Vigilante film

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The vigilante film is a film genre in which the protagonist or protagonists engage in vigilante behavior, taking the law into their own hands. Vigilante films are usually revenge films in which the legal system fails protagonists, leading them to become vigilantes.

In United States cinema, vigilante films gained prominence during the 1970s with "touchstones" like Death Wish and Dirty Harry, both of which had sequels. The Los Angeles Times reported, "Vigilante vengeance was the cinematic theme of the decade, flourishing in the more respectable precincts of the new American cinema even as it fueled numerous exploitation flicks," referring to Taxi Driver as a respectable example of the genre. It reported in 2009 that such films were making a comeback after "the comparatively prosperous and peaceable 1990s", with examples like Walking Tall (2004), Death Sentence (2007), and Law Abiding Citizen (2009).

List of films[edit]

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The following vigilante films are listed alphabetically.


Late 60s-mid 80s vigilante film wave[edit]

Film Year Ref.
Alley Cat 1984
An Average Little Man 1977
The Big Racket 1976
Billy Jack 1971 [1]
The Black Gestapo 1975
Bloodrage 1979
The Bride Wore Black 1968
Chrome and Hot Leather 1971
Coffy 1973
Colt 38 Special Squad 1976
The Common Man 1975
A Dangerous Toy 1979
Death Weekend 1976
Death Wish 1974 [2]
Death Wish II 1982
Defiance 1980
Dirty Harry 1971 [2]
Double Game 1977
The Enforcer 1976
Execution Squad 1972
The Exterminator 1980 [2]
Exterminator 2 1984
An Eye for an Eye 1981
The Graduates of Malibu High 1983
Hatred 1977
High Plains Drifter 1973
The "Human" Factor 1975
I Spit on Your Grave 1978 [3]
Jackson County Jail 1976
Joe 1970
Kidnap Syndicate 1975
Krodham 1982
Lady Snowblood 1973
The Last House on the Left 1972
Law and Disorder 1974
Lipstick 1976
Magnum Force 1973
Manhunt in the City 1975
Milano trema: la polizia vuole giustizia 1973
Ms. 45 1981
Naked Vengeance 1985
Revolver 1973
Robin Hood 1973 [3]
Savage Streets 1984
The Star Chamber 1983
Strange Shadows in an Empty Room 1976
Straw Dogs 1971
The Street Fighter 1974
Street Law 1974
Sudden Impact 1983
Syndicate Sadists 1975
Taxi Driver 1976 [2]
Three the Hard Way 1974
Thriller – A Cruel Picture 1973
Tony Arzenta 1973
Trial by Combat 1976
Ulzana's Raid 1972 [4]
Vigilante 1983 [4]
Vigilante Force 1976
Violent City 1970
Walking Tall 1973 [5]
What Have They Done to Your Daughters? 1974
The Wild Bunch 1969 [4]
Zebra Force 1976

1980s to the present[edit]

Film Year Ref.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2012 [3]
Batman 1989
Batman Begins 2005 [5]
The Boondock Saints 1999 [5]
The Brave One 2007 [2]
The Crow 1994 [3]
The Dark Knight 2008 [6]
The Dark Knight Rises 2012 [3]
Darkman 1990
Deadpool 2016
Death Sentence 2007 [2]
Death Wish 2018
Defendor 2009 [7]
Desperado 1995 [3]
The Equalizer 2014 [8]
Eye for an Eye 1996 [2]
Falling Down 1993 [3]
Faster 2010 [3]
Four Brothers 2005 [4]
The Gladiator 1986 [3]
Gran Torino 2008 [5]
Hard Candy 2006 [9]
Hard to Kill 1990 [6]
Harry Brown 2009 [5]
Hobo with a Shotgun 2011 [3]
The Horseman 2008
Inglourious Basterds 2009 [2]
John Wick 2014
Kick-Ass 2010 [10]
Kick-Ass 2 2013 [11]
Kill Bill 2003 [3]
Law Abiding Citizen 2009 [2]
Machete 2010 [3]
A Man Apart 2003 [4]
Man on Fire 2004 [6]
Mr. X 2015
Munich 2005 [4]
Peppermint 2018
Prisoners 2013 [12]
The Punisher 2004 [4]
Rolling Vengeance 1987 [3]
Super 2010 [3]
Taken 2008 [3]
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 1990 [3]
A Time to Kill 1996 [2]
V for Vendetta 2005 [5]
Walking Tall 2004 [2]
Watchmen 2009 [3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lichtenfeld, Eric (2007). Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie. Wesleyan. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8195-6801-4.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Lim, Dennis (October 19, 2009). "Vigilante films, an American tradition". Los Angeles Times.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Staff (August 13, 2013). "24 Frames: Vigilante Justice!". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved August 17, 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Lichtenfeld, Eric (September 13, 2007). "Killer Films". Slate. Retrieved July 26, 2013.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Plumb, Alistair (April 1, 2010). "The 8 Most Kick-Ass Movie Vigilantes". Empire. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  6. ^ a b c Firecloud, Johnny (November 18, 2009). "10 Best Vigilante Films". CraveOnline. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  7. ^ Rohit, Parimal. "Defending 'Defendor'". Archived from the original on 2010-08-08. Retrieved 2010-06-02.
  8. ^ Steinberg, Don (September 18, 2014). "'The Equalizer': Vigilante Justice". The Wall Street Journal.
  9. ^ Stringer, Rebecca. "From Victim to Vigilante". www.academia.edu. Routeledge. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  10. ^ Scott, A. O. (April 15, 2010). "Brutal Truths About Violence". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Coyle, Jake (June 24, 2013). "Carrey says 'Kick-Ass 2' too violent after Newtown". The Big Story. Associated Press. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  12. ^ "Hugh Jackman to Star in Vigilante Thriller PRISONERS for November 2013 Release". Collider.com. March 15, 2012. Retrieved March 4, 2013.

Bibliography[edit]