There were plenty of villains to choose from in 2018. From real-life monsters to the return of a classic, 2018 offered a bounty of great villains and great actors taking on those roles. One of the biggest players in movies, Marvel, finally made some memorable villains, so those will be included here in various positions. The world is full of terrifying villains all over the place. Hopefully, these villains can distract you for a few hours.
18. Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) in Solo: A Star Wars Story
Behind every villain, there is usually a bigger and better villain. That is certainly the case with Dryden Vos. As the public facing leader of Crimson Dawn, Vos manages activities and reports directly to a Sith Lord. During his tenure, he acquired Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) as his lieutenant. This important because it comes back to bite him. He also had Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) stealing coaxium for the Crimson Dawn. Beckett meets Han Solo during these missions and the rest is history. We get to see Dyrden Vos in action, but he doesn’t prove too difficult for Qi’ra.
17. Steve Lift (Armie Hammer) in Sorry to Bother You
Who does Steve Lift remind you of? He is the CEO of Worry Free, a company that provides free food and housing for its employees. The only catch: It is a lifelong labor contract. A commentary on the Amazon’s and Walmart’s of the world, Sorry to Bother You’s antagonist is only concerned with how he can make the next buck. He deceives the world by providing labor that can end homelessness and poverty, but the people who work for him are nothing more than farm animals.
16. Sonny Burch (Walton Goggins) in Ant-Man and the Wasp
Sonny Burch’s character in Ant-Man and the Wasp consists of being a villain in a large scale game of Monkey in the Middle. He is a gangster who deals with black-market technology. The kind of technology that Hope van Dyne (Evangeline Lilly) and Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) need to complete their gate into the Quantum Realm. Burch actually spends a lot of the movie chasing after the shrunken laboratory that Dyne and Pym can move at any time. He believes that the technology will make him rich and he’ll do anything in order to obtain it. Some of his best sequences actually come when in contact with Luis (Michael Pena) and the X-Con Security Consultants. Truth serum will never stop being funny.
15. Ivan (Dolph Lundgren) and Viktor Drago (Florian Munteanu) in Creed 2
You might think this is a cheat because this is technically two different characters, but let me explain. If Ivan Drago could physically get in the ring and fight Adonis Creed (Michael B. Jordan), that would be the script of this movie. Ivan Drago is given a lot more depth this time around, but that comes at the expense of Viktor. Ivan has a grudge to settle, while Viktor is just carrying out his father’s will. Viktor comes across as nothing more than a cipher for his father. One of these characters is where the story flows from, the other is where the action comes from. With their power combined, the Drago’s can take on Creed.
14. Ghost (Hannah John-Kamen) in Ant-Man and the Wasp
Ghost is part of the new Marvel ideal of villains. Instead of being hellbent on taking over the world, the great Marvel villains of 2018 all have some emotional heft. As I said in my review, Ghost simply wants to be human again. An experiment gone wrong led to Ghost phasing between the real world and the Quantum Realm. It takes a physical toll on her body and the cure lies in the research of Hank Pym. She is given a background similar to the Winter Soldier, which helps explain why she is a worthy adversary for Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and the Wasp.
13. The Shape (James Jude Courtney and Nick Castle) in Halloween
How could we not mention our good buddy Michael Myers? Played by James Jude Courtney and original Micheal Myers actor, Nick Castle, The Shape has returned to bring more death and carnage to Haddonfield. Myers has been imprisoned for 40 years after the massacre on Halloween night that traumatized Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). Strode has been waiting for the day that Myers would escape so that she can kill the demon that haunts her every living day. Myers is as terrifying as he has ever been in this film; collecting teeth, murdering babysitters, and curb stomping his victims. While some things may change, The Shape will also be horrific.
12. Eleanor Young (Michelle Yeoh) in Crazy Rich Asians
Michelle Yeoh did not want to play Eleanor Young as a tiger mom. The term is often used to describe a mother who provides strict parenting to her child. This is often used to push the child to succeed in high levels of academic achievement. Instead Eleanor Young uses her determination and power only to stay ahead in a world that continues to push her down. From the moment Rachel Chu (Constance Wu) meets her Young, the only thing that will come from that icy relationship is disapproval. Eleanor is not the antagonist because she has a mean streak, she has been put in that position by society and a need to make sure her son marries a wealthy, intelligent Chinese girl.
11. The Nail (Rusty Nail) in A Quiet Place
John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place does have real antagonists. They are alien-like creatures that react to sound and kill you in an instance. Good in theory, poor in practice. The greatest enemy in A Quiet Place is a simple rusty nail. This nail isn’t doing anything particularly villainous, but it is positioned in a way to go straight through Emily Blunt’s bare foot. That nail causes so much anguish and pain, that nothing else really matters from that point on. When you come out of A Quiet Place, the only thing you can really think about is that damn nail.
10. Lee Israel (Melissa McCarthy) in Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Society drives Lee Israel to become the villain of her story. If only society was interested in her novels. If only society were able to accept her lifestyle. If only society realized she really just wanted to be left alone. Lee Israel decides that although her writing is not valuable, she is certainly capable of replicating writing from other novelists. McCarthy shows off her acting chops to the full potential here, proving that she shouldn’t be pigeonholed into a type and is capable of a lot more. As for Israel? She ended up with a story worth telling; one of lying, cheating, and friendship.