Top Ten Movie Villains

Movie villains are the backbone of the entire art form. Too often villains go unrecognized for just how important they are. Without villains there are no stories, no conflict, no drama, you get the picture. Of course there are exceptions, but I love a good villain. Usually the case is, the better the villain the better the movie. This is a list of my favorite villains in all of film.

There are many cases where the antagonist of the story is actually more interesting than the protagonist and even when that’s the case, I’m a sucker for watching a hero triumph over a villain. I took a lot into account when I made this list, but I’d have to say the order and choices were mainly based on a combination of the enjoyment I have watching the villain on screen and the actual malevolence of the character. Well, here it is.

10. Ra’s Al Ghul (Batman Begins)

Ra’s Al Ghul is the leader of The League of Shadows and the mentor to the greatest hero in existence, Batman. In a way, they both want to save the world. Bruce Wayne studied under the tutelage of The League of Shadows because he was seeking the means to fight injustice. Where Batman and Ra’s Al Ghul differ is in the way Batman, as a hero should, sets himself apart from the villains whereas Ghul believes in necessary evil.

9. Bill the Butcher (Gangs of New York)

Martin Scorsese’s epic about the early remnants of a city focuses largely on one of the most intense and cruel figures in the history of cinema, Bill “The Butcher” Cutting. Daniel Day-Lewis plays the character flawlessly and with fervor.    His lust for  power is matched only by a love for his country and the freedom it represents. Gangs of New York is a vengeance story and to watch protagonist Amsterdam finally smite Bill the Butcher is incredibly satisfying.

8. Amon Goeth (Schindler’s List)

Never have the senseless and discouraging crimes against humanity performed by the Third Reich ever been more personified in film than with Ralph Fiennes’ portrayal of Amon Goeth in Steven Spielberg’s magnum opus, Schindler’s List. This a film about the ability and will to do good. Amon Goeth represents the contradiction to this idea. He’s commanding, blood-thirsty and completely apathetic towards his actions.

7. Jack Torrance (The Shining)

I say Jack Torrance, but I more so mean the evil pumping through the veins of The Overlook Hotel that eventually forces sane writer/father, Jack Torrance’s transformation into a crazed/axe-wielding murderer. The first sequence in the bar where both Torrance and The Overlook Hotel show their true colors serves as a solemn warning for the horrific oddities that have yet to transpire. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy and one of the greatest villains in film.

6. Hannibal Lecter (The Silence of the Lambs)

In a gorgeous performance, Anthony Hopkins supremely captures the essence and soul of an incredibly intelligent serial killer who not only murders his victims, but eats them. The grotesque violence that the character is capable of can only be spotted in a single scene of the film, but even during the moments where he’s only staring, you can still feel the gravity of just how despicable the character at hand actually is. He probably gets the least screen time of any villain on this list, but he is easily one of the greatest in the history of film.

5. Silva (Skyfall)

Raoul Silva (formerly Tiago Rodriguez) is the most sinister and formidable opponent James Bond will ever acquire. This isn’t some cackling, conniving or cat-petting villain bent on world domination. Silva wants one thing and one thing only, M. He’s a former MI6 agent, M’s “favorite” at his time of service before he was betrayed. He loves M if only because she gives him purpose and hates her for what she’s created in him. He’s a showman and he has fun doing what he does and he’s one of them, he knows all the tricks. Silva is a mastermind, he’s flamboyant, he’s malevolent and he’s completely deranged.

4. Anton Chigurh (No Country for Old Men)

Confident, cold, calculating, silent, creative, determined and soulless. These are just a few words that can be used to describe the brutal killer, Anton Chigurh. His weapons of choice are a cattle gun and a sawed-off shotgun fit with a foot-long silencer, but a pair of hand cuffs would do just fine for this man who will stop at nothing to reach his goals. “People always say the same thing” Chigurh says to a young woman who tells him he doesn’t have to kill her. This is a situation he’s been in before and it’s one he’ll be in again. Killing for him is just as easy as waking up. He is death incarnate in the Coen Brothers’ poetic masterpiece of crime and violence.

