The 11 best anti-hero films

Meet our favourite flawed protagonists from the days before Deadpool...

If you enjoyed Deadpool, you're probably itching to watch another movie where the hero isn't a shallow, humourless world-saver from planet parental guidance.

Luckily, Wade Wilson is the latest in a long line of anti-heroes. From Walter White to Frank Underwood, the hit shows of recent years prove we love flawed characters – and they don’t get much more flawed than the ones in these movies.

Mad Max: Fury Road

The reboot is as gloriously bonkers and brilliant as us fans of the originals could have hoped, but while Max is certainly a reluctant hero, he’s not exactly an anti-hero. Charlize Theron’s Furiosa, though, is. Having been the first in command of masked nasty Immortan Joe’s war rig and overseer of numerous horrific acts perpetrated against his “five wives”, she eventually has a change of heart and turns against the overlord.

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The Crow

It may not have aged incredibly well, but the Crow remains a cult classic in which the scariest character is actually the good guy. Brought back from the dead so he can avenge his own murder and that of his wife, Eric Draven (played by Brandon Lee, who was accidentally shot and killed during filming) dons some superb gothic clown makeup and goes on a murderous rampage of anti-heroic proportions.

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Aguirre, The Wrath Of God

Klaus Kinski comes across as a terrifying nutjob in all the films he made with director Werner Herzog; this is because Klaus Kinski was a terrifying nutjob (read his repulsive autobiography if you dare). In Aguirre he plays a conquistador in search of El Dorado. One of the great films of the ’70s.

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Léon: The Professional

Luc Besson’s masterpiece, featuring the monastic hitman or ‘cleaner’ Léon Montana, is neo-noir film at its finest. When her family is killed by a corrupt agent, he reluctantly takes in his 12-year- old neighbour. He then trains her to be competent with an arsenal of weapons. Just a big softy, really.

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John Wick

John Wick used to be a very bad man; a tattooed assassin for the nastiest of nasty gangsters; “the guy you send to kill the boogeyman”. But then he found love and hung up his shooting fingers. Inevitably, his quiet life goes wrong, culminating in the murder of the puppy left to him by his dead wife. Cue nasty, vengeful retaliation in the form of some of the finest gunplay committed to screen in years.

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