10 Amazing 21st-Century Movie Villains Who Aren’t Spoken About Enough

The villains who turned being evil all the way up to eleven...

Nocturnal Animals
Focus Features

The 21st century has witnessed a glut of iconic villains hosted on the silver screen for our enjoyment and entertainment. Heath Ledger’s maniacal Joker, Christoph Waltz’s terrifying Col. Hans Landa and Ralph Fiennes’ menacing Lord Voldemort are just a handful of names that fit the bill. Although these baddies are etched into the minds of many, there are plenty more where they came from.

Whether these villains have been overlooked in the grand scheme of things or they simply haven’t stuck around in the long run, they sure do leave a lasting impression nonetheless. This isn't to say they're better acted or more wicked than the previously mentioned characters, but instead that their appreciation is long overdue.

Therefore, these 10 villains are formulated effectively through the work of the actor's phenomenal performance and their character's actions to create something truly amazing that deserves more recognition. Some you may know and others you may not, but nevertheless, you certainly won't forget about them anytime soon.

10. General Zod – Man Of Steel

Nocturnal Animals
Warner Bros.

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy was almost certainly the blueprint for how DC would alter and apply a change in tone as the studio opted for a more dark and gritty approach to adapting their source material on-screen. As such, Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel was instrumental in implementing this methodology and Michael Shannon’s rejuvenated take on Superman’s famous foe played a starring role in achieving that.

Acquiring an actor of Michael Shannon’s calibre was a huge get for the DC higher-ups, as his trademark formidability and intensity complemented his comic book counterpart perfectly. Shannon’s take on Zod is a performance that couldn’t be better suited to kicking this list off. The Kryptonian General boasts an admirable sense of drive and determination, however, his ruthless nature makes him reckless as he will never stop until he avenges his beloved Krypton. He wants nothing more than to see his company and colony thrive as they did before, but to rebuild, he must first destroy.

Sharing the screen with Henry Cavill for his Superman debut is no easy feat but the supreme chemistry both actors enjoy on-screen together is equally matched by the same said chemistry they install into their respective characters. There’s no chair twirling and moustache curling to see here if that’s your kind of villain, but instead, a cannonball of fury fired onto a path of cinematic self-destruction. What’s not to like?

Posted On: 

Avid Chelsea, England cricket and Scotland rugby supporter and sufferer. Proud northerner who for some reason sounds southern. Enjoy matching a face to a name, and will watch absolutely anything Stephen Graham is in. Greatest achievement? Getting winked at by James McAvoy.