The 10 Most Badass Movie Combat Units

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 11th, 2012 at 7:39 am, This is a list post.

10 Badass Movie Combat Units The Expendables 2 has pretty much punched its way into theaters on swagger alone, collecting some of the most badass tough guys ever to appear onscreen into one unbeatable team. Inspired by that level of badassery, we here at Screen Rant selected ten other great combat units who have left their knuckle prints and shell casings indented in the silver screen. But before we get into the list, a few ground rules that helped us pick the candidates: 1) The teams have to number three or more 2) The teams have to have been assembled for the purpose of combat 3) The teams have to have kicked ass (those that simply bled and died need not apply). Now that we have the ground rules out of the way, lets meet our top 10 most badass movie combat units:

The Earps & Doc Holliday - 'Tombstone'

Tombstone Kurt Russell Val Kilmer Sam Elliott and Bill Paxton It takes a real badass to walk into an old Western town overrun by a gang of outlaws and declare that they're going to clean up the place - but that's exactly what Wyatt Earp (Kurt Russell) did in the 1993 movie adaption of the Tombstone legend. The Earp Brothers wanted to live peaceful lives of wealth and comfort in Tombstone; but when a ruthless band of Outlaws start terrorizing the town... well... once a badass lawman, always a badass lawman. Aside from the fact that Kurt Russell and Sam Elliott are iconic tough guys in their own right, Tombstone's real badass shining star is undoubtedly Val Kilmer as Doc Holliday, a refined and cultured whiskey-swilling, hard-loving, chain-smoking, gun-slinging, fatally ill badass. The epic showdown scene where Holliday confronts outlaw gunslinger Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn) in a high-noon-style draw still remains one of the greatest Western showdowns of all time, and forever immortalized the phrase "I'm ya huckleberry."

Dutch's Commando Unit - 'Predator'

predator commandos dutch schwarzenegger expendables One way to gauge the toughness of a movie combat unit is by observing how hard they are to kill - and Predator is a movie that takes this concept quite literally. Looking back on it, the cast of Predator was badass enough to rival The Expendables: you had Arnold Schwarzenegger as "Dutch" the tough-as-nails leader of an elite American commando unit, and a team that included the likes of Bill Duke (Menace II Society), Carl Weathers (Rocky), Jesse "The Body" Ventura, writer/director Shane Black (Iron Man 3) and of course, Sonny Landham as "Billy" the Native American commando who faced the Predator with nothing but his Bowie knife. How much more badass can you get? All you need to know is that these guys were so badass that an alien hunter came all the way down from space just to battle them - and that alien ultimately went home in a body bag. 'Nuff said.

The Colonial Space Marines - 'Aliens'

aliens cast expendables Being hunted by one alien killing machine is, admittedly, a lot less badass than being hunted by a whole army of alien killing machines. When Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) learns that the planet where she first discovered the Xenomorph is now a fully terraformed colony, she's horrified. When contact with the colony is lost, Ripley knows just how bad it is - but the Colonial Space Marines she accompanies back to LV-426 had no idea. Trapped in a remote bunker, with the whole alien swarm bearing down on them, Ripley and the Marines had no choice but to - as the age-old adage goes - "nut up, or shut up." And nut up they did indeed. So if you can't admire just how bravely a squad of marines stood in the face of certain death by a horrific enemy, you need to do the backstroke in a volcano just to prove to me that you're tougher.

Fellowship of the Ring - 'Lord of the Rings'

Lord of the Rings Fellowship of the Ring (2) Imagine if you needed to destroy the most evil object in existence. Now imagine that in order to complete this unthinkable mission, you had to gather the greatest warriors from across the world - a top-tier combination of combat skill, swordsmanship, archery, magic - not to mention the strength of will and purity of heart to resist being corrupted by the most evil influence there ever was. That team would have to be pretty badass, huh? If you've seen the Lord of the Rings trilogy, then you know that the battles and darkness faced by the Fellowship of the Ring were fierce, and were not faced without pain and loss. The entire fate of the world was literally resting on these guys' shoulders - yet they stood fast before armies of monsters that would have most other badasses on this list messing themselves. Finally, imagine doing all this in a world where there is no such thing as a gun - just you and your blade, bow and/or wand. Yeah, pretty bad ass.

