Minor plot holes in great movies may not necessarily ruin them in the eyes of the fans that love them. However, when they contain illogical inconsistencies, they can often affect the entire trajectory of how a movie ought to have gone.
It seems no matter how solid a script is, no film is truly immune from having plot holes when they’re truly scrutinized from every logical angle. So saying that some of these great films were “ruined” may be a little harsh but, then again, it depends on how much you believe a particular plot hole negatively affects that film as a whole.
Here’s a list of great films where gaping plot holes caused some unforgivable outrage for how they either exposed lazy writing, how they affected the storyline in general or as a whole, or ultimately, how they ruined great movies by tarnishing them in some way.
15 Wonder Woman
The Wonder Woman film starring Gal Gadot was a huge hit among audiences throughout the world. However, as amazing as the script, effects, and everything else might have been, there were also moments of seemingly lazy writing that made the rest of it seem a little unsatisfactory as a result. For instance, if Diana’s mother didn’t want her to learn about her actual identity, why would she tell her about Ares and the God Killer. Also, if it’s the Amazons’ duty to protect mankind, it’s ridiculous that they don’t know about World War I. One particular scene, though, has really annoyed audiences.
In the scene where Diana wears a blue dress, we later see that she had her costume underneath it the entire time. However, before it’s pulled away and the costume is revealed, if you look at the dress in the previous scene, the neckline is clearly too low for the costume to have not been visible beneath it the entire time. Of course, Wonder Woman 1984 was a mess, and almost too easy a target, so that’s best left unmentioned.
14 Captain America: The Winter Soldier
At one point, the MCU seemed to have a golden touch and everything from it that hit screens during this period was always a massive hit both critically and commercially. That didn’t mean these films weren’t immune to criticism, though they’re hardly the worst superhero movies ever made. As a whole, the entire concept of the MCU is predicated on audiences’ ability to suspend reality and delve into a universe where all the fantastical things and characters from there are possible.
However, since superhero fandom is such a hugely popular space around the world, even the smallest inconsistencies can often make for some hotly contested debates among super fans of the genre. In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, one such inconsistency was plain to see and rendered much of what came before it illogical.
The point here is that Captain America’s shield is supposed to be so strong it can withstand the force of blows from unearthly objects such as Thor’s hammer by seemingly absorbing all the energy. Yet, when the Winter Soldier punches it, it seems a lot weaker since the blows cause Steve Rogers to be pushed backwards. Does this mean Bucky’s punches are stronger than a blow from Mjölnir when wielded by Thor?
13 The Shawshank Redemption
Based on Stephen King’s story, The Shawshank Redemption was a highly acclaimed film featuring Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman as two convicts. The entire movie revolves around Robbin’s character trying to escape prison.
By the end, we see that he actually manages this by digging a tunnel in his cell wall and covering it up with a poster of Rita Hayworth. Yet, once it’s discovered, there’s one glaring plot hole. After he gets into the hole in the wall and escapes via the tunnel, how did he reach back into the cell from inside the tunnel and reattach the poster so neatly that it escaped detection?
12 Man of Steel
So Superman is, of course, a character where all realms of rational possibility need to be suspended to enjoy his films. With armies of fans around the world, the iconic character has certainly achieved this. However, that just leaves most of his exploits up for debate among the passionate circles of comic book nerds anyway.
In Man of Steel, Clark Kent is seen in some scenes sporting a beard and clean-shaven the rest of the time. However, as the Man of Steel, what earthly razor is capable of shaving his hair — the same hair that can survive fires, explosions, and all manner of other more powerful physical forces?
11 The Rock
The Rock was a perfectly good action movie that teamed up Nicolas Cage in his hey dey with the the legendary Sean Connery. It featured an exciting plot that made for a compelling film which centered on an ex-con trying to help a special agent stop some baddies from using weapons of mass destruction.
However, to do this, they have to break into the infamous Alcatraz prison where the baddies were holding hostages. Connery’s character was the only man in history that ever managed to break out of Alcatraz in the film, so he’s recruited to help with the operation. In the famous furnace scene, Connery manages to roll between blasts of fire with precision timing because he’s memorized the patterns of when they fire.
This enables him to roll into the furnace and reach the other side, where he opens a door from the inside to let the others in. This begs the question, when he escaped the first time, he would have been coming out from the other end. So why would he need to memorize the timing of the furnace blasts to roll out when he could have just left through the door?
10 Black Panther
This iconic entrant into the MCU was seen as a triumph against racism and discrimination in pop culture. The main character of Black Panther hailed from a fictional African nation known as Wakanda where rulers may be challenged for the throne. Why is the most supposedly advanced nation in the world still stuck in bloodlust, family feuds, and fights to the death? Additionally, where does Killmonger go for most of the movie? And in the film’s final epic fight, the Jabari tribe shows up at just the exact moment to help in the final battle for some reason.
In that final conflict, the main hero is nearly killed in a fight with a new challenger known as Killmonger. He ends up surviving and winds up in a river, where he’s later dragged out of the water by a fisherman. Subsequently, we find out that the fisherman is from a tribe that is supposedly vegetarian. But if they’re vegetarian, why did they even have a fisherman living there?
9 The Karate Kid
In the 1984 classic, The Karate Kid, a young karate student must fight for his honor against a rival whose skills prove practically unbeatable. In the end, the kid has to perform a spectacular kick to the head while balancing on one injured leg to win.
