Great movies have some great actors, great heroes, and great villains. A superhero is not a superhero without a good supervillain. Villains are as important as any of the protagonists in the movie. Some of the actors have left a mark as the negative characters to be the greatest movie villains of all time.
For instance, who can be a better Terminator than Arnold Schwarzenegger! It is just not possible to see anyone else playing The Terminator as great as him. So is the case with many actors who have made a mark as the negative character in a movie or the movie series. Here are some of the greatest villains of all time.
The 50 Greatest Movie Villains of all Time
1. Darth Vader
Movie: Star Wars –The Empire Strikes Back
Who can you hear saying, “He’s as clumsy as he is stupid” other than James Earl!
Darth Vader could easily be the greatest villain ever written in a screenplay. Played by David Prowse and voiced by James Earl, the Darth Vader in “The Empire Strikes Back” is the most loved Vader.
Movie –The Dark Night
DC is one of the most loved comic universes. All the villains in DC are some of the good ones. The best in DC and one of the best villains ever is Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the most loved villain, The Joker.
3. Hannibal Lecter
Movie –Silence of the Lambs
Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar winning character Hannibal Lecter is one of the greatest movie villains of all time. Hopkins as the cannibal is a lifetime worth of performance and is one of the best on screen play that you might see.
4. Anton Chigurh
Movie – No Country For Old Men
Anton Chigurh and his fate deciding the coin flip are timeless. The cold-blooded killer played amazingly by Javier Bardem is one of the greatest portrayals of a villain. The actor is successful in playing the face of evil.
5. The Shark
Jaws is one of the best shark-related movies. The Shark was played by a mechanical shark that took the entire audience by surprise. In the entire screen time of the shark, it was more of a badass villain and one of the most scared as well. The Shark is of the greatest movie villains of all time.
Movie –The Terminator
The Terminator movie itself is over of the best to watch. Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator has made the movie reach greater heights. The human extension machine is one of the best villains and Arnold Schwarzenegger has brought the role to life.
7. Amon Goeth
Movie – “Schindler’s List
Ralph Fiennes as Amon Goeth is one of the greatest movie villains of all time. The Nazi Concentration Camp commandant, Goeth is drop dead pure evil character.
8. Norman Bates
Movie – Psycho
The Psycho franchise has seen one of the greatest villains of the history of movies. Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates is great on screen and has played the role very well.
9. Alex Forrest
Movie – Fatal Attraction
Glenn Close is without a doubt a great villain. The actress was great in Fatal Attraction as a negative female character. The kind of ferocity she has portrayed by Glenn Close is dazzling.
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10. The Wicked Witch of the West
Movie – The Wizard of Oz
Margaret Hamilton as The Wicked Witch of Oz is one of the villains that is feared by all children. Margaret Hamilton’s portrayal of the tormenting witch is bold and fascinating in all ways.
Movie – It’s a Wonderful Life
Lionel Barrymore acts out the true meaning of evil as Mr. Potter in the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. The character was one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
12. Tyler Durden
Movie –Fight Club
The Fox 2000 Pictures movie Fight Club has shown one of the best villains of the on screen cinematic world. Edward Norton and Brad Pitt’s work in the movie showing dual personality to be Tyler Durden is no less than excellent.
Movie – It
Pennywise in the movie It is a scary villain. The character was acted out by Tim Curry or Bill Skarsgård. There is no comparison to the performance of both of them. They were frightening and also two of the best villains playing the same character.
Movie – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
The movie TheTexas Chainsaw Massacre is horrifying and there’s nothing less that can be said about the villain of the movie. Gunnar Hansen as Leatherface is still feared by the movie watchers. He is without a doubt one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
15. Hans Landa
Movie – InglouriousBasterds
The evil Hans Landa viciously hunts down and kill Jewish people. The character played by Christoph Waltz is pure evil and thus also one of the best villains portrayed by an actor.
16. Phyllis Dietrichson
Movie – Double Indemnity
A good villain has an exceeding wit and a great plan. Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson is witty has a great evil plan and her acting as the character is stupefying.
17. Keyser Söze
Movie – The Usual Suspects
Kevin Spacey as Keyser Söze was what they call the greatest movie villains of all time. The actor has been extremely versatile in the role of Sözeevidently when you know that his wit has been greater than his power all the way.
18. The Alien
Movie – Alien
Even though BolajiBadejo was one of the most unlikely characters as the Alien, his portrayal as The Alien was unbelievably prodigious.
Movie –Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame
The best villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe by far is Thanos. His plans are vicious and act nothing other than cruel even if his cause was good to him. Josh Brolin has played a remarkable role as the villain who made all Marvel fans cry.
20. Jason Voorhees
Movie – Friday the 13th
Ari Lehman as Jason Voorhees in Friday the 13th had set a mark of being the best villain with strange and also scary ways of killing people. Jason Voorhees is one of the greatest movie villains of all time as a classic character.
21. Annie Wilkes
Movie – Misery
Cathy Bates had brought the character imagined by Stephen King, Annie Wilkes to life with great acting of being a mentally ill and mostly psycho woman.
22. John Doe
Movie – Seven
Kevin Spacey as John Doe is another classic villain who is not only evil and scary but also creepy by all means.
