10 Movies Where The Audience Roots Against The Protagonist, According To Reddit

What makes Goodfellas so engaging is the frenetic performance from Ray Liotta, who just recently passed away, and Martin Scorsese gave a touching tribute to the late, great actor. The actor played Henry Hill, the despicable protagonist that audiences notoriously root against. But he isn’t the only main character that audiences want to see crash and burn.

Redditors have discussed which movie characters they root against the most. And between several immoral but ambitious professionals, a husband falsely accused of killing his wife, and a very relatable bank robber, it’s impossible to get behind these protagonists, even if they’re in the right.

Goodfellas is a sprawling gangster epic with an ensemble cast, and so many characters have their own imperative story arc, but at the center of it all is Henry Hill. Each consecutive decision Hill makes is worse than the last, and he doesn’t seem to care about any of the consequences unless they directly affect him. Wjbc explains, “He only becomes an informant when his life is on the line, and never feels remorse for his many crimes, or for assisting two psychopathic murderers.”

RELATED: Which Goodfellas Character Are You, Based On Your Zodiac?

Where gangster protagonists in other movies feel some kind of regret for their acts of violence, Hill couldn’t be more indifferent. And audiences despise him even more when he ends up leading a normal, cushy, everyday life after he gives names to the FBI. Nobody likes a rat.

Nightcrawler sheds a light on a profession that no major movie has ever depicted before, as it follows Lou, who wants to be the best stringer in the business. A stringer is a late-night worker who listens to police radios and records violent crime scenes to sell to news networks. But Lou becomes so hungry for success that he creates his own crime scenes by maniacally pitting gangs against each other.

Yoshidawg93 rhetorically asks, “Is he a ‘villain?’ No, certainly not in the traditional sense. But he definitely is not a good guy, and he just becomes more and more disturbing as the movie goes on.” It’s an eerie film, and it’s made more frightening when Lou is actually successful in his ambitions.

Election follows a male teacher, Jim McAllister, who feels intimidated by a female student’s intelligence, and he does everything in his power to sabotage Tracy’s attempt to become student president. Dilophosoupus, along with every other viewer, was rooting against Jim the whole time.

They get what they wanted when Jim basically gets fired and his marriage crumbles, and his reputation is entirely disgraced because of his actions. Even years later when Jim works as a museum guide, he still blames his own incompetence on Tracy, throwing a coffee at a limousine he sees her in.

There are so many parallels between Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street, and in many ways, the 2013 movie could be seen as a secret remake of the 1990 gangster flick. Jordan Belfort has the same character arc as Henry Hill and most of the story beats are identical. And while some might envy Jordan and Henry’s lifestyles, it’s earned from manipulating everyone around them and having a major role in atrocious criminal activities.

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Fun-Butterscotch-77 thinks that audiences were rooting against Jordan Belfort, and they’re not wrong, as it was so satisfying when he was finally caught by the FBI. But again, just like in Goodfellas, Jordan’s time in prison was more like a vacation because he was so rich.

Jake Gyllenhaal seemingly gravitates toward terrible and unlikeable protagonists, as, along with playing Lou in Nightcrawler, the actor recently plays bank robber Danny in the new Michael Bay movie, Ambulance. The 2022 movie is Michael Bay’s best movie in years, and part of the reason why is the powerhouse performance from Gyllenhaal, but MovieMike007 notes that nobody was rooting for Danny.

Most movie bank robbers are well-intentioned, whether it’s Dalton stealing from a Nazi bank owner in Inside Man or Sonny doing it for his wife in Dog Day Afternoon. But Danny is so sinister in the way he attempts to control the downward spiral heist. He says he’s doing it for Will’s family, but it feels like an excuse for him to commit acts of violence.

Few movies on such a low budget have had as much of an impact as the sci-fi movie District 9. The movie has viewers on the edge of their seats, and that’s thanks to how it’s an allegory for Apartheid-era South Africa. Unsurprisingly, the protagonist, Wikus, has some controversial political opinions, and they influence every decision he makes.

Iamnik77 argues, “Wikus is self-serving, classist, and probably racist.” However, it’s mortifying watching him slowly turn into an alien himself, and it takes a lot not to empathize with the character. And even the Redditor admits, “the things that happen to him I don’t wish on my worst enemy.”

Heat constantly makes a point about how Neil (Robert De Niro) is willing to drop his whole life if the heat comes around the corner, but audiences think he might have changed his tune after meeting Eady, the love of his life. However, that’s not what happens, and he doesn’t even get to say goodbye to her. EvadingDoom thinks that’s what he deserved, noting, “I liked De Niro’s character and felt sympathy for him but kept wanting him and the rest of the crew(s) to get caught.”

RELATED: 10 Subplots That Ruined An Otherwise Great Movie, According To Reddit

While it’s easy to get worked up over the fact that Neil was so close to settling down and leading a normal life after his final heist, he knew what the consequences would be if he got caught. But though the Redditor was rooting against him, Heat fans a split down the middle, as half of them are Team Vincent, and the other half are Team Neil.

There’s no more toxic relationship in movies than Nick and Amy’s marriage in Gone Girl. Amy literally attempts to frame him for murder and her meticulous plot eventually involves murdering her ex. Amy’s actions are so shocking that Gone Girl verges on a horror movie. But Varekai79 couldn’t care less about Nick’s harassment from civilians and police.

The Redditor claims, “I couldn’t stand the character of Nick and was rooting for him to suffer. My wish came true!” What happens to Nick is terrible, but he definitely isn’t depicted as a victim, and some would argue that he’s deserving of everything that comes his way. But the film being shot from two vastly different points of view is what makes it so great.

New York yuppies are always depicted as jerks, whether it’s Jordan Belfort in The Wolf of Wall Street or Paul Hackett in After Hours. But unlike other characters Redditors mention that are criminals or just jerks, American Psycho‘s Patrick Bateman is a literal serial killer, and Large-Wheel-4181 was understandably rooting against him the whole time.

The movie ends ambiguously, as it hints that Patrick never actually murdered anybody and that it was all in his head. However, even taking away all the murders, Patrick still has a horrible attitude and his envy over business cards is repulsive in the most hilarious way. And because of Christian Bale’s portrayal of the character, the movie adaptation is way better than the book.

Any time unlikeable characters are brought up by Redditors, Connie is often one of the first, and UmpireBeginning was rooting against him the whole time. Good Time follows the character as he attempts to keep himself and his brother, Nick, from getting caught by the police after a botched bank robbery.

Though Connie is always trying to keep his brother safe, it feels more self-serving than anything, as he knows Nick can be just as helpful to him. Audiences want Connie to fail every step of the way, but it’s bittersweet when he actually gets arrested, as it mortifyingly ends with Nick not having anybody in his life.

NEXT: 8 Behind-The-Scenes Facts About Good Time

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Author: Stephen Barker