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The Best Movie Characters – Our Top Picks

Photograph of the blog post author, Jodie Francis

Jodie Francis


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Movies serve as a much-needed form of escapism. They can allow you to travel to new worlds and share a laugh with your loved ones. There are so many different genres out there to choose from, and that can make coming to an agreement tricky. So, the next time that you’re trying to decide on a film, why not consider the movie characters themselves? We can help you here, as in this article we are going to list our 10 best movie characters of all time! 

Movie Characters

We have included a range of characters that represent a range of genres, so you’re bound to find someone of interest on this list. For example, we will take a look at horror movie characters, Harry Potter movie characters, cartoon movie characters, iconic female movie characters, and plenty more!

You can find many of the movies on this list on streaming services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. So they are very accessible to you! Keep reading to discover whether your favourite made the list and let us know if you think we’ve missed anyone out! 

Movie Characters – What Makes A Great One?

A great movie character is someone who is memorable, believable, and relatable. They should have a strong, distinct personality that stands out from the rest of the cast and drives the story forward. They should also have a clear motivation and a strong arc of character development. A great movie character should also evoke strong emotions in the audience and make them feel connected to the character’s journey.

10 Best Movie Characters Of All Time

Now it’s the part you’ve all been waiting for, our review of the 10 best movie characters of all time! Let’s dive in!

10. E.T. 


When it comes to the best movie characters of all time, our list wouldn’t be complete without E.T. This adorable and friendly alien represents a significant part of many of our childhood’s and we wouldn’t have it any other way! 

Of course, the movie we’re talking about here is Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). You can’t help but take the character of E.T. straight to your heart. We love that this movie can be truly enjoyed by parents and children alike, largely thanks to the cute little alien! 

Not to mention that the movie itself is a breakthrough in the Science Fiction genre, in addition to reworking the idea that aliens can be more than just frightening entities. 

If you haven’t seen E.T. yet then we highly recommend that you check it out, we’re sure that you’ll fall in love with him! 

9. Hermione Granger – Our Favourite Of All Wizarding Movie Characters

movie characters

Let’s face it, the Harry Potter franchise wouldn’t be what it is without Hermione Granger. She’s the metaphorical glue holding the whole thing together. Not just because of her academic brilliance helping to move the plot along, but also her morals and compassionate nature. 

She’s got to be one of the most iconic female movie characters of all time. We first meet her on the train to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where she then meets Ron and Harry for the first time. 

The Harry Potter films are based on J.K. Rowling’s book series, and in all of the films, Hermione is played by Emma Watson. There’s plenty of movies for you to get acquainted with Hermione, along with the other Harry Potter movie characters!

Hermione has been voted the best female character of all time, as reported by The Hollywood Reporter in 2016. She serves as an inspiration to young girls, demonstrating that you should never hold back your brilliance. 

If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t yet watched the films, we recommend that you do so right now! You’re in for a spellbinding treat!

Plus, you get to meet some of the best Harry Potter movie characters along the way, and these are characters that you won’t forget for years to come. 



If you love discovering unique cartoon movie characters then things don’t get much better than WALL-E. 

WALL-E is a robot voiced by Ben Burtt, with the movie coming out back in 2008. The movie is set many years in the future, where WALL-E is collecting the rubbish and waste that has been wantonly discarded. He is then taken on an adventure into space that will help determine the fate of the world. 

The movie went on to win plenty of awards, such as Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Critics’ Choice Movie Award for Best Animated Feature, People’s Choice Award for Favourite Family Movie, and many more! 

Overall, it’s a charming film that will delight both parents and children alike. So, for your next family movie night consider spending some quality time with WALL-E! 

7. Mulan 

Movie Characters

If you’re seeking the best Disney movie characters then look no further than Mulan! Not only is she a fantastic addition to the Disney family, but she also belongs to the list of iconic movie characters. 

The film came out back in 1998, but it still remains a firm favourite of many people. No doubt largely thanks to the fantastic and inspiring characterisation of Mulan herself. 

In the movie, Ming-Na Wen provides the voice over for the character, while Lea Salonga provides the stunning vocals

The movie was widely praised by both viewers and critics, for its storyline, animation, and songs. It earned itself many nominations during the award season. 

At the Annie Awards it walked away with the Best Animated Feature, Outstanding Individual Achievement for Producing in an Animated Feature Production, Outstanding Individual Achievement for Music in an Animated Feature Production and more! The film was also up for a Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. 

To briefly summarise the plot, Mulan takes her injured father’s place in the army. To achieve this, she needs to conceal her true identity and to do this she disguises herself as a man. 

She’s a fierce warrior, but also caring and loyal. She’s a wonderful role model for children to look up to, so make sure you check out this movie! If you prefer live action movies, then why not watch the 2020 version? 

