The audience knows that the movie boss is not real and there is no reason to fear. So why do they so feel bad for the fictitious employees anyway?
Why does the moviegoer cringe when this supervisor makes his presence felt? The answer lies in the fact that these supervisors are particularly sinister, and watching them on the silver screen may bring back memories of similar work experiences.
Or watching these bosses may make people wonder if they will someday run into this kind of evil manager.
There have been some sweat-inducing bosses over the years, but here are a few tyrants who have stormed their way through the world of movies and made people glad that they do not work in that particular office.
No. 5: J. Jonah Jameson from "Spider-Man"
It isn't just J.J.'s disdain for Spider-Man or his determination to ruin him as editor of the city newspaper that makes him a bad movie boss. Rather, it is how he goes about his daily work.
Imagine a man who literally yells at each of his employees all throughout the day. Then, imagine him yelling at all of them again. This happens over and over again, and most of the employees cower or just run away.
Jameson (played by J.K. Simmons in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy) is the ultimate angry boss, and he makes sure that everyone in the room understands who is in charge. The audience may laugh at some of his antics, but there is no denying his lethal management style in the movies.
While J.J. wants control over his immediate surroundings in the media, there are some bosses who want to purchase the whole world ...
No. 4: Gordon Gekko from "Wall Street"
In the movie "Wall Street," the financial genius Gordon Gekko (played by Michael Douglas) is a bit of a paradox, but he fits the profile of someone who truly loves capitalism.
Gekko will either claw his way to the top or end up in jail, while taking a few people with him. The challenge with Gekko is that he is greed personified, which means that he will never truly invest in employees or care about their well-being.
Bud Fox (played by Charlie Sheen) discovers that Gordon is great to work for when things are going well, but Gekko is a pure terror when deals go bad.
Gordon shows that he is perfectly comfortable berating his employees, as well as beating them up physically if he so chooses. This may seem like a hellish boss, but imagine a supervisor who can drag an employee to hell ... literally ...
No. 3: John Milton from "The Devil's Advocate"
Some people like to believe that their boss is the devil, even if they know deep down that their supervisor is still a human who simply displays a few evil traits.
In the film "The Devil's Advocate," Keanu Reeves makes a startling discovery. His supervisor, played by Al Pacino, actually is Satan in the form of a lawyer (some find this fitting). That true identity of Milton pretty much trumps any complaints from other people about tough supervisors.
Milton leads Reeve's character down a slippery slope of deception and compromise to the point where he asks Keanu to help him defeat God.
Plenty of people throughout history have been asked by their bosses to do uncomfortable things, but this task goes a bit beyond accounting adjustments.
Milton is a devil of a boss, but the next she-devil of a boss might have him beat ...
No. 2: Miranda Priestly from "The Devil Wears Prada"
She'll bite your head off, but she will look fabulous doing it. Miranda Priestly (Glenn Close) is the textbook definition of an "icy" personality.
In "The Devil Wears Prada," she makes it quite clear that she will not perform any task that is below her overwhelming talent. Nor will she tolerate anyone who disagrees with her.
Encouragement, compliments, sensitivity and thanks will not cross her lips, but she is powerful enough that she can get away with it and still have people want to work for her.
She wants things done, and she wants them done yesterday. If she has to ask twice, people had better be ready to duck and cover.
The question is, will she ask her employees to come in on Sunday like our No. 1 bad movie boss?
No. 1: Bill Lumbergh from "Office Space"
The film "Office Space" is so easy for some people to relate to because it just feels like the typical workplace that so many individuals experience.
Bill Lumbergh (played by Gary Cole) is the textbook definition of a boss who garners absolutely zero respect from his employees. He has a front-row spot in the parking lot, his pay is probably substantial, and he doesn't appear to work terribly hard.
Most of his day is spent leisurely wandering about the office with a cup of coffee. When Lumbergh talks to employees, he displays a terribly boring personality and horrible listening skills.
To top it all off, he even steals precious red staplers every so often. What is the definition of bad boss? He (usually) is the person every employee tries to avoid at all costs.
Nobody fits that description quite like Lumbergh.