Source: YouTube

Do you ever root for the villain in a movie?  I admit, I do.  Sure, most people are drawn to the hero of the story.  But, sometimes, you have to admit the villain is just absolutely fascinating, right?!  MovieWeb.com put together a list of the 15 smartest villains in movie history.

The website says, quote, “These smart villains aren’t just capable of manipulating the protagonist, but they also leave the audience conflicted on whether or not to root for them.  Their cunning behavior is paired with a brilliant flair that leaves us stunned.”

Here are some highlights:

  • John ‘Jigsaw’ Kramer:  the “Saw” movies:  “A serial killer who has zero kills and no blood on his hands?  That’s got to be some impressive scheming.”
  • Hans Gruber,  “Die Hard”:  “A hostage situation on Christmas is something only the smartest villain in the room could think of.”
  • Lord Voldemort:  the “Harry Potter” movies:  “As villainous as they come.  He is obsessed with power and immortality and paired with his magical genius; he’s basically unstoppable.”
  • Anton Chigurh,  “No Country for Old Men”:  “[He is] is devoid of any emotion, playing with the fate of his victim without as much as a flicker in his eyes, making him an apt hitman.”
  • The Joker,  the “Batman” franchise:  “He rarely seems to have any [motivation] at all, and yet he carries out his schemes with unbridled attention to detail, constantly pressing Batman’s buttons, edging him towards crossing that one line he swore he’d never cross.”
  • Thanos,  the Marvel Cinematic Universe:  “At his core, Thanos sees himself as the courageous one who acts upon things that others wouldn’t.  But his covert idealism makes him scary and indifferent to life.”
  • Amy Elliott Dunne,  “Gone Girl”:  “Amy is a feminist because she uses society’s perception of women as a tool against the injustices faced by women in the misogynistic, male-dominated world, which makes her all the more intimidating.”
  • Hannibal Lecter,  “The Silence of the Lambs”:  “A man of vicious words, depraved in his actions and capable of turning the psychological locks of anyone he confronts.”
  • Professor Moriarty, the Sherlock Holmes franchise: “Professor Moriarty, unlike Holmes’ introverted, obsessive, and brooding personality, uses unforgiving logic and suave calculative moves to control his criminal empire.”
  • Hans Landa, “Inglourious Basterds”: “His inquisitive eye for detail and relish for toying with his enemies places him rather high on the scale of brutal villains.”

What characters would you add to this list?

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