10. Gene Hackman: Lex Luthor from Superman: The Movie
I think this unfortunately started Gene Hackman's career on a series of villain type roles. However, Superman in 1978, was the first big comic book movie to not only break box office records, but also make a comic book character look interesting and important on a big screen. Like it or not, this movie paved the way for all super hero and comic book movies to be realized in the future. Hackman as Lex, he was funny, snobbish, arrogant, intelligent, and almost charming. His goal was real estate, which made sense. His lair was several levels below park avenue where he could cook up anything he wanted. He read lots of books, and learned the weakness of Superman. Like any good villain he was returned to prison. He later escaped in less interesting Superman Sequels but he was an interesting villain never the less. You loved him, and loved to hate him.
9. Jack Nicholson: The Joker [i]Batman/i] 1989
Say what you want about the Tim Burton gothic Batman movie of 1989, we all went to see it for Jack as The Joker. You don't mess with Jack. He stole every scene. He made it his own. He went way over the top in his role, and we all went with it! He made us laugh, but he was scary too. He was probably the best scripted villain of all time. Though Burton took liberties in explaining the origins of such a character, such was necessary to bring about a comic that was preceded by a campy television serial at the time. We will all remember Jack as the Joker. That movie was the first since Superman, to put comic book movies back on the map!
8. Alfred Molina: Doctor Otto "Doc Ock" Octavious: Spider-Man 2
I always found it interesting in at least the first two Spider-Man movies that his arch nemesis was always people that Peter Parker was closest too. The Green Goblin played by Willem Dafoe was a bit too over the top. Doc Ock was a scientist that due to an unfortunate accident has become prisoner of his own robotic arms that were meant to handle highly dangerous matter for an experiment. When the experiment goes bad, he looses control of the robotic arms and becomes a slave to AI that propels them. Doc Ock was a character you felt sorry for. I still feel those are the best villains in any setting.
7. Stephen Dorff: Deacon Frost: Blade
God, I loved the Blade movies. Especially the first. It was an unusual take on vampires. Wesley Snipes was a kick ass ninja form of Shaft, with Vampire abilities. He wore cool leather coats, sported a sexy samurai sword, and Chris Christophersen was his mentor. Bad Ass! Even more bad ass, was Deacon Frost! Deacon was a business man who made money off of having hidden vampire clubs. However, Deacon was once a mortal...meaning he was bitten and became a vampire later. That did not stop his plans of invading a the vampire library and trying to invoke a blood god that would make him ruler over the humans. In Blade, the vampire legacy is to remain hidden among humans, Frost wants to rule the humans all together and make them nothing more than food. He is portrayed as a young clubber, and business owner, with ambitions to become a vampire god over humans. I loved him in this role!
6. Jeff Bridges: Obadiah Stane AKA "War Monger" Iron Man
Jeff Bridges had not don anything essentially since The Big Labowski. In movies such as these....like in the Spider-Man movies, sometimes your best friends become your most biggest foes! Iron Man did a good job of this. Obadiah Stane was a partner to Howard Stark during his tenure as CEO of Stark Industries which specializes in the manufacture of weapons. After son Tony Stark is taken by terrorists, he realizes that his own weapons have caused more harm than good. Tony later reinvents a mechanical suit in order to take out the weapons he helped invent. Stane, who has held the company together for years, seeks out to stop Tony with his own weapon. Though it is much in CGI, Jeff Bridges does a fantastic job of revealing himself as a villain with his own agenda. Iron Man has been revealed as being one of the most successful super hero movies of all time. Due to a good sense of humor from director Jon Favreau, and Robert Downey Junior playing the role of Tony Stark.
5. Ladislav Beran. Karl Ruprecht Kroenen: Hellboy
Sand was his blood, and he was addicted to surgery, such as removing his eyelids to keep him awake. He spoke no words in the Hellboy movie but he was often scene thrusting swords at guards, and then re-winding himself to stay alive. He seems to have a wind up clock that keeps him alive. He is freaking scary and interesting. Shame he never made it into the Hellboy sequals...but sometimes....the villain that does not talk, is the most scary....
4. Heath Ledger: The Joker: The Dark Knight
T We were all relived that Heath Ledger did not try to portray the Joker as the Jack Nicholson remake, but we were frightened at what he portrayed. The Joker in this film, we know little to nothing about him, other than he is a sadist hell bent on the destruction of the Batman persona. We see him at many points trying to gain the trust of installed villains in the common interest of setting him up for the fall of corruption. The Joker in this film explains his origins to different characters but changing the story every time. So unlike previous efforts, we really don't know too much about the Joker, other than he is dangerous. Heath Ledger died on this film, and took away the Oscar after his death of over dose of drugs. The Dark Knight has been credited by man as the "Godfather" of all Comic book films.
3. Hugo Weaving: Johann Schmidt: The Red Skull Captain America
Hugo Weaving is the Gary Oldman of the next generation. He started off playing one of the most evil super villains of our time....Agent Smith in the Matrix trilogy. Since then, he has played Megatron in the Transformers, and now The Red Skull in Captain America. In Captain America you first see Johann Schmidt as self proclaimed leader of Hydra under the orders of Adolf Hitler. Later you see him in Red Skull form. Hugo Weaving is good at playing Villains. He is good at accents, and good at portraying relentless characters with an agenda for power. He is one of the finer points of Captain America.
2.Tom Middleston: Loki: Thor/The Avengers
Tom Middleston strikes you as one of those shakesperian actors that loves comic books, and tries to add theatrics to the afore mentioned attributes! If you watched the behind the scenes making of Thor, you will witness that he loved his costume. I am glad he is reprising the same role in The Avengers. He portrays the son who would be king...kind of reminds me of the ceaser role of Joaquin Phoenix in Gladiator. He is after all the god of Mischief, and bends his needs to his very whim. I like his acting skills, and his wants to prove his superiority over his father, make him a force to be rec coned with. I love his presence!
1. Ian McKellen: Eric Lensherr: Magneto X-Men
Few films in life have done justice to capture the terror that binds the villain. in the X-Men film, Eric Lensherr is portrayed as a former victim of a nazi concentration camp. When he his separated from his parents, he suddenly gains the ability to bend and twist metal. We see him several years later as head of a brotherhood of mutants, who believe that mutants are the dominant species on earth, and devises a contraption to turn all humans into mutants during the time of of and eminent mutant registration clause in the government. Magneto is weak due to his old age, and decides to use Rouge to power the device which will render all humans as mutants. Wolverine ultimately sacrifices his ability to heal to save Rogue from the evil machine. X-Men had some pretty crappy costumes, but had a story that really caught my interest. Magneto was a villain that you could almost have sympathy for. I loved the movie. The second movie was even better. Ian McKellen who is famous for several movies, said that his inspiration for the part was that as a Gay man, he was fighting for gay rights. The X-men movie is about mutants living with normal humans. Charles Xavier, who leads the X-Men believes in coexistence, Magneto believes that Mutants are the dominant species of the future. Brilliant! Magneto devises a helmet to keep Xavier from reading his thoughts.