Hitman: Agent 47, the 47th installment of the Hitman: Agent series, hits theaters today. In honor of this long-running, beloved series, we decided to take a look back at the previous 46 Hitman: Agent movies and rank them from worst to best. Where will the new 47th cinematic adventure of the Hitman rank someday? Well, we will just have to wait and see.
Let us know if we misjudged your favorite Hitman: Agent movie. Did we rank one too high? Too low? Let us know!
46. Hitman: Agent 11 (1982) Al Pacino, Louise Fletcher
A complete money grab, only using unused footage from the filming of Hitman: Agent 10. Pacino, Fletcher and director Sidney Lumet sued the studio, eventually settling out of court for a still unspecified amount.
45. Hitman: Agent 3 (1965) Bob Hope, Bing Crosby
Unofficially the last of Hope and Crosby’s On the Road movies, it just couldn’t capture the tone of that beloved series coupled with the grittiness needed for a Hitman: Agent movie. Pure schlock.
44. Hitman: Agent 37 (2005) Jamie Foxx, Quick Draw McGraw
Directed by Clint Eastwood and animated using interpolated rotoscope, audiences weren’t ready for such a shift in visual tone, especially coming off Leonardo DiCaprio’s Golden Globe win for Hitman: Agent 36. At the first test screening, Eastwood was quoted as saying, “Wait, that was my movie? What?”
43. Hitman: Agent 30 (1998) Ben Affleck, Kyle Damon
Most notable for being the only on-screen pairing of Ben Affleck and Kyle Damon. A planned sequel starring Casey Affleck and Matt Damon was scrapped.
42. Hitman: Agent 19 (1987) Andrew McCarthy, Phoebe Cates
McCarthy did everything he could to break out of the “Brat Pack” persona, and he finally succeeded with the Hitman: Agent series and, to this very day, it’s what he’s most remembered for.
41. Hitman: Agent 26 (1994) Brendan Fraser, Kelly Preston
The baseball-themed plot proved disastrous as this was released after Major League Baseball players went on strike, canceling the World Series. Audiences showed so much disdain for this entry, Hitman: Agent 27 almost never happened. Can you even imagine a world in which Hitman: Agent 27 doesn’t exist?
40. Hitman: Agent 10 (1978) Al Pacino, Louise Fletcher
Production was famously shut down for weeks as director Sidney Lumet battled the harsh on-location setting of the Moon. As legend has it, star Al Pacino bellowed “hoo ah” for the first time in his life when he saw Earth from the Moon’s surface. During filming of Scent of a Woman, Pacino would use these memories in an effort to get into character.
39. Hitman: Agent 33 (2001) Julia Roberts, Jude Law
Often regarded as Spielberg’s best film, the 33rd entry into the Hitman: Agent series was one of the first to use online gimmickry in an effort to entice tech-savvy moviegoers. Contestants who played the online game could win the chance to meet *NSYNC member Chris Kirkpatrick, who had a small role in the film.
38. Hitman: Agent 17 (1985) Dan Aykroyd, Nancy McKeon
Famously, Starship’s album Knee Deep in the Hoopla synchs up perfectly with the 17th installment in the Hitman: Agent series, even though the members of Starship still deny this accusation to this day.
37. Hitman: Agent 35 (2003) Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore
“Hitman gobbleegooo, I’m gonna yabaa dabba dee heee kill yoooouuuu.” Is there a day that goes by without hearing that quote? Regardless, it’s still pretty low on both the Hitman: Agent and Sandler canons, respectively.
36. Hitman: Agent 2 (1962) Alec Guinness, Anne Bancroft
Guinness famously hated his role in Hitman: Agent 2 so much that he refused to sign autographs on anything depicting the name of this film, often redirecting fans to his more personally beloved work, like Star Wars
35. Hitman: Agent 38 (2006) Matthew McConaughey, Cyrus the Bull
This pair would re-team a few years later for a popular series of Lincoln ads.
34. Hitman: Agent 22 (1990) Tom Hanks, A Dog
This was mostly a mess, as there was no real reason to re-team Hanks and a dog so soon after Turner & Hooch. But, we did see glimpses of Hanks’ dark side that he’d use to much greater effect in Road to Perdition and Larry Crowne.
