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The Screening Room's top 10 movie heroes

  • Story Highlights
  • Heroes will all fight for what they believe in -- even if it means risking their lives
  • "Dirty" Harry Callaghan breaks the rules in the name of justice
  • Nazi Oskar Schindler turns his factory into a haven for Jews during the Holocaust
  • In "Aliens," Ripley wages war to stop the ferocious man-eaters from escaping
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Heroes come in all shapes and sizes -- from the gun-packing maverick who shoots first and asks questions later to the unlikely hero, blinking with surprise at his newly found ass-kicking skills.

Oscar Schindler: A self-serving Nazi who saves over 1,000 Jews from a concentration camp

But what's common among all celluloid champions is that they are prepared to fight for what they believe in -- even if it means risking their lives.

We've compiled a list of 10 of the best. Don't agree? Think we've missed one? Share your views by using the Sound Off box below and we'll publish the best.

10. Neo (Keanu Reeves) "The Matrix"
(Andy & Larry Wachowski, 1999)

In "real life" Neo is a reclusive computer hacker but when he lifts the virtual reality cloak and enters the matrix he finds he is innately gifted. He can dodge bullets and has unimaginable strength but his true heroism stems from having the courage to fight the seemingly invincible Mr Smith to try to free humanity from enslavement.

9. James Bond (Sean Connery) "Dr No."
(Terence Young, 1962)

From the moment Connery's gentleman spy utters the words, "The name's Bond, James Bond," it's certain that for every pussy-stroking nemesis he encounters he will have just the right exploding pen, aquatic sports car, or suave quip to prevail. Then he'll smooth down his tux and snog a babe safe in the knowledge he's saved the world once again.

8. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) "The Silence of the Lambs"
(Jonathan Demme, 1991)

Starling, an ambitious FBI trainee, is in way over her head. She gets intimate with Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist turned cannibal in the hopes he will give her clues in the hunt for mass murderer, Buffalo Bill. When she inadvertently stumbles on Bill's underground lair, he blows the fuse and, terrifyingly, stalks her in night vision goggles. Some people might sit in a corner and whimper but not Starling -- with guts and determination she kills him and rescues his final victim.

7. Spartacus (Kirk Douglas) "Spartacus"
(Stanley Kubrick, 1960)

Spartacus has never been free. He is born a slave and trained to be a gladiator but he revolts and leads a slave uprising in Italy. His rebellion is extraordinary successful -- the army numbers thousands and marches on Rome. It is defeated in the end and Spartacus is crucified. But he dies unafraid because he knows it means his son will grow up a free man. In the fight for his family's freedom he is a one man force for change.

6. Inspector "Dirty" Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood), ''Dirty Harry''
(Don Siegel, 1971)

Rules don't mean much to this alienated San Francisco cop when he's out hunting dangerous criminals. His methods are edgy but his attitude just seems to highlight the failings of the legal system and the weakness of his superiors. The only thing he trusts is his .44 Magnum revolver and when cocks it at an unlucky robber and asks: "Do ya feel lucky. Well, do ya punk?" it's clear why this laconic anti-hero has had such a strong influence on pop culture.

5. Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) "The Bourne Ultimatum"
(Paul Greengrass, 2007)

Bourne is a highly trained killer suffering amnesia who the CIA just can't get rid of. Not only does he fight off their best assassins better than Bruce Lee could, he has an impressive knack for improvising weapons from whatever he can lay his hands on -- a hardback book, a brass candlestick, even a biro. A David and Goliath for the 21st century.

4. Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) "Raiders of the Lost Ark"
(Stephen Spielberg, 1981)

Mostly he's a quiet-living archaeology professor but once in a while fate conspires to make Indy pick up his dented fedora and bullwhip and rescue a priceless relic from enemy hands. Not a nail-biting moment goes by without him getting into one scrape or another but aided by sardonic one-liners and a great left hook he always triumphs in the end. Indy is no superhero -- just the hero we'd all like to be.

3. Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) "Aliens"
(James Cameron, 1986)

"Get away from her, you bitch!" spits Ripley distracting the huge alien and allowing Newt, the child she has saved from the infested planet to escape. She's female but a she's a muscular warrior, soaked in sweat from from the gun-battle she's been waging on the terrible creatures. She's like a furious lioness protecting her young -- and even the alien is no match for that.

2. Atticus Finch (Gregory Peck) "To Kill a Mockingbird"
(Robert Mulligan, 1962)

No fighting necessary for this quiet Southern lawyer who defends a black man accused of raping a white woman, despite calls from the community not to. He is willing to do whatever it takes to uphold his values including standing up to a lynch mob who have come to kill his client. The widower somehow also finds the time to be a solid, wise father figure to his two children, Jem and Scout.

1. Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) "Schindler's List"
(Stephen Spielberg, 1993)

Schindler is a hard-drinking, womanizing, fully paid-up member of the Nazi party who wants nothing more than to make suitcases full of Reich marks out of the war. Yet his innate humanity shines through and -- despite immediate risk to his own life -- he turns his factory into a haven for over 1,000 Jews who otherwise would probably have gone to their deaths at Auschwitz.

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