10 movie villains who surpass their protagonist

There are movie villains so shocking that they end up being more important than the protagonists, and we’ve rounded up the best of them.

Whether it’s because of the charisma of the actor, because of the great phrases he has or simply because they arouse a special sympathy in the public, the truth is that there are movie villains who tend to steal all the attention in a movie. In the list that we leave you below we can find murderous maniacs, comic book super villains or simply people who see the world in a different way. But there is one that stands out above the rest…

This list is quite subjective, so if you want to add other movie villains, you can leave them in the comments.

Characters that marked time.

Verbal / Keyser Söze (Kevin Spacey) from The Usual Suspects (1995).

Verbal / Keyser Söze (Kevin Spacey) from The Usual Suspects (1995). movie villains

This villain is so important that the plot revolves around him. Above all, because the film puts you in the background by telling a hair-raising story about Keyser Söze, in which his rivals rape his wife and threaten their children with death. Upon discovering this, he kills his family to show that his power is such that they have nothing to lose. But it is also a kind of urban legend and the whole plot is a lie of the character of kevin spaceybut until that is discovered they have put it in the center of everything without even showing it.

Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).
Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

His intelligence, education, knowledge of the human being and sadism, undoubtedly make him one of the best movie villains. We met him when Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) asks for his help in catching another serial killer. But her impact was so brutal that she repeated it in several more installments that gave it much more depth. His slow and detailed movements, added to his facial expression that alternates the absence of expression with an evil smile, are some of the elements that warn us that we are not in the presence of someone normal.

Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) from Misery (1990).

Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) from Misery (1990). movie villains
Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates) from Misery (1990). movie villains

She is such a wonderful villain that she could not be missing from the list of the best movie villains. She is a candid woman, but we soon begin to discover her outbursts of anger that make her lash out at her victim when something doesn’t match what she would like. She therefore tortures her favorite writer to make a book that fits her expectations.

Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) from Inglourious Basterds (2009).

Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) from Inglourious Basterds (2009). movie villains
Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) from Inglourious Basterds (2009). movie villains

Hans Landa is a Nazi colonel and has practically become a manual for screenwriters on what movie villains should be like. His presence is so important that when he meets a possible new victim, she fears for his life without him even opening his mouth. But the most important thing is that he generates a feeling in the viewer that he will get away with it, that’s why he fears for the rest of the characters. His intimidating interrogations are successful thanks to his Machiavellian dialogues and every time the character appears he charges the scene with tension.

Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) from No Country for Old Men.

Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) from No Country for Old Men. movie villains
Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem) from No Country for Old Men.

From the first time we see him in the film, we realize that he is a full-fledged psychopath who does not feel the slightest empathy at the moment of killing. He is also notable for being ruthless and instilling terror in both his victims and onlookers. It is practically impossible not to be fascinated by him when he makes very high level philosophical arguments about life and death.

John Doe (Kevin Spacey) from Seven (1995).

John Doe (Kevin Spacey) from Seven (1995). movie villains
John Doe (Kevin Spacey) from Seven (1995).

Kevin Spacey repeats on the list, but also, both films were released in the same year. Even so, this time he offers us another type of character, since this time he is a serial killer who kills representing the seven deadly sins. As a good psychopath, he justifies his killing and therefore believes that everything he does is correct. In addition, he manages to steal all the attention at the end of the film, since that is when everything is discovered and it is confirmed who is his last victim. Something that destroys both the character of Brad Pitt like the viewers.

Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) from Conan the Barbarian (1982).

Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) from Conan the Barbarian (1982).
Thulsa Doom (James Earl Jones) from Conan the Barbarian (1982).

This movie caused Arnold Schwarzenegger to become well known in the world, but James Earl Jones steals the show thanks to his presence and his phrases. In addition, he is shown to have total control over his followers, to the point that he is capable of committing suicide without thinking. As if that weren’t enough, he turns into a snake… I don’t know what more can you ask of a villain!

Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) in Shadow of the Vampire (2000).

Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) in Shadow of the Vampire (2000).
Max Schreck (Willem Dafoe) in Shadow of the Vampire (2000).

A director wants to make a movie as realistic as possible, so he hires a real vampire to play an important role… The result is that many people on the crew die on the set. The performance of Willem Dafoe he is so brilliant that he monopolizes the entire story and shows that he controls all the acting records.

Joker (Heath Ledger) from The Dark Knight (2008).

Joker (Heath Ledger) from The Dark Knight (2008). movie villains
Joker (Heath Ledger) from The Dark Knight (2008).

In this list, one of the most important villains in the history of comics could not be missing. There are many versions in the cinema and surely everyone has their favorite. But Heath Ledger managed to surprise all viewers, since with each appearance the quality of the film increased. Also, his chaotic way of seeing the world makes you love and fear him in equal measure. Without forgetting that Christopher Nolan gave him a number of brutal lines that gives him much more depth than any other superhero movie villain.

Darth Vader (David Prowse / Hayden Christensen, voiced by James Earl Jones) in the Star Wars saga.

Darth Vader (David Prowse / Hayden Christensen, voiced by James Earl Jones) in the Star Wars saga.
Darth Vader

Without a doubt, this is one of the movie villains whose staging is best measured. Since even though he only appeared 8 minutes in the original movie of starwars 1977, quickly became a fan favorite. His threatening appearance, his deep voice and metallic breathing, his great power and the accompanying music make him the best villain in movie history.

10 movie villains who surpass their protagonist