6. Shrek 


Shrek is arguably one of the most recognisable cartoon movie characters, if you love funny movie characters then you’ll adore Shrek. 

The movies have seen much success. There’s Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Ever After and Mike Myers voices the character in all of the movies. 

Shrek is a bright green ogre who loves being left alone in his swamp, but he doesn’t get his wish! 

What follows is a charming adventure that proves your outward appearance doesn’t mean anything if you aren’t a good person on the inside. 

So, when you next have a lazy Sunday afternoon, consider bingeing the Shrek movie series! 

5. Bridget Jones 

Movie Characters

If you love funny movie characters, then we suggest you get acquainted with Bridget Jones right away! She’s played by Renee Zellweger in all three movies: Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Bridget Jones’ Baby. 

She represents real life so well, as it’s awkward and doesn’t always go to plan! We love the fact that she’s different from your average female movie heroine. And, trust us, you’ll be rooting for Bridget to succeed the whole way through the movie!

 So, what are you waiting for? Get your friends together and join Bridget for a funny and heart-warming evening.

4. Hannibal Lecter

movie characters

Our list of the best movie characters wouldn’t be complete without Hannibal Lecter. The character was first created by the author Thomas Harris in his series of Hannibal Lecter novels. 

Visually we were first introduced to the terrifying character in The Silence of the Lambs (1991). Anthony Hopkins takes on the role of Lecter, and he has created one of the most terrifying portrayals of a serial killer in modern cinema. 

Lecter is a successful forensic psychiatrist, that is until he gets caught and jailed for murder and cannibalism! Despite the fact that he doesn’t have much screen time, the presence of Lecter is felt throughout the entire film.

In fact, Hopkins won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992. So, if you fancy a scare then go and watch Hopkins’s chilling portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. 

3. Jigsaw (John Kramer)


When it comes to horror movie characters, there are plenty out there to choose from. However, we think that Jigsaw should take the spotlight for this list! 

The character is played by Tobin Bell throughout the whole of the Saw franchise. So, who is he? Well, he’s a terminally ill man who is determined to teach people a lesson. This serial killer is not your typical killer, as he entraps his victims in terrifying situations called ‘games.’ 

The victims then need to make it through the torture to see if they can survive. Overall, this film franchise has collected eight awards and ten nominations. For example, it won Brussels International Festival of Fantasy Film (BIFFF) in 2005, Best Horror Movie of the Year at Golden Schmoes Awards in 2004, and the Best Feature at the San Sebastián Horror and Fantasy Film Festival in 2004. 

It’s worth noting that this is not a film series for the faint hearted. But if you think you can handle it then go and check out the iconic horror villain at work. Just don’t watch it alone! 

2. Buddy Hobbs

buddy the elf movie character

This movie character couldn’t be more different from the previous one! Buddy is one of the best Christmas movie characters out there, thanks to his positive outlook on life. 

The character is played by Will Ferrell and the movie is Elf, which was released back in 2003. So, the film revolves around Buddy the Elf in search of his biological father, although this doesn’t all go to plan! 

The film (and Buddy) is sure to bring a smile to your face and some Christmas cheer into your home! 

There are also some great Christmas tracks for you to sing along to. The soundtrack for this movie is actually the second-highest selling soundtrack for a Christmas film in the US! It only just sits behind Polar Express. 

It just goes to show how much we love singing along to our favourite Christmas tunes, and combining this with a fun character like Buddy is a win-win in our eyes! 

So, the next time you need to put a smile on your face, load up the Elf film and Buddy will have you chuckling in no time. 

1.The Joker – The Best Movie Character Of Them All

Movie Characters

And our number one spot goes to… the Joker! 

He is the main antagonist of Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight (2008) and he certainly steals the show. The Joker holds a mirror up to the ugly side of life and highlights the criminal underbelly of society.

He was played by Heath Ledger in the film, who was posthumously given the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 2009. 

The newest Joker film, released in 2019, saw Joaquin Phoenix take on the iconic role to rave reviews. 

Whatever version you choose to check out, you’re sure to be wowed by the performances from Ledger and Phoenix.

Do You Agree With Our List Of Best Movie Characters?

Movie Characters

So, there we have it – our list of the best movie characters! Of course, there are many more who deserve to make the list, but these are our favourites. 

We hope that you’ve enjoyed reading the list, and that you now feel like a movie marathon with some of our favourite characters!

Why not watch a film out of your comfort zone? You never know, you may fall in love with a new genre (or character) that you didn’t think possible!

If you’re a movie fan then you’re in luck, as here at Мusic Gateway we have plenty of interesting articles for you to read. Why not check out the Best Comedy Movies Of All Time: Our Top 10 Favourites, Famous Movie Scenes, or Famous Filmmakers

Don’t forget to share this review across your socials and tag us @musicgateway! We love interacting with you all!


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