Spartan Warriors - '300'

300 King Leonidas and the Spartans The 300 Spartans who fought the invading Persian hordes of Xerxes at the The Battle of Thermopylae are badass on a whole other level. Other combat units on this list faced grave harm and unbeatable odds with bravery - these Spartans marched into certain death with a happy smile on their faces. In fact, I don't know whether to qualify the Spartans as badass, or just plain crazy - because when your best defensive strategy involves building a wall using the corpses of hundreds of your slain enemies, "crazy" is a term that definitely applies. It's also pretty rare to see a king who is more of a  hardcore warrior than any of his soldiers - but that is exactly who King Leonidas was (hell, even his queen was a badass fighter!). While other warriors make a career of combat, for Leonidas and his Spartans battle and bloodshed were a way of life - and they get bonus points for kicking ass while half-naked. Name another combat unit that can do that.

The Dirty Dozen - 'The Dirty Dozen'

dirty dozen expendables If you really want to talk about badass movie combat units, you have to go back to the old days when leading men were made of steel. In 1967, The Dirty Dozen was released and remains, to this day, one of the foremost instructional videos on total Nazi ownage. The Dirty Dozen was a team led by Mr. Movie Badass himself, Lee Marvin, and the U.S.A. military-grade murderers included Jim Brown, Charles Bronson, John Cassavetes,and Donald Sutherland - with guys like Ernest Borgnine and Robert Ryan kicking them in the ass just for good measure. This team was SO badass that certain members (Brown, Bronson) carried their tough guy images into the next decade. If you aren't into the classics, or consider the Inglourious Basterds to be the foremost experts in the "Nazi killing business," then you need to guess again and snatch up a copy of The Dirty Dozen.

The Rebel Alliance - 'Star Wars'

Star Wars Rebel Alliance The Fellowship of the Ring might've had the fate of an entire world resting on their shoulders, but the Rebel Alliance had the fate of an entire universe resting on theirs. Episode IV is called "A New Hope" with good reason: because until Luke Skywalker warp-drove off of Tattooine to seek his destiny, the universe didn't have any hope! Yet, even in the face of total darkness there were still badasses who were determined to take a stand, with just one - count him - one Jedi left at their side. We all know the main players - but what about the often unsung heroes of the Rebel Alliance? I'm talking about Wedge, Lando, Admiral Ackbar and all those brave members of the Red, Gold, Echo, Rogue and other squadrons. Death Stars, Sith Lords, empires, bounty hunters, space gangsters - all of them fell before the might and bravery of the Rebel Alliance!

Captain Miller's Rescue Squad - 'Saving Private Ryan'

saing private ryan expendables How much is one man's life worth? Is it worth the lives of a dozen of his brothers? Such was the question that plagued the minds of the brave Rangers in Saving Private Ryan. Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) barely survived the scathing horrors of D-Day, only to be handed a veritable suicide rescue mission to rescue the last son of a grieving mother. The mission was hell, few made it back, and the sentiment amongst the soldiers carrying out the task was far from one of macho bravado. However, attitude isn't what makes these soldiers so badass - it was their ability to find bravery and greater purpose in a hopeless situation. The guys in Private Ryan proved that some obligations cannot be ignored, even when you have all the reason in the world to do so. And that is truly badass.

The Avengers

15 Characters for Avengers 2 Movie Sequels The life of a superhero is hard enough - but it becomes downright impossible when the threat you are facing is bigger than what one heroic man (or woman) can handle. Sometimes, the most badass thing a warrior can do is rely on a little help from his/her friends. Each member of the Avengers is a badass in their own right - put them together, and you get a force for good that the entire universe (literally) sits up and takes notice of. With a membership that includes the greatest soldier in the world, two master spies, a high-tech armored knight, a (demi)god who can rain down thunder or a jade giant who can beat gods to a pulp, director Joss Whedon showed us - in one particularly impressive action montage - that the combination of Earth's Mightiest Heroes is a badass force for good the likes of which the world has never seen.

