Assassination is a dangerous job. You're putting yourself out there, in the line of fire, with huge risks of both death and capture. But somebody's gotta do it, right? Here are six of the deadliest movie assassins – and remember, when you saw them, they may have been in disguise. So look carefully.
Frank Bono, "Blast of Silence"
Here is one of the most chilling portraits of an assassin ever committed to film. Frank is a guy like any other guy, just trying to make a living. He happens to do that by killing people, but what do you do that's so great? The "blast of silence" of the title refers to the last job Frank ever pulls, for which he uses a silencer fastened to the gun barrel. It must not have worked too well, because Frank loses the girl and his life soon after.
Jef Costello, "Le Samourai"
If this were a list of the "coolest" movie assassins, you can believe Jef would be on it too. The hero of Jean-Pierre Melville's blistering crime thriller is about as cool as they come, from his sharp manner of dress to his no-nonsense-and-fewer-words manner of working. Here's an example of his cool and often-imitated style in action: After barging into his prey's office, the man behind the desk asks him what he wants. His response: "To kill you." Bang bang.
G. Joubert, "3 Days of the Condor"
If you're ever tempted to think of Max Von Sydow as a kindly old man, remember his terrifying performance as this cold-blooded assassin. Call him scary, call him psychotic, the important thing to remember is that he is good at what he does. The scenes of Joubert calmly dispatching people in his way with a silenced rifle were certainly a big influence on the villain in "No Country For Old Men," and in his own way Joubert is just as frightening.
Leon, "Leon: The Professional"
Jean Reno's silent killer in Luc Besson's romantic (?) thriller is one of the deadliest assassins in movie history. At social interaction, however, he's a bit of a wash (you can't be good at everything). He also gets into a somewhat inappropriate relationship with a 12-year-old Natalie Portman after her family is gunned down by the evil DEA agent Gary Oldman. He teaches her how to kill so she can have her revenge. Aw.
Ghost Dog, "Ghost Dog"
Think of Forrest Whitaker in this movie as the hip-hop answer to "Le Samourai." The similarities are definitely intentional, right down to their similar methods for breaking into cars. Ghost Dog is a little more philosophical, though, and a little chattier (although only a little). They're both equally deadly though, so try not to make it onto either of their kill lists.
Tom Cruise doesn't play bad guys very often, but when he does it tends to stick. In "Collateral," he plays an assassin who is very, very good at what he does, even if he is a little sloppy in choosing his collaborators. On this particular night, that collaborator is a hapless cab driver played by Jamie Foxx, whom Vincent hires to drive him to each of his targets. Just think of how good Tom Cruise is at doing things in some of his other movies, and imagine him using that intensity to kill people instead. Thank God this is fiction.