Everyone has something that they dislike in movies, whether it’s a specific actor or a style of cinematography. Check out 25 things that many cinephiles online can’t stand seeing in flicks.
1. Loud Music and Effects That Drown Out Dialogue
This annoyance is just poor sound design. Sound effects and a great score are essential elements for a stellar movie, but so is dialogue! If I can’t hear what the characters are saying to one another, then I can’t follow the plot, and I’m just going to be annoyed. Sound balance is crucial!
2. Heavy-Handed Dark Ambiance
As one online cinephile said, if you can't see anything, you may as well leave. If I’m in a dark movie theater or sitting in my pitch-black living room and I still can’t see what’s happening on screen, the movie is simply too dark! We get it, the scene is moody and depressing, but I need to see the characters.
3. Inaccurate Historical Details
I mean, how hard is it to fact-check? Movies like Argo are supposed to be based on historical events, but get little details unnecessarily wrong, driving movie viewers crazy. It’s like if you’re watching a film and they say America was founded in 1775, it’s just wrong and frustrating.
4. Casual Cheating
One online commenter said they hate when movies normalize cheating, as in a spouse cheats and the couple goes on like it’s no big deal. I wholeheartedly agree with this one because it sends a very depressing message about our society and relationships. Cheating in movies is fine if it’s addressed thoroughly rather than brushed over like it’s nothing.
5. Awkward Exposition
The exposition is the beginning of the movie, where the viewers are introduced to the characters, world, and general situation. Essentially, it’s the setup before the real plot begins. But a sloppy exposition where we’re clumsily introduced to the setting and characters feels lazy and can ruin the rest of the movie with its cheesiness.
6. Cliche Lines
Do I even have to say this one? Cliche lines like “We’ve got company!” or “I could tell you, but then I’d have to kill you” completely pull the viewer out of the movie. They’re cheesy, overused Hollywood lines that belong on the cutting room floor, as they often had nothing to the film.
7. Condescending Writing
Similar to a lazy and clunky exposition, condescending writing is when the writers basically hold the viewer’s hand and carefully, obviously explain what is going on in the movie. For example, a movie may over-explain a concept that the viewer could’ve figured out themselves because the writers assumed the audience was too stupid to understand the message.
8. Animal Death or Cruelty
I vote for all animal cruelty and death to be banned from Hollywood. Thank goodness for doesthedogdie.com, as it has saved me from watching many movies that would have gutted me. I understand a dog dying in a movie elicits emotion well, but it also ruins my day and guarantees I’ll never rewatch the movie.
9. Annoying Actors
This complaint from cinephiles is two-fold. People lament about seeing poor actors who ruin the movie, as well as seeing unwanted actors in films. Some people cited Dwayne Johnson, Tom Cruise, Kevin Spacey, and Kristen Stewart as some actors who they just hate seeing pop up on screen.
10. Ambiguous Plot Points
Most movie watchers want to understand precisely what is happening in the movie, but ambiguous plot points make it difficult. For example, it can be annoying if the movie follows a main character who just lost their job, but we get zero insight into how, why, or what their job even was. It makes the plot seem flimsy and ungrounded.
11. Behind-The-Scenes Controversies
This one is directly related to crafting a movie, but it can ruin a movie for me when I know there is a ton of drama on set. The top example that comes to mind is that Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst despised each other while filming Spider-Man 2 because they had recently broken up in real life.
12. Lazy Final Acts
As a writer, I can confirm that crafting a compelling and satisfying ending to a story is the hardest part. But that doesn’t mean they can just give us a lazy ending! Lazy final acts may not offer a conclusion but allow the viewer to decide what they think happened. One of the more recent examples I can think of is Triangle of Sadness, which was a compelling movie with a vague ending.
13. Poor Family Casting
Few things are as annoying when movies cast a family who looks nothing alike because they wanted certain actors. It pulls you out of the movie because it becomes obvious this is a group of actors and not a real family. A lot can be said for casting directors who prioritize familial appearances.
14. Unrealistic Moans, Screams, and Cries
This one is minor for me but very important to some cinephiles. For example, in many horror movies, there will be an injured character who wails and howls endlessly, which is mostly unrealistic. People in pain only have so much energy to exert, and they can’t scream forever.
15. Unnecessary Steamy Scenes
While some adult scenes in movies push the plot along, others seem gratuitous and unnecessary. I’ve always felt that if you can cut out an intimate, steamy scene and no one would ever notice, it shouldn’t be there in the first place.
16. Deus Ex Machina
Deus ex machina is a plot device that solves a conflict in the story seemingly out of nowhere. This device is used in stories when it seems all hope is lost, but out of nowhere, the conflict is remedied by some outside force. It’s considered a poor way to wrap up a story in most cases.
17. The Chosen One Trope
I don’t mind this trope, but some people feel it is played out. Many movies, such as Harry Potter, The Matrix, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Kung Fu Panda, all use the Chosen One trope, highlighting the main character as the one and only person/animal who can save the world or complete the prophecy or whatever the plot is working toward.
18. An Impossible Mystery or Puzzle for the Audience
Mystery movies can be so fun, especially for amateur detectives in the audience who want to solve the case! Some movies do this really well, but others make the mystery so impossible and contrived that the audience couldn’t possibly figure it out. Movies that come to mind are Knives Out and Ocean’s 11.
19. A 555 Phone Number
I actually love that this is a thing in movies, but some people say it pulls them out of the movie. No US phone numbers start with 555, as it was once used to reach operators but is now out of service. Writers use 555 numbers in movies for this reason, which is kind of a cool fun fact!
20. Low-Quality CGI
CGI can be an amazing movie tool, especially if you talk to James Cameron. However, poor CGI is a sin and immediately reminds the viewer they are watching a movie. Some of the worst examples of CGI can be found in The Mummy Returns, Green Lantern, and Cats.
21. Stupid Plot Twists
I think most people can agree that stupid plot twists that come out of left field are annoying. Plot twists in movies like The Sixth Sense and Parasite are revelations, but many movies use plot twists that, instead of surprising the viewer, make them angry because it feels like poor writing.
22. Out-Of-Place Music
The score of a movie is something that not everyone notices, but it impacts the quality substantially. Using an upbeat, cheerful song during an intensely heartbreaking scene is weird. Also, it’s off-putting when a modern pop song, say Taylor Swift’s Style, appears in a movie set in the 1850s.
23. Unnecessary Fight Scenes
Similarly to the unnecessary steamy scenes, people online also complain about unnecessary fight scenes. One person online cited John Wick, as every other scene is a lengthy and complex fight. It gets tiring after a while watching people throw punches.
24. Discreet Political Propaganda
Some movies will also sneak in political messages, which can be annoying. Many people watch movies to escape the turmoil of the real world, and feeling like you’re being told to vote for someone who thinks one way about a controversial topic is violating and creepy.
25. It Was All a Dream…
One of the all-time worst things that can ruin a movie is when it turns out the whole plot was just the main character’s dream. In many ways, it makes watching the movie feel like a waste of time and is also a very easy, lame ending for the writers to use.