Tnothing worse than a smart alec movie buff.
Of course we all did. A cheesy blockbuster picked apart for its perceived flaws. Poke holes in sloppy plot logic. Suggested a different ending that would have made so much more sense.
The fact of the matter is that we are often not as smart as we think we are. Movies are often simply more interested in telling a story than in insuring against pedants.
Sometimes even common complaints are downright silly. people look titanic, for example, and ask why Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t just jump out the door next to Kate Winslet at the end. That’s enough to yell, “That’s not how buoyancy works!”
But sometimes plot holes are so outrageous that you just can’t let go of them. These are the ones that really stick in your mind and make you search for any plausible explanation.
Some of the best movies ever made still contained a few confusing plot holes Citizen Kane to Back to the Future. No matter what defenses people conjure up, there’s always a nagging feeling that never quite goes away.
Here are 15 of the biggest plot holes in popular movies…
The Shawshank Redemption
Frank Darabont’s prison drama includes a famous twist, revealing that wrongly incarcerated Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) secretly tunneled out of Shawshank Prison and hid his escape route with a poster of Rita Hayworth. But how did he manage to reattach the bottom of the poster after leaving it?
The Karate Kid
In the final act of the 1980s classic The Karate Kid, Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) defeats his rival Johnny Lawrence (Billy Zabka) with a sensational kick to the head. However, it was determined early in the fight that tournament rules did not allow punches to the head – which meant LaRusso had to be disqualified. It’s a plot hole that was made fun of in the recent sequel series, Cobra Kai.
Much of the first toy story revolves around Buzz Lightyear’s (Tim Allen) refusal to accept that he is actually a child’s toy. However, if that were the case, why would he play dead when a human entered the room? It’s a plot hole that has been questioned by fans for years, and no explanation is ever entirely satisfactory.
90’s sci-fi blockbuster Armageddon contained a plot hole so blatant that it was ridiculed by Ben Affleck in the film’s own DVD commentary: With Earth in grave danger, Nasa decides to train a cadre of drillers to be astronauts, a lengthy, expensive one (and in fact unworkable). ) process, rather than just training existing astronauts to operate the drill. “I asked [director Michael Bay] why it was easier to train oil drillers to be astronauts than it was to train astronauts to be oil drillers,” Affleck said of the comment. “He told me to shut up, so that was the end of that conversation.”
Back to the Future
Poking holes in Robert Zemeckis’ timeless time-travel quiff perhaps goes against the film’s goofy spirit. But it’s hard to get over one lingering sophistry: why shouldn’t Marty McFly’s parents notice that their son looked just like the weird and charismatic teenager who once set them up? Even if you accept that decades have passed since they last saw his face, it’s a stretch to think they wouldn’t notice the uncanny resemblances.
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Toward the end of Peter Jackson’s nearly 10-hour fantasy trilogy, an almighty deus ex machina arrives when the forces of good are saved by the arrival of the Great Eagles. But the scene left many viewers wondering: Why couldn’t the Eagles just take everyone to Mordor? The apparent plot hole has sparked endless debates among Middle-earth fanatics, with counter-arguments delving deep into Eagle lore to refute its merits. But the fact remains that for the average viewer, this was a mind-bogglingly simple solution that everyone on screen ignored.
Also a film as immortally great as Citizen Kane has its flaws – and the iconic opening scene is one of them. When Charles Foster Kane dies alone in his bedroom, he utters the enigmatic word: “Rosebud”. The word becomes a riddle that newspapermen try to decipher. The only problem? No one was around to hear him say that.
Beauty and the Beast
The titular beast in this classic Disney cartoon is about to turn 21; then the spell becomes permanent. And yet one of the songs suggests he lived as a beast for a full decade, meaning he was cursed when he was just a teenager. Not only does this raise many questions about the circumstances that led to the curse, it also directly contradicts the portrait we see of the beast when it was human and looked very much like an adult.
In this Marvel caper, it is said several times that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) retains his full size every time he shrinks to the size of an ant. This allows him to spank people while he is little. But that raises a fair amount of inconsistency about the way Ant-Man interacts with the world – not least when its human-sized bulk can be flown around on the back of an ant-sized ant.
The Butterfly Effect
This poorly received thriller starring Ashton Kutcher was pretty solid in its grasp of the butterfly effect at points, showing how small changes at any given point in time can have far-reaching consequences. However, there were flaws, such as the moment Kutcher’s character travels back in time to stab his childhood self through the hands – leading him to exactly the same circumstances as an adult, only with hand scars. The idea that this experience wouldn’t have a major impact on a young life is frankly preposterous and goes against much of what the rest of the film is trying to say.
M Night Shyamalan’s 2021 sci-fi drama about a beach where people age quickly was twisted, funny and original. It’s a bit of a shame, then, that the film’s ending hung on one of the most bizarre plot lines of recent years. Tasked with remotely monitoring the beach’s victims, Shyamalan’s own character decides to pack up his gear and leave when the last two people had been submerged for just a few minutes – apparently concluding that no one could survive that long. After watching her for many hours, suddenly he couldn’t spare another minute to make sure? It’s a hilarious moment in a film that’s otherwise a thought-provoking and deeply unsettling watch.
war of stars: The Force Awakens
Over the course of its dozen films, the Star Wars franchise has boasted its fair share of plot holes and accidental Easter eggs, albeit a moment in 2015 The Force Awakens mostly had fans in turmoil. When Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the gang return from Starkiller Base following Han Solo’s death, General Leia (Carrie Fisher) rushes over to give her a sad and pained hug, while completely ignoring Chewbacca, her decades-old friend and Han’s former confidante ignored . Out with the old man, I suppose.
The Dark Knight rises
Though the film had its ardent defenders, there was a lot to talk about in Christopher Nolan’s 2012 trilogy capper The Dark Knight rises that just felt a little under-baked. Whether it was the entire police force being lured underground and trapped, or the fact that internationally famous billionaire Bruce Wayne was able to fake his death and go about his life without being recognized, the Plot holes in this movie were so deep that you could follow them all the way to the Batcave.
After nearly being killed in a fight with Erik Kilmonger (Michael B. Jordan), T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) ends up in a river and floats downstream until he is pulled out of the water by a fisherman. However, we later learn that the tribe that discovers him are vegetarians – so what are they actually fishing for?
A quiet place
While it’s undeniably one of the better studio horror movies of recent years, A quiet place was mocked for some of its smaller details – like the whiteboard scrawled with “How many in Area?” in giant letters. A rather noticeable plot hole occurs midway through the film when the family walks to a nearby waterfall and is able to yell at each other without hearing the sound over the rushing water. Any sane person would look at that and go…why not go closer to the waterfall? Some people just like the quiet, I think.
This article was originally published in May 2022