The 50 Best Movie Characters Of 2013

Alien(s), super-villains, and Danny McBride top our list of best movie characters.

This wasn’t just an incredible year for movies; it was an incredible year for characters in those movies, and more specifically the diversity of those characters. From super-villains to Jersey housewives; from dragons to lost cats; elves, aliens, computer programs, drunks fighting the apocalypse, astronauts, spring breakers; and also, Danny McBride. This was easily the most quotable, notable year for screen characters in recent memory.

In honor of that, here’s MTV’s Top 50 Movie Characters of 2013 (which believe us, was hard to narrow down):


50. Barbara Sugarman, “Don Jon”

If there was such a thing as the New Jersey Oscars, Scarlett Johansson’s win would totally be in the bag. Not just because she’s one of the few hard-Jerze characters out there, but because she’s so fully Garden Stated out. Beyond the accent, gum smacking and pleather leggings, there’s a rom-com-obsessed foil to Jon’s porn-addicted protagonist. Just don’t talk about vacuuming in front of her, and it’ll all be cool. (Because it’s not sexy, that’s why.) — Kase Wickman


49. Uncle Charlie, “Stoker”

Everyone has an Uncle Charlie, right? You know, the kooky uncle that has an eye for your mom, possibly you, and may have had something to do with the mysterious death your father? No? Just India Stoker? OK. – Kevin Sullivan


48. Ron Burgundy, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

He’s a rude, loud, egotistical misogynist, but boy, does he have amazing hair. The boisterous anchorman is many things, but classy isn’t one of them. So when he sets out to reclaim his name leading the first 24-hour newscast, we know it’ll be at any cost. On paper he might actually be one of the worst characters ever, but Will Ferrell’s personal magic on-screen makes Ron Burgundy a comic force to be reckoned with. He makes you overlook the maniacal self-absorption and actually think, maybe God really did put him on Earth to be number one. Did we mention he has amazing hair? – Natasha Chandel


47. Rebecca, “The Bling Ring”

Rebecca is the girl you love to hate. You know the one: you’re envious of her hair, her looks and her cool demeanor, but inside you just wish she would call you her friend. And her wardrobe? To die for. But that wardrobe, you see, isn’t even hers. Inside, she just wants to be part of an even more elite crowd of “cool girls,” one that includes movie stars and models. But the difference between you and she is that Rebecca, unlike you, has the balls to break into the stars’ (poorly secured) homes. While her successful turn as an A-list burglar only makes your hatred boil, you take solace in the fact that — as the real-life story goes — Rebecca eventually gets what’s coming to her. Hey, you might not have her chutzpah, but you also probably didn’t have to serve time for your wardrobe. – Sophie Schillaci


46. Owen, “The Way Way Back”

Equal parts sarcastic and earnest, Sam Rockwell’s Owen was the camp counselor we wish we’d had in “The Way, Way Back.” Nat Faxon and Jim Rash’s heartwarming coming-of-age tale found the lazy, fast-talking lifeguard scamming on Maya Rudolph, checking out bikini babes with Faxon and gently teasing (read: mentoring) a socially awkward Liam James. And when Steve Carell’s (step) father figure falls painfully short, Owen is there with uplifting and heartfelt words of wisdom. Come for the lighthearted, beach-set story, stay for Rockwell’s captivating performance. –SS


45. Mud, “Mud”
As we watched the indie hit “Mud,” our estimation of the story changed along with our perspective on the mysterious man who lives in a boat stuck in a tree. Is this a southern gothic tragedy, and is Mud just a lying bastard who’s likely to get two kids killed? Or is this movie something sweeter, and is he going to teach everyone a thing or two about real love? It ended up being a little of both, but the journey back and forth was one of this year’s best rides, assisted by another essential performance from Matthew McConaughey. – KS


44. Kenny Rossmore, “We’re The Millers”

A relative unknown U.K. import at the start of 2013, actor Will Poulter stole the spotlight from Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis and Emma Roberts (no small feat) in Warner Bros.’ summer comedy, “We’re the Millers.” Dim-witted but well-intentioned, Kenny provided the film’s most memorable moments and biggest laughs, including an X-rated spider bite and an impassioned cover of TLC’s “Waterfalls.” Rounding out a cast of heartless characters, Kenny was also tasked with maintaining the story’s moral compass — making him the most likable drug smuggler on screen. — SS


