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We all love movies with a dark, loner-type man who lives on the fringes of society and who is laced with an air of mystery.
This independent character is a popular figure in the entertainment industry, and multiple movies have crashed through the box office because people love watching this type of man in action.
I speak, of course, of the sigma male.
The sigma male is such a powerful figure that confounds stereotypes that he is often the hero or villain (or even both) in plots.
There is something about a sigma male that appeals to us all, stirs our hearts to connect, and inspires us to also rise above society’s bounds while remaining true to ourselves.
Let’s find out more about the sigma man and the best sigma male movies to watch this year to better understand what makes him tick.
What Is a Sigma Male?
A sigma male is, in essence, an introverted version of an alpha male. This male is a loner (or lone wolf), not fitting in because he plays by his own rules. While many may think that his outsider status is a weakness, sigma males turn this into a strength.
He is introverted, so being around people isn’t a must. Sigma men are intelligent, ambitious, self-assured, independent, and self-reliant.
They know their own minds, and with strong values and a high self-awareness, they don’t conform or give in to peer pressure.
A sigma male doesn’t give in to herd mentality, something that makes them highly attractive if you like free and abstract thinkers.
They value their freedom, can empathically listen to others, and practice emotional intelligence. Because they are loners with a resilient and strong personality, people are intrigued and attracted to their aura of mystery.
Other main signs or characteristics of a sigma male include being:
A sigma male personality is one of seven personality types that describe men. The others are: alpha, beta, delta, gamma, omega, and zeta males. Vox Day (or Theodore Robert Beale) coined the term “sigma male” in his 2010 blog, “Explaining Sigma. Again.”
Curious about who has a sigma male personality? Here are a few famous (real and fictional) sigma males you may know about:
15 Best Sigma Male Movies
Sigma males are much more entertaining to watch on screen than a typical alpha or beta male. These men are trendsetters, rule breakers, and so incredibly interesting they inspire whole movie franchises.
Here are some of the best sigma male movies to see this year:
1. Joker (2019)
We are all familiar with the infamous character of the Joker. He is a typical example of a dark sigma male. He dances to his own tune, sets his own rules, and he has a weird ability to inspire others (even if it’s for dark purposes).
The innate flexibility of a sigma male can be seen in how the Joker changes when plans don’t go as he set them, and he always has a backup ready.
While the Joker’s character may seem outwardly gregarious, he is a true introvert, and his ramblings are reflections of his deep thoughts more than just a sign of insanity.
Synopsis: The Joker is a psychological thriller about one of the best all-time baddies – the Joker. The movie, set in 1981, is an origin story where Arthur Fleck is a failed clown and stand-up comedian. His neurological disorder causes him to burst out in uncontrollable laughing fits, for which he is bullied and becomes isolated. Going mad, he eventually becomes the infamous criminal mastermind, the Joker.
Stream Joker (2019) on Amazon Prime Video and Hulu.
2. American Psycho (2000)
The iconic movie, American Psycho, and the unforgettable character of Patrick Bateman are another deep reflection of a dark sigma male in action. Bateman is so exemplary of a sigma male who has given in to his darker urges.
He indulges in fantasies that place him beyond the rules of society, and eventually he even turns to murder because he knows he is intelligent enough to pull it off and get away with it.
In his urge to self-validate, Bateman goes too far, losing himself in his own excessive thinking.
Synopsis: American Psycho, a satirical psychological horror movie set in 1987 NYC, follows Patrick Bateman who’s an investment banking executive by day and a serial killer by night. While Bateman tries hard to keep up appearances that he’s normal, every time someone seemingly one-ups him, they get killed.
You can stream American Psycho (2000) on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
3. Waterworld (1995)
The Mariner is a typical loner character, and his avoidance of society is characteristic of a sigma male. He thinks for himself, doesn’t buy into myth, and is capable of solving his own problems.
His highly independent nature spurs his wanderer urges, and even when offered the stability of a family, he shirks it, choosing the wide oceans instead.
Like a true sigma male, he doesn’t care what others think of him as he is comfortable in his own skin and needs no outside validation. Hardly saying anything in the movie, this character embodies the quiet side of sigma and adds to his mystery.
Synopsis: Waterworld is a post-apocalyptic action movie. In a flooded future world, viewers meet the nameless antihero, the Mariner, who sails the world and trades dirt with floating communities. The Mariner befriends Enola and her guardian Helen and joins their quest to find the mythical Dryland.
Stream Waterworld (1995) on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
4. Wind River (2017)
While sigma males may have relationships and even commit to family, they are often loners within their own families. Cory Lambert is a sigma male who treks the wilds alone, comfortable and confident in his abilities to solve the mystery of a murder.
