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The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time

Updated October 2, 2020 1.2m votes 89.3k voters 1.3m views878 items

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 ranked by the wisdom of the crowd, which makes this ranking an accurate, real-time reflection of the crowd's collective opinion.

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  • 1
    Darth Vader is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    36,427
    10,591

    Darth Vader

    Star Wars universe

    He's a Sith Lord and a real nightmare to anyone with daddy issues.

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  • 2
    Joker is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    42,672
    10,855

    Joker

    Batman, The Dark Knight

    Whether blasting Prince from a boombox, telling stories about his scars, or dancing down stairs, the Clown Prince is always a chilling agent of chaos.

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  • 3
    Hannibal Lecter is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    20,464
    9,298

    Hannibal Lecter

    The Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal

    This is the man who ruined chianti and fava beans for generations.

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  • 4
    Thanos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    13,202
    3,856

    Thanos

    Marvel Cinematic Universe

    What can we say, he's inevitable!

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  • 5
    Bane is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    13,281
    6,823

    Bane

    The Dark Knight Rises, Justice League: Doom

    He broke the Bat, and the worst part is he never apologized for it.

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  • 6
    Scar is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    14,618
    7,964

    Scar

    The Lion King

    With a brother like Scar, who needs enemies?

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  • 7
    Loki is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    15,277
    7,302

    Loki

    Marvel Cinematic Universe

    He's the trickster god with perfect hair.

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  • 8
    Pennywise the Dancing Clown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time

    It's scariest form and the bane of real, hard-working clowns all across the world.

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  • 9
    Palpatine is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    15,679
    8,481

    Palpatine

    Star Wars universe

    His hobbies are overthrowing galactic governments, building planet-destroying space stations, and watching fathers and sons fight.

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  • 10
    Sauron is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    13,300
    6,892

    Sauron

    The Lord of the Rings universe

    With his all-seeing eye, Sauron is like Santa Claus if Santa was also the source of all evil in the world.

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  • 11
    Jason Voorhees is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    8,261
    4,987

    Jason Voorhees

    Friday the 13th universe

    Likes include: the woods, his mom. Dislikes include: camp counselors, promiscuity.

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  • 12
    Michael Myers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    9,981
    6,246

    Michael Myers

    Halloween universe

    After ten movies and at least three reboots, Michael Myers still has people looking over their shoulders.

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  • 13
    Yautja is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    8,214
    5,021

    Yautja

    Predator universe

    The ultimate big game hunter and the only creature in the universe who could give peak Schwarzenegger a run for his money.

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  • 14
    Hans Landa is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    10,605
    6,795

    Hans Landa

    Inglourious Basterds

    Charming, despicable, dogged, heartless, conniving – he's everything you want from a villain.

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  • 15
    Davy Jones is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    6,648
    4,198

    Davy Jones

    Pirates of the Caribbean universe

    He's a bit more tragic than evil, but you've got to respect whoever came up with the idea of a tentacle beard.

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  • 16
    Bellatrix Lestrange is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    6,372
    3,634

    Bellatrix Lestrange

    Harry Potter universe

    What she did to Neville's parents was evil, but what she did to Sirius was truly unforgivable.

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  • 17
    Xenomorph (Alien) is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    8,932
    5,566

    Xenomorph (Alien)

    Alien universe

    In space, no one can hear you scream, which thankfully means no one can hear you pee your pants either.

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  • 18
    Darth Maul is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    8,209
    4,848

    Darth Maul

    Star Wars universe

    If you only saw him in Phantom Menace, you may think he's all sizzle and no steak, but if you've seen Clone Wars and Rebels, then you know Darth Maul is the real deal.

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  • 19
    Vito Corleone is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    4,325
    2,852

    Vito Corleone

    The Godfather Saga

    If for no other reason than he set a new standard for the art of the contract negotiation. 

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  • 20
    Saruman is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    4,920
    2,827

    Saruman

    The Lord of the Rings universe

    Middle-Earth trusted him, and it only brought desolation.

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  • 21
    Smaug is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    3,438
    2,068

    Smaug

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

    What does a dragon even do with that much gold?

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  • 22
    Hans Gruber is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    10,945
    7,463

    Hans Gruber

    Die Hard

    He can seem pretty charming, but things really turn if you call him "bubby".

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  • 23
    Jafar is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    3,935
    2,685

    Jafar

    Aladdin, The Return of Jafar

    Has there ever been a grand vizier that wasn't evil?

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  • 24
    Commodus is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    3,164
    2,034

    Commodus

    Gladiator

    Centuries before Siskel & Ebert, Commodus employed history's most devastating thumbs down.

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  • 25
    Gollum is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Movie Villains Of All Time
    7,344
    5,048

    Gollum

    The Lord of the Rings universe

    He'd rather burn with his precious than live as Smeagol.

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