2013 was a good year to be bad. This year's best villains weren't just goons with guns -- although there were a few great examples of those. (Here's looking at you, Sean Penn.) We also hissed at slave-owners, inventors, seducers, producers, and a couple of amazing women who left an impression without barely speaking a word -- plus another mom who couldn't stop talking and never said anything nice. With less than a month left in 2013, Voice film critics present these 20 memorably nasty characters who made us want to throw popcorn at the screen.
See also: 9 Best Holiday Movies from the 1990s
20. Olga Kurkulina as Mother Russia in Kick-Ass 2.
From the review: "The Mother Fucker hires assassins and MMA types to serve as his own supervillain crew, the Toxic Mega Cunts, including former KGB killer Mother Russia, a giantess whose one-on-one with Hit-Girl does not disappoint."
19. Matthew Goode as Charlie Stoker in Stoker.
From the review: "For all that, the film is beautifully acted. Goode is saddled with the most obviously whacked character, yet he wields his pretty-boy features and prim-and-proper accent to chilling effect, at least until revelations about his true nature drag Charlie into even more silly territory."
18. Barkhad Abdi as Abduwali Muse in Captain Phillips.
From the review: "Explanation doesn't necessarily equal justification, but these are some rough, nasty (if confused) guys. [Director Paul Greengrass] of course needs to humanize them, and the actors he's chosen to portray them -- particularly Barkhad Abdi as the leader, Muse, and Barkhad Abdirahman as addled teenager Bilal -- are superb."
Photo by Frank Masi, SMPSP - © 2012 - Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Bruce Willis and John Moore in A Good Day to Die Hard
17. The villains of A Good Day to Die Hard are the producers, writers and director.
From the review: "Late in the film, as their brains jigsaw director John Moore's shots into their own individual narratives, audiences might discern that the heroes have once again leapt from a building without first looking down."
16. Sean Penn as Mickey Cohen in Gangster Squad.
From the review: "As Gangster Squad opens, boss Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), well on his way to establishing an empire of vice, is the snake in the West Coast Eden of prosperous Los Angeles circa 1949."
15. Meryl Streep as Violet Weston in August: Osage County (Wide release: December 25)
14. Jim Carrey as Steve Gray in The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.
From the review: "The supporting cast is all first-rate. Wilde is asked to do nothing more than be pretty and earnest and put-upon, but Jim Carrey turns up as a controlled grotesque, a self-abusing "magician" whose act is all about violations of his own body. Done up like a goonish Brad Pitt, or regular Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Carrey applies his cartoon expressiveness to its most judicious ends in years."
13. Steve Carell as Trent in The Way Way Back.
From the review: [Fourteen-year-old Duncan], an everyteen we're supposed to feel sorry for -- his parents are divorced, his mom (Toni Collette) has found herself a dick boyfriend, Trent (Steve Carell)."
12. Donald Sutherland as President Snow in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
From the review: "The evil elders of Panem -- led by Donald Sutherland, a naughty big-daddy silver fox if ever there was one -- recognize that her rebellious streak and celebrity status threaten their omnipotence. Their solution: forcing her to her compete in a sort of all-star Hunger Games playoff, devising even deadlier challenges than they did last time."
11. Will Forte as Chester V in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
From the review: "Chester is the inventor of his own life-changing pocket-sized rectangle: a food bar. Though busy tinkering with an update, the Food Bar 8.0, Chester promises a solution the citizens can't resist: He'll send his minions to scrape off the cheese and temporarily relocate everyone to the city of San Franjose. Better still, he'll hire Flint for an entry-level job at Live Corp, a lightbulb-shaped genius factory with a coffee station every 15 feet."
10. Edward James Olmos as Papi Greco in 2 Guns.
From the review: "Bobby and Stig kick off the proceedings by robbing a small-town bank. Later, we learn more about why. (A Mexican drug kingpin played by Edward James Olmos has something to do with it.)"
Photo by Peter Mountain - © 2013 - Disney Enterprises, Inc. and Jerry Bruckheimer Inc. All Rights Reserved.
9. William Fichtner as Butch Cavendish in The Lone Ranger.
From the review: He's a "a captured lawbreaker with criminally bad teeth."
8. Robbie Jones as Harley in Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor.
From the review: "Temptation is a conservative morality tale in which young married therapist Judith (Jurnee Smollett-Bell) begins to fall for a billionaire, Harley (Robbie Jones), who may be investing in her matchmaking company."
7. Peter Stormare as Burrell in The Last Stand.
From the review: "A veritable feature-length advertisement for assault weapons and the Second Amendment, The Last Stand marks the Hollywood debut of prolific Korean genre director Kim Jee-woon, who seems to have tamped down his florid extravagance for American consumption -- particularly during the movie's dreary, expository first hour."
6. Stacy Keach as Ed Pegram in Nebraska
As Ed Pegram, a small-town money grubber who takes advantage of another old man with early dementia, Nebraska's Stacy Keach is the septuagenarian we loved to hate. Never thought you'd root for a geezer to get punched in the face? Keach's loathsome, but all-too-believable jerk will change your mind. And he does a great karaoke version of Elvis's "In the Ghetto."
5. Mel Gibson as Luther Voz in Machete Kills.
From the review: "Kills tops the 2010 original by not giving a mierda about logic or character. Not that these characters aren't interesting: Mel Gibson plays a precognitive scientist cult leader. It's just that, if you're a character in a Machete movie, your lifespan is about as long as it takes to eat a taco."
4. Antje Traue as Faora-Ul in Man of Steel.
From the review: "If you've seen it all before -- and you have -- you won't be surprised to learn that huge swathes of the city are destroyed, 9/11-style, at the hands of General Zod and his destructo-spaceship. (It hovers menacingly over the skyline, like a malevolent gray lobster with three pincers.)"
3. Michael Fassbender as Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave.
From the review: "In one scene, Fassbender's creepy plantation owner forces Ejiofor's Solomon to whip a female slave who has sneaked away to a neighboring plantation for a bar of soap."
2. Danny McBride in This is the End.
From the review, a movie with "sharting, the titty-fucking of overweight men, the unstoppable epic-ness of Danny McBride's masturbation."
1. Ben Kingsley as The Mandarin in Iron Man 3.
From the review: "The villains in Iron Man 3, for example, include the Mandarin, a pointy-bearded sage who's half Osama bin Laden, half Ming the Merciless. He's played with bug-eyed hamminess by Ben Kingsley, and the movie is spooky, silly, or both whenever he's onscreen."
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