10 Best Movie Bad Guys

Friday, February 4 by Peter Matthews

The 10 best movie bad guys of all time have a way of making you forget exactly why you wanted good to triumph over evil. Whether its their twisted logic, their habit of doing things polite society frowns upon (building doomsday devices, for example), or their witty catch phrases, something about these villains makes them fascinating to watch onscreen. The next time you are in the mood for a little mayhem and destruction, consult the list below to choose a DVD and let the best movie bad guys in the business take care of your entertainment for the evening.

  1. "Jack Torrance." Stanley Kubrick's 1980 adaption of Stephen King's horror masterpiece, "The Shining," proved once and for all that no movie bad guy is more frightening than an abusive, alcoholic father struggling with cabin fever and his inner demons–except maybe an abusive, alcoholic father struggling with cabin fever and the influence of actual demons who think convincing him to murder his family would be fun. Without a doubt, Jack Torrance takes first place on our list of ten best movie bad guys.  
  2. "Kaiser Soze." When a hardened criminal looks you in the eyes and confesses his fear that someone just might be the devil, be afraid. Twenty-seven bodies and several large fireballs later, viewers are inclined to agree. Featuring a great surprise ending, 1995's "The Usual Suspects" taught us why Kevin Spacey had to admit, " the only that scares me is Kaiser Soze."  
  3. "Darth Vader." Able to strangle those who anger him by merely holding out his hand and pinching his fingers together, Darth Vader is one of Hollywood's most iconic villains. No list of the ten best movie bad guys would be complete without him.  
  4. "The Joker." In 2008's "The Dark Knight," Heath Ledger used his final role to transform a goofy comic book villain into one the most cold-blooded sociopaths ever to send shivers up moviegoers' spines.  
  5. "Hannibal Lector." Audiences flocked to see "The Silence of the Lambs," largely because of Anthony Hopkins unforgettable portrayal of Hannibal Lector, a cultured and well-read man with a predilection for eating people. No other villain could give viewers chills by simply saying, "Hello Clarice."  
  6. "Christine." Christine came off the assembly line fully equipped with evil, and when the 1958 Plymouth Fury falls in love with geeky teenager Arnie Cunningham, she feels compelled to take revenge on the high school kids who have tormented him for years. The way Christine affects Arnie's personality is every bit as disturbing as the way she chases down his foes.  
  7. "The Terminator." Before he was governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger was the Terminator. Any villain who gives us the catch phrases "I'll be back," and "Hasta la vista, baby" in a single move is a shoe-in for our list of ten best movie bad guys.  
  8. "Agent Smith." Nearl unstoppable and capable of bending the very fabric of reality, Agent Smith taught Keanu Reeves and audiences alike what it meant to be caught in the Matrix.  
  9. "Lord Voldemort." A wizard who has given himself over to evil, Lord Voldemort has waged an onscreen war against Harry Potter since 2003. For hatching complicated plots, setting wicked traps, and pulling in billions of dollars at the box office, Lord Voldemort has earned a place on this list of ten best movie bad guys.  
  10. "Rhoda Penmark." Sometimes, the scariest bad guy is a little girl. In 1956, the cute little blonde, who very well may have murdered a classmate over losing a spelling bee, terrified moviegoers in "The Bad Seed." Today, she remains as creepy as ever, making her the perfect character to round out our list.