To son. To make someone feel the way a child does when being barked on by his or her dad. To dismantle someone with words, make a person feel small and powerless. The act of sonning—Hollywood loves it, even if the studio execs probably don't know the term.

Sonning has existed on the silver screen since the beginning of motion pictures. (Legend has it that Thomas Edison captured the early sonning of a factory worker by his boss, but the results were too stunning for general consumption and the footage was lost.) Our greatest performers have relished the moment when they get to crush a weakling with a simple phrase, a few sentences.

Bask in the glory of these verbal beatdowns. These are the 25 Best Sonnings in Movie History.

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