Top 10 Movies Where Bad Guys Turn Into Heroes

Who doesn’t love a good ol’ flick that shows the bad guys turn into heroes?

The protagonist has always been a fan favorite in movies, except for the few rare villains with a change of heart.

Why? It’s simple: everyone loves a redemption story! This provides a new perspective on the plot and depicts that it is never too late to seek the light.

In this article, I’ve prepared a list of films in which heels turn into faces. Please be advised that the list is based on my opinions, so it may not be what you’d expect.

Before we start, remember it doesn’t contain anti-heroes since we’re talking about bad guys through and through.

Spoiler Alert! Read At Your Own Risk!

10) Captain America: Winter Soldier – Bucky Barnes

IMDb
Release DateApril 4, 2014
CastChris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson
DirectorAnthony Russo, Joe Russo
GenreAction, Sci-fi, Adventure

Bucky Barnes, a World War II veteran and sidekick of Captain America, has had a complex career in the MCU.

He was introduced as a villain, once a mind-controlled assassin by Hydra that harmed many until his best friend, Steve Rogers, saved him.

In fact, he even attempted to assassinate Avengers “bossNick Fury. But, when he faced Captain America, he remembered his past and saved the American superhero.

With that, Barnes became a major character in the following MCU movies, “Captain America: Civil War,” and “Avengers Infinity War/Endgame.”

His journey continues in “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” where he teams up with the MCU’s new Cap, Sam Wilson.

9) Rocky III – Creed

IMDb
Release DateMay 28, 1982
CastSylvester Stallone, Talia Shire, Burt Young
DirectorSylvester Stallone
GenreDrama, Sport

Apollo Creed, the iconic Rocky villain, was initially portrayed as the egotistical heavyweight champion of the world and Rocky’s biggest rival.

He defeated Rocky in the first movie but lost to him in the second one; till then, he maintained his villain persona.

However, during the third sequel, Apollo is shown as a mentor, friend, and ally to the boxer, showing a different side of the character.

Fans loved Creed’s transformation into a good guy, which later became integral to the series.

8) Despicable Me – Gru

IMDb
Release DateJuly 9, 2010
CastSteve Carell, Jason Segel, Russell Brand
DirectorPierre Coffin, Chris Renaud
GenreAnimation, Adventure, Comedy

The evil supervillain Gru was a fearsome force who dreamed of being the world’s greatest villain; for that scheme, he even dared to steal the moon.

Coming from a long lineage of villains, evil was in his blood, but he turned to the dark side because he was bullied and could not ask a girl for a date.

In the process of stealing the moon, Gru adopts 3 orphan girls to help him but has a change of heart after bonding with each of them.

Later, he even trades the stolen goods for the girls’ safety and begins a new journey of stepping away from evil and focusing on his new family.

7) X-Men: Days of Future Past – Mystique

IMDb
Release DateMay 23, 2014
CastPatrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman
DirectorBryan Singer
GenreAction, Sci-Fi, Adventure

Mystique was the definition of a villain in the original X-Men trilogy, who traumatized the X-Men through her shapeshifting ability.

Her journey to virtue began in the 2014 classic Days of Future Past. In the movie, mutants are about to become extinct due to the development of Sentinels, robots that kill mutants.

Moreover, the idea of the robots was originally from a weapons designer, Bolivar Trask, who was assassinated by Mystique in 1973.

As a result, the government captured her, experimented on her, and went forward with the design.

So, to change this, Logan goes back in time and gets together with Xavier to change Mystique’s mind, which they eventually do; she stops Magneto from killing Trask and becomes the savior of mutants.

6) Spider-Man 2 – Dr. Otto Octavius

IMDb
Release DateJune 30, 2004
CastTobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, Alfred Molina
DirectorSam Raimi
GenreAction, Sci-Fi, Adventure

Can a villain have a noble motive and be well-intentioned? Dr. Otto Octavius was a good-hearted scientist who turned evil after a failed experiment.

After turning into a villain, he did the unthinkable; he killed a medical crew, destroyed properties, and fought Peter Parker, but his conscience didn’t let evil win over his mind.

