In honour of me getting inked for the first time and more in importantly for you the reader, I thought it was about time I created another ‘Top 10′ feature (or top 13 as I done for the Best Director/Actor Duo’s, I’m really bad at these things, I have no discipline!) For the following tattoo’s I have taken into account there all around bad ass’ery and also how they impact the story of the film. Tattoo’s in film have advanced tremendously, they used to look pretty sh*tty, now they look pretty awesome!

EDIT – I failed in my top 10 feature, after careful consideration I have relegated Vin Diesel in xXx from my list on the grounds of it being an epically crap film.

Robert De Niro in Cape Fear

In Cape Fear Robert De Niro played one of the great hard as nails character in film, his tattoo’s just rounded off the all around bullishness of the character. If a man could possibly look like he ate bricks and sh*t houses, that man would most certainly be Max Cady.

Guy Pearce in Memento

Not only are Guy Pearce’s tattoo’s in Memento pretty cool, they are also an integral part of the story. Memento is based around a man (that man being Guy Pearce) who has lost his short term memory, because of this he tattoos on himself whatever he remembers as clues to track his wife’s killer (I would have used a notebook). Guy Pearce is a criminally underrated actor, do yourself a favour and check this out if you haven’t already. Memento was also the directed by some guy called Chistopher Nolan, I think he’s made some big movies since then.

All the tattoo’s in Once We Were Warriors

This is probably one of the most underrated films of the last decade. Authentic native Maori tattoos are used throughout. This powerful and unrelenting film tells the bitter-sweet tale of a Maori (indigenous New Zealanders) family being torn apart by alcoholism and abuse, check this film out!

Viggo Mortensen in Eastern Promises

Any character that has stars tattooed on their knees, symbolizing that they will never kneel before no man has more than earned their place on this list. As in Memento, Nikolai’s tattoo’s have a part to play in the story, without giving too much of the film away it’s actually shows lengths he would go! Russian Mafia/criminal Tattoo’s have always interested me, as in Eastern Promises they have to be earned, telling the person’s life story and are used as a sort of passport through the prison system and criminal world, giving status and respect.

Kurt Russell in Escape From New York

A snake tattoo coming up from your crotch and a eye patch, you don’t get much more awesome than that.

Russell Crowe in Romper Stomper

I loved this film, it is as intense and raw as you can get. Russell Crowe’s tattoo’s are a great compliment to his raging and adrenaline filled part. The tattoo is tough as nails.

Matthew McConaughey for Reign of Fire

It’s a shame that the 9 times out of 10 Matthew McConaughey is in a self harm inducing romantic comedy, his role in Reign Of Fire was great, for me the highlight of the film, the tattoo’s match his all around hard ass character. Please no more Romantic Comedies Matthew!!!

Brad Pitt in Snatch

As an Irishman myself who has come across a few gypsies in my time, in Ireland they are best known as Tinkers. Brad Pitt does a great job, extremely exaggerated yes, but still pretty spot on in Snatch. Some great tattoo’s as well, extremely realistic and covering his most ripped physique since Fight Club.

Ralph Fiennes in Red Dragon

Ralph Fiennes tattoo in Red Dragon are both creepy and sinister befitting the character perfectly. Fiennes gives one of his best performances as the monster ‘Tooth Fairy’. What he does is unimaginable………………DO YOU SEE!

Vin Diesel in xXx

Yes the tattoo is pretty bad ass, but due to the complete dollop of sh*tness that was XXX this has been disqualified. Badass tatoo, horrendous film.