Top 10 Best Movie Bad Guy Names

Script written by Liam Hillery It's not what they call you; it's what you answer to. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Best Movie Bad Guy Names. For this list, we've sought out the villains in film with names that strike fear in their enemies and reflect the evil their actions perpetuate. Special thanks to our user Jeff Sine for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Liam Hillery

Top 10 Best Bad Guy Names

It’s not what they call you; it’s what you answer to. Welcome to and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 best bad guy names in movies.

For this list, we’ve sought out the villains in film with names that strike fear in their enemies and reflect the evil their actions perpetuate. We are also taking into account the extent to which these names and the characters that hold them have cemented their places in pop culture.

#10: Hans Gruber
“Die Hard” (1988)

There’s just something about German names that make them great for the bad guys. Some may say it’s because of World War II and the Cold War, but we like to think it has something to do with Hans Gruber. In this action flick, Alan Rickman redefined the modern villain, rejecting the cat-stroking, mustache-twirling bad guy archetype, and instead portraying a character with deep layers of extreme intelligence and sinister brutality. The name Gruber translates to mean “hollow,” which we think accurately describes the hollow pit where this bad guy’s heart should be. Now when filmmakers look to make a villain, they’ll often look to Hans Gruber.

#9: Keyser Söze
“The Usual Suspects” (1995)

The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. In this film, the only thing we really know about Keyser Söze is his name, which begs the question, is this guy even real? The answers we receive as the mystery crime thriller progresses only increase our intrigue, as nobody can identify this villain, but all fear him. Legend has it he killed his own family rather than give in to Hungarian mobsters, but we’ll never really know. With this bad guy, you’re left in the dark. But the name is enough.

#8: Sauron
“The Lord of the Rings” franchise (2001-03)

This Dark Lord holds the most feared name in Middle-earth, even in death. In making the One Ring, Sauron forged a connection with the ring that kept his spirit alive even when he was struck down and apparently killed by Isildur. As long as the One Ring lives on, so does Sauron, and his relentless pursuit of domination. Word of Sauron and his menacing forces sends waves of terror through Middle-earth, forcing most to flee rather than fight his impending evil reign. You cannot escape his all-seeing eye.

#7: Judge Doom
“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988)

It’s pretty rare to see an animated movie villain reduce audiences to tears, but Judge Doom manages to get the job done. This guy is crazy scary, yet somehow he became the all-powerful judge of ToonTown’s District Superior Court. Judge does exactly what his name suggests, bringing doom to the citizens of Toontown, regularly sentencing them to death by way of the “Dip,” when he throws them into a chemical vat and watches them melt. To think, he does this all just to build a freeway. When the guy leading your town has a name like that, you better not slip up.

#6: Maleficent
“Sleeping Beauty” (1959)

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most evil one of all? In this Disney animated classic, the answer is definitely Maleficent. Her name literally means “capable of evil,” and this character likes to demonstrate her menace through… you guessed it… death. The “Mistress of All Evil” curses Princess Aurora to die on her sixteenth birthday just because she wasn’t invited to the christening. Insecure? Maybe, but regardless, this witch is ruthlessly determined to spread evil. Of course, her name was a fair warning. Next time, save yourselves the trouble and invite this wicked witch.

#5: Freddy Krueger

“A Nightmare on Elm Street” franchise (1984-)
You better not fall asleep, because the most famous man in horror is coming to get you. We love you Jason Voorhees, but there’s a reason everyone knows the name Freddy Krueger: He. Is. Terrifying. Your worst nightmare, Freddy is beyond scary to look at, as he sports a melted, burned up face. You also can’t hide from him, because he kills you from inside your dreams - and no matter how hard you resist, you have to sleep at some point. Thebest we can do is wish you luck and hope you escape an encounter with the biggest, baddest name in slasher movie history.

#4: Lex Luthor
“Superman” franchise (1978-)

This bad guy’s real name – Alexander - actually translates roughly to Defending or Protector of Men, and in a perverted way, he may think that’s what he’s doing. Through his actions, however, Lex Luthor actually does the exact opposite. In trying to rid the world of Superman, the real defender of men, Luthor believes the ends justify the means and deliberately harms the people of Metropolis – all in the name of helping them, of course. One of the top super villains of all time, Luthor’s name has now been cemented in pop culture history, representing the ultimate rich evil genius.

#3: Lord Voldemort
“Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)

The Dark Lord, You-Know-Who, Tom Riddle, He-who-must-not-be-named; this bad guy has plenty of names, but the one he’s most known for is the one that puts the fear of death in almost every wizard: Lord Voldemort. The leader of the Death Eaters, Voldemort is hell-bent on ridding the wizarding world of Muggle blood. His first attempt failed thanks to the Potters, but he left behind a bloody trail of bodies that nobody has since forgotten. Afterwards, no one had the courage to say his name, save for Harry, in fear that he would come again. That worked out well.

#2: Dr. Hannibal Lecter
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

There are plenty of names that will scare you, but Hannibal Lecter is the one that will send shivers down your spine. Lecter projects an air of elegance and even care, but beneath the surface lies a demented serial killer, going so far as to wear the face of one of his victims. But Lecter’s true sinister beauty lies in the nickname he was made for: Hannibal the Cannibal. He literally dines on his victims… with some fava beans and a nice Chianti, naturally.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Immortan Joe
“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
“Batman” franchise (1989-)
“The Lion King” (1994)
The Wicked Witch of the West
“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
Dr. Evil
“Austin Powers” franchise (1997-2002)
Xenia Onatopp
“GoldenEye” (1995)

#1: Darth Vader
“Star Wars” franchise (1977-)

Kylo Ren is a pretty badass villain name, but his hero, the original “Star Wars” villain, takes our top spot. Darth Vader roughly translates to “Dark Father,” in German and Dutch, according to George Lucas, which kind of makes his name a spoiler in retrospect. He is the perpetuator of evil and darkness as he serves the Galactic Empire. Whatever his name is supposed to mean, though, it became known as the most feared moniker in the entire galaxy far, far away, and is now probably the most well known name of all movie villains.

Do you agree with our list? Which bad guy do you think has the coolest name? For more frightening Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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