In every film, we have a favorite protagonist. We love them as much as we hate villains. However, there are times when these villains have made such an impression on us that we can't help but appreciate and admire how excellent they were in each scene. In this post, we've compiled a list of the top ten most intense villains of all time.
1. Ozymandias from Watchmen
One Reddit user commented, “You don't think I'd explain my plan if there were the slightest chance you could stop me, do you? I did it 35 minutes ago.”
He added, “Purely based on that, Ozymandias from Watchmen.”
Another Reddit user commented, “Does everyone just ignore that he saved the world from inevitable nuclear war in his version of Earth? The comic makes it absolutely clear that the U.S. and Russia are on the brink. Not figuratively either; we're talking about Nixon sitting in the Dr. Strangelove war room with his finger on the button.
“I'm definitely not a ‘for the greater good’ zombie a lá Hot Fuzz, but it's undeniable that in that specific circumstance, Ozymandias' ends justify his means. Doesn't mean he isn't still an a**hat, because he is, but he did save humanity.”
2. GLaDOS from the Portal
In the video game series Portal, GLaDOS is a fictitious artificially superintelligent computer system. Later appearances of GLaDOS included The Lab and Lego Dimensions.
A user commented, “GLADOS – ‘we both said a lot of things you're going to regret.’” This was then seconded by another user's response, “Everything GLaDOS says is pure, sarcastic gold. Fat jokes, adoption jokes, passive (and active) aggressiveness, she can pull all of it off so well. ‘How are you holding up? Because I'm a potato.’”
3. Gus Fring From Breaking Bad
Gustavo “Gus” Fring is a restaurant owner and powerful drug distributor from Chile. Gus weaned himself off the Mexican drug gang and began selling methamphetamine independently. He finally rose to the top of his drug empire, which was the most profitable in US history.
One Reddit user shared, “Gus really helped me understand that Walt was truly evil. When the villain is more honorable than the protagonist, there may be a problem with the protagonist (morally, not thematically).”
Another user responded to the OP, “I came here to say this, and more broadly, Giancarlo Esposito. He plays villains who are so nuanced and just…terrifying.
“As Gus, he has an amazing ability to go from affable, mild-mannered, and at times even warm. But then suddenly…ice cold. Terrifying. His brain is constantly 10 steps ahead. He never takes a cheap shot. He is meticulous and deadly calm in his rage, and that makes him all the more frightening. When they poison Don Eladio, and it also includes himself and Walt…whew. I've never hated anyone enough to poison myself.
“He also is amazing as Moff Gideon in the Mandalorian. His speech about ‘Why should you trust me? You shouldn't.’ Perfect. He's less reserved than Gus by miles, but still calm and ruthless.”
4. Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds
Hans Landa is a made-up character and the main bad guy in Quentin Tarantino's movie Inglourious Basterds, which came out in 2009. He is a fictitious creation designed to represent many Nazi ideals.
According to one of the Redditors, “Hans Landa was terrifying in so many ways; this actor is insanely good.”
“Playing both an extremely racist military officer and a very not racist bounty hunter and nailing both perfectly was so impressive.” someone replied.
Another commenter added, “Yep, he even says he doesn't see the comparison of Jews to rats as a bad thing. The rat is a hardy and tenacious creature. It not only survives but thrives in a world entirely hostile to it where so many predators will try to kill it on sight. He's just good at his job, and he enjoys being good at his job.”
5. Homelander From The Boys
Homelander is the commander of The Seven, one of the world's most powerful Supes, and the archenemy of Billy Butcher, leader of The Boys. On the surface, he seems to be the perfect Boy Scout, a treasure for the United States, and a God-fearing patriot. However, beyond his looks, there is so much darkness in there.
One user posted, “Antony Starr as Homelander is my favorite unhinged villain of all time. He's putting on a great performance.”
6. Hans Gruber From Die Hard
Hans Gruber is a fictional character, and the main antagonist in Alan Rickman's 1988 action thriller Die Hard. Gruber is a devious thief and criminal genius from West Germany who has taken over the Nakatomi Plaza.
A user commented, “Hans Gruber. Alan Rickman portrays him so well.”
Another added, “I wish my boss was like Hans Gruber. Nice clear, direct orders: ‘Shoot him,’ ‘Kill him,’ ‘I will count to three; there will be no four.’ ‘Where are my detonators?’
“Nice, simple, direct commands, no management waffle. I'd work for him if it wasn't for the short-term contracts.”
7. Boyd Crowder in Justified
Boyd Crowder, played by Walton Goggins, is a criminal from Kentucky's Harlan County. He begins the series as a white nationalist who robs banks.
One user shared, “I am in the middle of rewatching this, and d**n, the writing is so good. The first season is more of a villain-of-the-week kind of thing, but you can already tell the series is of higher quality than most similar shows simply by how it introduces villains, having them be actually memorable and entertaining even though they are never going to be seen again.
“But then in season 2, Boyd Crowder really gets going, and it just keeps getting better and better. ‘I've been accused of being a lot of things. ‘Inarticulate' ain't one of them.’ Also, I have never laughed as much from a scene in a show as when that guy charges Givens with a knife after spending most of a season talking about how he could take a gunfighter with his knife.”
Another user added, “As soon as I read the title, I just knew someone would mention Boyd Crowder.”
8. Magneto from X-Men
One Reddit user commented, “Magneto. There are times when you are able to sympathize with him, and his actions almost seem justified. The most likable villain, in my opinion.” One user added, “Magneto is pure bada**. I hope the MCU does him justice and [doesn’t] ruin him.”
Another user replied, “Yeah, I don't have high hopes they do. At this point, I assume they change up his origin story. Being a holocaust survivor is a key piece of his character, and unless they do something with him not aging, he would be in his 90s when they finally introduce his character.”
9. Dolores Umbridge in Harry Potter
A Reddit user shared, “Stephen King called her the greatest make-believe villain since Hannibal Lecter.”
Someone replied, “Makes sense. A lot of antagonists in his books are believable people like her. Stephen King thinks scary is best portrayed not as an over-the-top supervillain but as someone who you’ve met that has it in them to do evil to you. She’s his idea of the perfect kind of villain.”
Another user concluded, “As much as I hated her in the book, I hated her sooooooooo much more in the movie…massive kudos to Imelda for going all in on her evilness.”
10. Kingpin in Daredevil
A Reddit shared, “Kingpin in the Daredevil series. He got to a point where he just seemed untouchable; he was only human, but d**n, did he seem like more than that. For a street-level villain, he was incredible. Killgrave was good, too.”
Another user responded, “Kingpin is almost a perfect villain. From how he's written to how he's acted (Vincent D'Onofrio is a treasure), his motivations and depth, he's just so good. In the Marvel universe, overly stuffed with the ultra-strong super-villains, he was such a breath of fresh air.”
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