Scenes or Sequences Where Characters Accept Their Death

by Breumaster | created - 31 Mar 2021 | updated - 21 Apr 2021 | Public

In some movies characters agree to be killed or kill themselves because of reasons which force them to do so. No matter what kind of reason it is, the death is freely chosen at the end. To make sequences like these authentically, it needs good acting.

Which of these sequences was done best by all involved actors? (The descriptions are covered with spoiler bars for not spoiling it for you.)

Discuss here.

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1. The Third Man (1949)

Approved | 93 min | Film-Noir, Mystery, Thriller

97 Metascore

Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to shadowy, postwar Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend, Harry Lime.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Orson Welles, Joseph Cotten, Alida Valli, Trevor Howard

Votes: 169,999 | Gross: $0.45M

Harry Lime's surrender to Holly Martins after realizing that he will be caught. With the silent nod of his head he accepted being shot by his former friend.

2. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

R | 116 min | Drama, War

76 Metascore

A pragmatic U.S. Marine observes the dehumanizing effects the Vietnam War has on his fellow recruits from their brutal boot camp training to the bloody street fighting in Hue.

Director: Stanley Kubrick | Stars: Matthew Modine, R. Lee Ermey, Vincent D'Onofrio, Adam Baldwin

Votes: 727,989 | Gross: $46.36M

The VC sniper that slowly dies after being shot by a marine soldier. She prayed and begged at the group of marines for being shot.

3. 8MM (1999)

R | 123 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

19 Metascore

A private investigator is hired to discover if a "snuff film" is authentic or not.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Nicolas Cage, Joaquin Phoenix, James Gandolfini, Peter Stormare

Votes: 132,699 | Gross: $36.66M

Eddie Poole licking the muzzle of Tom Welles' gun, telling him to shoot while being nasty and stubborn about the moral aspects Welles asked him for.

4. Phone Booth (2002)

R | 81 min | Crime, Thriller

56 Metascore

Publicist Stuart Shepard finds himself trapped in a phone booth, pinned down by an extortionist's sniper rifle. Unable to leave or receive outside help, Stuart's negotiation with the caller leads to a jaw-dropping climax.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, Radha Mitchell

Votes: 266,468 | Gross: $46.57M

At the end Stu Shepard shouts at the sniper around in one of the buildings to shoot him instead his wife Kelly or Pam, his affair.

5. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi

75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten-year-old son John from a more advanced and powerful cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 1,073,838 | Gross: $204.84M

The Terminator demands the destruction of the chip that controls him, which automatically leads to his disintegration (equal to a human's dead). He was forced to do that by the programming of the resistance.

6. Death and the Maiden (1994)

R | 103 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

72 Metascore

A political activist is convinced that her guest is a man who once tortured her for the government.

Director: Roman Polanski | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, Stuart Wilson, Krystia Mova

Votes: 24,782 | Gross: $2.10M

The former military regime victim Paulina Escobar improvised a trial at home to accuse Dr. Roberto Miranda, who tortured her formerly. After attempts of her husband to be a fair lawyer to him, Miranda confessed and accepted death penalty by a leap of death.

7. The Fly (1986)

R | 96 min | Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi

79 Metascore

A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

Director: David Cronenberg | Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel

Votes: 178,012 | Gross: $40.46M

After the advanced transformation into a fly, Seth Brundle puts the muzzle of Veronica Quaife's shotgun to his head and begs her for killing him.

8. Black Swan (2010)

R | 108 min | Drama, Thriller

79 Metascore

A committed dancer struggles to maintain her sanity after winning the lead role in a production of Tchaikovsky's "Swan Lake".

Director: Darren Aronofsky | Stars: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, Winona Ryder

Votes: 750,207 | Gross: $106.95M

After several inner conflicts, the pressure of the company, and her drug abuse, Nina Sayers accidentally hurts herself at the premiere deadly. Suppressing that fact, she dances the swan queen perfectly and accepts her death in the end.

9. The Green Mile (1999)

R | 189 min | Crime, Drama, Fantasy

61 Metascore

The lives of guards on Death Row are affected by one of their charges: a black man accused of child murder and rape, yet who has a mysterious gift.

Director: Frank Darabont | Stars: Tom Hanks, Michael Clarke Duncan, David Morse, Bonnie Hunt

Votes: 1,265,462 | Gross: $136.80M

John Coffey, big as a grizzly bear, caused no trouble on the walk to the electric chair, but did some miracle healings before his last walk.

10. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

PG-13 | 181 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

78 Metascore

After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos' actions and restore balance to the universe.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth

Votes: 1,067,378 | Gross: $858.37M

Tony Stark accepted his death by snapping the glove with all the stones as the one and only scenario Doctor Strange figured out for saving half of the universe beings.

11. The Sixth Sense (1999)

PG-13 | 107 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller

64 Metascore

A frightened, withdrawn Philadelphia boy who communicates with spirits seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.

Director: M. Night Shyamalan | Stars: Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette, Olivia Williams

Votes: 973,483 | Gross: $293.51M

It took a long time of the story, but in the end when Malcolm Crowe realized that he is already dead, he accepted it.

12. Natural Born Killers (1994)

R | 119 min | Action, Crime, Drama

74 Metascore

Two victims of traumatized childhoods become lovers and psychopathic serial murderers irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Rodney Dangerfield

Votes: 231,805 | Gross: $50.28M

Wayne Gale had much fun with the jail riots. He made a good show for the people at the tvs, but didn't expect that Mickey and Mallory Knox planned to kill him after the prison break. At the end he got clear about his inevitable death at this point, so he accepted to be killed by them.

