Rachel M. Johnson is a lover of all things pop culture. She's been writing about music and entertainment online for over two years.
There are some movie characters you loathe and hate with a passion, whether it's because they're tried and true villains or simply because you just love to hate them. Characters like Lord Voldemort, Nurse Ratchet and Regina George are just some of the top 20 most hated movie characters of all time. Let's take a look at who else made the list.
(Warning: This list does contain spoilers.)
Dolores Umbridge "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007)
Though on the outside she looks pleasant and proper in pink, Dolores Umbridge is most certainly the furthest thing from it. She completely abuses her power, and during her tenure at Hogwarts Umbridge subjects the students to cruel and abusive punishments. She even made Harry write with a blood quill, which cuts the victims with the same words they are writing. Umbridge is a tyrant and turns Hogwarts into a shell of its former self during her reign of terror, and fans of the films have nothing but passionate hate for the character.
Johnny Lawrence & John Kreese "The Karate Kid" (1984)
Johnny Lawrence was the leader of the Cobra Kai gang and top student of John Kreese, who teaches his students to have no mercy towards opponents. Johnny was an arrogant rich kid who constantly bullied and harassed Daniel throughout the film. He was taught many unethical battle moves by John Kreese, who encouraged his students to fight dirty and win at all costs. The duo were extremely aggressive and violent, making it easy to root against them. Though Johnny showed some respect for Daniel upon being defeated, John remained a bitter antagonist.
Nurse Ratched "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975)
One of the most cold and heartless characters ever to appear in film (and novel) was without a doubt Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. She exercises near-absolute power over her patients and their access to medications, privileges and overall basic needs. Nurse Ratched is ruthless and calculating tyrant, and represents the corrupting influence of institutional power. Her inhumane treatment of innocent and helpless patients makes her without a doubt an intensely hated movie character.
Bella Swan "Twilight" (2008)
Many moviegoers either loved or loathed the Twilight saga, with the latter feeling the character of Bella Swan was lacking personality and self-awareness. Throughout the duration of the 5 films, she was the ultimate damsel in distress, caught in a constant tug-of-war between Edward and Jacob. Bella had an extremely bland and passive attitude that made it difficult to like her, and her self-deprecating nature made her a lackluster heroine in the franchise. Bella and the Twilight saga are indeed a hot-button topic, with an overwhelming amount of people unimpressed by the character and films.
Miss Trunchbull "Matilda" (1996)
Agatha Trunchbull was the headmistress of Crunchem Hall Primary School, making the lives of all the students and our heroine Matilda herself miserable. She was ruthless and tyrannical, and instilled fear in all who crossed her path. Trunchbull despised children and yet chose a profession devoted to them, which also allowed her to subject her students to torturous punishments. After all, any woman who has a secret cupboard with glass and nails sticking out known as the chokey, more than deserves to be on this list.
Jar Jar Binks "Star Wars: Episode 1--The Phantom Menace" (1999)
Arguably the most hated and loathed Star Wars characters ever (and one of the most despised in general), Jar Jar Binks was initially created for comic relief but was instead met with overwhelming disdain by fans. The character has been widely rejected and ridiculed, with many people believing he was introduced solely to appeal to children. Many critics felt he was a racist caricature of Jamaican Rastafarians, and his childlike voice and grating personality did not resonate one bit with fans of the franchise.
Lord Voldemort "Harry Potter Franchise"
Just the very mention of his name instills fear and fright, making Lord Voldemort one of the ultimate movie villains of all time. The Dark Lord was the source of Harry's parents' demise, and he tortured the titular character and created chaos throughout the entire series. He preys on weak individuals and is driven by his mad desire to achieve pure-blood dominance over both the muggle and wizarding worlds. Voldemort is the dark and menacing shadow that looms over Harry and his friends, and he is a powerful and evil force that fans of the series love to hate.
Cal Hockley "Titanic" (1997)
Cal Hockley was the snobby and arrogant fiance of Rose in 1997's Titanic, and he was extremely controlling and manipulative to her. As Rose's feelings and love for Jack grew in the film, Cal becomes increasingly jealous and cruel towards both of them. His vile and true colors begin to truly show when the ship begins to sink; he frames Jack for theft of the Heart of the Ocean necklace and also tries to shoot at the pair in a jealous rage. Cal also stoops so pathetically low by at first trying to bribe a spot on a lifeboat, and then later by grabbing an abandoned child and claiming them as his own for safety.
