Movie villains that we secretly love

These bad guys may be evil but they are undeniably charming

movie villains

Just like in any work of fiction, movie villains generally serve as obstacles that movie heroes need to overcome to achieve their goals. In their role as a foil, villains usually embody characteristics that are diametrically opposed to those of the heroes. And though villains are often compelled by a desire to commit acts of cruelty and immorality, there are times when we find ourselves rooting for them, sympathizing with them, or outright loving them. Below is a list of 50 movie villains that we secretly love for reasons that are totally acceptable.

Agent Smith

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Agent Smith, played by Hugo Weaving, is the main antagonist of the first three Matrix movies. He was the leader of an elite group of computer programs called the Agents in the 1999 film The Matrix, and became a virus and the archnemesis of Keanu Reeves’ Neo in 2003’s The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions.

Though Agent Smith had a strong hatred for humanity, many sci-fans love him because he looks so cool and is extremely good at being bad.

Biff Tannen

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Buford Howard Tannen, or simply Biff Tannen, is the main antagonist of the sci-fi comedy trilogy Back to the Future. Different versions of the villain were all impressively portrayed by Thomas F. Wilson in 1985’s Back to the Future, 1989’s Back to the Future Part II, and 1990’s Back to the Future Part III. Wilson also played Biff’s relatives Griff and Mad Dog in the franchise.

A burly and aggressive bully, Biff torments George McFly (Crispin Glover) and later his son Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox). Despite being a power-hungry abuser, Biff has a huge number of fans thanks to Wilson’s entertaining portrayal of the character.

Brick Top

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Brick Top, who also goes by the name, Mr. Pulford, is the main antagonist of the 2000 film Snatch. He is a ruthless gangster who owns an illegal betting shop and presides over most of the local gambling rackets throughout London’s underworld.

Played by Alan Ford, Brick Top is a brutal and astonishingly rude villain who has no patience for error and zero empathy for his victims. Though he commits several counts of murder, torture, and arson throughout the flick, many viewers still find themselves liking the wicked character for his extremely charismatic persona and hilarious sense of humor.

Bruce the Shark

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Bruce is the name of the Great White Shark that serves as the main antagonist of the first Jaws film released in 1975. The shark doesn’t really have a name in the movie, but because film crew members called the shark “Bruce” in reference to Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce Raynor, knowledgeable fans started to use the name as the shark’s moniker.

After the Spielberg-directed film earned $472 million at the worldwide box office, Bruce became a bona fide cultural icon. And even though Bruce had a total of five human victims in the film, fans don’t take those deaths against him, because just like any sharks in the wild, Bruce has a nature to devour anything in his sight.

Chucky

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Chucky is the main antagonist of the Child’s Play franchise. The villain started his life as a human serial killer named Charles Lee Ray, who also went by the moniker Lakeshore Strangler. But following a shootout with the police, he used voodoo magic to transfer his soul into a Chucky doll before his human body died.

Chucky is the epitome of a psychopath. Sadistic, egotistical, and foul-mouthed, the sentient doll has a complete inability to feel guilt or remorse. But despite all these, a lot of horror fans still love him because of his cute size and wicked sense of humor.

Count Dracula

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Count Dracula is the main character of Universal’s 1931 movie Dracula, which is based on Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel of the same name. Played by Bela Lugosi, Count Dracula is a vampire who emigrates from Transylvania to England and preys upon the blood of living victims, including a young man’s fiancée.

Despite his murderous nature, Count Dracula’s undeniable charm and eccentricity made him one of the genuinely beloved movie villains of all time.

Cruella de Vil

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Cruella de Vil is the main antagonist of Disney’s 101 Dalmatians franchise. Popularly played by Glenn Close in the 1996 live-action film 101 Dalmatians and its 2000 sequel 102 Dalmatians, Cruella is a murderous psychopath who plans to kill and skin dalmatian puppies just to create her own spotted fur coat.

Aside from animal cruelty, Cruella has committed several other crimes including theft, assault, and attempted murder. But despite all these, we can’t help but admire her gall, wit, and overall sass. The villain’s origin story will be revealed in the upcoming live-action film Cruella, starring Emma Stone in the title role.

