Jun 21, 2018

60 Movies I Will Never See

There are 6 basic emotions, 1 positive (happiness), 3 negative (sadness, anger, and disgust), and 2 which could be either (surprise, fear)  The function of a movie, book, song, or other work of art is to elicit positive emotions, to make the audience feel better after viewing than they did before.

So I don't understand movies that deliberately elicit sadness, anger, or disgust.  Why would anyone want to watch something that makes you feel bad?  Don't you get enough bad feelings in real life?

Here are 60 movies that I will never see, or that I saw and regretted.

No dying of long, slow, debilitating diseases.  With scenes of yelling at doctors, reconciling with estranged relatives, sobbing, sobbing, sobbing, and holding hands on death beds.

1. Terms of Endearment (1983). Shirley Maclain's daugher dies of cancer.

2. Beaches (1988).  No one surfing or swimming, just Bette Midler singing and crying.

3. Steel Magnolias (1989).  Women face tragedy in the South.

4. My Girl (1991).  Boy falls in love with a dying girl.

5. Lorenzo's Oil (1992).  Family tries to cure their dying son.

6. Stepmom (1998). Hugging and dying.

7. Here on Earth (2000).  Boy's girlfriend dies.

8. Bridge to Terabithia (2007). With Josh Hutcherson (top, recent photo). They fool you into thinking it's a fantasy movie, like Harry Potter.  It's actually about a boy befriending a dying girl.

9. Moulin Rouge (2008).  Fortunately, I walked out because it was so awful long before the deathbed scene.

10. The Fault in Our Stars (2014).  A support group for people dying of cancer.

Especially no dying-of-AIDS.  Yelling at doctors, reconciling with estranged relatives, sobbing, sobbing, and so on, but with homophobia.  Lovely way to spend an evening.

11. An Early Frost (1985).  Guy dies of AIDS.

12. Parting Glances (1986).  Guy dies of AIDS.

13. Longtime Companion (1989). Guy dies of AIDS.

14. Philadelphia (1993).  I was forced to watch this, but kept my nose in a book the whole time.  Guy faces discrimination because he's dying of AIDS.

15. And the Band Played On (1993). The government refuses to acknowledge that people are dying of AIDS.

16. The Cure (1995).  Guy dies of AIDS.

17. It's My Party (1996, left).  AIDS and suicide!  Fun!

No Holocaust as entertainment.  Um... 6,000,000 people died. How can that be turned into two hours of fun?

18.  Sophie's Choice (1982).  She has to choose which of her kids to kill, and later gets a couple of boyfriends.

19. Schindler's List (1993). He helps some people escape from the Holocaust. 

20. Life is Beautiful (1997).  Set in a concentration camp. Are they kidding?

21. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas (2009).  More concentration camp hijinks.

No main characters dying, period. Who had th bright idea of killing off the protagonists in car accidents, gunshots to the head, or zombie bites?  Why would I want to get invested in a character, only to have them die?
22. Easy Rider (1969).  I saw this, not realizing that everybody dies, and the movie is ruined.

23. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969),  What's the point of a homoerotic buddy "comedy" if they're just going to die at the end?

24. Thelma and Louis (1991).  I watched this, too.  No one told me that they go over a cliff.

25. Titanic (1997). I was conned into seeing the musical.  Hint: they all drown.

26. The Perfect Storm (2000).  They all drown.

27. Children of Men (2006). Everybody is dying.

28. Pan's Labyrinth (2006).  Girl is dying.

29. Into the Wild (2007).  He starves to death!

30. 28 Weeks Later (2007).  Zombie movies are supposed to have survivors!

31. Burn After Reading This (2008).  I went into this thinking it was a comedy, and walked out when Brad Pitt's comic relief character suddenly died.

32. Apollo 18 (2011).  Dying astronauts.

No inmates on death row.  You know they're going to die from the beginning.  Why bother to watch?
 33. The Executioner's Song (1982).
34. Dead Man Walking (1995)
35. The Green Mile (1999)

No war.  War is one of the biggest tragedies of life, not a source of entertainment!  If the movie is about humorous hijinks far from the combat zone, ok.  But angst-ridden, somber music, people dying of bullet holes -- no way!  I don't care if the whole platoon struts around naked.
36. Platoon (1986)
37. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
38. Saving Private Ryan (1998)
39. We Were Soldiers (2002)

No ends of the world.  Nuclear holocaust, giant meteor, whatever.  Even worse than the main characters dying, the end of everybody and everything, the most depressing thing imaginable.

