Top 10 Best Movie Villains of All Time

Which villains in cinema have given you the feeling of them actually being evil?
The Top Ten
1 The Joker - The Dark Knight

The thing that made Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker so brilliant and masterful was the fact that, instead of simply 'acting' out the character of the Joker, he immersed himself within the role and 'became' the Joker.

Many people claim that his 'becoming the Joker' drove him insane or made him go crazy, resulting in him overdosing. This, in itself, though sad, is a testament to just how amazing and immersed he was in the character of the Joker.

When I came to this page of TheTopTens, I was so glad to see that so many people agree that Heath Ledger's portrayal of the Joker in The Dark Knight was indeed the best villain portrayal in movie history.

2 Darth Vader - Star Wars Darth Vader is a Star Wars character and the main antagonist of the first three original Star Wars films and the main protagonist of the Star Wars prequel trilogy under his original name Anakin Skywalker. He had been trained as a Jedi but defected to the Sith lord and Galactic Chancellor Palpatine... read more

He is way better than the Joker. Like, come on, the Joker isn't even on the same level as Darth Vader! Has he blown up a planet? Can he use the Force to kill his enemies? Listen, let's look into Greek culture. Darth Vader is like Achilles. He strikes fear in his enemies, possibly even making them retreat because just the sight of Darth Vader would make his enemies paranoid. He is highly intimidating, like Achilles in the Iliad. When the Trojans were driving the Greek soldiers back, his friend dressed up like Achilles because Achilles refused to fight. But when his friend died, Achilles was enraged. When Achilles entered the battlefield, the Trojans started to fall back, but to no use. He slaughtered many of them. Personally, I think Darth Vader was, is, and always will be the best villain EVER.

3 Hannibal Lecter - The Silence of the Lambs Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a character in a series of suspense novels by Thomas Harris. Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.

Heath Ledger's Joker may be at the top of this list, but he wouldn't be there without the inspiration from Sir Anthony Hopkins' character from 'The Silence of the Lambs'. Hopkins/Thomas Harris invented a new breed of psychopath with the genius-level intellect and charming personality of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In my opinion, as far as villains go, Lecter has never been equaled, and never will.

Hannibal Lecter is not only murderous but highly intelligent as well. If it wasn't for him, Clarice Starling probably would have never caught Buffalo Bill. He also has an eerie way of speaking. And nobody fits the part better than Anthony Hopkins. Dr. Hannibal Lecter IS the best movie villain of all time.

4 Lord Voldemort - Harry Potter Lord Voldemort is a fictional character and the central main antagonist in J. K. Rowling's series of Harry Potter novels. Voldemort first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which was released in 1997.

If someone is a villain that everybody fears to speak his or her name, he or she will definitely be at the top of the list. Lord Voldemort achieved that. He deserves to be first.

Voldemort makes Harry Potter possible. Without him, there would be no Harry Potter. He is by far the most threatening villain on this list. And how is this 71?!

Yes, Voldemort is good... the best villain ever! People are even afraid to say his name. They call him "The Dark Lord" or "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named."

5 Thanos - Avengers: Infinity War Thanos is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. The character was created by Jim Starlin and Mike Friedrich. The character first appeared in Iron Man #55 and has been portrayed by actors Damion Poitier and Josh Brolin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

He was the most interesting part of Infinity War. Such a complex guy, evil enough that you cheer on the good guys but good enough to make you wonder whether the world would be better off if his plan succeeded. I personally found him to be a much more complex and interesting character than the Joker.

He is the definition of pure evil, but he still has good reasons for the evil he has committed. He will kill his own daughter just for genocide. He also has regrets for the evil he commits. Truly, he is one of the best cinema villains, next to the Joker.

6 Loki - Thor Loki Laufeyson, or Loki Odinson, is a fictional character appearing in the American comic books published by Marvel Comics. He is the adoptive brother and archenemy of Thor, and is known as the "God of Mischief". In the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the character has been portrayed by Tom Hiddleston.

Besides Joker being my favorite character, Loki is my second choice. He's funny and charming. He's easily one of the best movie villains and my favorite Marvel character.

He's one of the best movie villains. Without him, Thor (1 & 2) would've been so boring! The only reason Thor was quite successful is because of Loki!

Marvel needs to make him more powerful. He should win for once. Maybe he should overthrow Thanos.

7 The Emperor - Star Wars

He's a true villain: intelligent, manipulative, powerful. He also brought the Jedi to the brink of extinction. While Vader is easily the most iconic, Palpatine is the most villainous.

Darth Vader may have a tragic backstory, but people come on! In terms of villainy and how awesome they are, it's not about how sad and good of a character they are! The Emperor literally succeeded in ruling the galaxy sometimes in the comics and movies, and even blows up planets if people don't listen to him. He was also a rare twist villain but was insanely calm at the same time. What did Vader do interesting as a villain? Say "Luke, I am your father" and that scene in Rogue One? There are some, but Palpatine has far more.

8 Anton Chigurh - No Country for Old Men Anton Chigurh is a fictional character and the main antagonist of Cormac McCarthy's 2005 novel, "No Country for Old Men." In the 2007 film adaptation of the same name, he is portrayed by Javier Bardem.

