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The 25 Greatest Action Movie Villains of All Time

Most villains in film get attention when they are powered by super abilities capable of destroying not just Earth, but the entire galaxy. Think: Thanos in Avengers: Endgame or Hela in Thor: Ragnarok – even the Dark Lord Voldemort of the Harry Potter franchise. As years go by, filmmakers need to make bigger, better, more powerful, and infinitely more dangerous villains. Yet, some of the best and most memorable villains are the ones that are just your average person with some serious psychopathic tendencies. Sure, someone who travels across galaxies killing everyone and everything in their path is a terrifying villain, but it’s not real. A true villain is someone who can actually exist in the real world – and be your very own foe.

Action movies give audiences despicable and evil villains that could very well exist somewhere in the world. Criminal masterminds, deranged psychopaths, and chief executive officers that will do anything to make a profit – even at the expense of their own employees’ lives and well-being. So, without further ado, here are the 25 greatest action movie villains of all time.

25 Tony Montana (Scarface)

Al Pacino as Scarface

Universal Pictures

The 1983 crime drama film Scarface delivered one of the greatest cultural icons, even if he was a really bad guy. Played by Al Pacino, Tony Montana was a Cuban refugee and ex-convict who arrives in Miami during the Mariel boatlift and becomes a powerful and dangerous drug lord. He was shamelessly selfish, and arrogant, and would do whatever it takes to gain power and influence over the Miami drug trade.
Without pushback, there’s no telling just how far he would have gone. After all, Tony would lie, betray, and murder anyone who got in his way. That said, he did have one saving grace – in that he had an extreme distaste for killing women and children. So, if you’re an adult man, you’d better stay out of his way. Of course, it was his own self that became his undoing.
Related: 20 Movies with the Most Over-the-Top Action Scenes

24 Hans Gruber (Die Hard)

Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard 20th Century Studios

Released in 1988, Die Hard is an action film based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp. Starring Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Alexander Godunov, and Bonnie Bedelia, the film follows New York City police detective John McClane (Willis) who gets entangled in a terrorist takeover of a Los Angeles skyscraper while vising his estranged wife.
While Die Hard is considered one of the greatest action films of all time, it is the villain who is one of the most enduring parts of the film was Rickman’s Hans Gruber. Rickman gave a very charismatic portrayal of the character, which was greatly praised by critics. Gruber was formerly a part of the terroristic Volksfrei movement before moving on to greater things. He took 30 people hostage and threatened to kill every last one of them if things didn’t his way. While he was pragmatic, Gruber was also had a short temper and would absolutely kill anyone without hesitation.

23 Mr. Joshua (Lethal Weapon)

Mr. Joshua in Lethal Weapon

Gary Busey made his mark as an action movie villain in the buddy cop action film Lethal Weapon in 1987. Busey played opposite Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as Mr. Joshua, Vietnam veteran turned mercenary drug dealer who serves as the right-hand man to General Peter McAllister. He gets a wild ride on whether he’d actually get to live or not.
After his boss is killed, Joshua goes head-to-head with Riggs and Murtaugh and is defeated by the latter. However, Murtaugh chooses not to kill him and Mr. Joshua goes into custody. However, he breaks free, gets the officers gun, and fires at the two cops. Amidst the gunfire, Mr. Joshua is ultimately killed — though he proved to be a dangerous villain to Riggs and Murtaugh.

22 Bill (Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2)

david-carradine-kill-bill (1) Miramax

Kill Bill is a two-part martial arts film known for its distinct and diverse blend of genres in both its visuals and story. It was initially set to be released as one film, but the four-hour run time led to it being separated into Kill Bill: Volume 1 and Kill Bill: Volume 2. The films star Uma Thurman as The Bride, a former assassin who takes revenges on the team of assassins who betrayed her after she wakes from a four-year coma.
The leader of this team of assassins is Bill, played by David Carradine. Bill is a pimp who trained his sex workers to become assassins. He’s a master swordsman who stood toe-to-toe with The Bride though he was eventually defeated by the Five Point Palm Exploding Heart Technique.

