Top 10 Movie Villains That We Just Love To Hate

Tags: #HannibalLecter ,   #Sauron ,   #Joker ,   #DarthVader

Julia Adams

Julia Adams

Last updated:  2021-02-18 15:50:46

We all have our most favorite characters that we cherish and root for. Whether it's an action hero that's saving the world or a dynamic personality that reminds us of someone we know, we idolize and relate to them. But what would they be without a nemesis, who's there to make things more difficult for them? A good villain makes up half of the story, right? We just love to hate them while supporting our protagonist. Stay with us, and explore our list of top 10 movie villains that we love to watch. Also, read our picks for the top 10 movie villainesses that (almost) make us want to be bad.

10. Annie Wilkes, "Misery"

Annie is the ultimate obsessed fan

Let's start with Annie Wilkes, the main antagonist in the 1990 thriller, that's an adaptation of Stephen King's novel "Misery." When a writer Paul Sheldon gets stuck in a blizzard while traveling home, a nurse finds him and brings him to her secluded home. Upon waking up, he discovers that his legs are broken and that he can't leave.

Also, Annie introduces herself as a big fan, as she likes his novels about the character Misery Chastain. What looks to be a blessing turned out as the worst nightmare, as the "sweet lady" shows her ugly side. This portrayal by Kathy Bates was magnificent, winning her Oscar for the Best Actress.

9. The Alien, "Alien" Franchise

Ridley Scott took space and made it claustrophobic

Sigourney Weaver brought us the first action heroine, Ellen Ripley, a warrant officer who fights against an extraterrestrial creature, The Alien. The first movie out of the series came out in 1979 and achieved a huge success. But would our favorite movie badass be what she is without the monster she faces?

Alien is the perfect organism with no emotions and no fears that wants to destroy everything on its way. This scary thing will bring out your survival instinct, as you'll be locked to the screen, fearing for the people who have to face it. Besides, aren't our favorite movies the ones that include extraterrestrial life?

8. Amon Goeth, "The Schindler's List"

After the war, he was sentenced to hang for his crimes against humanity

Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) represents everything wrong the Nazi did in the Oscar-winning movie, "The Schindler's List." A true sadist, the Third Reich's commandant, finds his place in Plaszow's concentration camp. Oh, this man loves to kill, and he does it without being provoked in any way. Poor Jews are his perfect mark, as they're unprotected and fragile.

Nonetheless, this doesn't mean he isn't fighting his internal demons! His affection for the Jewish maid is particularly interesting, considering he views them as rodents, creatures not worthy of humane treatment. The true epitome of evil, Amon killed thousands of Jews during his time in Poland. And, what's all the scarier is that this person actually existed, as a part of history we must never forget.

7. T-1000, "Terminator 2"

Stone-cold face and aviator glasses

Arnold Schwarzenegger was a tour de force as an emotionless killing machine in the first Terminator. However, even he didn't prepare us for the terror that the newer version brought with him in Terminator 2. T-1000, played by Robert Patrick, is a machine on a quest to kill a teenage boy.

The villain's stone-cold expression was accentuated with visual effects. His liquid metal body lets him shapeshift into other people, as his artificial intelligence mimics them perfectly. Relentless in his mission, he was methodically murdering any human that would stand in his way. By the end, he managed to rack up a much larger body count than his predecessor.                                                            

6. Nurse Ratched, "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"

You don't want to end up in a hospital she's running

At first glance, this character is a bit lacking than others listed, but first looks can be deceiving. Mildred Ratched, the head nurse of the Salem State Hospital, has every reason to be here. Her rationale is that the psychiatric institution inmates need help from a firm hand if any order is to be maintained. That's why she'll stop at nothing to preserve her dictatorship over her realm.

Nurse Ratched is the perfect example of an absolute power corrupting absolutely. She's a small-minded woman whose only solace is bullying those placed in her care. She will deny them even the most basic human needs on a whim, probably adding more layers to their psychosis instead of helping cure them.

