You’ve got to hand it to the villains. Without the best of them, the movies would be safe enough for our girlfriends to watch. If, however you decide to take a look for yourself, we’ve prepared a list of 15 good movies that will make you keep the phone close-by just in case. The following are not necessarily the greatest movie villains of all time – just our favorites.
15. Anton Chigurh
- as seen in: “No country for old men” (2007)
- as played by: Javier Bardem
I don’t know what’s scarier about this man, the bowl haircut or the killer-stare. Anton Chigurh was a tough role for any other actor to play in, but the immensely-talented Javier Bardem somehow managed to put himself inside the mind of this alien character without saying much of anything at all. With this role, Javier Bardem got the Oscar for creating one of the most terrifying villains of the modern era.
14. Colonel Hans Landa
- as seen in: “Inglorious Basterds” (2010)
- as played by: Christoph Waltz
The self-entitled Jew Hunter, is a thoroughly unsettling presence whenever he appears on screen. Calculated on the outside, but nursing a violent temper within, he stands out as being a very unpredictable figure. Christoph Waltz received an Oscar for his role as the German Colonel and by all means, he deserved two.
13. John Milton
- as seen in: “The Devil’s advocate” (1997)
- as played by: Al Pacino
This was the first good interpretation of the Devil I have seen. Al Pacino didn’t really portray the demonic figure we’re all used to, but instead, more of a mastermind set on mind-control and domination. The power of Al Pacino’s speech and the way the role fits him like a tailored suit, turn this character into one of the most terrifying cinematic bogeymen of the modern era.
12. Dr. Hannibal Lecter
- as seen in: “The silence of the lambs” (1991)
- as played by: Anthony Hopkins
The name alone describes what the character is made from. A taunting mastermind who likes to mess with people’s minds whilst feesting on human flesh. Sir Anthony Hopkins managed to create a villain which was never before seen.
11. Tony Montana
- as seen in: “Scarface” (1983)
- as played by: Al Pacino
“Scarface” is a must. If you haven’t seen it, you’re missing out on one of Al Pacino’s most memorable roles. Even though everybody has their own sins to bear, Tony Montana is the man you need to point your finger at. Al Pacino did a flawless job interpreting the role of Scarface and without a doubt, this will be one of the movies he will always be remembered for.
10. The Devil
- as seen in: “Constantine” (2005)
- as played by: Peter Stormare
I was sick and tired of seeing the same “horned” image of the devil. I was sick and tired of the same fiery-red-eyes routine, the same opulence and greed. Peter Stormare on the other hand, did something else to the Devil. He didn’t try restrain the Devil from coming out of the human character but instead he tried to make the devil fit inside the human character.
9. Darth Maul
- as seen in: “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” (1999)
- as played by: Ray Park
I don’t know if George Lucas intended to create another Darth Vader or if he wanted just another character to fill in as the bad guy in the first Star Wars prequel. The fact remains that Darth Maul quickly became an icon in the bad-guy industry. The character interpreted by Ray Park might not have live-up to be the Darth Vader that anyone had expected it to be, but as an image of evil, he did not dissappoint. If I think about it, “The Phantom Menace” didn’t suck completely because of Darth Maul.
- as seen in: “The Harry Potter Saga” (2001-2011)
- as played by: Ralph Fiennes
For an actor, bringing a physical manifestation of pure evil to life isn’t as easy as it might seem. With that being said, I could probably make a safe assumption that Ralph Fiennes surpasses “pure evil” while playing the role of Voldermort. Everything that Harry Potter is, Voldermort is his exact opposite.
7. Jack Torrance
- as seen in: “The Shining” (1980)
- as played by: Jack Nicholson
Jack Nicholson altered the character found in Stephen King’s Novel. He didn’t do it in a bad manner, but he turned out to be menacing even since the movie’s begining. When I first saw the movie I was pretty sure that he was sick of his wife and child way before the Overlook started to exert its evil influence. The evil in this man keeps growing until it reaches axe-murder proportions.
6. Agent Smith
- as seen in: “The Matrix Trilogy” (1999)
- as played by: Hugo Weaving
I stopped leaving my computer on stand-by because of Agent Smith. Everything this “virus” did was to carefully destroy what he had been initially programmed to protect. Even though, in the first Matrix movie, we get used to a very calculated version of Mr.Smith, the two following sequels show a psychotic version out to hunt and destroy everything related to Neo.
5. Terminator T1000
- as seen in: “Terminator 2: Judgement day” (1991)
- as played by: Robert Patrick
I remember the shock I had when I first saw Arnold as the Terminator in the first movie from the franchise. He was unstoppable, relentless and overall frightening. However, in the “Judgement day” sequel, Robert Patrick absorbed everything that Arnold did in the first movie and turned it into something massive. I still can’t picture a better actor for the T-1000 role.
- as seen in: “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
- as played by: Tom Hardy
Tom Hardy’s voice did everything here. From my point of view, it wouldn’t have mattered if the movie had been transmitted over the radio, that voice could have moved mountains. Despite all of Bane’s other qualities – his presence, strength and cunning – he will always be remembered for the effect he had on Batman.
3. Patrick Bateman
- as seen in: American Psycho (2000)
- as played by: Christian Bale
The character played by Christian Bale could be real for what it’s worth. I mean, that’s what makes Patrick Bateman so damn evil, the fact that he might even live in your town. The contrast between Bateman’s perfect mask and his inner life was flawlessly captured by Christian Bale The character’s chiseled outside only underlines just how rotten and horrible he is on the inside. Furthermore, there is an awful tension that rises throughout the movie and the silence at the end makes it that much terrifying.
2. The Joker
- as seen in: “The Dark Knight” (2008)
- as played by: Heath Ledger
The Joker was much more than just a villain. Heath Ledger created an icon that all the other Jokers never managed to create. Most of the villains in this list had a moment in which their plan snapped and then they lost everything. From my point of view, Heath Ledger’s Joker never even had a plan in the first place. The shear impredictibility makes him one of the best villains of all time.
1. Darth Vader
- as seen in: ”The Star Wars Saga” (1977-2008)
- as played by: David Prowse and James Earl Jones (voice) in Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (1977-1983)
I consider Darth Vader to be the best movie villain ever because of he’s unmistakeable evil. You just know that you’re in the presence of a legendary character starting from the first moment you lay eyes on him. Everything about him is evil, starting from his black suit and red lightsaber to his mechanical breath and “take-no-prisoners” attitude.