17 Characters Who Are Charming -- But Deadly
Played by Michael C. Hall
He's a sociopath and a serial killer. And, as played by Michael C. Hall on Showtime's wildly successful series, Dexter is also strangely lovable. And we're not the only ones who think so: Hall has racked up three straight Golden Globe nominations.
Played by Anthony Hopkins
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
It's hard to believe it's been 18 years since Anthony Hopkins first scared us silly as the brilliantly disturbed Dr. Lecter in Silence of the Lambs. But even two decades — and two middling sequels — can't dilute the character's creepy intensity.
Played by Martin Sheen
A rebel with a homocidal streak, Kit (Martin Sheen) is a good-looking greaser who takes his girl Holly (Sissy Spacek) on a killing spree in Terrence Malick's classic.
JACK THE RIPPER
Played by David Warner
Time After Time (1979)
History's most infamous serial killer flees from Victorian England to 1979 San Francisco thanks to a time machine built by none other than H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell). But the author is hot on his trail, leading to a cat-and-mouse game that spans both continents and centuries.
Played by Woody Harrelson
Natural Born Killers (1994)
Playing one half of a mass-murdering couple (the other half being Juliette Lewis), Harrelson brings maniacal charm to his role in Oliver Stone's dizzy cautionary tale about the love affair between violence and the media.
Played by Michael Madsen
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
In Quentin Tarantino's seminal crime thriller, Michael Madsen's tough guy (a.k.a., Vic Vega, a.k.a., Toothpick Vic) is the most sadistic member of the group of criminals who turn on each other after a botched robbery. Fun fact: He's the brother of Pulp Fiction's Vincent Vega (John Travolta).
Played by Christian Bale
American Psycho (2000)
Bale was lethally hot as Patrick Bateman, a self-obsessed murderer who preyed on women in Mary Harron's adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' button-pushing novel.
Played by Johnny Depp
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)
Go to this guy for a trim and you'll get a lot more than your hair cut. The antihero of Stephen Sondheim's hit musical came to the big screen in 2007 thanks to director Tim Burton and actor Johnny Depp, who boldly chose to do all his own singing in the movie. The result? Depp's third Oscar nomination.
Played by Zachary Quinto
Long before he donned the Spock ears for J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, Quinto was already an expert at exuding icy calm as Heroes' menacing ubervillain, a serial killer who grew stronger by absorbing the abilities of his ''evolved'' victims.
Played by Dennis Hopper
Blue Velvet (1986)
Director David Lynch has created his share of creepy villains, but few have made as lasting an impression on audiences as Dennis Hopper's deeply disturbed killer, who turns a woman (Isabella Rossellini) into a slave of his desires by kidnapping her husband and son.
Played by Matt Damon
The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
In Anthony Minghella's lush adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel, Matt Damon was mesmerizing as the charming, murderous Tom Ripley, whose particular talents were ''forging signatures, telling lies and impersonating almost anyone.''
BONNIE PARKER AND CLYDE BARROW
Played by Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The quintessential lovers on the run, Bonnie and Clyde became icons for their outlaw style. In Arthur Penn's bloody classic, the chemistry between Dunaway and Beatty turns the real-life tale into a romantic tragedy that still resonates today.
Played by Christian Slater
A wise-cracking sociopath in the body of a handsome teenager, J.D. wreaks havoc on his high school by staging elaborate murders that look like suicides.
Played by Kathleen Turner
Serial Mom (1994)
She's pretty, polite, and the perfect suburban mom. And did we mention she's a mass murderer? A mix of Emily Post and Jack the Ripper, Kathleen Turner's psycho housewife is sure to make you think twice about wearing white after Labor Day.
Played by Heath Ledger
The Dark Knight (2008)
Heath Ledger's anarchic spin on the classic Batman villain earned the actor a posthumous Oscar and helped make Dark Knight the second-highest grossing film in history.
Played by Ralph Fiennes
The Harry Potter films (2001-present)
Known as the Dark Lord to those who dare not speak his name, this corrupted wizard represents ultimate evil in the world of J.K. Rowling's magical books. And as played by the regal Ralph Fiennes — with childhood assists from young actors like Christian Clouson, Frank Dillane, and Fiennes' own nephew, Hero Fiennes-Tiffin — it's easy to see how Voldemort could seduce anyone to the dark side.