Cyrus Grissom

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Cyrus Grissom, aka Cyrus the Virus, is the psychopathic career criminal and murderer who masterminds the hijacking of the titular airplane in the 1997 action film Con Air.

Though he has little to no regard for human lives, the eccentric villain played by John Malkovich, does have a couple of qualities that are deemed admirable. Cyrus despises sex offenders, and at one point threatens to kill a serial rapist if he harms a female guard. He is also extremely intelligent, earning two degrees via correspondence courses while in prison.

Darth Vader

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One of the most popular movie villains of all time, Darth Vader made his debut appearance in 1977’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, before making subsequent appearances in 1980’s Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and 1983’s Star Wars: Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He was played by Dave Prowse.

Born as Anakin Skywalker, Darth Vader is essentially the big bad of the original Star Wars trilogy. The brutal and relentless Sith Lord, however, got a redemption arc, which ultimately ended with him renouncing the dark side of the Force and sacrificing himself to rescue his son Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) from Darth Sidious (Ian McDiarmid).

Doctor Octopus

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Played by Alfred Molina, Doctor Octopus is the big bad of the 2004 film Spider-Man 2. Previously known as the scientist Otto Octavius, Doctor Octopus became possessed by his malevolent mechanical arms following an accident at his lab that killed his wife.

Though Doctor Octopus had all the classical traits of a narcissist, he was primarily motivated by noble intentions and wasn’t generally malicious when things didn’t go his way. A number of fans love him because he’s one of the few movie villains who had redeemed himself. As fans can remember, Doctor Octopus’ obsession for praise was overcome with his guilt and remorse at the end of film, and he ultimately realized that the value of the people’s lives in the city outweighed his own glory and even his own life.

Ego

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First mentioned in 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Ego is the main villain of 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Self-centered and omnicidal, Ego desires to expand himself over the entire universe, which would mean the destruction of all life in it. Born as a member of a primordial, brain-like race known as the Celestials, Ego is the biological father of Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and the latter’s most hated foe outside of Thanos (Josh Brolin).

Despite being one of the most vicious and dangerous villains in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, many Marvel fans love Ego because he was first introduced as a kind and loving father. Other fans, however, root for him simply because he was portrayed by the beloved actor Kurt Russell.

Felonius Gru

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Voiced by Steve Carell, Felonius Gru, or simply Gru, is the main character of the Despicable Me trilogy. He was first introduced as the World’s #1 Supervillain in 2010’s Despicable Me, in which he was hellbent on taking over the world and terribly treated the siblings Agnes, Margo, and Edith.

But as fans of the franchise know, Gru went on to become a very nice guy and even adopted the three aforementioned young girls. In addition to the Despicable Me film series, Gru also appeared in the 2015 movie Minions and is set to headline its upcoming sequel Minions: The Rise of Gru.

Frankenstein’s Monster

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One of the most iconic tragic movie villains of all time, Frankenstein’s Monster is the titular villain of Universal’s Frankenstein movie series. Frankenstein’s Monster has been portrayed by different actors over the years, but Boris Karloff’s take on the character remains to be the most memorable. Karloff played Frankenstein’s Monster in n 1931’s Frankenstein, 1935’s Bride of Frankenstein, and 1939’s Son of Frankenstein.

Though Frankenstein’s Monster murders people and wreaks destruction, he isn’t truly evil, as his violent and hostile tendencies only come out whenever he is mistreated by humans. Beneath his grotesque form is actually an innocent and childlike being, and that makes viewers sympathize with him.

Freddy Krueger

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The main antagonist of the A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Freddy Krueger is a child killer in life and a malevolent dream demon in death. He kills his victims in their dreams and is notorious for the sick pleasure he displays while targeting children. Played by Robert Englund, Freddy is one of the most popular movie villains of the last fifty years.

Though he kills people as a hobby, Freddy has easily won the hearts of many viewers because of his wittiness and snappy one-liners.

