The Decade’s Best Movie Villains

Fact: Many of the best films from the last
decade also featured some of the best movie villains we’ve ever seen. From insidious music teachers to scheming
lovers, here are some of the biggest, meanest, and most devious bad guys from the last decade. Beware, there are major spoilers ahead! Black Panther remains one of the best and
most important films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the film’s villain is easily
one of its most compelling elements. We’re given quite the explosive introduction
to Erik “Killmonger” Stevens, played brilliantly by Michael B. Jordan. At the start of the film, we watch him pull
off one seriously epic museum heist. A military veteran who bears scars on his
body for each one of his kills, Killmonger is undeniably one of the MCU’s most fascinating
characters, and his motivations make a whole lot of sense: He’s out for revenge after his
father’s murder at the hands of his own brother. Killmonger wants to use Wakanda’s considerable
resources to liberate black people all over the world from oppression. But he commits so many despicable and callous
acts through the film, it can be hard to see him as a sympathetic character. There’s no two ways about it: Jordan’s masterful
performance easily cements Killmonger as one of the most interesting villains of the last
decade. “You know, where I’m from, when black folks
started revolutions, they never had the firepower.” Not far into Jordan Peele’s directorial debut,
Get Out, we meet Chris Washington and Rose Armitage…a seemingly well-adjusted couple
played to perfection by Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams. At the start of the film, they’re bracing
themselves for a weekend visit to Rose’s parents’ house, a sprawling estate with no shortage
of creepy goings-on. Chris is initially quite nervous about meeting
Rose’s family, but Rose doesn’t appear worried in the slightest. “Do they know I’m black?” “No. Should they?” Following an unnerving near-miss with a wayward
deer, their visit seems to go just fine at first…although perhaps the conversations
are a little bit stilted and awkward at times. Of course, things eventually take a turn for
the decidedly sinister. Soon enough, Chris is getting seriously freaked
out by all the bizarro things happening at the Armitage house, and he eventually tells
Rose that he wants to leave. Rose seems to acquiesce…but just as it looks
like he’s about to actually escape the estate, the story throws another curveball our way:
Rose refuses to give up the keys. She’s decidedly not on Chris’s side. And in a flash, she’s gone from the girl next
door to one of the decade’s most insidious villains. Sometimes great movie villains are seemingly
normal people who nevertheless want to ruin lives. A perfect example is the character of Terence
Fletcher in Whiplash, masterfully portrayed by J.K. Simmons. “Look at me.” “One, two, three, four…One, two, three,
four…” “Now, was I rushing?” He’s a conductor and teacher at the fictional,
prestigious Shaffer Conservatory. A devoted perfectionist and flat-out abusive
instructor, Fletcher singles out a student named Andrew, played by Miles Teller. He’s a young drummer in his first year at
the academy, and Fletcher goes to great ends to make his life a living hell. As the two battle it out over Andrew’s spot
in the band, some troubling information comes to light about Fletcher. After Andrew testifies against Fletcher in
court, the twisted teacher intentionally sabotages his young student during a pivotal performance. Simmons won a well-deserved Academy Award
for the role, and gives one of the defining performances of his long and storied career. Fletcher isn’t a supervillain, but he’s definitely
a monster. In fact, he’s one of the scariest film characters
in recent memory. There’s simply no way to sympathize with this
guy. No, he might not possess the raw, brutish
power of a villain like Thanos, but Loki certainly corners the market on style and panache. This “god of mischief” has made memorable
appearances in more than a few MCU films, including the Thor movies and the Avengers
installments. Beyond that, the character will be getting
his very own namesake show on Disney+, and it’s expected to premiere on the streaming
service sometime in Spring 2021. Nevermind the fact that Loki is supposed to
be evil. He’s become one of the most beloved characters
in the entire Marvel cinematic universe. The fact that audiences are basically rooting
for him has everything to do with Tom Hiddleston’s rakish, undeniably charming performance. In fact, it seems like fans are willing to
overlook some of the character’s worst trespasses simply because they love Hiddleston’s performance
so much. “I guess I’ll just have to go it alone. Like I’ve always done.” In fact, that’s a large part of what makes
Loki such a great villain: Even when he’s conspiring against Thor and the other good
guys, he still somehow manages to win us over somehow. Well played, Loki. Well played. In Quentin Tarantino’s 2012 Western Django
Unchained, Leonardo DiCaprio plays the film’s central villain, Calvin Candie. He’s a brutal plantation owner with a serious
taste for violence…and he gets his kicks by forcing slaves to fight to the death right
in front of him. To make matters worse, Candie owns Broomhilda,
played by Kerry Washington. She’s the wife of the titular bounty hunter,
Django, portrayed by Jamie Foxx. Candie is quite unwilling to let Broomhilda
go .In the hopes of rescuing her, Django hatches a plan. Along with his traveling companion Dr. King
Shultz, played by Christoph Waltz, he manages to infiltrate Candie’s plantation. “I do believe you were just getting ready
to make me a proposition to buy Broomhilde. Am I right?” Their plan, of course, goes horribly awry. DiCaprio’s performance as Candie is totally
unforgettable, from start to finish. And what a finish it is. Mad Max: Fury Road captivated critics and
