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11.08.2013by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Most Likeable Movie Villains (Video Edition)

With THOR: THE DARK WORLD hitting theaters today in North America, the massive fanbase for Loki can finally enjoy seeing Tom Hiddleston inhabiting the villain everyone loves to hate. Loki is not the first bad guy who has gained an enormous fan base, so here is a ranking of the Top 10 bad guys who more people love to love rather than hate. If your favorite villain didn't make the cut, feel free to add them to the Talk Back below.

HONORABLE MENTION - Lots-O-Huggin Bear

Clearly inspired by The Captain from the classic film COOL HAND LOOK, Ned Beatty's plush bad guy is simultaneously one of the cutest Pixar creations and the most frightening. Forget the creepy toys from the first film or The Prospector from the sequel. TOY STORY 3's Lotso is a force to be reckoned with who is capable of destroying anyone in his path. But, he still smells of strawberries!

#10 - Gollum

When Gollum makes his full debut in THE TWO TOWERS, his horrid appearance immediately lets you know he is a selfish monster who only wants The One Ring and the power it possesses. But, as the trilogy progresses, you begin to warm up to Smeagol. Sure, you know he is going to try and kill Frodo and Samwise, but the pull of The Ring is just too much. Since THE LORD OF THE RINGS and now THE HOBBIT films have been released, people imitating Andy Serkis' iconic voice has become commonplace. We all secretly hoped Gollum would have a happy ending despite knowing it would never happen.

#9 - Dr. Evil

In the first AUSTIN POWERS, we all laughed at Dr. Evil as a spoof of Bond villains like Dr. No, Blofeld, and Goldfinger. By the second and third movies, Dr. Evil had become less a bad guy rather than a funny character that fans looked forward to spewing quotable one-liners. He is clearly the nemesis of Austin Powers, but will likely go down as the most memorable character in the AUSTIN POWERS franchise.

#8 - Hector Barbossa

Barbossa first appeared as the primary antagonist in PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL before becoming a tenuous ally in the sequels. Like Loki, Barbossa is just evil enough to be a threat, but intriguing enough that we like seeing him team up with the heroes. You never quite know which side he is working for, but that makes him the type of bad guy you can root for.

#7 - Vizzini

One of the shortest on screen appearances from any villain on this list, Wallace Shawn plays Vizzini, a man who thinks he is so much smarter than he actually is. Shawn is hilariously perfect as the smug, short little man who matches the Dread Pirate Roberts in a game of wits that is one of the most quoted monologues from the entire movie. While Vizzini is not the main villain in the end, his limited screen time and Shawn's unique voice and appearance make him a movie classic.

#6 - Freddy Krueger

Freddy Krueger was the personification of nightmares in the original NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET before becoming a pop culture icon thanks to his awful one liners and unique methods for dispatching teenagers in a half dozen sequels. Over time, Freddy ceased to be scary and was instead the one we rooted for to kill his prey in the most outlandish ways possible. Sure, we still wanted to see Freddy get beat in the end, but only after ninety minutes of enjoying him murder, maim, and dismember.

#5 - Magneto

How can you not root for a kid who survived the Holocaust and seeks vengeance on those who hurt him? Well, if he turns out to be a pro-mutant hater of humanity like Magneto, I am sure you are torn between loving and hating him. Ian McKellen gave the most villainous turn as the Marvel bad guy but it was Michael Fassbender's performance in X-MEN: FIRST CLASS that truly made you wonder whether you want him to succeed or fail. In either case, X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST will put that ambivalent heroism to the test as we see which side Magneto really falls on.

#4 - Hans Gruber

While Gruber is undoubtedly a villain with no positive qualities, he has become the epitome of what a good bad guy should be. He is a smug megalomaniac who wants what he wants with no care as to who dies on his way to getting it. John McClane is merely a nuisance that must be snuffed out, but we all know how that turns out. Gruber to this day is the template for the type of nemesis we want out of our action movies and one we rarely get to see on screen.

