Thinking / Michelle Langston

25 Movie Characters We Love to Hate

Everybody loves a good bad guy, so when the team in the Entertainment Department put their heads together to compile a list of the “Movie Characters We Love to Hate,” the results were broad, often humorous, and reflect a diversity in film tastes that is indicative of our passion for film.

Here are the Top 25 Movie Characters We Love to Hate.  We hope some of your favorites are on the list, too!

25.  Norman Stansfield (Gary Oldman), The Professional

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When asked about the fear of being typecast, Oldman replied “But you see, I have played more good guys than I have played villains.” Yes, but it is Oldman’s role as a psychotic, corrupt DEA agent who orchestrates mayhem to the sounds of Beethoven that won him the spot on our list.

24.  The Aliens, Alien franchise

Call them aliens or xenomorphs, this parasitic race of acid-bleeding badasses will forever be nightmare fuel.  Facehuggers and Chestbursters…need we say more?

23.  Johnny Lawrence (William Zabka), The Karate Kid

When Daniel Larusso’s victory seemed within reach, enter bad guy Johnny Lawrence to “sweep the leg.”  Aside from James Spader, Zabka may be the ultimate 80’s bad guy, also playing the high school jerk in Just One of the Guys and Back to School.

22.  Col. Nathan R. Jessup (Jack Nicholson), A Few Good Men

Few actors play bad better than Jack.  Nicholson’s portrayal of a decorated Marine Colonel gone rogue is iconic stuff.

21.  Col. Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz), Inglourious Basterds

Christoph Waltz’s portrayal of a despicable SS officer won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.  Waltz brings the character to life with equal parts cruelty and charm, making Landa’s ultimate demise uncomfortably satisfying.

20.  Sack Lodge (Bradley Cooper), Wedding Crashers

Whether shooting someone in the butt, or trying to strong-arm a woman to the alter, Bradley Cooper’s performance as a maniacal, over-aggressive frat-boy  makes us wish we could all line up and punch Sack in the face.

19. Chucky (Brad Dourif), Child’s Play franchise

“Hi, I’m Chucky!  Wanna plllllaaaaaaaaaaay?” That doll was creepy from minute one.  Add Brad Dourif’s voice for the little killing machine, and you have a great horror villain.

18.  Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks), Drive

We wonder if Albert Brooks realizes he was the victim of a crime this year.  Seriously, Academy?  No nomination for Brooks’ performance as mobster Bernie Rose?  Robbery!

17. Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman), Die Hard

Yippi Ki Yay, do we love Alan Rickman!  Okay, I love Alan Rickman, but fellow Morochians love him as a bad guy.  Rickman appeared on our list of nominees twice, with the other nomination for his role as Professor Severus Snape.

16.  Tony Montana (Al Pacino), Scarface

Pacino’s powerhouse performance made Tony Montana a cinematic icon. Miami-based publicist Andrea Salazar says, “Not only did Pacino do an excellent job in portraying a Cuban immigrant, without having any Latin heritage, but his character also left such an impression on me that to this day, every time I see the film, a clip, or hear the iconic phrase ‘Say hello to my little friend,’ it gives me chills.”

15.  Ghostface (Various actors), Scream franchise

Watching Drew Barrymore’s demise in Scream is one of the best opening sequences in a horror film, ever.  The original film struck a chord with horror lovers that has sustained the franchise through four different films.

14. Steve Stifler (Seann William Scott), American Pie franchise

Though not technically a villain, we still love to hate Steve Stifler.  We’re sure he looks amazingly cool to underclassmen, but we think Stifler is really just an annoying horndog.

 13.  Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), Harry Potter franchise

Who doesn’t love to hate the evil Lord Voldemort?  Houston-based publicist Cristina Villareal says Harry Potter’s nemesis made her list because, “He has absolutely no redeeming qualities. There’s no real reason as to why he’s evil or what made him become evil, he just is.”

12.  Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), Gladiator

Okay, maybe he’s just a little misunderstood?  Or not.  He killed his father.  He forces himself on his sister.  Really, he’s just a bad, bad man.

11.  Dr. Evil (Mike Myers), Austin Powers

Mike Myers’ performance as Dr. Evil, a parody of James Bond villains (primarily Bond baddie Ernst Stavro Blofeld) is outrageously funny.  We really wouldn’t mind more Dr. Evil, especially if he ever gets those sharks with frickin’ laser beams.

10.  Anton Chigurh (Javier Bardem), No Country For Old Men

The epitome of evil, this ruthless killer shows no conscience, no remorse and a high tolerance for pain. Dallas-based publicist Sally Smolenski said, “I didn’t even have to think about it. When I heard we were doing this, I knew Javier’s Chigurh would be on my list.”

9.  Alex Forrest (Glenn Close), Fatal Attraction

One of only four female characters to make our list, Glenn Close’s performance as psycho stalker and jilted lover Alex Forrest had a whole generation of men thinking twice about infidelity.