fans alike, earning ten Academy Award nominations and ultimately raking in six wins. Widely considered one of the best action films
ever made, Fury Road masterfully combines heart-stopping action with an enthralling
narrative. The post-apocalyptic tale also features a
perfectly horrendous villain in the form of Immortan Joe, played by Australian actor Hugh
Keays-Byrne. “We send off my War Rig to bring back gasoline
from Gas Town.” This creepy, barely-alive cult leader heads
an army that’s fond of capturing healthy people, to subsequently use for blood and breeding. At once entirely frail and incredibly intimidating,
Immortan Joe is a tyrannical dictator and, it must be said, a really impressive driver. Not a good person, though. Crafting a villain as iconic as Darth Vader
is certainly a tall order. And while his shadow still looms over the
entire franchise, J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson managed to create an entirely new kind of
villain for the series. Audiences were first introduced to Kylo Ren
in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens…and he’s portrayed marvellously by Adam Driver. An operative of the sinister First Order,
he didn’t start out as a bad guy. In fact, he once trained as a Jedi under Luke
Skywalker himself…but he was ultimately tempted by the Dark Side. It happens. Aided by Driver’s explosive, thoughtful performance,
Kylo Ren is a multi-layered and complex villain. He’s also a rather petulant one, too. He might be the powerful leader of the First
Order, but he still succumbs to the occasional temper tantrum, which makes the character
feel all-too human at times. “I’ll destroy her and you. And all of it.” It’s always a smart move to bring in a celebrated
actor to play a vicious and unapologetically campy antagonist. And director Taika Waititi did just that by
casting Academy Award-winner Cate Blanchett as the villain in Thor: Ragnarok. Thor faces a number of obstacles throughout
the film…but his biggest one is surely Hela, the goddess of death. Blanchett is clearly having a blast playing
the character, vamping up a storm even as she doles out death blows by the bucketful. “Kneel.” “I beg your pardon?” “Kneel.” It’s certainly a relief when Hela is defeated,
but it’s also disappointing that Blanchett likely won’t be back for future Thor installments. Sometimes, a villain is hiding right there
in plain sight, taunting us all the while. And when this formidable foe finally reveals
their true identity, audiences are treated to one seriously epic twist. The 2017 blockbuster Wonder Woman is a perfect
example of this. As it turns out, Ares the god of war is very
much responsible for much of the film’s mayhem, and seeing as he’s Diana’s half-brother, he’s
been right under her nose the entire time. “Only a god can kill another god.” Played by the always-mesmerizing David Thewlis,
Sir Patrick Morgan is initially introduced to us as an advocate for peace. But no, he’s actually Ares in disguise…and
peaceful he is not. In the film’s climax, he sheds his human persona
to go up against Diana once and for all. Ultimately, Ares’ two radically different
personas, not to mention Thewlis’ convincing, wildly entertaining performance, makes him
one of the last decade’s most memorable movie villains. It should go without saying that you simply
can’t have a list of great villains without including Thanos. As you’re no doubt well aware, he’s the resident
“big bad” throughout multiple phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and for very good
reason. Josh Brolin officially took on the role in
2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy…and right from the start, he makes the character his
own. Thanos eventually decides that he should help
out the universe by cutting its population in half by any means necessary, a belief instilled
in him after the people of his home planet Titan go extinct thanks to overpopulation. “Little one, it’s a simple calculus: This
universe is finite. Its resources, finite.” Throughout several MCU films, Thanos spends
his time assembling the six Infinity Stones to place them in the legendary Infinity Gauntlet. In Avengers: Infinity War, he finally achieves
his goal and “snaps” half of the world’s living beings out of existence. Nevertheless, he ultimately meets his crushing
defeat in Avengers: Endgame. Without a doubt, Thanos ranks among the last
decade’s greatest villains. He’s cold-blooded, single-minded, and willing
to do whatever it takes to achieve his goal: Namely, kill half the population of the universe. Gone Girl starts out with a rather familiar
narrative. Adapted by author Gillian Flynn from her insanely
readable novel, the film tells the story of a young woman named Amy Dunne, played by Rosamund
Pike. She’s apparently gone missing on the morning
of her fifth wedding anniversary. Unsurprisingly, her detached husband Nick,
played by Ben Affleck, quickly becomes the main suspect in the apparent crime. Directed by David Fincher, Gone Girl incorporates
clever, dream-like flashbacks to let us see how Nick and Amy’s fairytale romance has steadily
turned sour. Halfway through the film, we make a startling
discovery: Nick is actually being framed by Amy. After she discovers that he has been cheating
on her, she goes full-fledged diabolical and totally fakes her kidnapping. She even plans to take her own life just so
she can pin her death on Nick. Talk about holding a grudge. But then she eventually changes her mind and
decides she’s going to try holding onto her husband, once and for all this time. Throughout the film, it becomes all too clear
that Amy will stop at nothing to achieve her infernal ends. She’s even willing to murder her loyal childhood
love Desi, played by Neil Patrick Harris. And ultimately, she wins this insidious game:
She completely traps Nick, and the two start preparing to have a child together. As far as Nick is concerned, that’s almost
certainly a fate worse than death. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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