10 ‘Revenge’ Movies Ranked From Worst To Best
If it's got 'revenge' in the title, it's probably on this list.
Revenge, we’re told, is a dish best served cold, and so it is in many movies from comedy to horror and everything in-between, where those once scorned get there comeuppance in various forms of success or bloody failure. The word ‘revenge’ has seen its use in a number of well-known films, some great, some, well, not so much. Here are ten popular ‘revenge’ movies ranked from worst to best.
(10) Jaws: The Revenge
DIRECTOR: Joseph Sargent STARRING: Lorraine Grey, Michael Caine
The fourth installment to the classic monster in the dark film Jaws, which was released in 1974, goes all out with the craziness, taking the once beloved franchise and turning into a cartoon where Lorraine (Lorraine Gary), the wife of series starter Chief Brody (Roy Scheider)–who is not in this movie except in a flashback from a memory a character who wasn’t there when it happened remembers– believes a great white shark is out for revenge against her family, even following her to the Bahamas because you know, sharks are all about karma.
(9) Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
DIRECTOR: Michael Bay STARRING: Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox
Another sequel, the second in the now long-running show about giant robots from space duking it out on Earth, this one follows the further adventures of Sam Witwicky (LaBeouf) and his gal pal Mikaela Banes (Fox) as they join with Optimus Prime and his gang against the evil the Decepticons, who are in league with an ancient mentor who is out for payback, concocting a plan to wipe out the Sun. A massive box office blockbuster, it’s a loud, chaotic, blisteringly difficult to watch 144 minutes of CGI mayhem for die-hard fans only. And even then, beware.
(8) Revenge of the Creature
DIRECTOR: Jack Arnold STARRING: John Agar, Lori Nelson
So by now it’s clear, revenge loves sequels, and just like it is now, so it was in 1955 when this second story of the Gill-man who lives underwater was released. It picks up where the classic first left off, the monster riddled with bullets but alive and brought to an aquarium to be made into an attraction. Problem is, the beast has fallen smitten with fish scientist student Helen Dobson (Lori Nelson) because no monster can resist a pretty girl, and so, even when he gets the chance to make it back to the sea, he takes after her instead and it’s showtime between man and well, Gill-man. Look for Clint Eastwood in his film debut.
(7) Revenge of the Ninja
DIRECTOR: Sam Firstenberg STARRING: Shô Kosugi, Keith Vitali, Virgil Frye
Back in 1983, martial arts movies were reaching an apex of sorts as American television audience were getting deeper access to classic Asian fight films, and so Hollywood jumped into the fray with one of the most popular series being the “Ninja Trilogy,” with this second installment starring legendary cult action star Sho Kosugi as a ninja trying to protect his son from some perfunctory bad guy types. Censored on release due to graphic violence, it’s a decent, well-choreographed beat-’em-up with plenty for fans of the genre. Worth a look for throwback Saturday afternoon theater nostalgia-maniacs.
(6) Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers
DIRECTOR: Dominique Othenin-Girard STARRING: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell
In this fifth installment in this once genre-defining horror/slasher series, things begin to go off the rails a bit as the eponymous mask-wearing killer continues his rampage, this time going after his psychologically traumatized mute niece, who has a telepathic link with her uncle, Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasence), so you can already see what we mean. Loaded with tropes of the franchise, it at least goes all in no matter the silliness, featuring some good performance.
(5) A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy’s Revenge
DIRECTOR: Jack Sholder STARRING: Robert Englund, Mark Patton, Kim Myers
After the huge box office success of Wes Craven’s original in this series, it was a no-brainer that the studio would take to bleeding it dry as quickly as it could, delivering this sequel in 1985, a year after the first but five years later in the story. It follows a family that has moved into the former home of the Thompson’s, where it all began, and guess who’s back looking to find a way to continue his bloody beatdowns, none other than Freddy Kruger himself and he’s out for, well, you know. Not the worst in the franchise, it has some decent frights and special effects, and puts Kruger firmly in the driver’s seat as one of the best horror slasher villains.
(4) Revenge of the Pink Panther
DIRECTOR: Blake Edwards STARRING: Peter Sellers, Herbert Lom, Burt Kwouk
Blake Edwards movies have always been a matter of taste, with pratfalls and gags a mainstay, but with Peter Sellers in the role of Chief Inspector Jacques Clouseau, it’s a sure bet there’s some comedy gold somewhere in the mix. In this sixth film in the Pink Panther series, and what would be Seller’s last, the loose story follows the inspector as he takes advantage of a false report that he has been killed, tracking down his nemesis Philippe Douvier (Robert Webber) with plenty of anarchy along the way. An often very funny bit of lunacy, Sellers sells it and makes this revenge movie well worth a look.
DIRECTOR: Tony Scott STARRING: Kevin Costner, Anthony Quinn, Madeleine Stowe
In 1990, along with his monumentally well-received and Oscar-winning epic drama Dances With Wolves, Kevin Costner also starred in this romantic thriller that didn’t quite earn the same acclaim but is still a pretty decent bit of entertainment nonetheless. If follows Michael J. “Jay” Cochran (Costner), a retiring Naval pilot who travels to Mexico to spend some time with his wealthy friend and crime boss, Tiburon “Tibey” Mendez (Quinn), but ends up in a steamy relationship with his beautiful wife (Stowe) instead. You can guess how well that goes over. Not well. Not well at all.
(2) Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
DIRECTOR: George Lucas STARRING: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor
While the second trilogy to the Star Wars franchise has across the board met with less than critical favor, the third film in this series is easily the best, featuring a darker story, better fleshed-out characters, and a more impactful ending. Following the rise of Darth Vader (Christensen), it sees a young man torn between allegiance and the love for his wife (Portman). By no means a masterpiece, it is however noteworthy for filling in the gaps as to why one of cinema’s best-loved villains came to be. Read more here.
(1) Revenge of the Nerds
DIRECTOR: Jeff Kanew STARRING: Robert Carradine, Anthony Edwards, Timothy Busfield
While the themes and general behaviors of the characters in this classic 80s comedy have not aged so well, in fact, with modern sensibilities downright disturbing, it is however a pretty darned funny movie that, despite how it gets there, is actually, kinda-sorta inspiring. Following two nerdy types named Lewis (Carradine) and Gilbert (Edwards) during their first year at college, they join other like them in an all-out war against the jocks for rule over the campus. Lots of goofy, sexy fun, it’s easily the best ‘revenge’ move ever made. Read more here.
Got some favorite revenge movies you want to share? Let us know in the comments below.