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Top 10 British Movie Tough Guys

VO: Richard Bush WRITTEN BY: Robert Palin
Nice guys finish last because these guys always win. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for top ten British movie tough guys. For this list, we’re ranking actors who have earned a lasting reputation as some of cinema’s toughest, meanest and most memorable characters. Naturally, there’s some violence and bad language ahead - you have been warned! Special thanks to our user RichardFB for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 British Movie Tough Guys


Nice guys finish last because these guys always win. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for top ten British movie tough guys.

For this list, we’re ranking actors who have earned a lasting reputation as some of cinema’s toughest, meanest and most memorable characters. Naturally, there’s some violence and bad language ahead - you have been warned!

#10 Danny Dyer


From hard-hitting TV documentaries to soap opera stardom, this bloke’s built a career on his tough guy image. After a 1999 breakthrough role as Moff in “Human Traffic”, Danny Dyer’s famous parts include Tommy Johnson in “Football Factory” and Frankie in “The Business”. He carries a cockney swagger in almost everything he does, but this chappy’s just too cheeky to feature higher on the list. Still, if you’ve never seen his ‘Hard Man Acting Class’ with Keith Lemon, then take note.

#9 Gerard Butler


While he has flirted with romantic leads, comedy roles and family films, Gerard Butler’s bread and butter is as an all-action, gun-toting, big and burly bruiser. And most of that rep comes from a career-making turn as the bearded and heroic King Leonidas in “300”. Butler’s also a go-to guy for any character that’s tough on the outside but kind at heart, and anyone with a faintly flawed personality. Perhaps it’s his strong physique. Maybe it’s the gravelly accent. But if there’s fighting to be had, then Gerard’s your man.

#8 Daniel Craig


Movie characters don’t come much tougher than James Bond, and Daniel Craig brings unrivalled grittiness to the 007 role. Ever since his debut in “Casino Royale”, he’s cut a mean and measured super-spy - even though he’s scared of guns in real life! Pre-Bond, Craig’s parts were pretty diverse, and the actor is a versatile performer, but roles in movies like “Layer Cake”, “Munich” and “The Trench” further prove that he’s not someone to be messed with.

#7 Alan Ford


An older gentleman than most on this list, Alan Ford leads where others follow. A Londoner who narrated and featured in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”, his definitive role came in another Guy Ritchie flick, as Brick Top in “Snatch”. Tough but funny, Ford can also be seen in “Cockneys Vs Zombies”, where he plays a foul-mouthed, no-nonsense granddad, who quickly loses his patience with the walking dead.

#6 Mark Strong


An actor who usually lives up to his name, Mark Strong has the comedy hard-man role down to a tee. Whether he’s alongside Sacha Baron Cohen in “Grimsby”, or Taron Egerton in “Kingsman”, he’s a scene-stealer and then some. But Strong can shine in serious films too, with parts in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” and “The Imitation Game” proving just how good he is. And don’t forget his villainous turn in Guy Ritchie’s first “Sherlock Holmes” adaptation - he ran rings round Holmes and Watson for most of that!

#5 Vinnie Jones


Formerly a Wimbledon, Leeds United and Chelsea footballer, with a reputation for ruthlessness on the pitch, Jones took to the silver screen once his playing career had come to an end. And his hardman image carried across to his new venture, with a debut gig as Big Chris in “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels”. Then came another angry role as the incarcerated footballer Danny Meehan in “Mean Machine”, before Jones scooped a surprise spot on the cast list for “X-Men: The Last Stand”. He played Juggernaut, an all-out villain with super-human strength.

#4 Tom Hardy


He’s one of Britain’s most exciting performers, with an ever-expanding acting range. Roles in “Warrior”, “Mad Max” and “The Revenant” all required a gutsy turn for one reason or another, and Tom’s a dab hand when it comes to British gangsters - having starred as both the Krays in 2015’s “Legend”. Hardy’s admitted that he likes to play the villain, so he must have loved being Bane for “The Dark Knight Rises”. But the toughest of all his tough guy roles has to have come in “Bronson”, where he plays the notorious title character.

#3 Ray Winstone


Let’s forget those betting adverts for a bit, because there’s way more to Ray than just some in-play action. Winstone’s filmography is full of intimidating characters, often linked in some way to London’s criminal underworld. The actor was an amateur boxer before his career on film, and he puts those fighting instincts to good use in most of his movies. There’s “Nil By Mouth”, “44-Inch Chest” and “The Departed” - plus a breakout role in “Scum” and the title role in “Beowulf”. Take your pick, son.

#2 Michael Caine


Our runner-up’s an undisputed icon, and one of the most impersonated actors of all time. Michael Caine was good mates with John Wayne back in the day, and his rough and ready reputation more than matches the Western star. Modern audiences likely know Caine for his work in “Kingsman” or the “Dark Knight” trilogy, but the Londoner’s custom brand of on-screen aggression was born out of classic films like “The Italian Job” and “Get Carter”.

#1 Jason Statham


With an instantly recognisable and intimidating accent to rival anyone else’s - even Michael Caine’s - Jason Statham talks the talk, walks the walk and batters anyone who gets in his way. A one-time international standard diver, this actor’s more athletic than most - which gives his characters a chaotic extra edge. But when all’s said and done, Statham’s toughness incarnate. He does all his own stunts, often at great risk, and pulls it all off with unrivalled style.
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