33. Hitman: Agent 31 (1999) A Plastic Grocery Bag
After the departures of Casey Affleck and Matt Damon, the Hitman: Agent series took a strange departure, as the whole movie is just a plastic bag floating around. Today, it’s often shown at rooftop parties, projected against a brick wall.
32. Hitman: Agent 16 (1984) Chevy Chase, Burt Reynolds
Known as two of the nicest actors in Hollywood, to this day insiders claim that this was the most friendly movie set that ever existed – and on screen it showed!
31. Hitman: Agent 7 (1973) George Lazenby, Twiggy
After playing James Bond, Lazenby just couldn’t recapture the daring charm from before. This remains Twiggy’s only Oscar win.
30. Hitman: Agent 11 (1979) Alec Guinness, Cheryl Tiegs
Rumor has it that Guinness, returning to a role he hated, refused to show up on set. So, his entire part consisted of footage filmed when he didn’t even know he was on camera.
29. Hitman: Agent 32 (2000) Ben Stiller, Gwyneth Paltrow
Audiences liked them better than the plastic grocery bag.
28. Hitman: Agent 18 (1986) The voices of Peter Cullen, Fran Tarkenton, Didi Conn, Casey Kasem, Cary Grant
There were skeptics, and the initial reviews were awful, but the animated entry into the Hitman: Agent series is now considered one of the better installments. The voice of Little Pumpkin, Agent 18’s beloved cat, would be legendary actor Cary Grant’s final role.
27. Hitman: Agent 28 (1996) Jim Carrey, Cindy Crawford
It was unexpected that Crawford would carry the film with her broad comedy and elastic body movements, but Carrey, coming off his Academy Award win for playing The Riddler in Batman Forever wanted to give up his funnyman persona.
26. Hitman: Agent 20 (1988) Leslie Nielsen, Elvira
Yes, a lot of people hate this installment because it’s a spoof of the prior movies, but that’s only more reason to love it. This also marked the film debut of Channing Tatum.
25. Hitman: Agent 40 (2008) Jeremy Piven, Rowlf
To this day, Piven will not comment publicly on whatever happened on set involving him and Rowlf – especially after Rowlf’s best selling memoir, From Muppet to Manipulated: I’ll Never Play The Piano Again Because of Jeremy Piven.
24. Hitman: Agent 25 (1993) Mel Gibson, Penelope Ann Miller
Gibson directed and starred in this 25th installment of the Hitman: Agent series. Critics hailed Gibson’s direction, but thought Gibson overstepped the realism of the story by having it set during the Big Bang.
23. Hitman: Agent 8 (1974) Richard Dreyfus, Ron Howard
People forget just how good George Lucas used to be as a director. Set in the sleepy town of Modesto, California, Lucas’ directed this eighth Hitman movie as an homage to a simpler time. Soon after, Lucas would change cinema forever when he produced Willow.
22. Hitman: Agent 12 (1980) Joe Namath, Twiggy
Twiggy came back to the role that won her an Academy Award, but after the cost overruns of the sixth film, the production budget was slashed considerably. Critics were unimpressed with Namath’s lead performance.
21. Hitman: Agent 24 (1992) Daniel Day-Lewis, Cher
Day-Lewis famously won both an Oscar and a Razzie for his performance. Critics praised the over-the-top realism, but frowned at the fact that Day-Lewis worked as a real hit man for three years in an effort to stay in character. To this day, Day-Lewis is wanted for questioning in the disappearance of more than 75 people.
20. Hitman: Agent 4 (1966) The Beatles
Infamously, this installment has nothing to do with a super spy and everything to do with drugs. The whole movie is just John Lennon saying, “Take a hit, man” over and over again for five hours. It’s now considered a cult classic.
19. Hitman: Agent 29 (1997) Liam Gallagher, Noel Gallagher
The movie that made them famous.
18. Hitman: Agent 45 (2013) James Franco
Rave reviews at Sundance.
