10 Movies With The Most Iconic Antihero Characters

Entertaiment, News


The antihero is the protagonist of the film, but he doesn’t have any of the conventional heroic characteristics. There are still many people who misinterpret the protagonist and antagonist.

The protagonist is the main character, because the film’s point of view is in favor of the main character. While the antagonist is a character who upholds the opposite values or principles from the protagonist.

Antihero characters themselves fall into the protagonist sub-category, because the concept of an anti-hero is a main character that is unique because it doesn’t have a protagonist characterization in general.

Antiheroes can indeed be characters with villain traits, but because the narrative favors them as the main character, they technically remain protagonists. To make it easier to understand the concept of an antihero, here are some of the most iconic antihero characters in films.


Nightcrawler (2014) – Louis Bloom
Louis Bloom (Jake Gyllenhaal) realizes that he can make money taking documentation from crime scenes. Even if you have to violate the code of ethics or make decisions that deviate from morals. “Nightcrawler” is one of the films that has a protagonist with subtle anti-hero qualities, because it takes time before we see how far Louis Bloom wants to go against the ethical code of being an accomplished journalist.

If viewed from the standpoint of the journalist profession, should a journalist be more agile in perpetuating events or helping people who are victims at crime scenes? This is one of the traits of an anti-hero, unlike the usual protagonists who prioritize morals, they will do anything to achieve their goals.

The Godfather Part II

The Godfather Part II (1974) Michael Corleone
Talking about the most iconic anti-hero characters, we can’t forget Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) from the best mafia movie, “The Godfather”. But the first film still shows Michael’s efforts not to give himself up to the family business which he considers immoral. Until finally he realized that the most valuable thing is his family.

Michael’s quality as an anti-hero is more evident in “The Godfather Part II”, where he has taken the position of head of the Corleone family and its business. Compared to his father, Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando), Michael is colder and crueler to defend his family as well as his mafia syndicate.


Scarface (1983) – Tony Montana
Al Pacino returns to play the mafia protagonist in “Scarface”. He plays Tony Montana, who, along with his friend, Manny (Steven Bauer), starts a successful drug syndicate in Miami. However, as the syndicate grew bigger and bigger, Tony began to be swallowed up by an ego that eventually threatened his own empire. The mafia character is a perfect example to understand the definition of an antihero.

Characters like Tony Montana and Michael Corleone build mafia syndicates not because they have basically evil motivations. They just want to maintain the prosperity of their family, unfortunately in the wrong way, then become evil in the process.

John Wick: Chapter 4

John Wick Series – John Wick
The hardened assassin John Wick, starring Keanu Reeves, is of course in the category of the most iconic anti-hero characters. Even though John Wick has killed many people for money, the audience will never stop supporting this one antihero.

This is because neo-noir films are synonymous with the romance of villainous characters as protagonists. But John Wick has his own rules of the game, he has “rules” to follow, which can be called “codes”, but codes are not the same as morals, and John Wick is not on the side of morals.

“Pulp Fiction” is an iconic crime drama film from Quentin Tarantino. Lacking conventional plot and script execution, this film is formed from various crime events in Los Angeles. Starting from assassins, mobsters, robber couples, to boxers who fight for money.

This film does not have one definite main character, but characters such as Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and Butch Coolidge (Bruce Willis) fulfill the characteristics of an anti-hero character.

v for vendetta
Warner Bros.

V for Vendetta (2005) – V
“V for Vendetta” is also a film that has the perfect antihero character as an example. Set in the future in England, a political party with a fascist ideology rules the country, subjecting society to oppression. V (Hugo Weaving) becomes a “hero” wearing a distinctive costume and mask which is a symbol of anarchism and rebellion against a corrupt system.

V is not a conventional hero, he chooses the path of violence because the system does not give room for good efforts and naivety, even though in the end the path chosen by V is a way that violates morals.

How Villains Dominate Modern Entertainment Median
Joker (Warner Bros.)

Joker (2019) – Arthur Fleck
The Joker has always been an antagonist and villain in Batman films. However, when Todd Phillips decided to make a film in favor of the Joker as the protagonist, he turned into the antihero character in “Joker”. It is told that Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is a call clown who becomes a victim in the depravity of Gotham City’s system.

“Joker” wants to show how poverty and neglect are the mother of crime. We can’t completely blame Arthur for ending up on the wrong path, but according to morals in general, killing and spreading terror is still not justified.

American Psycho (2000) – Patrick Bateman
Sometimes, an antihero can also be nothing more than someone with psychopathic tendencies. What doesn’t Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) have? He is a successful banker, handsome, well-off, and has a classy girlfriend like any successful man in life in general. “American Psycho” is basically a satirical comedy of the typical “successful white man” in America.

Then given a twist of controversial content such as misogyny, sadism, and narcissism on Patrick Bateman’s characteristics which makes him an example of an antihero who has absolutely no good qualities. However, he is still the protagonist of his own story.