8.  Wicked Witch of the West (Margaret Hamilton), The Wizard of Oz

The oldest film to make our list, The Wizard of Oz, is a classic that has remained a part of American pop culture for over 60 years.  Margaret Hamilton appears on screen in the film for a mere 12 minutes, but manages to achieve more with her performance than many actors do in a lifetime.

7.  Annie Wilkes (Kathy Bates), Misery

Good Lord, we can’t even see a picture of sledgehammer and not think of the brutality suffered by James Caan’s character, Paul Sheldon.  Misery, indeed.

6.  Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson), The Shining

Nicholson portrayal of Jack Torrance, a man who is suffering from writer’s block and massive case of cabin fever, is a chilling depiction of a seemingly normal man’s descent into seething rage and madness.

5.  Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep), The Devil Wears Prada

You know Streep is a great actress, because the bitchy Miranda Priestly couldn’t be further from the actress’ public persona.  Dallas-based publicist Lawrence Wilczewski says, “Meryl Streep hands down deserved this role. She was brilliant in every way possible. Truly hated on screen, yet such an amazing actress off screen!”

4.  Scar (Jeremy Irons), The Lion King

You know you are truly evil when you’re an animated character and you make this kind of list. Dallas-based publicist Roderick Stoker says, “Scar was one bad cat.  It wasn’t cool that he killed Simba’s daddy.”

3.  Darth Vader (David Prowse / James Earl Jones), Star Wars franchise

Is it the sleek, all-black get-up?  Or maybe the heavy breathing.  Or the fact that he wasn’t always a bad guy.  Whatever it is, we Morochians love to hate Vader.  David Prowse lends his imposing feature to the character, and James Earl Jones gives it the voice that commands your attention.

2.  Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), The Silence of the Lambs

Dallas-based publicist Marianne Mitchell says, “He possesses all the qualities that women find irresistible:  he’s an enigma with a sense of humor and style, and a palate that is diverse and would render Gordon Ramsay speechless – or Hannibal would make a meal of him.”  For me, there are few, if any, more frightening film villains than Dr. Hannibal Lecter.  The shifts alone between polite, intelligent conversation, to full-on freak-out, murderous rage still rattles me, and makes me too uncomfortable to watch the film in the dark.  I promise you, I’ve probably seen this film 50 times, each time thinking surely, by now, I’ve built up some kind of tolerance.  Nope. Still hasn’t happened.

1.  The Joker (Heath Ledger), The Dark Knight

There really should be no explanation necessary for the reason why The Joker, as portrayed by Heath Ledger, is the number one movie character we love to hate.  The Joker is no simple thug.  He’s a criminal genius, a villainous theologian, and an insanely brilliant orchestrator of mayhem for the sake of social experimentation and his own perverse entertainment.  Ledger showcased the complexities of The Dark Knight’s nemesis with astounding skill, winning him a posthumous Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, and ensuring the character a place in cinema history and American pop culture.

Michelle Langston is the Director of Social Media Strategies for Moroch Entertainment. You can follow her on Twitter at @WhenToyzAttack.

23 Responses to “25 Movie Characters We Love to Hate”

  1. Jsykora says:

    I would add any role Bette Midler has played.

  2. "Kevin Sutton" says:

    I always hate that TBS shows a Fatal Attraction marathon every Valentine’s Day.

  3. Lgomes says:

    5 of my favorites about of 25…not too bad.  another one for me…my cousin vinny…

  4. Jlarivee says:

    How about the dentist in Marathon Man?  Right up there at the top of the evil list.

  5. Chuck Null says:

    where is Jar Jar?

  6. Fergusontx says:

    Since it’s her birthday, and the list is short on women, how about Bette Davis from Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte … or a number of other roles she played?

  7. Nng says:

    Nice to see 2 Stephen King characters on the list….!

  8. Baguilar says:

    Regina George!

  9. Margaret Stratton says:

    Vincent Price in the original HOUSE OF WAX gave me nightmares for weeks!

  10. Barak says:

    you named one:  the wicked witch of the west! 

    but you missed her sister, the sister, the wicked witch of the east. “she’s not really dead, but really & sincerely dead.”" 

  11. Jay Ramirez says:

    I would have added Billy Bob Thorton in Bad Santa, Nick Naylor from Thank You for Smoking, and Bill the Butcher from Gangs of New York

  12. Brandon says:

    So glad Scar was on here… when I saw the title of this blog that’s the first villan I thought of.  Weird I know, to think of a cartoon character first but that’s the way I think! I didn’t like him when the movie came out and realized I still didn’t like him when he scared my son this summer while watching the movie.  Good pick!

  13. brandonlyle says:

    So glad Scar was on here… when I saw the title of this blog that’s the first villan I thought of.  Weird I know, to think of a cartoon character first but that’s the way I think! I didn’t like him when the movie came out and realized I still didn’t like him when he scared my son this summer while watching the movie.  Good pick!

  14. AlliMcFad says:

    Excellent writing and great choices from our wonderful Moroch Entertainment staff!

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