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Movie – Predator
Another scary and creepy character is the Predatorplayed by the legendary actor Kevin Peter Hall. His journey of crooked ways of killing and collecting the skulls of the dead and the great acting skills by Kevin Peter Hall has made the character one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
24. Michael Myers
Movie – Halloween
Nick Castle, James Jude Courtney, and Tony Moran have played Michael Myersthroughout these years. All of them were as amazing as the legendary evil villain indulged in homicide.
25. Lord Voldemort
Movie – Harry Potter
There is no character more suited to be the most vicious character of the Harry Potter franchise. Lord Voldemort played by Ralph Fiennes is one of the best negative characters in the movie industry.
26. Immortan Joe
Movie – Mad Max: Fury Road
Hugh Keays-Byrne as the evil overseer of the citadel, Immortan Joe in Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most villainous character on screen. The portrayal of evil by Hugh Keays-Byrne is in fact evil itself.
Movie – “The Lord of the Rings
Andy Serkis’ voice on the CGI character Gollum is another piece of art by an actor. The evil villain is definitely another one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
28. Calvin Candie
Movie – Django Unchained
Leonardo DiCaprio is no doubt a great actor. His character Calvin Candie in the movie Django Unchained is a wicked and racist plantation owner. The character is brought to life throughout the movie by Leonardo DiCaprio’s mind-blowing acting.
Movie – Terminator 2
Another Terminator villain that makes it to the list is T-1000. Played by Robert Patrick the villain is an epitome of badness for the world.
30. Nurse Ratched
Movie – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Louise Fletcher has brought to life the character of Nurse Ratched in the movie. The classic character is no less amazing by Louise Fletcher as it is in the book.
31. Detective Alonzo Harris
Movie –Training Day
Denzel Washington’s Oscar-winning role as the corrupt LAPD detective, Alonzo Harris is one of the best acts as a villain in the cinema. Washington’s performance was extraordinary.
32. Freddy Krueger
Movie – A Night on Elm Street
Robert Englund has given a new life to the character Freddy Krueger in the movie. It is another successful classic villain that has been haunting us for years.
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33. Baby Jane Hudson
Movie – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson was an act of an incredibly evil child. The performance by Bette Davis was astonishing and this act was one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
Movie – Child’s Play
Chunky the Toy is horrific and evil. Chunky is still a horror for many children.
35. Gordon Gekko
Movie –Wall Street
Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko is one of the most badass villains. His pure evil acting has been scaring people from the 80s.
36. Margaret White
Piper Laurie as Margaret White is a villain in all sense. Her acting as the White has been amazing making Margaret White one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
37. HAL 9000
Movie – 2001: A Space Odyssey
The HAL 9000 system was an evil computer system. HAL 9000 was a really evil villain doing evil things in its age.
38. Missy Armitage
Movie –Get Out
Catherine Keener as Missy Armitage is a chilling villain. Her dismaying acting as the keeper of The Sunken Place is nothing less than a great negative character.
39. Harry Powell
Movie – The Night of the Hunters
The wicked and creepy Harry Powell played by Robert Mitchum is evil with strange and twisted ways of killing people. Robert Mitchum has clearly made the character one of the greatest movie villains of all time.
40. Amy Dunne
Movie – Gone Girl
Rosamund Pike as Amy Dunne is wicked with a cause. Her revenge on her cheating partner is as amazing as it is malicious.
41. Hedy Carlson
Movie –Single White Female
Jennifer Jason Leigh played Hedy Carlson, the creepy roommate in Single White Female. Her acting as a completely obsessed woman is nothing like any other.
Movie – A Clockwork Orange
Alex in A Clockwork Orange is one of the greatest movie villains of all time that we have seen on screen. Malcolm McDowell as Alex has amplified the evilness by his mind-blowing acting.
Movie – The Omen
Harvey Spencer Stephens played the cute child, Damien who turns out to be evil to the core. Just the idea of small kids being evil is scary to the bones and with Harvey Spencer Stephens’ acting, the cold had been brought to life.
44. Joan Crawford
Movie – Mommie Dearest
Actress Joan Crawford had been abusive to her family. Faye Dunaway acting as Joan Crawford in the movie Mommie Dearest has portrayed in true sense the mistress of evil.
45. Staff Sergeant Barnes
Movie – Platoon
Tom Berenger as Sgt. Barnes is scary and chilling making him another greatest movie villain of all time.
46. Buffalo Bill
Movie – Silence of the Lamb
Here comes another scary character from Silence of the Lamb. Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill is a scary and dangerous villain.
47. Emperor Palpatine
Movie – Star Wars
The villain from Return of Jedi is the ultimate evil lord in the Star War franchise. Emperor Palpatine is evil and one of the most amazing villains of the franchise.
48. Hans Gruber
Movie – Die-Hard
Die-hard is an amazing movie without a doubt. Alan Rickman acting as Hans Gruber is times-less as a silver screen villain in the movie.
49. Norman Stansfield
Movie – Léon: The Professional
Gary Oldman as Norman Stansfield is a pretty badass cop while trying to catch the Hitman who only wants to be left in peace.
50. Biff Tannen
Movie – Back to Future
Last but not least is Biff Tannen from Back to Future. The movie has been a favorite of all 90s kids and the big bully played by Thomas F. Wilson is one of the greatest movie villains of all time.