June 25, 2024

It’s a rare movie that can give multiple characters equal attention and story weight and really do them justice. Some offer minor arcs to side characters, weaving them into the main story, but most have a protagonist at the heart of the action who receives the bulk of the screen time and development.

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But just because the audience knows who the main character is doesn’t mean the other characters do. Some movies are full of people who act as if the plot revolves around them, regardless of how much time they actually spend on the big screen. When this conversation started on Reddit, users thought of a number of movies that fit the bill.


10 The 5th Element (1997)

Bruce Willis in The Fifth Element (1997).
Image via Columbia Pictures

Essential action movie stars Bruce Willis In 2263 he became a taxi driver as a special forces-major-major. He teams up with a resurrected ancient woman named Leeloo to gather the four stones needed to save Earth from a great evil force that returns every five thousand. the years It’s a 90s action movie at heart.

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Bruce Willis has a presence as always, though Milla Jovovich She secures her share of action as Leeloo, escaping high-security detention and jumping off a large ledge to battle evil alien mercenaries. And Gary Oldman the antagonist will have no shortage of dramatic villainous deeds, like killing the alien assassins he hired for failing his mission and planting a time bomb to blow up his opponents. The film also features an alien opera singer who, diva that she is, dies horribly after a disastrous final performance.

9 The Rat Race (2001)

Jon Lovitz, Seth Green, Cuba Gooding Jr.  and Whoopi Goldberg are working on Rat Race (2001).
Image via Paramount Pictures

Every member of the wacky ensemble Rat Race The screen time they get in this 2001 comedy is well worth it. An eccentric casino owner has organized a 563-mile race from Las Vegas, Nevada to Silver City, Mexico to retrieve a bag full of two million dollars. Competing teams include actors Rowan Atkinson, John Cleese, Whoopi Goldbergand Cuba Gooding Jr.among others.

The film lives up to its premise as many of its characters use whatever means are at their disposal to reach their destination, including a hot air balloon, a monster truck, a rocket car, a bus, a helicopter, an ambulance, a train, and more, sabotaging each other along the way. and ultimately ended up at a Smash Mouth charity concert.

8 Snatch (2000)

Brad Pitt as Mickey O'Neil: Snatch (2000)
Columbia Pictures, SKA Films

It could be said that they are any number of characters by Guy Ritchie movies everyone thinks they are the protagonist, but maybe more than anyone else catch up. With an ensemble cast and two simultaneous storylines, this British-American comedy follows the efforts to recover a stolen diamond as a boxing promoter becomes entangled with the story of the terror caused by a gangster.

With character names like “One Punch” Mickey O’Neil aka Pikey, Bullet-Tooth Tony, Boris “the Blade” Yurinov and Franky “Four-Fingers”, it’s no wonder each of their big personalities gets time in the spotlight.

7 After Reading Re (2008)

Brad Pitt and Frances McDormand as gym workers in Burn After Reading (2008).
Focus Features, StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films, Mike Zoss Productions

After reading re It’s a star-studded dark comedy (acted) that follows the hijinx surrounding a retired CIA analyst’s personal memoir. John Malkovich) that a couple of meatheads at a local gym get mixed up with government secrets. All the characters in the film are involved in goose chases in an effort to recover what was lost, make a profit or protect their interests.

Brad Pitt’s gym brother and by George Clooney The US Marshal heads this cast of misfits. Everyone thinks their own interests are most important, whether it’s getting a divorce, selling American secrets to Russia, or saving up for cosmetic surgery, making it easy to see the story from anyone’s point of view.

6 Reservoir Dogs (1992)

Steve Buscemi, Quentin Tarantino, Michael Madsen, Edward Bunker and Lawrence Tierney in Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Live Entertainment, Dog Eat Dog Productions Inc.

That makes sense by Quentin Tarantino The feature film debut is one heck of a wild ride. Many of his films give time and development to various characters, and Reservoir Dogs it all started The story is not told in a completely ordered manner, allowing exposition about different characters at different times. The plot follows a gang of gangsters before and after a diamond heist goes horribly wrong.

