10No Country for Old Men (2007)
#10 on our list of top 10 movie shootouts won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Bardem, Jones, Brolin, and Harrelson, and the Coen Brothers join forces to bring us No Country for Old Men. A very entertaining shootout film that follows Llewelyn Moss (Brolin) after he discovers a satchel of money from an apparent drug deal gone bad. The guns come out and the chase ensues almost immediately after Moss finds the cash. He is more than willing to give his life for the dead presidents. Llewelyn is hunted down by a force bigger than he is, and joins our top 10 movie shootouts list.
9Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
What’s not to love with Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway, Gene Hackman, and even funny man Gene Wilder? A great shootout that consist of bank robberies, car chases, and dodging the law. Most moviegoers will want the Clyde Barrow gang to continue robbing banks and avoiding being captured forever. But it’s the inevitable bloodbath scene at the end that saddens us all.
Moving on to #8 on our list of top 10 movie shootouts is Tombstone. This highly quoted western is the story of the famous lawman Wyatt Earp. Wyatt attempts to settle down and build a life for himself, his wife, and his family. This fantasy is disrupted by a band of unruly characters known as cowboys. Several shootouts take place during this movie that warrant making our list on their own. Which is your favorite?
7Léon: The Professional (1994)
How many movies has Natalie Portman been in? A lot! There are many things to like about this movie beyond the great climactic shootout at the end: the twisted multi-personality of Gary Oldman, the disciplined yet neurotic behavior of Jean Reno, and the crooked sleazeball antics of Danny Aiello.
6The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)
You know the theme music, (one of the most popular of any western), you know the director, (the great Sergio Leone), and you know the star, (Clint Eastwood). The display of shooting skills toward the beginning of this top 10 shootout movie is just as good or better than any one found on this list.
5The Matrix (1999)
You’ll be hard-pressed to find another film more influential to the action genre than this instant classic by the Wachowski Brothers. Imagine waking up the day after learning that the world – as you know it – is not real, having the ability to dodge bullets, and being told you are the only person that can save humans from extinction. The Matrix is an action movie that delivers non-stop thrills and bullets for days!
“Say hello to my little friend.” Al Pacino has had a brilliant film career playing one great character after another. This movie line and many others in the movie have become a part of pop culture. This shootout is unbelievable simply because Tony Montana takes on what seems to be a mini Cuban army by himself.
3Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Any western best of list will most likely have this Paul Newman and Robert Redford classic on it. The notorious bank robbers are outgunned and outdated as they try to continue pulling of bank robberies. They are chased like cattle out of the states and find themselves south of the border where the next life greets them.
2L.A. Confidential (1997)
Follow the lives of early 1950’s policemen in Los Angeles from multiple points of view as they try to fight and solve crimes. There are a few shootout scenes in this terrific cop movie, but the one we like the best is at the end. Officer Exley (Guy Pearce) and Officer White (Russell Crowe) find themselves surrounded by numerous gunmen and no backup as they pull off the best shooting of their careers in order to save their lives.
#1 on our top 10 movie shootouts list is Heat. You almost forget the other big stars in this movie: Natalie Portman, Jon Voight, and Ashley Judd after watching the solid performances of Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino. The storyline is predictable–cool crooks and corny cops. We root for the cool crooks, but the corny cops we probably prevail. The shootout midway through this picture is one of the best you’ll likely see.