15 of the Most Unlikeable Characters in Movie History

William H Macy Fargo

Some characters are awful, the kind of fundamentally unlikeable people you would actively avoid at a party or not want to be trapped in an elevator with—they're not all evil, though some of them are; they're just the kind of folks that instinctually rub you up the wrong way.

Here are fifteen characters who are, as I said, awful.

1. Carter Burke: Aliens (1986)

Aliens Paul Reiser
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Paul Reiser's turn as the slimy corporate shill Carter Burke in James Cameron's Aliens is phenomenal. You hate him as soon as he opens his money-loving mouth. Apparently, Reiser took his mother to the premiere, and when Carter met his grisly demise at the hands of the Xenomorphs, she turned to her son and said: “Good.”

2. Sara: My Sister's Keeper (2009)

My Sister's Keeper Cameron Diaz
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Sara (Cameron Diaz) is an absolute monster; what kind of mother has a child so they can use them for spare parts for another one? What she does is entirely immoral, and Anna is right to want to divorce her parents. She should be locked up for child abuse.

3. Marla Grayson: I Care a Lot (2020)

I Care a Lot Rosamund Pike
Image Credit: Netflix.

Marla Grayson (Rosamund Pike) is an unrepentant con artist who causes suffering to countless elderly people and their families, all to make a fast buck. She deserves her fate at the end of I Care A Lot, and I don't feel sympathy for her as much as the movie wants me to.

4. Mrs. Carmody: The Mist (2007)

The Mist
Image Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Dimension Films, and The Weinstein Company.

She might be bonkers, but this Karen-turned-cult leader destroyed any hopes of the people trapped in the store ever getting out of the situation in one piece. Disruptive, abrasive, and then zealous and violent. Mrs. Carmody is the kind of person who always remembers to send thoughts and prayers but would never give a homeless person a buck.

5. Percy Wetmore: The Green Mile (1999)

The Green Mile Doug Hutchison
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison) is a sleazy, sadistic, spiteful man who abuses his power. He would never have been employed anywhere, let alone a prison; if not for his uncle being the governor, he would have been fired on the spot for purposely sabotaging Dale's execution.

6. Dolores Umbridge: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Imelda Staunton, David Bradley
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Imelda Staunton has made a career out of playing obnoxious busybodies, but her iconic turn as Dolores Umbridge is perfect. With her obsession with cats, marshmallow pink, and enforcing petty rules, an utter coward, she represents the banality of evil that allows monsters like Voldemort to rise to power.

7. Commodus: Gladiator (2000)

Gladiator Connie Nielsen, Joaquin Phoenix
Image Credit: DreamWorks Distribution.

Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix), a weak man full of misplaced ambition that far outpaces his limited ability, is the kind of pathetic man you almost feel sorry for when he tells his father that all he wanted was for him to love and be proud of him. That is until he kills him.

8. Nurse Ratched: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Image Credit: United Artists.

Nurse Ratched is a vicious authoritarian who doesn't give two figs for the well-being of the patients in her care. Not only is she bad at her job, but she's also responsible for at least one of their deaths.

9. Jerry Lundegaard: Fargo (1996)

Fargo William H. Macy
Image Credit: Gramercy Pictures.

Jerry Lundegaard (William H. Macy) is a greedy, selfish, and meek coward, who cares more about money, and saving face than the safety and happiness of his own family. Moreover, he's an imbecile. How did he think hiring two violent career criminals to kidnap his wife would turn out? The plan was doomed from the start. All to cover up another crime he committed. He's just the worst.

10. Guy Woodhouse: Rosemary's Baby (1968)

Rosemary's Baby John Cassavetes
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Guy Woodhouse (John Cassavetes) is an absolute monster who sells out his loving, doting wife for money, power, and fame. 

11. Colonel Tavington: The Patriot (2000)

The Patriot Jason Isaacs
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Releasing.

Jason Isaacs plays the British soldier, Colonel William Tavington, a man so cartoonishly evil I'm surprised he doesn't grow a curly mustache to twirl at one point. He also manages to do so many pointlessly wicked things throughout the movie.

He indiscriminately murders women and children and even burns down a church with all the parishioners locked inside it. 

12. Paulie: Rocky (1976)

Rocky Burt Young
Image Credit: United Artists.

Paulie in the Rocky series is the absolute worst. He's a woman-beating racist who takes advantage of his so-called best friend, Rocky's kindness, loyalty, and rising fortunes. Then he bankrupts Balbour in Rocky V.

13. Danny Pennington: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Josh Pais, Robbie Rist, Michelan Sisti
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

I will never forgive Danny Pennington (Michael Turney) for selling out the Turtles by telling Shredder where they were hiding. Even at five, I knew this weaselly delinquent was untrustworthy.

14. Colonel Hans Landa: Inglourious Basterds (2009)

Inglourious Basterds Christoph Waltz
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

SS Colonel Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) is a villain, and he knows it. He enjoys it. Egotistical and ambitious, Landa is an opportunistic sociopath who acts only out of pure self-interest.

Then when the war turns in favor of the Allies, he instantly surrenders and tricks the Allies into pardoning him so he can live out his days in the US without ever paying for his numerous war crimes.

15. Ginger McKenna: Casino (1995)

casino1 1
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Some who watch Casino have a lot of problems with Ginger McKenna played by Sharon Stone. She often neglects her children to party and lie the lavish lifestyle.

Author: Gareth Newnham

Title: Freelance Writer

Expertise: Movies, Music, Politics, TV, Video Games


A former newspaper reporter and experienced entertainment journalist, Gareth has spent more than a decade covering everything from gaming conventions to general elections and has had bylines in major print and online publications, including The Mirror, MSN, and Tech Raptor.   

When he's not gaming or commanding his forces in the 41st millennium, Gareth can usually be found in the middle of a mosh pit.