Sometimes all it takes is one scene to pull you right out of a movie and ruin your day. The movie could be great otherwise, but the one eye-sore, that one scene which feels so stupid and jarring, makes the whole thing feel tainted. It’s not always the ending either, though there have certainly been a number of those. There are some flicks that just catch you unaware. Somewhere, scattered amongst a pretty great movie, is a scene that makes no sense at all. It angers you. You lash out at your family. Did the director think this scene was funny, artistic, meaningful? Whatever they thought they were accomplishing with this scene was not accomplished. They were wrong.
No movie is ever going to be perfect. Most movies are going to be flawed. There’s usually a difference between a movie that is flawed and a movie that is terrible. That’s obvious. But sometimes, all it takes is one flaw to make a movie terrible. These scenes are the unavoidable ones, the scenes that are referred to simply as “that one scene,” maybe an upward eyebrow thrust or two. Everyone knows what you’re referring to.
How can we defend a movie with these scenes in them? Well, the movie was cool, except for that one part. Can we discount it? I don’t think so. The identifying feature of these movie-ruining scenes is that they always impact the rest of the movie. For the most part, these scenes are important. Whether it’s a crucial character building moment, an action climax or the ending itself, these scenes change the way we see the movie as a whole. They change it forever. Here are the worst culprits of all, the ones we found it impossible to ignore. Here are 15 movies that were ruined by one scene.
15. Nooooo! – Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
When Anakin Skywalker is all decked out with the Darth Vader getup, you would think everything would be cool. He looks alright. Unfortunately, when he asks about Padme, the Emperor tells Darth that he had accidentally killed her in anger. Darth believes this because he believes every single word that the Emperor has ever said, but that’s not even close to the worst part. Darth Vader breaks from his shackles and starts force crushing the entire room, a total freakout. Then he leans back and lets out a mighty yell “NOOOOOOO.” The resulting yell, though, because of the breathing apparatus and Vader autotune, sounds super lame. Actually, he sounds a lot like Dumbledore. It feels dumb and movie fans have had a lot of fun ridiculing it every step of the way.
14. Mr. Yunioshi – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Rather than just one scene, it took a collection of scenes all featuring the one and only Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi, in Breakfast at Tiffany’s to ruin the movie. Actually, it’s hard to say it ruined the movie because it is a classic, but it made it questionable to say the least. The insanely offensive Asian stereotyping is bad enough, but by taking a white actor, fitting him with false teeth, squinty eyes and a bad accent, Breakfast at Tiffany’s opened a can of worms that wouldn’t really started to haunt them until years later. Sure, this may have been socially acceptable then, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch today.
13. It Was Me! – High Tension
It was shaping up to be amazing. High Tension, the great little French horror film was wowing audiences until it smacked them in their stupid faces. In perhaps the dumbest twist ending in history, High Tension reveals that Marie (Cecile de France) has a split personality and has done all the killings herself. Cool, but what about all the times that Marie and the killer were in two different places? How does Marie, the petite little girl, perform acts that would require someone three or four times her size? We expect twists. We’ve seen the split personality twists. It’s cheesy but acceptable to go down that route, but if you’re going to use that as an escape plan you better do it right. Have reasonable explanations for everything. You can’t just throw up your hands and say “split personality;” it doesn’t work that way.
12. The Book Is Pointless – Book of Eli
The Book of Eli starring Denzel Washington is a pretty cool movie at the end of the day. There really is only one major flaw with the movie, but it’s a pretty big flaw. First, the movie is about a guy who is transporting the last copy (probably) of the bible to a safe haven on the west coast. The cool part is he’s blind and is pretty serious about this book, kicking butt and taking names wherever he goes, risking his neck in each new place to protect this book because everyone wants it. The uncool part? The damn book doesn’t even matter. Your boy Eli’s got this whole thing memorized. So, why is he flaunting it? Like this guy is just asking to be robbed. I guess you could argue that he hadn’t quite finished memorizing it until the events of this movie, but that’s a pretty thin stance if you ask me.