21 Bodhi (Point Break)

Point Break 1991 20th Century Fox

Point Break is a 1991 crime action film starring Patrick Swayze, Keanu Reeves, Lori Petty, and Gary Busey. Reeves stars as an undercover FBI agent trying to uncover the identities of a group of bank robbers, but he develops a complex relationship with the group’s leader, Bodhi, played by Swayze. Bodhi is a master of villainy, splitting his time between surfing and robbing banks. Even after he discovers Utah is a cop, he still respects him. Bodhi is cool, collected, and overall, a great villain.

20 Eric Qualen (Cliffhanger)

Cliffhanger Carolco Pictures

Cliffhanger is a 1993 action thriller film starring Sylvester Stallone, John Lithgow, Michael Rooker, and Janine Turner. The film follows Gabe (Stallone), a mountain climber who gets caught up in a heist on the US Treasury plane flying through the Rocky Mountains. Lithgow gives one of his greatest villain performances as Eric Qualen, a terrorist completely lacking sympathy and remorse.
He used to be a military intelligence officer, but became a proficient thief hunting down $100 million in uncirculated bills after a US Treasury transport plane. Qualen led a team of criminal henchmen that had no issue killing innocent victims to get closer to the prize. Yet, they all still greatly feared Qualen, who was certainly not above killing one of his own just get a get more money.

19 Richie Madano (Out for Justice)

Out for Justice Warner Bros.

Starring Steven Seagal as Detective Gino Felino and William Forsythe as Richie Madano, Out for Justice is a neo-noir vigilante action thriller released in 1991. Gino is a veteran police detective who seeks to avenge his partner’s murder by killing the trigger-happy and drug-addicted Richie responsible for his partner’s death.
Richie is one of those completely unhinged psychopaths, who has no rationale for the crimes they commit. Addicted to crack and involved with the New York mob, Richie kills Gino’s partner and continues killing until Gino finally catches up to him.

18 Bennett (Commando)

Commando-1 Silver Pictures

Talking about action movies absolutely means talking about an Arnold Schwarzenegger action movie. Released in 1985, Commando is an action film starring Schwarzenegger, Rae Dawn Chong, Alyssa Milano, Vernon Wells, Bill Duke, and Dan Hedaya. The film follows retired Special Forces Colonel John Matrix (Schwarzenegger) as he tries to save his daughter after she was abducted by his former subordinate, Captain Bennett (Wells). Bennett absolutely loves being the bad guy and his character adds a bit of a campiness effect on the film. Seriously, does Bennett want to kill or kiss Matrix?

17 Emil Fouchon (Hard Target)

Hard Target Alphaville Films

Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Hard Target is a 1993 action film directed by John Woo in his U.S. debut. Van Damme plays Chance Boudreaux, an unemployed homeless Cajun merchant seaman, and former United States recon Marine. He saves a young woman named Natasha Binder, played by Yancy Butler, from a gang of thugs in New Orleans. Natasha hires him to guide her through New Orleans as she searches for his missing father.
During the journey, they uncover a deadly game of cat and mouse behind his disappearance. An example of how man is the most dangerous game, Emil Fouchon, played by Lance Henriksen, has developed an addiction to hunting down humans. He created a lucrative business to lure in wealthy individuals to take part in this “game.” The victims get a chance to become very rich if they are able to survive the game, which they pretty much never to do due to the lethal efficiency of both Fouchon and his team. Fouchon is cold, and calculated, yet intelligent and eloquent, making him a dark and twisted villain.
Related: 20 Greatest Uses of Classic Rock in Movies

16 General Hummel (The Rock)

The Rock Hollywood Pictures

The Rock is a 1996 action thriller film directed by Michael Bay and starring Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, with William Forsythe and Michael Biehn co-starring. The film follows a chemist and an ex-con who must lead a counterstrike against a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, who threatens to unleash a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.
General Francis X. Hummel (Harris) and his rouge group of Marines have seized all the tourists on Alcatraz Island. His end goal is to get $100 million from the US government for the families of 83 men who were killed on his missions that the Pentagon denied. His righteous fury is what makes General Hummel a dangerous enemy.

