Can You Match the Anti-Hero to the Movie?

Monica Lee

Image: Miramax, Lions Gate Films, Alchemy

About This Quiz

It's the bad-boy syndrome. You know they are bad, but they have undeniable charisma that makes you root for them to win in the end. Or they are characters you simply love to hate, with a performance that is so gut-wrenchingly real that their cruelty is almost understandable.  Whether it's Christian Bale as Patrick Bateman in the "American Psycho" or Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in "Wall Street", these charismatic, good-for-nothings are absolutely great to watch. And like Kevin Spacey as Verbal in "The Usual Suspects", you appreciate how cunning these characters are in the end.

Having a flawed hero can make a movie more interesting, since the protagonist lacks conventional heroic qualities such as pureness of heart and things like, well ... ethics. Many times the anti-hero becomes the embodiment of social criticism. Take Michael Douglas' character in "Falling Down," for example. This divorced, unemployed, middle-aged man went into a rage for a good reason ... although he took it too far, Uzi and all. Even "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" gave a voice to those who think rules shouldn't necessarily ALWAYS be followed. So sit back, grab your popcorn and recall all the bad boys of this genre. You got this. Start the quiz now. 

This anti-hero knows something about the high seas. What movie does he star in?

Johnny Depp as Jack Sparrow loves his rum and will take a ship that he wants, when he wants, the devil be dammed. His character is basically a trumped-up impression of Keith Richards, but he's a charmer!

This anti-hero has a thing for bullies. What movie does he star in?

Paddy Considine is an avenging angel of death in the movie "Dead Man’s Shoes." Paddy's character, Richard torments the bullying thugs in his home town.

The customer is never right, with this anti-hero. What movie does he star in?

A customer-loathing, porn-loving video store attendant, Randal Graves, is the star of "Clerks." This cult classic was made on a budget of $25,000.

This anti-hero is on an adrenaline high. What movie does he star in?

He needs to keep his adrenaline pumping or he dies. Criminal by trade, Chelios sets about picking fights with anyone he can find to keep his heart rate up.

This anti-hero is into rock and roll. What movie does he star in?

It's a killer's worst nightmare. A rock star, Eric Draven, is revived from the dead to get vengeance on the killers who put him there. The late Brandon Lee gave an amazing performance.

Just don't get in the way of this anti-hero. What movie does he star in?

If you're in their path, you're dead. It's as simple as that to a pair of morally bankrupt degenerates. However Mickey truly loves Mallory, so we can see his sweet side.

This anti-hero isn't going to let pesky laws get in the way of what he wants. What movie does he star in?

Nicholas Cage is Terrence McDonagh, a non-law-abiding cop in "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans." He wants his drugs and will do anything to get them. Give it to him, and he's on your good side.

He's slick, cool, yet vulnerable. What movie does this anti-hero star in?

When Roger Swanson, a ladies man, takes his nephew under wing for an informative and educational night of picking up women, ee do see his vulnerability. Also, his silver-tongued pick-up lines are too charming to ignore.

Clint Eastwood is an anti-hero in many of this films. But which movie is this?

Munny has been killing people all his life, but he has hung his gun to be a pig-farmer. Then a prostitute needs revenge and he will make sure the job is properly done, even though he doesn't want to be there.

This guy is so cunning, he's the finest anti-hero. But what film did he star in?

The limping, quivering, weak-link of the five criminals in a police line-up, Verbal Kint, turns out to be the most diabolical of them all. It all hits you when you see his limp suddenly disappear when he strides to his getaway car.

George Clooney is a charming anti-hero in this movie. Which one is it?

George Clooney as Seth Gecko plays a violent bank robber in the film, "From Dusk 'Til Dawn." Not only is Seth a born charmer, he’s also a skilled at dispatching evil doers back to the netherworld.

A mid-life crisis made this anti-hero sympathetic, yet fun. What movie does this anti-hero star in?

"American Beauty’s" disillusioned family man, Lester Burnham, has a midlife crisis that leads him to quit his job, smoke marijuana and pursue his daughter’s best friend. His new direction in life seems more fun ...

Matthew Broderick had fun playing this anti-hero. What movie did he star in?

He's cocky, but fun. Ferris sticks it to the man in spectacular style. And when he showers he wears a Mohawk. That's the style we're talking about.

Another Clint Eastwood question. What is the name of the movie that stars this anti-hero?

This drifter, scowling away in a filthy poncho, stars in "The Man With No Name." Despite his honorable intentions, he is just waiting for the opportunity to reach for his six-shooter.

This anti-hero uses magic to manipulate us. What is the movie this anti-hero stars in?

The protagonist of the Potter series, Snape plays the anti-hero to Harry Potter's hero. Until we find out he has gone to great lengths to protect Harry from Voldemort.

This yuppie is downright scary. What movie does he star in?

As a serial killer and a wealthy, materialistic Wall Street investment banker, he is a true psycho. However, we are amazed how he succeeds in his double-life, making money while hacking others to pieces.

It's not him, it's the world around him that causing the angst. What movie does this anti-hero star in?

Handsome and brooding, Marlon Brando is magnetic as the anti-authoritarian Johnny Strabler. Yep, he's the wild one.

Kevin Costner has played anti-heroes before, but which of these is the movie in the picture?

