Despite the fact that most people shun “violence” in real life, when it comes to movies, violence is a popular pastime. For some reason, we enjoy watching cars explode or criminals be beaten to a pulp. On this list, however, we won’t be discussing acts of indiscriminate brutality. The films in the following list feature some of the most important ones in which violence is a major plot point. Among the notables: (Quentin Tarantino, of course).
We leave it to you to determine whether these films are worth your time, because many of them are difficult to digest. However, each one of the films we’ve selected is intriguing in its own right, even if it hasn’t been well received by the critics. Based on their extreme brutality and cinematic quality, these films have been ranked. On Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, or YouTube, you can find some of the best violent movies. Violence in action movies, fighting flicks, martial arts, and thrillers are all included.
20. Hostel (2005)
Starting off generic and dull, director Eli Roth asserted in interviews that the film’s three main protagonists would eventually wind up in a tortured hostel where violence has no boundaries, and that was his purpose. The rest of the flick is nothing but gore and guts. The film lacks the usual cinematic merits, such as a well-developed storyline, well-developed characters, beautiful photography, and well-written dialogues, but it succeeds in conveying a disturbing sense of inhumanity, and this is what makes the picture powerful.
In the vein of Saw (2004), the film places its protagonists in a claustrophobic environment and witnesses terrible crimes while evoking a sense of imprisonment and inevitability, making it a unique horror flick. Perhaps the nicest thing about the picture is Roth’s evocative representation of hopelessness. Despite the fact that “Hostel” is overly violent, I believe it might have been much better. It could have gone further into the brains of the audience if it had stronger character writing and more realistic settings, given the film’s subject matter.
19. Stoic (2009)
To be clear, I am not arguing that “Stoic,” despite the harsh criticism it has gotten, is a particularly wonderful film; rather, I believe it to be the director’s most interesting work to date. Three inmates abuse the fourth in a brutal, frightening, and unforgettable manner in this bleak arthouse thriller from 2009. It lacks human consideration and acknowledges pain physically.
Despite Boll’s reputation as a bad filmmaker, the scenes of torture in “Stoic” are so real and authentic that they only serve to worsen the experience of watching it (or make it better, depending on your point of view now that you’ve chosen to read this page). Despite its flaws, the film is amusing, thought-provoking, and unique, despite the fact that several sequences are dragged out due to poor writing. This is the first Boll picture that has made me reevaluate my opinion of him as a filmmaker, and I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s the film’s low budget or the way it effectively depicts violence. Do you think he’s that bad?
18. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) (2011)
Human Centipede 2 is by far my least favorite of the notorious Human Centipede trilogy, although I don’t believe it’s terrible like the previous two films. It’s fine if people disagree with me; I’m entitled to mine, too. However, this picture stands out from the pack due to its stark black-and-white aesthetics, unique plot, and cold, detached, and ruthless depiction of violence. Comparing it to its predecessor and successor would be unfair, in my opinion.
Unlike the doctor in the previous movie, the film’s protagonist is a well-realized schlock parody who feels more like a person who would choose to undertake an experiment like this than the doctor in the first film. A scene when a pregnant woman is forced to join the centipede chain is harrowing, to say the least. But considering the tone and subject of the movie, it feels appropriate, especially when the villainous protagonist displays no remorse for his crafty acts. The film’s quality is still up for debate, but I appreciate it for its gloomy, depressing view on human nature, thus I think its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.
17. Cannibal Holocaust (1980)
Even before I had seen it, I had high expectations for the film, “Cannibal Holocaust.” Ruggero Deodato, the film’s director, reportedly sent his actors into hiding after production was over in order to make their deaths at the end appear genuine. Following a historic court case, he was forced to publicly demonstrate that they had not passed.
This documentary-style film, dubbed “Cannibal Holocaust,” features a group of scavengers, all of whom are killed by an uncultured tribe that lives on the island they’ve landed on. It’s considered one of the most controversial films ever made. ‘Cannibal Holocaust’ is also recognized today for its gruesome rapes and murders, as well as the slaughter of animals on-screen. In my opinion, the film is an enjoyable one. Although the subject matter is difficult to digest, I don’t recall seeing anything quite like it before. This picture has a boisterous spirit of rawness that engulfs its running time. It tries to convey a message, but most of these are drowned out by their subpar realization. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t wonderful either. As a violent film, it’s worth watching if you know what you’re getting into, and the legal background of the film adds to that appeal for me.
