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Top 10 bullet scenes in movies

Keanu Reeves in The Matrix

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“The Godfather” (1972) – “Sonny Pays the Toll”

One of the most iconic death scenes in the history of cinema, Sonny Corleone’s violent demise at the tollbooth in “The Godfather” turned what had been a somewhat whimsical crime fable into a full-blown tragedy of almost Shakespearean proportions. Sonny’s death comes as no surprise – the hothead eldest son of Vito Corleone was practically asking for some sort of karmic retribution from the start – but the sheer brutality of his murder still has the power to shock and amaze. And it’s the kick to the face that’s, well, the kicker – after all that blastin’, one of the shooters still wasn’t satisfied; he had to plant his boot in the dead man’s mug. For Chrissakes, don’t get involved with the Mafia.

“RoboCop” (1987) – “Just a Glitch”

Paul Verhoeven’s somewhat, er, special sense of humor came out in full force with the introduction of ED-209 in “RoboCop,” a lumbering, growling stop-motion behemoth who apparently can’t tell when you’ve complied with his orders within 20 seconds. ED blasting the holy hell out of poor Mr. Kinney is, rather oddly enough, one of the film’s funniest moments, even moreso when you take a look at the big picture – who the heck brings a giant malfunctioning armed robot to the conference room, anyway (ahem, Ronny Cox)? Just as amusing is everyone else’s reactions once the shooting stops; there’s a satirical air of desensitized “Well, just another day at the office” as the smoke clears. Get that glitch fixed, Dick.

“The Crow” (1994) – “Fire It Up!”

“Here’s to Devil’s Night, my new favorite holiday.” And how does one celebrate Oct. 30th in the highly art-directed industrial wasteland known as Detroit? You do shots at everyone’s favorite dive bar, The Pit, of course. Though not just any ordinary shots, mind you – the night before Halloween calls for something a little more decadent; namely, a bullet to go down with that cheap house whisky. Gang leader T-Bird one-ups everyone by chasing his with burning his own tongue with his cigar, just to show that no one knows how to party quite like David Patrick Kelly. Don’t worry, they’ll all get theirs before the sun comes up.

“Three Kings” (1999) – “Gunshot Wound 101”

David O. Russell’s subversive, oddly playful approach to what could’ve been a harrowing war story turned “Three Kings” into a fun treasure hunt of a movie as George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, Ice Cube and (for a while) Spike Jonze go searching for hidden gold during the last days of the first Persian Gulf war. Roger Ebert said it best when he called the film a “screw-loose war picture that sends action and humor crashing head-on into each other and spinning off into political anger.” It’s the kind of movie where we get a heavy visual assist from the CG animation team when Clooney describes exactly what a gunshot wound does to the inside of your body (it’s not good). It’s also the kind of movie in which a cow might just suddenly explode.

“The Departed” (2006) – “Going Down in the Elevator”

Anyone who had seen “Infernal Affairs,” the Hong Kong action film on which “The Departed’ is based, knew what was going to happen to Leo once that elevator door opened … but, let’s face it, not many Yankees had seen “Infernal Affairs.” Kudos to Martin Scorsese for keeping this moment for the American remake (though Leo is certainly no stranger to getting killed in his movies) and kudos to “Affairs” directors Wai-keung Lau and Alan Mak for having their hero go out so quickly and without fanfare; in a violent world, you never quite know when your time is up, and it might not ultimately make for a “cool” death scene. Anyway, this counts as one of the great “collective audience gasp” moments in cinema; the ridiculous CG rat in the closing shot of the film counts as another.

What is your favorite bullet scene? Tell us in the comments below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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