We appreciate all things beautiful and lovely, but what about the guys and gals who bring the real shit? I’m talking about the asshole characters in movies. This isn’t necessarily a villain, in fact most of these characters save a few would even be considered a villain. They’re just walking around our movies fucking things up for the protagonist. I can’t quite make the connection but for some reason bad use of hair gel and dickheaded behavior seem to be synonymous in the movie world. Not surprisingly there were a lot of jerks that made it to my short list, but even with honorable mentions galore I’m certain everyone’s two cents will be plentiful. Who are your favorite movie assholes?
This ten spot was hardest to fill, because there were so many other precious options but after careful consideration I’m giving this shout out of assholism to Denethor, the Steward of Gondor from LOTR. His prized prince son died and while his remaining heir was a good hearted man he turned his affection from him and condemned him nearly to his death, meanwhile letting his army and mankind fall vulnerable to the invasion of evil, all in denial because of his arrogance. Total asshole.
9. PHILLIP STUCKEY
Played by the genius of playing TV’s greatest asshole “George Constanza” Jason Alexander plays Gere’s greedy and power hungry attorney in “Pretty Woman” that see’s only dollar signs and self gratification and has self entitlement issues the size of his waist band. He is a typical high powered asshole, but played brilliantly by Alexander.
8. JUDGE SMAILS
As amazing as Rodney, Chevy, and Bill Murray’s characters are in “Caddyshack” is the utter antithesis of the judge played by Ted Knight, who genuinely wants no one to have any fun or break any rules. He may be a total asshole, but he doesn’t manage to get the best of anyone in this comedy, especially Rodney who delivers some of the funniest lines ever about his wife.
There have been others in his likeness, Biff comes a close second for me, but Johnny from “The Karate Kid” is clearly the biggest blonde pompous asshole from the 80’s. He was a total dick, and what was the most obnoxious part about his bullying behavior was he was tough enough to be a tough guy to other tough guys and he still went after little non threatening DANIEL SON! Asshole.
6. COLIN SULLIVAN
Collin Sullivan (Matt Damon) from the film “The Departed” is a mole inside the state department feeding Costello everything they know, and each are trying to discover who the other is. It seems strange that this character is more loathsome than even the crazy serial killer Tom Ripley Damon plays, but Collin clearly sucks. His asshole choices result in an insane amount of bloodshed along with one of the most awesome endings to a movie ever.
5. CAL HOCKLEY
Rich, handsome, and powerful………in “Titanic” Hockley had everything he wanted except the love and affection of Rose, and not unlike a two year old tantrum he had a fit when she didn’t return his affection. All of his infinite resources were used to try and possess her even at what seemed to be the very end of his life. A sick, sorry asshole….the one I’m most familiar with. Fuck his couch……..oh wait she almost did on it.
4. HAL 9000
At number four this pick is clearly a dick. This computerized space traveler save one is without a doubt Hal 9000. The slow progression into his terrifying deception and rational cruelty is the “X” factor that really propels “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The creepy feel of the solitude of space is perfectly contrasted by the even colder companion of Hal 9000, the most frightening computer in space that constantly feels it pertinent to taunt his human companions with a sick logic. Robot asshole.
In “Gladiator”, Maximus’s nemesis Commodus, the insecure, incestuous, corrupt Emperor is just as big of an ass as they come. Though his character is loathsome, there is almost a sympathy in understanding his motivation and what has driven him to his madness. The belief that his father loved Maximus more than his own son drives Commodus to commit deeds of the most unholy fashion. The very moment you empathize with him he reminds you he is a colossal ass giving his character no final redemption.
2. NURSE RATCHED
The domineering and sadistic Nurse Ratched from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” is the spoiler of all good, and represents all evil, clearly an epic asshole. The cold and heartless Ratched will forever be imprinted on all those who have seen this film and remembered as a total asshole.
1. CARTER BURKE
Hate on my affection for constantly noting “Aliens” in my lists, but there is a reason it makes it on so many, and Burke played by Paul Reiser here is no exception. Ripley says it best when she says, “I don’t know what species is worse. I don’t seem them screwing each other over for a goddamn percentage.” He is a slimy, creepy, useless dude that fully embodies everything an asshole is.
Honorable Mentions: Dennis Nedry, Dr. Silberman, Cruella De Ville, Nediermeyer, Shooter McGavin, Ed Rooney, William Tavington, Biff, and Walter Peck.