10 Best Crime Thriller Movies Like Leon: The Professional


The 1995 classic, Leon: The Professional is a movie that still stands up as one of the best crime thrillers of all time, bringing brilliant action and intensity throughout. However, Leon provides a great twist by pairing an assassin with a 12-year-old girl after her family is killed, creating a unique duo that isn’t the norm for this environment.

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However, it is in that blossoming friendship where this movie comes alive, with Leon teaching Mathilda different tips and tricks along the way. The blend of emotions from each character as they form a bond on-screen is amazing to see and places real stakes into their friendship. But what other crime thrillers will fans of the movie enjoy?

10 Man On Fire: Available To Stream On The Roku Channel

Creasy firing his gun in Man on Fire

Man On Fire has a similar feel to Leon: The Professional, as it brings the adult and child dynamic together in a compelling manner. The movie focuses on John Creasy who becomes a bodyguard for a 10-year-old girl, and initially, he’s hesitant to work with her and their bond isn’t strong.

This cold feeling is what Leon provides to Mathilda, but as the movie progresses, John begins to change his mind. In the end, he has to work hard to rescue her after she’s kidnapped, and this is where the action begins to unfold, where his skills are truly highlighted.

9 John Wick: Available To Stream On Peacock & Sling TV

While John Wick doesn’t put him with a sidekick as Leon does, this movie is still similar in the tone and action that it provides. Much like Leon himself, John is a badass hitman and he’s someone who takes no prisoners after everything he loves is taken away from him.

John does encounter some friends along the way, but the way the character is presented is similar to that of Leon. He prefers to let his action do the talking, which means whenever he does speak everyone is listening and that makes him a compelling character.

8 Oldboy: Available To Rent On Amazon Prime

Oldboy

One of the biggest plot points in Leon: The Professional is the need for revenge, with Mathilda wanting to take down everybody that had been involved in her family’s death. This is where Oldboy has similarities, as the motivation for Dah-su Oh is to seek revenge on everybody who had locked him away for no reason.

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He’s skilled at investigating and working out clues, and the intelligence of his character is similar to that of Leon, who always knows what is going on around him. He isn’t given fancy weapons, but Dah-su is able to use his own skills to his benefit.

7 El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie: Available To Stream On Netflix

Aaron Paul as Jesse Pinkman in El Camino

El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie is a follow-up from the hit television series, Breaking Bad, and follows Jesse Pinkman in his bid to escape and start a new life. The movie has the same level of intensity as Leon displays throughout, where audiences are left not knowing what is going to happen with every twist and turn.

Jesse might be an adult, but he has the same desperate needs as Mathilda, and he’s just as lonely. Seeking help from the few connections he has, Jesse must do whatever it takes to not be caught, creating a truly tense movie.

6 Ghost Dog: The Way Of The Samurai: Available To Stream On Criterion Channel

Just like Leon, Ghost Dog is a hitman who can be bought to take down anybody he wants to. However, while Leon is focused on the task at hand and simply getting the job done, Ghost Dog actually tries to model himself on the old samurai legends, which makes him a unique character.

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He is targetted within this movie and must use his skills to avoid death, while also remaining loyal to a mobster to who he pledged himself due to a situation from their past.

5 Taxi Driver: Available To Stream On Showtime, Tubi TV & Fubo TV

robert deniro taxi driver

Much like Leon: The Professional, Taxi Driver is considered to be a classic movie that holds up perfectly. While it’s a little different in its tone, the premise of a character looking out for someone younger is the same. Here, Travis takes it upon himself to try and save a girl from a life of prostitution.

He assesses the situation a lot, and when he eventually acts it leads to an amazing scene, with Travis using his skills as a former Marine to the best of his abilities. He’s a complex individual, much like Leon, and the slow build to the main moments of action is gripping to see unfold.

4 22 Bullets: Available To Stream On Amazon Prime, Hoopla, FlixFling & Plex

Charly looking back in 22 Bullets

Jean Reno plays Leon perfectly, and he also takes on the lead role in 22 Bullets, as a former mafia leader, Charly. He is someone who had retired and moved on from his former life until he is almost murdered, somehow surviving with 22 bullets being in his body.

The movie sees him use all of his abilities at hunting people down, as he seeks revenge on his former friend after almost being killed. Being able to see Jean Reno in a similar role is something Leon fans will love, and the cold and brutal nature of his character is entertaining to watch.

3 The Man From Nowhere: Available To Stream On Amazon Prime, Fubo TV & Crackle

Much like Leon: The Professional, which showcases a talented hitman alongside a younger character, The Man From Nowhere has a similar vibe. Following a former special agent who ends up involved in a drug ring, he takes it upon himself to save a child who is the daughter of the drug smuggler.

The young girl is one of the only people he actually sees as a friend, and because of that, he decides to use his skills to save her from that life. Their bond is just as heartwarming as Leon and Mathilda’s.

2 Hanna: Available To Stream On Peacock

Hanna Heller From Hanna

One of the reasons that Leon: The Professional is such an entertaining movie is the idea of a young girl wanting to become an assassin. Mathilda tries to learn as much as possible, taking all the tips and tricks she can, and if people enjoy that aspect of the movie, then Hanna is another great one to watch.

This movie focuses on Hanna, who is a teenager that has been trained and raised with the purpose of being an assassin. Audiences are then taken on a terrific journey as she heads out on a mission, putting her skills to the test in the real world.

1 V For Vendetta: Available To Stream On HBO Max

natalie portman as evey hammond in v for vendetta hugo weaving

V For Vendetta has slick action, amazing dialogue, and a clever plot and tone, just as Leon: The Professional does. However, the main reason these movies are similar is the relationship between V and Evey Hammond. They’re two people from different walks of life who wouldn’t normally be together, yet as Evey gets to know him, she understands the reasons behind his thought process.

V is fighting for what he believes in, trying to take down the British government with a terrorist plot. Initially, Evey sees him as a villain, but the two end up creating a bond, and it is in the way that friendship builds that it becomes similar to Leon.

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Updated: April 8, 2021 — 3:00 am

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