Robin Hood does whatever the heck he wants to do. And that includes robbing from the rich. What a satisfying occupation.

Anti-heroes don't always make good neighbors. Which movie does this anti-hero star in?

Kowalski is an ex-soldier who just can’t bear the way his local neighborhood has gone to seed. Sure, he might be a born racist, but he knows how to pick the good guys from the bad.

A crooked cop makes this anti-hero real. What movie does he star in?

Gary Oldman is a crooked cop who continually manages to justify himself throughout a series of truly heinous actions. He does these murderous acts for love -- so he can support his wife and mistress.

Vin Diesel is that snarky kind of anti-hero who makes you like him. What is the movie in the image?

He's vicious and unpredictable. He's on his way to prison. His ride is attacked by a host of alien beasts. It's a good day to be a psychotically violent person after all.

He's called Big Chris in this movie. What film does this anti-hero star in?

Hatchet Harry’s no-nonsense debt collector, Big Chris, has two smoking barrels. He's a mean hardhead but can be emotional -- don’t get between him and his son, especially if there's a car door nearby.

This anti-hero was all about rebellion. What movie did he star in?

James Dean has become an icon of what an antihero means to us all. In Rebel Without A Cause, James Dean portrays a troubled teen, Jim Stark. Jim had runaway from a difficult past to make a fresh start, however, Los Angeles wasn't the place to do it.

This anti-hero wears a mask. Which movie does he star in?

His mission is good: clean up the city's filthy streets. However, his method is not so good. Rorschach will dish out as much pain as is necessary to get what he wants.

Tom Hardy played this anti-hero. What movie did he star in?

A young man, sentenced to seven years in prison, ends up spending three decades in solitary confinement. Going crazy, his alter ego emerges, as Charles Bronson.

Ryan Gosling is great as this anti-hero. What movie does he star in?

Ryan Gosling plays the strong but silent type, sporting a satin driving jacket, leather gloves and of course, a toothpick. He kills many henchmen in a gruesome fashion.

Matt Damon's charm is undeniable in this movie. Which movie stars this anti-hero?

Ripley can’t stand seeing others with things and lifestyles he wants. His solution? He kills them. However, he has so much sickly charm he is able to social-climb easily and we applaud him for it.

When the bad guy saves a kid, it's hard to hate him. What movie does this anti-hero star in?

He’s a ruthless killer with a soft spot. He tries to mind his own business but can't when a vulnerable child is in danger. He teaches his young roommate deadly skills with a gun so she can avenge her family's deaths.

Guy Pearce plays this anti-hero. What movie does he star in?

Guy Pearce portrays Ed Exley in "L.A. Confidential." This career-obsessed, self-serving turncoat knows how to get ahead. And we like watching him do it.

Michael Caine knows how to play the smug womanizer. What movie does this anti-hero star in?

Michael Caine plays Alfie as a seedy, amoral snake who has a way with women. He breaks hearts like eggs for an omelette.

One of the most memorable anti-heroes. What movie does he star in?

Antonio "Tony" Montana is portrayed by Al Pacino in "Scarface." Tony is living the American dream. Just ignore the fact that he’s killed people along the way to live it.

It's easy to like this anti-hero because he's kind of a hero. What movie does he star in?

It's easy to like war hero turned criminal Snake Plissken. He was awarded two Purple Hearts before going against the law. Plus, he saves the president, another reason to hope for a happy ending for him.

Do you recall anti-hero, Jules Winnfield. Then which movie did he star in?

This jheri-curled hitman can tell you what a quarter-pounder with cheese is called in France. He also kills easily and with no regret.

Gordon Gekko knows a thing or two about being an anti-hero. What movie does he star in?

Gorden Gekko is a powerful and ethically void corporate raider. However, he makes a blue shirt with white collar combo look cool before it ever was. Which says a lot about the charisma of this character.

Marv is an unlikely anti-hero. Which movie did he star in?

Marv is a fictional character in the graphic novel series, "Sin City." Despite thriving on violence and visiting prostitutes he has a heart of gold.

This anti-hero has a heart, but first, he gets revenge. Which movie does he star in?

Max Rockatansky watches his wife and kids get run over by rapists and killers. He goes mad with revenge. However, we love to watch him because of his sawn-off shotgun, motorcycle leathers and other gadgets.

Michael Douglas was an interesting anti-hero in this film. Which one is it?

He's divorced, unemployed and a middle-aged man going through a violent mid-life crises that includes an Uzi-assisted rampage. He goes postal but we all understand the rage. Just not to that extent.

Sylvester Stallone has the corner on being an anti-hero, but which movie does this image depict?

You serve your country only to come home to be treated like a nothing. But not John Rambo. He keeps his temper against aggressors ... until he explodes.

Don't wear the suit until you can play the part. What movie does this anti-hero star in?

He's so bad he's good. Or, at least hysterical to watch. Willie will do anything for his next drink, including allowing a young child to sit on his knee after Willie has peed in his pants.

Fava Beans. That is all we have to say about this anti-hero. What movie does he star in?

Fava beans and Chianti are perfect accompaniments to a cannibalistic meal. However, we are spellbound by Hannibal Lecter's personality and desires.

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!

Explore More Quizzes