10 Best Movies Where The Hero And Villain Never Meet

Sometimes the greatest of enemies never get to stand before one another...

True Romance
Warner Bros.

Movies generally follow a three-act structure that pits a hero or heroine against a villain, whether that's E.T. and the government or Batman and the Joker. When those characters meet and do battle in whichever form that fight takes, it's often the climax of the movie, and it's pretty important.

That said, there are occasions where a hero and villain never have a chance to actually meet. This is common in submarine movies — for obvious reasons — but otherwise, it's rare for a film to conclude without the two main characters meeting one another face to face.

Those rare occasions typically go one of two ways. They either prove that whoever made the movie didn't know what they were doing, or they create a true masterpiece, that has no equal. Those examples are incredibly rare, but they do pop up every once in a while in everything from independent movies to big-budget Hollywood blockbusters.

These ten films managed to keep the hero and villain apart, and while they may have interacted over the phone or through some other means, they never had a chance to stare one another in the eye.

10. Braveheart

True Romance
20th Century Fox

Mel Gibson's Braveheart stands as one of the best war movies ever made, even if it does take some liberties with the history of William Wallace and his rebellion. Still, it's arguably a fantastic film, and Gibson's Wallace stands as a true hero to his people, and a villain to England.

Because he began an uprising that took on the nation of England, Wallace's enemy wasn't the commander of a platoon, or anything so small — his enemy was King Edward "Longshanks," the man who was responsible for the killing of Wallace's family and the subjugation of the Scottish people.

In many ways, Braveheart plays out like a video game, where the hero goes from smaller to larger threats as he makes his way to the boss. That boss was Longshanks, and while it wouldn't seem likely that Wallace would ever meet Longshanks on the field of battle, the King did command his forces on the battlefield against Wallace's forces towards the end of the movie.

It could have happened, but unfortunately, Wallace was betrayed and captured. He was tortured in the public square, where he was eviscerated, emasculated, hanged, beheaded, and ultimately quartered, so his body parts could stand as a warning to others.


Jonathan is a graphic artist, illustrator, writer, and game designer. Jonathan retired from the U.S. Army in 2017 and enjoys researching and writing about history, science, theology, and many other subjects. He writes for ScreenRant, CBR, NerdBastards, Listverse, Ranker, WhatCulture, and many other sites online. You can check out his latest on Twitter: @TalkingBull or on his blog: jonathanhkantor.com