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The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins 

Ranker Film
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Updated February 7, 2020 15.8k votes 2k voters 64.7k 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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1
Star Wars Episode V: The... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1980

Directed by: Irvin Kershner

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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2
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Tom Islava added Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger

Released: 2008

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more

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Behind-The-Scenes Stories From The Set Of 'The Dark Knight' #1 of 172 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
The Silence of the Lambs... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Chris Isaak

Released: 1991

Directed by: Jonathan Demme

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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You've Been Watching Silence Of The Lambs Wrong For Years: It's A Comedy #2 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Seven is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow, Morgan Freeman

Released: 1995

Directed by: David Fincher

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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#1 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #93 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #27 of 133 Movies That Should Never Be Remade

5
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Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro, Gabriel Byrne

Released: 1994

Directed by: Bryan Singer

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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#10 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #166 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
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Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd

Released: 1975

Directed by: Miloš Forman

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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7
Avengers: Infinity War ... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
investinfuture added Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2018

Directed by: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

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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Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Sam Rockwell

Released: 1999

Directed by: Frank Darabont

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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9
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Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Samuel L. Jackson

Released: 2005

Directed by: George Lucas

(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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10
No Country for Old Men ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson

Released: 2007

Directed by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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. Mayhem ensue after a hunter (Josh Brolin) ...more

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#132 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made #13 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

11
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Johnny Depp, Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp

Released: 1984

Directed by: Wes Craven

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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12
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Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano

Released: 2000

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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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#11 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #645 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #213 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

13
Taxi Driver is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster, Martin Scorsese

Released: 1976

Directed by: 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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14
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Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2010

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

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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15
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Charlize Theron, Al Pacino, Keanu Reeves

Released: 1997

Directed by: Taylor Hackford

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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#61 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #156 of 784 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #301 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies

16
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StevenKershaw added Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner

Released: 1976

Directed by: Richard Donner

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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17
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Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Helena Bonham Carter

Released: 1999

Directed by: David Fincher

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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18
Rogue One: A Star Wars S... is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins
starwarssuperfan added Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Riz Ahmed

Released: 2016

Directed by: Gareth Edwards

This film 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 to take the plans.

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19
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Countermoon added Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke, Steven Berkoff

Released: 1971

Directed by: Stanley Kubrick

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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20
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Edward Norton, Richard Gere, Laura Linney

Released: 1996

Directed by: Gregory Hoblit

Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir 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 attorney ...more

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21
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Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Anthony Hopkins

Released: 2001

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Hannibal is a 2001 American 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 Silence ...more

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#24 of 241 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #416 of 1,646 The Most Rewatchable Movies #231 of 553 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

22
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Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper, George Kennedy

Released: 1967

Directed by: Stuart Rosenberg

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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23
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Malin Åkerman, Carla Gugino, Billy Crudup

Released: 2009

Directed by: Zack Snyder

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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liplip added Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver, Amy Acker

Released: 2012

Directed by: Drew Goddard

The Cabin in the Woods is a 2012 American horror comedy film directed by Drew Goddard in his directorial debut. Five college kids (Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, ...more

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Danny Glover, Monica Potter, Shawnee Smith

Released: 2004

Directed by: James Wan

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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