Movies We Walked Out On (Or Should Have)

Top Five is a show where the hosts categorize, rank, compare, and stratify everything… from cars to gadgets to people and movies. From stuff that is hot, and things that are not nearly as interesting – it’s Top Five.

Sometimes a movie is so frustrating you simply have to walk out of the theater. Other times you sit there hoping it gets better, but in the end you wish you would have walked out of the theater… this is our list.


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About Author

Stephen Schleicher began his career writing for the Digital Media Online community of sites, including Digital Producer and Creative Mac covering all aspects of the digital content creation industry. He then moved on to consumer technology, and began the Coolness Roundup podcast. A writing fool, Stephen has freelanced for Sci-Fi Channel's Technology Blog, and Gizmodo. Still longing for the good ol' days, Stephen launched Major Spoilers in July 2006, because he is a glutton for punishment. You can follow him on Twitter @MajorSpoilers and tell him your darkest secrets...


  1. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Movie tore halfway through an awful movie, and I sat around waiting to see if it got better. It didn’t.

    Vanilla Sky. I was into the movie – thought we had a great psychological thriller thing going on, and then the ending just ruined it for me.

    Those two are really the only ones I can think of that were just…that bad.

  2. You’re not a hipster douche bag, Matthew (at least not in this particular instance ;) ). Phantom Menace was genuinely, objectively bad.

    I walked out of Transformers 2 when Optimus Prime died, not because I have a particular affinity for the character, but because he was the only person in the entire film that was remotely likeable. I couldn’t bare watching the rest of the sex obsessed, wantonly stupid, one dimensional cast bumble around for another hour.

    • I felt like I was literally losing my mind when Shia the Beef died and went to Robot Heaven. I started laughing hysterically in the theater, getting odd looks from others, and spent the rest of my movie rubbing my temples.

  3. 1) Pee Wee’s Big Top Adventure.
    2) Superman Returns
    3) Batman and Robin
    4) Laura Croft: The Cradle of Life
    5) I’d say anything with Leonardo DeCaprio but you have to actually watch a movie to walk out on it, so….

  4. I’m pretty sure Robert Rodriguez wasn’t actually involved with The Spirit. It was Frank Miller’s solo-directorial debut.

  5. 1. Transformers Revenge of the Fallen: A terrible piece of movie from beginning to end, with horrible & forgettable “characters,” jokes, and action scenes. I spent the entire film smashing my head against the back of the seat wanting this to end.

    2. The Dark Knight Rises: I say this without a hint of irony “I would rather watch Batman & Robin twice, before seeing this one again.” The characters in this movie either have no point, eg Catwoman, or honestly are just badly written. The direction in this film is bad, and quite frankly this is the movie that made me want Nolan & Goyer to not be involved in any future DC projects (which has since been shattered.)

    3. Star Trek Nemesis: People can complain about “Into Darkness” being a TWOK rip-off, this was worse. Characters, plot points, and more are brought up & dropped. Data’s death makes no sense, and with two bits of logic could have been avoided. The best bit of this film was SF Debris’ review of it with scenes of Data having Jor-El’s speech from Superman being played over them.

    4. Gods & Generals: Just a long boring film that was completely forgettable.

    5. The Terminal: Just didn’t like it.

    • Swap out the Terminal for 2012’s Les Miserables, a film so bad, that even my mother who wanted to see it, wanted the whole film to walk out.

  6. 5. Mortal Kombat: Annihilation; It starts with the death of the only character I cared about and got worse from there, still not over Sheeva getting crushed by a cage…

    4. Transformers III; oh boy, were to begin lets just say it was all bad and leave it at that.

    3. Star Trek I (original); I have trying watching the whole thing, never been able it slows to painfully dull crawl way too often.

    2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest; it was just dumb.

    And number one by leaps and bounds: Borat; This movie was crap, I mean just horrible if I meet the actor in real life I may punch him… Or worse.

  7. Battlefield Earth – I don’t remember why I hated this, I just have this visceral gut reaction when I think about this movie. The rest is blocked from my memory.

    Catwoman – I rented this movie because I missed it in theaters. I wish I had missed it altogether. I turned it off and returned it the next day.

    Austin Powers 3 – I liked the first two movies in this series. I thought they were hilarious. This installment had no plot and was just a collection of gags. I don’t mind the jokes, but there was 0 story to connect them.

    Hostel – I like horror movies. I like to be scared. I don’t like slasher-porn. This movie is disgusting and has no content worth seeing.

    King Arthur – This one is the only movie I won’t claim is a bad movie. My problem with this movie is my love of the Arthurian legends. This movie tried to make it “more realistic” by including the history of Rome in England. But :::SPOILER::: Lancelot dies BEFORE, BEEFFOORRE Camelot even exists. This is total BS. It undermines the whole story. I have only seen it once, and I wonder if they had changed the character names and called it “The Romans and the Celts” I might not have hated it. But I hate it and I wish I had walked out, but I stayed hoping there would be something to pull it out of the gutter.

