Movies You Like w/ No Likable Characters?

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Well, that's where we get into what we define as likeable. Is it enough that the characters have charming personalities, or do you draw a line when what they're doing is illegal, maybe even horrific?
I think one cancels out the other. No rational person would think a murderer had a “charming personality”. How could they if they took the life of another person?

I live in one of the poorest cities in America & I could never define a drug dealer as “likeable”. I walk among drug addicts every day - just on my own street last year we had 4 drug-related deaths: 3 women & 1 man, 1 Hispanic, 1 white & 2 black people.

This is why I chose Pulp Fiction
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Depending on how we define characters as likeable, the first two titles I thought of were The Hateful Eight and Glengarry Glen Ross. All the main characters in the former are straight-up horrible to one extent or another, whereas in the latter there are some charming performances and sympathetic characterisations but you'd be hard-pressed to call any of them genuinely likeable by the end (though this is at least as much to do with the nature of their business as it is to do with them as individuals).

You didn't think Shelley Levine (Jack Lemmon) was likable?



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I think one cancels out the other. No rational person would think a murderer had a “charming personality”. How could they if they took the life of another person?

I live in one of the poorest cities in America & I could never define a drug dealer as “likeable”. I walk among drug addicts every day - just on my own street last year we had 4 drug-related deaths: 3 women & 1 man, 1 Hispanic, 1 white & 2 black people.

This is why I chose Pulp Fiction
In real life, of course one cancels out the other. But with movies you get to put yourself in another character's shoes, including those who are criminals. In the case of Pulp Fiction, I find the characters likable because of charismatically the actors play them, their amusing conversations and friendship with each other. However, I would never classify them as good people. There's a difference.



When it comes to Pulp Fiction I could see Travolta's character Vincent being likable, but Jules (Samuel Jackson) was vicious in the way he killed the kid on the couch.



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I think you can have different actor playing the same kind of roles, but with the audience feeling very different towards them. As said earlier, "who they do might not be who they are"



Natural Born Killers. I do like Tommy Lee Jones and Robert Downey Jr.'s characters but they ain't good people.

The Indian who took them, Micky and Mallory, in was very likable (the one who released the snake to be a snake).



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You didn't think Shelley Levine (Jack Lemmon) was likable?
I think it's less to do with individual characters than it is to do with how the business itself is so crooked (they make a point of saying that the land they're selling is "bad" at one point, much less how most of their leads can't or won't buy it anyway) that it makes it hard to like anyone who continues to work there, even if they are as desperate and sympathetic as Shelley Levene. I will admit that I was on the fence about including it simply because of him, though - kind of tough to find films with absolutely no likeable characters, there's always at least one who complicates the answer.

Another example I thought of - Repo Man. Everyone in that movie is a selfish prick to one extent or another - the only possible exception might be Miller and he has the "John Wayne was a [f-slur]" line.
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The Indian who took them, Micky and Mallory, in was very likable (the one who released the snake to be a snake).
I thought about him but figured it was such a small role. It would be like picking Kavanaugh the Cop. He was the one who Mickey said to "DROP IT!" and Kavanaugh dropped the doughnut and not the shotgun. Every movie you could pick out at least one small character who isn't completely bad



I thought about him but figured it was such a small role. It would be like picking Kavanaugh the Cop. He was the one who Mickey said to "DROP IT!" and Kavanaugh dropped the doughnut and not the shotgun. Every movie you could pick out at least one small character who isn't completely bad

The Indian was much, much more central. Not only was his character the only one that had been nice to Mickey and Mallory, but he had the key descriptive explanation of the movie (the whole "Snake go be a snake" speech/diatribe). His part is incredibly integral. Also, Mickey said later on that killing him took the lust for murder out of them. While his part may seem minor, I would argue that it is the linchpin of the film.



There are likable characters in The Sopranos. You couldn’t meet a sweeter girl than Adriana, for example.

she is really self-destructive and she knew what the people around her were doing, but she accepted it because she liked the lifestyle Christopher gave her.



When it comes to Pulp Fiction I could see Travolta's character Vincent being likable, but Jules (Samuel Jackson) was vicious in the way he killed the kid on the couch.
True. Jules was a sadist.

she is really self-destructive and she knew what the people around her were doing, but she accepted it because she liked the lifestyle Christopher gave her.
She was still likeable.