Gollum "The Lord of the Rings Series"
Gollum was a character that created mischief and mayhem, and presented many hurdles for Frodo and Sam to overcome in The Lord of the Rings. The character's personality can often be grating, speaking in third-person and often having self-loathing and psychotic monologues. His constant need and desire to obtain the Ring at all costs caused much chaos and problems for our heroes. Gollum was definitely an annoying character that was ultimately defeated by his greed for the Ring.
Percy Wetmore "The Green Mile" (1999)
Percy Wetmore is a sadistic prison guard at Cold Mountain Penitentiary, and enjoyed demonstrating his power of being the governor's nephew by harassing both the prisoners and fellow guards. He targets Del by crushing his fingers with a baton, and kills his adopted pet mouse out of complete spite. Worst of all, he sabotages the electric chair and makes Del have an extremely painful and long violent death by burning alive. Wetmore is a cold and disturbing man that does get his comeuppance by the end of the film, and remains a deeply hated character.
Meredith Blake "The Parent Trap" (1998)
The Parent Trap introduced the world to Annie and Hallie, two mischievous twins unknowingly separated at a young age and reunited later in life. They devise a plan to reunite their parents, only to have their efforts thwarted by the young and conniving blonde bombshell Meredith Blake. She seduced dad Nick Parker, and planned to marry him for money and send the girls off to a boarding school far, far away. She was the ultimate wrench in their plan, causing lovers of the film to root against her evil ways and for Nick to send her packing.
Alex DeLarge "A Clockwork Orange" (1971)
Everything about A Clockwork Orange's Alex DeLarge is unsettling and downright freaky; he is a sociopath who enjoys robbing, raping and assaulting innocent people for his own amusement. The dystopian environment he lives in makes his behavior and the film all the more unsettling, and his desire for ultra-violence and to simply wreak havoc makes DeLarge a completely savage individual. The character's horrific crime spree is showcased in the film, as are his attempts at rehabilitation.
Thanos "Avengers Franchise"
With the snap of his fingers, intergalactic warlord Thanos wiped out half of all life in the universe. Though his intentions were some-what noble, he still caused a mass-genocide and wiped out some of our most beloved superheroes. He even murdered his own daughter in order to harness all the power and to obtain the six infinity stones. Thanos made a lot of enemies both fictionally and in real-life, devastating fans when some of our favorite Avengers literally bit the dust.
Regina George "Mean Girls" (2004)
Regina George is without-a-doubt one of the biggest movie characters you just can't help but love-to-hate. She is a villain straight out of your teenage nightmares, with a desire to rule the school and stay on top of the social pyramid. Regina is vain and cruel, one minute complimenting you and the next saying something rude and catty. She's the ultimate "It Girl" with looks and money, but she makes her fellow classmates' lives a living hell. Mean Girls is a teen cult classic and Regina is a character that is both equally loved and loathed.
Alex Forrest "Fatal Attraction" (1987)
Unrequited love can cause people to do some pretty crazy things, as proven by the psychotic Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction. The character began to stalk her once lover Dan Gallagher, becoming unhinged and obsessed when he tries to move on from the indiscretion. She exhibits violent behavior towards him and his family, and in a disturbing and impossible to forget scene, Alex even steals Dan's daughter's bunny and boils it in a pot on the stove. The character was absolutely ruthless and completely damaged, making her a perfect contender for this list.
Anakin Skywalker "Star Wars Franchise"
The character of Anakin Skywalker is another one in the Star Wars franchise who was met with a polarized response. Hayden Christensen portrayed a young Anakin Skywalker, and his wooden acting paired with bland and weak dialogue made the character extremely lackluster. They took someone who turns into the biggest, baddest villain in the galaxy, and made him whiny and flat on-screen. Many fans of the franchise were not impressed with the version of Anakin, with blame placed on both the casting choice and George Lucas's writing.