3. Col. Hans Landa (Inglourious Basterds)

Col. Hans Landa is Nazi Officer, but he is so much more depraved than any other member of the Third Reich. Unlike the officers and foot soldiers who whole-heartedly believe Adolf Hitler’s poisonous words, Col. Landa is merely a Colonel of the S.S. because he knows it’s in his best interest. He’s a sly detective and easily earns himself the nickname, The Jew Hunter. At the end of the day however, he doesn’t care about the Third Reich’s plot for world domination. He cares about his own personal gain and if that means betraying his entire country than so be it. He just bleeds malevolence whether he’s drinking a glass of milk or strangling someone to death. Hans Landa isn’t evil because he’s a Nazi, he’s a very evil man who happens to wear a Nazi uniform.

2. Bane (The Dark Knight Rises)

Bane can be looked at as the absence of hope. A meeting with Bane, let alone a fight with Bane, would result in anyone’s demise. He’s strategic, tactical, he speaks with intelligence and eloquence, but at the same time he is a complete brute. The mask he wears makes it so he can survive an unbearable pain, but it also serves as a signature look and a reminder of how emotionless and inhumanly evil this man can be.

In order to exact his torture of Batman and the city of Gotham, Bane places himself in a seat of power. He’s a revolutionary warlord, he’s his own General and he’s his own greatest soldier. This is a highly demanding performance and not just physically. Tom Hardy plays the character to perfection. Bane is supremely fearsome, intimidating and though he has a strict regiment and plot, there is no denying his admiration for death and destruction.

1. The Joker (The Dark Knight)

The Joker is unlike any other movie character and villain in the way that he epitomizes pure evil. The Joker is always smiling because there is never a dull moment where he is not doing exactly what he wants, instilling evil into the world. As the dark, crusading, creature of the night Batman is good for the sake of being good. The Joker, a gleeful and colorful clown, is evil for the sake of being evil.

The Joker burns a mountain of money just show exactly how much he doesn’t care about the idea of a motive. “Do I really look like a guy with a plan?” he says to the White Knight, Harvey Dent. Even when faced with opportunities to kill the heroes of the story, he instead attempts to reveal their true colors by giving them opportunities to kill him. He would gladly die doing what makes him happy.

Heath Ledger gave the greatest performance of all time as the darkest and most “unstoppable force” ever portrayed. Despite the fact that The Joker is so fiercely evil, he is very charismatic in the way he is also a clown. Ledger utilizes this trait in creating not only the greatest villain, but the greatest character in all of film. There didn’t need to be some kind of origin story or flashbacks to when The Joker was young. All there was in The Dark Knight was a showcasing of the constant battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil. Anything less or more would have taken away from the perfection.

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Top Ten Awesome Villains in Bad/OK Movies

It’s a very unfortunate, but true fact that there are many cases where awesome movie villains worthy of great movies appear in god awful or just alright films. Sometimes those villains aren’t given the recognition they deserve based on the film they are in. So, this is my list dedicated to them, the villains that are downright beautifully written and performed, but because of the awful or alright movies they’re in, don’t get the same recognition and praise they sometimes deserve.

10. Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th series)

I will agree that the Friday the 13th movies are fun, but the series as a whole is truly awful filmmaking. What can you expect from a slasher series that grew into over ten films? What can’t be denied is how awesome the villain that it spawned is. Jason Voorhees is one of the most iconic characters known to the horror genre and this list wouldn’t be complete with out him. His trademark hockey mask has got to be one of the most well-known props in film.

9. The Sniper (Phone Booth)

The movie phone booth is awful from beginning to end, but for some reason I always need to watch it when it comes on. The reason is because Kiefer Sutherland is truly brilliant as the villain of the film. Basically the entire movie takes place in a phone booth with Colin Farrell in the starring role. On the other line we can hear the voice of a man whose point a large sniper rifle at our star. The Sniper is an awesome villain that never seems to get noticed. I suppose I can see why.