The Seven Ronin/Gunslingers - 'Seven Samurai'/'Magnificent Seven'

Magnificent Seven & SevenSamurai What makes a team worthy of the number one spot on our list? In my opinion, it is the adherence to a strict code of honor -  protecting those who cannot protect themselves, even when nothing is gained and so much is lost. No film illustrates this principal better than Akira Kurosawa's Seven Samurai - and by extension, John Sturges' Western-era remake, The Magnificent Seven. In each version, a small village is repeatedly pillaged by bandits, and the villagers recruit a famous warrior to defend them - who in turn recruits six other skilled warriors. When the bandits try to lay siege to the village, the warriors stand their ground - even though some of the petty villagers do not deserve their loyalty. The bandits are ultimately defeated, but victory is bittersweet: the warriors gain nothing, and suffer heavy losses. Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven remind us that a warrior's code - while a powerful and honorable thing - often comes with many scars, and few rewards. It takes the utmost strength of character to know that and still step onto a battlefield to defend the meek and (not so) innocent - making this a story of noble sacrifice so badass, they had to tell it twice.

The Expendables 2 Cast How did you like our top 10 picks for the most badass movie combat units? Are there any teams you feel we left out? If you want to see the latest entry in the long legacy of badass movie combat units, check out The Expendables and The Expendables 2 to see how Sly and the gang stack up against other badass movie teams of the past.
TAGS: 300, alien, kill bill, lord of the rings, predators, star wars, the expendables

199 Comments

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  1. Tarantino is a genius…no really he has a 160 i.q. score. But i feel his films are awsome.

    • sully311, stop giving daniel fuel please.

      • Well his opinions wont change mine.

  2. Anthony I like how I do that to lol.

    We all have our things. Just like 790 will take any opportunity to push a conspiracy on every one who doesn’t want to hear it or any oppertunity to bash Wheadon or you take alot of oppertunity to insult Jack Black. Ken will always find a way to talk about guns or how unrealistic some minor detail is. Drsam jumps at any chance he can to discuss QL (though I do love that). I’ll take any chance I can to bash QT, Burton or surfer point break dude him self.

    We all have our issues lol.

    Hope no grudes guys mostly teasing and exagerating

    If I was less of a man I’d put a smile face on the post but I’ll stick with lol

    • no man, i jusdt find it funny. i hold no ill will to anyone on this site..’cept maybe the brett ratner fan club…wait, nevermind there isnt one :) all in all, youre right we all have our own takes on things, opinions, vioces, all that, its just good to see that many here dont go into a caps tirade about lame stuff.

    • Sorry who’s QL again? The rest of it I have notice being a long-time reader of this site.

  3. “The teams need to have been assembled for the purpose of combat”

    Doesn’t that immediately disqualify the Fellowship?
    They weren’t assembled for combat, they were assembled to protect the bearer or the ring.
    “Assembled for combat” implies that the intention of the group was to wage war or go into battle. But the Fellowship’s goal was not to attack the enemy but to guard one asset. They were security guards, not soldiers. Yes, they did alot of fighting but while they were in the Fellowship they were fighting defensively, not offensively. And they would just have sooner avoided battle alltogether.

    • i think the responses from Gimly, Legolas, and Aragorn..pretty much made it a combat unit from the get go. “you have my sword” “and my bow” and my axe”

  4. @ daniel f.

    Or like me with abrams!

  5. What about the bowling team from the big lebowski. John goodmans character did bite of a nihlists ear. Just saying

    • youre reaching there LOl

      • Totally lol! Wasn’t serious but i love that movie! Shomer shobbas!

  6. Ohh i got another! The aqua teen hunger force! Shake is my hero!

  7. I’m watching “The Losers”, they are a pretty badass group. Too bad we won’t be seeing a sequel…

  8. the guys from the 13th Warrior!

    • I LOVE The 13th Warrior and that posse was tough as nails.

  9. Welll a couple of thoughts after reading the comments, while I liked the Firefly crew, they weren’t exactly a combat team assembled for action, more like ship’s crew placed under extraordinary circumstances (although I loved the series and the film).

    I would like to nominate a couple of rather unknown groups….

    The Chang Sing fighting group assembled by Egg Shen in “Big Trouble in Little China”. Supplemented by the heroic Jack Burton and the nible Wang Chi.

    If we’re gonna revisit WWII films, I would also gladly nominate the combined Canadien and American special forces unit that was the model for the Devils Brigade.

    or if we’re going waaaay back…perhaps the assembled crew from the 13th Warrior.

    the other being the Hong Kong Cavaliers headed by Buckaroo Banzai himself.
    It’s not easy fighting Black Lectroids from the 10th Dimension on a moments notice and staving off the destruction of the planet.

  10. The Cartwrights have to be mentioned. I’m only 19 and know that. For all that don’t know,they are off Bonanza.

  11. Good list. Not saying that my suggestion should be in the top ten. I just wonder where my picks would rank.

    What about The Untouchables?