16. Irreversible (2002)
Alex is viciously assaulted and beaten by a stranger in an underpass in Paris on one of the most harrowing nights of her life. To avenge her, her ex-boyfriend and ex-girlfriend hire two criminals to help them track down the perpetrators of the rape. I’m aware that it’s a gruesome film, but it also has a powerful message. ‘Irreversible’ is a harrowing look at the destructive power of cause and consequence in a picture that is both beautiful and horrifying.
15. Django Unchained (2012)
Unflinchingly recounting the miseries of slavery in spaghetti western style, but with the Tarantino imprimatur, ‘Django Unchained’ could very well be on the edge a hysterical and chaotic universe. This is a film that’s both amusing and sad, romantic and revolting, horrific and engaging. Quentin Tarantino is the only director who could have made this film or even attempted to do so, despite its many contradictions.
14. Kill Bill Vol.1 (2003)
No, we haven’t seen any other action flicks. There has been blood and gore in the past. What’s more, in this fashion? No. It appears that the protagonist is well-versed in the laws and regulations of action, based on her four-year coma recovery. From the moment the film begins, it is drenched in action and tension. This is anticipated from a director who has a distinct way of telling his stories, in which violence plays a significant role.
13. A Serbian Film (2010)
The subject matter of “A Serbian Film” presents a problem. My own opinion is that this is an excellent picture, but the broader public’s seems to be divided, for reasons I can understand. This film is about a former male porn star who accepts a role in a film, even though he has no idea what the movie is about, for a sum of money that he simply can’t turn down. The disturbing material in this film, most of it frighteningly effective, comes from what he sees while it is being made.
If you were to compare this film to any other from the 1980’s, you would be hard-pressed to find one that isn’t filled with violence, vulgarity, and the potential for harm to the viewer’s mental health. In my opinion, this photo is really significant, even though it’s more than some people requested. It’s visually appealing, with well-developed characters and a plot structure that complements the images. Sodomy, decapitations, rape, murder, and other horrifying acts of torment are all celebrated in ‘A Serbian Film.’ It’s up to you whether or not these cinematic characteristics pique your interest, but they certainly did mine.
12. City of God (2002)
Rio de Janeiro’s slums are the setting for this brutal account of drug trafficking and gang warfare, titled “City Of God.” Mobsters and drug lords control over a third-world country like Rio, thus this is a movie about them. It’s easy to see similarities to a drug-ravaged Nigeria or a civil war-torn Syria if you look closely enough. It tells the story of one man’s rise and collapse as a drug trafficker over the course of two decades.
11. Men Behind the Sun (1988)
“Men Behind the Sun” is more than a picture about violence and brutality, which is definitely horrible in comparison to most films that claim to be as frightening as this one. The fact that the film is based on a true story helps to make it a harrowing experience to watch.
Using a World War II storyline, the film details the Japanese government’s cruel and agonizing trials on Russian and Chinese men, women, and able-bodied youths. No graphic content is hidden from the audience in the presentation of these investigations. In this film, every ounce of torture that has ever been a part of the history of the subject is shown in full.
Experiments in this film include a man being held in a room to watch his organs shoot out of his body, dissecting a living boy, and freezing a lady to test how long it would take her limbs to fall off their sockets. Despite this, I will not go into the specifics. Because of the represented period’s moral decay, the depicted violence does not feel out of place or extreme. Furthermore, real human and animal cadavers were used to depict the decaying corpses in order to provide the most realistic effect possible.
10. El Topo (1970)
Alejandro Jodorowsky, a Chilean great director, knows exactly how to convey the weight and horror of violence to the spectator. With its unusual blend of western themes and Eastern symbolism and subtext, “El Topo” tells the story of a man who believes himself to be God. Destroyed and demolished cities and villages that are now overrun with bleeding corpses provide the bulk of the film’s background if not obvious layers of depth. Many films have taken their cues from ‘El Topo,’ in which sacrilegious material is mixed with bloodshed in order to elicit the loudest possible emotions from the intended audience. When it comes to psychological brutality rather than physical violence, “El Topo” is my favorite film to date.
9. Confessions (2010)
An elementary school teacher and two of her students are involved in a revenge plot in the Japanese film “Confessions,” or “Kokohaku.” The former had a hand in the murder of her little daughter. Because her husband had AIDS before he departed, the teacher’s method of revenge is simple: She inserts her husband’s blood into their beverages, which means that they won’t be able to survive for very long. The teacher’s important revelation to the entire classroom about the children’s individual mental disabilities causes the children’s worlds to be flipped upside down in various, twisted ways. It shows how people survive with their life, knowing that they would die in terrible ways.
My time at ‘Kokohaku’ was one of the most unforgettable of my life’s experiences. Due to its focus on deviant children as a whole rather than just those who have committed murder, this film is graphically brutal and violent. The rest of the kids’ lives are transformed as secrets are slowly revealed in the classroom and figures from the school’s shadowy history come to light. To introduce violence into the mix in this way is nothing short of remarkable in this film’s knowledge of the human psyche.
