfield for some reason and drives around in a killer, custom 1971 Cadillac Eldorado—the first pimpmobile in history.

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15. Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, Full Metal Jacket (1987)

“You had best unfuck yourself or I will unscrew your head and shit down your neck!”

Stanley Kubrick is a man known for his precision, perfection and sheer hatred of improvisation. Fortunately, R. Lee Ermey didn’t give a flying fuck about what arguably the greatest director of all time thought. Being a real life Marine drill sergeant, Ermey was originally involved with the film as merely a technical advisor. However, after seeing the shitty performance of former pro golfer Tim Colceri (who ended up playing the "Get some!" helicopter gunner) during test runs, Ermey hijacked the role for himself. He looked at Kubrick’s well thought out script and threw it out the window. The rest is history.

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14. Detective Alonzo Harris, Training Day (2001)

“King Kong ain’t got shit on me!”

Alonzo Harris doesn’t use a desk or go to precinct meetings. He’s not a pencil pusher or a bureaucrat. He works on the streets. His office is his 1979 Chevy Monte Carlo equipped with hydraulics so he can bounce his way to justice. He’s also a dirty cop who robs drug dealers and forces his rookie partner to smoke PCP. Nobody’s perfect.

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13. Jake Lamotta, Raging Bull (1980)

“Hit me in the face!”

World middleweight champion Jake Lamotta is a man who lives his life reaching for the extremes. He gives Taoist moderation the middle finger and does whatever the hell he feels like. He explodes into angry fits breaking everything around him like a (raging) bull in a china shop. Other times he’ll simply have sex with whoever he wants, like when he gave a 15-year old girl the old “Sunday punch” with his “Bronx Bull," despite the fact that he was married. He even pounds lasagna like a pro, to the point of becoming morbidly obese.

The real life Jake Lamotta recently got married for the seventh time at age 90 to his girlfriend how is nearly thirty years his junior. And I’m not gonna lie, for being 62-years-old she’s kind of a dime piece. Once a champ, always a champ.

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12. Cyrus, The Warriors (1979)

“Caaan yooou dig it!”

The Warriors is one of the coolest movies ever. Hands down. It’s the kind of movie you can watch again and again and never get sick of. The story begins with each and every gang in all of New York City coming together to hear the voice of one man: Cyrus. Dressed in a silk bathrobe like Hugh Hefner (and not like your dad who wants to let his balls air out), he silences hundreds of thugs, murderers and rapists with his cool charisma. He’s only on screen for a total of five minutes before getting killed, but in that short period, he makes one of the best speeches this side of a movie about sports. For a short while, he is THE King of the Gangs.

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11. The Man With No Name, A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For A Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

“Apologize to my mule.”

"Joe", "Manco", "Blondie"—he goes by a number of different monikers, but his true name is never revealed. Silent and stoic, this cigar smoking, quick drawing, son of a bitch is one of the most iconic characters in the history of film. Dope poncho too, bro.

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10. Coffy, Coffy (1973)

“You want to spit on me and make me crawl? I'm gonna piss on your grave tomorrow.”

You’d think that being butt ass naked dozens of times in a single movie would objectify a woman, and you would probably be right if that woman wasn’t Pam Grier. After her sister fell victim to the vicious pimps and pushers of her neighborhood, Coffy decides to take revenge by murdering everyone. Nurse by day, vigilante by night, this bad chick isn’t afraid of getting her hands, or vagina, dirty. One minute she’s making some dude’s tip drip, the next she’s shooting his head off with a sawed-off shotgun and giving the wall a free coat of headsauce.

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9. Driver, Drive (2011)

“How 'bout this. You shut your mouth. Or I'll kick your teeth down your throat and I'll shut it for you.”

Listen, I’m not into dudes, but I might give Ryan Gosling a handjob. Who’s to say, really?

In Drive, Gosling runs the fucking show and barely says a word. He just leans up against a wall in his white scorpion jacket, chewing on his toothpick and undresses the other characters with his eyes. Everyone's favorite scene: Rye-guy going Rodney King on some dude’s hand with a hammer in a strip club dressing room.

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8. Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction (1994)

“I'm a mushroom cloud laying motherfucker, motherfucker!”

Don’t worry, I’ll spare you from hearing that other quote.

Jules Winnfield is probably the most quoted character from the most quoted movie of all time, but there’s no denying that this Jheri curled motherfucker is a stone cold killer from Inglewood. He’s even got a wallet that says, “Bad Motherfucker” on it. He just murders people left and right and then decides to walks the earth “like Kane from Kung Fu.”

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7. Kikuchiyo, Seven Samurai (1954)

“They're nothing but stingy, greedy, blubbering, foxy, and mean! God damn it all! But then...who made them such beasts? You did! You samurai did it! You burn their villages! Destroy their farms! Steal their food! Force them to labor! Take their women! And kill them if they resist! So what should farmers do?”