43. Irving Zisman, “Jackass Presents Bad Grandpa”

It’s not that Johnny Knoxville’s dirty old man Irving Zisman is a new character: he actually first appeared on “Jackass” way back in 2001. But the first feature outing for the character is a revelation. Not just with the “ballsy” way he freaks out an all-male strip club, or smashes through a store window. But also for the emotional depth the character shows, particularly in a scene where Zisman decides to leave his grandson in a bar full of bikers. He may not have many years left, but hopefully the octogenarian will have us laughing for at least a few more. – Alex Zalben


42. Harley Keener, “Iron Man 3″

Even Iron Man could use a helping hand sometimes — and not necessarily from his famous superhero friends. In “Iron Man 3″ Tennessee preteen Harley Keener (Ty Simpkins) shelters Tony Stark and helps bring his hunk ’o junk metal back to life. Harley holds his own against big explosive bad guys, and he’s also pretty good with a potato gun. – Tami Katzoff


41. Dominic Toretto, “Fast & Furious 6″

What’s remarkable about Vin Diesel’s Dom in this year’s entry in the “Fast & Furious” series is how much the character has changed. Dom started as a simple thief and thrill-driver in the first movie, and has grown into a family man, a leader, and even a master planner. Though the future of the character is in doubt due to certain unfortunate real world events, here’s hoping we get to see Dom continue his emergence from villain to anti-hero to full fledged driving superhero. – AZ


40. Celine & Jesse, “Before Midnight”

What makes “Before Midnight” special is that we love Celine and Jesse before the movie even starts; but what makes it great is that we somehow still love them when it ends. The third installment of Richard Linklater’s deservedly cherished “Before” trilogy, “Before Midnight” is sort of like a sequel to “When Harry Met Sally…” in which Harry and Sally just scream about how they’ve disappointed each other. It’s a film that starts where most rom-coms end. But we’ve been there from the beginning with these two, and when Celine and Jesse threaten to break up, it’s hard not to feel like our own hearts are on the line. – David Ehrlich


39. Kruger, “Elysium”

In a year of really weird Sharlto Copley performances, Kruger was the most bizarre. Kruger is an insane, borderline homeless mercenary employed by the corrupt government of Elysium to enact missions on the overpopulated husk of the Earth. He talks in an indecipherable accent, is super strong due to a metallic exoskeleton, and will stop at nothing to either get revenge, or take over the world, depending on which minute it is. Love him or hate him, you can’t take your eyes off of Kruger. – AZ


38. Yuriko, “The Wolverine”

It was supposed to be a showcase for everybody’s favorite Canadian with an anger problem. But the real breakout star of “The Wolverine” was Yuriko. The red-haired, samurai sword carrying orphan was able to go toe-to-toe with Logan, take down ninjas, and even get in the most emotionally resonant moments in the movie. And she gets bonus points for having a mutant power that emphasized her character, rather than detracting from it or becoming her main characteristic. More Yuriko in the next movie, please. – AZ


37. Paul Doyle, “Pain and Gain”

While Mark Wahlberg’s Daniel Lugo ran the show in Michael Bay’s “Pain and Gain,” it was Dwayne Johnson’s portrayal of Paul Doyle that stole it. Doyle was the only person in the cast to be fictionalized for the movie (he was only very loosely based on the third man in Lugo’s real-life gym rat gang), which perhaps gave Johnson more leeway to create the film’s most memorable character. A former addict who’s about as big as a house – one of the film’s running gags has multiple male characters fawning over his muscles – Paul is a puppy dog, a modern-day Lenny from “Of Mice and Men,” whose childlike innocence contrasts sharply with expectations for the character. – Craig Flaster


36. Smaug, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

If you’re going to name a movie after someone’s desolation, the character better live up to the hype. Thankfully, Smaug the Terrible, the Tremendous, the Impenetrable, as seen in the second of Peter Jackson’s “Hobbit” movies, was true to the legend that preceded him. It also helped to have the one of the most chilling acting voices working today, Benedict Cumberbatch, to lay down the vocals for literature’s most fearsome and vain dragons. – KS


35. Niki Lauda, “Rush”

In a film about speed, it was Daniel Bruhl’s measured portrayal of real-life Formula One racer Niki Lauda that managed to outpace the other protagonists. Lauda begins almost as a caricature, a man with a single-minded obsession and genius for winning races, even as others make fun of his rat-like appearance and unfriendly demeanor. As the film progresses, Lauda is forced to confront love, mortality, facial deformation, and, most terribly for him, the prospect of losing. Lauda faces it all with a cantankerous, bitingly funny, and fundamentally good-natured spirit. While Chris Hemsworth charms as James Hunt, it is Lauda who ends up winning the audience’s checkered flag by the end. – CF


