There is something uniquely satisfying about the wish-fulfilment of a really great revenge movie. All those wrongs you've suffered yourself - if only you'd been able to dish out the appropriate punishment with the style and swagger of a Hollywood movie hero. Of course, for most of us in the real world, the sleights we suffer bear little or no resemblance to the emotional triggers that set our heroes off on a 90 minute cinematic journey into the heart of darkness and back again (hopefully).
There are several key ingredients that all great revenge movies need. Firstly a worthy cause, secondly a worthy hero - someone we can root for and who can dish out the bruises to keep us coming back for vicarious kicks (literally) time after time. The visceral thrill of seeing a true wrong 'un get his just dessert can't be beaten.
Every entry on this list is a revenge classic. They may all have different triggers, but what they all have in common is the ability to take the fight to the bad guys, wipe the floor with them and walk away to tell the tale. Everybody has their own particular favourites, but it is unlikely they could top the ten bone-crunchers listed here.
10. The Revenant - 2015
The old notion that revenge is a dish best served cold is taken to its literal extreme on The Revenant. Set in the wild western frontiers in the early 1800s, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as Hugh Glass, a skilled guide helping a trapping party hunt for furs in The Dakotas. When DiCaprio is badly mauled by a bear, the party do not expect him to survive. They leave, with the commander of the company asking an experienced older trapper, Fitzgerald, to give DiCaprio a proper burial when he passes away.
DiCaprio's son and another younger member of the party also stay with him. Once the main group have left, Fitzgerald treacherously tries to suffocate DiCaprio so they can get away as quickly as possible. DiCaprio's son sees this and Fitzgerald kills him in front of DiCaprio who is so badly wounded that he is unable to do anything, even to shout out.
Driven by the desire to extract his revenge on Fitzgerald, DiCaprio goes to extreme lengths, performing surgery on himself, hiding inside the carcass of a dead animal and literally dragging himself across snow and ice at times. It is a gruelling task, set against an unforgiving landscape. DiCaprio is equally unforgiving of Fitzgerald. A revenge classic.