The Best Movies Where The Bad Guy Wins

Over 5.1K Ranker voters have come together to rank this list of The Best Movies Where The Bad Guy Wins
Voting Rules
Films in which the bad guy wins in the end. Vote up the best movies where it's the villain - or any bad guy - who "wins."
What is it that makes a psychological thriller even better than having an ending where the villain wins? Maybe it’s because it’s an unexpected twist, or maybe it’s that sometimes it’s so refreshing when the predictable scenario of the hero sweeping in to win the final battle doesn’t actually happen. Sometimes it's fun to root for the bad guys for a change. What are the best movies where the bad guy wins?
This list of the best movies where the villain wins, has been ranked by the community. There are many different genres and eras featured on the list, and though the bad guys all win in the end, they're still great films to watch.
This list features the best movies where the bad guy wins including, Memento, Seven, No Country for Old Men, Hannibal, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Usual Suspects. Vote up the best films below and see how your favorite bad guy movies rank!
Most divisive: Swordfish
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  • The Silence of the Lambs
    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
    2,083 votes
    • Released: 1991
    • Directed by: Jonathan Demme

    "I'm having an old friend for dinner."

    The Silence of the Lambs, a gripping thriller, introduces audiences to FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster). She's assigned an unnerving task: to extract information from the infamous and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). The objective? To help apprehend another active serial killer, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), before he strikes again. This chilling narrative, directed by Jonathan Demme, won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It interweaves suspense, crime solving and psychological manipulation, creating a film that is as thought-provoking as it is horrifying.

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  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
    2,556 votes
    • Released: 1980
    • Directed by: Irvin Kershner

    "I am your father."

    In Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, the saga continues as Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) embarks on Jedi training with master Yoda, while his friends Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) are pursued by Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). This 1980 space opera, directed by Irvin Kershner, is a sequel in the epic Star Wars franchise. Known for its iconic plot twist and special effects, the film won an Oscar for Best Sound. It's a thrilling mix of adventure, treachery, and revelation, set against the backdrop of an interstellar war.
  • Seven
    Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Gwyneth Paltrow
    1,859 votes
    • Released: 1995
    • Directed by: David Fincher

    "What's in the box?!"

    In Seven, Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman), a seasoned but weary crime fighter, partners with the young and impulsive Detective David Mills (Brad Pitt) to investigate a series of grisly murders. Each murder uniquely represents one of the seven deadly sins - a chilling theme that pervades the movie. The film, directed by David Fincher, is dark and atmospheric, delivering an intense thriller that delves into the heart of human depravity. As the detectives unravel each horrifying crime, they are drawn deeper into a twisted killer's methodical madness. A critical success, this 1995 film won an MTV Movie Award for Best Movie.

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  • Avengers: Infinity War
    Robert Downey, Chris Hemsworth, Josh Brolin
    2,125 votes
    • Released: 2018
    • Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

    "You should've gone for the head."

    In Avengers: Infinity War, an action-packed superhero film, an array of Marvel's finest faces a formidable foe. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet - Thanos (Josh Brolin). The despot of intergalactic infamy, Thanos, is on a mission to collect all six Infinity Stones. His aim? To inflict his twisted will on reality. The survival of Earth and existence itself has never been more uncertain. As stakes reach sky-high, sacrifices must be made. This film is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and was nominated for Best Visual Effects at the 91st Academy Awards.

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  • The Usual Suspects
    Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri
    1,525 votes
    • Released: 1995
    • Directed by: Bryan Singer

    "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that, he's gone."

    The Usual Suspects is a mystery-thriller that keeps you guessing until the very end. Five criminals, including Dean Keaton (Gabriel Byrne) and Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey), meet during a police lineup. Soon after, they are entangled in an intricate plot involving a legendary criminal mastermind named Keyser Söze. The movie won two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Screenplay and another for Best Supporting Actor (Spacey). Directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie, it's a film of deception, power plays, and secrets that constantly challenges its audience.

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  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
    Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Hayden Christensen
    1,675 votes
    • Released: 2005
    • Directed by: George Lucas


    In Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, an epic space opera, a dark transformation unfolds. Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen) is caught in a web of treachery and manipulation, pulling him away from his mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). The Galactic Republic crumbles under Chancellor Palpatine's (Ian McDiarmid) sinister designs. A tragic tale of friendship and loyalty, it marks the birth of Darth Vader and the rise of the Empire. This third installment in George Lucas's prequel trilogy won the People's Choice Award for Favorite Movie Drama in 2006.