34. Finnick, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

Just when we thought Katniss Everdeen had won everyone’s hearts with her bravery, charm, and beauty, in walks the very hunky Finnick Odair. Not only does he give the girl on fire (and everyone in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” for that matter) a run for her money in the looks department — that bod! — but the one-time victor also proves Katniss isn’t the only tribute with a few surprises up their sleeve. From befriending the District 12 tributes, to carrying his elderly teammate Mags through the arena, Finnick demonstrates the characteristics of a true hero. Oh, and did we mention he’s fine? – Cory Midgarden


33. Brick Tamland, “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues”

With three little words, one special weatherman permeated pop culture in 2004 and became a phenomenon: “I love lamp.” Now, Brick Tamland is back and better than ever as Steve Carell returns to his breakout role in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.” Few ensembles are able to deliver so consistently on the laughs per character ratio, but there’s just something about Brick that stands out in Ron Burgundy’s ridiculous news team. Maybe it’s his innocence, or maybe it’s his cluelessness, but we think it has a lot to do with his burning desire to be a part of the group paired with his complete inability to fit in. Brick, we wouldn’t have you any other way. –SS


32. Rosalyn Rosenfeld, “American Hustle”

Okay, just try and pretend you’re not obsessed with Rosalyn Rosenfeld (Jennifer
Lawrence), the shrill housewife who nearly blows the cover off her con-man husband’s grand scheme, all in the name of petty jealousy. If we could get a GIF set of every one of this character’s scenes (nastily drawling “I know who YOU are” at Amy Adams’ character, her rant about “sciences ovens,” all of them), the world would be a better place. As an added bonus, Lawrence told us that that accent may or may not have been inspired by the “Real Housewives of New Jersey.” To put it in Rosalyn’s words, this character is “like flowers, but also garbage.” – KW


31. Mama, “Mama”

Mama, the ghostly and vengeful title character in this surprise hit is so horrifying because she is so relatable. Beneath her skeletal form is simply a mother who, having lost her first child, will do anything to protect the two orphaned girls who come into her life. The visuals that create her are striking, as she slithers her way into nearly every frame of the film, helping turn what could have been a campy concept into a beautifully grotesque and sympathetic horror villainess. – CF


30. Al Cody, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Say it with us now: “Outer! Spaaaaaace!” Adam Driver is only onscreen as Al Cody in, “Inside Llewyn Davis” for a handful of minutes, but what a glorious handful of minutes. His baritone vocals (and accompanying facial expressions) on “Please Mr. Kennedy” are a highlight of the movie, and will have moviegoers making silly sound effects in imitation for weeks beyond. – KW


29. Tony Stark, “Iron Man 3″

There comes a point where Tony Stark the genius, the billionaire, the playboy philanthropist isn’t that interesting any more. That point occurred sometime during “Iron Man 2,” but for his third standalone movie Stark got a heaping helping of post-traumatic stress disorder from the lingering effects of “The Avengers” to liven things up. Marvel took the man out of the iron and reminded us why we even liked him so much in the first place. – KS


28. Shannon Mullins, “The Heat”

“What kind of animal throws her own brother in jail?” Well, Mom, it’s the kind of animal who’s also an ace phonebook and watermelon thrower, a confident dresser and an excellent drunk dancer. She’s Boston cop Shannon Mullins (Melissa McCarthy in “The Heat”), and she has zero patience for anyone — criminal, boss, family member or annoying FBI agent — who gets in her way. – TK


27. Stacker Pentecost, “Pacific Rim”

In a movie filled with skyscraper-sized monsters and giant-freaking robots, how is it that one normal man named Stacker Pentecost managed to stand out as the most memorable and badass aspects of “Pacific Rim?” While Commander Pentecost is not the main character of the film, he is arguably the moral center and the mobilizing force that brings everyone together to lead a resistance against city-destroying monsters. His defining moment in the film though is his rallying speech spoken moments before the final assault, and that memorable war cry: “Today we are canceling the apocalypse!” Plus his mustache is glorious. – Matt Harper


26. Annabelle, “The Conjuring”

As Chucky has handily proved, sticking a haunted doll into a flick is cinematic gold. And when that haunted doll is based on an actual, honest-to-badness creature, well, then, all the better — or worse, depending on how you look at it. Annabelle the doll, a possessed toy taken by a pair of young nurses, was undoubtedly the creepiest part of the already creeptastic flick, which was based on the work of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren. After being apprehended by the Warrens, the real-life Annabelle was placed in the pair’s occult museum — and now, it seems, she’s coming back. It’s been rumored that her own film is in the works. Seems like this doll has us all possessed. – Brenna Ehrlich


