Eight Underage Assassins

Don’t let the lollipops fool you – these terrifying tykes can take you down

Don’t let the lollipops fool you – these terrifying tykes can take you down

When Seagal or Schwarzenegger appears onscreen, you expect a double-digit body count. But when a teen or even elementary school kid whips out a gun and starts taking names, well, that gives us pause, and an irrational fear of our neighbor’s dribbling baby. Not all lil’ killers are bloodthirsty and Juicy Juice-thirsty maniacs, though. Some are spurred to murder through unique situations. That’s why we’ve ranked our underage assassins on a scale from “victim of circumstance” to “stone cold killer.” And be warned: we’re discussing killing, so spoilers are likely. (You were adopted. Spoiler!)

8. Mattie Ross (Hailee Steinfeld) in True Grit

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Fourteen-year-old Mattie ditches her mom and siblings to drag drunk Jeff Bridges and fantastically-fringed Matt Damon across Indian territory to track down the man who killed her father. She delivers the fatal shot, but this is a one-and-done deal. If her father hadn’t been murdered, Mattie probably would’ve stayed on the range, haggling the crap out of some candles and texting her boyfriend, which back then was country-speak for “teach him to read.”

7. Charlie McGee (Drew Barrymore) in Firestarter

Photo Credit: Universal/Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Poor Charlie. All the girl wants to do is hang out with her telepathic mom and telekinetic dad, but the government has to get all up in their business. In a last-ditch effort to rescue her father, she uses her pyrokinetic powers to burn an agent. She’s a menace, but we have a feeling Charlie would’ve confined her unique talent to toasting s’mores in different circumstances. Such circumstances can be read in our treatment for the new film Firestarter Goes to Softball Camp: The Firestarter Chronicles Vol.1..

6. Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) in Zombieland

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

She kicks zombie ass, pulls cons without blinking an eye, and gets a dying Bill Murray to admit that he regrets Garfield. Little Rock deals a lot of death for a 12-year-old, but at least there’s a reason for her bloodlust. Most young women act this way to score free tickets to the Justin Bieber Twilight Parade at Harry Potter World. She would have scored higher on the list if her target weren’t already dead.

5. Tran (Brandon Soo Hoo) in Tropic Thunder

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Tran is the cigar smoking, pint-sized leader of the Flaming Dragon gang and though we never see him actually murder anyone, he does use a bazooka to try to take out the Tropic Thunder actors. That ain’t exactly Jonathan Lipnicki behavior, who we suspect would use a blade at close range instead.

4. Pyro (Aaron Stanford) in X2: X-Men United

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

If Pyro and Charlie from Firestarter had a baby, the result would be…good. You assumed we we’re going to say “explosive” but that’s why you should never assume. Unlike the totally bonkers Charlie, Pyro has surgeon-like control of his fire powers. When he lights up a few cops in this movie, it was no mistake. But when Ice Man freezes one of Pyro’s fireballs, that must have been a mistake, because scientifically it’s impossible. Fire isn’t matter! It’s a chemical reaction and thus you can’t…here. Let us show you the power point presentation. You will need safety goggles.

3. Hob (Gabriel Damon) in RoboCop 2

Photo Credit: Orion PIcture Corp/Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Teeny gangster and drug lord Hob calls the shots in RoboCop 2. Junkies and cops alike take orders from this kid, even though he’s a fifth grader in a jean jacket. It probably doesn’t hurt that he’s armed with a machine gun. As he and his goons dismantle Robocop, the cocky kid says, “They say he’s got a brain. I want to see it!” Notice how he didn’t say please or thank you? He is what’s wrong with the kids today.

2. Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) in Kick-Ass

Photo Credit: Lionsgate | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

Under the unlikely tutelage of Nicolas “I’m a Vampire” Cage, Hit Girl becomes an elite assassin by the time she’s 11. The girl’s onscreen kill count is easily double her age, and she makes our titular hero look like a sniffling toddler. This might sound weird since she’s a preteen girl and all, but we kind of want to be her when we grow up.

1. Hanna (Saoirse Ronan) in Hanna

Photo Credit: Focus Features | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

This was a tough call. Hit Girl would have clinched the top spot, had it not been for Hanna’s cold, dead eyes. Hit Girl has fun, but Hanna is the enigmatic deliverer of violence. She only knows death. Raised in the Finnish wilderness will do that to a person. What she doesn’t know about Facebook and Glee, she makes up for with brutal fighting skills and those cold, scary, haunting, nightmarish, world-weary, robotic, soul crushing eyes. We are afraid. This girl needs a hobby. And can you please stop looking at us like that, Hanna!?

Honorable Mention:

Mathilda (Natalie Portman) in Leon the Professional

Photo Credit: Everett Collection | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2012

In the end, Mathilda doesn’t actually kill anyone, and she’s rather sweet. Still, she gets an A for effort in the assassin department. It takes some chutzpah far beyond her years to stroll into the DEA office with a bag of guns, so tween Natalie Portman, we salute you. Now please make more movies like this and stop subjecting us to Ashton Kutcher romantic comedies.