The villain of a story drives the narrative, giving the hero something to fight against and giving the audience a character to hate. No story of heroes is any good without an awesome villain to counteract them. As much as their actions tell us to hate them, here are movie villains we can’t help but love.

Of course everyone loves their heroes. But deep down, in the dingy dirty recesses of our souls, we love our villains even more. Their status as outsiders confuses us, their charm or psychosis intrigues us, and their existence simply scares us.

These are the greatest, most vile movie characters we love to hate;

Magneto (X -Men)

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X-men fans, admit it you have told yourself at least once that Magnetos take on the war between the humans and the mutants is correct, and Professor Xavier is an optimistic fool. Michael Fassbender and Sir Ian McKellen were brilliant as Magneto in the X-Men movies, and you can almost look beyond the present when he says, We are the future, Charles, not them. They no longer matter.

Hannibal Lecter, (The Silence of the Lambs)

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Dr. Hannibal Lecter isn’t just a sociopathic serial killer; he’s a vicious cannibal whose pulse remains perfectly steady when he rips someone’s throat out with his teeth. He plays mind games with everyone around him, reducing people to quivering messes through the sheer power of psychology. He best known in the portrayal of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs, and recently Mads Mikkelsen in the TV series Hannibal.

But he’s just so charming! Played with charismatic menace by Anthony Hopkins, Hannibal is a man of fine tastes, an educated and articulate scholar who would make one heck of a dinner guest.

The Joker  (The Dark Knight)

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A hideously scarred mystery terrorist with a thing for purple suits and sloppy clown makeup, Heath Ledger’s take on the Joker has already entered the canon of iconic movie villains and for good reason. You’ll feel bad later about enjoying his horrible antics as much as you do, but it’s worth it.

For most, the Joker is synonymous with Heath Ledger. While Heath Ledger was probably the best personification of this Batmans nemesis, the character of the Joker itself is so different from other villains that it is impossible not to be swayed by him. Though he too has a sob story behind him, he does not do anything to avenge anything his motive is pure anarchy.

Darth Vader (Star Wars) 

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The evil master of the Dark side, is one of the most popular villains. For some, it is the reason for his transformation from Anakin Skywalker; for others it is his badass suit and dialogues but there is hardly any Star Wars fan who does not give Vader his due respect.

No else deserves the honor above our very own dark lord of the sith. It’s rare in film to see a character so depraved reach an actually plausible moment of redemption, a villain defined full circle.

Amrish Puri (mr. India)

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Believe it or not, one of the reasons Mr. India is still stuck in our heads is because of Mogambo, played by Amrish Puri. Mogambo was completely over the top with a strange costume, a stick and a throne surrounded by his loyalists. He became the very definition of evil. Mogambo was so bad that it made Mr. India a better hero.

If anybody deserves to be called “the best villain” in Bollywood, then it’s none other than the Great Amrish Puri. He was a versatile actor who played the ultimate greatest evil badass boss.

Sanjay Dutt (Agneepath)

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His wicked smile, puffed-up eyes and dreadful look in the upcoming Agneepath has attracted appreciation from all quarters for actor Sanjay Dutt, who, however, says his ‘villainous’ act did scare him as well. In Karan Johar’s Agneepath, Sanjay plays the baddie Kancha. 

In the remake version, the villain, played by Sanjay, will be seen as bald, with bulky physique, tattoos on his arms, a silver ring on top of his left ear and a black outfit. The 52-year-old actor says, he himself had got scared on seeing his own evil side as Kancha.

Lord Voldemort (Harry Potter)

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Lord Voldemort is a fictional character in J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. His remarkable intelligence, an undying thirst for power and his ostracism from the normal life counterbalances his inability to love, his evil magic and his fear of death and this makes for one of the best villains ever.

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