Best Movies of All Time + villain


So yes, I'm bringing you my favorite movie villains. In all honesty, this post should have come a while ago, but I've finally taken the time to put it all on paper, so to speak. As per usual, I only went with films that I've actually seen. I also only included characters who were established as the villain and the person to root against. Ergo, there won't be any "anti-heros" (i.e., Christian Bale in 2000's American Psycho or Daniel Day-Lewis in 2007's There Will Be Blood) on this list. Just straight villains. The bad guys. I'm sure there are some you won't agree with, but it's just my opinion. There may be spoilers on this list, so if you're not into those, then perhaps you shouldn't keep reading. However, if you do read the list, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did in making it!

25. The Joker

Batman (1989)
Played by: Jack Nicholson
I know that a lot of people reading this blog will automatically assume that any reference to the Joker will be to Heath Ledger's take as the character; however, we cannot forget the manic brilliance that Jack Nicholson brought to the screen back in 1989 when he was doing battle against Michael Keaton's Batman. It's a little bit comical, but what's not to like about a little bit of laughter?
Memorable Quote: "Haven't you ever heard of the healing power of laughter?"

24. Harlen Maguire

Road to Perdition (2002)
Played by: Jude Law
I only recently saw Road to Perdition, and although there's a couple of different villains, Jude Law's psychopathic hitman definitely stole the show. There was something so innately creepy about Harlen Maguire that it caused me to be deeply disturbed. I guess that happens when you've got a deeply disturbing character.
Memorable Quote: "I shoot the dead. Dead bodies, that is. I don't kill them."

23. Jigsaw

Saw (2004)
Played by: Tobin Bell
I know that the Jigsaw character gets a little bit more face-time in the six subsequent sequels, but it all starts with the original 2004 film. Technically, he's on-screen for most of the film; the audience just doesn't really know it. It takes the sequels to understand fully his devilish schemes, but every journey has to have a beginning.
Memorable Quote: "Game over."

22. Anton Chigurgh

No Country for Old Men (2007)
Played by: Javier Bardem
Aside from being constantly mocked for his dashingly terrible haircut, Chigurgh proved to be one of the creepiest characters to ever grace the silver screen. The subtle and emotionless performance nabbed an Oscar statuette for Javier Bardem, just going to prove the brilliance he brought to the role. I certainly wouldn't want to meet Chigurgh and his cattle gun walking down the street.
Memorable Quote: "What's the most you ever lost on a coin toss?"

21. Pennywise

It (1990)
Played by: Tim Curry
There's only two reasons to watch It: first, for the terrible acting of the terrible acting of the main ensemble, and second, for the brilliance that is Tim Curry. Although the intention was never to have the audience laughing at the rest of the cast and the so-so screenplay, Pennywise the clown is supposed to be laughed at. That's why he's a clown, right? Curry is downright brilliant in the role, being both hilarious and creepy all at once.
Memorable Quote: "Want a balloon?"

20. Azrael

Dogma (1999)
Played by: Jason Lee
In a film stuffed with an impressive comedic cast, it would have to take quite a bit for anyone in particular to stand out among the rest. Thankfully, Jason Lee does just that as one of our central villains in the film. He's world-savvy (despite not being of this world...) and knows how to work the system. His plan for the extermination of existence is brutally cruel and fueled by his own pain, but Azrael never lets that get into the way of being bitingly sarcastic and brutally hilarious.
Memorable Quote: "I'm a fuckin' demon."

19. Hayley Stark

Hard Candy (2005)
Played by: Ellen Page
Of all the films featured on this list, Hard Candy is most likely the one of which you've never heard. It's a small-time flick with all of five actors, and only two are featured for more than a minute or so. One of them is a pre-Juno Ellen Page who proves to be absolutely, bat-s*** crazy, but it's a wonder to watch. You'll probably never see her in a role like this again, so I suggest you give this one a watch if you have the time. Just be forewarned: it's not the easiest watch.
Memorable Quote: "Well, four out of five doctors agree that I am actually insane."

18. Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting

Gangs of New York (2002)
Played by: Daniel Day-Lewis
Daniel Day-Lewis is just an amazing actor. He's very selective with his roles, but when he does find one he likes, he knocks it outta the park. He nabbed a nomination for Best Actor for this particular role, and there's no doubt in my mind why he did as such. He's the epitome of a villain as Bill the Butcher, playing antagonist to Leonardo DiCaprio's character. I don't really know what else to say. He's just amazing.
Memorable Quote: "I took the father, now I'll take the son."

17. Oogie Boogie

The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
Voiced by: Ken Page
As the only animated character to make this list, Oogie Boogie has some rather large shoes to fill. I mean, there's been some maniacal animated villains in the past, but something about this charismatic, chronic gambler made me love him instantly. Nevermind that he sounds a a little bit like a racial stereotype or that he's ultimately just a bunch of bugs covered by something like a burlap sack, but his one-liners and his energy are too much to deny.
Memorable Quote: "Are you a gambling man, Santa?"

