The Joker? Magneto? Anton Chigurh? Who made the list?
Col. Hans Landa - 'Inglourious Basterds'
Christoph Waltz deservedly won an Oscar for his diabolical performance as Nazi Colonel Hans Landa in Tarantino's 2009 revisionist WWII action flick, somehow managing to steal the film right from under the nose of bold-faced lead actor Brad Pitt. Key to Waltz's successful portrayal is how he manages to wring maximum terror out of Landa's air of geniality, his Cheshire Cat's grin serving as a clever mask with which to disguise his true motives. What's most unnerving, perhaps, is that as members of the audience we too find ourselves being drawn in by Landa's charms, even as we hate ourselves for allowing it to happen.
- Chris Eggertsen