40. Dr. Strangelove (1965). Why would you yell "yahoo" while plummeting to your death on the back of a nuclear bomb?

41. Miracle Mile (1988).  I actually saw this without realizing that the world ends until it was too late, and I was trapped there with a date.

42. 2012 (2009).  A new flood kills everybody on Earth, except for two hetero couples.

43. Cabin in the Woods (2012). I thought it would be a standard horror movie, with survivors at the end, not "the old gods awaken and start the Apocalypse," and everybody dies.

44. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012).  A "comedy" about a man and a woman (of course) falling in love just before an asteroid kills everybody on Earth.

45. This is the End (2013).  I actually watched this.  Everybody dies. Can you believe it was advertised as a "comedy"!

No LGBT people dealing with homophobia.  Getting yelled at, rejected, beat up, experiencing angst, and dying.

46. Get Real (1998).  I saw this, thinking it would be ok because no one dies.  Horrible!

47. Boys Don't Cry (1999). Transman is killed.

48. The Laramie Project (2002).  A movie about a real-life horrific hate crime!  Just the thing to brighten your day.

49. Brokeback Mountain (2005). Bisexual cowboys facing homophobia and dying.  No way!

No horrifying handicaps.  I don't care if they overcome adversity and find love, having a handicap is depressing.

50.  The Miracle Worker (1962). I got grossed out by the passage in the book where the child Helen Keller doesn't eat at the table, she just goes from plate to plate and grabs whatever she wants.

51. Johnny Got His Gun (1971).  A blind, deaf, and dumb quadriplegic?

52. Tommy (1975).  A blind, deaf, and dumb boy, plus homophobia.  I turned off the DVD and zapped it back to Netflix.

53. The Elephant Man (1980).

54. Mask (1985).  I don't know what it's about, but it sounds gross.

55. My Left Foot (1989). This one sounded even more gross.

56. The Sessions (2012).  A man living in an iron lung decides to have sex.  Gross.

No movies where the plot summary itself makes me nauseous.

57. Harold and Maude (1971).  I saw this one.  Sickening romance between a teenage boy and an 80-year old lady.  No, I don't think it's at all hypocritical that I'm 55 years old and dating twinks. Plus she commits suicide because she loves life so much.  Huh?

58. Pink Flamingos (1972).  According to John Waters, they offered Divine a substitute, but no, she wanted to really eat the dog poop.

59. Funny Games (1997).  A family is terrorized and killed by a pair of psychos.  Uplifting!

60. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).  He ages backwards!  Can you think of anything more disgusting?  I couldn't even sit through the trailers.

See also: 10 Gay Movies  I Hated.


  1. I love your blog bro but dang Dr.Strangelove? Brokeback Mountain? Really? Note to self don't go to the movies with Boomer. :)

    1. I watch mostly science fiction, comedies, children's movies, and classics, especially from before the 1970s. "Dr. Strangelove" was awful; not at all funny, absurdly nonsensical, and it ends with a guy plummeting to earth on an atom bomb, a very disturbing image. "Brokeback Mountain": I don't need to see yet another gay guy getting killed, thanks.

  2. I can't agree with your statement that art is supposed to make us feel good. Life itself isn't designed to make us feel good so why should art pretend otherwise? I'm really surprised that someone who is so brilliant in cultural and literary commentary (for your views on gay subtexts and the history of American masculinity are among the best things you do on this blog) can be so insensitive to tragedy—and I know I don't have to quote Aristotle at you. Sometimes your attacks on heterosexual romance sound like homophobia in reverse. I know why you're angry, but revenge and justice aren't the same thing. I also should point out that I still enjoyed this essay very much. What you said about tragic-disease-of-the-month movies is right on target. There is a difference, however, between a badly written movie and a movie that deals with the darker side of life. Neither comedy nor tragedy can exist without contrast and tension.

    1. I didn't say no tragedy -- give a good Macbeth or Oedipus Rex any day -- just a certain subset of bad things: no long, weepy death bed bathos, no death-by-homophobia, no Holocaust. For some reason I can't stand any movie with a lifeboat scene -- maybe I died in a shipwreck in my last life. I'm not really comfortable with black comedies. But my biggest pet peeve is a movie where all of the main characters die.

  3. I don't like sad movies either but "Brokeback Mountain" should be seen at least once. "Steel Magnolias" is worth watching for a scene set in college locker room filled with jock beef


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