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    Vincent 

Vincent

Played By: Tom Cruise

"There's no good reason, there's no bad reason to live or to die."

A former special operator and professional hitman hired by middlemen to kill four witnesses and a prosecutor.


  • Abusive Parents: According to Vincent, his father was an abusive drunk who frequently beat him up. Vincent would get shifted from foster home to foster home before winding up back with his father. It can be taken as an attempt of manipulation on Vincent's part to get Max to do his bidding, but Word of God confirms that it was a rare moment of honesty on his part, that he quickly tries to cover up.
  • Affably Evil: While a ruthless hitman, Vincent is a charming man and enjoys conversing with people, even if he plans to kill them and when he meets Max's mom in the hospital, insists on bringing her flowers and see that she's given good company. Although some of his interactions come across as way to sociopathic to deem affable, such as when he happily talks with Max's mother and buys her flowers only to threaten to kill her a couple of seconds later, Vincent's death cements him as this. He accepts defeat and decides to have a final conversation with Max before dying.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: After being fatally wounded by one of Max's gunshots, and bleeding everywhere, he calmly accepts defeat, sits down, and Max seems to genuinely sympathize with him. Vincent doesn't fight back, curse at him, nothing, he just asks if anyone will even notice that he's dead.
    Max: We're almost at the next stop...
    Vincent: Hey Max... a guy gets on the MTA here in L.A. and dies... do you think anybody will notice?
  • Animal Motifs: Wolves. Hell, he even looks like one!
  • Badass in a Nice Suit: His flannel suit is tailored by, according to him, a very good tailor. Oh, and he's also a total badass.
  • Bait the Dog: Most of Vincent nicer interactions with Max become this when we find out that his MO is to murder kidnapped cabbies and frame them for the hits he's committed, meaning he was always planning to kill Max from the word 'go.'
  • Big Bad: Although he is hired by Felix, he is still the most prominent threat of the film and Max's archenemy.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He's remarkably sarcastic and walks away with the film's best lines.
    "What? I should only kill people after I get to know them?"
    '"Lady Macbeth, we're sitting here and the light's green. Leave the seats."
    "Only thing that didn't show up is the Polish cavalry."
    "Of all the cabbies in L.A. I get Max: Sigmund Freud meets Dr. Ruth."
  • Face Death with Dignity: After being mortally wounded, Vincent realizes he's going to die. He doesn't try to take Max out, he just sits down and accepts his own death with utter calm.
  • The Gunslinger: Type D. His Quick Draw is amazing. It's even mentioned by one of the actors in the documentary.
  • Hitman with a Heart: Subverted. He tries to convince Max he's this, saying he only kills bad people, "taking out the garbage." His daddy issues also serve to make him sympathetic. But then, Max learns the people Vincent's killing are witnesses for a case against a drug lord, and Vincent honestly has no qualms with it. We also learn from the cop that his MO is to take a taxi cab driver hostage to drive him around and then fake said driver's "suicide" after the other killings are done, implicating the dead man for the murders.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: His overreliance in the Mozambique Drill (two shots to the chest, one to the head) backfires on him when he tries to use it on Max through two metro doors and fails, while Max's random full-auto fire gets through. Max was also using Vincent's H&K USP pistol, so it counts for double.
  • Iconic Outfit: Vincent's suit, which has appeared in quite a few video games.
  • Implacable Man: He survives a serious 100MPH car crash, gets right up and runs off. Soon afterward he gets shot... in the head... and simply continues to chase after his quarry with only the slightest hit to his cohesion.
  • Lack of Empathy: As he explains to Max.
    Vincent: Max, six billion people on the planet, you're getting bent out of shape cause of one fat guy.
    Max: Well, who was he?
    Vincent: What do you care? Have you ever heard of Rwanda?
    Max: Yes, I know Rwanda.
    Vincent: Well, tens of thousands killed before sundown. Nobody's killed people that fast since Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Did you bat an eye, Max?
    Max: What?
    Vincent: Did you join Amnesty International, Oxfam, Save the Whales, Greenpeace, or something? No. I off one fat Angelino and you throw a hissy fit.
    Max: Man, I don't know any Rwandans!
    Vincent: You don't know the guy in the trunk, either.
  • Man of Wealth and Taste: Vincent is surprisingly sophisticated for a mass murdering hitman, and his love for jazz and his luxury suit make him this.
  • Missing Mum: He mentions that his mother died before he could remember her.
  • Only One Name: Only ever referred to as "Vincent". Which is probably an alias anyway.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: Oh boy.
    • Vincent travels all the way with Max just to meet Max's mom, he even buys a flower! ...then he threatens to kill her, right to Max's face.
    • In the nightclub shootout scene, Vincent saves Max's life, which is definitely not out of honor.
    • His death as a whole can be considered this. Vincent is fatally wounded and has no ammunition left, so he'll just die anyway, even if he hadn't accepted death.
    • Aaaand, to a certain extent, the entire film. Vincest was planning from the beginning to kill Max, and all of their interactions is just Vincent putting up an act.
  • Professional Killer: He is an assassin, and quite an evil one at that.
    "Max! I do this for a living!"
  • Signature Move: Almost exclusively uses the Mozambique Drill. It ends up being the cause of his demise.
  • The Sociopath: Vincent is described as such in-story. He ticks most of the boxes, but there are glimpses into his personality that does show conflict and maybe smidges of regret for what he does.
  • Straw Nihilist: He has very definite views on the world around him.
    Vincent: There's no good reason, there's no bad reason to live or to die.
    Max: Then what are you?
    Vincent: I'm indifferent.
    • Or you can see him as an Übermensch, he is basically giving Max a vision of what his life could be like if he didn't play it safe all the time.
      Vincent: Someday? Someday my dream will come? One night you will wake up and discover it never happened. It's all turned around on you. It never will. Suddenly you are old. Didn't happen, and it never will, because you were never going to do it anyway.
  • Villain Protagonist: He has enough screentime to be considered this.
  • Weapon of Choice: A Heckler & Koch USP .45 caliber pistol.
  • White Hair, Black Heart: Has steely grey hair. The film commentary suggests it's that way prematurely.
  • Wicked Cultured: He has a fairly extensive knowledge of jazz and really good taste in suits.
  • Would Hit a Girl: His last target is Annie.

