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Top 10 Movie Villains of All Time

Updated on September 20, 2014

10- Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger is the main antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street film series. He appears in Wes Craven's A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) as a burnt serial killer who uses a glove armed with razors to kill his victims in their dreams, causing their deaths in the real world as well. He is credited as "Fred Krueger" in the original film. In the dream world, he is a powerful force and almost completely invulnerable to damage. However, whenever Freddy is pulled into the real world, he has normal human vulnerabilities. Krueger was created by Wes Craven, and had been consistently portrayed by Robert Englund since his first appearance. In the 2010 franchise reboot, he was portrayed by Academy Award–nominee Jackie Earle Haley. In 2011, Freddy appeared as a playable character in the video game Mortal Kombat.

9- Agent Smith

Agent Smith is a fictional character in the The Matrix franchise. He is portrayed by Hugo Weaving (and briefly Ian Bliss) in the films and voiced by Christopher Corey Smith in The Matrix: Path of Neo.

In 2008, Agent Smith was selected by Empire Magazine as the 84th Greatest Movie Character of All Time. In 2013, Weaving reprised the role for a General Electric advertisement.

8- Magneto

Magneto is a fictional character, a supervillain, anti hero, and occasional superhero that appears in American comic books published by Marvel Comics. Created in 1963 by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, Magneto is the X-Men's first and most famous adversary. The character has made frequent appearances in X-Men books since their beginning, as well as in a number of television, movie, and videogame adaptations.

Magneto is a mutant, born with the ability to control magnetism, which gives him power over metal objects. In a world where anti-mutant bigotry is fierce and widespread, Magneto believes mutants must dominate humans if they are to survive as a race, and this typically makes him a villain and foe to the X-Men.

7- Hans Gruber

Hans Gruber was an internationally feared German terrorist who was the younger brother of Simon Gruber and the main antagonist of Die Hard. He was the mastermind behind the Nakatomi Plaza heist, where he used a gang of heavily armed terrorists to take over the company Christmas Party and attempt to steal $640 million in negotiable bearer bank bonds inside the building's vault. Hans disguised this as a terrorist incident to distract the police from their robbery. Hans met his end after underestimating the courage of one, John McClane, who, despite being outmanned 13 to 1, managed to save the hostages of Nakatomi. Hans was also the brother of Simon Gruber and was likely disliked by him, as Hans worked with the West German Volksfrei movement, while Simon was an "obscure colonel from the East German army".

6- Loki

Loki is a fictional character, a supervillain that appears in comic books by Marvel Comics. He is the adoptive brother and archenemy of Thor. He is based on the being of the same name from Norse mythology. The character first appeared historically in Venus No. 6 (August 1949) and in modern day in Journey into Mystery No. 85 (October 1962). The character was created by writer Stan Lee, scripter Larry Lieber, and penciller Jack Kirby.

Loki has appeared in several ongoing series, limited series and alternate reality series, including his own 4-issue series Loki (2004). He appeared in the new issues of Young Avengers in 2013. He will appear in his solo series Loki: Agent of Asgard in 2014. The character has also appeared in associated Marvel merchandise including animated television series, clothing, toys, video games, and movies.

In 2009, Loki was ranked as IGN's 8th Greatest Comic Book Villain of All Time.

Tom Hiddleston first portrayed Loki in the 2011 live action film Thor directed by Kenneth Branagh then again in The Avengers (2012) and Thor: The Dark World (2013).

5- Anton Chigurh

Anton Chigurh is the main antagonist of Cormac McCarthy's novel No Country for Old Men and its film adaptation. He is portrayed by Javier Bardem in the film.

In the novel and film, Chigurh is portrayed as an unstoppable hitman who kills almost everyone he meets. While he is a ruthless killer, Chigurh occasionally gives his victims a second chance, allowing their fate to be decided with a coin toss.

The character received heavy praise during the film's theatrical run, where Javier Bardem was awarded an Oscar, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for his performance. Chigurh has been included on numerous lists of greatest villains, most notably in Empire Magazine's List of The 100 Greatest Movie Characters Of All Time.

4- Lord Voldemort

Lord Voldemort is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. Voldemort first appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, which was released in 1997. Voldemort appeared either in person or in flashbacks in each book and film adaptation in the series, except the third, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, where he is mentioned.

In the series, Voldemort is the archenemy of Harry Potter, who according to a prophecy has "the power to vanquish the Dark Lord". Almost no witch or wizard dares to speak his name, instead referring to him by epithets such as "You-Know-Who", "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" or "the Dark Lord". Voldemort's obsession with blood purity signifies his aim to rid the wizarding world of Muggle (non-magical) heritage and to conquer both worlds, Muggle and wizarding, to achieve pure-blood dominance. Through his mother's family, he is the last descendant of wizard Salazar Slytherin, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. He is the leader of the Death Eaters, a group of evil wizards and witches dedicated to ridding the Wizarding World of Muggles and establishing Voldemort as its supreme ruler.

3- Hannibal Lecter

Lecter was introduced in the 1981 thriller novel Red Dragon as a forensic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. The novel and its sequel, The Silence of the Lambs, feature Lecter as one of the primary antagonists after the two serial killers in both novels. In the third novel, Hannibal, Lecter becomes a protagonist. His role as the antihero occurs in the fourth novel, Hannibal Rising, which explores his childhood and development into a serial killer.

The first film adapted from the Harris novels was Manhunter (based on Red Dragon) which features Brian Cox as Lecter, spelled "Lecktor". In 1991, Anthony Hopkins won an Academy Award for his portrayal of the character in The Silence of the Lambs. He would reprise the role in Hannibal in 2001 and in a second adaptation of Red Dragon made in 2002 under the original title.

In 2003, Hannibal Lecter (as portrayed by Hopkins) was chosen by the American Film Institute as the #1 movie villain. In June 2010, Entertainment Weekly named him one of the 100 Greatest Characters of the Last 20 Years.

2- Darth Vader

Darth Vader (born Anakin Skywalker) is a fictional character in the Star Wars universe. He appears in the original trilogy, as well as the prequel trilogy.

The character was created by George Lucas and has been portrayed by numerous actors. His appearances span all six Star Wars films, and he is an important character in the expanded universe of television series, video games, novels, literature and comic books. Originally a Jedi prophesied to bring balance to the Force, he falls to the dark side of the Force and serves the evil Galactic Empire at the right hand of his Sith master, Darth Sidious. He is also the father of Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia Organa.

The American Film Institute listed him as the third greatest movie villain in cinema history on 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains, behind Hannibal Lecter and Norman Bates.

1- The Joker

The Joker is a fictional character portrayed by Heath Ledger and the main antagonist of the film The Dark Knight, the second film in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. He is Nolan and screenwriter David S. Goyer's interpretation of the comic book character created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger and Bob Kane in 1940 as the archenemy of the superhero Batman. This is the third time the character has been adapted to a live-action film.

Honorable mentions:

Hans Landa (Inglourious Basterds), Bane (The Dark Knight Rises), John Doe (Seven), Bill 'The Butcher' Cutting (Gangs of New York).


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    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      PurvisBobbi44 3 years ago from Florida


      Years ago I took all six of my nephews ages 4 thought 10 to see Freddy Krueger. It scared ten years out of me and my nephews. The reason I went is because they begged me for weeks to take them.

      I had six nephews in the bed with me that weekend---I will never take anyone to see a scary movie again. They still talk about it and laugh.

      Thanks for writing this as it brings back great and scary memories.

      Have a great weekend.

      Do I still listen to my nephews wants and desires? Sometimes---but I do not take them to scary movies and I will not go either.

      Bobbi Purvis