When it comes to the movies, there are some certainties in life: The guy in front of you is going to be texting through the whole film, popcorn tastes better with butter and Denzel Washington is a hero. But when "Safe House" opens this Friday, all bets are off, as Washington turns heel to play one of the most sinister villains of the year, rogue CIA agent Tobin Frost.
Of course, this isn't the first time Washington has put on the black hat, but it got us thinking: What other Hollywood good guys have taken a ride on the wild side and smashed expectations by dirtying up their heroic reputations? For the answer, take a look at our ultimate countdown of Good Guys Gone Bad.
But watch your back. Because Denzel Washington is out there somewhere -- and there's no telling which side he's on this week.
Tom Cruise in 'Collateral'
Tom Cruise has made a point out of playing almost entirely wholesome, heroic and upstanding characters; think Ethan Hunt in the "Mission: Impossible" films or real life anti-war activist Ron Kovic in "Born on the Fourth of July." Which is why it was so shocking to see him in "Collateral" as a cold-blooded, ruthless assassin-for-hire. Jumping on couches? Sure. Shooting people for money? Now that's a whole different -- and unexpected -- level of crazy.
Nicole Kidman in 'To Die For'
Speaking of Cruise, perhaps he should watch his back, because while ex-wife Nicole Kidman is usually on the side of angels, she has stepped out a couple of times, most notoriously in "To Die For" where she played a woman who schemes to have her husband murdered. And her behavior in "The Golden Compass" wasn't much better -- she was kidnapping kids in order to capture their souls for diabolical purposes. Yikes.
Denzel Washington in 'Training Day'
They say that crime doesn't pay, but don't tell that to Denzel Washington. After years of acclaimed roles playing good guys, Washington finally won his first Best Actor Oscar for his depiction of a down and dirty cop in "Training Day." Considering he also earned a Golden Globe nomination for playing real-life "American Gangster" Frank Lucas, well, it's clear that for once, people love corruption in Washington.
Harrison Ford in 'What Lies Beneath'
It's pretty hard for us to think of Harrison Ford as being a bad guy. You know, this is Han Solo, after all. And Indiana Jones. And Jack Ryan, for eff's sake. But in "What Lies Beneath," we found out exactly what lies beneath both Ford's heroic exterior and the surface of a nearby lake: evil, and the dead body of the coed he murdered after their affair. Now, does that sound like something Dr. Richard Kimble would do?
Arnold Schwarzenegger in 'The Terminator'
This is a little bit of a tricky one, because while Arnold Schwarzenegger had gained some fame for his role in "Conan," most of the world was first introduced to him as the relentless man-killing cyborg from the future in "The Terminator." That film turned out to be the exception to the rule, though; Schwarzenegger soon became so darn heroic on screen that he insisted his killer robot become a good guy in future "Terminator" sequels.
Bruce Willis in 'The Jackal'
Just how villainous is Bruce Willis as a super-secret assassin trying to off the First Lady? At one point during the film he actually murders Jack Black in cold blood. Jack Black! Why would anybody do that?! If that's what happens when Willis embraces the dark side, let us just go on record as saying we hope he stays a good guy for the rest of his career.
Angelina Jolie in 'Beowulf'
Jolie has been known to play bad guys from time to time, but they're really more bad girls -- deadly, but you still pull for them anyway (see: "Wanted"). Not so much with "Beowulf," though. There, she plays the mother of both Grendel and the dragon, and she herself is about as monstrous as they come -- though you may not have noticed, what with her being butt naked at the time. So ... okay, maybe not totally evil, amirite, guys?
Jennifer Aniston in 'Horrible Bosses'
Brad Pitt's other significant other has been known for nearly 20 years as America's Sweetheart. Really, she's just a sweet-natured cutie pie, right? At least, that was the consensus right up until "Horrible Bosses" came out last year and completely nuked her wholesome image, thanks to her role as a sexually deviant freakazoid who, by the way, harasses her employees in an extremely un-wholesome manner. Is this the start of a new era of Aniston bad-girl antics? We ... kind of hope so.
Matt Damon in 'The Talented Mr. Ripley'
These days you can't really think about Matt Damon without also calling to mind his heroic Jason Bourne persona or his equally heroic off-screen charitable and political efforts. But in "The Talented Mr. Ripley," he cleverly played off his Boy Scout looks and reputation to play a murderous sociopath who climbed the economic ladder by casually massacring anyone who got in his way. It still gives us chills.
Ben Stiller in 'Dodgeball'
Ben Stiller isn't just a hilarious everyman, he's a bona fide hero; this is the guy that played Dirk Phoenix in "Mystery Men," after all. But he also has a twisted dark side that would make even Satan cower in fear -- and he unleashed that dark side on an unwitting public in "Dodgeball," where he played a sinister gym owner looking to cheat his way to the top of the heap. Instead (just as in his other villainous turn, in "Happy Gilmore"), he ended up a broken and bitter loser. Hey, that's the way the ball bounces.
Heath Ledger in 'The Dark Knight'
Heath Ledger played a number of complex and nuanced characters over the course of his all-too-short career, but it's his final -- and most villainous -- role that he's likely to be best remembered for : The Joker in "The Dark Knight." An Oscar and a billion-dollar worldwide box office take are just two testaments to the power of Ledger's performance. He is missed.
Glenn Close in 'Fatal Attraction'
It might be hard to recall now, but for a long time Glenn Close was viewed as a wholesome, all-American gal thanks to films like "The Big Chill" and "The Natural." Really, she was the sweet girl next door. Then came a little flick called "Fatal Attraction," where she did such non-girl-next-door things like boiling the family pet. We gotta say, that will change how people look at you; later villainous roles in films like "Dangerous Liaisons" and "101 Dalmatians" were pretty much child's play after that.
Robin Williams in 'One Hour Photo'
America's Crazy Uncle usually handles either Oscar-winning dramatic roles (see: "Good Will Hunting") or wacky comedic parts (see: "Death to Smoochy." Or better yet, don't). But in "One Hour Photo" he turns that manic energy in another direction: your direction. That's because he plays a creepy photo-booth attendant who begins to stalk a family whose lives he becomes obsessed with through their pictures. It's bad, though not quite so bad maybe as in "Insomnia" where he outright murders someone (um, spoilers). Is there nothing pure in this world any more?
Kevin Costner in 'Mr. Brooks'
If there's anyone who represents the values of middle America better than Kevin Costner, well by gosh, we have yet to meet the fellow. In "Mr. Brooks," however, Costner manipulates expectations by playing another upstanding gent, only one with a tiny little secret: He's actually a horrible serial killer. Hey, nobody's perfect, not even someone as seemingly perfect as Mr. "Field of Dreams" himself. If you kill them, he will come.
Charlize Theron in 'Monster'
Charlize Theron is one of the most beautiful women in the world and, of course, she's probably best known as the sci-fi superhero "Aeon Flux." Okay, just kidding: Despite her many roles as good guys and sexy ladies, Theron is probably best known for getting fat and ugly for the role of "Monster," where she played a prostitute-turned-serial-killer. You felt bad for her, but ... not that bad. Yikes.
Albert Brooks in 'Drive'
Albert Brooks has turned being a neurotic, hopelessly romantic mensch into a whole cottage industry. Heck, this is the guy who provided the voice of the dad in "Finding Nemo." Kids love him! Moms love him! But you know who doesn't love him? People who have seen his chilling performance in "Drive," in which he plays a murderous mobster who wields a mean straight razor. Fear him? Yes. Respect him? Absolutely. Love him? That's going to be hard to do again until the nightmares stop.