15 Greatest Movie Villains of All Time

Updated June 12, 2018
10 min read

Movie Villains. The people who allow our heroes to shine. But not all time! The best movie villains are those who shine brighter than the heroes. So, who are the best movie villains of all time? Let’s look in.

The world has been celebrating the good since the dawn of time. But had there not been bad to go up against the good, would the good have ever been surfaced? Likewise in cinemas, what good is a superhero without a bad-ass villain? Had there not been the Joker, Bruce Wayne would be squandering his money in supercars and would have been termed as a prodigal son. Had there not been Norman Bates, we would never have remembered ‘Psycho’. So, let’s bring on the bad guys and give them a moment on the stage. Here is the list of top movie villains of all time.


15. Catherine Tramell, ‘Basic Instinct’

Catherine Tramell is portrayed as author of best-selling crime novels. It is suggested that the modus operandi of her murders includes using her novels as alibis, as people then assumed she would never be foolish enough to execute a crime she herself wrote about. Catherine Tramell appears as a brilliant, charismatic narcissist, who manipulates everyone around her, largely for her own amusement and enjoys killing people.

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14. John Kramer, ‘Saw’

When death knocks at one’s door and he waits for it to embrace, probably the only thought that comes to mind that how well one has lived this life. But how many have truly understood the purpose of this life? John Kramer at his death bed, thinks of this and concludes that until put into adverse situations, no one truly values this life. And to inculcate this knowledge to value one’s life, he starts a something that becomes a mechanism to test one’s worth to live. While John eventually meets his death, but the legend of Jigsaw lives on.

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13. Hans Landa, ‘Inglourious Basterds’

Egotistical and ambitious, Landa takes a great deal of pride in his reputation, lauding his nickname “the Jew hunter” and using it to compare himself to Reinhard Heydrich. When the tide of the war turns against the Nazis, he scoffs at it, alluding that his job is to find and capture people and the fact that they are Jews is of no consequence to him. Landa is cruel, highly intelligent, sadistic, opportunistic, relentless and ruthless but when needed, charming and polite. Landa is also an opportunistic sociopath, acting only out of pure self-interest.

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12. John Doe, ‘Se7en’

An unknown man, goes on a killing spree, over seven days. Each of his victims, were killed in a manner, which depicted the seven deadly biblical sins. And he thought he was purging the world from the evil, by being the messiah. He truly believed that his methods shall be puzzled, studied and followed forever. Setting the example, he didn’t even flinched when he evoked the wrath of Detective Mills by informing him about his final victim, for he had become the prey of envy. And what’s the American naming convention of the unknown ? It’s John Doe.

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11. Roy, ‘Primal Fear’

“I ca-can’t take it no more, Roy. You g-got to help me.” I said, “Shut your mouth you little girl! Grow up. Be a man. Take care of yourself.” A stuttering impish young alter boy , accused of killing a priest comes clean as the court of law finds him suffering from a split personality disorder. Boy, was it the ruse of the century? By the time, the lawyer gets to know there never was an Aaron, the game’s over. Ed Norton’s debut as Roy/Aaron fetched him a nomination for best supporting actor at the Academy Awards that year.

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