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Top 10 Movies Where The Main Character Dies

Top 10 Movies Where The Main Character Dies
Top 10 Movies Where The Main Character Dies

Main characters are never the ones we expect to be killed off in films, but often times when it does happen, its in a great movie. Here are my top 10 best films where the main character dies.

10. Children of Men

A film that is less commonly talked about today is 2006’s Children of Men, based on the novel by PD James. In this movie Theo (Clive Owens) is tasked with keeping the last pregnant woman on earth, Kee (Clare-Hope Ashity) safe. In the final act the two find themselves in the safety of a rowboat, only to find out Theo has received a fatal injury. Kee is forced to watch the man who has protected her the entire film perish as soon as they reach safety. 

9. Romeo & Juliet

L Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio), R Juliet (Claire Danes)

If there’s one story everyone on the planet can say they’ve heard of, it’s Shaekspeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The film adaptation released in 1996 starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Claire Danes brought the historical masterpiece to life. In the final act Romeo (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Juliet’s (Claire Danes) plan to escape and live happily together goes terribly wrong when they both drink poison, leaving them to die in each other’s arms.

8. Scarface

Tony Montana (Al Pacino) – Scarface

The first word that comes to mind when thinking of Scarface, starring Al Pacino, is badass, and Al Pacino plays badass perfectly. In the crime induced thriller Tony Montana (Al Pacino) is a drug-lord and overall kingpin ruling eighties Miami. In a final standoff between hitmen attempting to kill him, Tony snorts a mountain sized line of cocaine and proceeds to leave the room guns blazing. The firefight doesn’tlast long though, as Tony soon laid dead, floating on the indoor fountain in his mansion.

7. Avengers: Endgame

Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) – Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe has risen to glory beyond the clouds and it leaves no question as to why the end of the beloved Infinity Saga did the same, even taking the spot of the highest grossing film of all-time for a short time. If you were on the internet around the time of its release, then you should already know what’s coming. In the final act of Avengers: Endgame the man who started it all, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) is faced with the decision to sacrifice himself to save the entire universe against the galactic threat, Thanos. Stark uses the infinity stones to wipe out Thanos and his army, as well as bringing back all lives that were lost in the blip. Stark is given a well-deserved send-off in the form of a funeral, which all of the heros attended.

6. The Great Gatsby

While The Great Gatsby starring Tobey Maguire and Leonardo DiCaprio isn’t a perfect film, it’s a pretty good one, and it also has one of the best main character deaths in film. As his life begins to crumble around him, Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) decides to take some well needed resting time in his pool. This is when he is confronted and shot dead by George (Jason Clarke), whose wife Gatsby mistakenly took the life of earlier in the film.

5. The Matrix

If we asked you what the most iconic sci-fi film of all-time was, chances are your answer would be The Matrix. Everyone knows the famous. “red pill.. blue” pill line, but The Matrix is also home to one of, if not, the best main character death in the genre. At the end of the movie Neo (Keanu Reeves) goes toe-to-toe with Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving), which eventually leads to Neo being shot point-blank in the chest.

4. Saving Private Ryan

Steven Speilberg’s Saving Private Ryan led by Tom Hanks, has gone down as one of the best war story films ever created. The film is about A U.S squadron led by Captain Miller (Tom Hanks), with the mission to save Private RYan (Matt Damon) from behind enemy lines. Captain Miller is shot dead while defending a bridge that is crucial to the rescue plan.

3. The Shining

The Shining is one of the most notorious horror films in all of history. From the blood doors, to “redrum,” to “Here’s Johnny,” almost everyone knows something from this film. After going on a killing spree Jack (Jack Nicholson) finds himself lost in the maze outside of the hotel he and his wife, Wendy (Shelly Duvale) had been staying at. Jack eventually succumbs to the freezing weather and is left frozen solid.

2. Titanic

L Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio), R Rose Bukater (Kate Winslet)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know of, and have at least seen parts of the Titanic starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. And unless you’ve been living under that same rock, you know exactly what death we’re talking about. In the final act of the film, Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Rose Bukater (Kate Winslet) find themselves alone at sea with only a door at their disposal. Jack stays in the ocean and allows Rose to rest on the door, eventually leaving Jack to be frozen alive in the water. This is also home to one of the biggest debates in all of cinema history, “could Jack have fit on the door.”

1. The Departed

L Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon), R Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio)

The Departed is one of the most universally loved movies of all time. Not only does it star the world famous Leonardo DiCaprio, but the just as talented, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg as well. This film actually has two shocking deaths and they happen to both be the biggest stars in the film. The first is when Billy Costigan (Leonardo DiCaprio) apprehends Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon). Costigan escorts Sullivan through a building via lift, when unexpectedly as the door opens, Costigan is shot in the head. The second death happens when Sullivan arrives home from a routine day with a bag of groceries. He is surprised by Sergeant Digman (Mark Wahlberg) who executes him on the spot, adding to the rapid chain of killings in the final act.

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Written by Elijah Boxhill

Elijah Boxhill is a critic and author for Fandomwire. Elijah is also one of the hosts of the FandomWire comic book based podcast, Comic Book Saga. Twitter: @OpticalCinema TikTok: @OpticalCinema Instagram: @ElijahBoxhill