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Poll: Best Movies and Books about Revenge?

I do like a good tale of vengeance and mayhem. Today you are tasked with helping me put together a list of the best movies and books about revenge, unless you’re too squeamish or you aren’t going to let me boss you around on the Internet.

But for the rest of you who love revenge stories, let’s make a list and then hit the streets and mete out swift and cunning vengeance on everyone who has ever wronged us.

Okay, my own favorites, off the top of my  head:

Kill Bill 1 and 2

Chan-Wook Park’s vengeance trilogy: Sympathy For Mr. Vengeance, Oldboy, and Lady Vengeance

Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie.

Without Remorse by Tom Clancy (I actually hated this book, but a friend claims it is the greatest revenge book of all time)

Stieg Larrsson’s Girl Who trilogy could be seen as a story about women getting revenge on men, Lisbeth getting revenge on everyone, journalists getting revenge on those who would Silence The Truth, and literary revenge on those who hate Macs, because those books are full of Macs.

The Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King, book and movie

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

The Power of the Dog by Thomas Savage

Drood by Dan Simmons

Money Shot by Christa Faust

Inglorious Basterds by Quentin Tarantino

Taken with Liam Neeson. (I know this is not any special movie, but Liam Neeson trained Obi Wan and Batman, and he was Priest Valon in Gangs of New York, so I feel helpless to ignore his films)

The Professional – Starting that French guy who seems to be in most movies that require a French guy. Also features the best acting Natalie Portman has ever done.


Honorable mention: revenge by inept metaphor

I get a huge kick out of Thomas Friedman. I couldn’t care less about his politics or ideas, and if you agree with them, we can still be pals. But just about anything he writes reads like he is trying to take revenge on metaphor itself, whose purpose continues to elude his grasp:

The first rule of holes is when you’re in one, stop digging.When you’re in three, bring a lot of shovels.

Well, that simply doesn’t mean anything or make any sense at all.

The writer in me cannot look away from his bizarre wordsmithery. Part of me thinks he does this just to see if he can get away with it. How could that quote be anything but a joke? You can’t be in three holes at once. Why would you need to quit digging in one hole, but dig more in three? There are many absurd examples like the above quote. I have no idea how it happens or what his editors are doing.

Okay, enough from me. Please leave your nominations for books about movies about revenge below.







Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jon January 5, 2012, 12:01 pm

    The count of Monte Cristo

  • Ben Owens January 5, 2012, 12:59 pm

    How can you hate “Without Remorse”? There is no better story of revenge.

    • Josh Hanagarne January 5, 2012, 1:23 pm

      It was you! Ben Ben Ben, and you’re smart in so many ways…we will talk about this more when I see you next. For now, go put your nose in the corner and think about your folly.

      • Ben Owens January 5, 2012, 3:30 pm

        If I must…

  • Michelle January 5, 2012, 1:09 pm

    Being a horror movie fan, I have to add I Spit On Your Grave to the list.

    • Heather January 5, 2012, 1:11 pm

      Ibid to what Michelle said! Well done! I LOVE THIS ONE!

  • Eric | Eden Journal January 5, 2012, 2:52 pm

    Stieg Larrsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo series was the first that came to my mind. I watched the Swedish versions subtitled on Netflix. I haven’t been able to bring myself to see the American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo as I thought the Swedish version was really well done, and I hate to ruin that impression.

    Second to mind was Kill Bill.

    Oh, and Liam Neeson can be a real bad ass. I wouldn’t want to be the guy that took his daughter.

  • Spencer January 5, 2012, 5:02 pm

    Red Dawn (one of the best movies ever in any genre, but definitely a quality revenge flick).

  • John the Drunkard January 5, 2012, 8:30 pm

    Kind Hearts and Coronets.

    Dark Ealing comedy. Dennis Pryce revenges himself against his mother’s family in order to inherit a dukedom. All seven of his victims are played by Alec Guiness. Joan Greenwood and Valerie Hobson as romantic interests.


  • Paul Andrew Russell January 6, 2012, 4:51 am

    The Count of Monte Cristo, as above, and Misery by Stephen King. Never upset your readers. LOL 🙂

  • Jeroen January 6, 2012, 5:37 am

    Unforgiven. I like Liam Neeson, but no one does revenge like Clint. The older he gets, the scarier (see Gran Torino also).

  • Todd January 6, 2012, 7:08 am

    The Punisher. The comic was better than the movie, but I enjoyed the movie.

    While I think he’s a huge douche, pretty much all of Steven Seagals movies would be somewhere on my list.

  • Gustavo| Frugal Science January 6, 2012, 10:27 am

    Te Count of Monte Cristo is the best.
    The Sting is also a classic.

    I also like:
    Wall street
    Absence of malice

    Check this oscar winner: “El secreto de tus ojos” for the most acrid revenge.

  • Teague Allen January 9, 2012, 11:32 am

    True grit by Charles Portis. As a librarian, I’ve got to love a character bent both on righteous revenge and proper grammar.

  • Jim Janney January 19, 2012, 4:36 pm

    Poe, The Cask of Amontillado. I saw a movie made from this so it counts 🙂 Also Hop Frog by the same author.

  • Zahara March 16, 2012, 3:14 am

    Irreversible by Gaspar Noé, pretty disturbing and definately about revenge. I’m not sure I came away with am sort of message but the end killed me.

  • karl sainz May 22, 2012, 8:51 am

    «the professional» with Jean-Paul Belmondo is a great movie and «wuthering heights» is a great book and also a movie (my favorite version is the one with Ralph Fiennes and Juliette Binoche).

  • Ozzy August 27, 2012, 7:45 pm

    Who can forget about Man on Fire both the movie and the book were excellent.

    • Josh Hanagarne August 28, 2012, 9:36 am

      I had no idea there was a book. Who wrote it?