The top 10 movie villains of all time

July 8, 2013
“Do I know him? Not socially. His name’s Jaws. He kills people.”

July 8, 2013

Jaws in The Spy Who Loved Me

This is the James Bond villain that intrigues all dentists and makes 007 fans shake their heads. I mean, come on, villains are sometimes hard to kill but the henchman with the steel-capped teeth was almost impossible. Think about it … In “The Spy Who Loved Me,” Jaws survives an Egyptian structure’s collapse on top of him, being hit by a van, being thrown from a rapidly moving train, sitting in the passenger seat of a car which veers off a cliff and lands in a hut below, a battle underwater with a shark, and the destruction of the arch-villain’s lair. All of this … and he still appeared in the next movie, “Moonraker,” as well. Go figure.

Most villainous quote (about Jaws): “Do I know him? Not socially. His name’s Jaws. He kills people.” – James Bond

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Scar in The Lion King


Recipe for being a bad guy … Kill your brother, give your young nephew a complex and make him run away to face an almost certain death, then take over the kingdom and almost destroy it. Sure, there are a lot of Disney bad guys (and gals), but this one takes the prize.

Most villainous quote (as he is laying the guilt trip of all guilt trips on his nephew, Simba): “Run. Run away and never return.”

Darth Vader in Star Wars

For a generation of moviegoers, there was no greater definition of evil than the all-black clad Lord Vader. Whether he was crushing a comrade’s throat by merely pinching his fingers together in the air or telling his son “There is no escape. Don’t make me destroy you,” Darth Vader isn’t exactly the guy you want to invite to your church picnic. While he personifies evil, he couldn’t figure out that his Death Star could be destroyed through a hole no bigger than a womp rat (two meters). Otherwise, he’d probably be higher on the list.

Most villainous quote (as he is strangling a colleague): “I find your lack of faith disturbing.”

Khan in Star Trek II
The real villain here is his hair.Source

How bad is he? He just needs one name and it’s a one-syllable name that can be screamed into infamy when you’re stuck inside a planet (just ask Captain Kirk). His evilness gets him exiled to a planet, where he gets even more evil after the neighboring planet explodes and his wife dies. He spends the next 15 years plotting his revenge, which includes catching bugs that will wrap around his victim’s cerebral cortex, a lot of murder, and stealing the ultimate nuclear device … and he kills Spock. I mean, come on, for Trekkies, it doesn’t get much more evil than that.

Most villainous quote: “Of course! We are one big, happy fleet! Ah, Kirk, my old friend, do you know the Klingon proverb that tells us revenge is a dish that is best served cold? It is very cold in space!”

Imhotep in The Mummy

What’s the worst way to get on the Pharaoh’s bad side? Start being his lover’s lover. That’s a sure way to be mummified while still alive and cursed for all eternity. This villain has a sneer and a swagger that you have to love … even if you are cheering against him. He rarely talks in the movie, yet gets his point across with his smarminess … and powers such as raising the dead and causing sandstorms and other natural disasters. One more thing … be careful when you’re around him. He likes to take body parts from his victims to bring himself back to human form.

Most villainous quote (about Imhotep): “Know this: this creature is the Bringer of Death; he will never eat, he will never sleep, and he will never stop.”


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Hans Gruber in Die Hard

I mean, come on, you break into a Christmas party to steal $640 million in negotiable bearer bank bonds inside the Nakatomi Plaza vault? It’s the holidays, for goodness sake! He’s a German terrorist. He takes hostages. He kills hostages. He gives Bruce Willis a really hard time. How good was the actor Alan Rickman at being bad in this film? It helped land roles as subsequent villains in Robin Hood and Harry Potter.

Most villainous quote: [addressing the hostages] “I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way... so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life. We can go any way you want it. You can walk out of here or be carried out. But have no illusions. We are in charge. So, decide now, each of you. And please remember: we have left nothing to chance.”

Annie Wilkes in Misery

She’s the only woman on our list of villains, but there’s no denying that she deserves her spot after creeping out so many people in this Stephen King book turned movie. Author Paul Sheldon’s “number one fan” rescues him after his car goes off the road in a Colorado blizzard, but the nurse soon makes him wish he hadn’t been rescued. After seeing this one, I don’t know that I’ll ever look at a sledgehammer in the same light.

Most villainous quote: “And don’t even think about anybody coming for you. Not the doctors, not your agent, not your family. ’Cause I never called them. Nobody knows you’re here. And you better hope nothing happens to me. Because if I die ... you die.”

Dr. Christian Szell in Marathon Man


When the Nazis like your torture methods, you’re not a nice guy. During World War II, Dr. Szell ran the experimental camp in Auschwitz, and would bargain for the release of certain Jews in exchange for the gold in their teeth. Eventually, he would demand their entire fortunes – and diamonds – instead. This is the man that has given dentists a bad name ever since the movie came out in 1976. He may be No. 3 on this list, but he’s No. 1 on the dentist villain list (sorry, Steve Martin).

Most villainous quote: “Oh, don’t worry. I’m not going into that cavity. That nerve’s already dying. A live, freshly-cut nerve is infinitely more sensitive. So I’ll just drill into a healthy tooth until I reach the pulp. That is unless, of course, you can tell me that it’s safe."

The Joker in The Dark Knight

This “agent of chaos” put anything but a smile on the face of Batman and the residents of Gotham City. Whatever fun Cesar Romero and Jack Nicholson brought to the character in their versions of the Joker, Heath Ledger changed as the latest Joker favored guns, knives, and bombs to laughing gas and fake teeth. This Joker puts a bomb inside a fellow inmate and blows it up so he can escape from jail. He also blows up a hospital. Who’s laughing now?

Most villainous quote: “This city deserves a better class of criminal. And I’m gonna give it to them.”

Mr. Potter
No, not you Harry.

in It’s a Wonderful Life

This Mr. Potter. Source

Batman has the Joker and George Bailey has Mr. Potter. There’s only one thing that Mr. Potter did better than run a business and that was make everyone miserable. When the people in the quaint town of Bedford Falls describe you as “the richest and meanest man in the country,” you know you’re mean. When he discovers that Uncle Billy has accidentally handed him the $8,000 needed to keep the company afloat, he says nothing. He merely hides inside his office and waits for the ruin of his rival, who nearly commits suicide over the ordeal. And, just for good measure, he calls the police and puts out a warrant for George’s arrest. We have a feeling that this is one “angel” who never got his wings when the bell rang.

Most villainous quote: “You’re worth more dead than alive.”