Warden Norton "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994)
Warden Norton was the ruthless overseer of the Shawshank State Penitentiary, and is power-hungry and cruel to the prisoners. He committed so many unfathomable atrocities to the innmates, such as exploiting prison labor for public works, accepting bribes and laundering money. He ultimately commits suicide when the walls begin to close in on him and his disgusting behavior and actions are learned by others. The Warden truly deserved a far worse fate for his evil behavior in the film.
Miranda Priestly "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006)
The Devil Wears Prada's Miranda Priestly was the Runway magazine editor-in-chief, and she was the true definition of the stereotypical boss from hell. She is cold and ruthless, and lacks normal human decency and kindness. Her excessive demands and humiliating treatment of Andy makes her extremely unlikable and downright cruel, even though at times the character does show signs of emotion and civility. Miranda Priestly is indeed one of those people you just can't help but love to hate.
Mr. Yunioshi "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (1961)
A classic example of old-school Hollywood racism, Mickey Rooney's portrayal of Mr. Yunioshi, Holly Golightly's landlord, has since been protested and criticized. His caricature performance of a Japanese man with the assistance of prosthetic buckteeth and make-up was extremely offensive and completely distasteful. His thick accent was disrespectful and his scenes in the film were ridiculous and irking for many moviegoers. Mr. Yunioshi is an infamous film character and his appearance in the classic is widely debated by many.
Emperor Commodus "Gladiator" (2000)
Gladiator's Emperor Commodus is the twisted and power-hungry son of Marcus Aurelius, whom he murders to gain power and become emperor. He is a ruthless and conniving character who will stop at nothing to secure power and prestige, and targets Maximus when he fails to pledge his loyalty. The character has no redeeming qualities and he is both amoral and ruthless, and Joaquin Phoenix's acting and talent makes him that much more intense and villainous.
© 2019 Rachel M Johnson
Rachel M Johnson (author) on September 05, 2020:
Hi Michael, I appreciate your input! There are so many characters out there that it’s hard to include them all, but I agree with your sentiment!
Michael Gilmore on September 05, 2020:
This invalidates itself by the exclusion of Marcia Gay Harden in the Mist and the spirit of the hatred lacks the purity needed to be on this list. Dolores Umbridge is the RIGHT Idea. Jar Jar Binks is the Wrong idea. Annoying, yes, but hated....really doesn't belong in the same category with the two I mention above. Even Lord Voldemort, for all his villainy, really doesn't generate the level of hate to make this list. Dani's brother from Game of Thrones....absolutely belongs on this list. (Actually, if I were to develop a sub-category of most satisfying deaths on a show or movie, his would be @2. Marcia Gay Harden on the Mist is by far the #1 choice in that category.)
Rachel M Johnson (author) on September 05, 2020:
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoy them! But yes I do, if you go to my profile it will show all the different articles I have and where you can find them :)
Mr. Ottman on September 05, 2020:
Rachel do you have anymore writings on reel rundown? I really enjoy your work .
Rachel M Johnson (author) on September 04, 2020:
I heard the same thing Mr. Ottman! I believe there was even a show made recently chronicling their feud on set. I believe it had Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford and Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis.
Mr Ottman on September 04, 2020:
Thank you Rachel and it's my understanding Bette Davis and Joan Crawford weren't fun Of each other in real life
Rachel M Johnson (author) on September 04, 2020:
Hi Mr. Ottman, you are so right! That would have been a great example to include! The behind the scenes drama alone could probably fill a book!