25. Matt Kowalski, “Gravity”

George Clooney’s self-described, “devastatingly good-looking” astronaut Kowalski barely stops talking when he’s on (and off) screen. That’s lucky for us, because his story-telling, flirtatious and calming presence helps distract both Sandra Bullock’s Stone, and the audience from the horrors unfolding around them. He is the absolute personification of cool charm, even in the face of impending doom. The type of blue-eyed (sorry, brown-eyed) astronaut you dreamed of being — or dating –when you were a kid. Here’s hoping we get a prequel showing just what did happen with that hairy guy at Mardi Gras. – CF


24. Jay Gatsby, “The Great Gatsby”

Romeo’s got nothin’ on this “old boy,” whose life is spent in pursuit of a blinking light across the water. Arguably one of the most iconic characters in modern American literature, Gatsby is not only full of mystery and the allure of grandeur, he is the symbol for love lost and the pitfalls of the American Dream. – NC


23. Khan, “Star Trek Into Darkness”

Khan Noonien Singh, as described by Old Spock (Leonard Nimoy) to New Spock (Zachary Quinto), is “the most dangerous adversary the Enterprise ever faced.” The genetically enhanced, brilliant baddie — portrayed in “Star Trek Into Darkness” by Benedict Cumberbatch — runs fast, jumps high and can crush a human skull with his bare hands. In short, he’s better… At everything. – TK


22. Patsey, “12 Years A Slave”

For a character whose script must have mostly consisted of a thesaurus’ worth of variations
on the word “cry” or “cower,” and very little dialogue, Patsey, a young slave with prodigious cotton-picking abilities makes a huge impact in “12 Years a Slave.” Played by Lupita Nyong’o, Patsey’s struggle is one of the most horrifying, in a movie full of horrifying struggles. Her objectification and mutilation at the hands of her drunken keeper (Michael Fassbender) and his jealous wife (Sarah Paulson), who treats Patsey as a thing that can be disposed of is a heartbreaking example of her damned if you do, damned if you don’t existence. – KW


21. Katniss Everdeen, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

There’s no question Katniss Everdeen kicks some serious ass. From her heroism in the arena to her ever so charming one-on-ones with Caesar Flickerman, to her impeccable style (she even slays with that simple braid), the District 12 tribute gives us (and the people of Panem) countless reasons to love her. So when she’s summoned back to the arena for the Quarter Quell in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” we want nothing more than for her to f*** some s*** up. The girl on fire doesn’t disappoint. – CM


20. Grace, “Short Term 12″

Brie Larson’s brave performance as a supervisor at a foster facility that needs some care of her own is rightfully making Best Breakouts of 2013 lists, but Grace stands up to almost any performance this year; not just the ones from young stars. For most of the movie, much of her character hides in the silence of unanswered questions from her boyfriend, but it’s when Grace is doing what she loves, helping people, that she reveals her true self. – KS


19. Ulysses The Cat, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

The Coen Brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis” is an excellent film full of excellent performances,
but looked at from a certain angle, it’s really just the story of a cat having adventures all over New York City while a bummer musician pursues him. The cat’s story arc is so complete that it even involves a plot twist, which is more than most movie cats can claim. Ulysses the Cat steals the show in his tiny ginger paws. – KW


18. Muse, “Captain Phillips”

“Look at me. Look at me. I’m the captain, now.”

Few movie characters were less likely to worm their way into our hearts than Muse, a gaunt Somali pirate with a death wish who hijacks an American cargo ship and threatens to shoot Tom Hanks in the face. And yet, Muse — not the most endearing member of his crew but ultimately perhaps the most sympathetic — is somehow almost loveable in how he goes about his business. The cracks in his usually blank demeanor make it clear that he and Captain Phillips are two pawns caught up in a global game, a game where somebody dies and nobody wins. – DE


17. Gary King, “The World’s End”

Gary King is stuck in arrested development. He’s a man-child reliving the greatest day of his life, the time he and his friends almost completed the Golden Mile, a mission to drink 12 beers at 12 pubs in one night. And his quest to get all of those now adult friends back together to complete the journey would be sad if it wasn’t so completely hilarious. By the end of the movie, we learn that rather than to be pitied, King’s joie de vivre is to be admired… And his devotion to getting absolutely wasted saves the entire world. That deserves a toast if there ever was one, so raise your glasses high and say, “Here’s to Gary King!” That is, if you’re not completely s**t-faced. – AZ


