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Nuance? I don't want no stinking nuance.
August 30, 2010 7:07 PM   Subscribe

I want movies where someone is pushed too far and finally fights back.

Sort of like Deliverance, Rambo, Death Wish, Breakdown, Gran Torino, Karate Kid even, and a bunch more I've seen but can't recall at the moment.

Mainly, I want to see cheeks being turned left and right and left again, before a huge plate of comeuppance is finally served. I want the Nasty Badguy/girl to have their face ground into the pavement (but only just as much as is necessary, of course, because too much would be wrong).

The fewer shades of gray the better. Sports movies that fit this pattern would work too.

Extra special points for something I can stream on Netflix.
posted by jsturgill to Media & Arts (70 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
 
Harry Brown - pensioner war-vet rains hell down upon young thugs in his public housing complex.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 7:09 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


falling down.
posted by TheBones at 7:13 PM on August 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Not a fan of the movie, but Mel Gibson's the Patriot.
posted by anitanita at 7:19 PM on August 30, 2010


Thelma and Louise
posted by dfriedman at 7:19 PM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cool Hand Luke
posted by dfriedman at 7:20 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Network
posted by dfriedman at 7:20 PM on August 30, 2010


Straw Dogs
posted by cazoo at 7:21 PM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Last House on the Left?
posted by kpht at 7:22 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whip It!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:23 PM on August 30, 2010


I was also initially going to suggest Falling Down, but on further reading of the more inside I don't think it qualifies. The character who gets the comeuppance is not the hero, but he's not exactly a villain either. I'm thinking too many shades of grey.
posted by Emanuel at 7:26 PM on August 30, 2010


Legally Blonde
posted by thesmophoron at 7:27 PM on August 30, 2010


Ooh, and Kill Bill, Oldboy, Firecreek with Jimmy Stewart/Henry Fonda, Shooter, Man on Fire, Day of the Woman/I Spit on Your Grave, and Office Space.
posted by anitanita at 7:27 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Juice
posted by doomtop at 7:29 PM on August 30, 2010


The Punisher.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:37 PM on August 30, 2010


Oh COME ON people! Return of the Jedi!

"If you will not turn to the Dark Side, then perhaps she will..."
posted by XMLicious at 7:40 PM on August 30, 2010


Machete.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:41 PM on August 30, 2010


Oh, wait, there will probably be few cheeks being turned in Machete.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:42 PM on August 30, 2010


Sleepers.

Maybe Falling Down? I can't remember how it ends. On preview, what Emanuel said. Maybe too grey-ish.

Panic Room? Na, maybe too grey-ish as well.

Oh, oh, oh... Two Hands! My favourite brutal-but-deserved revenge scene.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 7:43 PM on August 30, 2010


Swimming with the sharks
posted by dfriedman at 7:50 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Enough, Double Jeopardy, Gran Torino
posted by MsKim at 7:50 PM on August 30, 2010


This is exactly the plot of the 2002 masterpiece, Enough, starring Jennifer Lopez.

I'd tell you how bad it is, but then I'd have to admit that I've seen it.
posted by phunniemee at 7:51 PM on August 30, 2010


Panic Room totally works, from what I recall of it.

Falling Down is awesome enough that I'm glad to see it mentioned, and it's at least deliberately playing with the emotions present in the kind of movie I'm asking about.
posted by jsturgill at 7:53 PM on August 30, 2010


PUNCH DRUNK LOVE! The end is so OMG SATISFYING when he fights back.
posted by hellomina at 7:55 PM on August 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Punch Drunk Love
The confrontation between Adam Sandler and Phillip Seymour Hoffman is an epic release of repressed rage and emotion. Sandler's character has some other 'had it!' moments in the film as well.
posted by carsonb at 7:58 PM on August 30, 2010


Red
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:59 PM on August 30, 2010


I haven't seen this, but Dirty Weekend. Mmmm, trashy.

I have read the book, and it's exactly what you want. I understand that the film is not well regarded.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 8:00 PM on August 30, 2010


Back to the Future
posted by John Cohen at 8:00 PM on August 30, 2010


Office Space.
posted by ghostbikes at 8:03 PM on August 30, 2010


While I don't think it's a traditional example of what you're looking for, I'm going to say Heathers.
posted by peep at 8:05 PM on August 30, 2010


Office Space? "...I could set the building on fire..."

Carrie?

I'm wondering about the "turn the cheek" aspect. Like, there's a lot of "revenge" movies, but usually the revenge part takes up a much larger part of the movie than the part where they quietly take it.
posted by RobotHero at 8:06 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest!
posted by wayland at 8:06 PM on August 30, 2010


The Burning Bed
posted by Melismata at 8:06 PM on August 30, 2010


The remake of The Hills Have Eyes directed by Alex Aja has a great last third. The first 2/3s are pretty gross, but in the last third the victimized wimp, having had his family murdered, turns into an avenging psychopath. It's fantastic.
posted by GilloD at 8:07 PM on August 30, 2010


ROLLING THUNDER (if you can find it)
THE FARMER (when it finally gets released)
Ms. 45
THE KILLER SNAKES
posted by Venadium at 8:09 PM on August 30, 2010


Related Tropes on TVTropes.com: Beware the Nice Ones, Let's Get Dangerous, and Berserk Button.
posted by lunchbox at 8:13 PM on August 30, 2010


9 to 5. The "fighting back" is done to comic effect, but it fits your criteria.
posted by amyms at 8:19 PM on August 30, 2010


Wait until Dark.
posted by effluvia at 8:23 PM on August 30, 2010


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
posted by redfishbluefish at 8:27 PM on August 30, 2010


Billy Jack !
posted by Bonzai at 8:45 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seconding Network.
posted by easy, lucky, free at 8:56 PM on August 30, 2010


Payback?