Mr Ottman on September 04, 2020:
You wanna talk about and evil character. How about the greatest actress to ever grace the screen . Mrs Bette Davis playing the role of Baby Jane in the classic movie Whatever happend To Baby Jane . Now that woman was wicked
Jacqueline G Rozell on August 14, 2020:
If you are going to ask me for an evil person you have to ask me for someone who cannot under any circumstances justify, even in the twisted recesses of their subconscious, the horror and pain they mete out to the innocent. All the characters on this list can give a justification of some sort... even Glenn Close of Fatal Attraction can give you her own form of "reason".... she was in love and felt she had been unfairly treated. Voldemort felt he was the greatest wizard of all time and deserved the recognition; I suppose of all the characters mentioned, he is truly the most evil as he had no qualms in killing even innocent babies. As I mentioned the last time this article was presented, people such as Ashley Wilkes of "Gone With the Wind" are the ones I consider the most evil. They hide behind a facade of gentleness and self pity that feeds off the sensitivity and desires of others to protect them from the harsh realities of life. And you can give me Gene Hackman as the President of the United States in "Absolute Power." A man of absolutely no moral fiber, who felt it was his privilege of station to rape and murder, to have subordinates cover up that murder, to lie to his best friend.... the husband of the victim... about the circumstances when he cheated with the friend's wife, and to order someone else to be framed for the crime. And that is so evil and frightening because I have no doubt it has happened, and will happen again, in the lives and environment of the privileged and wealthy. In conclusion, I would say it is the least recognizable, the least susceptible, in our society that are the most evil. Ashley Wilkes would be aghast at the idea he was evil; he would not recognize his corruption and evil as such. That makes him the most dangerous. Gene Hackman as the corrupt president would have eventually been exposed, but those around him who fed off his position of power would have assisted him in fomenting evil, its tentacles reaching in myriad directions for some time to come via dirty deals and cover-ups. Beware both types of evil, but be especially wary of the Ashley Wilkes in society and in your daily lives. The Ashley Wilkes' will suck the life from you and you will never know until the lid of the casket is being nailed shut.
Nunya on August 13, 2020:
Bruh when they dont have ice age baby but they have one of the most beloved characters, anakin skywalker
Clark Daendels on July 31, 2020:
Anakin is a legend and one of the most beloved in francise!
Rachel M Johnson (author) on March 02, 2020:
@HI, I definitely agree Bella isn’t nearly as bad as many of the others on this list! But in my opinion she wasn’t much of a heroine and was sometimes hard to root for. To each their own when it comes to characters!
HI on March 02, 2020:
I dont agree with Bella Swan from Twilight beacuse that is one of my beloved movies.
archie1991 on November 18, 2019:
Clearance Bodicker from RoboCop
Jacqueline G Rozell on November 16, 2019:
I have always hated Ashley Wilkes of Gone With the Wind. A wimp, a selfish cowardly despicable mouse of a man who not only leaned on the women in his life, he hopped upon their shoulders and allowed them to carry him through life. He did not have the courage to tell Scarlet straight up that he really did love Melanie, thus freeing her to find her own life and love. I hated him. With a passion. Melanie was close behind. She should have told Scarlet she appreciated all she was doing to keep the family together; that they could share food, clothes, a house, and servants, but they COULD NOT share a husband.
Hayden on November 15, 2019:
I would’ve included Ivan Drago
Movie Whisperer from Moreton Bay, Queensland on September 14, 2019:
Jacqueline G Rozell on September 14, 2019:
Okay... I did not hate Gollum. From the beginning I pitied him. I've always suffered from a moral dilemma in terms of people and characters who are set in place by gods specifically to facilitate an outcome. Gandalf mentions several times the unfortunate life of Gollum... that perhaps he was MEANT to find the One Ring and keep it safely hidden away until circumstance allows Bilbo to find it, take it to the Shire, give it to Frodo, and make its way to Mount Doom. It's the same dilemma I have with Judas... he HAD to betray Jesus before Jesus could be arrested, tried, crucified, rise, ascend. How could he be cursed to hell if that was his only purpose in being born? Others on this list had no set purpose, but chose their path and their fate. On their heads be it. People such as Nurse Ratched is the type that is pure evil and truly scary. She hides behind a facade of calm, caring and humanitarian love. She terrifies me because I have met people such as her. Some of them are not even aware of their own evil and believe their narcissistic "my way or no way at all" is a mandate from God. They are usually extremely capable, well organized, always volunteer, and others think they are heaven-sent. There is a little poem I came across once that reminds me of these people:
"The worst and best are both inclined
To snap like vixens at the truth.
But oh! Beware the middle mind
That smiles and never shows a tooth!"
Nurse Ratched never showed a single tooth during the whole movie, I don't think. She smiled with her lips closed. Always beware a person who smiles without showing a tooth. By the way..... Sam was the real hero of Lord of the Rings. People always sing Frodo's praises but he faltered at the end. Sam carried him physically and emotionally, "to the end of all things."