Power Ranking Danny Boyle's 10 Most Malicious Villains
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Power Ranking Danny Boyle's 10 Most Malicious Villains

By Joanna Robinson | Seriously Random Lists | April 4, 2013 | Comments ()


Danny Boyle's latest film, Trance, opens this weekend. Though I was able to see some extended clips from the film at SXSW, I've not yet seen the final product. And though there are some clear cut criminals (Rosario Dawson and Vincent Cassel) and a fairly typical patsy (James McAvoy) the completely batsh*t nature of the film which centers around reality-bending hypnosis keeps us from really know who the villain of the piece is. Though, I mean, how can it not be Cassel? The man is drenched is f*ckweaselry.


Whoever the villain ends up being, they'll join the hallowed ranks of Boyle's big bads. You have to admit, he does evil very well.

10. SWINTON -- The Beach: One of Boyle's weakest efforts but through no fault of SWINTON who SWINTONs all over this thing.
Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 11.48.11 AM.png

9. Religious Zealotry -- Sunshine: Uh, this is why you should always wear sunscreen, folks. One of the world's most-used villainous actors, Mark Strong plays the heavy in this space cabin fever plot. It's his belief that for their sins, all men must fry. It's not the most refined moral message I've ever seen, but it's thrilling. Oh and trust me, on the sunscreen.

8. Cameron Diaz's Singing Voice -- A Life Less Ordinary: Ruined a perfectly good dance number, it did.

7. Forgetting To Leave A Note -- 127 Hours: Seriously, kids, that's why you always leave a note.

6. Goddamn Mortality -- Millions: Taking mom from wee little Catholic kids and making them cry thus making me cry? Mortality, you b*tch.
Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 11.54.08 AM.png

5. Fast Moving/Rage Infected Zombies -- 28 Days Later: My favorite take on the zombie survivalist genre ever. That's right, suck it hard, "The Walking Dead." Let's ignore the "rage infected" bit, because it's just silly and there's nothing silly about these fuckers.
Screen Shot 2013-04-04 at 11.23.12 AM.png

4. Heroin -- Trainspotting: It makes you see this kind of sh*t and that is the most evil thing I can imagine.

3. The Rigid Socio-Economic And Class Disparity In Modern Day India -- Slumdog Millionaire: In true Dickensian fashion, it's not the big bad mobsters who are the real criminals in this film, it's the terrible poverty and lack of legitimate social mobility. This film gets a lot of crap for being too overly saccharine and sentimental, but I think it's one of Boyle's finest stories. Even if it does end with the Bhangra.
Slumdog Millionaire.jpg

2. Fucking Roommates...Man -- Shallow Grave: If they're not leaving their dishes in the sink, they're holed up in the crawl space plotting your demise.

1. This Guy. Again. -- 28 Days Later: Eccleston, you bastard. Okay the real bad news in this story is not the fast-moving mother*ckers I mentioned above, it's the people who are still "human" who've lost every shred of humanity. That terrifying reality is personified perfectly by Christopher Eccleston's Major Henry West. He's a hard one to top.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • John G.

    Oh Danny Boyle, I miss the old you. What's a Little Murder Between Friends (ie. shallow grave), Trainspotting, and 28 Days Later are some of the best things from my 90s. Too bad you started making crap after that.

    Millions, Sunshine, Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours

    What happened?

  • Steph

    My problem with his recent stuff is he uses weak premises for films. He makes the best film possible, given the source material, but he's still capable of much better. Also, setting films outside of the UK is generally not a good idea for him.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I <3 Danny Boyle, and he was just delightful on The Daily Show last night.

  • Grafty

    Okay, where the hell is Begbie?

  • PDamian

    Saccharine, sentimental, treacly, syrupy ... call it what you will, Slumdog Millionaire is still one of my favorite movies, and I don't care who knows it. Also, I have lovely memories of watching a TV split screen of Boyle sitting with Frieda Pinto and Dev Patel as the Oscar nominations were being announced, and Patel totally losing his shit when nominations for Boyle and Slumdog were announced.

  • Robert

    Danny Boyle directed Millions? I feel like I should have known that before I passed on seeing it in theaters.

  • goon

    Where is Begbie?

  • AngelenoEwok

    I clicked this just to see who would be the "villian" of 127 Hours. Rocks? Nature? Franco's Squint (TM)? But you trounced all those ideas. Excellent work, JoRo!

  • $1754390

    woah, I had NO idea that was Mark Strong in Sunshine. neato.

    agreed on No. 1, he was horrible


  • Torgo

    Shallow Grave has one of the *best* endings I have ever seen. Ever.

