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The Best Movies Where the Bad Guy Wins

Updated August 14, 2020 18.7k votes 2.3k voters 82.9k views58 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!
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  • 1
    Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
    1,040
    231

    Released1980

    Directed byIrvin Kershner

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  • 2
    Avengers: Infinity War
    662
    107

    Avengers: Infinity War

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth

    Released2018

    Directed byAnthony Russo, Joe Russo

    Avengers: Infinity War is a 2018 American superhero film directed by Anthony and Joe Russo.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 3
    The Dark Knight
    740
    167

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    The Silence of the Lambs
    854
    179

    The Silence of the Lambs

    Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins

    Released1991

    Directed byJonathan Demme

    The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    The Usual Suspects
    608
    172

    The Usual Suspects

    Kevin Spacey, Benicio del Toro

    Released1994

    Directed byBryan Singer

    The Usual Suspects is a 1995 German-American neo-noir crime thriller film directed by Bryan... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
    401
    155

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito

    Released1975

    Directed byMiloš Forman

    One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a 1975 drama film written by Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman... more on Wikipedia

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  • 7
    Seven
    736
    167

    Seven

    Brad Pitt, Gwyneth Paltrow

    Released1995

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Seven is a 1995 American psychological thriller film directed by David Fincher. The film stars... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    The Green Mile
    422
    177

    The Green Mile

    Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise

    Released1999

    Directed byFrank Darabont

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  • 9
    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    256
    84

    Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

    Felicity Jones, Diego Luna

    Released2016

    Directed byGareth Edwards

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  • 10
    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
    499
    225

    Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

    Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor

    Released2005

    Directed byGeorge Lucas

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  • 11
    A Nightmare on Elm Street
    322
    150

    A Nightmare on Elm Street

    Johnny Depp, Robert Englund

    Released1984

    Directed byWes Craven

    A Nightmare on Elm Street is a 1984 American supernatural slasher horror film written and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 12
    No Country for Old Men
    408
    172

    No Country for Old Men

    Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones

    Released2007

    Directed byEthan Coen, Joel Coen

    No Country for Old Men is a 2007 American neo-western neo-noir thriller film directed by Joel... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Taxi Driver
    229
    132

    Taxi Driver

    Robert De Niro, Jodie Foster

    Released1976

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Taxi Driver is a 1976 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Martin... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    Memento
    249
    140

    Memento

    Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss

    Released2000

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    Memento is a 2000 American neo-noir psychological thriller film directed by Christopher Nolan.... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    The Devil's Advocate
    261
    135

    The Devil's Advocate

    Charlize Theron, Al Pacino

    Released1997

    Directed byTaylor Hackford

    The Devil's Advocate is a 1997 American mystery thriller film based on Andrew Neiderman's... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Shutter Island
    287
    154

    Shutter Island

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Michelle Williams

    Released2010

    Directed byMartin Scorsese

    Shutter Island is a 2010 American psychological thriller film directed by Martin Scorsese. The... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    Fight Club
    463
    157

    Fight Club

    Brad Pitt, Jared Leto

    Released1999

    Directed byDavid Fincher

    Fight Club is a 1999 film based on the 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 18
    The Cabin in the Woods
    214
    109

    The Cabin in the Woods

    Chris Hemsworth, Sigourney Weaver

    Released2012

    Directed byDrew Goddard

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  • 19
    A Clockwork Orange
    240
    129

    A Clockwork Orange

    Malcolm McDowell, Warren Clarke

    Released1971

    Directed byStanley Kubrick

    A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 dystopian crime film adapted, produced, and directed by Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Night of the Living Dead
    86
    31

    Night of the Living Dead

    George A. Romero, Duane Jones

    Released1968

    Directed byGeorge A. Romero

    Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 American independent zombie horror film directed by George... more on Wikipedia

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  • 21
    Primal Fear
    208
    120

    Primal Fear

    Edward Norton, Richard Gere

    Released1996

    Directed byGregory Hoblit

    Primal Fear is a 1996 American neo-noir thriller film, based on William Diehl's 1993 novel of... more on Wikipedia
  • 22
    The Omen
    193
    129

    The Omen

    Gregory Peck, Lee Remick

    Released1976

    Directed byRichard Donner

    The Omen is a 1976 British/American supernatural horror film directed by Richard Donner. The... more on Wikipedia

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  • 23
    Cool Hand Luke
    157
    106

    Cool Hand Luke

    Paul Newman, Dennis Hopper

    Released1967

    Directed byStuart Rosenberg

    Cool Hand Luke is a 1967 American prison drama film directed by Stuart Rosenberg, starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Fallen
    176
    97

    Fallen

    Denzel Washington, John Goodman

    Released1998

    Directed byGregory Hoblit

    Fallen is a 1998 American fantasy action film directed by Gregory Hoblit, and starring Denzel... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Watchmen
    219
    131

    Watchmen

    Malin Åkerman, Carla Gugino

    Released2009

    Directed byZack Snyder

    Watchmen is a 2009 American neo-noir superhero film directed by Zack Snyder and starring Malin... more on Wikipedia

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