8. The Joker (Batman)

Before 2005 when the masterpiece Batman Begins came out, Batman movies weren’t that amazing. Batman Forever was alright, I wasn’t a fan of Batman Returns and Batman and Robin is one of the worst movies ever conceived. My third favorite Batman movie after Christopher Nolan’s two masterpieces would have to be Tim Burton’s original Batman. This is due in part to Jack Nicholson’s wild take on The Joker. It is nothing compared to Heath Ledger’s, but it still deserves lots of praise.

7. Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street series)

I know A Nightmare on Elm Street is considered a classic when it comes to the horror genre, but to tell you the truth, I’m not a big fan. I love the idea, but the execution wasn’t as great is its made out to be. I do however love the wickedly awesome villain Freddy Krueger. Even though he’s one of the most iconic and evil killers ever put on screen he still has brilliantly delivered dark humor. Its almost like he feels the need to not only kill his victims, but humiliate them and if that’s not villainy than what is?

6. Jigsaw (Saw series)

The “serial killer” who actually hasn’t technically killed anybody just had to be on this list. The ultimate guilty pleasure of mine is the Saw movies. Other than the first one, they are god awful, but I get unhealthy amounts of joy watching them. The joy doesn’t come from watching Jigsaw’s famous “traps” in which his victims are put to tests to see if they have the well to survive. The joy comes from the insane plot surrounding the main character and antagonist Jigsaw. He’s maniacal and sadistic, but he has good intentions in a way.

5. Hans Gruber (Die Hard)

Some might be surprised to see Hans Gruber on this list because most consider Die Hard to be an amazing movie. I do like Die Hard, it’s cool, but its not spectacular. It’s a certainly a fun movie, but its truly nothing special, just an entertaining action movie to me. It’s alright or as the title states “OK”. Hans Gruber however is a truly fantastic villain. A suave calculating thieve who might give his hostages some food, but won’t hesitate when he has to pull the trigger. Alan Rickman plays the character to a tee and the fact that he’s thrown off a building is made all the more pleasurable because of what basterd he truly is.

4. Stuntman Mike (Death Proof)

I absolutely love every minute of Death Proof, but I can’t deny that its not really a good movie because Tarantino didn’t want it to be a good movie. With Death Proof he’s paying homage B-movies with insane violence and car chases. The villain of the story is downright awesome. I don’t find nearly as much pleasure watching Kurt Russell in other roles than this one. Stuntman Mike is a sadistic, yet charming maniac who deliberately kills his victims with his “Death Proof” cars just because its a blast.

3. Agent Smith (The Matrix series)

I’ve seen The Matrix movies an unreasonable amount of time, but watching the first one recently was actually the inspiration to make this list. I just sat there as Hugo Weaving’s Agent Smith interrogated Lawrence Fishburne’s Morpheus and thought, “Holy cow, this is amazing”. Then Keanu Reeves walked back into frame and I realized why I don’t consider this movie great. Agent Smith is such brilliantly crafted villain in one of the other films that I would consider a guilty pleasure of many. I love watching the Matrix movies, even the sequels, they’re pretty bad movies, but there’s a lot to enjoy and one of the main points is Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith.

2. Norman Stansfield (The Professional)

I do not like The Professional. Its an over-the-top action movie surrounding a relationship between a hitman and a twelve-year-old that is so awkward and annoying to the point of the movie becoming unentertaining. The reason it is worth watching though is because one of my favorite actors, Gary Oldman, plays the only redeeming quality of this movie and he plays him spectacularly. The character isn’t nearly used to its full potential, but the scenes he is in are made fascinating. He trues throw the scene like the shark in Jaws and you just can’t wait to see him again. I would’ve much rather just seen an entire movie surrounding a character study of this character. That would’ve been a brilliant film.

