Sponsored
2.6k voters

The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins

Updated February 22, 2021 18.7k votes 2.6k voters 100.7k views54 items

List RulesFilms 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!
Photo:
...more
  • Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back1
    1,184
    242

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

    "I am your father."

    More Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back 

    20 Subtle Details You Likely Missed When Watching 'Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back'#2 of 154 The Best Movie Sequels Ever Made

  • Avengers: Infinity War2
    820
    148

    Avengers: Infinity War

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth

    Released2018

    Directed byAnthony Russo, Joe Russo

    "You should've gone for the head."

    More Avengers: Infinity War 

    The Objectively Worst Decisions Made In 'Avengers: Infinity War''Avengers: Infinity War' Easter Eggs Most People Missed

  • The Silence of the Lambs3
    960
    185

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

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

    More The Silence of the Lambs 

    Small Details And Trivia From 'The Silence Of The Lambs' That Left Us Hungry For More#76 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises

  • The Usual Suspects4
    675
    179

    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro

    Released1994

    Directed byBryan Singer

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

    More The Usual Suspects 

    #5 of 12 Movies Where The Cast And Crew Disagreed About Its Meaning#102 of 112 Movies That Need Sequels

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest5
    455
    166

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    More One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest 

    #40 of 1,189 Every Oscar Winning Film Ever#10 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • Seven6
    814
    178

    Seven

    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow

    Released1995

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    "What's in the box?!"

    More Seven 

    Behind The Scenes Stories From The Making Of 'Se7en'#2 of 230 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

  • Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith7
    571
    241

    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor

    Released2005

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

    "Noooooooo!"

    More Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith 

    26 Small But Poignant Details From 'Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge Of The Sith'#38 of 167 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

  • The Green Mile8
    468
    191

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

    More The Green Mile 

    #20 of 1,540 The Most Rewatchable Movies#3 of 170 The Most Utterly Depressing Movies Ever Made

  • No Country for Old Men9
    460
    184

    No Country for Old Men

    Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

    Released2007

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    "What's the most you ever lost in a coin toss?"

    More No Country for Old Men 

    #103 of 399 The Best Western Movies Ever Made#35 of 134 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again

  • A Nightmare on Elm Street10
    354
    160

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

    Released1984

    Directed byWes Craven

    More A Nightmare on Elm Street 

    Ranking Freddy Krueger's Best Kills from A Nightmare on Elm Street#45 of 522 The Greatest Movies Of The 1980s, Ranked

  • Memento11
    279
    154

    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss

    Released2000

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    "Now, where was I?"

    More Memento 

    #6 of 128 The Most Confusing Movies Ever Made#2 of 16 Movie 'Heroes' Who Were Actually Villains The Whole Time

  • Taxi Driver12
    248
    141

    Taxi Driver

    Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster

    Released1976

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    More Taxi Driver 

    12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Taxi Driver' That Are As Wild As The Film Itself#3 of 15 Movies You Never Realized Have Super Bleak Endings

  • The Cabin in the Woods13
    240
    119

    The Cabin in the Woods

    Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver

    Released2012

    Directed byDrew Goddard

    More The Cabin in the Woods 

    12 Fan Theories About 'The Cabin in the Woods' That Could Anger The Ancient Ones#965 of 1,137 The Absolute Funniest Movies Of All Time

  • The Devil's Advocate14
    280
    147

    The Devil's Advocate

    Charlize Theron, Al Pacino

    Released1997

    Directed byTaylor Hackford

    More The Devil's Advocate 

    #44 of 114 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies#137 of 722 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time

  • Shutter Island15
    306
    167

    Shutter Island

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams

    Released2010

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    More Shutter Island 

    #12 of 19 The Best Movies Coming to Netflix in February 2021#10 of 13 Twist Endings That Are Better Than The Twist Endings They Ripped Off

  • Fight Club16
    482
    171

    Fight Club

    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto

    Released1999

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    More Fight Club 

    'Fight Club' Fan Theories That Just Might Be True#12 of 14 Movies That Threw Book Endings Out The Window Completely

  • A Clockwork Orange17
    260
    135

    A Clockwork Orange

    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke

    Released1971

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    More A Clockwork Orange 

    Kubrick And Codpieces: Behind The Scenes Of 'A Clockwork Orange'#55 of 178 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies

  • Night of the Living Dead18
    99
    39

    Night of the Living Dead

    George A. Romero, Duane Jones

    Released1968

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    More Night of the Living Dead 

    #23 of 317 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time#54 of 224 The Best Black and White Movies Ever Made

  • The Omen19
    208
    136

    The Omen

    Gregory Peck, Lee Remick

    Released1976

    Directed byRichard Donner

    More The Omen 

    The Omen Is One Of The Most Cursed Film Productions Ever - And Some Believe Satan Is Behind It#5 of 27 The Nastiest Decapitations in Horror Movies

  • Primal Fear20
    220
    122

    Primal Fear

    Edward Norton, Richard Gere

    Released1996

    Directed byGregory Hoblit

    More Primal Fear 

    #5 of 24 The Best Movies with Twist Endings#9 of 247 The Best Whodunit Movies

  • Hannibal21
    248
    139

    Hannibal

    Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman

    Released2001

    Directed byRidley Scott

    More Hannibal 

    #176 of 224 The Worst Sequels Of All Time#9 of 12 Movie Endings That Are Better Than The Books They Were Based On

  • Saw22
    283
    148

    Saw

    Danny Glover, Monica Potter

    Released2004

    Directed byJames Wan

    More Saw 

    The Best Saw Characters in the Whole Franchise, Ranked#2 of 88 The Goriest Movies Ever Made

  • Cool Hand Luke23
    172
    112

    Cool Hand Luke

    Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper

    Released1967

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    More Cool Hand Luke 

    #197 of 277 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry#196 of 456 The Most Quotable Movies of All Time

  • Watchmen24
    238
    138

    Watchmen

    Malin Åkerman, Carla Gugino

    Released2009

    Directed byZack Snyder

    More Watchmen 

    Fan Theories About Watchmen That Make The Comic Way Better, Even If You've Read It 100 Times#39 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies Of All Time

  • Fallen25
    186
    103

    Fallen

    Denzel Washington, John Goodman

    Released1998

    Directed byGregory Hoblit

    "I wanna tell you about the time I almost died..."

    More Fallen 

    #21 of 67 The Best Demonic Possession Movies#378 of 557 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time