Notable examples: South Central (1992), American History X (1998)

Unless you're writing for Breaking Bad's Walter White (Bryan Cranston), at this point, it's probably wise to avoid having your primary antagonist play on an underling's emotions and insecurities to benefit his or her own well-being. True, Breaking Bad, and its brilliant manipulations of poor Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul), isn't the first piece of pulp fiction to feature a deviously skilled baddie—films like South Central and American History X were doing the whole boss-negatively-influences-his-favorite-lackey thing back in the 1990s.

For a change, it'd be great to see a crime boss, or even a merely entrepreneurial Blood or Crip frontman, oversee his crew without to the same old mind games that have been in vogue since the B.C. days of Sun Tzu.