    I know this is not a popular movie but the rival clans from Shonibi: Heart Under Blade .

  12. How about the team from Stargate?? Kurt Russell made a great Colonel O’Neill! Pretty bad azz to go through a wormhole like that to an unknown planet and then take on aliens with lasers…

  13. what about the wild bunch

    • I was thinking of them too but as they’re outlaws they don’t fit the rules.

  14. I liked the list, but I did wish The Basterds were on the list.

  15. I don’t think the basterds should be on the list
    And I completely agree with kofi outlaw as to why.

    if the basterds could be on the list then so could the joes from GI Joe. And I’m guessing the reason they aren’t on the list is because they were so corny. However I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that the joes could beast anybody on the list.

    Why is

  16. I know it’s technically not a movie but what about the public security section 9 team from the animated series (and movies) ghost in the shell. and yes they were assembled for combat even though security is in the title.

    Saito (sniper), batto (espionage expert), the tachikomas(seven year old female sounding robots that are sheer baddassery , ishikowa(the eye in the sky), and the legendary Motoko kusanagi? (master tactician, master infiltrator of the physical world and the net world AND had the ability to get into peoples minds, also sexy to boot?) Yeah those guys would definitely make the list if they’re were a live action movie plain and simple.

    Seriously those were probably the most tactical and smartest soldiers ever, they’re battle strategies. Were soo impressively well thought out and they were able to adapt at a moments notice. All while constantly communicating with each other….the only other team that I can think of that comes close to them is the original Spartans from the halo series which doesn’t count since it’s a videogame.

    besides that it’s not live action, I challenge anybody to give me a one reason why section 9 can’t be on the list?

  17. FYI,

    I think you missed a couple of BADASS movie combat units, the Bloodpack with Blade from Blade II, and also the mercenary group from THE WILD GEESE, featuring Roger Moore, Richard Burton, Hardy Kruger and Richard Harris.

    Later.

  18. The boondock saints had at least 3? They foght crime. Does that count kofi?

  19. Why do I get the feeling Daniel has a wall covered with our gravatar photos, and screen names, bios.

    Like in Big (Kick Ass) Daddies gun room, how he had that montage of all the villains he wanted dead,,, 8-)

    Hey the conspiracy I’m pushing today is that obama is a liar. ;-) Lol

  20. That’s funny 790 because for some reason I picture you having all our avatars on your well with strings attached and connecting us to various events in history. Ken J was the second shooter and Anthony helped cover up area 51.

    • hahaha daniel, you are funny my friend

  21. You don’t think Area 51 is real?

    Wow. ;-)

    • Hmm let me read that again… Nope doesn’t say I don’t believe in Area 51 just says that you link Anthony to it in a conspiracy.

      Hold on I’ll look again. Nope still doesn’t say I don’t believe it. I’d love for you to tell me where you saw me say Area 51 doesn’t exist. I don’t actually remember saying anything one way or the other anywhere.

  22. You win Daniel,,,
    ;-)

    • i actually watch a lot of history channel..everytime area 51 stuff come on, im glued to the couch

      • The History Channel, The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel and Animal Planet are 4 of my favorite channels. I love Ice Road Truckers on History and Dirty Jobs/Mythbusters on Discovery. Always entertaining programs!!!

  23. Daniel, So who’s QL again? YOu say DrSam talks about him all the time.

  24. QL is a great tv show it’s Quantum Leap

  25. what about the inglorious baestards

  26. The Professionals, Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, Robert Ryan, Woody Strode, Jack Palance.

    Also Russell Crowe and his crew in Master and Commander (FSOTW), and some of his crew were only young boys but they were willing to fight and kick-ass.

    Then there’s Conan, his girlfriend Valeria and his best mate Subotai, willing to take on Thulsa Doom’s army to rescue King Osric’s daughter. And their final stand at the battle of the mounds where they defeat Thulsa Doom’s soldier’s (with modest help from a wizard).

    • Definitely agree on Conan’s team. They kicked some serious ass.

  27. No Space Monkeys from Fight Club. They were more badass than the rebel Alliance and they had Meat Loaf.

  28. predator team should be number one.

    the team from matrix one are pretty badass (well, some of them are…)

  29. I think the brothers from Four brothers could actually make it on this list

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