He also shows deep thinking skills and a quiet nature that’s attractive as it reflects his lone wolf personality.
His choice in career is authentic to his need for space, and he is the wanderer in this movie. His keen powers of observation and listening skills save him on numerous occasions.
Synopsis: Wind River, a neo-Western crime, was inspired by true events. The movie follows Cory Lambert, a wildlife officer, and Jane Banner, an FBI agent, after the bodies of two teenagers are discovered on an American Indian reservation in Wyoming. While Lambert and Banner try to solve the murders, they soon find that their own lives are in danger.
You can stream Wind River (2017) on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
5. American Beauty (1999)
The Oscar-winning performance of Kevin Spacey embodies a beta male turning alpha male. But it’s the performance of Ricky Fitz’s character that is the true sigma. Coloring outside the lines, Ricky is a “disturbed” teen who sells dope while capturing the world in video.
However, Ricky displays characteristic sigma personality traits, such as being independent enough to not need outside validation, being a quiet loner, and oddly confident in his own abilities.
Ultimately, it’s his quiet strength that makes Angela Hayes fall for him and run away with him.
Synopsis: American Beauty follows the life of the middle-aged, sexually frustrated Lester Burnham. He becomes interested in his teenage daughter’s bestie and then joins a gym because he heard she’d “do him” if he was fitter. He also befriends Ricky, a teenager who moved in next door with his parents.
Stream American Beauty (1999) on Showtime, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video.
6. The Punisher (2004)
The Punisher franchise shows the character of Frank Castle as a dark hero who is a typical sigma male in that he prefers to keep his own company and doesn’t have friends. He needs no outside validation, and he has a mission that drives him.
Since he’s completely self-reliant, he will enter situations that other men wouldn’t survive.
Despite being a somewhat cruel anti-hero, Frank Castle also has the ability to show concern for others and listen to the stories of people who turn to him for help.
His quiet nature and enigmatic past makes him run outside of society’s hierarchies.
Synopsis: In the dark vigilante action movie, the viewers meet Frank Castle who’s an FBI agent. After his family is killed, he becomes the Punisher, going after the criminals who murdered his wife and son. He also vows to kill other murderers, rapists, and those who harm the innocent.
You can stream The Punisher (2004) on Disney+, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video.
7. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
The original Blade Runner character of Rick Deckard seemed to be the perfect sigma male, but the sequel has proven as epic in revealing the introverted alpha nature of Officer K.
The character of Officer K is a quiet and enigmatic man who prefers to work alone and depends on nobody except himself.
He is a problem solver, and despite working for law enforcement, he runs outside society’s bounds. While he seems set in his ways, he manages to change once he learns the truth of matters.
Ultimately, he remains true to his own nature and despite the threat of death, he follows through with his plans.
Synopsis: Blade Runner 2049 is set three decades after the original movie. The new blade runner is Officer K who works for the LAPD. Officer K is on a quest to find the missing blade runner Rick Deckard and reunite him with his child.
Stream Blade Runner 2049 (2017) on Apple TV and Amazon Prime Video.
8. Book of Eli (2010)
Sigma men are often driven by a quest or reason for their actions. The character of Eli is an embodiment of this as he treks across the desert wastes on a secret mission. He is enigmatic, intelligent, and highly capable.
Despite not wanting to get involved in people’s affairs, he turns out to be a good listener. His penchant for violence is only outweighed by his emotional intelligence, and he offers security to those in need.
Throughout the movie, we see Eli take care of his personal needs in an almost ritualistic way, indicating the deep self-respect he has.
Synopsis: Book of Eli is a post-apocalyptic Western action movie set 30 years after an ecocide caused by a nuclear holocaust. The viewers meet Eli, a nomad, who’s on a mission to take a copy of a mysterious book to a safe place on the West Coast of the U.S. On his journey, Eli meets Solara, cannibals, and a few henchmen who are after the mysterious book.
You can stream Book of Eli (2010) on Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, and YouTube.
9. The Dark Knight (2008)
It’s rare to see a sigma and alpha rolled into one, but that is what we find with the character of Bruce Wayne. His public face is a typical alpha, but his real face (the Batman) is that of a sigma.
He is withdrawn and avoids society, yet he wants to help and feels driven to fight against evil.
As Batman, he is self-reliant, independent, and lives outside society’s hierarchy as a vigilante. While he prefers to remain in the shadows, Batman makes a compromise, becoming what the people need him to be and remain authentic to his values.
Synopsis: The Dark Knight movie follows Batman, lieutenant James Gordon, and DA Harvey Dent as they try to dismantle organized crime in their beloved Gotham City. The Joker tries to derail their efforts and wants to see how far Batman will go to save Gotham.