“I will not die a monster,” said the doctor before building the courage to drown himself and everything inside of him in the fusion reactor.

All the fans loved the passionate dialogue, which showed his determination to stay the person he always was.

5) Terminator 2: Judgement Day – T-800

IMDb
Release DateJuly 3, 1991
CastArnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong
DirectorJames Cameron
GenreAction, Adventure, Sci-Fi

We all remember Arnold Schwarzenegger as the “Terminator,” a cyborg sent back in time to assassinate Sarah Connor.

The legendary villain became a pop-culture icon thanks to its unique concept and Arnold’s exceptional acting.

But his black-hat persona was about to change when he became an ally in “Terminator 2: Judgement Day.”

In the second movie, an updated version of the T-800 Terminator is sent, but this time, it is to save the target from another cyborg.

The complete personality change caught many fans off-guard and cemented his character as a top-five ‘villain turned hero.’

4) Megamind – Self

IMDb
Release DateOctober 30, 2010
CastWill Ferrell, Jonah Hill, Brad Pitt
DirectorTom McGrath
GenreAction, Animation, Adventure

Megamind is not your traditional villain who only wreaks havoc in the city and fights the hero.

He aims to be the ruler of a town, and after defeating the hero, Megamind trains another one to take his place.

If you think his purpose is grand, well, think again! He does it because he is bored.

The interesting part is that the hero he chooses to train becomes evil, and to his surprise, Megamind feels responsible for his actions and subdues him.

It turns out that the unintentional hero, Megamind, wasn’t meant to be the villain after all.

3) Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi – Darth Vader

IMDb
Release DateMay 25, 1983
CastMark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
DirectorRichard Marquand
GenreAction, Adventure, Fantasy

One of the most famous villains, Darth Vader, was once predicted to be the most powerful Jedi of all time, but the force’s dark side controlled him.

Regardless, in the end, Vader did the right thing by saving his son, Luke Skywalker, from the Emperor and stopping him from joining the Galactic Empire.

Hence, a small heroic role before his demise is why he is certified as the fan-favorite villain.

2) Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows – Severus Snape

IMDb
Release DateNovember 19, 2010
CastDaniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint
DirectorDavid Yates
GenreAction, Fantasy, Family

Severus Snape, a former professor at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, was the hero in disguise.

He was depicted as a cruel and intense person who worked with Harry‘s enemy, Lord Voldemort and even killed Dumbledore.

Nonetheless, the shady character actually had a hidden agenda and a secret allegiance to the Order of the Phoenix.

In addition, he was working with Dumbledore and only killed him to save Draco Malfroy. A truly shocking twist!

1) Thor: Ragnarok – Loki

IMDb
Release DateNovember 3, 2017
CastChris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett
DirectorTaika Waititi
GenreAction, Adventure, Comedy

God of Mischief and brother of Thor, Loki, is the beloved villain in the MCU, known for causing trouble for his brother and the inhabitants of Asgard.

He has a reputation for plotting evil schemes and tricks, but in the movie “Ragnarok,” Loki teams up with his brother to take on their evil sister.

After that, he sacrifices himself to save Thor from Thanos in the movie, “Avengers: Infinity War,” quickly turning from villain to hero.

However, his journey doesn’t end there. The introduction of time travel in “End Game” allowed a variant of Loki to escape shortly after the Battle of New York in 2012.

Then, he was captured by the Time Variance Authority and meets his multiversal variants, depicted in season 1 of the “Loki” series.

Furthermore, in the finale of “Loki” season 2, we see him spend a century finding the exact path to save his friends, which was not even a possibility for Loki in the first Thor movie.

Summary

S.NMovies- Character
1Thor: Ragnarok – Loki
2Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows – Severus Snape
3Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi – Darth Vader
4Megamind- Self
5Terminator 2: Judgement Day – T-800
6Spider-Man 2 – Dr. Otto Octavius
7X-Men: Days of Future Past – Mystique
8Despicable Me – Gru
9Rocky III – Creed
10Captain America: Winter Soldier – Bucky Barnes

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