15 Caster Troy (Face/Off)

Nicolas Cage and John Travolta in Face/Off Paramount Pictures

Another film directed by John Woo, Face/Off is a 1997 science fiction action film starring John Travolta and Nicolas Cage. The film follows Sean Archer (Travolta), an FBI agent still grieving the loss of his son, Michael, who was killed by his sworn enemy and the powerful criminal, Castor Troy, played by Cage. When a fight between the two leads to Troy being knocked out, Archer must assume his identity by undergoing a facial transplant surgery to get Troy’s brother, Pollux, to give up the location of the bomb threatening the entire city of Los Angeles.
Troy wakes up prematurely and seeks revenge on Archer by undergoing the same transplant surgery and assumes Archer’s identity. Castor Troy is one of the most interesting villains, as he’s portrayed by both Travolta and Cage. Two characters are essentially played by two different actors which leads to a series of battles between the two. Troy is unhinged and willing to murder anyone who dares get in his way.

14 Brad Wesley (Road House)

Road House Silver Pictures

Road House is a 1989 action film starring Patrick Swayze as James Dalton, a bouncer at a newly refurbished roadside bar who protects a small Missouri town from a corrupt businessman. Sam Elliot co-stars as Wade Garrett, James’ fellow bouncer, mentor, friend, and as a foil. The film also includes Kelly Lynch as Dr. Elizabeth “Doc” Clay, James’ love interest, and Ben Gazzara as Brad Wesley, the main antagonist.
Wesley is a small-town overlord in Road House and is as evil as he is amoral. But what sets him apart from other action film villains is just how comfortable he is with being a complete thorn in the community. Truly, Wesley shows just how much of a villain a businessman can be.

13 Roy Batty (Blade Runner)

Blade Runner The Ladd Company

Released in 1982, Blade Runner is a science fiction action starring Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, and Edward James Olmos. Adapted from the 1968 novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick, the film is set in a dystopian future where synthetic humans called replicants are bio-engineered to work on space colonies. A fugitive group of replicants led by Roy Batty (Hauer) escapes to Earth where a burnt-out cop named Rick Deckard (Ford) reluctantly agrees to hunt them down. Batty desperately wanted more life and that lust set him on a violent path that ultimately caused the death of his creator.

12 T-1000 (Terminator 2: Judgment Day)

T-1000 Tri-Star Pictures

The sequel to the original, Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 science fiction action film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert Patrick, and Edward Furlong. In this one, the malevolent artificial intelligence Skynet sends a Terminator back in time to 1995 to kill the future leader of the human resistance while he’s still a child. At the same time, the resistance sends a reprogrammed and less-advanced Terminator to protect the leader and save the future of humanity.
Schwarzenegger takes the role of the hero in this film, so the villain is T-1000 (Patrick), the advanced, shape-shifting prototype Terminator consisting of liquid metal. Patrick plays the role quite effectively, appearing as straightforward and menacing as his predecessor in the first film.

11 Clarence Boddicker (RoboCop)

Kurtwood Smith in RoboCop Orion Pictures

RoboCop is a 1987 science fiction action film set in a crime-filled Detroit in the near future. The film follows police officer Alex Murphy, played by Peter Weller, who is murdered by a gang of criminals and then revived by Omni Consumer Products as the cyborg RoboCop. RoboCop is unaware of his former life, but begins to come to terms with the remaining fragments of his humanity while fighting crime.
Kurtwood Smith stars as Clarence Boddicker, a crime lord working with Dick Jones, played by Ronny Cox, the Senior President of OCP. Boddicker seems like every other psychopathic villain, but Smith plays the character with an undeniable zeal in spite of Boddicker’s true sadism. Even as RoboCop beats him down again and again, he always comes back for more.

10 Owen Shaw (Fast & Furious 6)

Fast & Furious 6 One Race Films

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return as Dominic Toretto and Brian O’Conner in the sixth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise. Fast & Furious 6 follows Toretto, O’Conner, and their team as they are pardoned for their previous crimes in exchange for helping DSS agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson) capture a mercenary organization led by former British SAS Major Owen Shaw (Luke Evans).
Shaw leads this group of skilled mercenaries to steal high-tech devices to sell on the black market. He gets into Toretto’s sights when he hijacks a military convoy. He’s analytical, intelligent, and willing to kill to get what he wants. However, he did become an ally to Toretto’s crew after the events of Fast & Furious 6.