8. Inglorious Bastards (2009)
In the end, “Inglorious Bastards” is a Quentin Tarantino film, whether you want to call it a war movie or a revenge thriller (a historical film it is not). The film is an unrelenting assault on the senses that makes no apologies or asks for forgiveness. It doesn’t matter to Tarantino if he offends, or how many clichés he breaks, because this is filmmaking at its purest.
7. Audition (1999)
Because I nearly forgot, I had to rewrite my entire article. This is an incredible piece of work. Takeshi Miike, more than any other East Asian director, has a profound understanding of violence, as evidenced by his masterful depictions of gore. You get an experience that is unlike anything you’ve seen before, all wrapped up in a horror picture that’s one of the greatest out there.
An audition tells the story of an elderly widower who has spent his life tending to the needs of a small child until the boy himself inspires his father’s desire to get remarried. His friend, the producer of a nonexistent film production, tries to help him by conducting a fake audition in the hopes of finding a suitable match for him to marry. The widower receives a lot of applications, but one stands out to him and he decides to start a relationship with her. The protagonist is bewildered by her quiet and cryptic character, despite her beauty. More information about her is revealed in Miike’s opus and the film takes on a terrifying, brutal and superbly directed tone, exploiting her obscene images to their utmost potential.
6. Straw Dogs (1971)
Sam Peckinpah’s controversial film focuses on a person’s instinctive capacity for violence. David Sumner (Dustin Hoffman) and his British wife, Amy (Susan George), travel to the distant Cornish town where Amy grew up in order to flee the Vietnam-era social upheaval in the United States. However, their presence prompts resentment among the village’s men. David’s pacifism is put to the test as the hostilities rise from ordinary bullying to the gang rape of his wife. David finally resorts to the terrible violence he despises when the hooligans attack his home.
5. Funny Games (1997)
One of the most talented filmmakers of our time, Michael Haneke. His best picture, ‘Funny Games,’ uses violence well to elicit feelings of anguish, empathy, discomfort, and even nausea in its audience. The film employs an ingenious tactic to enhance the impact of its violence, which involves the horrific treatment of a family of three by two sadistic young men.
For as long as they are in danger and the guys are holding them hostage in their own home, the violence is sparked by the warning, and then the perpetrators either diminish or completely forget about it. As a result, the warning’s description of torment comes to pass in a way that is worse than we could have ever imagined. Silence and static cinematography are key elements in Haneke’s depiction of the terrible state of the world. As if the two men are managing the film’s narrative, they break the fourth wall and manipulate the running time to their liking. Haneke’s subject of societal disdain underlies the violence, which has no clear impetus.
4. Oldboy (2003)
The revenge thriller ‘Oldboy’ deviates from the norm. Yes, it’s violent, but filmmaker Park Chan-wook uses it metaphorically to back his unforgiving storylines, challenging the usual usage of blatant violence. Vibrant imagery, passionate functionality, and poetic meaning are the hallmarks of his approach of storytelling. To ensure that his film isn’t merely watched but experienced, he exhausts us emotionally by subjecting us to a brutal dramatic thrashing.
3. Unforgiven (1992)
One of Clint Eastwood’s best films, possibly the best western ever made, ‘Unforgiven’ explores death’s toll and the ghosts that haunt those who commit murder. With the help of two other men, he sets out to get a man who hacked up a local whore, only to meet an equally nasty Marshall, played by Gene Hackman, who delights in torturing and killing his victims. The darkest and most realistic western ever made, and the most disturbing at the very end. We’re treated to a gloomy masterpiece from Eastwood.
2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
“A Clockwork Orange” is a challenging film that requires concentration and willpower to get through. There are times when you can’t look away from the television, as when you’re watching a car accident. Malcolm MacDowell’s superb energetic portrayal keeps us engaged throughout the film, despite the film’s moments of perversity, comedy, and terrifying, cold-blooded brutality. That it makes us sympathize with him and root for him while also being horrified when he is subjected to a mind control experiment that takes away his willpower is an example of acting to the fullest extent of one’s abilities.
1. Taxi Driver (1976)
One of the most viscerally violent films ever filmed, ‘Taxi Driver’ (1976) still hasn’t lost its potency forty years later. If you’ve never seen it before, you’re missing out on a terrifying journey into the depths of one man’s psyche and his own self-made Hell. Martin Scorsese’s film is a gloomy classic, with its man seeing the hell he sees, the very hell that is developing his wrath in the streets of the city.