Best Movie Characters of the 21st Century

The 21st century began on January 1, 2001 and will end on December 31, 2100.
The Top Ten
1 Daniel Plainview - There Will Be Blood

Unlike the stunning energy of the Joker, Daniel Plainview is a much more subtle character, realized in possibly the greatest performance of all time. Daniel Day-Lewis expertly portrays the sociopathic tycoon who is also thoroughly human, and filled with both hatred towards Eli and love for H.W.

2 The Joker - The Dark Knight The Joker is a fictional super villain created by Bill Finger, Bob Kane, and Jerry Robinson who first appeared in the debut issue of the comic book Batman (April 25, 1940) published by DC Comics. Credit for the Joker's creation is disputed; Kane and Robinson claimed responsibility for the Joker's design,... read more

There is no one else, there is no substitute, there is no alternative. There is this legendary creation of film or nothing at all.

Heath Ledger's timeless performance added a chilling manic energy and horror to this character. The dialogue he delivered is also unforgettable and added a brilliant edge to the Joker's philosophy of chaos. "Do you want to know how I got these scars?"

Such an enigmatic, insane character. I love the twisted sense of humor he has.

3 David - A.I. Artificial Intelligence

David is a character that is simultaneously robotic yet incredibly human. The best representation of this paradox is his unconditional love for Monica. Initially accepting and hopeful, David grows increasingly cynical as the film progresses, until he learns how to deal with the love that is tearing him apart in the bittersweet ending.

4 Lou Bloom - Nightcrawler

Psychopaths are always fascinating. Perhaps because of Jake Gyllenhaal's performance, Lou Bloom is one of the most fascinating. I was kept on the edge of my seat as Lou ruthlessly pursued his job with his cold, eerie smile.

5 Logan (Wolverine) - X-Men series

In the main X-Men series, we are introduced to Wolverine as a cage fighter who develops a close relationship with the X-Men. However, in the movie Logan, we get a deeper look at the weary character who fights and kills because he has to in order to protect Laura and Charles Xavier. Ultimately, Logan is a tragic and epic protagonist.

6 Lee Chandler - Manchester by the Sea

In his portrayal of Lee Chandler, Casey Affleck offers a heartbreaking and subtle look at how people deal with loss. Lee seems like a jerk when we are first introduced to him, but as I learned more about him, I was blown away by the ways in which he tries and fails to get away from his past. As Lee says, "I can't beat it."

7 Harry Potter - Harry Potter Series Harry James Potter is the title character of J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. The majority of the books' plot covers seven years in the life of the orphan Potter, who, on his eleventh birthday, learns he is a wizard.

In the Harry Potter series, Harry embarks on many fantastical adventures, where he learns to be a classically brave hero. At the same time, he experiences many simple humanizing moments, growing attached to his friends and role models, and dealing with the loss of his parents. Harry is not the flashiest character in the series, but he is the character that the audience can most sympathize with, and he perfectly represents the start of the 21st century.

8 Iron Man - The Avengers Iron Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, as well as its associated media. The character was created by writer and editor Stan Lee, developed by scripter Larry Lieber, and designed by artists Don Heck and Jack Kirby. He made his first appearance... read more
9 Arthur Fleck - Joker
10 Nina Sayers - Black Swan

Nina is a remarkable character because she combines innocence and immaturity with much darker and more unstable forces - the perfect representation of the White Swan and the Black Swan. With a stellar performance from Natalie Portman, Nina's transformation into the vengeful, sexual, and self-hating Black Swan is thrilling.

The Contenders
11 Howard Ratner - Uncut Gems
12 Thor - Thor Thor Odinson is a fictional superhero appearing in the American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character, based on the Norse mythological deity of the same name, is the Asgardian god of thunder and possesses the enchanted hammer Mjolnir, which grants him the ability of flight and weather... read more
13 Wonder Woman - Wonder Woman Wonder Woman is a fictional superhero created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter, appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a founding member of the Justice League, a goddess, and Ambassador-at-Large of the Amazon people. In her homeland, the island nation... read more
14 Batman - The Dark Knight series
15 Spider-Man - Spider-Man Trilogy Spider-Man is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics existing in its shared universe. The character was created by writer-editor Stan Lee and writer-artist Steve Ditko, and first appeared in the anthology comic book Amazing Fantasy #15 (August 1962) in the... read more
16 Winter Soldier - Marvel Cinematic Universe James Buchanan "Bucky" Barnes is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he is portrayed by Sebastian Stan.
17 James Bond - James Bond Royal Navy Commander James Bond is a fictional character created by British journalist and novelist Ian Fleming in 1953. He is the protagonist of the James Bond series of novels, films, comics and video games.
18 Emperor Palpatine - Star Wars Sheev Palpatine (also known by his Sith identity Darth Sidious and publicly as Senator Palpatine, then Supreme Chancellor Palpatine, and later Emperor Palpatine) is a fictional character and one of the primary antagonists of the Star Wars franchise, mainly portrayed by Ian McDiarmid.
19 The Bride - Kill Bill Beatrix Kiddo, codename Black Mamba, is the protagonist of the two-part movie Kill Bill directed by Quentin Tarantino. She is portrayed by Uma Thurman.

Maybe the most badass character of the 21st century so far. Kill Bill Vol. 1 is a great revenge movie, in which Uma Thurman shows off her fighting skills. Kill Bill Vol. 2 also deals with revenge, but on top of that, it also gives you more of the Bride's backstory, and explores her complicated relationship with Bill.

20 Gollum - The Lord of The Rings Gollum is a fictional character from J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He was introduced in the 1937 children's fantasy novel The Hobbit, and became an important supporting character in its sequel, The Lord of the Rings. In Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, he is portrayed via motion... read more
21 Scarlet Witch - Avengers: Age of Ultron Wanda Maximoff, also known as the Scarlet Witch, is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. She is portrayed by Elizabeth Olsen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. She is thought to be one of the most powerful people in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and can... read more
22 Katniss Everdeen - Hunger Games Katniss Everdeen is a fictional character and the protagonist of The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. She is portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in the film adaptation franchise.
23 Hans Landa - Inglourious Basterds Christoph Waltz is an Austrian-German actor that has won 2 Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor for his collaborations with director Quentin Tarantino in Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained.
24 Legolas - The Lord of the Rings Legolas is a character in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium. He is a Sindarin Elf of the Woodland Realm and one of nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring. He has been portrayed by Orlando Bloom in the live action movies.
25 Jordan Belfort - The Wolf of Wall Street
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