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An Amicable Relationship Between Tattoos And Movies

Posted by Ann V. On 2018 Apr 12th

An Amicable Relationship Between Tattoos And Movies

“A tattoo is a true poetic creation, and is always more than meets the eye.”

A movie without character is worthless and a character without feelings is a mere disappointment. Body art is all about self-expression and identity. From a long time, movies have used body modification and tattooing as a platform to express their story in creative and unique ways.

Tattoos have power and magic all their own and they represent something a person feels strongly about, so this form of body modification is highly used by directors in many famous movies.

In this article, we share a list of few movies where tattoos played an as important role as the actors of the movie.

The Place Beyond the Pines

Ryan Gosling (Luke) plays a role of a mysterious and mythical motorcycle stunt rider who turns into robbing banks in an attempt to provide for his new family. This decision puts him on a collision course.

Luke portrayed a bad guy covered in a group of tattoos. Those tattoos played an important role in the movie as they tell us about Luke’s past in a clear way. The tattoos of spider-webs, a boxer, a grenade and a dagger dripping blood under his left eye were not classy and showed that Luke has spent time in prison.

His impulsive nature is impressively captured by tattoos.

What’s Left of Us

The failed story of a love triangle in a post-apocalyptic world makes this movie one of the most unusual horror movie in the history of cinema.

Following a catastrophe, Ana, Axel, and Jonathan are residing in a house reconverted into a bunker. Axel is in unacknowledged love with Ana. The relationship slowly deteriorated when Ana and Jonathan started to leave out at first.

Axel could not withstand her rejection and initiated a tattoo project in which his body became a house of crudely inked black spots with a motive to portray himself physically repulsive to her, thereby ending up with a look of human-leopard.


Memento, a Christopher Nolan’s movie revolves around a man (Guy Pearce) and his revenge with the murderer of his wife, which is the last thing he remembers because he suffered from a condition called as Anterograde amnesia due to which he can no longer build new memories.

To avoid making his short-term memory loss an obstacle, Leonard (Guy Pearce) used creative ways like Polaroid photos and tattooing bits to record the information permanently in order to solve the mysterious crime.

All his different tattoos have varying significance depending on how important the clue is; the most memorable is the all-important “John G. raped and murdered my wife” across his chest.


The story revolves around a man who befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Franklin J. Schaffner's classic prison flick used a butterfly tattoo on the chest of Charrière Papillon to represent his emotions perfectly. Similar to a butterfly, Papillon wanted to fly away in the open air with freedom away from prison. The butterfly appropriately symbolized the freedom he desired to achieve.

The final scene of the film saw Steve McQueen's character embracing freedom, thereby truly representing a butterfly.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The story of a movie revolves around the search of the killer of a woman who has been dead for forty years. A young female hacker aids a journalist in his search for the same.

A fictional character, Lisbeth Salander was given birth by the Swedish author and journalist Stieg Larsson. Rooney Mara played the role of Lisbeth Salander in the American movie. The face and ears of Lisbeth are found pierced and you can spot a dragon tattoo on her back. What is the relevance of a tattoo with a dragon design on her back?

The tattoo innovatively symbolizes the character’s fiery, yet mysterious personality.


The storyline of tattoo revolves around two police detectives, a grizzled veteran and one fresh-faced rookie who hunt a ritualistic serial killer murdering people with tattoos and skinning them.

The Robert Schwentke’s serial-killer movie is an inspiration from a movie named “Se7en” and Roald Dahl short story (“Skin”). Two cops are in search of a murderer killing victims for their unique tattoos that are then sold to weirdo collectors.

There are many other movies which portrayed tattoos in the major role but the above-mentioned movies are our favorite and worth a watch. Tattoos are on trend and will always remain in trend, movies give tattoo designs to people and those designs become a trend in no time. Maybe you get a good tattoo design from the above-mentioned movies.