The Most Hated Movie Characters Ever

The Most Hated Movie Characters Ever

If you’ve sat in a theater stunned and unable to move even as the closing credits scroll on the screen, you know just how much a talented actor can evoke a whole spectrum of feelings within you. One of those feelings is blind rage as you watch injustice spill out onto the screen, your heartstrings attached to the protagonist you’re rooting for.

But sometimes evil wins in film, and you’re left questioning how to extricate yourself from the too-believable fictional storyline you were so keenly invested in just moments before.

Sometimes, you’re even more gutted when you realize that a film is based on true events. Moody Mahmoody, for example, demonstrated how a person can flip from a devoted partner to a villainous abuser in the based-on-a-true-story film “Not Without My Daughter.”

With other films, you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing the events were entirely fictional, like with Guy Woodhouse in “Rosemary’s Baby.” Even the antagonists in animated films can raise your blood pressure like Scar in “The Lion King” and Cruella de Vil in “101 Dalmatians.”

The most hated movie characters leave a mark and define the contrast between good and evil in films, which is why when you watch them, you can’t avert your eyes (even if sometimes you want to). (For a slightly different list, click here to read about the 25 most annoying characters in TV history.)

Percy Wetmore

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

  • Movie: “The Green Mile” (1999)
  • Played By: Doug Hutchison 

Doug Hutchison played the very believable and easy-to-hate character, Percy Wetmore, in The Green Mile (1999). There’s nothing quite like a coward with authority and Wetmore is exactly that. Due to his connections, he walks through the prison like he owns the place, earning the hatred of both prisoners and fellow guards. Though terrified when confronted, he delights in sadistic actions, which makes the blood of viewers boil.

Guy Woodhouse

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

  • Movie: “Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)
  • Played By: John Cassavetes

Guy Woodhouse, played by John Cassavetes, was a fictional character in the film, Rosemary’s Baby (1968). Woodhouse doesn’t start off as a villain and instead earns the sympathy of audiences as he struggles following his wife’s miscarriage. But his character soon turns detestable when he trades the well-being of his wife for his career in a deal he carries out with a witch’s coven. He then turns his attention to fooling his wife into spawning the son of Satan. 

Hans Landa

Source: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

  • Movie: “Inglorious Basterds” (2009)
  • Played By: Christopher Waltz

Christopher Waltz took on the role of Hans Landa in the film, Inglorious Basterds (2009). Landa is a Nazi who finds Jews in hiding and ends their lives. Though he’s not fueled by hatred, he is an expert at his job, and he executes his assigned duties without remorse. He’s cynical and self-centered, focused only on what benefits him. He’s an opportunist and what’s worse is he’s brilliant with his undertakings, leaving the distraction of emotions by the wayside.

Darth Vader

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

  • Movie: “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” (1977)
  • Voiced By: David Prowse

Darth Vader, voiced by David Prowse, is a fictional character in the film, Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977). He is  high-ranking military commander whose interests are limited to domination, no matter who he has to hurt in the process. His past is complex but it’s hard to find any sympathy when he’s so stoic, revealing only his sadistic and heartless character traits.

Calvin Candie

Source: Courtesy of The Weinstein Company

  • Movie: “Django Unchained” (2012)
  • Played By: Leonardo DiCaprio

Leonardo DiCaprio played the role of Calvin Candie, a character in the film, Django Unchained (2012). Candie proclaims himself a southern gentleman but there’s a reason why he’s the only one to refer to himself as such. He’s a rich and racist plantation owner who gets off on hosting “mandingo fights,” which are brutal to-the-death fights he subjects his slaves to for his sadistic entertainment. Candie has no redeeming qualities. 


Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

  • Movie: “The Lion King” (1994)
  • Voiced By: Jeremy Irons

Scar, voiced by Jeremy Irons, is the evil brother of King Mufasa in the animated Disney movie, The Lion King (1994). His attitude is rooted in resentment and he spends his life plotting against his stronger brother, King Mufasa. He executes a malicious plan by using King Mufasa’s son, Simba, as a pawn. Though he’s weak in character and physical strength, Scar is intelligent and effective with his conniving ways. 

Cruella de Vil 

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

  • Movie: “101 Dalmatians” (1996)
  • Played By: Glenn Close

Glenn Close plays the character, Cruella de Vil, in the film, 101 Dalmatians (1996). She is a chain-smoking, fur-loving, high-end fashion line owner who is hyper-focused on obtaining puppies for their soft, spotted fur. She is a cruel and selfish person who’s materialistic and willing to take what isn’t hers via any means necessary.

Max Cady

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

  • Movie: “Cape Fear” (1991)
  • Played By: Robert De Niro

Max Cady, played by Robert De Niro, is a character in the film, Cape Fear (1991). Cady is not just a convicted rapist; he’s also a psychopath. He spends his time in prison devouring books but not for any other reason than to carry out his plan of homicidal revenge, which he executes ruthlessly, leaving a trail of focused, intentional destruction in his path. 

Alex DeLarge

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

  • Movie: A Clockwork Orange (1971)
  • Played By: Malcolm McDowell

Malcolm McDowell expertly embodies the role of fictional character, Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange (1971). He has a certain charm which you can’t ignore but despite having some redeeming moments when his depth intrigues you, he’s ultimately a sadist who relishes participation in a host of  heinous crimes.

