9. Neil McCauley - Heat
At the end of Michael Mann's iconic crime thriller Heat, bank robber protagonist Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro) heads to the airport and plans to flee to New Zealand with his girlfriend Eady (Amy Brenneman).
All he had to do was enter the airport and start his new life, but McCauley suddenly finds out where the duplicitous Waingro (Kevin Gage) is holed up, and takes a detour to go kill him.
McCauley then returns to the airport but is spotted by LAPD Lieutenant Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino), prompting him to abandon Eady and flee, resulting in Hanna eventually shooting him dead.
McCauley was literally seconds away from being untouchable, but ultimately failed to heed his own memorable advice - "Don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat around the corner."
McCauley let revenge overcome him and paid the ultimate price for it.