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Number one with a bullet

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These anti-heroes are in the death businessBy Sean AxmakerSpecial to MSN MoviesKillers are a dime a dozen in the movies. In fact, the movies can be seen as a laboratory for murder. How many films are kicked off by a killing, motivated by murder, driven by blood? There are almost as many killers in the movies as there are lovers. But if anyone can be a killer, true professionals -- calm, focused, precise and, above all, talented -- are a rare commodity. And while assassins and hit men are hardly considered heroes, there is something oddly seductive about a truly effective killer for hire. We can find ourselves rooting for these anti-heroes despite ourselves. This season sees even more joining the ranks of the few, the proud, the deadly. Brad Pitt is a mob hitman tracking the lowlifes who robbed his boss in "Killing Them Softly" while Christoph Waltz trains protege Jamie Foxx in the fine art of bounty hunting in "Django Unchained." How do they hold up to the most charming and proficient hitmen and women that came before?For comparison, we took a tour through a very special employment agency and picked out the top-rated specialists in this exclusive field from the past sixty or so years. They don't kill for love or hate or fun. These are the best of a breed that treats death as a business and behaves accordingly, with bonus points for stealth, style, and sheer love for their work. Bing: More about 'Killing Them Softly' | More on Brad PittWant more Movies? Be sure to like MSN Movies on Facebook.(The Weinstein Company)
© The Weinstein Company
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