With the upcoming release of Bullet Train, the Bitesize crew has put their brains together to compile Bitesize Breakdown's consensus Top Five Assassin Films.
Each writer ranks his or her top 15 films in the category. Those lists are then weighted on a reverse point system. After all the points are tallied up, the entries with the most total points make up the Bitesize Top Five.
While Heat is rightfully considered director Michael Mann’s best movie, Collateral makes a strong case for the number two spot behind its propulsive story, the stylishly gritty direction, Tom Cruise playing against type as a silver-foxed assassin, and an Oscar-nominated performance from Jamie Foxx. In some ways, it feels like a spiritual sequel to Heat, as if it exists in the same world as that masterpiece. And, you know, I’m not sure I can give a bigger compliment than that. - Quentin
4. THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM
You can’t discuss assassins without mentioning Jason Bourne (the character, not the movie). Featuring one of the best assassins cinema has ever seen, the Bourne series has been so influential that you can see its fingerprints all over Daniel Craig's iteration of the even more iconic James Bond. With The Bourne Ultimatum, we see the rare occasion when the third entry in a franchise is also the best. At the time, it was the perfect way to wrap up such an amazing trilogy. - Nick
3. PULP FICTION
Director Quentin Tarantino’s (arguably) best film is considered as such because it is so many different things while still being so singular. I genuinely didn’t even realize that it would fall into the assassin movie category until I stopped and thought about it, and any time you stop to think about Pulp Fiction’s greatness, it’s a beautiful thing. - Amarú
2. JOHN WICK
John Wick is a miracle of a movie, both for itself and action cinema. For years, action movies were in dire straits, but that all changed when Keanu Reeves was resurrected by directors David Leitch and Chad Stahelski as a vengeful boogeyman with a knack for headshots. The “gun-fu” in John Wick birthed a renewed vitality in action cinema, and its precision-based choreography remains a staple of action filmmaking to this day. What an awesome ride. - Jacob
1. KILL BILL
Writer/director Quentin Tarantino created a stylish masterpiece with Kill Bill, a love letter to other classics that also leaves its own bloody mark on them. Uma Thurman gives an incredible performance as the ‘The Bride’ (aka Black Mamba), a betrayed assassin seeking vengeance on her former hit squad, the DiVAS (Deadly Viper Assassination Squad). And who doesn’t love a good revenge tale? She is all righteous fury in this bloody affair that is amongst Tarantino’s best work. - Paige
TERMINATOR 2: JUDGMENT DAY
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Photo Credits: Photo 1 - Dreamworks Pictures; Photo 2 - Universal Pictures; Photo 3, 5 - Miramax Films; Photo 4 - Lionsgate