General Zod

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Played by Terence Stamp in the Christopher Reeve Superman movies, General Zod is a minor antagonist in 1978’s Superman and the main antagonist in 1980’s Superman II. A power-hungry Kryptonian criminal, General Zod has powers comparable to Superman but uses them in a malicious manner.

Despite his character’s maniacal ambition to take over Earth and make all humans kneel before him, General Zod is loved by fans partly because of Stamp’s spot-on portrayal of the character. The memorable speech he impressively delivered in Superman II elevated the villain to icon status.

Gollum

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Originally known as Sméagol, Gollum is an antagonist in J.R.R. Tolkien’s high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. He is a supporting antagonist in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, before becoming an anti-hero in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, and as one of the two secondary antagonists of The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Portrayed by Andy Serkis in motion-capture, Gollum is a former Hobbit who is corrupted and transformed into a slimy, monstrous creature by the One Ring. Gollum has a tragic life story, so it isn’t a surprise that a lot of fans have a soft spot for him. Thanks to his iconic “my precious” quote, Gollum has become one of the most popular movie villains of the 21st century.

Gunnery Sergeant Hartman

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Portrayed by the late R. Lee Ermey, Gunnery Sergeant Hartman is technically an anti-hero in the 1987 anti-war film Full Metal Jacket. He, however, is considered an antagonist by many viewers because of the illegal and abusive techniques he used while training his subordinates in the Marines; most notably his singling out and bullying of Private Leonard “Gomer Pyle” Lawrence (Vincent D’Onofrio).

The physical, verbal, and mental abuse that Hartman inflicted on Lawrence are inexcusable, but the former’s many one-liners throughout the movie are simply entertaining, and those have earned him some significant following.

Hannibal Lecter

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Hannibal Lecter is a mentally disturbed serial killer infamous for eating his victims. The character has been played by different actors on the big screen over the years, but Anthony Hopkins’ Oscar-winning portrayal of the cannibalistic murderer in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs is by far the most popular.

Though Hannibal has no conscience and feels no remorse for his horrible crimes, the sociopath is extremely intelligent, impeccably sophisticated, and effortlessly charming, so it’s no surprise that a lot of viewers are taken in by him.

Hans Gruber

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The big bad in the 1988 action thriller film Die Hard, Hans Gruber is a German terrorist leader who organizes the takeover of the Los Angeles skyscraper Nakatomi Plaza in an attempt to steal millions of dollars in bonds. Cunning, arrogant, and ruthless, Hans has no remorse over killing people.

Like most movie villains, Hans doesn’t have any redeeming qualities. But his unbelievably calm demeanor and very good sense of dark humor, which were perfectly portrayed by the late Alan Rickman, have earned him some fans.

Hela

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Portrayed by Oscar-winning actress Cate Blanchett, Hela is the main antagonist of the 2017 Marvel film Thor: Ragnarok. The firstborn of Odin (Anthony Hopkins), Hela is bent on taking over Asgard with her own army of Berserkers, rebuilding it in her own image, and conquering the entire universe.

Aside from the fact that Hela is the first major female villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, a lot of fans also love her because of her boldness and self-assured attitude.

Jack Torrance

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John Daniel Edward “Jack” Torrance is the protagonist and the antagonist of the 1980 movie The Shining, an adaptation of Stephen King’s 1977 novel of the same name. Jack was a writer and a recovering alcoholic who attempted to kill his own family after he was driven into madness by a demon during their stay at the Overlook Hotel.

Many horror fans love Jack Torrance because of Jack Nicholson’s incredible portrayal of the character. And even though Jack attempted to murder his entire family, he really can’t be blamed for it, as it was really the Overlook Hotel’s supernatural influence on him that made him do so.

Jafar

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Jafar is the power-hungry Grand Vizier of the Kingdom of Agrabah who serves as the main antagonist of the 1992 animated film Aladdin, its 1994 sequel The Return of Jafar, and 1996’s Aladdin and The King of Thieves. In the 2019 live-action remake of the original Aladdin movie, Jafar was played by Marwan Kenzari.

Though a total psychopath who does not hesitate to eliminate anybody in his way, Jafar is loved by a lot of fans for his sophistication and entertaining comical edge. He also has a genuine friendship with his partner-in-crime Iago, which makes him one of the most beloved movie villains ever.

