1. Escape from New York (1981)
There are no good guys in John Carpenter’s dystopian rescue movie, and if there were, Russell’s Snake Plissken wouldn’t be one of them. Sure, he offers to save the president of the United States, who crash landed in the futuristic Manhattan mega-prison, from battalions of free-range criminals. Yes, he goes mano a mano with the surliest of the bunch. And yes, his hang-gliding skills are off the charts. But Snake isn’t nice. He’s not fighting for 'Merica. He’s an eyepatch-wearing, gut-toting rebel who looks out for himself as the world drowns in a cesspool of its own making. He sounds like a hero, an even more ruthless Han Solo, because Russell is a pro. Plissken’s first solution to the hostage crisis: "Get a new president!"
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