10 Movies Where The Hero Was Dead All Along

So heroic, and so dead.


In our cinematic present it's fair to say that the "they were dead all along" plot twist is totally and utterly played out.

Only the cleverest of movies can get away with such a thoroughly overdone "surprise," because in 2021 audiences are just too savvy to the conceit of a dead protagonist walking around as if they're alive.

But cinema is nevertheless littered with memorable examples of heroes who, for one reason or another, were actually dead or living out their final dying breaths for most of the movie.

In some cases the movie itself is the dying dream of a mortally wounded person, or perhaps their consciousness has been somehow preserved after they've been declared physically, clinically dead, or maybe they're just a straight-up ghost doing their thing the whole time.

Whatever the explanation, these 10 movies featured central, heroic characters who were goners as soon as the movie started.

More often than not, what remained was their quest to complete unfinished business, finish an existential odyssey and, if they were lucky, ascend to a higher plane of existence...


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.