#3 - Tyler Durden

When one first sees FIGHT CLUB, it is hard to think that Brad Pitt's character is a villain. But, as the film progresses, we learn that he is bringing Edward Norton's character further and further into an abyss of nihilism. Everything Tyler Durden says or does makes "sense" but there is an anarchistic message to it that should raise all sorts of alarm bells. As we know, the hero and the villain are one in FIGHT CLUB, but it is Jack's Split Personality that takes the cake as the most enigmatic and likeable baddie on this list.

#2 - Darth Vader

Darth Vader, like Hans Gruber, is the template for numerous villains since 1977. The black clad Sith lord represents an unseen monster who gradually begins to gain humanity as the trilogy progresses. With the prequels, we now have Anakin Skywalker's full rise and fall in the STAR WARS saga. But, focusing just on his appearance in the original trilogy, he has become less frightening that he was originally envisioned and has instead become a symbol for good being corrupted before finding the path back to being a hero again.

#1 - The Joker

The Joker, more than any comic book bad guy, is an evil f*ck. There is absolutely nothing redeeming about him as a person and he is the true face of a monster. But, in his various film incarnations, he has been imbued with a likeability that surpasses his evil. We never want him to win, but we want to see how crazy he will get before Batman stops him. Jack Nicholson played him as a crazy clown while Heath Ledger's Oscar winning performance in THE DARK KNIGHT gave us the closest representation of the comic character. The Joker is far and away the most evil character that everyone wants to be for Halloween, play in video games, and love to hate.

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8:14AM on 11/12/2013
No Kahn, Zod, Hannibal Lecter?
No Kahn, Zod, Hannibal Lecter?
Your Reply:



4:29PM on 11/10/2013

Cyrus the Virus

This guy was sinister as hell, but damn, he was a cool badass!
This guy was sinister as hell, but damn, he was a cool badass!
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+1
6:48PM on 11/09/2013
Antihero is a more fitting label for Durden, though he'd cut off someone's testicles for labeling him anything.
Antihero is a more fitting label for Durden, though he'd cut off someone's testicles for labeling him anything.
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+6
6:33PM on 11/08/2013
Interesting list, but I have to agree that Hannibal Lecter was criminally left off the list. The guy is named one of the best villains in film history and he's a character we enjoy seeing on screen. I also find it odd that Loki was left off the list when the list is all about him. Lotso gets honorable mention, but Loki is nowhere to be found? Seems kind of odd.
Interesting list, but I have to agree that Hannibal Lecter was criminally left off the list. The guy is named one of the best villains in film history and he's a character we enjoy seeing on screen. I also find it odd that Loki was left off the list when the list is all about him. Lotso gets honorable mention, but Loki is nowhere to be found? Seems kind of odd.
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+1
6:20PM on 11/08/2013
I actually think that you could always root for Freddy. He arrived in a time period when slashers were becoming popular and the killers in these movies were villains we got behind because we wanted them to dispatch their victims. After the first Friday the 13th, that became the thing: the killer stalks and kills stupid teens, and then is eventually dispatched themselves, but not really because we want them to return for sequels. Nightmare is certainly a classic, but I think we could always get
I actually think that you could always root for Freddy. He arrived in a time period when slashers were becoming popular and the killers in these movies were villains we got behind because we wanted them to dispatch their victims. After the first Friday the 13th, that became the thing: the killer stalks and kills stupid teens, and then is eventually dispatched themselves, but not really because we want them to return for sequels. Nightmare is certainly a classic, but I think we could always get behind Freddy because he had the most interesting way of dispatching victims and even in the first film he had a personality.
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-3
6:15PM on 11/08/2013
I'd hardly call him likable. He's not adorable in any way, just pathetic. I get the point of Gollum, but I've never liked him as a character. Every time he showed up, it felt like a drag to me. He's one villain in the story I could have done without.
I'd hardly call him likable. He's not adorable in any way, just pathetic. I get the point of Gollum, but I've never liked him as a character. Every time he showed up, it felt like a drag to me. He's one villain in the story I could have done without.
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-1
5:34PM on 11/08/2013
You mention Joker, but don't mention Mark Hamill who played the definitive version of the character?