13. Gran Torino (2008)

R | 116 min | Drama

72 Metascore

Disgruntled Korean War veteran Walt Kowalski sets out to reform his neighbor, Thao Lor, a Hmong teenager who tried to steal Kowalski's prized possession: a 1972 Gran Torino.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Clint Eastwood, Bee Vang, Christopher Carley, Ahney Her

Votes: 764,766 | Gross: $148.10M

After Walt Kowalski put his protégé Thao's life into a mess by helping him, he decided to let himself be killed by Thao's oppressors to send them to jail for sure and therewith liberate Thao.

14. Knives Out (2019)

PG-13 | 130 min | Comedy, Crime, Drama

82 Metascore

A detective investigates the death of the patriarch of an eccentric, combative family.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis

Votes: 596,437 | Gross: $165.36M

Believing his nurse Marta Cabrera has accidentally poisoned him, and wishing to leave his inheritance to her, Harlan instructs her to create a false alibi and then kills himself slitting his own throat.

15. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

PG-13 | 149 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

68 Metascore

The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.

Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans

Votes: 1,026,943 | Gross: $678.82M

After failing to remove the Soul Gem from his body in time, Vision asks Wanda to destroy the gem in his head to prevent Thanos from taking it even if the process will kill him.

16. Se7en (1995)

R | 127 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

65 Metascore

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his motives.

Director: David Fincher | Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Andrew Kevin Walker

Votes: 1,598,040 | Gross: $100.13M

The conclusion sequence, when John Doe confesses the he is "the envy" and tells Mills to be "the wrath". A very vain and conceited way to beg for being killed. But he told him so. Snooty guy!

17. Man of Steel (2013)

PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

55 Metascore

An alien child is evacuated from his dying world and sent to Earth to live among humans. His peace is threatened when other survivors of his home planet invade Earth.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon, Diane Lane

Votes: 757,281 | Gross: $291.05M

Jonathan Kent After a tornado forms in Smallville and injuring his ankle while saving the family dog, Jonathan is unable to take shelter, while his son Clark Kent (still not Superman) attempts to save him, this would mean revealing his powers, and Jonathan makes him a gesture indicating him he should not do this and accepting his death being swept away from the tornado.

18. Wonder Woman (2017)

PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

76 Metascore

When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, Diana, an Amazonian warrior in training, leaves home to fight a war, discovering her full powers and true destiny.

Director: Patty Jenkins | Stars: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Robin Wright, Lucy Davis

Votes: 642,026 | Gross: $412.56M

Steve Trevor hijacks a bomber plane filled with gas bombs that will be dropped in London and realizing only he is able to stop a tragedy, he flies away, shoots the bombs in the air and sacrifices himself when the plane blows up.

19. Titanic (1997)

PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance

75 Metascore

A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates

Votes: 1,141,339 | Gross: $659.33M

The inevitable death of Jack Dawson. He dies in the cold Ocean water for saving Rose and consoles her about that.

20. Looper (2012)

R | 119 min | Action, Drama, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

In 2074, when the mob wants to get rid of someone, the target is sent into the past, where a hired gun awaits - someone like Joe - who one day learns the mob wants to 'close the loop' by sending back Joe's future self for assassination.

Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Bruce Willis, Emily Blunt, Paul Dano

Votes: 569,179 | Gross: $66.49M

Joe kills himself when he realizes it is the only way to stop the cycle of death and violence caused by his older self actions.

21. Watchmen (2009)

R | 162 min | Action, Drama, Mystery

56 Metascore

In 1985 where former superheroes exist, the murder of a colleague sends active vigilante Rorschach into his own sprawling investigation, uncovering something that could completely change the course of history as we know it.

Director: Zack Snyder | Stars: Jackie Earle Haley, Patrick Wilson, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman

Votes: 543,829 | Gross: $107.51M

After all the destructive actions, Rorschach begs on Osterman for his death and Osterman fulfills his wish.

22. Aliens (1986)

R | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

84 Metascore

Fifty-seven years after surviving an apocalyptic attack aboard her space vessel by merciless space creatures, Officer Ripley awakens from hyper-sleep and tries to warn anyone who will listen about the predators.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Carrie Henn, Paul Reiser

Votes: 702,925 | Gross: $85.16M

The sacrifice of Vasquez and Lt. Gorman by a hand grenade in their inevitable deadly encounter with the aliens in the ventilation system. So they saved at least their comrades.

23. Black Panther (2018)

PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

88 Metascore

T'Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country's past.

Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira

Votes: 728,766 | Gross: $700.06M

Erik Killmonger chooses his death after he was wounded deadly. It wasn't clear if the Wakandians really can save him and afterwards he would be jailed, so he accepted the death from his injuries for seeing a beautiful dawn for the last time.

24. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)

PG | 153 min | Action, Adventure, Family

78 Metascore

As Harry Potter begins his sixth year at Hogwarts, he discovers an old book marked as "the property of the Half-Blood Prince" and begins to learn more about Lord Voldemort's dark past.

Director: David Yates | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Michael Gambon

Votes: 531,603 | Gross: $301.96M

Insidiously deadly injured by a horcrux, Professor Albus Dumbledore begged Professor Severus Snape to kill him. ("Severus, please.")

25. Johnny Got His Gun (1971)

R | 111 min | Drama, War

71 Metascore

During World War I, a patriotic young American is rendered blind, deaf, limbless, and mute by a horrific artillery shell attack. Trapped in what's left of his body, he desperately looks for a way to end his life.

Director: Dalton Trumbo | Stars: Timothy Bottoms, Kathy Fields, Marsha Hunt, Jason Robards

Votes: 16,861 | Gross: $0.55M

Joe Bonham has lost his eyes, ears, nose, mouth, arms, and legs in WWI. Doctors think he is brain dead, but keep his body alive for scientific/medical purposes. Towards the end of the movie, he uses his head to bang out morse code on his pillow to say "Kill me" over and over.

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