The Meanest Movie Mothers of All Time

Evil movie mothers are so rotten to the core tha after seeing one of them on film, you may go crying to your own mommy positively joyous that you weren't at the receiving end of some of these evil movie moms.

Who are the most evil mothers in movies? This list of bad, cruel, horrible, twisted, evil, terrible, horrible, no good, very bad mothers from a variety of movies, new and old. From Faye Dunaway's portrayal of a career-obsessed mother in Mommy Dearest to Mo'Nique's Oscar-winning turn as a physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive mother in Precious, there's no shortage of terrible movie moms on this mean movie moms list.

CAUTION: Some descriptions may contain spoilers, so if you haven't seen the movie in question, maybe skip that entry! (And yes, I know that cat Shaft is a bad mother... but he's still ineligible.)

  • 1
    353 VOTES

    Mary Jones

    Mary Jones
    Photo: Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY

    "Precious" (2009)

    Portrayed by: Mo'Nique

    Mary's basically a model parent, except for all that neglect, sexual and physical abuse and plate throwing. Seriously, Mary's such a convincing sociopath, it's amazing Mo'Nique doesn't have people throwing stuff at her on the street.
  • 2
    331 VOTES
    Margaret White
    Photo: Metaweb / CC-BY

    "Carrie" (1976)

    Portrayed by: Piper Laurie

    Carrie White is telekinetic, and as if that weren't enough for a teenage girl to be saddled with, her mother is also a violent religious fanatic prone to wild mood swings and manic episodes. It's basically like being raised by a coke-fueled female Glenn Beck. If Margaret only locks you in a closet without supper and forces you to pray, consider yourself lucky.
  • 3
    281 VOTES
    Joan Crawford
    Photo: user uploaded image

    "Mommie Dearest" (1981)

    Portrayed by: Faye Dunaway

    Joan Crawford's daughter, Christina Crawford, wrote a memoir about her mother called "Mommie Dearest," that said Joan cared more about her career than her family, and made allegations of physical and emotional abuse. Faye Dunaway plays Joan in this film based on the memoir, and the performance has basically become a THE prototype of cartoonish parental super-villainy.
  • 4
    228 VOTES

    Mrs. Lift

    Mrs. Lift
    Photo: flickr / CC0

    "Throw Momma From the Train" (1987)

    Portrayed by: Anne Ramsey

    Owen Lift tries to get his new friend Larry Donner to kill his mother, and with pretty good cause. She's just awful, in that twisted, angry way all Anne Ramsey characters were awful. (You may also remember has the mean mom from "The Goonies.") The comedy itself is hit-and-miss, but seeing Momma Lift nearly buy the farm repeatedly is undeniably satisfying.