For shame.
You mention Joker, but don't mention Mark Hamill who played the definitive version of the character?

For shame.
Your Reply:



6:30PM on 11/08/2013
I don't think they were talking about the cartoon versions of the Joker. Yes, they mention various versions, but I think they are focused on the film versions.
I don't think they were talking about the cartoon versions of the Joker. Yes, they mention various versions, but I think they are focused on the film versions.
4:12PM on 11/08/2013
Seriously..no Hannibal Lecter?
Seriously..no Hannibal Lecter?
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2:58PM on 11/08/2013

...has anyone actually read the Batman comics?

Anyone who's read the Killing Joke or any number of Batman TPBs, knows that Heath Ledger's portrayal is an original, not entirely accurate, interpretation of the Joker. It's great, but the truth of the character lies somewhere between Nicholson's and Ledger's.

There's a lot of fanboy boners for Ledger, but each actor executed certain qualities of the Joker better than the other did. However, the comics have been retroactively making the Joker resemble Nolan's version more and more, as
Anyone who's read the Killing Joke or any number of Batman TPBs, knows that Heath Ledger's portrayal is an original, not entirely accurate, interpretation of the Joker. It's great, but the truth of the character lies somewhere between Nicholson's and Ledger's.

There's a lot of fanboy boners for Ledger, but each actor executed certain qualities of the Joker better than the other did. However, the comics have been retroactively making the Joker resemble Nolan's version more and more, as they often do.
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2:19PM on 11/08/2013

Where's The Goblin King?

David Bowie's magical villain should have had a place on this list, I think...
David Bowie's magical villain should have had a place on this list, I think...
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1:15PM on 11/08/2013
I really liked Hades from the animated Disney film Hercules. I would say Beteljeuce is a top one too.
I really liked Hades from the animated Disney film Hercules. I would say Beteljeuce is a top one too.
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1:11PM on 11/08/2013
Decent list but really.....where is Hannibal Lecter?

And I agree completely with #1!
Decent list but really.....where is Hannibal Lecter?

And I agree completely with #1!
Your Reply:



+1
12:37PM on 11/08/2013

His name really was Hector?

I always thought Sparrow was insulting Barbossa in "At World's End" by making up another name for him. I always found that funny. Never realized Hector was his real first name.
Great role, and still feel he did not get as much recognition in Curse of The Black Pearl as he should have gotten.
I always thought Sparrow was insulting Barbossa in "At World's End" by making up another name for him. I always found that funny. Never realized Hector was his real first name.
Great role, and still feel he did not get as much recognition in Curse of The Black Pearl as he should have gotten.
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-8
12:33PM on 11/08/2013

Loki is a wimpy villain

If this going to be "Loki this.....and Loki this......and OMG LOKI FOREVER HEART!!!!!!
then I'm out
Whenever he says "Say my name" I think of American Pie, "Say my name bitch!"
If this going to be "Loki this.....and Loki this......and OMG LOKI FOREVER HEART!!!!!!
then I'm out
Whenever he says "Say my name" I think of American Pie, "Say my name bitch!"
Your Reply:



1:47PM on 11/08/2013
A wimpy villain? He was easily capable of destroying Cap and Iron Man but allowed himself to be captured. he held his own against Thor in single combat for a period of time as well. You have no clue
A wimpy villain? He was easily capable of destroying Cap and Iron Man but allowed himself to be captured. he held his own against Thor in single combat for a period of time as well. You have no clue
11:27AM on 11/08/2013
I'm actually glad Loki didn't make the list. I found him annoying in the first Thor movie and completely out of his league in The Avengers.
I'm actually glad Loki didn't make the list. I found him annoying in the first Thor movie and completely out of his league in The Avengers.
Your Reply:



