The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time

Over 107.3K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time

It seems every year, new iconic villains are coming out of the woodwork. While some of us tend to despise movie villains, plenty of movie-goers favor some of these antagonists. Whether that's due to a cool accent, an over-the-top performance, or an intimidating disposition, some villains just stand out - and redefine the actors playing them. For instance, who doesn't have some type of fondness for Hannibal Lecter? How about the evil Darth Vader for that matter? Who are the greatest villains of all time? These movie bad guys are the scourge of the movie universe - and that's to say nothing of their loyal, powerful henchmen - and you can now vote on the meanest villain ever to appear on film.

These are the greatest, most vile movie characters we love to hate (or even laugh at) ranked by the wisdom of the crowd, which makes this ranking an accurate, real-time reflection of the crowd's collective opinion.

Most divisive: Nurse Ratched
Ranked by
  • Joker
    55,582 votes

    A villain who thrives on chaos and the disruption of order, this criminal mastermind dances on the thin line between madness and brilliance. His unpredictable nature, combined with his twisted sense of humor, has made him a constant thorn in the side of justice. With his haunting smile and clownish appearance, he is as terrifying as he is captivating.

  • Darth Vader
    50,151 votes

    Cloaked in darkness and towering over his enemies, this villain instills fear merely by his presence. Once a hero turned evil by power and manipulation, he now serves as the enforcer of an oppressive regime that stretches across the galaxy. His booming voice, merciless tactics, and iconic heavy breathing have earned him a place among the great villains in history.

  • Hannibal Lecter
    31,106 votes

    A cultured yet diabolical character with a refined taste for both art and human flesh, this villain is chillingly intelligent and possesses an uncanny ability to manipulate those around him. Despite being imprisoned, his influence extends beyond bars, making him an unnerving force to be reckoned with as he helps law enforcement solve cases while always keeping them guessing.

  • Thanos
    20,992 votes

    Driven by a twisted vision of universal balance, this powerful alien warlord embarks on a quest that involves immense destruction; seeking out powerful relics to achieve his goal. Calm but ruthless, with a surprising depth of emotional complexity, it's hard not to be captivated by his single-minded determination to reshape the universe to his liking.

  • Palpatine
    27,808 votes

    A sinister mastermind hiding in plain sight, he patiently plays the political game before revealing himself as the ultimate puppeteer behind a galaxy-spanning conflict. Fueled by greed and lust for power, he manipulates events that bring about destruction for countless lives while maintaining an air of civility and wisdom that hides his true malevolent core.

  • Sauron
    23,895 votes

    An ancient force of pure evil, this villain's sole purpose is to bring darkness and suffering to the world. Shrouded in fire and shadow, his power lies in his ability to corrupt even the noblest of hearts, reaching out with invisible tendrils to turn friends into enemies and heroes into pawns.