Jason Voorhees

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Jason Voorhees is an undead serial killer who serves as the main antagonist of the Friday the 13th franchise. The horror icon has been played by different actors over the years, including Ken Kirzinger, Kane Hodder, C.J. Graham, and Tom Morga.

Though he mercilessly kills anybody who sets foot into Camp Crystal Lake with his trusty machete, it’s so easy to feel sorry for him, as he has only become so deranged because of the bullying he suffered due to his deformities.

Jaws

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Portrayed by the late Richard Kiel, Jaws is a recurring character from the James Bond franchise. Appearing as a secondary antagonist in the 1977’s The Spy Who Loved Me and in 1979’s Moonraker, Jaws is known for his colossal physique, immense strength, and more especially for his set of stainless-steel teeth that are capable of biting through any form of durable material.

Though Jaws committed lots of murders, he’s not as evil as other movie villains, as he fell in love with a young woman named Dolly and even helped James Bond in saving humanity from Hugo Drax’s genocidal plans.

Johnny Lawrence

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Portrayed by William Zabka, John “Johnny” Lawrence serves as the central antagonist of the 1984 film The Karate Kid. The leader of the Cobra Kai karate group, Johnny was a bully who tormented the movie’s protagonist Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) along with his gang.

Despite his meanness, a lot of fans secretly rooted for Johnny in the final round of his fight against Daniel at the end of the movie. During the fight, Johnny’s karate sensei John Kreese (Martin Kove) instructed him to sweep Daniel’s leg, but Johnny expressed reluctance, suggesting that he knows when things are going too far. Many viewers also started to admire Johnny even more when he displayed great sportsmanship following his defeat from Daniel.

Killmonger

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Killmonger, also known as N’Jadaka and Erik Stevens, is a black-ops operative-turned-opportunistic revolutionary that serves as the main antagonist of the 2018 Marvel film Black Panther. To avenge the death and goals of his father N’Jobu (Sterling K. Brown), Killmonger plans to overthrow his cousin King T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) so he could take over the Kingdom of Wakanda and distribute vibranium weaponry around the world.

Cruel, arrogant, and sadistic in nature, Killmonger has a heartbreaking backstory that makes a number of fans root for him. Years before the start of the movie, the royal Wakandan family abandoned Killmonger following his father’s death and his mother’s wrongful incarceration, leading him to fend for himself in the streets and eventually become a ruthless assassin. Michael B. Jordan’s remarkable portrayal of the character also adds to the overall charm of the character.

Lex Luthor

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Played by Gene Hackman, Lex Luthor is an antagonist in 1978’s Superman: The Movie, 1980’s Superman II, and 1987’s Superman IV: The Quest for Peace. Just like in the comics on which the movies are based, Lex plots to destroy the Man of Steel and become the richest man in the world.

An egotistical and murderous villain, Lex is primarily motivated by money. And though there’s nothing really good about his persona, the character earned some following and ultimately became an icon of superhero cinema for being the perfect foil for the last son of Krypton.

Loki

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Played by Tom Hiddleston in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Loki started off as a villain in 2011’s Thor and 2012’s The Avengers. Though Loki originally wanted to kill his brother Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and become the ruler of Asgard and later the entire Earth, the God of Mischief started to have a change of heart in Phase Two of the MCU, becoming an anti-hero in 2013’s Thor: The Dark World and a deuteragonist in 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War.

Despite his egotistical ambition to conquer the world, Loki is such a cool character, so it’s hard for viewers not to like him. Hiddleston’s charming personality and impressive portrayal of the character also contribute to Loki’s overall charisma.

Lord Voldemort

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Lord Voldemort, aka Tom Riddle, is the overarching antagonist of the Harry Potter film series. Considered as one of the evilest wizards ever, Voldemort is a psychopath who is devoid of compassion and remorse, and whose ultimate ambition is to achieve absolute power and immortality.

The wicked sorcerer has no redeeming qualities, but Potterheads love him because he’s the perfect foil for the titular hero. Ralph Fiennes’ incredible portrayal of Lord Voldemort also made the villain a bit likable, but not enough to erase the fact that the character is corrupt to his core.

