When we watch a movie, there’s a villain and there’s a hero. In most of the cases, the hero is the one we root for to kill or to substantially harm the bad guy who deserves every ounce of it.
The villain is someone every movie needs to bring out the best in the hero so that we can applaud his efforts as he tries his best to overcome the villain. Most of the time, this is the case, but here enlist some unique villains with whom you can relate more than you can do with the hero.
1. The Joker- The Dark Knight, Suicide Squad, The Joker(2019)
Actor(s)- Heath Ledger, Jared Leto, Joaquin Phoenix
Being one of the most legendary supervillains of all time, we simply can’t ignore Joker from this list. All the actors who have played Joker, have seen their careers turned around with their magnificent performances (except Jared Leto).
Ledger’s performance in the Dark Knight is still talked about as one of the greatest villain portrayals ever, even years after his death. In Phoenix’s performance in the 2019 movie, we saw the full dimensions of the depth of suffering Arthur had to endure before he became the ‘Clown Prince of Crime.’
Even though Batman is also a massively loved character, but he can never match how fans can connect emotionally to the Joker.
Joker, in short, is the portrayal of how the evil starts cementing its place in the heart of a good man. A character is full of chaos and suffering who’ll show you a more realistic view of humanity than any other character.
2. Ocean's 11
Actor(s)- George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon
Although considered as heroes, we have included this smart gang of thieves into the out list because none of their actions us heroic from a moral point of view.
Led by Danny Ocean (George Clooney), this gang makes a masterplan to steal 150 million dollars from a casino. The actions of this gang are justified only because the casino owner is kind of an even bigger asshole than them.
So, audience roots for the gang as for most of the people, the owner deserves to be robbed and humiliated.
The added comic relief in the conversations among the gang members and the star-studded cast are two more factors that help this gang to be loved universally by the people.
3. Gru- Despicable me
Actor(s)- Steve Farrell
The story of how Gru, the Supervillain, turns into a loving and caring father is what makes people root for Gru despite him having stolen a lot of things over the years.
People get a new supervillain as the brutal Vector who takes everything from Gru which made him a supervillain, including the Pyramids of Giza.
As stupid as it sounds, but Gru couldn’t even get a loan from the Bank of Evil. No matter how much you try to hate Gru, you simply cannot once his inner father wakes up.
The movie isn’t about theft or crime. It is about family and how they bring out the best in us.
4. Suicide Bombers- Four Lions (2010)
Actor(s)- Riz Ahmed, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Arsher Ali
This one is a British satirical dark comedy about four Jihadi suicide bombers whose ultimate motive is to ensure bombing during the London Marathon.
It seems that this film would have brought a lot of unwanted criticism due to the topic of terrorism. But it is rarely the case. Rooting for a terrorist is something you might never have thought of doing in your life.
But the way these four would make you laugh by their utterly foolish plans would make you feel sorry for them and want them to succeed in at least something in their otherwise useless lives.
Under the brilliant direction of Chris Morris in his directorial debut, these four idiots would make you laugh at topics you would’ve never thought you’d laugh at.
5. Leatherface- The Texas Chainsaw Massacre
Actor(s)- Gunnar Hansen
This 1974 classic has given us one of the most loved villains of all time- Leatherface.
This masked maniac nothing but terrorizes the audience initially when he brutally massacres a group of teens who invade his house, with a chainsaw!
Later on, the truth is revealed that Leatherface is just a lunatic man-child. who is deathly afraid of his family and commits the crimes only because he felt threatened by the teens invading his home. The audience cannot root for the teens because of their terrible decision-making.
When Leatherface escapes his fate in the end, the audience cannot help feeling glad about his survival.
6. The Fast and The Furious
Actor(s)- Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, etc.
Another gang-based movie series like Ocean’s 11 where we see a group of hot rod thieves doing all sorts of crazy illegal stuff like hijacking trucks, looting cargo, etc.
Still, we as the audience cannot help but cheer for them.
This is because of a number of reasons. First of all, the compelling storyline of an FBI guy befriending a thief and falling for his sister is remarkable. Then, the values of friendship and bravery shown in the films. Lastly, the villain gangs whose actions make us forget about our heroes’ own wrong-doings.
7. Hans Gruber- Die Hard
Actor(s)- Alan Rickman
Before he was Severus Snape of the Harry Potter movie series, Alan Rickman had made his mark upon all the film critics with his brilliant portrayal of Hans Gruber.
Hans is a type of villain which other action movies can only dream of.
The main reason people root for Gruber in a movie where Bruce Willis’ portrayal of McClane was also widely acclaimed by the critics, is the brilliant mind of the villain. He is a master tactician who always stays two steps ahead of everyone and is more often than not, the smartest guy in the room.
His greatest quality is he’s always thinking ahead of time and is never at a loss. Even when temporarily detained by McClane, he’s constantly exploring ideas for a way out of his predicament. His antics often make McClane work way too hard which is way out of his league.
Such a mastermind villain is rarely seen nowadays and so is loved by anybody who has watched the movie.
8. Darth Vader- Star Wars trilogy(1977-1983) and Rogue One (2016)
Actor(s)- David Prowse, Hayden Christensen, James Earl Jones
One of the greatest, if not the greatest of all time, Darth Vader makes this list. But you’ll ask why you should admire an evil character like Vader. Well, the simple answer is his actions were so cruel and powerful that he brings out the best in everyone who comes up against him, be it Obi-Wan Kenobi or Luke Skywalker. He destroys whole planets for God’s sake.
Beneath his looming presence and the frightening voice of James Earl Jones, Darth Vader, a good side was located deep inside. A side which Luke was so adamant to bring out and save his father from clutches of the dark side.
As is evident from his death scene that he had finally embraced the force but it was a little too late now. Vader’s death scene has also been voted the most emotional scene of the Star Wars by the fans.
In the true sense of the word ‘Villain’, Vader was a villain whose level won’t ever be touched by any other villain.
9. Loki- Marvel Cinematic Universe
Actor(s)- Tom Hiddleston
This bitter, scheming adopted child of Asgard, Loki has truly made his impact in the MCU as a memorable and witty villain. When it comes to scheming and plotting, not even Thanos can reach the bar set by Loki in the first Avengers movie.
The main credit for the rise of Loki has to be given to Tom Hiddleston’s brilliant portrayal of the character.
After every single of his multiple deaths, fans have been more disheartened than is normal for a villain. Even his witty remarks and dialogues with Thor are memorable.
Over the years his character arc, along with a proper backstory, has stayed constantly entertaining and he stands out in every film in which he appears.
10. Tony Montana- Scarface
Actor(s)- Al Pacino
The role of Tony Montana, a simple Cuban refugee turned into a multi-millionaire drug kingpin, is considered by many to be the career-defining role of Al Pacino. Who cannot root for such an underdog character like Tony?
He starts acting paranoid once he achieves this huge success, destroying his family in the process. In the end, he’s slain himself too.
The audience gets emotionally invested in Tony right from the beginning, always wanting him to come out on top and hoping for redemption so that he can see the error in his ways.
In the end, we can’t help but feel sorry for the guy despite his million shortcomings and Tony remains one of the most lovable villains of all time.