1. Voldemort (Harry Potter series)

I don’t get very much enjoyment at all out of the Harry Potter films. Maybe its just me, but sub-par execution and awful acting from the main characters don’t make for entertaining movie experiences. The series did get one thing right though, they managed to cast the supporting characters to perfection. Gary Oldman was awesome and Sirius Black, Richard Harris and Michael Gambon both made enjoyable Dumbledore’s (even though Harris was obviously better), Helena Bonham Carter is brilliant, as always, as Belatrix and Alan Rickman plays a part that he was born to play. The real treat in Harry Potter though is one of the greatest actors known to cinema playing the main antagonist.

Ralph Fiennes is one of my favorite actors and like all his roles, he plays Voldemort so utterly brilliantly. Voldemort is such a dark presence on screen to the point of every other character, even his allies, feeling uncomfortable. This is because every single person he comes across knows where the true power lies. Voldemort is truthfully the only reason I go see the Harry Potter movies. If I can only catch a glimpse of Fiennes performing the character to literal perfection, than the price of admission was worth it. When I began writing my list of the Top Ten Awesome Villains in Bad/OK Movies I know right away deserves the top spot. Ralph Fiennes playing the villain Voldemort is simply breathtaking.

Top Ten Movie Villains

!!!THIS LIST WAS REMADE!!!

Here’s the link: —–> https://moviesfilmsmotionpictures.com/2012/07/27/top-ten-movie-villains-2/#comment-1450

I made this same list a couple months ago, but the other day I deleted it and decided to remake it. The list wasn’t perfect and it had to be perfect. Other than a list of my top ten favorite movies of all time, which will be coming soon, this list is the most important post I could possibly create. Villains are the backbone of the industry. Their are almost always the most interesting characters to watch and plots would go absolutely no where with out them. Films need them and I absolutely love ’em.

I’ve decided to remake this list because after re-watching a couple films and even watching a few new ones, I’ve finally decided on what I’ve found to be the perfect order when it comes to film villains. I’ve moved some characters around and I’ve removed a few characters and added a few new ones. The two I removed were Roy Batty from Blade Runner and Jack Torrence from The Shining. Both are incredibly performed characters and are in some aspects more interesting than some of the characters on this list, but they’re evil for different reasons and just don’t match the caliber of villainy that each character on this film is able to reach.

I’ve tried this a couple times now, but I think I’ve finally compiled the perfect list to establish my opinion on this almost impossible conundrum. So with out further review, here’s my top ten favorite cinema villains of all time in order. I hope you enjoy.

10. Alonzo Harris

Denzel Washington received a well deserved oscar for his intense portrayal of the crooked cop, Alonzo Harris. Many films have had officers or detectives on the wrong side of the law, but no actor has ever been able to top the intensity that Washington draws from the character. In my opinion, Alonzo Harris is the most sinister cop ever put on screen.

9. Keyser Soze

When you look at the master scheme of things, Keyser Soze should probably be a bit higher on this list, but I believe with his basically 8 minute screen-time that he’s not able to show the evil the way the others on this list are able to. He’s still a classic villain who pulls the strings behind almost every crime that’s commited. He’s thought of to be legend and he likes it that way. “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” -Verbal Kint

8. Little Bill Daggett

Unforgiven is in my opinion by far the greatest western I’ve seen, and one of the main reasons its so fantastic is because of Gene Hackman’s Oscar winning performance of Little Bill Dagget. He’s ruthless, brutal, and you never know what to expect, making each of his scenes very suspenseful, and he’s supposed to be the good guy. Bill Dagget is the sheriff of Big Whiskey, Utah, and its his brutal tactics to bring about justice at any cost, that makes him a villain for the books. He just barely missed my top 5.

7. Bill the Butcher

Daniel Day-Lewis is probably the greatest actor in cinema and it’s only fitting that his portrayal as the malicious Butcher; Bill Cutting, known better as Bill the Butcher. Cutting is the ruthless american born tyrant of New York 1800s in Scorsese’s masterfully made period piece. He’s played to absolute perfection by Day-Lewis, because while he is a terrible and ruthless murderer, at times it seems he even has morals. Very few though, of course.

