20 Badass Quotes from Cinema’s Tough Guys


No one could have predicted that decorated Irish actor Liam Neeson, star of the Oscar-winning Schindler’s List, would find life as an action hero playing former CIA operative Bryan Mills in the Taken film series. Part three hit theaters this weekend, boasting Neeson’s “particular set of skills.” Neeson’s killer speech from the original film, uttered in his chilling authoritarian tone, remains perhaps the best part of the Taken franchise. A bad-talking line from a movie tough guy always wins the day — and cinema is full of them. Here are some of our favorite fearsome quotes from film bruisers we wouldn’t want to mess with.

Liam Neeson, Taken

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”

John Wayne, The Green Berets

“Out here, due process is a bullet.”

Roddy Piper, They Live

“I have come here to chew bubblegum and kick ass . . . and I’m all out of bubblegum.”

Humphrey Bogart, The Maltese Falcon

“People lose teeth talking like that. If you want to hang around, you’ll be polite.”

Clint Eastwood, Dirty Harry

“I know what you’re thinking. ‘Did he fire six shots or only five?’ Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well? Do ya, punk?”

Robert Mitchum, Cape Fear

“It’s not necessary to lay a foul tongue on me, my friend. I could get upset. Things could get out of hand. Then in self-defense, I could do something to you that you would not like, right here.

Lee Marvin, The Dirty Dozen

“I never went in for embroidery, just results.”

Charles Bronson, Mr. Majestyk

“You make sounds like you’re a mean little ass-kicker, only I ain’t convinced. You keep talking, and I’m gonna take your head off.”

Arnold Schwarzenegger, Predator

“If it bleeds, we can kill it.”

Chuck Norris, Code of Silence

“If I want your opinion, I’ll beat it out of you.”

Steve McQueen, The Magnificent Seven

“Solving problems isn’t our line. We deal in lead, friend.”

Bruce Lee, Enter the Dragon

“A good martial artist does not become tense, but ready. Not thinking, yet not dreaming. Ready for whatever may come. When the opponent expands, I contract. And when he contracts, I expand. And when there is an opportunity, ‘I’ do not hit: ‘It’ hits all by itself.”

Bruce Willis, Die Hard

“Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker.”

Sylvester Stallone, Rambo III

“I’m your worst nightmare.”

James Coburn, Duck, You Sucker

“I used to believe in many things, all of it! Now, I believe only in dynamite.”

Chow Yun-Fat, The Killer

“I always leave one bullet, either for myself or for my enemy.”

Burt Lancaster, Vera Cruz

“Ace used to say: ‘You don’t take any chances you don’t have to. Don’t trust nobody you don’t have to trust, and don’t do no favors you don’t have to do.’ Ace lived long enough to know he was right. He lived thirty seconds after I shot ‘im.”

Sean Connery, Dr. No

“That’s a Smith and Wesson, and you’ve had your six.”

Rusell Crowe, Gladiator

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions and loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.”

James Cagney, Angels with Dirty Faces

“You’ll slap me? You slap me in a dream, you better wake up and apologize.”