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Another Top 10 Badass Movie Tattoos

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Sean Harris These movie characters prove that nothing says "I'm a badass" quite like having an awesome tattoo! WatchMojo presents our second list of the Top 10 Most Badass Movie Tattoos! But who will take the top spot? Will it be Luke Glanton from "The Place Beyond the Pines", Blade from "Blade", or Lisbeth Salander from "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to governmentfree for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: http://WatchMojo.comsuggest/Another+Top+10+Badass+Movie+Tattoos

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From military mottos to mafia markings, they’re wearing them all. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for Another Top 10 Badass Movie Tattoos.

For this list, we’re looking at the best ink ever to grace the silver screen. However, we’ve excluded hate symbols a la “American History X.” If you didn’t see a tatt you thought should be on the list, be sure to check out our original video of the Top 10 Badass Movie Tattoos for more sublime examples of cinematic skin art.

#10: Teddy Rensen
“The Equalizer” (2014)

When Bob McCall, an ex-black ops commando played by Denzel Washington, comes out of retirement to take on the Russian mob, head hitman Teddy Rensen stands in his way. And, judging by Rensen’s body art, this guy is very far from friendly. Among the man’s many mafia tatts, there are symbols to say that he’s killed, he’s available to kill again, he’s done time, and he’s a high-ranking criminal. From images of the devil to death-inspired artwork, Rensen’s body art is about as foreboding as they come.

#9: ‘Joliet’ Jake & Elwood Blues
“The Blues Brothers” (1980)

Knuckle tattoos are always at least a little bit badass, given their prominence on the hand and association with being behind bars. And Jake and Elwood Blues boast some of the best knuckle ink on film. Jake has the four letters of his own name on one hand. Elwood has his six letters spread across two. Typically, knuckle tatts should stay within the four-letter rule – think “love,” “hate,” or maybe even “Mojo” – but, while “Jake” fits fine, “Elwood” breaks convention, which makes it even better.

#8: The Joker
“Suicide Squad” (2016)

The third installment in the DC Extended Universe is packed with badass body art. From Harley Quinn’s retro diamonds to El Diablo’s full-body flames, these guys have clearly got a taste for the gun. But the Joker out-inks them all. Jared Leto’s comic book villain has a crazed “Ha ha ha,” a corpse jester, gangster lettering, and a permanent grin etched on his hand between his thumb and forefinger. He also proudly dons the word “damaged” across his forehead, and there’s a dead Robin on his bicep; make of that what you will… Out of character, the “Suicide Squad” cast is also awash with real-life shared tattoos, with famous images showing Margot Robbie behind the needle.

#7: Barney Ross
“The Expendables” (2010)

Action hero extraordinaire Barney Ross checks off all the badass boxes. Big guns, bulging muscles, the steely look of a man who’s seen a lot of bloodshed in his time… This Sly Stallone character has been there, done that, and got the tattoos. Barney’s chest and shoulders are covered in awesome artwork, perfect for a man of his experience. In real life, Stallone has actually gotten numerous tattoos to cover up various acting injuries he’s picked up over the years. From burst veins to torn muscles and countless medical stitches, Stallone’s skin certainly has some stories to tell.

#6: John Wick
“John Wick” (2014)

Keanu Reeves’ rampaging hitman is emblazoned with many a menacing or ominous tattoo, but one piece is particularly memorable. Wick has the Latin phrase Fortis Fortuna Adiuvat across his shoulders, which translates as “fortune favors the bold.” An apt slogan given the killing spree which unfolds, it also nods to Wick’s military past and has personal connotations for Reeves himself – the phrase is the motto for the 3rd Battalion Marines, which are stationed in Hawaii, where his biological father is from. Whatever the reason behind this wordage, this character clearly lives up to expectation.

#5: Tommy Riordan Conlon
“Warrior” (2011)

On tattoos alone, Tom Hardy’s casting as MMA fighter Tommy Conlon seems inspired. The actor gained around 28 pounds of muscle for “Warrior,” and his freshly honed physique is adorned with all his own body art. Among Hardy’s ink is a portrait of the Virgin Mary, a “Till I die” pledge to his ex-wife, the words “Smile now, cry later,” and a tribal design on his upper right arm. The movie’s make-up team did have to extend Tom’s tribal to cover up another piece – an Irish leprechaun he got when he was 15.

#4: Darth Maul
“Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace” (1999)

Although he’s one of the most recognizable characters in “Star Wars” history, the meaning behind Darth Maul’s iconic appearance is to some extent shrouded in mystery. His red and black markings are traditional to his homeland of Dathomir, and as he was the apprentice of Darth Sidious, his malevolent master is responsible for inking him up. Some theories say that Maul’s markings carry healing and strength powers, while it’s widely accepted that Sith tattoos are a sign of skill and position. No doubt getting them is an intensely painful experience, though. So let no one question Darth Maul’s dedication to the Dark Side.

#3: Blade
“Blade” (1998)

This guy sure knows his way around a weapon. Wesley Snipes’ Blade is a vengeful vampire hunter, and the spiky tribal tatts across his shoulders, neck, and back are all part of his intimidating look. The awesome spikes and swirls design covers much of his upper body, and thanks to his trademark, sleeveless get-up, this ink is on show for much of the movie. Add shades, a sharp haircut, a moustache, and a samurai sword, and you’re looking at one of the best badass characters on film.

#2: Luke Glanton
“The Place Beyond the Pines” (2013)

According to director Derek Cianfrance, it was Ryan Gosling who suggested that his character Luke Glanton should be seriously inked. And the actor, who had set his sights on having the most tattoos in movie history, did not shy away from the challenge. Luke’s tattoos are explained as reminders of his past mistakes, and include biblical references and violent designs. Even Gosling himself had doubts about some of the choices however, especially the bleeding dagger on his cheek. Partway through the first day of filming, Gosling backtracked on the facial piece and asked to re-shoot. But Cianfrance kept it in, arguing, “That's what happens with a face tattoo. You regret it.”

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
- Tobias ‘Four’ Eaton
“Divergent” (2014)

- Denton Van Zan
“Reign of Fire” (2002)

- Tom Van Allen
“The Salton Sea” (2002)

#1: Lisbeth Salander
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011)

The clue is in the title with today’s winner. Lisbeth Salander’s body art is so badass it receives top billing for one of the twenty-first century’s most successful book-to-film adaptations. When David Fincher took the director’s chair for Stieg Larsson’s widely acclaimed thriller, all eyes were on exactly how he’d recreate that tattoo. A dark and menacing design, its mythological subject is almost as dangerous as the computer-hacking, tattooed gun-brandishing character who wears it. Lisbeth is not to be crossed, and her skin offers a fierce reminder of what she’s capable of.

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