6. Frank

The western gunslinger known only by the name of Frank is a spectacularly menacing villain, but the thing that makes him most interesting to watch is the actor whose playing him. This was an out of the ordinary choice for Henry Fonda, a man’s whose career is full of do-gooders and family men, but in the mix of all those good guys, you’ll find one black hearted fiend and he plays him to perfection. Its his best performance and that my friends is saying something.

5. Amon Goeth

Ralph Fiennes has a long list of fantastic villains and an even longer list of fantastic roles. His greatest role just so happens to be my fifth favorite villain. Amon Goeth is the face of evil behind the classic WWII epic Schindler’s List. He dictates the labor camp where most of the film takes place and Fiennes plays it so disturbingly well. His morning routine consists of getting up, taking a piss and shooting randon jews in the camp with a sniper. He’s sick and degenrate, and if you step out of line it becomes quite evident early on what will happen to you.

4. Hannibal Lecter

It was quite hard to put Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter so high on this list. Most would say he deserves the top spot, and when I do see him there on other lists, I’m never disappointed, he does deserve it, I just think there’s a few qualities (for lack of a better word) that I enjoy more in my top 3. Anyways though, Lecter is probably in my opinion “the” classic movie villain. He’s sinister, intelligent and at times even courteous. He hardly ever blinks and never once does he doubt his eventual victory. It’s one of the greatest performances ever put on the silver screen and by far Anthony Hopkins’ best work.

3. Col. Hans Landa

Almost all would agree that Colonel Hans Landa of the SS is an amazing villain. Most wouldn’t agree with his high placement on this list so soon after the release of the movie. Well, I’ve seen the movie seven times and I can honestly say that there is only two other villains that I enjoy more than Hans Landa. I want to point out that numbers 3 and 2 are very equally matched on this list. Landa is not your cliche nazi. He’s an intelligent and charming detective whose able to work his way through the threads of past, present and coming events so that he can assure his own gain. Nothing else matters, not even the fuhrer. He always has a plan and focus and doesn’t care who he has to step on to achieve his goals. Christoph Waltz is absolutely breathtaking in every single one of his scenes. He is one of the most evil villains ever put on screen, but its so entertaining to watch every single thing he does, whether that be drinking a glass of milk or strangling a person to death.

2. Anton Chigurh

Silent, creative, intelligent, confident, determined, arrogant (but for good reason), and above all else, evil. These are just a few of the words that can define the ruthless killer that is Anton Chigurh. His weapons of choice include a cattle gun, hand cuffs, and even a sawed off shot gun with a foot long silencer. Chigurh always has an innovative way to get what he wants and he will never stop. At one point, he decides the fate of man’s life by the flip of a coin. He’s not insane as some might call him though, he’s just nothing else, but his own gain. Killing doesn’t phase him at all. He views everyone he meets as a worthless victim. Anton Chigurh is basically the definition of a villain.

1. The Joker

Heath Ledger’s Joker is by far the greatest villain ever put on the silver screen. Not only that though, I believe the Joker is the most entertaining and interesting character ever and the greatest performance by any actor I’ve ever seen. The Joker is bent on creating chaos in a world he believes desperately needs it. He doesn’t want anything else, especially not money. He just wants to watch the world burn and he wants to be the cause. All he really wants is to have a blast. He’s always one step ahead and even if something goes wrong in his plan, he just laughs it off, it just adds to the thrill. There are many times when he has the chance to kill his nemesis Batman, but he doesn’t take them because he’s one of the few villains who release that they need each other, without Batman, the world would just seem dull. Batman won’t kill him either though because it’s wrong and he knows it’s exactly what he wants. When faced with the Batman’s speeding Bat-pod The Joker insists on him to hit him and when The Joker is thrown off a building he laughs hysterically the entire way down. He’s willing to die to show the worlds true colors. The Joker is the epitome of evil.