Carton attempts to vindicate himself in the final moments ofA Tale of Two Cities. Finding his own dissipated life meaningless and wasted, Carton realizes its only true value is in giving it away. It's the age-old idea of sacrifice as atonement for past sins.
Of course, other characters have also sought similar redemption to Carton's sacrifice, including character from these movies:
Independence Day-- Russell Casse, the alcholic father and crop duster kamikazes his fighter plane into the alien mothership to make up for years of wasted fatherhood.
Deep Blue Sea-- Brilliant Dr. Collyer jumps into shark infested waters in order to save the rest of the team, because she genetically engineered killer super-sharks.
Titanic-- The Captain goes down with the ship. If only he had paid attention to the icerberg warnings and slowed down. His egregious pride in the ship proved to be his undoing.