Stream The Dark Knight (2008) on Max, Netflix, and Amazon Prime Video.
10. The Illusionist (2006)
Sigma males are often shaped by their traumatic past or childhood. A tragic loss can drive them to become independent and avoid society. The character of the magician Eisenheim displays many characteristics of the sigma man.
He is quiet, intelligent, listens with comprehension, and is fully self-reliant. He has traveled far and is the intriguing loner whose confidence belies his traumatic past.
Synopsis: In a glorious period piece, The Illusionist is based on real events and tells the story of a magician who must work the ultimate magic trick to rescue his lady from a mad prince.
You can stream The Illusionist (2006) on PLEX, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video.
11. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
The Silence of the Lambs shows a sigma male who has embraced his darkness and displays the baser side of this male personality. Hannibal Lecter’s character is the dark sigma in that he is capable of heinous acts, yet he is highly intelligent, independent, and an excellent listener.
His mind is driven by his lone wolf needs, and while he is introverted, he has a high opinion of himself. In his mind, his actions are justified by his ability to rationalize them.
He is intriguing, confident, and while he’s quite mad (eating his victims), he is also so authentic to the darker side of what he is that he makes others question their own morality.
Synopsis: The classic Silence of the Lambs is a psychological thriller where an FBI cadet has to interview a renowned serial killer to profile and catch a new killer that has eluded capture.
Stream The Silence of the Lambs (1991) on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
12. V for Vendetta (2005)
The cult hit, V for Vendetta, shows the enigmatic character of V fighting to overthrow a system that he believes is oppressive and that caused him such pain.
The mystery and independence of V is further developed thanks to his iconic mask (which he never takes off), his confidence, and supreme ability to plan complex solutions for his problems.
V is a total lone wolf, and even when Evie joins him, he chooses to fight alone and seeks no validation from anyone other than his own conscience.
Synopsis: V for Vendetta follows a vigilante hero who enacts a complex plot to overthrow the corrupt British government to bring people freedom.
You can stream V for Vendetta (2005) on Amazon Prime Video and Apple TV.
13. John Wick (2014)
A clear characteristic of a sigma man is that he is always ready to defend his own people. While he is the lone wolf, he is also the quiet defender.
John Wick is the dark hero who operates outside of society. He meets his own need for validation as long as he can remain authentic to who he is.
Wick’s wandering nature and confident actions set him outside of basic societal norms, and he offers security to those who he feels responsible for. While Wick is able to live entirely independently, the people he cares about often become a liability to him.
Synopsis: When gangsters kill a retired hitman’s dog, he sets out to track down the killers and deliver justice in the cult-hit, John Wick.
Stream John Wick (2014) on Hulu and Amazon Prime Video.
14. The Hurt Locker (2008)
War is often a place where camaraderie is built, but The Hurt Locker focuses on a sergeant who works in the bomb disposal squad.
Unlike other men (or soldiers), the sergeant is an independent man who has a sixth sense about the work of bomb disposal.
He isn’t a team player, which puts him in conflict with his superiors, because he doesn’t follow orders or procedures. His confidence in his abilities are what drive him to do what he does, and when he is suited up and facing a bomb, he is in the space he loves most.
Synopsis: A sergeant, recently assigned to the bomb squad in Iraq, faces opposition from his team and commanding officers due to his unorthodox methods in defusing bombs in the psychological action drama, The Hurt Locker.
You can stream The Hurt Locker (2008) on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
15. Extraction (2020)
The character of Tyler Rake is an example of a sigma male who evolves as he remains true to his deeper self. While he works as a mercenary he chooses to protect the child he is responsible for, despite it potentially costing his life.
He is a decisive man who acts, is independent, and seeks validation from nobody.
Ultimately, he is a good listener, and while introverted, his quiet nature hides the deep pain of his past, giving him an enigmatic quality that is typical of the sigma man.
Synopsis: When a black-market gun for hire is sent to rescue a gangster’s abducted son, he ends up facing a city driven mad by the power of a rival gangster. Torn between following orders, he must choose whether he will make the ultimate sacrifice and listen to his conscience or follow the money and sacrifice his values.
Stream Extraction (2020) on Netflix.
Final Thoughts about the Best Sigma Male Movies
The sigma male is a powerful and independent character, which is why he is so popular in movies.
The enigmatic nature, dedication to causes bigger than himself, and utter self-reliance are some qualities that mark the sigma man as being free of society’s boundaries and limitations.
Want to learn more about sigma males? Then check out these 17 classic sigma male characters in movies.
And if you're looking for more articles about being a sigma personality, be sure to check out these blog posts:
- 15 Sigma Female Traits & Characteristics
- 25 Best Sigma Male Memes to See
- 15 Best Sigma Male Jobs & Career Paths