Top Ten Antiheroes

To celebrate the release of Hancock, we’re counting down our top ten anti-heroes.

There are heroes. There are Superheroes. And then there are anti-heroes. With the widespread release of Hancock in Irish cinemas today, has decided to have a bit of fun and draw up a list of our favourite anti- heroes. Having a good guy in a film that is dead normal, beige and straight as an arrow is all well and good but who can deny the appeal of the flawed, ass kicking, foul mouthed, care free degenerate who really couldn’t care less. (For this list all comic book characters are excluded…because they all mostly are anti – heroes…funny that!)

(1) Tyler Durden – Fight Club

Yes, he’s an alter-ego in a way, but hey, he is the modern anti-hero. Anti-capitalism, anti-credit card, he’s against being made into a zombie and he hates big brother. This film delves into a modern society, always broken, always needing a fix. He is the strong, independent, “alive” man that most men want to be, fighting against obvious wrongs we feel powerless against, but for no good moral reason, but because he can. He does what he does because he wants to, and if some of us want to join a fight club and see him as heroic, that’s just part of the ride.

(2) Snake Plissken- Escape from New York/L.A

Convict, killer, hates the government, heavy drinker and smoker and he doesn’t give a crap about authority. Kurt Russell has mad his name doing these type of characters but rarely has he been better than here.

(3) Ash – Evil Dead

The laid laid-back everyman but after reading from by the middle of Evil Dead II he becomes much braver, confident , arrogant and slightly insane! He also he has some of the best one liners ever…and come on who hasn’t thought of decapitating their partner with a chainsaw? GROOVY!

(4) Leon- Leon

The hitman with a soul from Luc Besson’s action classic. Leon is a cold blooded professional killer but after he meets 12 year old Matilda this outlook changes. When not shooting at corrupt FBI agents he also enjoys Gene Kelly movies, dressing up in costumes and watering his house plant…how nice!

(5) Travis Bickle- Taxi Driver

Travis is the archetypal anti-hero. We initially sympathise with him, but as his motives remain so unknowable and it becomes clear that he’s not all there in the smarts department . Indeed, it becomes kind of hard to accept him as a heroic figure. At one point he tries to assassinate a political candidate for no good reason… he eventually ‘redeems’ himself by saving a child prostitute from the mafia but by this stage he’s so fucked up that you don’t really know where he’s coming from…

(6) Randle Mc Murphy – One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Who wouldn’t hate a common criminal that decides to fake insanity in order to be transferred to a mental institution rather than face a prison term. It’s a credit to the performances of Nicholson and Fletcher that we sympathize with him as he tries to free his fellow patients from the tyrannical grip of Nurse Ratched.

(7) Mal- Serenity

This brown coat may be a controversial choice because we picked him over Han Solo but to us he is everything that Solo epitomizes and more. After all- he aims to misbehave!

(8) Michael Corleone- Godfather Part II

Michael Corleone is a family man… shame it’s a mafia family. His devotion to this family is what keeps him a sympathetic figure within a world where violence, lies and deception are the norms.

(9) The Dude- The Big Lebowski

All he wanted was his rug back…such an epic quest for a hero! The dude is the ultimate in slacker cool from the Coens classic cult comedy of mistaken identity, nihilists, white Russians and bowling.

(10) Jack Sparrow – Pirates of the Caribbean

Deceitful, treacherous, untrustworthy but hilarious. Apparently the character was supposed to be a straight up bad guy but Depp’s over the top and eccentric performance turned Sparrow from villain to an iconic anti hero loved by all.

Got any suggestions for the list; let us know here:


Hancock is in Irish cinemas now.