15 Films Where the Main Character Plays the Good Guy and The Villain

In the world of cinema, the line between hero and villain is often well-defined, with protagonists striving for justice and antagonists seeking chaos or power. However, some films blur these boundaries, presenting us with characters who seamlessly transition between the roles of the good guy and the villain. Here are 15 movies where the main character takes on both sides of the moral spectrum, leaving audiences captivated by their complex journeys.

1. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)

Austin Powers Mike Myers
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Mike Myers takes on the dual roles of Austin Powers, the groovy British secret agent, and Dr. Evil, his bald and nefarious arch-nemesis. This comedic gem parodies classic spy films and showcases Myers’ versatile acting as he balances the hero and villain roles with uproarious humor.

2. Face/Off (1997)

Face/Off 1997
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

John Travolta and Nicolas Cage deliver electrifying performances in this action-packed thriller. Travolta plays FBI agent Sean Archer, while Cage portrays the ruthless terrorist Castor Troy. A groundbreaking face-transplant surgery allows them to literally become one another, blurring the lines between hero and villain in a high-stakes battle of identities.

3. Total Recall (1990)

Total Recall 1990
Image Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

In this mind-bending sci-fi film, Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as Doug Quaid, a man who may or may not be a secret agent. As the story unfolds, Quaid’s true nature becomes increasingly ambiguous, making it uncertain whether he’s the hero or the villain of his own narrative.

4. The Adventures of Pluto Nash (2002)

The Adventures of Pluto Nash 2002
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Eddie Murphy assumes the role of Pluto Nash, a retired smuggler turned nightclub owner on the moon. When his club becomes a target, he’s forced into a showdown against his former partner turned ruthless villain, creating a unique twist on the hero-villain dynamic.

5. Suspiria (2018)

Suspiria 2018
Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

Dakota Johnson’s portrayal of Susie Bannion in this psychological horror remake is nothing short of mesmerizing. As she becomes entangled in a sinister dance academy, her transformation from an innocent dancer to a character with dark secrets blurs the lines of heroism and villainy in this visually stunning and eerie film.

6. Raising Cain (1992)

Raising Cain 1992
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Brian De Palma’s thriller sees John Lithgow playing a complex character, Dr. Carter Nix. As a child psychologist with a disturbing past, Lithgow juggles both the hero and villain roles in this psychological rollercoaster, leaving audiences guessing until the very end.

7. The Dark Half (1993)

The Dark Half 1993
Image Credit: Orion Pictures.

George Romero adapted Stephen King’s novel into a gripping horror film, with Timothy Hutton taking on the role of both the struggling writer Thad Beaumont and his malevolent alter ego, George Stark. The battle between good and evil within one man’s psyche is masterfully depicted, blurring the lines of heroism and villainy.

8. Army of Darkness (1992)

Army of Darkness 1992
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Bruce Campbell returns as Ash Williams, the hero from the Evil Dead series. In this installment, Ash is accidentally transported to the past, where he must battle an army of the dead and confront his own demons. His witty and flawed heroics make it difficult to determine whether he is truly the savior or a chaotic force himself.

9. The One (2001)

The One 2001
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Jet Li plays both the hero, Gabriel Yulaw, and his evil counterpart, Gabe Law, in this sci-fi action thriller. Yulaw travels across parallel universes to eliminate his alternate selves, leading to an epic showdown between the hero and villain versions of the same character.

10. Us (2019)

Us 2019
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Jordan Peele’s thought-provoking horror film features Lupita Nyong’o in a dual role. As Adelaide Wilson and her sinister doppelgänger, Red, she explores themes of identity and duality, challenging conventional notions of hero and villain within the same character.

11. Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

greatest comedy movies of all time Dr. Strangelove 1964 Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Stanley Kubrick’s darkly comedic masterpiece features Peter Sellers in three distinct roles, including the titular Dr. Strangelove. Sellers’ portrayal of these characters, including the brilliant but unhinged scientist, blurs the lines between hero and villain in a satirical take on Cold War paranoia.

12. Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club 1999
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Edward Norton’s unnamed narrator and Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden lead a double life in this cult classic. As they form an underground fight club and a destructive anarchist movement, the blurred boundaries between hero and villain force viewers to question the nature of their rebellion.

13. Cat Ballou (1965)

Cat Ballou
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Jane Fonda stars as the titular character, Cat Ballou, a schoolteacher turned outlaw. In this Western comedy, Fonda’s character straddles the line between hero and antihero as she seeks revenge against a group of villains in a lighthearted yet morally ambiguous tale.

14. Dressed to Kill (1980)

Dressed to Kill 1980
Image Credit: American International Pictures.

Brian De Palma’s thriller features Michael Caine in a role that challenges the audience’s perception of hero and villain. His character, Dr. Robert Elliott, is enigmatic and morally complex, creating an atmosphere of suspense and intrigue.

15. Nightmare Alley (2021)

Nightmare Alley 2021
Image Credit: TSG Entertainment.

In this neo-noir psychological drama, Bradley Cooper’s character, Stanton Carlisle, evolves from a struggling carnival worker to a charismatic mentalist. As he climbs the social ladder, the line between hero and manipulative antagonist blurs, culminating in a morally ambiguous tale of ambition and deceit.

Top 25 Popular TV Shows That Would NEVER Be Made Today

The Big Bang Theory TBBT
Image Credit: Chuck Lorre Productions and Warner Bros. Television.

There is no contesting that pop culture is evolving, and what was acceptable in the past is being corrected for today. For example, many hit TV series were massive successes and would never be made today. Here are the top 25.

A Dish Best Served Cold: 12 Movies to Satisfy Your Thirst for Revenge

V for Vendetta
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Some of the most exciting films have been based on this desire for revenge. These films are suspenseful, full of action, and hard to figure out morally, with both vigilantes and people looking for payback. From classic Westerns to current thrillers and thought-provoking dramas, these films will satisfy your thirst for revenge.

16 Popular Movies That Bombed at the Box Office With Cult Followings Today

Showgirls 1995 kiss
Image Credit: MGM/UA Distribution Co.

Success doesn’t always come immediately in the unpredictable world of movies, and the first box office numbers don’t always tell the whole story. Some films that didn’t do well when they were in theaters have since developed a loyal cult following.

These movies were once ignored or passed over, but they have now won over viewers in ways that no one could have predicted based on how poorly they did at the box office.

Saturday Morning Memories: 25 Best Cartoons From the ‘60s and ‘70s

Hanna Barbara Quick Draw McGraw
Image Credit: Hanna-Barbera Productions.

Step into a time machine and return to the 1960s and 1970s, when Saturday morning cartoons were bright and exciting. These two decades were an excellent time for cartoon entertainment.

TVs came to life with various fun characters, crazy adventures, and catchy theme songs that people who grew up watching them still remember. Let’s dive into the magical world of classic Saturday morning cartoons.

25 Nostalgic Movies Everyone Needs to See at Least Once in Their Lifetime

Stand by Me 1986
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Take a trip down memory lane with this hand-picked list of classic films that have forever changed the face of cinema. These movies represent the spirit of different times and genres, from inspiring stories of friendship and adventure to terrifying suspense and beautiful romance.