    Max 

Max Durocher

Played By: Jamie Foxx

A taxi driver whom Vincent employs to drive him to the locations of the hits.


  • Action Survivor
  • The Anti-Nihilist: He becomes one explicitly so that he can counter Vincent's nihilism.
  • Clock King: He likes punctuality, precision and neatness.
  • Deadpan Snarker: He has an understated wit.
  • The Fettered: He is strongest when protecting someone he cares about (even if they just met).
  • Glasses Pull: Which leads him to Becoming the Mask in front of Felix.
  • My Beloved Smother: His mother places a great deal of pressure on him.
  • Nice Guy: Very much so. He's quick to sympathise with people he's just met including Vincent's victims and goes out of his way to treat his customers well, even though driving a cab is "only temporary" for him. That treasured picture of a holiday resort he looks at whenever he needs to relax? He gives it to a stranger he's just met, because she's stressed out over her job and he can tell she needs it. Aw.
  • Right Man in the Wrong Place: A civilian with no firearms training, defeats Vincent, a professional assassin who has already dispatched many cops and armed guards up to this point.
  • Sherlock Scan: He performs one on Annie.
    Max: How do you like being a lawyer?
    Annie: What are you, psychic?
    Max: Little bit. There's the dark pin-stripe suit, elegant, not too flashy, that rules out advertising, plus a top-drawer briefcase that you live out of. And the purse. A Bottega. Anyway, a man gets in my cab with a sword, I figure he's a sushi chef. You? Clarence Darrow.
  • Took a Level in Badass: About two thirds through the movie when he has to pretend to be Vincent in front of gangster Felix. You can actually see the exact point in the film where he levels. He then takes another level or two when he deliberately crashes the cab at top speed, and then when he goes to rescue the lawyer. Made even more moving by the fact that Max turns Vincent's Straw Nihilist rhetoric on its head in something between a "World of Cardboard" Speech and a Shut Up, Hannibal! moment just before the crash. There's also a less—noticed level when Max takes the briefcase and runs, destroying it, even at the risk of his own life.
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    Annie 

Annie Farrell

Played By: Jada Pinkett-Smith

The lawyer prosecuting Felix Reyes-Torrena.


