Villains The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins  

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10.4k votes 1.2k voters 40.1k views 58 items

List 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!

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

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The Silence of the Lambs is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
The Silence of the Lambs Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. Directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott ...more

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The Usual Suspects Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan Singer and written by Christopher McQuarrie. It stars Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio del ...more

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Seven is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Seven Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman, with Gwyneth Paltrow, R. Lee Ermey, John C. McGinley, and Kevin ...more

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The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Tom Islava added The Dark Knight Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District ...more

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman and directed by Miloš Forman.

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No Country for Old Men is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
No Country for Old Men Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel and Ethan Coen, based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Violence and mayhem ensue after a hunter ...more

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Fight Club Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The film was directed by David Fincher, and stars Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter. Norton ...more

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Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson (19 Years before Episode IV) Three years after the onset of the Clone Wars, the noble Jedi Knights have been leading a massive clone army into a galaxy-wide battle against the Separatists. When ...more

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The Green Mile Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell The Green Mile is a 1999 American fantasy drama film directed by Frank Darabont and adapted from the 1996 Stephen King novel of the same name. The film is told in a flashback format and stars ...more

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Memento Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan. The screenplay was written by Nolan based on his younger brother Jonathan Nolan's short story ...more

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StevenKershaw added The Omen Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner The Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The film stars Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Harvey Spencer Stephens, Billie Whitelaw, Patrick ...more

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A Nightmare on Elm Street Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and directed by Wes Craven, and the first film of the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise. The film stars ...more

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Shutter Island Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The film is based on Dennis Lehane's 2003 novel of the same name. Production started in March 2008. ...more

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Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Taxi Driver Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese and written by Paul Schrader. Set in New York City soon after the end of the Vietnam War, the film ...more

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Countermoon added A Clockwork Orange Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on Anthony Burgess's 1962 novella A Clockwork Orange. It employs disturbing, violent ...more

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The Devil's Advocate Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 American mystery thriller film based on Andrew Neiderman's novel of the same name. It is directed by Taylor Hackford and stars Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, and ...more

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liplip added The Cabin in the Woods Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Acker The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut, produced by Joss Whedon, and written by Whedon and Goddard. The film stars Kristen ...more

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Primal Fear Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir crime-thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of the same name and directed by Gregory Hoblit. The film tells the story of Chicago defense ...more

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Rosemary's Baby Mia Farrow, Tony Curtis, John Cassavetes Rosemary's Baby is a 1968 American psychological horror film written and directed by Roman Polanski, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name by Ira Levin. The cast includes Mia ...more

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Cool Hand Luke Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring Paul Newman and featuring George Kennedy in an Oscar-winning performance. Newman stars in the title ...more

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Watchmen Malin Åkerman, Carla Gugino, Billy Crudup Watchmen is a 2009 American neo-noir superhero film directed by Zack Snyder and starring Malin Åkerman, Billy Crudup, Matthew Goode, Jackie Earle Haley, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, and Patrick ...more

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Hannibal Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins Hannibal is a 2001 American crime thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris. It is the sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The ...more

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Fallen Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland Fallen is a 1998 American fantasy action film directed by Gregory Hoblit, and starring Denzel Washington, John Goodman and Donald Sutherland. It was the only Turner Pictures film to receive an R ...more

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Avengers: Infinity War is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
investinfuture added Avengers: Infinity War Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo. Torn apart after the events of Captain America: Civil War, the Avengers join forces with the Guardians ...more

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Saw Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith Saw is a 2004 horror film written by Leigh Whannell and directed by James Wan, in Wan's directorial debut. In the film, Adam (Whannell) and Lawrence (Cary Elwes) awaken chained in a large ...more

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Chinatown Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Roman Polanski Chinatown is a 1974 American neo-noir mystery film, directed by Roman Polanski from a screenplay by Robert Towne, starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. The film was inspired by the ...more

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Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
slaft added Invasion of the Body Snatchers Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1978 science fiction thriller directed by Philip Kaufman, and starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. ...more

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Rich Moore added The Skeleton Key Kate Hudson, John Hurt, Joy Bryant The Skeleton Key is a 2005 American supernatural horror film starring Kate Hudson, Gena Rowlands, John Hurt, Peter Sarsgaard, and Joy Bryant. The film centers on a young hospice nurse who ...more

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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
starwarssuperfan added Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a 2016 American epic space opera film directed by Gareth Edwards. The daughter (Felicity Jones) of an Imperial scientist joins the Rebel Alliance in a risky move ...more

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wiabux added Swordfish Halle Berry, John Travolta, Hugh Jackman Swordfish is a 2001 American action crime thriller film directed by Dominic Sena and starring John Travolta, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle and Vinnie Jones. The film centers on Stanley ...more

