There are a few movies that stand out when I think of tactically legitimacy on the screen. Of course “John Wick” and its sequel will always stand out, but — despite Keanu Reeves’ awesome display of firearm proficiency — they aren’t necessarily meant to be 100% realistic, they’re meant to be awesome and entertaining. Which they most definitely are.

However, some movies have a different purpose in mind: to imitate realism. That often means mishandling weapons for the actor playing a lay person who doesn’t know what they’re doing, but it also means competency from say, a trained hitman character or a supposed ex-Navy SEAL. Every once in a while, the actor is properly trained and does justice to those roles.

As usual, I don’t recommend watching any of these unless you’ve seen the whole movie. These aren’t in any particular order, though the first one almost always comes to mind when I think of this sort of thing.


There are some great scenes in this entire movie, where Tom Cruise stars as a contract killer who has a taxi driving him around LA from one kill to the next. You hear a lot of people talk about Tom Cruise in different ways — you don’t generally hear them complaining about his tactical proficiency.

Hip-firing isn’t exactly a good idea — most of the time. But if someone’s up in your face, threatening your life, aiming isn’t exactly hard from less than a foot away. You draw to what some call the position of retention, or the first step in a complete draw, fire upon the closest and/or greatest threat, and then move onto the next, drawing forward as you go. This is a great example of exactly that.