TOP DOG: 10 Pieces of Advice from Iconic Movie Bosses

In honor of the great Michelle Darnell (Melissa McCarthy) hitting theaters this weekend in the new movie The Boss, we’ve selected 10 of our favorite movie bosses who know how to take care of business.

What makes for a great boss?

Is it an ability to delegate? A keen eye for fresh talent? A ruthless “Greed is Good” attitude?

Or maybe it’s someone who isn’t afraid to punch a Girl Scout in the face if it would help their business.

Before you see The Boss this weekend, check out our 10 favorite movie bosses who know how to act…you guessed it…like a boss.


1. Miranda Priestly

The Devil Wears Prada_Meryll Streep_Movie Bosses

The Movie: The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
Her Business Advice: Don’t do anything if you can’t do it flawlessly.  Miranda is a perfectionist who demands the most out of her employees, from their work ethic to their office attire.  If you really want to get ahead, you need to look the part.  And don’t be afraid to ask a professional stylist for some assistance.


2. Gordon Gecko

Gordon Gekko_Wall Street_2

The Movie: Wall Street (1987)
His Business Advice:  It’s only Insider Trading if you get caught. Gordon “Greed is Good” Gecko cares about making money at all cost; the laws of man do not apply to him.  So if you catch wind of a good deal, make sure you kick that information up to your boss.


3. Margaret Tate

Sandra Bullock_The Proposal

The Movie: The Proposal (2009)
Her Business Advice: There’s no room for romance in business.  A shrewd book editor, Miranda’s only flaw as a boss was her Canadian citizenship –  a problem she cleverly solved by marrying her assistant in a Green Card marriage to keep from getting deported from the country.  Now that’s being business savvy.


4. David Harken, Bobby Pellitt & Dr. Julia Harris D.D.S.

Horrible Bosses

The Movie: Horrible Bosses (2011) and Horrible Bosses 2 (2014)
Their Business Advice: Don’t treat anyone beneath you with respect.  It shows weakness.  You’re the boss for a reason, and a boss needs to be stern, vigilant, and lead through punishing example.  Besides, what are your employees going to do about it…try and kill you?


5. Blake

Alec Baldwin_Glengarry Glen Ross

The Movie: Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)
His Business Advice: It’s simple: ABC. Always be closing. Always be closing.  You close, or you hit the bricks.  If you can’t close, you don’t belong in this business, and you certainly don’t deserve coffee.  Because coffee is for closers only.


6. Dianna

Tilda Swinton_Trainwreck

The Movie: Trainwreck (2015)
Her Business Advice: Success is all about the pitch.  Come in to work every day with great pitches, or don’t even bother coming in at all.


7. Mark Hanna

Matthew McConaughey_Wolf of Wall Street

The Movie: The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
His Business Advice: Work on your drinking tolerance.  If you want to survive working on Wall Street, you need to be able to handle a lunch break with anywhere from 5 to 7 martinis, then go back to the office and finish the work day.  Also – work on your chest-pumping.


8. M

Judi Dench_James Bond

The Movie: Skyfall (2012), Quantum of Solace (2008), Casino Royale (2006), The World is Not Enough (1999), Tomorrow Never Dies (1995), GoldenEye (1995)
Her Business Advice: Always keep a bottle of fine bourbon handy.  M is a lady who likes her bourbon.  It livens up tedious meetings and takes the edge off of making those life-or-death business decisions.


9. Bill Lumbergh

Bill Lumbergh_Office Space_Movie Bosses

The Movie: Office Space (1999)
His Business Advice: Lumbergh is a real stickler for the rules, so if you could remember to put a cover sheet on all your TPS Reports before you send them out…that’d be great.


10. Charlie

Charlie_Charlies Angels_1

The Movie: Charlie’s Angels (2000)
His Business Advice: Don’t let your employees see you sweat.  Actually, better yet, don’t let them see you at all.  It’s best to communicate entirely through speaker box if possible.  After all, the best employer/employee relationships always revolve around absolute secrecy and a lack of basic trust.