Top 10 Times Movie Backstabbers Got What They Deserved

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Top 10 Times Movie Backstabbers Got What They Deserved

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These movie characters got their just deserts. For this list, we'll be going over the traitorous characters from films whose ultimate fates are appropriate for them. Our countdown includes "Jurassic Park", "Aliens", "The Departed", and more!
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Top 10 Times Movie Backstabbers Got What They Deserved


Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Times Movie Backstabbers Got What They Deserved.

For this list, we’ll be going over the traitorous characters from films whose ultimate fates are appropriate for them. To be clear, their punishments don’t necessarily need to be because of their betrayals, but they do need to be fitting. Naturally, there will be spoilers.

If there’s a sneaky movie character’s retribution you think deserved to be on our list, let us know in the comments!

#10: Dennis Nedry

“Jurassic Park” (1993)
Despite being a computer programmer who works at a real dinosaur park, Dennis Nedry has low job satisfaction. Eager to make more money, Nedry is paid to smuggle dinosaur embryos out of Jurassic Park to a competing company. To do so, he shuts down the park’s security system, which ultimately leads to the dinosaurs running amok and several deaths. After stealing the embryos, Nedry is on his way to deliver them when he becomes lost in the storm that has hit the island and his car becomes stuck. While trying to get it going again, he’s attacked by one of the dinosaurs that his actions released. If you unleash dinosaurs, you’re going to get eaten! No wonder Nedry’s extinct.


#9: Henry Hill

“Goodfellas” (1990)
For as long as Henry Hill can remember, all he wanted was to be a gangster. He gets his wish, but he learns that you should be careful what you wish for. Hill finds himself disturbed by the more violent parts of the job, and after most of those involved in a job are killed, he finds himself paranoid. When his associate Jimmy Conway appears ready to set him and his family up to be whacked, Hill betrays his mob ties and goes into witness protection. For someone who always glamorized the gangster lifestyle, living as an ordinary shnook is exactly what Hill deserves.

#8: Scar

“The Lion King” (1994)
Power hungry and devious, Scar is the brother of Mufasa, the King of the Pride Rock. By scheming with his hyena underlings, Scar causes a stampede that gives him the opportunity to kill his brother and drive his nephew away, allowing him to take the throne. His rule and his indulgence of the hyenas’ insatiable hunger leads the land to ruin. When Simba returns, he bests his uncle in battle and Scar pleads for his life, blaming the hyenas. His starving minions repay his betrayal by devouring him… we’re assuming – it’s Disney, so it’s all in the shadows. If only Scar had taken his own advice and “been prepared.”

#7: Cypher

“The Matrix” (1999)
Reality can be harsh. Too harsh for some. Cypher may be a member of the future resistance, but he misses the comforts of the virtual reality of the Matrix. To that end, he betrays his crew, setting Morpheus up to be captured by the Agents inside the Matrix. Then, after being pulled out, Cypher murders his fellow crewmates, Tank and Dozer with a lightning gun. He then proceeds to sadistically unplug some of his former friends who are still inside the Matrix, while explaining himself to Trinity. Unfortunately for him, he fails to account for Tank, who is still alive and kills him with the very lightning he used on him. How’s that for some harsh reality?

#6: Carter Burke

“Aliens” (1986)
Carter Burke is a company man, but he seems, at least initially, to be a decent guy. However, as the mission to overrun the colony on LV-426 goes on, it becomes clear that Burke is human slime. Not only is he more interested in obtaining samples of the dangerous alien xenomorphs than the safety of Ellen Ripley or the marines, but he was also responsible for the colony coming into contact with the aliens in the first place! He further betrays Ripley by planning to have one of the aliens impregnate her or Newt, the colony’s last survivor. And to top it all off, he leaves them all to die. An almost certain death by alien is the least of what he deserves!


#5: Hans Landa

“Inglourious Basterds” (2009)
The primary antagonist of this pseudo-historical war film, Hans Landa is a ruthless Nazi soldier, with the infamous moniker “the Jew Hunter.” Brilliant and sadistic, Hans Landa is utterly terrifying and seems successful at every turn. However, even he knows he’s on the wrong side of history. After catching the titular group during their attempt to kill the Nazi leadership at a premiere, Landa not only doesn’t kill them, but he also decides to aid them – in exchange for a full pardon, of course. However, just when it seems like the crafty Nazi will escape any punishment at all, Aldo, the Basterds’ leader, decides to shoot Landa’s accomplice and carve a swastika into his forehead. No one will forget what a monster he is now.


#4: Harry Ellis

“Die Hard” (1988)
Harry Ellis is every sleazy ‘80s business guy rolled into one. Out for himself? Check. Hits on a married co-worker? Check. Cocaine? Double-check! So, when Hans Gruber and company take over Nakatomi Plaza, Ellis is the worst kind of guy to have in a hostage situation. Concerned for his own skin, he tries to charm Gruber – and also gives up John McClane. After outing John’s identity to Gruber, Ellis tries to use their brief connection to get John to give up the detonators to Gruber. Naturally, this helps out no one but the bad guys and Ellis gets a bullet through his forehead. So much for being a great dealmaker.

#3: Commodus

“Gladiator” (2000)
It’s a credit to Joaquin Phoenix’s performance that Commodus is as hateable as he is! The spoiled son of Marcus Aurelius, the emperor of Rome, Commodus murders his father after Marcus makes it clear that he’ll pass his son over for his general, Maximus. When Commodus fails to secure Maximus’ loyalty, he tries to have Maximus killed and does manage to murder his wife and son. When Maximus returns to the public eye as a gladiator, Commodus is infuriated that he can’t execute him. Ultimately, he fights an underhanded duel with Maximus after stabbing him beforehand. Naturally, it’s only fitting that Maximus defeats the weasel anyway and Commodus’ subjects basically ignore his body in favor of Maximus’.


#2: Colin Sullivan

“The Departed” (2006)
“The Departed” follows Billy Costigan and Colin Sullivan, both of whom are police officers. However, while Costigan is a cop undercover in the mob, Sullivan is a criminal undercover in the police. Ultimately, Sullivan is only loyal to himself, and shoots his mob boss Frank Costello to protect his identity from discovery. His treachery is exposed to his girlfriend, who leaves him (and may be pregnant with Costigan’s child). Although Costigan is killed during a confrontation in an elevator, one of his handlers gets revenge by executing Sullivan. Live like a rat, die like a rat.

#1: Beni Gabor

“The Mummy” (1999)
In addition to being on the wrong side of the RI-VER, Beni Gabor often finds himself on the wrong side of several conflicts. He especially tends to betray his former French Foreign Legion comrade, Rick O’Connell. But, sadly, leaving Rick for dead isn’t the worst thing he’s done. Beni also helps with the resurrection of Imhotep, the titular undead mummy, in the hopes of staying alive and for the promise of treasure. Beni facilitates Imhotep’s quest by betraying some of his former employers. However, his greed finally gets the better of him. While trying to grab treasure from Imhotep’s resting place, Beni triggers a collapse and is trapped inside with carnivorous scarabs which devour him. Bye-bye, Beni!
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