Nurse Ratched

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

  • Movie: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975)
  • Played By: Louise Fletcher

Louise Fletcher, the actress who plays Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), makes her character easy to hate. She is an absolute authoritarian who holds the reins of her ward tightly, no matter if it’s to the detriment of others. She isn’t just controlling through and through — she’s also unbearably cruel.

Anton Chigurh

Source: Courtesy of Miramax

  • Movie: “No Country for Old Men” (2007)
  • Played By: Javier Bardem

Javier Bardem transforms into Anton Chigurh, the main character in the film, No Country for Old Men (2007). Chigurh has made murder his profession and he is adept at it, taking the life of those he’s assigned to kill without a second thought. He is a mystery throughout the film. The only thing you learn about him is he’s well-reasoned with his chilling actions. 

Tony Montana

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

  • Movie: “Scarface” (1983)
  • Played By: Al Pacino

Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, is one of the most well-known and rightfully hated characters of all time in the film, Scarface (1983). Montana is the perfect example of someone who lives hard only to die fast. He is single minded, wanting to acquire money, power, and women. He’s a mob boss and drug dealer and even as bodies drop around him, nothing deters him. He isn’t entirely heartless but the carnage he causes makes him impossible to like. 

Hannibal Lecter

Source: Courtesy of Orion Pictures

  • Movie: “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
  • Played By: Anthony Hopkins

Anthony Hopkins is uncanny in the film, The Silence of the Lambs (1991), in which he plays the role of Hannibal Lecter. Lecter doesn’t just murder his victims — he eats them, too. He’s a psychiatrist, proving his mental prowess, but now lives in the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally insane. He is determined in his wickedness, seeing most as beneath him. Until he meets Clarice, that is.

Alex Forrest

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

  • Movie: “Fatal Attraction” (1987)
  • Played By: Glenn Close

Glenn Close plays the role of villain well in the film, Fatal Attraction (1987), as Alex Forrest. Forrest is delusional and scorned, a dangerous combination for a woman seeking love. She is frantic, obsessive, desperate, and angry. Unable to accept the reality of rejection, she turns to violence instead. 

John Kreese

Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

  • Movie: “The Karate Kid” (1984)
  • Played By: Martin Kove

John Kreese, played by Martin Kove, is the antagonist in the movie, The Karate Kid (1984). Kreese is a martial arts instructor who encourages ruthlessness when dealing with opponents. He takes on a cruel, merciless position at the tournament meant to settle matters and behaves unethically, encouraging a no holds barred approach. 

Cameron Alexander

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

  • Movie: “American History X” (1998)
  • Played By: Stacy Keach

Stacy Keach takes on the role of Cameron Alexander in the poignant film, American History X (1998). Alexander is a white supremacist who doesn’t keep his ideas to himself, and instead uses propaganda to infiltrate the minds of young, impressionable men. He manages to replicate his vicious ideas in the minds of those who follow him. 

Moody Mahmoody

2022 Governors Awards - Arrivals
Source: 2022 Getty Images / Getty Images Entertainment via Getty Images

  • Movie: “Not Without My Daughter” (1991)
  • Played By: Alfred Molina

Alfred Molina plays the two-faced Moody Mahmoody in the film, Not Without My Daughter (1991), starring opposite Sally Field. Mahmoody starts off as an adoring husband and loving father, but things change drastically after he and his family arrive in Iran, where he’s from. What makes his character ultra-infuriating is that his actions don’t stray far from the truth of what occurred. The film is based on a true story. Mahmoody plans a move to his home country under the guise of a two-week-long visit. When his wife uncovers the truth, he begins to beat her ruthlessly, forcing her to flee the country in a dangerous quest with her daughter in tow. 

Amon Goeth

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

  • Movie: “Schindler’s List” (1993)
  • Played By: Ralph Fiennes

Amon Goeth, played by Ralph Fiennes, is an easily hateable character in the film, Schindler’s List (1993). Goeth’s job is to oversee the development of a concentration camp and he does so from atop his villa, rifle in hand, ready to shoot Jews at whim, considering them sub-humans. He is enthusiastic with his cruelty, delighting in his sadistic actions. 

Miss Agatha Trunchbull

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

  • Movie: “Matilda” (1996)
  • Played By: Pam Ferris

Pam Ferris plays the role of the wretched Miss Agatha Trunchbull in the movie, Matilda (1996). Trunchbull is a large-bodied woman who wears her hair in a tight bun and behaves militaristically with the children she oversees as head teacher at Crunchem Hall Primary School. She is violent and cruel, throwing children in “The Chokey,” a confined space filled with spikes and throwing them into the air as if she were competing in shot put. 

Meredith Blake

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

  • Movie: “The Parent Trap” (1998)
  • Played By: Elain Hendrix

Meredith Blake, played by Elain Hendrix, is the kind of character you reject at first glance in the movie, The Parent Trap (1998). She’s a gold-digger who views the daughters of her love interest as a nuisance she’d rather not have to deal with. She’s snobby and manipulative throughout the movie, and tries to take on the role of puppeteer, using everyone around her to her advantage.


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