A villain can make or break a movie. From Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa in Inglourious Basterds to Anthony Hopkins’s Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs, the best cinematic villains are born when great writing meets a stellar performance by an actor who is able to find the shades of humanity (or inhumanity) in a character and elevate the material.
With three Marvel Cinematic Universe films coming out each year, and the movie landscape populated by an increasingly generic slew of action heroes, filmmakers are getting more and more creative with their bad guys. It’s as important to give audiences somebody to root against as it is to give them somebody to root for. And as evidenced by the No. 1 pick on this list of the best movie villains of 2018 from Film School Rejects, the villain sometimes turns out to be the character we least expect.
This year, we’ll see a rogues’ gallery of monsters and malcontents make their way to our screens. Here are the movie villains, in no particular order, we can’t wait to watch wreak havoc in 2019.