Top 10 Most Dangerous Movie Missions Ever

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Top 10 Most Dangerous Movie Missions Ever

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
The most important movie missions are often the most dangerous. For this list, we'll be looking at the most dangerous and treacherous missions shown on film. Our countdown includes “Tenet”, “Skyfall”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, and more!
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Top 10 Most Dangerous Movie Missions


Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 most dangerous movie missions.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most dangerous and treacherous missions shown on film. Since we’ll be discussing big plot details, here’s your spoiler alert!

Which of these missions would you rather not be assigned to? Let us know in the comments below!

#10: Saving the Earth

“Tenet” (2020)
Christopher Nolan specializes in difficult, mind-bending movie missions. Just look at the multiple dream levels of “Inception”. Or the epic search for a habitable planet in “Interstellar”. But we’d argue that when it comes to most dangerous missions, “Tenet” takes the cake. Tasked with stopping a Russian oligarch from reversing the Earth’s entropy, The Protagonist faces unique hazards. For starters, he has to fight foes who have had their own entropy inverted and are moving backwards through time - including his future self. He then has to survive inversion himself … The final battle involves a complex temporal pincer movement against a fortified position, with the fate of the planet on the line.


#9: Exposing a Double Agent

“Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” (2011)
A Cold War thriller, “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” is adapted from the John le Carré novel of the same name. Gary Oldman stars as George Smiley, a British spy who’s asked to come out of retirement to find a Russian mole working inside British Intelligence. It’s a movie that perfectly conveys the anxiety of the Cold War. Unlike the other entries in this list, the mission that Smiley is tasked with isn’t fraught with obvious physical danger. However, it’s no less dangerous owing to the cat and mouse game that Smiley is playing with a double agent inside his own inner circle.


#8: Stopping the Apostles

“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (2018)
Ethan Hunt has certainly endured his fair share of risky missions. In the first “Mission: Impossible”, he had to clear his name while on the run from his own agency. He also survived … well, dying in the third installment (he was resuscitated). However, “Fallout” sees him on arguably his most dangerous mission ever. He and his crew have to stop a terrorist organization called The Apostles, who plan to use nukes to sow global chaos. A halo jump gone wrong is actually one of the smaller obstacles. Hunt also has to face off against Henry Cavill’s August Walker, aka John Lark. This leads to a helicopter chase - and crash. And it culminates in an epic cliffside fistsight.


#7: Preventing Nuclear Disaster

“The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” (2015)
In this period spy thriller, Henry Cavill is on the side preventing nuclear devastation. He plays Napoleon Solo, a CIA agent who reluctantly teams up with KGB operative Illya Kuryakin to stop nules falling into the hands of Nazi sympathizers. Working alongside the KGB and maintaining undercover secrecy proves both tense and dangerous. Solo is really put through the ringer, including being tortured in an electric chair. He later has to infiltrate the Nazi sympathizers’ fortress. Throw in the intense car chases, and it’s a miracle he survived.


#6: Recovering the List

“Atomic Blonde” (2017)
Another period thriller, “Atomic Blonde” sees MI6 agent Lorraine Broughton attempting to recover a list that would expose the identities of secret agents in Berlin. Part of what makes the mission so dangerous is the number of KGB agents she has to face along the way, often in brutal, intimate fights. All the while, the MI6 Berlin station chief Percival is after her, convinced that she’s a double agent. Turns out, he’s right … sort of. She’s a triple agent, really working for the CIA. This means that the tightrope she was walking was even thinner than viewers initially thought.


#5: Preventing People From Going Wild

“Kingsman: The Secret Service” (2014)
The scheme at the heart of this action spy comedy is truly horrifying. Samuel L. Jackson’s Richmond Valentine has been handing out free SIM cards, through which he plans to turn people into psychopathic, rage-filled monsters. Fortunately, the Kingsmen are around to stop him. The odds are stacked against them however. This is made terrifyingly clear when Valentine activates the cards inside a hate church in Kentucky - while Kingsman Harry Hart is inside. To stop Valentine’s plan, the secret agents try to destroy his satellites using high altitude balloons. When that fails, they’re forced to storm a secret mountain base with hundreds of armed guards. This is James Bond turned up to 11.

#4: Defending M

“Skyfall” (2012)
In “Skyfall”, James Bond receives a different sort of mission. A cyber-terrorist named Raoul Silva has put M firmly in his crosshairs. He aims to get revenge for her role in his mistreatment by a foreign government. It’s up to Bond to personally protect M. To make matters worse, Bond isn’t exactly at the top of his game. He’s not getting younger and he was wounded at the beginning of the movie. Bond’s mission takes him to the London Underground, where he’s almost squashed by an entire train. Eventually, he takes M to his childhood home in Scotland. He’s then forced to defend it using crude traps and his own creativity - “Home Alone” style.


#3: Keeping Nukes From Terrorists

“True Lies” (1994)
As with many movies in this list, the mission at the heart of “True Lies” is to stop terrorists from using nuclear weapons. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Harry Tasker, a counterterrorism agent investigating a group known as the Crimson Jihad, whose leader threatens to destroy the United States with nukes. This leads to both Harry and his wife, Jamie Lee Curtis’ Helen Tasker, being kidnapped and having to escape a terrorist camp. Harry then has to rescue Helen as she hurtles towards a deadly drop on Florida’s Seven Mile Bridge. Oh yeah, AND he has to save his daughter Dana from a Miami skyscraper. Naturally, Arnie does take out the bad guy in the end, but it wasn’t easy!


#2: Finding Out Who He Is

“The Bourne Identity” (2002)
When Matt Damon’s Jason Bourne wakes up with amnesia, he sets out to learn his true identity. It turns out he was actually part of a CIA black ops program - and now the organization that made him is out to hide the evidence. In order to even survive, Bourne has to evade police and go up against a series of assassins, each deadlier than the last. Fortunately, he has retained some handy skills, in spite of losing his memories. But going up trained killers and a covert branch of the CIA is still far from a walk in the park!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Executing a Dangerous Exchange, “Bridge of Spies” (2015)
A Lawyer Is Tasked with Rescuing an Air Force Pilot from the KGB

Infiltrating the Mob, “The Departed” (2006)
A Police Officer Works as a Mole Inside the Irish Mafia

Halting a War, “The Sum of All Fears” (2002)
Jack Ryan Must Stop a Neo-Nazi’s Plans to Trigger a Nuclear War

Saving the World, “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977)
It’s Bond Up Against Yet Another Megalomaniac with Nukes

Protecting a Soviet Defector, “The Hunt for Red October” (1990)
Jack Ryan Must Prove That the Red October Is Defecting from the USSR

#1: Retrieving the Death Star Plans

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016)
At the beginning of the original “Star Wars,” the Rebel Alliance had recently stolen the schematics for the Empire’s Death Star. Released nearly 40 years later, “Rogue One”, tells audiences how the rebels got the plans. When the Alliance Council balks at Jyn Erso’s daring plan, she goes rogue, leading her squad against the entire Imperial garrison on Scarif. Thankfully, the Alliance sends their fleet in to help, and Jyn is able to transmit the plans. But this mission is so dangerous that Jyn and the others perish in the process. The mission proves just as deadly for the Rebel soldiers who face off against Darth Vader to secure the plans.
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