Top 10 Movies With The Best Gunplay

Written by Shane O'Gorman When it comes to putting action scenes on the big screens, these movies used guns to orchestrate some magnificent scenes of violence! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Movies that have the Best Gunplay! But what will take the top spot on our list? Will it be 'John Wick', 'The Matrix', or 'Hard Boiled'? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to MattW128 for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%2010%20Movies%20With%20The%20Best%20Gunplay

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Now that’s how you choreograph a shootout! Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Movies with the Best Gunplay.

For this list, we’re looking at films featuring brilliant action scenes that revolve around firearms. We’re ranking them based on their choreography and intensity, whether the sequences in question are overly stylish or gritty and grounded in reality.

#10: “Django Unchained” (2012)

Western shootouts are violent enough as it is, so you can just imagine how the world of outlaws and gunslingers would appear through Tarantino’s lens. Anytime a cowboy, officer or any other darn-tootin’ rapscallion in ‘Django’ decides to get smart and draw their weapon, you can be sure that everything in the immediate vicinity will be soaked by the impending bloodbath. The bullets seem to carry way more force than they actually should, causing those who are shot to go flying through the air like something out of a Looney Tunes cartoon. It’s wildly irreverent and ultra violent, making it the perfect film to start this list with a ‘bang’.

#9: “Equilibrium” (2002)

Some critics may argue that this film is a case of ‘style over substance,’ but the style is simply undeniable. The way the shootout scenes play out is almost like a dance, with slick, perfectly timed movements that result in some truly dazzling fight choreography. The rapid pace of the shooting moves forward at such an exhilarating speed, that we’d encourage you not to blink while the bullets are flying, otherwise you may just miss one of its many moments that make you say “Did you just see that?” Heck, even the way they reload is cool; what’s not to love?

#8: “Deadpool” (2016)

We hope you’re wearing your brown pants because you may get a little exited from all the on-screen ass-kicking and bloody shootouts. Deadpool’s impressive agility and endurance allow him to put maximum effort into making every single shot count, making for some interesting shootout set pieces you wouldn’t see in most action flicks. Although his gun isn’t his main weapon, The Merc with a Mouth sure makes good use of it whenever he whips it out. Ooh, did that sound bad? Ah well, Mr. Pool would probably get a kick out of the double entendre.

#7: “Heat” (1995)

How about we steer away from the more exaggerated examples and heat things up with something a little more down to earth? After a bank robbery goes awry, the criminals are left with no choice but to retaliate against the police officers zeroing in on them, resulting in one of the most thrilling scenes in any action or crime film. What makes the shootout so exciting to watch in this case is the excellent sound design, as every shot fired from one of the many assault rifles and shotguns sounds equally powerful and destructive. Couple this with the sheer level or carnage, panic and collateral damage and you have one brutal shootout sequence.

#6: “Unforgiven” (1992)

While we love ‘Django Unchained’ for its highly stylized action scenes, Unforgiven is a more grounded, gritty entry in the western genre. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself flinching every time somebody pulls the trigger in this film, as the immediate crack of the gunshot evokes notions of raw, uncensored violence, in a film that lingers on the bloody and brutal consequences of each shot fired. There’s nothing particularly fancy or flashy about the shootouts here, but sometimes a more realistic approach to gunplay is more than appreciated; it demonstrates swiftly a gunfight can start and how suddenly it can end.

#5: “Wanted” (2008)

There are movie characters that are good with guns, and then there are characters that can alter and control the trajectory of bullets to ensure they never miss a target. In the world of ‘Wanted’, expert assassins have developed a technique called ‘bending the bullet’ and it’s just as spectacular to look at as it sounds. With this uncanny ability in mind, the action sequences in the movie are open to some seriously innovative approaches to gunplay choreography: the bullets whizz through the air at a frantic pace and the film occasionally slows down just enough to give you a better look at all the mayhem. It’s the movie shoot ‘em up fans always ‘wanted’.

#4: “Collateral” (2004)

As straightforward as gunplay is, ‘Collateral’ treats firearms with a dark, unbridled honesty – which is to say: when someone shoots, someone dies. The violence is depicted so brutally and without glamour, that you are genuinely terrified at the possibility of another confrontation. For his role as the villain, Tom Cruise went through rigorous firearms and combat training for the film, and it shows. Representing a shootout this way is an interesting reversal of how we typically feel in regards to this subject matter in film, as a sequence with bullets flying is usually meant to entertain and thrill us. ‘Collateral’ reminds us just how “un-fun” guns really are, which is a testament to how brilliantly these scenes are crafted.

#3: “The Matrix” (1999)

With the film expertly combining the speculation and philosophy of science fiction, the flair of Japanese anime and the stylish action of the Hong Kong heroic bloodshed genre; “The Matrix” gave Western audiences shootouts unlike anything they’d ever seen before. While the sound design and choreography all add to the spectacle on-screen, what really sells the gunplay is the mind blowing and much-parodied ‘bullet time’ effect, where things slow down to a crawl, allowing the audience a chance to witness the ripple effects of bullets as they travel through the air and the force of their impact on multiple objects. After seeing the sensational gunplay in this movie, you’ll only be able to utter one word as a response.

#2: “Hard Boiled” (1992)

Director John Woo’s penchant for fast paced action scenes involving guns is a staple of his career, as his film “A Better Tomorrow” popularized the heroic bloodshed genre both in Hong Kong and internationally. ‘Hard Boiled,’ however, kicks things up to a level that will knock your socks off. Entire sets are obliterated from the amount of debris and gunfire, with the long take in the hospital alone being one of the finest scenes in action cinema. If you want gunfights that become increasingly outrageous as the movie goes on, then look no further.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions…
- “The Wild Bunch” (1969)
- “Shoot ‘Em Up” (2007)
- “Desperado” (1995)

#1: “John Wick” (2014)

“John Wick” has been hailed as one of the greatest modern action films, and for good reason. The high octane, blistering speed of the choreography is enough to send any fan of action into a tizzy. Once the combat in this one gets going, it barely takes a breath with action set piece after action set piece. The filmmakers have coined the name “gun-fu” to describe Wick’s combination of both gunplay and martial arts, with its insane mash-up of punches, kicks and wicked fast marksmanship skills. “John Wick” treats gunplay like an art form and it pays off with amazing results.

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