TThere is nothing worse than a know-it-all movie buff.
We’ve all done it, of course. Selected a cheesy blockbuster for its perceived flaws. I poked holes in some sloppy plot logic. He proposed another ending that would have made much more sense.
However, the fact is that we are often not as smart as we think we are. Movies are often simply more interested in telling a story than guarding against pedants.
Sometimes even widely circulated complaints are totally fatuous. The people look Titanic, for example, and ask why Leonardo DiCaprio didn’t jump out the door with Kate Winslet at the end. It’s enough to make you want to yell, “That’s not how buoyancy works!”
But sometimes, the plot holes are so egregious that you just can’t let them go. These are the ones that really stick in your mind and leave you searching for any sort of plausible explanation.
Some of the best movies ever made can still contain some baffling plot holes, from Citizen Kane a Return to the future. No matter what defenses people conjure up, there is always some lingering feeling that never quite goes away.
Here are 15 of the biggest plot holes in popular movies…
Frank Darabont’s prison drama features a famous twist, revealing that Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), mistakenly incarcerated, has secretly broken out of Shawshank Prison, hiding his escape route with a poster of Rita Hayworth. But how did he manage to put the bottom of the poster back on after leaving?
the karate kid
In the final act of the 80’s 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 established early in the fight that headbutts were not allowed under tournament rules, meaning LaRusso should have been disqualified. It’s a plot hole that was teased 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, in fact, a children’s toy. However, if this were the case, why would he play dead every time a human enters the room? It’s a plot hole that fans have questioned for years, and no explanation is satisfactory.
90s sci-fi blockbuster Armageddon featured a plot hole so blatant that Ben Affleck ridiculed it in the film’s own DVD commentary: With Earth in grave danger, NASA decides to train a group of drilling workers as astronauts, a lengthy, costly process ( and actually unfeasible). ), rather than simply training existing astronauts on how to operate the drill. “I asked [director Michael Bay] why it was easier to train oil drillers to become astronauts than it was to train astronauts to become oil drillers,” Affleck said of the comment. “He told me to shut the hell up, so that was the end of that conversation.”
Return to the future
Poking holes in Robert Zemeckis’ timeless game of time travel perhaps goes against the goofy spirit of the film. But it’s hard to overcome one lingering objection: why wouldn’t Marty McFly’s parents notice that his son looked identical to the strange, charismatic teenager who once set them up? Even if he accepts that it’s been decades since they last saw his face, it’s hard to believe they wouldn’t notice the uncanny similarities.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Towards the end of Peter Jackson’s nearly 10-hour fantasy trilogy, an almighty deus ex machina arrives, as 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 get everyone to Mordor in the first place? The apparent plot hole has sparked endless debate among Middle-earth fans, with counterarguments digging deeper into eagle lore to refute its merits. But the fact is that for the everyday viewer this was an incredibly simple solution that was ignored by everyone on the screen.
Even a movie as immortally great as Citizen Kane it has its weaknesses, and the iconic opening scene is one of them. As Charles Foster Kane perishes alone in his bedroom, he utters the enigmatic word: “Rosebud.” The word becomes a riddle that journalists strive to decipher. The only problem? There was no one around to hear him say it.
Beauty and the Beast
The titular beast in this classic Disney cartoon is shown to be about to turn 21; that’s when the spell becomes permanent. And yet, one of the songs suggests that he has been living as a beast for a full decade, meaning that he was cursed when he was still a pre-teen. Not only does this raise a lot of questions about the circumstances that led to the curse, but it also directly contradicts the portrayal we see of the beast when he was a human and looked very much like an adult.
In this Marvel adventure, it is stated multiple times that Scott Lang (Paul Rudd) retains his full-size mass every time he shrinks to the size of an ant. It’s what allows him to hit people when he’s little. But this raises a lot of inconsistencies about how Ant-Man interacts with the world, most notably when his human-sized bulk can fly on the back of an ant-sized ant.
The butterfly Effect
This poorly received thriller starring Ashton Kutcher was pretty solid in its understanding of the butterfly effect at points, showing how small changes in a moment in time can have far-reaching consequences. There were flaws though, like the moment Kutcher’s character goes back in time to stab his childhood self in the hands, which landed him in the exact same adult circumstance, only with scars on his hands. The idea that the experience wouldn’t have a greater effect on a young life is, frankly, preposterous and clashes with much of what the rest of the film is trying to say.
M Night Shyamalan’s 2021 sci-fi drama about a beach that makes people age quickly was twisted, funny, and original. It’s a small shame, therefore, that the film’s ending hinges on one of the weirdest plot contraptions in recent years. Shyamalan’s own character, tasked with monitoring the beach’s victims from afar, decides to pack up his gear and leave when the last two people dove underwater for just a couple of minutes, apparently deciding no one could survive that long. After watching them for many hours, he suddenly couldn’t waste another minute to make sure? It’s a hilarious moment in a film that is otherwise a thought-provoking and deeply disturbing watch.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Over the course of its dozen films, the Star Wars franchise boasted its fair share of plot holes and unintended Easter eggs, though one moment in 2015 the force awakens he had admirers especially in arms. When Rey (Daisy Ridley) and the gang return from Starkiller Base after Han Solo’s death, General Leia (Carrie Fisher) rushes to give him a sad and heartbroken hug, completely ignoring Chewbacca, her friend of decades and Han’s former confidante. Out with the old, I guess.
The dark knight rises
Although the film had its ardent supporters, there was plenty about the culmination of Christopher Nolan’s 2012 trilogy. The dark knight rises that felt a bit raw. Whether it’s the entire police force being lured in and trapped underground, or the fact that internationally famous billionaire Bruce Wayne was able to fake his death and live his life unrecognized, the plot holes run so deep in this movie that you could follow them all the way to the batcave.
After T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is nearly killed in a fight with Erik Kilmonger (Michael B Jordan), he lands in a river and floats downstream until a fisherman pulls him out of the water. However, we later learn that the tribe that discovers it is a vegetarian, so what are they fishing for?
A peaceful place
While it’s arguably one of the best studio horrors of recent years, A peaceful place has been mocked for some of its smaller touches, like the chalkboard with “How many in the area?” scrawled in huge letters. A rather noticeable plot hole occurs halfway through the film, when the family goes to a nearby waterfall and they are able to yell at each other without the noise about the water breaking being detected. Any sensible person would look at that and say… why not get closer to the waterfall? I guess some people like quiet.
This article was originally published in May 2022