The top 10 movie jerks

The top 10 movie jerks. By Simon Miraudo.

Ahhhhhh, jerks. They’re the movie characters we love to hate. Whether they’re the bane of our hero’s existence, or, in fact, the demented anti-hero of their very own film, they too deserve recognition in list form. In honour of the DVD/Blu-ray release of Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody’s Young Adult – in which Charlize Theron stars as that girl you detested in high school, back in her home town to steal away her happily married former beau – we’re sharing our picks for the top 10 movie jerks. Some are evil to the point of super-villainy, while others are just super-annoying, but they all share this in common: man alivethey are terrible people.

10. Regina George from Mean Girls

Rachel McAdams‘ played plastic to perfection in the Tina Fey-scripted Mean Girls, and though she is gifted a last minute change-of-heart (courtesy of a bus to the face), she’ll define the teenage bully for an entire generation.

9. Ted from Bridesmaids

Jon Hamm. So, so charming. So, so cruel to Kristen Wiig in Bridesmaids as her booty call buddy. He does a lot of awful things in this film, but perhaps the most d-baggy of them all is referring to a grown woman as “Dingus.”

8. Walter Peck from Ghostbusters

Anyone that stands in the way of Bill Murray busting ghosts is going to seem like a world class boob. For a while there, William Atherton was the go-to guy for casting directors looking to make their picture extra exasperating. His performance in Die Hard is another example of his commitment to the art of jerkery.

7. Carter Burke from Aliens

Before he was Mad About Helen Hunt, Paul Reiser was Weyland Yutani exec Carter in Aliens, recruiting Ripley to visit an alien-inhabited planet, and later enticing a Xenomorph to impregnate her (ewww). The original script had Burke getting impregnated himself. Instead, he just gets killed viciously by an alien. We can live with that.

6. Charlotte from The Last Days of Disco

Whit Stillman‘s coming-of-age dramedy tracks an interconnected group of young adults navigating the disco scene, as well as their complicated relationships, circa the early 1980s. Kate Beckinsale plays Charlotte, the infuriating roommate from hell, who doesn’t think twice about insisting her “friend” Alice (Chloë Sevigny) has VD in the middle of a room full of potential suitors. Here’s a perfect Charlotte quote: “Anything I did that was wrong, I apologize for. But anything I did that was not wrong, I don’t apologize for.”

5. Ed Rooney from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Jeffrey Jones practically became the personification of high school awfulness in John Hughes’ legendary Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. How dare he stand in the way of such a righteous dude?!

4. Malcolm Tucker from In The Loop

We would love to include a quote from Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi), 10 Downing Street’s pithy, pitbull-like, political “enforcer,” but, as anyone who has seen The Thick of It or film spin-off In The Loop already knows, it’s not in our “purview,” and certainly not fit for broadcast.

3. Biff Tannen from Back to the Future 1,2,3

Biff is an impressive example, because not only is he a jerk for his entire life, but he’s a jerk in multiple realities. Actor Thomas Wilson, by comparison, seems really nice.

2. Gny. Sgt. Hartman from Full Metal Jacket

OK, we really can’t share any of R. Lee Ermey‘s murder/suicide-inspiring quotations here.

1. Blake from Glengarry Glen Ross

The mysterious Blake – or, as he prefers to be called, ‘F*** you’ – turns up at the beginning of the David Mamet-penned Glengarry Glen Ross to inform a bunch of low-level realtors that their jobs are on the line. He’s rich, he’s super-confident, he’s rude, he’s as handsome as Alec Baldwin, and he can reel off marketing lingo and aggravating acronyms without blinking. This really was no competition.

Discuss: OK, who did we miss?

4 Responses to “The top 10 movie jerks”

  1. If were talking about jerks, how you go past The Jerk, Steve Martin.

  2. So apart from #4, all these characters are American (even the one played by Kate Beckinsale)? I could make all sorts of “fair enough” comments, but instead I’ll say… No fair! Aussies can be jerks just as well! What about the bridesmaids from Muriel’s Wedding? (What, threesomes don’t count?) What about, well… I’m sure there were others! Yeah!

  3. Nohiddenagendashere Reply May 25, 2012 at 5:05 pm

    Cmon: a list of jerks without Aaron Eckhart?!?!?!? His character Chad in “In the Company of Men” puts Alec Baldwin’s Blake to shame.

    Blake only chewed out a few low-level sales-plebs, he didn’t get Gil from the Simpsons (sorry, I mean Jack Lemon) to fall in love with Al Pacino…

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