9 The Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves)

Alan Rickman as Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves Warner Bros.

Based upon the 12th-Century English folk tale, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is an action-adventure film released in 1991. Kevin Costner stars as Robin Hood, Morgan Freeman as Azeem, Christian Slater as Will Scarlett, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio as Marian, and Alan Rickman as the Sheriff of Nottingham. The film follows Robin Hood as he fights back as an outlaw against the tyranny of the Sheriff of Nottingham. The sheriff is a maniacal, Satan-worshipping hedonist, and Rickman’s portrayal of the character is so great that you almost want him to beat Robin Hood.
Related: The Top 20 Best Movies Where the Hero Dies

8 Agent Smith (The Matrix Franchise)

The Matrix Agent SMith Warner Bros.

The Matrix franchise consists of four films, beginning with The Matrix in 1999, The Matrix Reloaded in 2003, The Matrix Revolutions in 2003, and The Matrix Resurrections in 2021. The films are a cyberpunk story detailing the technological fall of humanity that led to the creation of artificial intelligence and a race of powerful, self-aware machines that imprisoned humans in a virtual reality called the Matrix.
The franchise follows Neo (Keanu Reeves), Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), and Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II) as they try to free humanity from the system, all the while being pursued by its guardians. One of these guardians is Agent Smith, played by Hugo Weaving in the first three films and by Jonathan Groff in the last one.
This sentient agent program is designed to destroy Zion and stop humans from getting out of the Matrix. He is unique from other agents; in that he wants to free himself from his duties. He evolves into a megalomaniac striving to control the world he was created to serve.

7 Ming the Merciless (Flash Gordon)

Flash Gordon Starling Productions

A space opera superhero film, Flash Gordon released in 1980 and stars Sam J. Jones, Melody Anderson, Ornella Muti, Max von Sydow and Topol. The titular Flash Gordon (Jones) is a star quarterback who, with his allies, Dale Arden (Anderson) and Hans Zarkov (Topol), unite the warring factions of the fictional planet Mongo against Ming the Merciless (Von Sydow), who seeks to destroy Earth.
While the character is another role set in the Orientalism stereotypes of the time it was released, Von Sydow turned the character into a sexual deviant with the kind of cool that him one of the most enjoyable aspects of the film.

6 The Joker (The Dark Knight)

Ledger as The Joker Warner Bros. Pictures

Released in 2008, The Dark Knight is the second film in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy. The film follows Bruce Wayne’s Batman, played by Christian Bale, police lieutenant James Gordon, played by Gary Oldman, and district attorney Harvey Dent, played by Aaron Eckhart, as they form an alliance to take down organized crime in Gotham City.
Their efforts are thwarted by the anarchistic mastermind, the Joker, played by Heath Ledger. It’s not that hard to imagine how the Clown Prince of Crime is one of the greatest action movie villains of all time. This version of the Joker is a cold, calculating nihilist eager to watch the world burn.

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‘I am officially off the market’: When Margot Robbie revealed she made the ‘conscious’ decision of not dating actors

Margot Robbie revealed her decision to not date actors because of the media scrutiny that came with a public relationship of two high-profile actors
Back in 2015, A-lister Margot Robbie made a declaration that she would not be dating any actors. The actress may have alluded to her fiance Tom Ackerley, who she married the following year in 2016. In an exclusive interview with Marie Claire, she revealed that being in a relationship as an actor herself came with its own set of challenges. She believed that dating someone who was popular would add on to the media scrutiny.

