Last month, this site took a look at the entirety of cinematic history and cooked up a ranking of the 50 best villains of all time. In honor of this week’s release of Man of Steel, the natural follow-up would seem to be a list of the best heroes — except, ugh, how boring are heroes? They can’t hold a candle to the villains, the supporting goons, or (especially) the antiheroes. The latter is usually defined as a protagonist with no heroic virtues or qualities, but that definition can get a little blurry; some would consider characters that are treated as heroes but have a few unlikable or unpopular qualities (like Han Solo, Dirty Harry Callahan, or Snake Plissken). But a true antihero is made of darker stuff than that. Here are a few examples — well, 50, to be precise.
50. Lester Burnham
THE FILM: American Beauty
PLAYED BY: Kevin Spacey
WHY WE REMEMBER HIM: He’s the main character and gets all the voice-over, but let’s not forget — this character’s primary motivation is nailing his teenage daughter’s best friend.