    Fanning 

Det. Ray Fanning

Played By: Mark Ruffalo

An LAPD detective on the tail of Vincent and Max.


  • Deadpan Snarker: He has a very sardonic sense of humour.
    Weidner: Maybe he jumped.
    Fanning: Sure... he's depressed so he jumps four stories out of a window onto his head. "Wow, that feels better." Picks himself up. "Now I think I'll go on with the rest of my day."

    Fanning: So you're telling me the guy walks into a phone booth, and shazam, changes into a meat-eater super assassin? What's he do, squeeze them in between fares?
  • Sacrificial Lion: Detective Fanning, the only one who believed Max's story and could have ended Vincent's mission without Max himself bloodying his hands.
  • Surprisingly Sudden Death: Fanning is suddenly and unceremoniously put down by Vincent just as he seems to be getting somewhere in his investigation. Vincent dispatches him with no more difficulty than his other victims.
  • The World's Expert on Getting Killed: While the other cops believe Max is the killer, Detective Fanning doesn't think so, in large part because he's familiar with another case in which a cab driver was suspected of a killing people under questionable circumstances. However, he's killed by Vincent before he gets a chance to prove his case.

    Weidner 

Det. Richard Weidner

Played By: Peter Berg

    Felix 

Felix Reyes-Torrena

Played By: Javier Bardem

A Mexican cartel drug lord who hires Vincent.


  • Breaking Speech: When Max poses as Vincent, Felix gives him a pretty brutal speech that forces Max to take action.
    Felix: Do you believe in Santa Claus?
    Max: No.
    Felix: Nor do I. Nor do I, but my children do. They are still small. But do you know who they like even better than Santa Claus? His helper, Pedro el Negro. Black Peter. There's an old Mexican tale that tells of how Santa Claus got so very busy looking out for the good children that he had to hire some help to look out for the bad children. So he hired Pedro. And Santa Claus gave him a list with all the names of all the bad children. And Pedro would come every night to check them out. And the people, the little kids that were misbehaving, that were not saying their prayers, Pedro would leave a little toy donkey on their window. A little burro. And he would come back, and if the children were still misbehaving, Pedro would take them away, and nobody would ever see them again. Now, if I am being Santa Claus, and you are Pedro, how do you think jolly Santa Claus would feel if one day Pedro came into his office and said, "I lost the list."? How fucking furious do you think he will get?
  • The Cartel: His business.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: As per Javier Bardem.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Felix only stays polite for a short amount of time, before showing his temper.
  • Karma Houdini: He presumably gets away scott-free, since so many witnesses are dead and the trial has been entirely derailed. However, with Max as a highly valuable witness, it's entirely possible he gets put away.
  • Man Behind the Man: Felix is the one who hired Vincent and put the entire night's events into motion.

    Daniel 

Daniel Baker

Played By: Barry Shabaka Henley

A jazz club owner and one of the witnesses.


  • Boom, Headshot!: How Vincent disposes of him.
  • I Coulda Been a Contender!: Daniel had the chance to follow his dreams and even jazzed with Miles Davis at one point. But, as he laments, other events got in the way. He serves as an example of putting your dream off because it's too risky until you're too old to actually pursue it. Isn't that interesting, Max?
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    Pedrosa 

Agent Frank Pedrosa

Played By: Bruce McGill

An FBI agent staking out Felix Reyes-Torrena's club.

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