16. Tauriel, “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug”

“The Hobbit” is a story full of dudes. Bilbo is a dude. The dwarves are dudes. Gandalf is a dude. “An Unexpected Journey” had a nearly obligatory cameo from Cate Blanchett as Galadriel to save it from the clutches of lady-lessness, but for “The Desolation of Smaug,” Peter Jackson gave the other half of the audience someone to identify with in a very badass way. As Tauriel, Evangeline Lilly plays one of the only characters invented for the film series, but the strong and deadly redheaded elf is anything but forced. – KS


15. Solomon Northup, “12 Years A Slave”

Solomon Northup exemplifies strength. As portrayed by Chiwetel Ejiofor in “12 Years a Slave,” Northup fights for his physical and spiritual survival after being kidnapped into slavery. The suffering he witnesses and endures at the hands of his cruelest oppressors can’t break him, and he emerges with his humanity intact. Northup’s real-life story is both heartbreaking and inspiring. – TK


14. Johanna Mason, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

The fiery victor Johanna Mason was already one of our favorite characters in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” book. She can fling at axe with deadly ease, and gets naked at the drop of a hat. But it’s one small change to the original story that made Mason one of those stand-up-and-cheer figures in the film adaptation. During an interview with Capitol talk show host Caesar Flickerman before heading back into the arena, Mason lets fly, yelling at the preening man — and the audience — “F— that! And f— everyone that had anything to do with it!” An addition supplied by director Francis Lawrence and author Suzanne Collins, Mason’s outburst encapsulated how all “Hunger Games” fans felt when we first heard Katniss and Peeta were headed back into the Arena. – BE


13. Zod, “Man of Steel”

Revenge is a dish best served after being banished to the Phantom Zone for 20-plus years. You can kind of sympathize with General Zod in Zack Snyder’s “Man of Steel,” after doing time and having his home planet destroyed it’s kind of hard not to be obsessed with the son of his sworn enemy Jor-El. The only sad part about Superman and Zod’s epic battle is that it had to end–with an awesome neck snap. Now all we have to look forward to is Supes’ upcoming battle with Batman, who has no powers at all. Lame! – Rob Markman


12. Llewyn Davis, “Inside Llewyn Davis”

Llewyn Davis is a f***ing d***. The folk singer mooches off his friends, then insults those friends, and then sleeps with their girlfriends and gets them pregnant. He even manages to accidentally kidnap, and then lose (and briefly kill) a friend’s cat. And yet you can’t help feeling for the guy, not just because of his incredible singing voice, but for his devotion to his music above all else. While the world changes around him, Llewyn refuses to compromise. He may be a d***, but he’s an admirable one. – AZ


11. Ryan Stone, “Gravity”

At very beginning of “Gravity,” Sandra Bullock’s character Dr. Ryan Stone doesn’t have to be anyone other than a person in a nightmarish scenario. We know next to nothing about her, but witnessing what she experiences in those pulse-pounding opening minutes puts us firmly on her side. It’s from there that we begin to get a more complete picture of a woman who has so much to overcome in order to continue living, while struggling to find anything to live for. When she finally does, at her lowest moment no less, it’s nearly impossible to do anything but marvel at this great filmmaking achievement. – KS


10. Rayon, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Ron Woodroof might be the heart of “The Dallas Buyers Club,” but Rayon brings the soul. Earning some of the highest praise of his career, Jared Leto embodies an transgendered AIDS patient whose story leaves the audience feeling simultaneously gutted and hopeful. As Ron’s unlikely ally in a life or death fight, one can’t help but marvel at the strength radiating from such a frail body. Her ability to transform Matthew McConaughey’s Ron from an unlikable victim into a hero is, in a word, inspiring. Without Rayon, frankly, there is no Ron. – SS


9. Frances Halladay, “Frances Ha”

You probably relate to Frances Halladay, protagonist of “Frances Ha” (and something of
antagonist of her own life), more than you want to. It’s okay, we do too. Played by (and written by) Geta Gerwig, Frances is a walking representation of the #postgradproblems hashtag: low on cash and ambition, high on idealism. As annoying as she can be, she makes up for it in charming moments of spontaneous modern dance performances on the sidewalks of New York City and drunk tips (keep one foot on the ground when laying in bed with the spins). Plus, if we aren’t Frances ourselves, we at least know her. – KW