Chigurh is a perfect incarnation of the fear that comes with the ambiguous and unknown regarding anything at all. His unpredictable and sociopathic behavior makes him absolutely terrifying, and Javier Bardem's performance took it to another level. Bravo.

Never was afraid of a character before watching this movie, surprised how likable the actor actually is.

Anton Chigurh is the best villain I have ever seen. Javier Bardem was outstanding in this character.

9 Agent Smith - The Matrix Agent Smith is a fictional character and the main antagonist of The Matrix trilogy. He was portrayed by Hugo Weaving in the films and voiced by Christopher Corey Smith in The Matrix: Path of Neo. However, due to scheduling conflicts, Weaving was not able to portray the role in The Matrix 4.

What makes him a good one? No, it's not his speed, building jumps, and more. No, it's none of that. It's the fact that he was a servant who would overthrow their master. He became the big one, stronger in each movie, until he gained the power of the Oracle. He is a reasonable guy who talks with people politely before doing anything. These types of villains are rare, but he increases it.

Smith deserves a top ten spot. The idea behind him is so original. He can leap buildings, dodge every bullet fired at him, and deliver his cryptic, "matrixy" lines so beautifully! 100% of the quotes I cite regularly from this movie come from him in his silky, articulate style. (Do you hear that, Mr. Anderson? That is the sound of inevitability. Goodbye...) Hugo Weaving's best role. Ever.

10 Sauron - The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Sauron is the title character and main antagonist of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Originally a servant of the first Dark Lord, Morgoth. Morgoth was later defeated and Sauron fled. He later came back to Middle Earth and took over as the new Dark Lord by using a Ring of Power. He was later... read more

This villain is agreeably the most dangerous of all time. Not only did he take down millions in the form of a giant in armor, but he also really presented danger as both a mouth and an eye separately. He created a ring that drives the bearer mad over it. He proved that only his eye could take down millions. He is also part of the most famous fantasy trilogy of all time, and he can control other people through his eye alone. Additionally, this villain helped Rowling create Voldemort. J.R.R. Tolkien really knows what he is doing, and Sauron is as dangerous as villains come!

The Newcomers

? Jeremy Armitage - Get Out
? Missy Armitage - Get Out
The Contenders
11 Bane - The Dark Knight Rises Bane is a fictional supervillain appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly as an adversary of the superhero Batman.

I don't know what it was, but Bane was just so intimidating. Of course, he gets overshadowed by the Joker in the previous film. But to be honest, the Joker didn't have as much firepower as Bane. Bane could actually go one on one with Batman. His plans were interesting, and I felt like he stole the show every single time.

A pretty good bad guy when it comes down to remembering him. Probably Batman's second-best villain by far.

12 Pennywise the Clown - It It (sometimes capitalized as IT), more commonly known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, is the titular main antagonist of the novel, its 2017 film adaptation and the 1990 TV adaptation. It was portrayed to be a shapeshifting and malevolent entity millions (possibly billions) of years old, and with no... read more

He could be the reason that many people are afraid of clowns.

Tim Curry is the perfect Pennywise.

13 Jason Voorhees - Friday the 13th Jason Voorhees is a character from the Friday the 13th series. He first appeared in Friday the 13th as the young son of camp cook-turned-murderer, Mrs. Voorhees.

There are even more people who know about Jason than any of the others. Seriously. He is one of the most iconic characters of all time and also the most powerful serial killer on this list.

He is invincible to magic because he is connected to the Necronomicon, one of the most powerful objects there ever was, not even the Force comes close.

He can't be killed, not even by an explosion, grenades, or Earth's atmosphere. Compared to most people here, he is a GOD.

The scariest serial killer out of them all and fun to watch!

14 Magneto - X-Men Magneto is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by Marvel Comics, commonly in association with the X-Men.

While the psychopath can often be appealing, Magneto is a great villain because he is goal-driven, which is more appealing to me. If you ask me, this is more interesting than some crazy guy (you know they are already going to do something insane). Instead of being crazy, he is interesting because of his respect for Charles and rivalry with the X-Men. He isn't as iconic as, say, the Joker, but I would say he has a lot more influence every time he appears.

He has tremendous power that beats out every villain listed above him. He's very charismatic, and in every portrayal, he is an easy favorite because he invokes power through his dialogue and mutant ability. When one is able to threaten squads of police with their own bullet with one hand, you know that's a powerful villain. Not to mention, he always looks badass as hell. The Master of Magnetism never fails to impress.

15 Freddy Krueger - A Nightmare on Elm Street Fred "Freddy" Krueger is the main antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series. He first appeared in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

Freddy actually wore a red and green sweater and invades your dreams. He has a glove with knives on the tips, and he is indeed a great fighter. Freddy forever.

Has never shown even the slightest of sympathy to his victims. Nobody on this list is as heartless and ruthless as Freddy. He should be #1.

Nightmare on Elm Street was a hell of a movie for its time. But Freddy was a hell of a character too then.

