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When you want a job done right, you call in the experts. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 snipers in movies.
For this list, we’re taking a look at movie snipers who excel at their craft. Through their confirmed kills, skill shots, or just plain badassery, these are the movie guns you don’t want to go up against. Not even in your fancy video games.
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#10: GySgt Bob Lee Swagger “Shooter” (2007)
He’s an internally tormented ex-military sharpshooter who gets set up by rogue government agents. Oh, and his name is “Swagger.” Aside from the heightened machismo and almost superhuman combat and survival abilities, he’s not too shabby with a sniper rifle. Clearly, someone thought he was talented enough to be framed for an assassination attempt on the President.
#9: The Jackal “The Day of the Jackal” (1973)
He’s a hired gun on the run and he can’t be stopped. He’s the sniper criminals go to when they need advanced killing skills, and they’ll beg, borrow, and steal to obtain his services. His expert marksmanship makes him an excellent sniper, which is fortunate for the guerilla group he’s working for, but not so good for the president of France.
#8: Sharice Watters “Smokin’ Aces” (2006)
She’s beautiful, she’s badass, and she knows her way around an M82. Not your everyday sniper, she’s part of an assassin tag team that’s after a lucrative mark, and her role as the sniper is vital to the job. When she wails on the FBI, they are no match for her firepower or her hot-blooded dedication to her partner-in-crime.
#7: Chris Shiherlis “Heat” (1995)
Everyone needs a good sniper on their team, especially if you’re a career criminal specializing in high stakes robberies. He’s the main criminal’s right hand man, he’s a skilled killer, but his finest skill is with his sniper rifle. His cool, calm demeanor is only influenced by the apparent affection he has for his family. Hey, nobody said snipers had to be cold-blooded.
#6: Mick Taylor “Wolf Creek” (2005)
He’s a deranged killer with a sniper’s eye for accuracy. Probably not the best combo for stranded motorists. An unfortunate trio of backpackers is targeted by this crafty serial killer-slash-marksman, who makes easy work of his victims when they try to escape. Moving vehicles and distraught co-eds are no match for a vicious sniper with a lust for blood and impeccable aim.
#5: The Caller “Phone Booth” (2003)
It’s not every day you come across snipers with really intense moral convictions. And if they’re anything like the sniper in this movie, you’re going to want to ensure you’re living your life as righteously as possible to avoid incurring their wrath. The sniper effortlessly picks off both a toy robot and a pimp with the same amount of regard, which probably isn’t easy when you’re on the phone at the same time.
#4: LCpl/Pvt Anthony Swofford “Jarhead” (2005)
When life hands you lemons, you join the military and become a Scout Sniper in Operation Desert Shield. He spent time training for it, he honed his skill, and he’s desperate for some action in the field. Although his talent as a military sniper is only a part of his experience in the Persian Gulf, it is what helps shape his future in the service and in the rest of his life.
#3: Pvt Daniel Jackson “Saving Private Ryan” (1998)
He was a sharpshooter who was essential to the mission. Vital, even. His skill with the sniper rifle not only afforded his squad the necessary cover to advance in their mission, it also aided in the fight against the Germans. This bible-quoting marksman may have had divine intervention on his side, but it was definitely 100% talent behind that trigger.
#2: MGySgt Thomas Beckett “Sniper” (1993)
The title of the movie basically explains the premise of film. The movie’s protagonist is an experienced sniper. So experienced, in fact, he’s entrusted with taking out a rebel general down in the wilds of Colombia. It seems simple at first, at least according to sniper standards, but when you account for inexperienced tag-alongs and a web of drug cartel informants, well, it seems like an old sniper can’t catch a break.
Before we take aim our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Sgt J.T. Sanborn, The Hurt Locker (2008)
- Aaron Cross, The Bourne Legacy (2012)
- Unnamed Female Sniper, Full Metal Jacket (1987)
- Tom Bishop, Spy Game (2001)
#1: Vassili Zaitsev “Enemy at the Gates” (2001)
In a sniper versus sniper showdown, only the best will survive. And that’s saying a lot, considering it’s the height of World War II and anyone can be killed at any moment. Especially with guys like German Major Erwin König around. But it’s Zaitsev’s quick thinking and supreme skill with a sniper rifle that helps secure his survival. Plus, it never hurts to have a pretty face peering down a scope towards a target.
Do you agree with our list? Who is your favorite movie sniper? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.