3. Daniel Plainview ('There Will Be Blood,' 2007)
"I have a competition in me," says the "hero" of Paul Thomas Anderson's autopsy on the self-made American man. "I want no else to succeed." Daniel Plainview is an oil man by trade, and he's willing to lie, cheat and steal to corner the Southern California market in the early-ish part of the 20th century. He's less consumed by greed, however, than just sheer hate — for himself, for others, for the whole stinking human race he's reluctantly found himself to part of. Daniel Day Lewis fully commits himself to playing this rugged individualist as both a ruthless capitalist and a bitter, blackhearted man. Any act of friendliness is simply a ploy to get what he wants or to keep you from getting what you want. He'd just as soon stab you with a steak knife as look at you. He will drink your milkshake.