16 Annie Wilkes - Misery Anne Marie Wilkes Dugan, usually known as Annie Wilkes, is a character in the 1987 novel Misery, by Stephen King.
17 Norman Bates - Psycho Norman Bates is a character created by writer Robert Bloch as the main character in his novel Psycho, and portrayed by Anthony Perkins as the primary antagonist of the 1960 film of the same name directed by Alfred Hitchcock and its sequels.

Even if you haven't watched the movie, just look at the pic here. He looks terrifying!

Everyone goes a little mad sometimes.

Nobody can say Hannibal sucked, Darth Vader is awesome, Anton was amazing, and don't even get me started on the Joker, but I am disappointed Norman isn't higher on the list.

18 Maleficent - Sleeping Beauty Maleficent is the main antagonist of Disney's 1959 animated feature film Sleeping Beauty. An evil fairy, Maleficent is an incarnation of pure evil, and is responsible for all misfortune in King Stefan's kingdom.

Not my favorite villain, but my favorite Disney villain. She was much better than Scar and cursed a baby because she wasn't invited to a party. That's cruel. I think she should at least be at 11, 12, or 9. But I do agree that the Joker from The Dark Knight should be number one. He was scary as hell. But Maleficent is truly the mistress of all evil in both the Disney world and the movie world. I think she claimed that title pretty well with her pet raven Diablo and her dragon.

19 The Jigsaw Killer - Saw

I know Heath Ledger's portrayal in "The Dark Knight" is revered, especially after his untimely death, and I'm aware of the multitude of Star Wars enthusiasts. However, if we're seriously considering this list, then as far as villains go, it is definitely John Kramer from Saw.

John Kramer was undoubtedly the most intelligent, methodical, creative, and manipulative villain - and at times, quite convincing. Watching him speak was pure entertainment. It was remarkable how he convinced so many of his "projects" to side with him, and how he managed to trap every person even remotely connected to him. His strategy was simple yet effective: he finds a bad guy and traps him. The bad guy's friends find him, and they get trapped. People seeking revenge for their friends get trapped. Cops pursuing John get trapped. And when the Feds come after the cops, they too get trapped. All the while, he was expanding his army using these very individuals. The disturbing part is his ability to argue, quite convincingly, that he never killed anyone - that they killed themselves. He even boldly states that he "despises murderers".

This character is, at best, an avenging angel out to test the innocent and slay the wicked, and at worst, a Charles Manson/Hannibal Lecter hybrid on crack. There's a reason he was featured in seven movies. After watching the third, you begin to grasp the depth of his character and become addicted.

20 Hal 9000 - 2001: A Space Odyssey HAL 9000 is a fictional character in Arthur C. Clarke's Space Odyssey series. First appearing in 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL is a sentient computer that controls the systems of the Discovery One spacecraft and interacts with the ship's astronaut crew.

HAL-9000, the smartest and most reliable computer there is. But, what happens when that AI of extraordinary intelligence and power goes paranoid? He loses chess matches, no big deal. He doesn't open the pod bay doors, that's concerning, but nothing too terrifying. Killing all of the crew members except one? Hmm...

I'm sorry, Dave, but I'm afraid I can't let you do that.

21 Doc Ock - Spider-Man 2
22 The Joker - Batman (1989)

Unlike Heath Ledger:
- Joker had a good backstory.
- He was played by a much better and menacing actor.
- Heath was serious. This one was funny and intimidating.
- He inspired Mark Hamill. Mark Hamill said that Heath was better than him. He wasn't being honest.
- Bob Kane, creator of Batman, actually wanted Jack to portray Joker.
- "Have you ever danced with the devil in the pale moonlight?" This quote means: Have you ever found yourself in a horrifying situation when no one is around to assist?
- Permanent smile. Heath's wounds would disappear over time.
- Trustful to the comic book version.
- He sounds much more evil, rather than crazy, which is already in his personality.
- The only thing that stands up for Ledger are his fans. And seriously, do they think Heath was a better villain than Darth Vader? That's insane and downright stupid.

23 Stansfield - Léon: The Professional

It was a tough decision between Hans Gruber and Norman Stansfield, but let's face it, Stansfield is so evil he would kill a 12-year-old and her family, and he's supposed to be a cop! Also, he has the BEST quotes ever: "I haven't got TIME for this Mickey Mouse bull***" and "Everyone, EVERYONE!" His love for Mozart is so sinister. Love it!

Gary Oldman is a phenomenal actor and was an outstanding villain in The Professional. Without him, the movie wouldn't have been so brilliant.

Fantastic, Gary Oldman should have won an Oscar and been knighted for this role alone.

24 The Terminator (T-800) - The Terminator

I like this take on a machine infiltrating human society and emulating us. Not to mention the constant threat...

He feels no pain, nor remorse, nor fear, and he's unstoppable!

25 Colonel 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.

This is ridiculous. I just watched Inglourious Basterds, and Hans is easily on par with most of the higher-up villains, especially Voldemort and Bane. How the hell is Bane #9 and Landa is #27? I don't think he should be at the top of the list. But I voted for him because he deserves at least the top ten.

Why is this one so low on this list? Hans Landa is the most chilling/terrifying villain on this list by far.

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