In Akira Kurosawa’s iconic film, Seven Samurai, Kikuchiyo is originally seen as the buffoon of the group, strange and distant from the other Samurai. He is uncooperative when the group works to reinforce a small village in hopes to fend off a gang of bandits. He’s pretty much kind of a total dick at first. However, in the final battle, he redeems himself, suffering a fatal gunshot wound, but not before killing the leader of the bandits with his gigantic, larger than life sword.

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6. Ashley "Ash" J. Williams, The Evil Dead Trilogy (1981, 1987, 1992)

“Hail to the king, baby.”

With a shotgun in one hand and a chainsaw attached to the stump of the other, Ash knows how to party. Bruce Campbell is awful and fucking great all at the same damn time as he turns camp into incredible. His crazy-eyed, punch drunk, over the top expressions sent this stop-motion heavy flick catapulting into cult status.

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5. Johnny Strabler, The Wild One (1953)

Mildred: “Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?”

Johnny: “Whadda you got?”

Only Marlon Brando could dress up like the biker from The Village People and still seem macho even sixty years later. With an aesthetic like Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising, The Wild One introduced mainstream America to the biker gang culture of the 1950s. The leader of the The Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Johnny Strabler, is the original modern badass, without whom all other badasses since would not exist. Leather jacket, sunglasses and stoic as fuck—all the ingredients. In the following years, Brando went on to win a couple of those golden statues, play some more badasses, eat a lot of Doritos and, you guessed it, die. God bless America.

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4. Dalton, Road House (1989)

“Pain don’t hurt.”

Some heroes use guns. Others use knives. Some even use their fists. Dalton rips motherfucker’s throats out. Oh, you’re being mean to my lady friend? Throat rip! You’re terrorizing the town? Don’t mind if I throat rip. Thought it was a good idea to double park at the mall around Christmas time? Hope you don’t need this throat because I just ripped it the fuck out. Seriously though, fuck people that double park. Swayze all over your face.

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3. Travis Bickle, Taxi Driver (1976)

“You talkin' to me?”

Bobby De Niro has played countless hard asses, each one more crazed than the last. Perhaps the greatest of these characters is the psychopathic insomniac, Mohawk-donning, Travis Bickle. Travis is first introduced as a self-destructive, ticking time bomb, emotionally imploding from all the scum around him in the city. After a failed plan to assassinate a politician, he resorts to saving a teenaged prostitute, Iris (Jodie Foster), by peacemaking Harvey Keitel and friends with a spring-action pistol.

A few years later, John Hinckley tried to impress Jodie Foster in a similar way with slightly different results. Sorry, homie.

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2. Mr. Blonde, Reservoir Dogs (1992)

“Are you gonna bark all day, little doggie, or are you gonna bite?”

As you’ve probably figured out by now, I think Quentin Tarantino creates a lot of badass characters. "Yeah, no shit, Rimer, most people do. I like to drink water and breathe air and sing along to Wham! while I’m on the highway too. Join the club, idiot."

However, Mr. Blonde is something special. His real name is Vic Vega—brother to John Travolta’s famous Royale with cheese-eating, bathroom aficionado, Vincent Vega from Pulp Fiction. Vic earns the number two spot on this countdown because of his sheer ability to remain as cool as the other side of the pillow, while he cuts a dude’s ear off before dousing him in lighter fluid.

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1. Kowalski, Vanishing Point (1971)

“And there goes the Challenger, being chased by the blue, blue meanies on wheels. The vicious traffic squad cars are after our lone driver, the last American hero, the electric centaur, the, the demi-god, the super driver of the golden west!”

Finally, we have reached the pinnacle on our quest for bad motherfuckers with the baddest motherfucker to ever hit the silver screen. He’s the star of 1971 cult classic, Vanishing Point, and his name is Kowalski.

He’s a Vietnam Vet with a Medal of Honor, a former race car and motorcycle driver, and a former police officer, but he might as well have been sellling dildos out of an ice cream truck for all I care. My admiration lies with what he did throughout the duration of the film. He’s on his way from Colorado to San Francisco, hopped up on a fistful of uppers, and no one can stop him. Not even the police.

It’s just him and his 1970 Dodge Challenger, driving like a bat out of hell across the American Southwest. Also, Barry Newman’s got “a luscious 'V' of hair going through [his] chest pubes down to [his] ball fro”, so you know he’s a man’s man. No, MAN'S MAN. After an odyssey featuring the likes of a snake wrangler, a Christian commune and a naked chick on a motorcycle, he finally reaches his destination. He crashes his car at a high speed straight into two bulldozers set up as a roadblock, epitomizing EVERYTHING it means to be a badass. End. Of. Story.

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