Killing The Breeze’s Top 10 Movie Villains
Quite simply, you have to get away with it to make our list. There have been better characters and performances, but all on our list successfully completed their task. An argument can be made that some of these characters are anti-heroes (a central character in a story, movie, or drama who lacks conventional heroic attributes), but they are all certainly villains (a character whose evil actions or motives are important to the plot.)
10) Aaron Stampler played by Edward Norton in Primal Fear
Altar boy with multiple personality disorder?
9) Alain Charnier played by Fernando Rey in French Connection
A wealthy French criminal who runs the largest heroin-smuggling syndicate in the world. The definition of an elusive drug kingpin and criminal mastermind.
scene culte : french connection… filature… by larnaut
8) Catherine Trammell played by Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct
She’s a serial killer who’s a mix between the classic femme fatale and a psycho killer. She is without a doubt one of the most evil characters ever created. Her diagnosis from Basic Instinct 2: “Inside I believe she vacillates between a feeling of god-like omnipotence and a sense that she simply doesn’t exist, which of course is intolerable. I believe Ms. Tramell’s behavior is driven by what we might call a risk addiction. A compulsive need to prove to herself that she can take risks and survive dangers that other people can’t. Especially the subsequent encounters with the police, the powers that be. The greater the risk, the greater the proof of her omnipotence. Her existence really. All addiction is progressive, the addict will always need to take greater and greater risks. I suspect the only limit for her would be her own death.”
The infamous “leg cross” scene.
7) Anton Chigurh played by Javier Bardem in No Country For Old Men
Anton Chigurh is an emotionless, compassionless killing machine. His inability to comprehend human life is matched only by his ability to take it, as he does with ruthless abandon. Hired to track down drug money by a group of Americans, he quickly kills those who hired him and begins to search for the money on his own. He carries a cattlegun, which fires a cylinder from a hose which is connected to a tank of compressed air to destroy cylinder locks and dispatch a host of victims. He also carries a silenced assault shotgun. He has his own set or morals, however twisted they may be, and does not kill at random or without purpose. Anton sees himself as a hand of fate; an instrument who exacts what is supposed to happen upon those it is supposed to happen to.
6) John Doe played by Kevin Spacey in Seven
John Doe is a psychopathic serial killer obsessed with the Seven Deadly Sins of Christianity, and he kills his victims in symbolic murders representing in an attempt (at least in his own mind) to remind the world about the inevitability to avoid these sins. His insanity is based on fanaticism and obsession but did little to damage his knowledge; in fact, his madness may have added to it as he is portrayed as a twisted mastermind who is comfortable with toying with the authorities. Doe particularly seems to enjoy playing games with the film’s protagonists, Detective David Mills and Detective William Somerset, in a similar fashion to killers such as Jack the Ripper.
5) Hannibal Lecter played by Anthony Hopkins in Silence of The Lambs
Hannibal Lecter was a serial killer notorious for consuming his victims, earning him the nickname “Hannibal the Cannibal”. Lecter’s MO was unique when compared to other serial killers, because he was known to kill based on retribution, discourtesy and poetic justice along with necessity. He murdered Paul Krendler for disgracing Clarice Starling. He drove IJ Miggs to suicide after Miggs had thrown semen at FBI Agent Starling as she walked by his cell. Lecter would place his victim’s bodies in positions that imitated the positions of figures in historical documents, art, and medical books.
4) Keyser Sose as played by Kevin Spacey in The Usual Suspects
“The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” Söze’s ruthlessness is legendary; he is described as having had enemies and disloyal henchmen brutally murdered, along with everyone they hold dear, for the slightest infractions and as having personally murdered people who have seen and can identify him. Over the years his criminal empire, including the drug trade and the smuggling of weapons and materials flourishes as does his legend; he becomes “a spook story that criminals tell their kids at night”
3) Daniel Plainview as played by Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood
Daniel Plainview is in many ways a stereotypical representation of the robber baron. Ruthless, unabashedly greedy and not above lying to get what he wants. He bitterly claims that he sees no good in people and desires to one day be wealthy enough that he would never have to deal with people again. His isolation seems to make him believe that only people directly related to him by blood can be trusted. He disowns his own son for wanting to go his separate way and seems to convince himself that young man could never be trusted because he wasn’t a blood relative. Along with being emotionally withdrawn and gruff, Plainview also harbours an incredible competitiveness and is prone to bursts of violent uncontrolled anger. His opposition turns into competition when one of Standard Oil’s men, Tilford, accidentally offends Plainview’s sense of family. Plainview threatens to kill Tilford. Plainview’s rage extends to two counts of murder; Henry Brands, for lying about being his brother, and Eli Sunday, who put him through a traumatizing initiation into the Church of the Third Revelation.
2) Michael Corleone as played by Al Pacino in The Godfather Part 2
Kills his brother, business partner and underboss. Ostracizes and alienates his wife while separating her from his children.
1) Michael Corleone as played by Al Pacino in The Godfather Part 1
Kills his brother-in-law and then lies to his sister and wife about it. Becomes the ruthless crime boss like his father he said he never would be.