8. Olaf, “Frozen”

“An animated, singing snowman voiced by an often gratingly over-the-top character actor?
Where do I sign up?” said no one — until “Frozen” and Olaf came along. It’s hard to explain his charm until you witness it yourself, but Olaf is a bucktoothed, soft-shoeing snowman who wants nothing more than to experience summertime. (“Think how much cooler I’ll be in the summer,” he coos in his big number, while one character darkly says, “I’m gonna tell him.”) And, yes, it’s cheesy, but not mindlessly so: After claiming that “some people are worth melting for,” Olaf scurries away from a fire. “But not yet.” – KW


7. Effie Trinket, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”

We’ve already a published a much longer appreciation of the teen-pocalypse series’ best character, Effie Trinket, but a brief reiteration: she’s bright, cheery, rocks a ridiculous Capitol outfit like no one else… And has the biggest emotional arc of any character in the movies. You can keep your Katniss/Peeta/Gale love triangle, the true heart of “Catching Fire” is revealed when Effie gives gold trinkets to her whole “team” as a show of solidarity. “We are a team, aren’t we?” asks Effie. And yes, we’re Team Effie all the way. – AZ


6. Jordan Belfort, “The Wolf of Wall Street”

Jordan Belfort isn’t exactly the nicest guy around, and “The Wolf of Wall Street” never pretends otherwise. Sure, he makes a lot of people rich (mostly himself), but only by stealing from thousands of faceless people it’s best just not to think about. Office orgies compel someone to kill themselves? Just take a quaalude and move on, that’s the Jordan Belfort way! The real-life scam king is brought to the screen by a boyish Leonardo DiCaprio, who makes sure that as much as we love to hate Jordan, we love to watch him even more. The American Dream has never been so ugly, or so much fun. – DE


5. Samantha, “Her”

The only disembodied voice to make our list this year, operating system Samantha from
Spike Jonze’s “Her” doesn’t need a body to be a fully drawn character. It’s rare that an audience gets to see a character evolve so thoroughly and believably, but when Scarlett Johansson’s Samantha says, “Yes, I’m here,” we totally buy it. Without ever appearing on-screen, there’s an understanding that Samantha is growing and learning, rapidly going from computer program to…person? Can a person be a person without a body? In our opinion, anyone who forces such deep thoughts in an audience deserves a slot on the list. – KW


4. Trevor Slattery, “Iron Man 3″

For their third “Iron Man” movie, Marvel, and director Shane Black, decided to do something unexpected. Instead of meeting Tony Stark’s greatest villain from the comic books as the trailers had suggested, audiences were introduced to one of the greatest red herrings in recent blockbusters. Forget about, “My name is Khan.” “My name is Trevor. Trevor Slattery,” was, by far, the biggest surprise of year and made for an interesting commentary on comic book movies and faithfulness to the source material. It’s more fun if you change things up once in a while. – KS


3. Loki, “Thor: The Dark World”

You’d think a movie titled “Thor” would be about the god of thunder. But take a look at the structure: who gets the first and the last scene? Who has the biggest emotional journey? And no slam to actor Chris Hemsworth, but who is more exciting to watch, gets the best lines, and makes the biggest sacrifices? The answer to all of those questions is a resounding, “Loki.” Chances are if the trickster showed up in the real world asking us all to kneel, we wouldn’t hesitate to take a knee. Hey, we were meant to be ruled, right? And Loki definitely rules. – AZ


2. Danny McBride, “This Is The End”

If you’re going to have a celebrity-filled party on the eve of the Rapture, you might want to think twice about inviting Danny McBride. But then again, he’ll probably just get in anyway. The “Eastbound and Down” star, playing a psychotic version of himself, became more of a threat for Seth Rogen, James Franco, Jonah Hill, Jay Baruchel and Craig Thompson than the end of the world. And for our money, he pushed the outrageous comedy into the realm of a modern classic. – KS


1. Alien, “Spring Breakers”

What other character on this list has shorts in every f—in’ color? Or nunchucks? Or “Scarface” on repeat? On repeat? None of them do. That’s because there was simply no other character on par with James Franco’s wannabe badass in Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers.” Alien, like the movie itself, had so much more to him than the previews, or your conceptions about the actor playing him, might lead you to believe. Franco gave the performance an added complex depth that meshed perfectly with Korine’s otherworldly script, and made us all reevaluate the frightening things that can be done with (and to) a handgun. – KS