However iconic this moment was, it effectively kills the entire film since it’s said at the beginning of the fight that head kicks are not allowed. The move was therefore an illegal one and “Daniel-san” should have been disqualified for using it — a fact that was even made fun off in the hit spinoff show, Cobra Kai
8 The Day After Tomorrow
As far as disaster films go, 2004’s The Day After Tomorrow was a pretty cool one. When a “superstorm” develops it sets off a catastrophic chain of natural disasters throughout the world. By the end, groups of survivors make it to New York where they congregate on the rooftops of skyscrapers.
Thankfully, helicopters arrive and rescue them from there. However, the state of the city at that point is like a hellscape and every inch of it is covered with under massive tracts of ice and snow. So, given those conditions, how exactly did the survivors get up there?
The iconic director M. Night Shyamalan has made some truly thought-provoking and spine-tingling films over the years. With Signs, he took a stab at making an alien invasion one. While the movie wasn’t as highly rated as many of his others, it was still pretty good overall.
However, the film did seem to fall apart due to one inexcusable plot hole. The aliens are susceptible to water yet have a scene where they run through a dew-soaked corn field. Also, if water is their apparent weakness, it makes zero sense that they would have chosen to invade a planet where 70% of its surface is covered in it.
6 The Hangover
The popularity and success of The Hangover led to two sequels being made. The hilarious movies are definitely a firm favorite among fans of crude comedies. However, in the first film, the main characters spend mot of it searching for their other friend named Doug. Eventually, at the end of the film, Doug is located on the rooftop of Caesars Palace in Vegas, where the group had been staying.
Despite how funny their antics were throughout the film as they bumbled around searching for him, the whole thing made no sense really. Everyone knows that hotels and casinos in Vegas have virtually every square inch of their premises covered by CCTV cameras. Surely one of them could have been used to figure out where Doug had been lost all that time.
5 Kill Bill: Vol. 1
The Quentin Tarantino classic from 2003, Kill Bill: Vol. 1, didn’t pay much heed to realism. How else would you fit in such beautifully choreographed and bloody fight scenes? However, that could easily be forgiven since Tarantino films are known and loved for that sort of thing.
What was a little unacceptable was that Uma Thruman’s character in the film awakens from years in a coma to find that her legs have atrophied. She proceeds to use her arms and the rest of her body to drag herself around. Yet, it’s never explained how come her hands and arms hadn’t also atrophied after all that time.
The hit film Gravity was a jaw-dropping spectacle at times that could leave audiences feeling both flawed and nauseous from all its vivid spinning around in space. A poignant part in the film sees George Clooney’s character, Kowalski, ask Stone (Sandra Bullock) to let go of his rope, or they will both die.
However, at that moment, they are both in the same orbit around the Earth, aren’t they? Wouldn’t that mean that a quick pull would have reeled him back to her? It seems logical, and if true, the entire film’s plot falls apart because of it.
3 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Granted, this one doesn’t actually kill the plot of the movie or really damage it in any way. However, if you’re a super fan of the franchise, like tens of millions of people are, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2 featured one truly unforgivable mistake.
In the memory scenes where Severus Snape is seen together with Lily Potter, Harry’s mom, she has brown eyes. Yet, time and time again in the books and the movies, we are told that Harry Potter has his mother’s eyes.
Funny thing is, Harry Potter’s eyes are green, so why was Lily’s brown? If you’re an obsessive fan, like so many people around the world are, this seemingly silly little detail is likely to drive you nuts for how easily it could have been avoided with just a little more attention to detail.
2 The Dark Knight Rises
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy has become iconic and is widely regarded as the greatest superhero films in history. Despite that, in The Dark Knight Rises it was pretty clear that some lazy writing abounded to keep its plot moving where the film needed it to go. Right from the start, it’s odd that the CIA wouldn’t check the identities of the hooded men in the plane and realize that Bane was one of them.
Additionally, when Bane takes Batman to India, it’s ridiculous that he would take the 15-hour one-way trip there just to sit with him in the plane and explain how he’s going to torture him. After Batman’s ridiculous escape from the prison (and equally ridiculous medical fix from a broken back), he somehow gets back to Gotham City in time to save it.
It’s also very unrealistic that the police officer, Blake, identifies Bruce Wayne as Batman in an overly melodramatic scene, where he says, “Right when I saw you, I knew who you were. I’d seen that look on your face before.” The audience is supposed to believe that, because Blake is also an orphan, he somehow knows that Wayne is Batman.
But one of the most unrealistic scenarios sees the entire Gotham Police Department go underground searching for Bane. It’s staggering to believe that a city like Gotham, which often looks and seems to be on the scale of New York, would send all of its police personnel on one mission at the same time. After they get stuck down there (which is ridiculous, considering there are thousands of manholes to escape through), months seem to go by. Despite there being supplies sent down to them, it seems pretty unbelievable when they emerge after all that time seeming clean-shaven and well-fed.
1 Home Alone
In 1990, a little kid named Kevin McAllister stole hearts around the world and made Macaulay Culkin one of the most famous child stars there’s ever been. However, the smash hit, Home Alone, that made this all possible had so many glaring plot holes that it made the entire movie completely illogical from the beginning.
Since the entire premise of the film rests on an eight-year-old kid somehow managing to be left home alone by his gigantic family over the course of an entire holiday, this part on its own beleaguers belief. It seems like the filmmakers knew this, so to compensate, they practically built every single fact from the beginning of the film around it. What results is a series of such highly improbable coincidences that must all coalesce perfectly to make the premise possible.
In the end, it’s probably better to just enjoy the film for what it was, a lighthearted family comedy with a Christmas theme thrown in. Try to wrap your head around the logistics of it all and the lovable film will sadly just fall apart. To illustrate, here’s a video that lists everything wrong with the plot just in the first 15 minutes of the film alone.