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Brian Littel added Payback Mel Gibson, Lucy Liu, Maria Bello Payback is a 1999 American action crime film directed by Brian Helgeland and starring Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello and David Paymer. It was based on the novel The Hunter by Donald E. ...more

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but chickens double d added The Wicker Man Christopher Lee, Britt Ekland, Edward Woodward The Wicker Man is a 1973 British mystery horror film directed by Robin Hardy and written by Anthony Shaffer. The film stars Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Ingrid Pitt, and ...more

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cooolalladin added Sinister Ethan Hawke, Vincent D'Onofrio, Fred Thompson Sinister is a 2012 supernatural horror film directed by Scott Derrickson and written by Derrickson and C. Robert Cargill. It stars Ethan Hawke as fictional true-crime writer Ellison Oswalt who ...more

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wiabux added Identity Amanda Peet, John Cusack, Alfred Molina Identity is a 2003 American psychological thriller film directed by James Mangold from a screenplay written by Michael Cooney. The film stars John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet, Alfred Molina, ...more

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lostshadow added Drag Me to Hell Octavia Spencer, Justin Long, Lia Johnson Drag Me to Hell is a 2009 American horror film co-written and directed by Sam Raimi. The plot, written with his brother Ivan, focuses on loan officer Christine Brown, who reluctantly, under ...more

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DPrada added The Matrix Reloaded Monica Bellucci, Keanu Reeves, Jada Pinkett Smith The Matrix Reloaded is a 2003 American science fiction action film, the first sequel to The Matrix, and the second installment in The Matrix trilogy, written and directed by The Wachowski ...more

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Tom Islava added Amadeus Jeffrey Jones, Cynthia Nixon, Christine Ebersole Amadeus - Directors Cut is a 1984 biography drama film written by Peter Shaffer and directed by Milos Forman.

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Arlington Road Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack Arlington Road is a 1999 American mystery thriller film, which tells the story of a widowed George Washington University professor who suspects his new neighbors are involved in terrorism and ...more

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RobLein added A Man for All Seasons John Hurt, Orson Welles, Vanessa Redgrave A Man for All Seasons is a 1966 British biographical drama film based on Robert Bolt's play of the same name about Sir Thomas More. It was released on 12 December 1966. Paul Scofield, who had ...more

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jbroadway added Frailty Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe Frailty is a 2002 psychological thriller film, directed by and starring Bill Paxton, and co-starring Matthew McConaughey. It marks Paxton's directorial debut. The plot focuses on the strange ...more

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Tom Islava added Network Robert Duvall, Faye Dunaway, William Holden Network is a 1976 American satirical film written by Paddy Chayefsky and directed by Sidney Lumet, about a fictional television network, UBS, and its struggle with poor ratings. The film stars ...more

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sugarpie added Spartacus Kirk Douglas, Laurence Olivier, Tony Curtis Spartacus is a 1960 American epic historical drama film directed by Stanley Kubrick. The screenplay by Dalton Trumbo was based on the novel Spartacus by Howard Fast. It was inspired by the life ...more

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sugarpie added The Bad News Bears Tatum O'Neal, Jackie Earle Haley, Walter Matthau The Bad News Bears is a 1976 comedy film directed by Michael Ritchie. It stars Walter Matthau and Tatum O'Neal. The film was followed by two sequels, The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training in ...more

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Lo Olsen added Night of the Living Dead George A. Romero, Duane Jones, Bill Hinzman Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George A. Romero, starring Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. It premiered on October 1, 1968, and ...more

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jbroadway added 12 Monkeys Brad Pitt, Bruce Willis, Christopher Plummer 12 Monkeys, also known as Twelve Monkeys, is a 1995 American science fiction film directed by Terry Gilliam, inspired by Chris Marker's 1962 short film La Jetée, and starring Bruce ...more

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DugoNinja added Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines Roxanne McKee, Doug Bradley, Finn Jones Wrong Turn 5: Bloodlines is a 2012 American horror film written and directed by Declan O'Brien and the fifth installment in the Wrong Turn film series. The film is a sequel to Wrong Turn 4: ...more

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Brazil Robert De Niro, Bob Hoskins, Ian Holm Brazil is a 1985 British film directed by Terry Gilliam and written by Gilliam, Charles McKeown, and Tom Stoppard. British National Cinema by Sarah Street describes the film as a ...more

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Matchstick Men Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, Bruce McGill Matchstick Men is a 2003 American comedy drama film directed by Ridley Scott. Based on Eric Garcia's 2002 novel of the same name, the film stars Nicolas Cage, Sam Rockwell, and Alison Lohman.

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Angel Heart Robert De Niro, Mickey Rourke, Lisa Bonet Angel Heart is a 1987 American horror mystery film written and directed by Alan Parker, and starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, and Lisa Bonet. The film, adapted from the novel Falling Angel ...more