-1
11:11AM on 11/08/2013
Hmmmmm. this is interesting. A Top Ten list with Loki as the main pic, but is no where to be found on the list. Plus this list isn't all that good. I wanted that Teddy bear to get whats was coming to him. And what about the original General Zod. Come on, don't tell me "Kneel Before ZOD!" wasn't cool.
Hmmmmm. this is interesting. A Top Ten list with Loki as the main pic, but is no where to be found on the list. Plus this list isn't all that good. I wanted that Teddy bear to get whats was coming to him. And what about the original General Zod. Come on, don't tell me "Kneel Before ZOD!" wasn't cool.
Your Reply:



+14
9:56AM on 11/08/2013

Well, it's not a bad list.

Not sure I would've included Tyler Durden. I would have included Hans Landa though, because Christoph Waltz (for better or worse) plays the most likable Nazi I've ever seen. Hannibal Lecter also wouldn't be out of place here. I mean, he's charismatic, he's one of the scariest creations ever made, and he winds up helping out the FBI on more than one occasion. Also, Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West.

A recent villain I found myself rooting for was Kruger in Elysium, thanks in no small
Not sure I would've included Tyler Durden. I would have included Hans Landa though, because Christoph Waltz (for better or worse) plays the most likable Nazi I've ever seen. Hannibal Lecter also wouldn't be out of place here. I mean, he's charismatic, he's one of the scariest creations ever made, and he winds up helping out the FBI on more than one occasion. Also, Frank from Once Upon a Time in the West.

A recent villain I found myself rooting for was Kruger in Elysium, thanks in no small part to Sharlto Copley's innate charm.
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9:45AM on 11/08/2013
So in honor of Loki, here is a list with no Loki? Loki is easily number 2 behind the Joker.
So in honor of Loki, here is a list with no Loki? Loki is easily number 2 behind the Joker.
Your Reply:



-2
9:21AM on 11/08/2013

Disagree

Most of these villains are not likeable.
Most of these villains are not likeable.
Your Reply:



8:44AM on 11/08/2013
Yep, Ledger's portrayal was extremely magnetic and everyone wanted to see more of his take on the character. "Most likeable villains" is a really interesting idea for a top 10 list Maidy. Good work.
Yep, Ledger's portrayal was extremely magnetic and everyone wanted to see more of his take on the character. "Most likeable villains" is a really interesting idea for a top 10 list Maidy. Good work.
Your Reply:



