Written by Kirk BairdLiam Neeson as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills in 2008’s Taken thought his troubles were over after turning the tables on his daughter’s kidnappers. But the surviving Albanian kidnappers return for revenge in Taken 2. With audiences responding with a healthy $50 million haul over Taken 2’s first weekend, here are just a few other revenge-minded films.
Gladiator (2000): Russell Crowe’s Maximus is a well-respected and successful Roman general, whose wife and son are killed, and he is beaten and sold into slavery by the emperor’s power-hungry son Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix). Maximus gets his revenge by becoming the empire’s toughest gladiator who battles his way to face off against Commodus.
Pale Rider (1985): Seven bad men are hired to terrorize a small mining community into surrendering their gold to a corrupt landowner. Then a preacher with a mysterious past and a connection to the seven mercenaries shows up to help the miners. As the film’s poster said, “And hell followed with him.”
Death Wish (1974): Thugs rape and kill Charles Bronson’s wife. He then turns into a vigilante killing machine to exact his revenge.
Kill Bill Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (2003): Uma Thurman is out for payback against those members of her assassination team who left her for dead in Quentin Tarantino’s two-part epic tale of vengeance.
I Spit on Your Grave (1978): In this exploitive horror-drama, a single woman goes to the peaceful countryside to write a book, and instead finds terror, as she’s raped and left for dead by three men. She survives the attack and makes it her mission in life that her assailants will die in gory and violent ways.
Leon (1994): A 12-year-old girl’s family is ruthlessly murdered by corrupt DEA agents, and she hides out with the only man who can help her with her plans for revenge: a hired killer. Natalie Portman is the girl, French actor Jean Reno is her new guardian and killer, and Gary Oldman is the bad guy, with Luc Besson (Taken and Taken 2, The Fifth Element) directing.
Man on Fire (2004): Denzel Washington plays a retired marine assigned to protect a 9-year-old girl. After she is kidnapped and held for ransom, he goes to extraordinary — and extraordinarily violent — lengths to save her.