11. Tsunami Surfing – Die Another Day
When James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is forced off of the glacier he’s hanging onto, you think he’s a goner. But as a tsunami swells up from a crashing glacier, we see Bond rise up on its peak, surfing with a piece of metal and a parachute. Surfing with a piece of metal and a parachute on the tsunami. He surfs that massive wave like a pro too, swerving through a mine field of little ice blocks, even riding up another glacier and soaring through the air. Like buddy was doing tricks while he was surfing, just completely irresponsible. If the movie hadn’t ruined your day already, this scene is surely more than enough to do the trick. The CGI is about as bad as it gets and the concept is just a complete headscratcher. Usually we’re all for Bond doing things ordinary folks can’t do, but, for the love of God, be reasonable.
10. Stigmata – The Butterfly Effect
Playing with time in the movies is a difficult game. In The Butterfly Effect, the entire premise surrounds the concept that one small event can change the course of history. Well ignoring all the other potential problem spots in The Butterfly Effect, Ashton Kutcher‘s character is in prison and has to convince his cellmate of his abilities to affect the present by changing something in the past. He travels back and rams his hands onto two paper spikes in front of his teacher, giving himself stigmata wounds in his palms. Back in the present, Kutcher’s hands now reveal two scars, amazing his cellmate. Whoa, wait just a second. You’re telling me that the only thing that changed after this psychotic kid punctures both his hands on two spikes are these scars? Nothing else was changed? Also, how do the scars only reveal themselves now? Wouldn’t they have been there for every other moment afterward? Doesn’t make sense.
9. Dance – Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows
In maybe the most boring six and half hours in Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows part 1, Harry, Hermione and the little grouch Ron, sit around in the woods trying their damnedest to get the audience to fall asleep. To make it happen more quickly, Harry and Hermione decide to have a dance in their luxury tent. The problem is that the dance is about the most uncomfortable scene ever filmed. It is just hard to keep your eyes on. Not only are they not even dancing to the rhythm, they’re just kind of pushing each other, like a fight in grade school.
8. The Love Card – Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
In the gem of a flick we like to call Transformers 4: Age of Extinction, something very weird happens. Mark Wahlberg grills his 17-year old daughter’s boyfriend, telling the young buck he can either get punched in the face or have the cops called for him, a 20-year old, having an illegal relationship with a minor. The boyfriend then does something that is sure to quiet everyone in the audience. He pulls out a card from his wallet that explains the “Romeo and Juliet Law,” a law that legalizes their relationship considering they had a pre-existing relationship as minors. This guy has card of the section of the law book that justifies him dating a minor in his wallet, a laminated card, in his wallet.
7. The Burly Brawl – The Matrix Reloaded
There isn’t just one thing wrong with The Matrix Reloaded, but “The Burly Brawl” represents everything that is wrong with it. The silly fight scene between Neo and Agent Smith starts out alright, like any other fight in The Matrix, but as Mr. Smiths come piling in, the scene descends into chaos. As Neo tosses and kicks and smashes these multiple Agent Smiths with a stick, the CGI can’t keep up. The scene quickly turns into little plastic creatures, bending and moving so unnaturally that it’s impossible to overlook. It looks worse than a cheap video game and, for a movie with this size of a budget, it’s really unacceptable. The scene is a good example of how the filmmaking team behind The Matrix began sacrificing substance for style in the end.
6. The Ending – Law Abiding Citizen
The final scene in Law Abiding Citizen is a perfect example of how a decent movie can be shattered in just an instant. Not only does Jamie Foxx‘s character outsmarting Gerard Butler‘s (a trained mastermind) make no sense at all, it ruins the entire message of the film. Justice and law don’t always match up. No one is bigger than the law. That was it. Until they had boring Jamie Foxx’s character outright win, amending the message to say that no one is bigger than the law, except for Jamie Foxx as a lawyer. He’s a murderer. He’s a bad guy. Both characters kill killers but, because Foxx is a lawyer, it’s ok that he does it? What is happening?
