The hero conquers incredible odds and defeats the villain; that movies are supposed to work. Every once in a while, there's a film where we find ourselves rooting for the villain instead. Check out this list of likable villains that we love to watch!
One of everyone's favorite villains of all time is Dr. Evil from the Austin Powers movies. This character is hilarious, because he sticks to all the classic Bond villain stereotypes while spouting off pop culture references and quotable one-liners. It's hard to hate a villain that wants "frickin' sharks with frickin' laser beams attached to their heads."
Zoolander is one of the most quotable movies of all time, and the character of Mugatu is no exception. This evil fashion designer is actually one of the most down-to-Earth characters in a movie full of bizarre personalities, but just makes him more believable and likable. If Zoolander ever gets a sequel, then Mugatu needs to be a part of it.
While Jack Sparrow stole the show in Pirates of the Caribbean, don't forget about the greatness of Captain Barbossa. This cursed pirate captain has a ton of personality, and his sarcastic brand of humor is a nice addition to the story. Barbossa also has a pet monkey, which is hard to beat.
Movie villains don't get much more memorable than Darth Vader. His character is the embodiment of the evil Galactic Empire in the Star Wars series, even though Emperor Palpatine was the mastermind behind the whole plot. His badass attitude makes him undeniably cool, and his eventual choice to save Luke gives him a human element that's hard to hate.
The Emperor's New Groove remains one of the most creative and comical Disney movies of all time, and the film's villain is also one of the most likeable. Yzma is Emperor Cuzco's adviser, but she is secretly a mad scientist determined to take over the throne. At first Yzma seems like a serious character, but she'sconstantly involved in comical gags throughout the film. In the end, she's even turned into a fluffy kitten!
Robert De Niro's performance as legendary gangster Al Capone in The Untouchables was nothing short of genius. While Capone is obviously a bad guy, he's charming and unforgettable in this film. Despite his vulgar language and violent actions, don't be surprised when you find yourself rooting for this mobster.
If you passed up on watching Amadeus, you need to go back and watch this amazing film. Not only does it spotlight Mozart's greatest music, it features a brilliant story of jealously, vengeance, and regret. The main character, who ironically becomes the villain, is composer Antonio Salieri. His constant struggle to become the best is very relatable, so you'll probably sympathize with his plight.
Die Hard is a classic action movie with one of the most underrated villains ever seen on film. The character of Hans Gruber is smart, calculated, and confident. He won't let anything get in the way of his goal, which makes the moment when he finally opens the vault much more special. He's also the perfect enemy for the hero, which makes it a shame that he ultimately meets his end.
Vizzini is not the main villain of The Princess Bride, but he's probably the most amusing character in the film. He views himself as a genius, so it's "inconceivable" when his plans fail. Vizzini's struggle comes to a head when he challenges the main character to a battle of wits. It's a shame that his funny voice and flawed logic ended so early in the film.
In the X-Men films, Magneto serves as the antagonist, but also as something of an antihero. His close friendship with Professor X and his troubled childhood make it hard to dislike this super villain. It's not like Magneto is completely evil either, as he is fighting for the rights of mutants. With a slightly different storyline, he could have been a great main character.
The school principal is almost always a villain in a movie about school children. However, Principal Ed Rooney in Ferris Bueller's Day Off is actually a likable guy. Sure, he's a little too determined to catch Bueller skipping school, but he's just doing his job. Plus, the movie wouldn't be nearly as funny without Rooney landing in all those awkward situations.
The comedic trio of Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Martin Short in Three Amigos is hard to top, but the main villain still manages to get some laughs. El Guapo is the leader of a mercenary band of thieves, and on the outside he's the rough and gritty character you'd expect. However, there are a few moments where you see his lighter and more likable personality, like when he receives a sweater as a present from his men.
Gordon Gekko is the villain of the classic movie, Wall Street. He's one of the richest fictional characters ever, but he gained his massive fortune from illegal insider trading. His "greed is good" speech is one of the most memorable moments of the movie. There's a reason why they brought this classic character back in the sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Balls of Fury has some funny moments, and most of them are due Christopher Walken's performance as Feng. This ping pong master and black market arms dealer (enough said) has some of the best lines in the movie. It's really a shame that Feng didn't have a bigger role on screen.
Law Abiding Citizen is an intense and violent thriller, and it's also a movie where you find yourself rooting for the villain. Clyde Shelton starts out as a victim at the beginning of the film and then carefully executes his revenge. While you want the "good guys" to figure out the mystery, you're secretly hoping that Shelton succeeds.