16. Frank Costello

The Departed (2006)
Played by: Jack Nicolson
This marks Nicholson's second appearance on this list, making him the only actor to crash it more than once. I'd have to say that's quite impressive. What makes Frank Costello so entertaining is the fact that, while he is ultimately a very bad man, he's so charismatic and funny that you almost want to be his friend. But then you realize how crazy he can get when things don't go his way, and you start to wonder whether your original thoughts on him were right. He keeps you guessing, is basically what I'm saying. And I loved that about him.
Memorable Quote: "When I was your age, they would say we can become cops or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?"

15. Vincent

Collateral (2004)
Played by: Tom Cruise
You can say what you want about Tom Cruise and his overall philosophy on life, and you demean even talk about his acting ability, but I will always point you to a couple of films that prove he's a brilliant actor. This is one of them. I'd never seen Cruise in a role so vile before, and I was totally blown away by his performance. It's stuck with me since I saw the film in 2004, and I'm sure it'll stick with me for a long, long time. Kudos, Mr. Cruise. You may be crazy, but you sure can act.
Memorable Quote: "I shot him. Bullets and the fall killed him."

14. John Doe

Se7en (1995)
Played by: Unknown
Part of the magic of John Doe's brilliance in Se7en was that absolutely no one knew who he was until he showed up on-screen. Therefore, I won't be putting the actor's name on this blog, just to continue with that train of thought. The actor had it written into his contract that no mention of his name was to be used in the lead-up to the film, including in the opening credits. And I can see why. The man delivers a tour-de-force performance that should easily go down as one of the greatest of all time. When you're dealing with a killer that murders based on the seven deadly sins, you know you're in for quite a ride, and Se7en does not disappoint.
Memorable Quote: "It's more comfortable for you to label me as insane."

13. Judge Doom

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Played by: Christopher Lloyd
One of my favorite childhood films - and still one of my favorite adulthood films - used to give me nightmares because of our central villain, Judge Doom. He's quite creepy through most of the film, but the level of creepiness skyrockets in the film's climactic moments. Christopher Lloyd is simply great in those final moments, delivering a series of scenes that have stuck with me for most of my life.
Memorable Quote: "I'll catch the rabbit, Mr. Valiant. And I'll try him, convict him and execute him."

12. Freddy Krueger

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Played by: Robert Englund
I'm going to be honest and tell you I've only seen the original Nightmare on Elm Street film and the 2010 remake, but I've never seen any of the sequels to that original flick. Still, Krueger stamped his place onto this list with a goofy but brutal showing as our deranged killer. While I thought Jackie Earle Haley was decent as our remake's Krueger, Robert Englund created the role and made him into the lasting icon he has become over the years.
Memorable Quote: "I'm your boyfriend now, Nancy."

11. T-1000

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Played by: Robert Patrick
I struggled with whether I wanted to put Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 from the original Terminator film rather than his T-1000 counterpart from the sequel, but then I realized that the T-1000 is just a little bit cooler. Whereas the T-800 is a creation of brute force, the T-1000 is more sleek and innovative, giving it an edge that should have driven it to victory. Robert Patrick burst onto the scene as this villain, and he's been playing off that success ever since. And for good reason. He brings a stoic presence to the character that makes him all the more alarming.
Memorable Quote: "Get out."

10. Frank

Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Played by: Henry Fonda
Part of the reason Frank is such an iconic character is because he was played by Henry Fonda, who had previously portrayed such good-guy types as Tom Joad (in 1940's The Grapes of Wrath) and Abraham Lincoln (in 1939's Young Mr. Lincoln). So seeing him come on-screen in the film's early going and stamp himself as the villain must have been brutally shocking for audiences back in the late-1960s. He still brings that subtle characterization to the screen, but when employed as a villain, Fonda is so entirely effective that it's downright scary.
Memorable Quote: "People scare better when they're dying."

9. Dr. Evil

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
Played by: Mike Myers
I know some of you are thinking, "How did Dr. Evil possibly make it this high onto the list? Every other character has been truly maniacal and bad!" And while I tend to agree, the basic tenet of being a villain is to be evil, and when the word "evil" is in your name, you've gotta have something going for you. Sure, he's a bumbling fool who's plans never truly pan out, but he tries as best he can. And he survived three films without being killed by his nemesis, Austin Powers. You've definitely gotta give him credit for that. Oh, and how many people were putting their pinkies to the corner of their lips after this movie came out? Enough said.
Memorable Quote: "Why must I be surrounded by frickin' idiots?"