5. Vicker’s Death – Prometheus
Charlize Theron is a beautiful, beautiful creature, but her character in Prometheus, Meredith Vickers, is not the brightest bulb in the batch. When it comes time for her to die, she chooses the absolute dumbest way to go. As the ship comes crashing down to the ground, it begins to roll forward toward Vickers. Instead of moving out of the way by running sideways off the path of the rolling ship, she runs forward, in the direct path of the rolling ship. This long and drawn-out run makes you shake your head as the ship inevitably crushes her. It’s like that part with the steamroller in Austin Powers, except more unbelievable. The worst part is that the ship is pretty skinny. It might have only taken a few steps to the side to have it pass by her unharmed.
4. Rewinding Time – Superman
The first Superman is a lot of fun, but, when you really think about it, it destroyed the entire concept of Superman for all of us, forever. Not only did the ending of the first Superman ruin its own movie, it ruined every Superman that has come since. When Lois Lane dies at the end, Superman in a crazed rage, flies into orbit and begins to circle the Earth backwards, against its rotation. The speed and power ends up turning Earth backwards, reversing time in the process. Well this is great! Superman undid everything bad that just happened. So why doesn’t he do that any time something bad happens? Why can he only do it this once?
3. Hallelujah – Watchmen
Zack Snyder‘s Watchmen takes more than its fair share of criticism. Zack Snyder is one of the internet’s most wanted. But for every one person who hates on his highly stylized approach and his focus on action at the expense of story, there are a million people who roll their eyes at the superhero sex scene set to Leonard Cohen‘s “Hallelujah” in Watchmen. Not only is the scene awkwardly long, but it just doesn’t fit. Not one bit. Throughout the scene, Snyder is moving the camera around getting weird angles like he’s at a fashion shoot. At the climax, Malin Akerman hits the fire thruster button in the Owlship, symbolically shooting fire throughout the night sky. This entire thing is cringe-worthy. By the time the scene is done, the audience is left looking around like we accidentally saw something we weren’t supposed to. Was that meant to be in the final cut? Why?
2. The Fridge & Monkeys – Indiana Jones 4
When Indiana Jones finds himself in a nuclear test site in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, we were forced to accept that this was finally the end of the great hero. There was no out. Nah, I’m kidding. Indy jumped out of a plane from about 10,000 feet up, with two humans on his back, in a life raft, straight onto a snowy hill, and wasn’t phased at all. He’s always got a way out. But, this time, Indiana Jones fans weren’t having it, Indiana Jones and the Lead-Lined Refrigerator. So how’d it go down? Well, Indy jumps in this lead-lined refrigerator; we know its lead lined because the camera made sure of it. When Indy gets inside this thing he is blasted hundreds of feet into the air, about a mile away from the blast site, and slammed into the ground. Luckily for our favorite archaeologist, he didn’t even suffer a scratch. Now we can suspend our belief a little, but can’t ignore everything. Oh, there’s also Mutt (Shia LaBeouf) swinging through the damn forest on vines with a thousand monkeys. Not only that, he catches up to a high-speed car chase, so he must have been traveling about 60 mph. What. The. Hell.
1. Peter Parker Dancing – Spider-Man 3
When Peter Parker goes all pale and emo in Spider-Man 3, you’d figure that he would want to stay inside or go shopping at Hot Topic, but not Peter Parker. When Peter goes full emo, he puts on his dancing shoes and goes to jazz clubs. I’m not sure what the Spider-Man 3 team were thinking, but this scene is one of the most embarrassing moments I’ve ever seen in a movie. Tobey Maguire is an awkward little duck in the best of times. When he’s moving his hips and snapping his fingers, that awkwardness level shoots up to a place that only dogs can hear. And his hair. Oh, sweet baby Jesus, his hair. This scene is almost bad enough to ruin all movies not just Spider-Man 3.