May 26, 2023

There are certain movies in which we find that the characters being played are more than a little horrible and hard to invest in, and then there are those that can make a person cry when they utter a single line or make us care about them with little to no effort. True, this is due in a large part to the acting ability of those that take these roles, but when it comes to playing the role of a mother in a movie, some ladies are simply amazing to watch since they pick up the nuances of motherhood in a manner that’s nothing short of amazing. Depending on what type of mother a woman depicts in a movie they can make us hate and revile them, or they can even make us feel like asking if they would please adopt us. That’s how great the role of a mother is in a movie, and it’s a credit to the acting that’s brought these characters to life as they make us want to hate or love the characters they portray. Here are five of the best and five of the worst mothers in movies.

10. Best: Sarah Connor – Terminator 2: Judgment Day

Bear with me on this one, because in the first movie it feels as though Sarah would have been a mess, as she didn’t have her life sorted out yet and she was still young enough that she didn’t have a set direction in which she wanted to go. But by the second movie, she was a hassas that a lot of people might have felt was too tough on her son. When looking at her closely though, and getting past the psychotic parts, it was easy to see that her aggressive turn served a purpose since she did care about her son with an intensity that made her lose focus for a bit.


9. Worst: Kate McAllister – Home Alone

She’s not a devilish woman, but she does end up leaving her kid on his own, twice. True, it’s not her fault entirely, and Kevin was acting like a little jerk, as kids are wont to do at times. It’s even slightly forgivable to lose track of things when one has a family this big. But seriously, if you have this big of a family, one should have a checklist or some method of keeping track of your kids so that this doesn’t happen more than once.

8. Best: Dorothy Boyd – Jerry Maguire

Dorothy is a mess from a personal standpoint since she does everything she can to take care of her son and herself, and often appears to be fumbling her way through life. But the truth is that she has the important things handled. When she and Jerry get together however that swirling tornado that is life almost proves to be too much as she seeks to get out before she gets hurt. But calling her one of the best moms is easy because her son is a constant priority and it’s non-negotiable.

7.  Worst: Margaret White – Carrie

Something screwed this woman up on a fundamental level, and unfortunately, she ended up taking a lot of her problems out on Carrie through her faith. Because seriously, psychic powers can only be granted by the devil, right? Someone might need to tell the X-Men this, but in the meantime, Margaret did end up getting a serious reality check when Carrie finally pushed back. To be fair, Margaret was likely a victim of some form of trauma that had brought her to this, but taking out her issues on Carrie was ill-advised.

6. Best: Mrs. Gump – Forrest Gump

Probably the only reason this entry falls so low is that Mrs. Gump did know how to work the system to her advantage, and she wasn’t above doing it. But backing that up is the fact that she did this for her son, as she didn’t want Forrest being held back simply because he was different. Quite honestly, Mrs. Gump is the type of mother that many people might want to have since she always had something to say that helped to explain this mess called life.

5. Worst: Mary – Precious

One thing that’s bound to try the patience of many individuals is that some would side with Mary in thinking that the character had a reason for being the way she was. This is true enough, but eliminating the idea that such characters as Mary have a choice to better themselves is both dangerous and extremely dismissive. Mary is by far one of the worst mothers in movie history largely because she refuses to take charge of her own issues and attempts to blame her daughter for the way her life has turned out. Yeah, that’s not exactly mother of the year material.

4. Best: Lauren Murphy – Hackers

The fact that Dade is out of control for part of this movie makes it feel that Lauren is struggling just to get by and is, for all intents and purposes, kind of a saint since it’s obvious that Dade’s father didn’t stick around. But what really sets her up as a good mother is the fact that near the end of the movie, when Dade and his friends have been busted by the authorities. Instead of seeking a plea deal or folding into a shuddering heap, Lauren stands up and makes it clear that she’s going to defend her son even under threat of incarceration.

3. Worst: Mama Fratelli – The Goonies

There’s a way to argue that she’s a good mother because she won’t leave her sons in jail, but she’s a bad mother for the same reason since her sons are terrible. But the fact that she plays favorites and is willing to be a criminal that has obviously taught her sons the life, and isn’t above threatening kids makes Mama Fratelli one of the worst mothers to ever grace the screen. Seriously though, all credit to the late Anne Ramsey, she could play the crabby old lady role with the best of them.

2. Best: Ellen Ripley – Aliens

This is a mom you want on your side without question. Some might want to state that Ripley is a horrible mother since she took on a job that kept her far away from her daughter. But it wasn’t her fault that an alien life form wrecked her life plans by killing her crew and then somehow setting up events that would keep her floating in space for so long. But from the way she takes to Newt and stares death in the face for this young girl, it’s kind of obvious that Ripley is the type of mom that would stand in front of just about anything to keep her child safe.

1. Worst: Pamela Voorhees – Friday the 13th

It’s tough to say that she’s entirely responsible for the mental break that would turn her into a violent killer, but at the same time, one can argue that Pamela should have sought therapy, or someone should have been able to guide her to a psychiatrist after the death of her son. Plus, taking her revenge on those that had nothing to do with her son is, well, crazy to the umpteenth power. Good or bad, mothers are necessary influences in many movies.

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