Magneto

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Magneto, whose real name is Erik Lensherr, is an extremely powerful and ruthless mutant that serves as the main antagonist of the X-Men film series. Considered as the archenemy of the X-Men, Magneto has the super-cool ability to manipulate all forms of magnetism and control metal on atomic level.

Though one of his ultimate objectives is to cleanse the Earth of humanity and take over the world, Magneto is well-loved by a number of fans because of his heartbreaking backstory. Ian McKellen and Michael Fassbender’s gripping performances as Magento have also helped the character gain a following.

Maleficent

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Maleficent is the main antagonist of the 1959 animated film Sleeping Beauty and the titular protagonist of the 2014 live-action movie Maleficent and its 2019 sequel Maleficent: Mistress of Evil. She is an evil witch who takes offence at not being invited to the christening of Princess Aurora and attempts to get revenge on King Stefan and Queen Leah by cursing their daughter.

Though Maleficent still put a curse on Princess Aurora in the first live-action movie, Angelina Jolie portrayed the witch as a much more sympathetic and less villainous character, making the her more likable among fans. The villain’s gothic appearance, flamboyant style, and unlimited arsenal of magic powers have also helped her win the hearts of audiences.

Michael Myers

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Michael Myers is the main antagonist of the Halloween franchise. The embodiment of pure evil, the serial killer has been played by several actors on the big screen, including Nick Castle, Tony Moran, Dick Warlock, George P. Wilbur, and most recently by James Jude Courtney.

Though there’s nothing really admirable about Michael, the twisted masked villain is a huge part of the success of the Halloween franchise, so the character has a special place in the hearts of true horror fans.

Miranda Priestly

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Played by Oscar-winning actress Meryl Streep, Miranda Priestly is the main antagonist of the 2006 comedy-drama film The Devil Wears Prada. Psychologically abusive and manipulative, Miranda is the extremely strict editor-in-chief of the Runway magazine who is ridiculously demanding and revels in humiliating her staff, especially her assistant Andrea Sachs (Anne Hathaway).

Miranda, however, oozes sass and confidence, so it’s impossible not to love her. A lot of viewers also relate to her love for expensive clothing brands like Prada and Hermes, among many others.

Norman Bates

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Portrayed by Anthony Perkins, Norman Bates is the main antagonist of the Psycho film series, appearing in 1960’s Psycho, 1983’s Psycho II, 1986’s Psycho III, and 1990’s Psycho IV: The Beginning. The keeper of the Bates Motel, Norman is a serial killer who suffers from psychosis and Dissociative Identity Disorder.

Following his mother’s death, Norman dons her aggressive persona and starts to kill his motel’s guests one by one. But when he’s not murdering people, Norman looks so sweet, charming, and innocent, making some viewers fall for him.

Pennywise

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It, better known as Pennywise the Dancing Clown, is the titular antagonist of the 2017’s It and its 2019 sequel It 2. Played by the Swedish actor Bill Skarsgård, Pennywise is a horrific and malevolent cosmic entity that feeds on the fears of the children of Derry and then devour them every twenty-seven years to fulfill its hunger.

Skarsgård gave a frenzied and frightening portrayal of Pennywise in the movies, making a new generation of horror fans fall in love with the character, which was first portrayed by Tim Curry in the 1990 two-episode miniseries It.

Pinhead

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The main big bad of the Hellraiser film series, Pinhead is the leader of the Order of the Gash, a sadomasochistic religion whose adherents are the demonic torturers known as the Cenobites. Known for the iron pins jabbed in his head and face, Pinhead is hellbent on world domination and unforgivingly punish people for their sins. Pinhead has been portrayed by Paul T. Taylor, Stephan Smith Collins, and Doug Bradley.

An icon in the slasher movie genre, Pinhead is a master of torture and pain who often prefers to drag his victims into an eternity of suffering rather than outright death. While he doesn’t have any redeeming qualities, some fans admire his extraordinary intelligence and eloquence.