Margot Robbie opened up on why she made a conscious decision to not date actorsTalking to Marie Claire, she claimed, “I am officially off the market.” She then shared the reasoning behind her decision and added, “I made a conscious decision not to date actors.” She continued to explain, “But not because I hate actors. That’s a nasty generalization to make, and that’s not the case. People take such an interest in your love life when you have a profile, it puts a lot of stress on a relationship.”
The Barbie actress continued, “So two people with profiles, I figure it’s just double the amount of scrutiny, and I’d like to avoid that at all costs.” This came after reports of her locking lips with Tarzan co-star Alexander Skarsgard started making rounds. It was reported that she was caught kissing the actor during the Sundance Film Festival.

Margot Robbie revealed she opted for a minimal lifestyle even after becoming an actorIn the interview, Robbie also opened up about how she was adapting to fame. She shared, “I have a normal 24-year-old life. If I were a waitress, I’d probably have the exact same lifestyle. I’d go to the same clubs I go to already, live in the same house with the same housemates, hang out with the same people.”
However, Margot Robbie tied the knot with Tom Ackerley who is an English producer and actor. The duo met on the sets of 2013 movie Suite Francaise where Tom was working as an assistant director. Post marriage, both of them launched their production company LuckyChap Entertainment.

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Monica Bellucci and Tin Burton at lunch in the restaurant in Selci Lama

For All Saints’ Day, the Hollywood star from Tiferno returned to his native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and then visit his parentsOn the occasion of the All Saints’ Day celebrations, the Hollywood star of Tiferno origin, Monica Bellucci, returned to her native Umbria to enjoy a moment of relaxation and to visit her father Pasquale and her mother Brunella.Flanked by her current partner Tim Burton, she went to lunch, together with about twenty old friends, at the Osteria del Musicista, which has always been her favorite restaurant, in Selci Lama.Menu dedicated to typical dishes of the area, which includes an appetizer with breadsticks lined with coppa, duck in porchetta and grilled pork livers, polenta with wild boar sauce accompanied by the very typical cappelletti in broth.To conclude, a dessert based on fried “ciaccia” with Nutella and roasted chestnuts.
Having paid the bill and greeted the restaurant owner and lifelong friend, Roberto Polchi, Monica brought home cappelletti and broth for a family dinner.

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‘Rocky’ Was Quite Different In His Original Screenplay, Sylvester Stallone Claims

Sylvester Stallone took his friend’s advice on a rewrite of the original screenplay to Rocky. A few tweaks later, he was on his way to major success.
In the new Netflix documentary Sly, Stallone discussed how he initially conceived of the project, which had a much harder edge. In the early version, Rocky was depicted as a “thuggish” character, inspired by Martin Scorsese’s crime drama, Mean Streets.

But Stallone’s perspective changed when a friend read the script and thought the boxer was too cruel for audiences to actually care about him.
Stallone recalled her crying.

“She goes, ‘I hate Rocky. I hate him. He’s cruel. He hits people. He beats them up.’”
Stallone took it to heart, and asked what he could do to soften the character.

“I said, ‘what if you stop short of it?’ Like, maybe he almost did. He could have, that’s his job, but he doesn’t?’ ‘That’d be nice,’” he added. “I said, ‘What if he had a girlfriend or something?’ ‘Yeah, that’s nice.’ So I go back, start writing that: ‘Girlfriend. Nice.’”
$117 million in box office later, a franchise was born.

Stallone also revealed that actor Dolph Lundgren sent him to the hospital during one fight scene in Rocky IV.
“Dolph Lundgren… he pulverized me,” Stallone says in the documentary. “Later that night, my heart started to swell—which happens when the heart hits the chest—and then my blood pressure went up to 260, and they thought I was going to be talking to angels. Next thing I know, I’m in intensive care, where I’m surrounded by nuns, and I thought, ‘OK, that’s curtains.’”
Stallone was in the hospital for nine days following the incident, praying for “one more round.”
“For the first minute of the fight, it is going to be a free-for-all,” Stallone told Lundgren. The Swedish actor joked in a separate interview that all he did was “obey orders,” explaining, “[Stallone] was the boss. I did what he told me.”
Doctors allegedly told Stallone that he received a blow to the ribs that made his heart rattle around in his ribcage, a condition typically seen in head-on collisions. “I did hit a bus, of sorts,” Stallone joked.

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