Although the lead-up is not quite as long as what i think you are talking about in your question.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 9:02 PM on August 30, 2010


The Professional, Sleeping with the Enemy, Inglourious Basterds, and Kick Ass.
posted by annaramma at 9:05 PM on August 30, 2010


I'm guessing you're not looking for kids' movies, but Matilda and Home Alone.
posted by lwb at 9:41 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


(Home Alone less so, but I always thought that the reason he took such a physical approach to dealing with the crooks was his built-up frustration at how his family treated him)
posted by lwb at 9:43 PM on August 30, 2010


Dolan's Cadillac, although it might also be more in the revenge category.
posted by thankyouforyourconsideration at 9:55 PM on August 30, 2010


The Craft - Robin Tunney's character (in the end, when she does real "magick").
posted by purlgurly at 10:01 PM on August 30, 2010


Matilda is an excellent answer.
posted by jsturgill at 11:04 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


28 Days Later. "I promised them women."
posted by athenasbanquet at 11:10 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


No spoilers, but I don't know if I'd include Oldboy.

Minority Report
Pootie Tang
Bad Day at Black Rock
posted by rhizome at 11:21 PM on August 30, 2010


"Fire Starter". It takes a long time before the girl snaps, but when she does it's awesome.

(Also "Carrie".)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:05 AM on August 31, 2010


Gladiator has got a pretty long lead up to the actual revenge.

Seconding 9 to 5 and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo which both follow the arc you're describing pretty closely.

On the other hand I don't think Oldboy, Kill Bill or Kick-Ass really qualify as the kind of revenge movies the OP is looking for, for various structural reasons (mostly, not much on-camera buildup, it's all backstory)

If you're willing to extend it to revenge-by-proxy, Let The Right One In and Pan's Labyrinth both spring to mind.
posted by furiousthought at 12:42 AM on August 31, 2010


Enough.

It's a movie where Jennifer Lopez has had enough.
posted by jeff1010 at 3:05 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


New Jack City
posted by IvoShandor at 3:48 AM on August 31, 2010


It's not out yet, but Hesher, with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Natalie Portman is a perfect example. The poor kid in the movie takes it and takes it and takes it. He does snap, but the actual resolution of his being bullied is quite awesome. I saw an early screening at ComicCon and I'm absolutely going to see it when it's released.
posted by teleri025 at 5:44 AM on August 31, 2010


Ransom, Man on fire, Carrie, 3 o'clock High, Braveheart, Secret of NIMH, Fight Club, Memento, Cruel Intentions...a few shades of grey there, some repeats, but the same underlying theme.
posted by samsara at 6:11 AM on August 31, 2010


Liam Neeson in Taken.
posted by gen at 6:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


The 8 Most Kick-Ass Movie Vigilantes
- Death Wish (Bronson)
- Gran Torino
- Batman Begins
- The Boondock Saints
- Taxi Driver
- Harry Brown
- The Brave One
- Walking Tall
posted by gen at 6:49 AM on August 31, 2010


Not the best (or appropriate) movie if you're sensitive. But nothing speaks revenge/pushed too far than I Spit on Your Grave. (again, horrible move with NSFW themes but it is what your'e looking for).
posted by stormpooper at 6:58 AM on August 31, 2010


Shawshank Redemption.
And I second Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
posted by beccaj at 8:02 AM on August 31, 2010


Fresh
posted by orme at 8:22 AM on August 31, 2010


What, no Revenge of the Nerds yet?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 8:43 AM on August 31, 2010


Pale Rider. Other westerns along those lines... Unforgiven, Shane (kinda), etc.

Also, every other kung-fu movie. Fist Of Legend. Ip Man. Ong Bak. Sha Po Lang. Police Story. Drunken Master (kinda), etc.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 9:11 AM on August 31, 2010


Also, have a listen to the song "Coward of the County" by Kenny Rogers.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 9:23 AM on August 31, 2010


A bit of a dark horse, but available on Netflix: Never Let Go, a 1960 noirish British flick about a guy whose car is stolen by a chop-shop gang. Losing his car threatens his job, his marriage, and ultimately his sanity. The villian is played wonderfully by Peter Sellers, chewing all kinds of scenery, and the story builds slowly and tensely to an anguished climax o' rage.
posted by ROTFL at 9:36 AM on August 31, 2010


Not a fan of the movie, but Mel Gibson's the Patriot.

Isn't this pretty much descriptive of any Mel Gibson movie?

Mad Max? Check.
Mad Max sequels? Check.
Braveheart? Check.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:35 AM on August 31, 2010


Nobody's saying Kill Bill??
Did I misunderstand the question?
posted by Paris Elk at 11:23 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Nacho Libre.
posted by Barry B. Palindromer at 12:09 PM on August 31, 2010


Law Abiding Citizen? Not exactly cinematic excellence but kind of fits the bill on two levels. The guy's family is killed and he gets fed up with the justice system so he starts taking it out on the DA, judge, etc. then you get to see them get fed up with him.

Bonus points: I'm pretty sure I saw it via Netflix streaming.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:58 PM on August 31, 2010


A Christmas Story
posted by granted at 11:47 PM on August 31, 2010


Too many good answers to mark them all. Thanks.
posted by jsturgill at 1:20 PM on October 31, 2010


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