Roy Batty

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The big bad of Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi thriller film Blade Runner, Rutger Hauer’s Roy Batty is the leader of a group of rebellious human-like androids called replicants who come back to Earth to find their creator, Dr. Tyrell (Joe Turkel), and ask him to extend their four-year lifespan. But after learning that Dr. Tyrell cannot fulfill their request, a despondent Roy brutally kills him by pushing his eyeballs into his skull.

Despite this heinous act, it’s impossible not to feel sorry for Roy because of his heartbreaking story. When his body starts to fail, his dying words about how his memories “will be lost in time, like tears in rain” really hits home not only for him but also for many viewers. Roy also has a little redemption moment at the end of the movie when he saves agent Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) from falling to his death.

Sam

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Considered as the anti-villainous protagonist of the 2007 horror movie Trick ‘r Treat, Sam appears as an innocent young trick-or-treater, dressed in orange pajamas and tattered brown gloves. His head is covered by a burlap mask tied around his neck, with black button eyes and a stitched-on grin. But without his mask on, Sam’s head resembles a traditional jack-o’-lantern covered with sickly orange flesh, and a wide mouth full of sharp, crooked teeth.

Though his job is to punish the movie characters in a sadistic fashion every time they break Halloween traditions, many viewers find Sam’s incognito look so adorable, and that’s exactly why he’s included on this list.

Shere Khan

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Shere Khan is a Bengal tiger that serves as the main antagonist of the 1967 Disney animated feature The Jungle Book, its 2003 sequel The Jungle Book 2, and the 2016 live-action/CGI reimagining of the original. Considered as Mowgli’s archnemesis, Shere Khan hates humanity. A lot of fans, however, understand his animosity towards humans, as the majority of people he has known for most of his life are gun-wielding hunters who kill animals.

Though Shere Khan is sadistic, stingy, and menacing, he also has some admirable qualities. For instance, the villain can be incredibly gentlemanly and polite when he wants to. He’s also ambitious, smart, and sophisticated. Shere Khan was voiced by George Sanders in the original movie, Tony Jay in the sequel, and Idris Elba in the most recent film.

Skeletor

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Known as the Evil Lord of Destruction, Skeletor is the main antagonist of the 1987 film He-Man. The leader of the Evil Warriors and He-Man’s archenemy, Skeletor seeks to harness the power of Castle Greyskull and use it to rule all of Eternia.

He-Man was panned by critics but Frank Langella received praises for his performance as Skeletor. Amidst a sea of terrible acting, Langella’s portrayal of the villain stood out as the best, winning the hearts of many viewers. Compared to the animated version of the character, Langella’s Skeletor was less comical and far more menacing, and that alone managed to save the otherwise horrible movie.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Man

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The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man serves as the climax antagonist of the 1984 film Ghostbusters. The gigantic humanoid marshmallow is a vessel used by the godly villain Gozer in his attempt to destroy the world, starting with New York City.

Though its ultimate goal is to kill the Ghostbusters and destroy every city in its path, the Stay Puft Marshmallow looks effortlessly cute thanks to its adorable sailor outfit and cheeky little smile.

Thanos

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Played Josh Brolin, Thanos is the main antagonist of the Infinity Saga of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The archenemy of the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos obtained all six Infinity stones and successfully wiped half of all life in the universe out.

Despite being a mass murderer, the gigantic purple alien’s reason for eradicating half of all life in the universe were rooted in a belief that he was doing something good for the cosmos. While a lot of Marvel fans won’t probably forget that Thanos was basically the reason why a couple of the fan-favorite Avengers are now dead, there are still some who can’t help but admire the villain’s calm demeanor and insane level of confidence.

The Joker

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Popularly known as Batman’s archnemesis, the Joker is a psychotic anarchist and notorious criminal mastermind who rose to power in the criminal underworld after thrusting Gotham City into turmoil. The iconic DC villain has been brought to life in live-action movies by different actors over the years. Those stars include Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, and Joaquin Phoenix.

While the Joker is undeniably a dangerous psychopath who kills people in sadistic ways, he is probably one of the funniest and most entertaining movie villains ever, and a lot of people like him for that.

