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Top 10 Evil Movie Villains

Updated on May 24, 2015

We love to root for the bad guy, but sometimes it just isn't possible. Sometimes the bad guy is just so awful, there is no redemption. Here is a list of 10 villains who fit that mold almost too well, ranked by their (lack of) redeeming qualities and level of remorse.

10. The Nothing

It's technically not a villain because it isn't a person but The Nothing deserves a place on this list. With it's unstoppable force and the implications it had on the entire world, The Nothing is easily one of the worst villains ever seen on the big screen. It even stole the Rockbiter's friends away. Harsh.

Played by: Itself

Movie: The Neverending Story

9. John "Ace" Merrill

The quintessential bully and bad boy, Ace Merrill stands on our list at #9. He might seem like just a run-of-the-mill small-town thug, but don't forget this guy almost caused a head-on collision with a log truck just to win a street race and he was perfectly willing to slit a little kid's throat with a switchblade just because the kid insulted his mother. That makes him just a little more than a bully.

Played by: Kiefer Sutherland

Movie: Stand By Me

8. Sgt. Andrew Scott

Military-badass-turned-cyborg-badass-turned-psycho-badass. Sgt. Andrew Scott executed his entire platoon in Vietnam, only to be reanimated as part of an elite corps of cyborg soldiers. He recovered his memory enough to remember that he wanted to kill everybody. Sgt. Scott preferred to take trophies from his kills, stringing their ears onto thread to make necklaces. He earns the #8 spot on our list for being a total badass and for having almost no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

Played by: Dolph Lundgren

Movie: Universal Soldier

7. Clarence Boddicker

The man who (unintentionally) created Robocop, he has a special hatred for the police. A surly, torturing, murdering smart ass who thinks that killing is a joke, Clarence Boddicker is the epitome of a villain. He has no remorse and he cannot be swayed by begging, pleading or appeals to his conscience. Because he is rotten to the core, he has earned the #7 spot in this list.

Played by: Kurtwood Smith

Movie: Robocop

6. Early Grayce

A serial murderer who is conscience-less and dumb as a stump, Early Grayce is as disgusting and obnoxious as he is cruel. This is a man who thinks nothing of rape, of robbery, of killing the elderly... he betrays every single person who trusted him and he does it in the most absolutely terrible way without even a twinge of conscience. It is for this reason that Early Grayce occupies the #6 spot on our list.

Played by: Brad Pitt

Movie: Kalifornia

5. Darth Vader

Vader technically qualifies as a supervillain, and he is definitely among the most badass villains ever seen on any screen, anywhere. (Many might place Vader higher on the scale of villains, but he is not totally without redeeming qualities.) Vader threw everything away to join the darkside, including his conscience and his kids. He was even willing to kill one of them if they didn't join him. Totally unsympathetic and known to mock his victims. Now that's a villain.

Played by: David Prowse & James Earl Jones

Movie: Star Wars

4. The Foxworth Family

This family may just be one of the most villainous families of all time. There is no one to like in this family of backstabbers, liars, abusers and murderers. The grandmother and the mother even conspire together to poison the children after locking them in the attic for years, managing to kill one of them. The cavalier way the children are betrayed and the careless manner in which their lives are simply thrown away earns the Foxworth family the #4 spot on this list.

Played by: Louise Fletcher & Victoria Tennant

Movie: Flowers In The Attic

3. Scar

OK, so he's not a person but this bad kitty is still totally inhuman. Not only does he plot to kill his own brother and his brother's baby and make it look like an accident, when he finds out the baby is still alive and all grown up, Scar attempts to kill him, too! To take it even farther, just as he is about to kill his nephew, Scar leans down and brags that he is the one who killed this poor kid's father. Talk about evil and vicious. Totally selfish, devious, narcissistic and cruel... utterly without pity and possessing zero remorse, Scar is quite possibly one of the most dastardly villains to ever show up on the big screen. If he'd been a person, he'd have been nefarious indeed. To think this was on a kid's movie!

Played by: Jeremy Irons

Movie: The Lion King

2. Cyrus Kriticos

This guy is truly diabolical. He uses his entire family in an evil scheme to open the Eye of Hell. Not only does he go after the living, he even accosts the dead too, trapping their souls in the agony of limbo. He fakes his death, and he even uses children as bait in order to coerce his nephew into sacrificing his own life to save them from being killed in a seriously terrible way. He's manipulative, power-hungry and attempts to use his entire family as sacrificial lambs in order to conjure the power of Hell. Uncle Cyrus is definitely evil enough to be in the #2 spot.

Played by: F. Murray Abraham

Movie: 13 Ghosts

1. Cruella de Vil

Before you dismiss Cruella as a silly Disney villain, think about it: This is a woman who collects puppies for the purpose of killing and skinning them so she can make fur coats for herself out of them. How much more evil can you be? She doesn't care how the puppies are killed; she suggests poisoning them, drowning them and even tells her flunkies, "Bash them in the head!" She attempts to run people off the road to kill them, all because she is so selfish and greedy. This is all in a children's cartoon. Cruella is fantastically villainous; she is remorseless, pitiless, vindictive and malicious. Not only is she not remorseful, she actively wants to hurt people and cause them pain. She is totally unlikeable with no redeeming qualities at all and she enjoys being cruel and horrible. Her motivation isn't even money or power; it's just selfishness. It is for this reason that Cruella de Vil is considered to be the #1 movie villain.

Played by: Betty Lou Gerson

Movie: 101 Dalmatians

There you have it!

So there it is, the list of the 10 worst movie villains, ranked by their level of remorse and what redeeming qualities they have (or don't have). There are a few who should always be included in a villains list but were too sympathetic to qualify for this particular list or had otherwise redeemed themselves. These include:

  • Hannibal Lecter (Silence of The Lambs, Red Dragon, Hannibal)
  • Norman Bates (Psycho)
  • Annie Wilkes (Misery)
  • Jigsaw (Saw)
  • The Wicked Witch Of The West (The Wizard of Oz)
  • John Doe (Se7en)
  • Hans Gruber (Die Hard)
  • Jack Torrance (The Shining)

Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments!


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    • janshares profile image

      Janis Leslie Evans 2 years ago from Washington, DC

      This was a fun read, SinDelle. It's hard not to like the villain. I found your choices interesting, some of the movies I've never seen. I do like that you added a list at the bottom which include some I would have added to the top ten.

      Others I find beyond redemption include:

      -Matthew Modine as the crazy tenant in "Pacific Heights"

      -Betty Davis as the deranged sister in "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane"

      -The alien in "Alien"

      -The terminator in "Terminator"

      -Jack Nicholson as the Joker in "Batman"

      I'm interested to know your thoughts on how the villains in the bottom list showed too much sympathy or redeemed themselves. Sounds like another hub for you? Voted up and interesting.