The Best Villains of 2020
Top 10 Best Movie Villains of 2020
Welcome to our end of 2020! Now normally we wrap up the year in film with a whole bunch of Best and Worst lists! Honestly, we are just to happy to be at the end that we only have a few for you guys. Nevertheless, we intend to be as needlessly ruthless and questionably generous as usual! (Honestly though, these bad guys deserve to get dragged through the mud with the rest of their awful movies.) These are our picks for the Top 10 Worst Movie Villains of 2020!
A quick note before we begin! Remember that this is totally subjective, so if we missed one or we were just too mean, be sure to leave a comment and give us your thoughts below! (We also did not see every single movie released this year…) Now let’s start out with a few Dishonorable Mentions!
Honorable Mention – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Wait did this movie even I suppose ‘villain’ may be a strong word, but so is ‘judge’ when describing this unjust official…
Honorable Mention – Rebecca
Kristin Scott Thomas delivers a strong performance as Mrs. Danvers in an otherwise lifeless remake.
Honorable Mention – Come Play
Larry manages to be a somewhat sympathetic villain by the end of the film, despite following many horror tropes.
Honorable Mention – Unhinged
Does Russel Crowe check every thriller box? Yup! Did his performance make me afraid to ever cut someone off in traffic? Absolutely.
Honorable Mention – Kajillionaire
It’s probably cheating to call Althea and Victor ‘villains,’ but as they are what Old Dolio needs to overcome in her life to grow, gosh they are kinda the worst. Right?
Honorable Mention – Gretel & Hansel
This film was one good performance away from being one of 2020’s worst, but Alice Krige’s wonderfully on-the-nose turn as the Witch absolutely saves it.
Honorable Mention – Greyhound
A genuine threat that you never meet beyond the cold shell of the sub and one terrifying voice from the Grey Wolf.
#10 – Maxwell Lord – Wonder Woman 1984
Okay let’s get something straight, I don’t think Max Lord was a GREAT villain. Any other year he would have NEVER cut it in my Top 10. I take my villains seriously, and one who has underdeveloped motivations, confusing goals, and too much screentime is certainly not list worthy. But this is 2020, and my options were few. And despite weak writing, Pedro Pascal’s performance was an absolute highlight in Wonder Woman 1984, using his endless charisma to carry this character to a surprising level of sympathy by the finale.
#9 – Vedat – 7500
7500 has a fairly interesting setup for a fairly traditional story, however by the third act of the film, the story of Vedat the hijacker grows more interesting. Instead of going a traditional route, we are given a sympathetic character full of doubt and hesitation about his beliefs. It is a very compelling aspect about a not so compelling film.
#8 – Sator – Tenet
Sure he’s a very typical mumble-growling Russian bad guy, and without the powerhouse performance from Shakespeare incarnate Kenneth Branagh, he might have felt like big Russian bad guy. While his motivations remain fairly straightforward, Branagh’s compelling performance turns Sator into a surprisingly sympathetic character by the end. Plus as a character more familiar with the concept of Inversion than the Protagonist, Sator is a one of the more formidable villains this year had to offer.
#7 – Gabe – Black Bear
While this spot could probably be shared with every man in Promising Young Woman (2020), Black Bear’s strongest aspect was its performances. The chilling talent of Christopher Abbott is on full display, as he brings out the worst in Gabe, a controlling and emotionally abusive man. While I don’t want to spoil the film entirely, the complex nature of the film leads to one of the more interestingly written antagonists in any recent indie film.
#6 – Roman Sionis- Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Much like Sator, Roman Sionis is often treated as a typical villain. He’s controlling, sexist, and- well that might be it. But while Branagh brought depth to his Russian sociopath, Ewan McGregor delivers a show-stealing performance with enough energy to match the rest of the cast combined. There’s just something about seeing how much fun an actor is having working on a film, and there isn’t a better way to play Black Mask. At least, not in THIS movie.
#5 – Adrian Griffin – The Invisible man
Griffin is a classic horror villain, featuring as the central character in both the book version and the classic film version. In the 2000 film Hollow Man, we see Kevin Bacon’s take on the character treated more of a villain horror as the film continues. However Leigh Whannell newest adaptation of H.G. Wells’ story, Adrian Griffin recieved a full-blown horror treatment. Not only does this mentally unstable figure stand as a firm and literal representation or trauma and abuse, but he is easily the scariest horror villain of 2020. Between the, well, lack of visibility and the careful lies told to the audience by the wandering camera, we are constantly on edge with the thought of Griffin lingering in every scene…
#4 – Grace – The Lodge (SPOILERS)
Grace was easily one of if not THE the most interesting antagonist of 2020. While we spend much of the film unraveling the mystery behind the strange events befalling Grace and the Hall children, we cannot help but keep the carefully distant Grace in mind as a possible culprit. In a wonderful twist that continues to capitalize on what the audience does and does not get to partake in, we learn that the Hall children are behind the odd happenings as a way to get misplaced revenge on Grace. However Grace, a former cultist, snaps, winning the day in the most terrifying portrayal of taking a joke too far…
#3 – Dr. Robotnik – Sonic the Hedgehog
There was plenty of hype behind Sonic the Hedgehog thanks to its remastered effects. This hype was met with an honestly below average film full of typically storytelling and witty but ultimately forgettable jokes. However the clear standout was Jim Carrey’s Dr. Robotnik, who bursts onto the scene with arguably too much enthusiasm. While one could argue that this villain is often too silly, the wonderful blend of sarcasm and spite tossed into this eccentric antagonist (not to mention the memes that have resulted from Carrey’s hilarious performance) was a treat!
“Confidence… a fool’s substitute for intelligence!”
#2 – Mask Seller – A Whisker Away
I seriously considered not including anime on this list on the principle that, well, we didn’t watch that many anime released in 2020. Hoverer I just couldn’t get over how entertaining the Mask Seller from this Netflix original was! (And, you know, there was a lack of other options.) While at first he seems a strangely amusing character, as the film continues, we begin to learn the danger behind him… Miyo quickly learns to be careful what she wishes for, as the Mask Seller’s ambition and abilities are more than a match for the protagonists. Fortunately the film is PG. otherwise this might not have been a happy ending…
#1 – The Butcher – Freaky
This might be cheating, but Freaky had this spot from the trailer alone. Horror films have had plenty of inspirational ideas that usually add to the depth of the writing or protagonist or tone or, well, something at least. However a body swap between the ‘final girl’ and killer? Where the killer is played by Vince Vaughn? Yeah it’s as funny as it sound! However besides standing out as one of the more effective villains of the year, seeing The Butcher as Millie offers a wonderfully fresh perspective! Bravo Kathryn Newton; you were somehow more terrifying than a grown man.
And yeah that’s our list! Obviously we didn’t see every movie this year, so let us know if there’s any you think we missed! And be sure to check out our picks for the Top 10 Worst Villains of 2020 below!