Every DC Comics Movie Villain, Ranked From Worst To Best

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villain

If there’s one thing that DC movies are known for getting right in today’s era of superhero films, it’s their villains. From Batman’s rogues and the classic Superman baddies to pretty much the entire Suicide Squad, DC has no boundaries on what they are willing to do with their villains. DC is known for having some of the darkest, most complex villains on the silver screen, and although the beginning of this list isn’t very impressive (DC’s low-tier villains can also be really, really lame—here’s looking at you, Lenny Luthor) the further you go in the more impressive the list becomes.

Despite DC’s recent less-than-stellar Rotten Tomato scores, minus the Dark Knight trilogy, their film’s villains typically don’t receive too much flack from moviegoers (at least in the last 15 years) and they only seem to be getting better. Each time DC has started to set up its own established movie universe, critics have had a field day tearing apart their movies, but for the most part recent villains have remained safe. That wasn’t always the case, as a lot of their older theatrical villains missed the mark entirely.

In this list, you’ll be able to view all of DC’s noteworthy live action villains in order from worst to best. When you’re done, be sure to check out another one of Heroic Hollywood’s epic lists: ALL the DC’s theatrical films ranked from worst to best.

We love our DC comics, and we’re sure you do too! Keep in mind when reading this list that there are a couple animated selections, and they are included because they are from animated films that had a theatrical release.

Alright, hit next to delve into the villains…

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Josh Behr

Josh Behr

Jack of some trades, master of some others. That saying never really made a lot of sense to me.

  • Radar Technician Matt

    Glad to see that Michael Shannon’s Zod gets some recognition. By far my favorite DC villain.

  • Maximillian Pegasus

    This came out of left field.

  • Shallbecomeabat

    No way Bane should be outside of the top 5. No way. To me he was one of the best movie villains ever and I loooved his voice and look. He was legit creepy and with Ledger the best villain of the series.
    Happy that Leto’s Joker, Eisenberg’s Lex and Shannon’s Zod got their dues tho. Loved them all. I even liked Letoker a bit more than Ledger’s take. Of course Ledger was great, but something Leto did made me fear him even more.

  • Thanostic

    Michael Shannon’s Zod and Tom Hardy’s Bane are too low (both top 5 IMO), and Talia Al’Ghul should be higher as well. Generic CGI Monster – I mean, Doomsday – and DeVito’s Penguin are way too high. As much credit as DC gets for its villains (often rightly so), there are a LOT of awful ones on this list….

  • Olda Boček

    Glad to see Ozymandias in the top 10 :)

  • Olda Boček

    Glad to see Ozymandias in the top 10 :)

  • fang7124

    Amanda Waller?

    • Carl

      Yeah, the actual villain of that movie. The Squad were all heroes. They should also put Incubus on the list at the bottom. lol

  • Carl

    Why is Slipknot even on this list? People say Marvel has a villain problem, look at this sorry list. Anything below 15 on here is pretty damn awful. As well Leto Joker is garbage, none of the Suicide Squad members are villains yet as they played the role of heroes, and BvS Lex was a laughing stock to most.

    Drop out those and the animated Joker and you have a really nice top 10 list.

  • UnBoxingJon

    Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus was Heath Ledger’s last film, but yes, his Joker performance deserves to be #1.

  • Rob

    Where is Ursa from Superman II? Faora is just a copy of her and not a good one. Faora was an underdeveloped character.

    On that, how is Terrance Stamp’s Zod so low and even below the CGI plot devise, Doomsday. Based on this article, you were born after Superman II, but at the time of that movie, Zod was an iconic supervillain. You might not think so because by the time you were old enough to watch movies, he was copied a thousand times over in movies.

  • Rob

    How do you have Ozymandias in the top 10. Not only was he the one character in the Watchmen movie who betrayed his/her graphic novel version the most, he came off as a generic sociopath. In Moore’s book, he was a kindly older man who was jovial and struggled with his decision to kill thousands or even millions to save humanity as a whole. In the movie, he was emotionless and did not struggle at all with his decision to follow through with his plan.

    As a big fan of Moore’s original work, I was disappointed in the movie. They Ozymandias character was probably my biggest gripe.

  • Rob

    Catwoman (Phifer’s version, not Berry’s) should be higher. Phifer stole the show in Batman Returns. She was so good, they wanted to give her a spin off movie before people were talking about a DC cinematic universe.

  • Rob

    I don’t know how Jesse Eisenberg’s Lex Luthor is in the top 10 and higher than Gene Hackman’s version. Even a lot of fans who loved the movie thought he was the weakest spot of Batman v Superman. Sure Hackman’s portrayal was campy, his performance was magnetic. Eisenberg’s portrayal was unintentionally funny way too much.

  • Rob

    I know they were awful too, but Richard Pryor’s Superman III character and Nuclear Man were better villains that several of the ones listed at the end of these lists.

    • Carl

      Yeah how are they not on the list of every villain? Amanda Waller and Incubus should be there too instead of the heroes in SS.

  • Carl

    This is relevant.
    https://youtu.be/Wje0SdFWrzU

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  • This is so subjective… my own top five favorites: Ledger’s Joker, Hardy’s Bane, Shannon’s Zod, Harley Quinn, Nicholson’s Joker.