8. Michael Myers

Halloween (1978)
Played by: Tony Moran
So we move from a Mike Myers character to a character named Michael Myers (I know, poetic, right?). Halloween is still the movie that scares me more than any other, solely because of the trudging behemoth carrying a massive knife. His silence only adds to his aura, and that William Shatner mask doesn't really help the situation at all. I can't tell you how many times I've woken up in the middle of the night and looked out my window expecting him to be standing right outside. Sure, subsequent films in the franchise proved to be downright terrible, but that doesn't take away the fact that Michael Myers is one scary son-of-a-gun.
Memorable Quote: N/A

7. Tyler Durden

Fight Club (1999)
Played by: Brad Pitt
Holy manifested subconscious, Batman! Who didn't absolutely love Tyler Durden when he began gracing screens just before Y2K? The guys loved him for his anarchy and his "fuck the world" attitude, and the girls loved him for his abs (who are the shallow ones now, ladies?). Because I'm a guy, I fell for the mayhem he spewed on a constant basis, ultimately changing Edward Norton's character entirely from the beginning to the end. Brad Pitt gives arguably his best career performance as Durden, a character that will always live on in the collective consciousness of anyone who has seen Fight Club.
Memorable Quote: "Fuck damnation, man! Fuck redemption! We are God's unwanted children? So be it!"

6. Darth Vader

Star Wars (1977)
Played by: David Prowse; Voiced by: James Earl Jones
My dad once told me that when he saw Star Wars in theaters back in 1977, the entire audience booed Darth Vader the moment he stepped on-screen. Nothing had yet said that he was the villain; instead, my dad said what clued the audience to his bad-ness was the all-black suit. Luckily, the audience guessed correctly, and the rest is history. Darth Vader is easily the most iconic villain on this list, and although he doesn't top it, there isn't a person in the world who hasn't heard his name, regardless of whether they've ever seen the movie.
Memorable Quote: "I find your lack of faith disturbing."

5. Hector Barbossa

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
Played by: Geoffrey Rush
While Johnny Depp was prancing around as our beloved Jack Sparrow, we actually got a taste of a brilliant pirate stereotype from Geoffrey Rush. When you watch him as Barbossa, you can't help but think that this is what a pirate should be like and act like. Sure, Depp steals the show, but Rush is right behind him, bringing a real legitimacy to the pirate name. Watching those two cross swords throughout the franchise has been fun, and it will continue upon the sequel's release in May.
Memorable Quote: "I'm disinclined to acquiesce to your request. Means 'no.'"

4. Colonel Hans Landa

Inglourious Basterds (2009)
Played by: Christoph Waltz
Christoph Waltz nabbed an Oscar statuette for his performance as Col. Hans Landa in Quentin Tarantino's World War II re-imagining. Landa pulls a number of languages on-screen - off-hand, I remember English, German, Italian and French - and adds that to a truly evil character hell-bent on furthering himself by bringing everyone else down. But it's his charisma that truly makes him such an appealing villain. You like him almost as much as the rest of the characters even though you know you should rooting against him. That very well may be the epitome of evil, and it definitely applies to the final three villains on this list. Keep reading!
Memorable Quote: "Ooh, that's a bingo!"

3. The Joker

The Dark Knight (2008)
Played by: Heath Ledger
You all knew that Ledger's Joker had to make this list somewhere, and let me tell you: it took a lot for me not to place him at the top immediately. In fact, the debate between the top three characters on this list was quite a long one, and Ledger's Joker had to take the bottom of the three. But he is the villain of my generation, proving to be so entirely psychotic that it ultimately led to Ledger's premature death. When a character can haunt the actor's dreams that much, you know that it's pure brilliance. As much as I miss Ledger and the brilliant career that he was only just beginning, I have to applaud him for completely losing himself in the role of the Joker. He brought the comedy and the horror of the character's past, creating the most tragically evil character in recent memory. His sense of anarchy completely trumps that of Tyler Durden's, if that goes to say anything about him. Pure brilliance, Mister Ledger. Rest in peace.
Memorable Quote: "This city deserves a better class of criminal And I'm gonna give it to them!"

2. Dr. Hannibal Lecter

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Played by: Anthony Hopkins
If you want to talk about brilliance, then you need look no further than Anthony Hopkins's Oscar-winning turn as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Although he doesn't have a ton of screen-time, Lecter makes the most of what he gets, proving to be one of the most devilishly brilliant personas ever to grace the silver screen. It's hard not to watch this movie and not be completely intrigued by his bravado and his intelligence. Lecter hooks you in and never lets you go. Perhaps that's how he gets to his victims...
Memorable Quote: "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."

1. Norman Bates

Psycho (1960)
Played by: Anthony Perkins
And yes, the villain from the greatest film of all time (in my opinion) has to take the cake as the greatest villain of all time (in my opinion). I could go on for hours and hours about the too-good-for-his-own-good Anthony Perkins (who was somehow snubbed from an Oscar nomination), but if you read my recommendation for the film - which is linked above - you can get a full breakdown of my thoughts concerning his role. Absolutely astonishing, though. That's the best way to describe Norman Bates. Absolutely astonishing.
Memorable Quote: "We all go a little mad sometimes."

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Relevant to: The Best: VILLAINS + villain