8:42AM on 11/08/2013
His redemption is one of the reasons why Return of the Jedi is my favourite Star Wars film.
His redemption is one of the reasons why Return of the Jedi is my favourite Star Wars film.
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8:42AM on 11/08/2013
Alan Rickman killed it! I watched the film with the commentary and John McTiernan stated that he explicitly didn't want the villains to be terrorists, but to be thieves. He said that an audience intrinsically cannot have fun watching an angry extremist (true to an extent) but can have fun watching a charismatic mastermind like Gruber.
Alan Rickman killed it! I watched the film with the commentary and John McTiernan stated that he explicitly didn't want the villains to be terrorists, but to be thieves. He said that an audience intrinsically cannot have fun watching an angry extremist (true to an extent) but can have fun watching a charismatic mastermind like Gruber.
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8:40AM on 11/08/2013
Fassbender was a casting coup. Ian McKellen was an incredible Magneto and casting Fassbender as the younger version of the character really made a lot of sense. My favourite scene in X-Men First Class, and probably the favourite scene of many other viewers, was the bit with Xavier teaching Erik to access his feelings and control his power in order to rotate the satellite dish. Beautiful!
Fassbender was a casting coup. Ian McKellen was an incredible Magneto and casting Fassbender as the younger version of the character really made a lot of sense. My favourite scene in X-Men First Class, and probably the favourite scene of many other viewers, was the bit with Xavier teaching Erik to access his feelings and control his power in order to rotate the satellite dish. Beautiful!
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8:36AM on 11/08/2013
Geoffrey Rush had a hell of a time in this role. Even in the fourth movie I think he was far from phoning it in. I actually really like the fourth movie and Barbossa is a big part of that. I think the line "arrrre we not king's men?" was a nod to The King's Speech, the movie Rush did immediately before On Stranger Tides.
Geoffrey Rush had a hell of a time in this role. Even in the fourth movie I think he was far from phoning it in. I actually really like the fourth movie and Barbossa is a big part of that. I think the line "arrrre we not king's men?" was a nod to The King's Speech, the movie Rush did immediately before On Stranger Tides.
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8:35AM on 11/08/2013
Bring this Mike Myers back!
Bring this Mike Myers back!
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8:34AM on 11/08/2013
A wonderful creation. Beatty's sonorous voice could turn from warm to menacing on a dime and I love how much care was taken in animating the dirty, off-colour fur on him.
A wonderful creation. Beatty's sonorous voice could turn from warm to menacing on a dime and I love how much care was taken in animating the dirty, off-colour fur on him.
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8:23AM on 11/08/2013
Isn't the villain in Fight Club the empty consumer society, shopping at IKEA and working the 9 to 5?
Isn't the villain in Fight Club the empty consumer society, shopping at IKEA and working the 9 to 5?
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8:16AM on 11/08/2013
The prelude to Return Of The King was nicely done in helping the audience sympathize with Gollum, seeing everything he'd lost because of the ring's hold over him. He's the fantasy metaphor of a junkie that nobody's able to help.
The prelude to Return Of The King was nicely done in helping the audience sympathize with Gollum, seeing everything he'd lost because of the ring's hold over him. He's the fantasy metaphor of a junkie that nobody's able to help.
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9:26AM on 11/08/2013
I was going to make the junkie connection. Some villains can charm the pants off folks. Smeagol is just pitiable.
I was going to make the junkie connection. Some villains can charm the pants off folks. Smeagol is just pitiable.
8:13AM on 11/08/2013
I really don't see him as a villain. I feel he is the part of all of us that we suppress to fall in line with society's rule. I think what Tyler hates, "The Man", is more of a villain. I find him very inspirational.
I really don't see him as a villain. I feel he is the part of all of us that we suppress to fall in line with society's rule. I think what Tyler hates, "The Man", is more of a villain. I find him very inspirational.
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8:11AM on 11/08/2013
I don't hate Magneto and I like that the films don't make him into a total villain. Not only was this guy in the Holocaust but his family was taken away from him and probably murdered. You can't blame his point of view that McKellan and Fassbender brilliantly portray
I don't hate Magneto and I like that the films don't make him into a total villain. Not only was this guy in the Holocaust but his family was taken away from him and probably murdered. You can't blame his point of view that McKellan and Fassbender brilliantly portray
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8:10AM on 11/08/2013
Probably the most charismatic serial killer ever.
Probably the most charismatic serial killer ever.
Your Reply:



8:09AM on 11/08/2013
I wouldn't call him likeable but well played and memorable.
I wouldn't call him likeable but well played and memorable.
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8:07AM on 11/08/2013
He isn't exactly a villain is he? More of the hero of the film and one of the greatest characters of all time.
He isn't exactly a villain is he? More of the hero of the film and one of the greatest characters of all time.
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8:03AM on 11/08/2013
One of my all time favs...
One of my all time favs...
Your Reply:



7:56AM on 11/08/2013

Lazy

Lazy list!

Oh and nicolson's joker is much more likeable and better!!
Lazy list!

Oh and nicolson's joker is much more likeable and better!!
Your Reply:



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