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Top 10 Heroic Movie Sacrifices

VO: Dan
There's nothing as moving in a film as a character that decides to make the ultimate sacrifice for his friends or to save the world. These stories range from a priest willing to lay his life down to banish a demon, to an old man willing to end his life to remove a gang of his neighbourhood. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down the top 10 heroic movie sacrifices. Just to be clear, we’re excluding suicides, animal sacrifices and non-sentient acts of courage, such as the one performed by the T-800.
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Top 10 Heroic Movie Sacrifices


These are the character’s that made the ultimate sacrifice. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down the top 10 heroic movie sacrifices.

Just to be clear, we’re excluding suicides, animal sacrifices and non-sentient acts of courage, such as the one performed by the T-800, got it?

#10- Father Damien Karras “The Exorcist” (1973)


Kicking off our list is the moving self-sacrifice by a man of the cloth. A holy man who has lost faith in the lord, he becomes compelled to save the life and soul of a girl possessed by the devil himself. Ultimately, to save her, he demands that the fiend take him in exchange, only to throw himself from the window, banishing the devil and killing himself in the process.

#9- King Leonidas “300” (2006)


This King wouldn’t bow to the Persian army’s demands. Moreover, when his own people wouldn’t stand up to the invasion coming, he laid it all down to show a god king that he is only mortal, and keep his people safe in the process. Leonidas gets extra points for enthusiasm!

#8- Iron Giant “The Iron Giant” (1999)


The only robot on our list, this sentient machine with amnesia befriends a young boy and becomes a big fan of superman. Though he discovers that he’s been built as a war machine and his hunted by the government, he ultimately proves himself a hero by colliding with a missile that would otherwise have destroyed a small town.

#7- Gurgi “The Black Cauldron” (1985)


In this dark Disney tale, a boy named Taran ventures to defeat the horned king, who is about to use a magical cauldron to cast the world into darkness. Left with no choice but to cast himself into the cauldron to destroy it, his new fuzzy friend Gurgi decides to take his place. Talk about being heroic in the tear-jerkiest way possible. Ow, right in the feels.

#6- Jean Grey “X2: Men United” (2003)


A sequel needs to always raise the stakes, which, in case you didn’t know, means one of the major characters has to bite it. Bringing the love triangle between her, Cyclops and Wolverine to a heartbreaking close, she dies while holding back the water from a blown dam long enough so the X-Men team can escape.

#5- Russell Casse “Independence Day” (1996)


Imagine that, Randy Quaid making one of our lists in a positive light! As the town drunk and typical redneck, Russell gets no respect. Yet, during the final dogfight for the fate of earth, a missile launch malfunction gives Russ the chance to not only gain the admiration he deserves, but save the world in the process. Plus, he does it with a kick ass line.

#4- Obi-Wan Kenobi “Star Wars A New Hope” (1977)


Okay by today’s standards it wasn’t much of a fight. Regardless, old Ben squared off with his former apprentice in order to buy time for Luke and his new pals to escape the Death Star. Ben knew he wasn’t coming back from this, and instead of dragging out the fight, let himself become one with the force, if only to confound Vader. Why couldn’t he keep fighting for 5 more minutes, who knows?

#3- Walt Kowalski “Gran Torino” (2008)


Here, Clint Eastwood puts his legendary-leathery-face to good use as an old racist widower who just wants one thing. However, after he warms up to his neighbors, he decides to go out in style by tricking a local gang into shooting him, allowing himself to be gunned down so they can finally be arrested.

#2- Harry Stamper “Armageddon” (1998)


In this action flick, an asteroid is on route for Earth and an oil-drilling team led by Bruce Willis are the only ones who can stop it. When the detonator is damaged Brucey decides to take the place of his daughter’s boyfriend, who drew the short straw, and stay behind to finish the job. We know it’s a Michael Bay film, but admit it, you cried.

#1- Spock “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982)


Taking the top spot on our list is the most memorable and bromantic death ever recorded. When Khan’s activation of the genesis device threatens to kill the entire crew of the Enterprise, Spock exposes himself to radiation in order to fix the warp drive. The result is a self-sacrifice that had us shedding tears for a man who’s unable to feel emotion. Ironic right?

Do you agree with our list? Which heroic sacrifice got to you? For more selfless top 10s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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