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Reservoir Dogs it set the precedent for Tarantino films filled with deadly characters and twisted plots. Using colors as code names makes it easier to tell who’s who when the high stakes force these characters with different motivations to clash with each other.

5 Pulp Fiction (1994)

Vincent and Jules pointing guns in Pulp Fiction
Image via Miramax Films

Pulp Fiction It is considered significant for modern cinema and one of the best films told from multiple perspectives. I like it Reservoir Dogs, unfolds out of order, and its plot is all over the map. A basic general view is that both wrestlers favor their master while following a boxer who has doubled up. It’s full of violence and at least one iconic dance scene.

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Each of the main characters makes a compelling contender for the title of protagonist as their multiple stories weave together. Vincent and Jules, the snacks, each lead their own stories, and Butch the boxer, the third, and a host of other distinctive characters are joined.

4 John (1999)

Sarah Polley as Ronna in the crime comedy Go (1999)
Columbia Pictures, Banner Entertainment, Saratoga Entertainment

I like it pulp fiction, go It follows three interconnected plots about three sets of characters. One story focuses on Alex and Zack, a couple of actors who want to buy drugs. Another is Ronna, a supermarket worker struggling to pay the rent and Alex and Zack’s drug dealer colleague. The third is about Simon, the guy who sells drugs to Ronna’s co-worker.

Of course, the three stories interfere with each other and entertaining shenanigans ensue as the characters screw up a wedding, go to a rave, and get busted by the police. Each character is against the wall in their respective situation, each becoming the protagonist of their own story.

3 Aladdin (2019)

Genie Will Smith and Mena Massoud in Aladdin (2019).
Walt Disney Pictures, Lin Pictures, Rideback, Marc Platt Productions

Guy Ritchie’s 2019 remake of the live-action Disney princess film Aladdin, it’s another one of those movies full of characters trying to achieve their goals. In the Arabian city of Agrabah, the sultan’s royal advisor, Jafar, tricks a poor boy named Aladdin into retrieving a genie’s lamp, and Aladdin then disguises himself as a prince in order to marry Princess Jasmine.

Maybe it’s Ritchie’s signature style, or maybe it’s the strong motivations of each character that make it hard to tell who the lead is, let alone one. Aladdin is the title of the movie. Aladdin pursues love, Jasmine seeks independence, Jafar seeks power and Genie seeks freedom; so anyone on screen is actively driving the story.

2 Bullet Train (2022)

Brad Pitt and Aaron Taylor-Johnson in Bullet Train (2022)
87North, CTB Inc., Hill District Media, Sony Pictures Entertainment

Brad Pitt stars as a reformed killer in this international action comedy film set on a bullet train in Japan. After taking a break from his first job and going to therapy, he should be easy to catch. But things will get more complicated when he discovers that the train is full of other killers after his very suitcase.

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Each of the main characters is given their own backstory and characterization, making it easy to root for these likable jerks with heart, even as they’re at each other’s throats. Some only get a little bit of screen time, but their motivations are fleshed out so completely that their quick deaths are heartbreaking.

1 Smokin’ Aces (2006)

Ryan Reynolds pointing a gun in the 2006 action comedy Smokin' Aces
Universal Pictures, StudioCanal, Relativity Media, Working Title Films, Scion Films

The action-comedy killer skirmish format has to lend itself to clever characters, because Smokin’ Aces it’s a different movie, and everyone thinks they’re the star of the show. It centers on Buddy “Aces” Israel, a stage magician wanted by the mob for tipping off the FBI. The film is about the many players sent by the Aces to kill, retrieve or protect.

Despite its poor critical reception, the film now has a cult following that loves its many convoluted plots and action one-liners. With so much going on at once, it can be hard to tell what the main story is, but all the narratives come together to paint the whole picture.

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