17. Hitman: Agent 5 (1968) The Monkees
Written by Jack Nicholson, this is a very straightforward telling of the Hitman: Agent story and almost makes too much sense for the era. Clues left in this film eventually led to the “Peter is dead” hoax.
16. Hitman: Agent 42 (2010) Dwayne Johnson, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Michael Bay was brought in to reinvigorate a series that had been showing signs of diminishing returns, but what Bay brought to the Hitman: Agent series was a sense of true introspection. Bay has never made a more introspective film and it can be argued that maybe nobody else has even come close. To this day, when Dwayne Johnson is asked about this movie in interviews, he just starts crying.
15. Hitman: Agent 6 (1970) Jon Voight, George C. Scott
The only Hitman: Agent movie to receive the dreaded X-rating is still one of the series’ best.
14. Hitman: Agent 46 (2014) Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence
The little seen, straight to VOD installment that was disowned by its director, Josh Trank.
13. Hitman: Agent 36 (2004) Leonardo DiCaprio, Fergie
“If you don’t dare to dream, you’ll never be able to sleep.” Those words from DiCaprio as he accepted his Golden Globe have inspired millions.
12. Hitman: Agent 13 (1981) Kris Kristofferson, Eddie Deezen
The on-set tension between Kristofferson and Deezen is legendary (responsible for the now legendary catch-phrase, “Eat a dick, Deezen”), but it’s hard to ignore how that tension resulted in something truly special.
11. Hitman: Agent 43 (2011) Jonah Hill, Jon Voight
Voight returns after 41 years to the character he made famous to train a new Hitman, played by Jonah Hill. Jonah Hill would go on to win an MTV Movie Award for “Best Kiss.”
10. Hitman: Agent 15 (1983) Dabney Coleman, Dolly Parton
Apologies in advance now that Dolly Parton’s famous Hitman: Agent 15 theme song is stuck in your head!
9. Hitman: Agent 34 (2002) Vince Vaughn, Marlon Brando
Vaughn has often cited Brando for the inspiration for his True Detective character, Frank Semyon.
8. Hitman (AKA Hitman: Agent 39) (2007) Timothy Olyphant, Dougray Scott
For the 39th film, a dark and gritty reboot was attempted, even dispensing with the numbering, now just calling the film Hitman. At the time, many people didn’t even realize there were 38 prior films.
7. Hitman: Agent 21 (1989) Corey Haim, Corey Feldman
To this day, this is still Feldman’s only Oscar win.
6. Hitman: Agent 44 (2012) Channing Tatum, Elizabeth Banks
Tatum reprises his role from his 1988 debut. Audiences are confused by the amount of dancing in the movie, but they like it. Elvira makes a cameo.
5. Hitman: Agent 27 (1995) Denzel Washington, Juliette Binoche
Famously swept the Oscars in every single category, even winning the documentary and shorts awards — still the most financial and critical success of all-time. Though, director Tim Robbins was accused of taking a victory lap when, during his acceptance speech, he yelled the now iconic line from Hitman: Agent 27, “I’m the greatest director who ever lived, look at me shine!”
4. Hitman: Agent 9 (1977) Gene Hackman
Hackman famously declined his Oscar for playing the Hitman, sending pro-wrestler George “The Animal” Steel to accept on his behalf. Steele then ate the Oscar on stage to a mixture of applause and jeers.
3. Hitman: Agent 41 (2009) Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray
Hopes were high for Wes Anderson’s interpretation of the Hitman: Agent series. Critically, it’s the most revered film of the series. But it’s international gross of $132 had studio executives worried.
2. Hitman: Agent 23 (1991) Sigourney Weaver, Geena Davis
Weaver and Davis brought a much needed change of pace to the now tired Agent: Hitman series. Robert Redford would go on to win Best Director.
1. Hitman: Agent 1 (1959) William Holden, Joey Bishop
It’s kind of a cliché that the first Hitman: Agent movie would still be the best, but it doesn’t get better than the team of Holden and Bishop. Period. They defined Hitman: Agent.
Mike Ryan has written for The Huffington Post, Wired, Vanity Fair and New York magazine. He is senior entertainment writer at Uproxx. You can contact him directly on Twitter.