    And agreed on Cameron Diaz's voice. At least The Mask dubbed it. *shudder*

  • Mrs. Julien

    My recollection is that the only person who behaved honestly won, too.

  • JJ

    Number one should be Rowan Atkinson as Mr. Bean in the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony. All of his shenanigans over the years are accidental? I'm not buying it. He's a villainous mastermind, he is.

  • Zirza

    If there is anything I would have liked to see better than Mr. Bean during the opening ceremony it's Blackadder, hosting the ceremony.

  • Not related but Roger Ebert has died.

    Really hard to believe I ain't ever going to read another one of his reviews. I didn't always agree with him...but he was always a good read.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Contractually-Obligated Observation: Vincent Cassel looks like he is about to garrote someone.

    Is Danny Boyle the king of great movies you never want to see again? Discuss.

  • $23348352

    That crown goes to Christopher Guest. I can recite the whole of Best In Show front to back.

  • DataAngel

    Danny Boyle is the king of great movies I've watched too many times. Seriously, you do not want to know how many times I've seen Trainspotting, Shallow Grave, 28 Days Later, and Life Less Ordinary.

  • Bea Pants

    No, that's Aronofsky or possibly Gasper Noe

  • Captain_Tuttle

    I think he looks a bit like a flounder. L'homme must have the best peripheral vision ever.

  • TheShitWizard

    That is one sexy flounder...

  • Mrs. Julien

    My recollection of Shallow Grave is that my brain kept asking, "Who is that?" with gradually increasing levels of volume and impatience. It was almost deafening by the time the knife hit the floor.

  • fracas

    No Franco Begbie? He was an evil feck even without the heroin.

  • Zirza

    He'd be my choice too. Begbie is my nightmare.

  • llp

    I remember renting Shallow Grave, from the foreign film section, and being absolutely blown away by Ewan McGregor. It was the start of a long love affair.

  • Maguita NYC

    Aaah, to be blown by Ewan McGregor...

  • Tinkerville

    Now I need to rewatch 28 Days Later this weekend. Such a damn good movie.

  • $27019454

    As I scrolled, I was stoked! to see 28 Days Later, my favorite everever, and yeah the Rage-walkers were Guh-Narly, but I was a little disappointed not to see...Oh, there you are you motherfucking rape-monger Eccelston! My favorite Doctor! He and his band of rapists were the WORST.

    What I love about 28 Days is it takes the time to at least take a stab at the "why and what happens next" of the zombie-hood. Plus it had a Rage-Zombie Catholic priest. Heeeee.

  • profession: none, or starlet

    "I promised them women." Shudder,

  • $27019454


  • MissAmynae

    Fast zombies scare the living fuckery out of me, so I have not braved 28 Days Later yet. BUT considering the reviews, and if it has Eccleston in addition to Cillian Murphy...might be worth the peepants.

  • poopnado

    I'm not into horror movies because I scare easily and have a propensity for pants-peeing, but 28 Days Later was worth it. I've seen it multiple times, and it is hella scary, but so darn well-made that I can't look away. Wear an adult diaper. The kid ones don't cut it.

  • MissAmynae

    Excellent. I adore scary movies and getting creeped out in general, but my husband makes fun of me because he's an ass and I'm jumpy. I get him back by randomly showing up as Samara from The Ring. Hehehe.

  • Sofia Carter

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  • MissAmynae

    oooh, i feel so special- Finally got a Spam reply!!!

    Get off my thread, you fucker.

  • Bert_McGurt

    It's also got Brendan Gleeson. Who you'll likely enjoy for different reasons, but still.

  • MissAmynae

    He is the shit. Between Mad-Eye Moody and The Guard, I'll watch him in anything.

  • Bert_McGurt

    I thought precisely the same. "Hey, what about Eccle...oh, nevermind."

    And I had no idea that Boyle directed The Beach. Nor did I know who SWINTON was at the time. But I DO remember her character being weirdly, ominously, irresistibly sexy. So that buttons things up nicely in the convoluted funhouse that is my Brain-Land.

  • Melissa D

    Trivia - The Beach is why Boyle had a fallout with Ewan McGregor. Ewan was his main man for three movies (Shallow Grave, Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary), and he was meant to be the lead in The Beach. They decided to go with Leo DiCaprio, because he had more star power and they (there was a group of three: writer, producer, director) felt Leo would be their big US breakout, I guess.

    What I'm saying is that I was REALLY into Ewan McGregor for awhile. Pillow Book, anyone? Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.

  • DataAngel

    Pillow Book and Nora.....

  • Ponytail

    Me too - as soon as I saw the title of the piece, I was thinking "Well, that Eccleston character from "28 Days Later" would be my bet" and yay !

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