5. Voldemort, "Harry Potter" series

We shall not name him here

This is the second time Ralph Fiennes graces our list, and both are worthy additions. Before we learn his name, we find out that he's "The One Who Shall Not Be Named," and before we actually meet him, we already know what he has done to earn this reverence. When he finally shows up in the flesh, our expectations are already high.

Of course, he doesn't disappoint in the slightest. His wicked intellect, devious plans, and a gallery of evil followers are a perfect counterpart for Harry Potter and his allies. Throughout the series, we'll find much about his origins and motivations and even more intricate details in "Fantastic Beasts" spinoffs. Needless to say, he has garnered quite a fan base for himself.

4. Sauron, "The Lord of the Rings" series

History of a carefully crafted villain

Like our previous villain, Sauron is also less a bone and flesh figure and more an ever-present evil. The Dark Lord is an ancient being, haunting J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth and using his considerable power to engulf the whole land in darkness once again.

"The Lord of the Rings" series tells a story about a small, unlikely band of adventurers, finding hope in despair and succeeding against all odds. Their quest to go to the heart of Sauron's lands and destroy his source of power is a desperate gamble. For this premise to work, The Adversary needed to be powerful and dangerous, which Sauron definitely is. Many believe that Tolkien got inspiration while in the trenches of World War I, and we tend to agree with this.

3. Hannibal Lecter, "Silence of the Lambs"

If you look closely, you'll notice something off below his well-mannered surface

If we look at it strictly, in "Silence of the Lambs," he's not even the main villain. FBI agent Clarice Starling is on the hunt, chasing a serial killer who likes to skin his victims. To do this, she will need to enlist the help of an even more ruthless murderer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Although behind bars, he's still a terrifying presence, and Anthony Hopkins plays him perfectly.

Calm, charismatic, and armed with superior intelligence, he manages to steal every scene he appears in. He will help Clarice, but will the reward be worthy of the deal with the devil? Not to forget him, Brian Cox's version of the same role in the 1986 Manhunter was also chilling. Still, we believe Hopkins raised the bar to another level, portraying a character that seems real like some of the worst killers in the 20th century.

2. Darth Vader, "Star Wars"

An iconic villain, both visually and audibly

Darth Vader is probably the most well-known villain on this list. Appearing in George Lucas' "Star Wars," he is the focal point of the first six movies, first as an antagonist in the original trilogy, and then as a prequel protagonist. Of course, we'll focus on his villainous incarnation, played by David Prowse in a menacing black suit, and voiced flawlessly by James Earl Jones.

In this version, he is the evil Galactic Empire personified. With an army at his disposal, he'll scour the galaxy in his attempts to eradicate the rebellion. As the movies progress, we learn more about his tragic origins, making him even a sympathetic persona. Nevertheless, we think that he was at his best when he choked his subordinates to death, just to prove a point.

1. The Joker, "Joker"

Joaquin Phoenix got the Academy Award for his performance

To be sure, Joker must be the one villain here that had the largest count of different movie-incarnations. Jack Nicholson in "Batman," Heath Ledger in "The Dark Knight," Jared Leto in "Suicide Squad" are just a few of them. They all were wildly different versions of the same comic book character, and each stellar in their own way. So, we admit, Joaquin Phoenix had some pretty big (clown) shoes to fill.

This is why we were even more impressed to see that he delivered on every front. The most human version of Joker so far shows us first his good side and then brings us deep into the darkness. Throughout the movie, we'll gain a better understanding of the character than ever before. By the end, both he and we, as the audience, will come a full circle.

Those were our picks for the villains we most enjoyed. We know heroes are great and all that, but what about the other side of the same coin?

Who are your favorite movie villains, and why do you like them? Tell us your picks in the comments below!

Cover photo by:

Image by Rudy and Peter Skitterians from Pixabay


Similar Articles

Latest Articles

Top 5 Articles

Trending Articles

Sponsor Ads