#Movies & TV

The 15 Best Heartbreak Revenge Films of All Time

by Jennifer Lafferty

The 15 Best Heartbreak Revenge Films of All Time
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Movies centering on romantic relationships are usually about couples falling in love, but some of the most intriguing ones explore what happens when a relationship ends, particularly when there’s a bitter ending. Whether it’s a farcical comedy like The First Wives’ Club or a classic noir drama like Laura, the heartbreak revenge genre has provided some of the juiciest films of all time.



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Fatal Attraction


When you think of films involving heartbreak and revenge, Fatal Attraction is probably the first that comes to mind. The horrifying 1987 thriller starring Michael Douglas and Glenn Close did a lot to discourage marital infidelity.

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Addicted to Love


This 1997 Meg Ryan rom-com about a couple's two jilted exes who spy and plot revenge on them sounds disturbing, but the filmmakers and likable cast pulled off an entertaining and essentially lighthearted film.

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The 1954 French thriller Diabolique, about the wife and the mistress of a cruel man who join forces to exact revenge, was popular enough to get a Hollywood remake starring Sharon Stone and Isabelle Adjani more than forty years later.

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The Other Woman


A comedic take on the wife-mistress revenge theme is chick flick The Other Woman, starring Leslie Mann as a woman who conspires with two of her husband's mistresses (Cameron Diaz and Kate Upton) to take him down.

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The War of the Roses


Dark comedy The War of the Roses (starring Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner) follows a recently divorced couple whose deep-seated resentment takes over as they prepare to fight each other to the death for their beloved home.

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Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo (starring Jimmy Stewart) centers on Scottie, an acrophobic detective who falls for the woman he’s trailing, only to find she’s not what she seems. While seeking revenge, Scottie confronts his fear of heights in a terrifying climax.

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A Bittersweet Life


This Korean mafia thriller revolves around mobster Kim Sun-woo, dispatched to shadow a crime boss's mistress with instructions to kill her and her lover if found guilty of infidelity. Sun-woo's personal feelings for her threaten to complicate things.

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The Women


The amazing original cast, featuring Rosalind Russell and Joan Fontaine, is the best thing about this comedic romp. The plot centers on a socialite whose gossipy friends encourage her to divorce her cheating husband. Meg Ryan and Eva Mendes starred in a 2008 remake.

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Historical epic Braveheart, starring and directed by Mel Gibson, follows William Wallace as he wages war against a tyrannical British ruler after Wallace’s bride is executed for assaulting a British soldier who tried to rape her.

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A Perfect Murder


It’s surprising how many revenge-themed flicks Michael Douglas has made; among the most exciting is A Perfect Murder. Costarring Gwyneth Paltrow, this 1998 remake of adultery thriller Dial M for Murder depicts a carefully planned murder plot gone wrong.

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Kill Bill


This franchise starter centers on a bride (Uma Thurman) who awakens after a 4-year coma with the intention of exacting revenge on a team of assassins—she once was part of—who are responsible for the wedding day massacre that killed her groom.

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Arguably, the best noir thriller of all time is the 1944 mystery film Laura. The film stars Gene Tierney as a woman at the center of a shocking murder investigation, headed by a police detective who’s fallen in love with her.

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The highly acclaimed 2000 psychological thriller (starring Guy Pearce and Carrie-Anne Moss) follows Leonard, a man challenged by his extreme short-term memory loss as he hunts down the man who raped and murdered his wife.

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Django Unchained


Like many of Quentin Tarantino’s films, Django Unchained has a strong revenge theme. Django (Jamie Foxx) goes after the slave owner who took his wife away and attempts to rescue her with the help of a bounty hunter (Christoph Waltz).

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The First Wives’ Club


Many female buddy comedies revolve around gals who band together to avenge men who have mistreated them. The 1996 revenge chick flick The First Wives Club (starring Diane Keaton, Bette Midler, and Goldie Hawn) is one of the most popular.