Every year I do this I try to do lists that I wish people were doing, but I just don’t see much of. This year I’m keeping with the tradition of the best on screen villains in film. There were a number of interesting choices that crept up on me at the end of the year and one them ended up pretty high on the list. Here are 2018’s best villains.
- Johnny Depp as Grindelwald, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
I don’t care what anybody says about Johnny Depp being cast in this film, he is absolutely fantastic in this role. The movie may have been a big disappointment, but Grindelwald and his far more eloquent Trump town hall of deplorable wizards is worth looking forward to more films for.
- Chris Hemsworth as Billy Lee, Bad Times at the El Royale
This stupid, handsome bastard isn’t just a great hero, he’s also a brilliant cult leader. And why wouldn’t he be. He can lure a bunch of women in with his charisma and looks, but then he turns them into the Manson family. Scary shit!
- Michael Myers, Halloween
Speaking of scary shit, watching Michael Myers walk down the street in one long shot, killing at random, was truly one of the highlights of the year. Michael Myers may have seemed a has been, but director David Gordon Green gave him new life this year and it was just enough to make him one of the best villains of the year.
- Rachel Weisz as Lady Sarah, The Favourite
Controlling a queen with your words and sexuality is a hell of a gift, but placing the fear you might accidentally get shot in the hearts of your employees is another thing entirely. Rachel Weisz is consistently menacing as the right hand woman of the queen and memorable enough to be Oscar worthy.
- Daniel Kaluuya as Jatemme Manning, Widows
Man, this was one evil son of a bitch! I truly wanted this mother fucker dead from the first minute I laid eyes on him. Then he did some super evil shit and I was like, “See, I told you that guy was a piece of shit!” Kaluuya totally kills it in this roll!
- Henry Cavill as August Walker, Mission Impossible: Fallout
This roll was the reason for the infamous upper lip in Justice League last year, and while I still wish Superman didn’t look so stupid, it was totally worth it. Walker makes for a fantastic foe to Cruise’s Ethan Hunt. In fact, I would say he is the best villain in the series.
- Ben Mendelsohn as Nolan Sorrento, Ready Player One
Mendelsohn seems to just be getting type cast as a villain in every movie now, but that’s because he’s damn good at it, and this is my favorite. Whether he is a cutthroat businessman in the real world or an evil Clarke Kent riding around in MechaGodzilla, you will love to hate this man.
- Emma Stone as Abigail, The Favourite
You can look at Abigail as clever capitalist who is just trying to pick herself up from the bottom and rise to the top. However, you would have to ignore the lying, cheating, stealing, poisoning, and sex that she uses to get there. Oh, and the fact that she is willing to topple a nation on the way to her cocktail parties. The fact that you still root for her most of the way is why this villain is so far up on my list.
- Michael B. Jordan as Killmonger, Black Panther
I have not wanted a hero to take out the villain in a movie this much in quite some time. Yet, I also was completely sympathetic to his plight. This brilliant performance simultaneously makes you want to help this man fix the oppression of the world against all people of African descent and watch Black Panther claw him to death. That’s a damn good villain right there.
- Josh Brolin as Thanos, Avengers: Infinity War
After a decade of mostly poor villains, Marvel delivered two of the best in movie history this year! Thanos is truly the most commanding villainous presence I have seen in a movie in my life. However, the thing that makes him so great is his humanity (which is oxymoronic considering he is not a human). The sequences where he just talks to Gamora or Doctor Strange in a humble tone of voice are just as memorable as when he is dispensing heroes left and right. And the fact that (SPOILER ALERT) he kicks the Avengers asses and kills half the population of the universe is pretty much the most hardcore thing a villain can do.