The Phantom of the Opera

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The Phantom of the Opera, whose real full name is Erik Destler, is the titular protagonist and antagonist of the 1925 film The Phantom of the Opera, which is based on Gaston Leroux’s 1910 novel of the same name. Portrayed by the late Lon Chaney, the character is a tragic outcast who eventually becomes murderous because of the maltreatment he received from others due to his deformed physical appearance.

But since most of the horrible things he does in the movie are in an attempt to make the woman he loved a star, many of the people who have watched the movie can’t help but adore him even just a little.

The Terminator

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The Terminator, also known as The T-800, is the titular villain of the 1984 film The Terminator. Portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger, the killing machine was sent back through time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), the mother of the resistance leader named John Connor, before her son could be born.

Though Schwarzenegger would go on to play a heroic version of the T-800 in 1991’s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, fans of the James Cameron-directed movie love the original version of the character because the actor did an amazing job playing the extremely emotionless synthetic android.

T-Rex

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The Tyrannosaurus rex (T-Rex) is the central antagonist turned anti-hero of the original Jurassic Park film released in 1993. Called Rexy by the majority of the franchise fans, the female dinosaur is the largest carnivore living on Isla Nublar.

Fearless, bold, and domineering, Rexy’s behavior is largely motivated by two main goals: keep intruders off her territory and eat any prey that she finds there. Though the T-Rex preys on innocent individuals, there are times when she inadvertently ends up saving the main characters in the film, and that makes her role something of an anti-heroine in the movie and its subsequent sequels.

Ultron

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Ultron is the titular villain of the 2015 Marvel film Avengers: Age of Ultron. Played by James Spader, Ultron was first introduced as a peacekeeping program co-created by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) using both technology and Loki’s (Tom Hiddleston), which contains the Mind Stone. However, upon gaining sentience, Ultron deemed humanity itself as the greatest threat to Earth and attempted to create a massive meteor and plumb it into the planet in order to cause human extinction.

Despite its dreadful ambition to replace all humans with living metals, many Marvel fans find Ultron likeable because of its juvenile attitude. Though Ultron holds a vast amount of knowledge, it has very little subjective life experience, so it behaves and acts like a child at times.

Ursula

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Half-human and half-octopus, Ursula is the big bad of Disney’s 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid. Manipulative and cruel, the sea witch’s ultimate goal is to take over the Kingdom of Atlantica and rule the Seven Seas by overthrowing King Triton. She’s also known for causing despair and destroying the happiness of others for her own gain, just like what she tried to do with Ariel and Eric.

Despite her evil persona, a lot of fans have come to love Ursula for her fervent confidence, flamboyance, and wicked sense of humor. Though she has the power to change her appearance, she chooses to stay in her natural look most of the time, showing contentment with who she is as an individual. She has also formed a genuine relationship with her minions Flotsam and Jetsam, whom she lovingly refers as her babies. Ursula was voiced by Pat Carroll in the original The Little Mermaid film and will be portrayed by Melissa McCarthy in the upcoming live-action remake.

Xenomorph

Movie villains that we secretly love 63

The xenomorph is the species name for the monstrous aliens from the Alien film franchise. As endoparasitoids, xenomorphs require other life forms as hosts in order to propagate. The terrifying creatures made their debut appearance in 1979’s Alien, before showing up again in 1986’s Aliens, 1992’s Alien 3, 1997’s Alien Resurrection, 2012’s Prometheus, and 2017’s Alien: Covenant. They also appeared in two crossover movies with the Predator franchise.

Designed by Swiss surrealist and artist H.R. Giger, xenomorphs look terrifyingly cool, and that alone makes them one of the iconic sci-fi antagonists and one of the beloved movie villains of all time.

Yautja

Movie villains that we secretly love 64

The Yautja, aka the Predators, are the alien race that serves as the main antagonists of the Predator film series. They are great hunters known for their tendency to trophy hunt other species for sport.

Despite the Predators’ ruthless and aggressive behavior when they hunt their prey down, they all have a great sense of honor. Unlike most movie villains, they never kill innocent, sick, pregnant, or unarmed people. They also show great respect towards those who have defeated their own kind.