  8. I have actually only ever walked out of one film: Ultraviolet.

    Chose it on a whim with my then-girlfriend, and lemmie just say you know a movie has no aspirations when it starts with vampires robbing a blood bank. Twenty minutes in the plot had bullet-timed its way to a tiny child, whose body contained a cure for vampirism and must then be detonated in the atmosphere. My brain was on the verge of tonic-chlonic seizure just to end it all. We walked out and wandered to the next screen to watch a Winnie the Pooh movie in a theater full of four-year-olds and had a thoroughly enjoyable time.

  9. Dirty Dingus McGhee. Look it up. The sight of Frank Sinatra’s junk scarred me for life, though I will give the movie whatever credit it was due for being the first movie ever to show a man urinating. And that, my friends, was the movie’s only dubious virtue. Battlefield Earth is on my list as well. Though John Trivolta was interesting as a villain, the rest of the movie blew chunks. It barely followed the book and – really – thousand year old warplanes fire right up and are flyable by cavemen? Really??? That scene was just as idiotic as that Woody Allen film where they find an ancient Volkswagen bug and it fires right up after hundreds of years in a cave…

  10. 5) Bambi – I think a lot of people my age walked out on this one, because it was too sad for us when we were children (this is also the only one on the list that I actually walked out of a theater).

    4) Armageddon – My objection at the time was the terrible physics, but really, had the story grabbed me in any way, I could have overlooked that.

    3) Pulp Fiction – I know a lot of people will disagree with me, but I just found this movie tremendously dull and couldn’t stay in the living room for it.

    2) Robocop 3 – I… just wish this hadn’t been made… or that I hadn’t ever known about it. It really completely destroyed the franchise for me.

    1) Dude, Where’s My Car – This movie was so abyssmally terrible that despite coming out quite a while ago, and being of little consequence, when this topic came up, it instilled enough rage in me to be the first movie I thought of, and the reason for me to post at all. It is the only movie I have ever viewed that made me think that the movie studio that created it owes me compensation for having wasted two hours of my life watching it… and I hear they made a sequel…

  11. There are quite a few that stick out in my mind: Alexander (took a date to that one. An hour and a half too long), Thin Red Line (the end just draaaagged), Theodore Rex (does that really need explaining), Godzilla (that one just made me angry for ruining the goofy, destructive series), and lastly Holy Man (If you haven’t seen this Eddie Murphy/Jeff Goldblum abomination DON’T! Seriously, I warned you).

  12. 5. Silver Linings Playbook: I put this at number 5, because I really should have liked this movie. I looked forward to it a lot after seeing the trailer. Robert De Niro and Jennifer Lawrence both did an amazing job (and she is also definitely one of my Celebrity Crushes). But there was just something off in the way the movie portrayed mental illness, which left a bad taste in my mouth. I suppose the mix of romantic comedy and mental health issues just didn’t sit right with me. If it had been done well, I might have loved it, which is why I was so disappointed afterwards.
    I remember walking home when the movie was over, thinking that if I’d only watched the first half, I might still have felt good about it. I think I liked the way it was set up, but didn’t like how things were resolved towards the end.

    4. Kick-Ass: The premise for this movie sounded like fun: Some kids make their own costumes and run around playing superheroes. I expected something geared towards children or young teens, which is why I was so shocked when the pointless violence started.
    When it comes to on-screen violence, I can usually deal with fantasy or superhero fights, because they are obviously make-believe. The point of the violence is also pretty clear: It’s there to look cool, and to make the main characters seem awesome.
    In Kick-Ass, however, the violence was pretty graphic, and I just couldn’t see the point of it. Was it supposed to be funny? If so, that made it even worse. After maybe 20 minutes, I turned off the movie and watched Scott Pilgrim instead (lots of violence, but VERY obviously make- believe).

    3. Two weeks notice: As a feminist, there is one common plotline that particularly annoys me. In movies, if a single woman is really successful in her career or education, that is something very unnatural. Clearly there must be something seriously wrong with her, and what she really needs is to be “saved” by a man. The movie ‘Two weeks notice’ is a prime example of this. It has many other problems, but that part is what still makes me angry.
    If I had walked out after the first three minutes or so, I might have thought Sandra Bullock’s character was a good role model. As it was, the movie merely taught me a lot about misogyny in pop culture.

    2. Avatar: Like Rodrigo said, this story is pretty unoriginal (my boyfriend and I, to this day, simply refer to it as ‘Space Pocahontas’). I didn’t mind it that much though, as I really liked the setting, and the visuals and music were great. However, the last hour or more of the movie was filled with such senseless, horrible violence that I really wish I’d walked out. By the time the (sort of) happy ending came around, I just didn’t buy into it. I kept thinking about the real-life colonization wars that did NOT end as well. When we finally got out of the theater, I actually almost keeled over from not breathing for an hour or so… I shudder to think what would have happened if I’d seen it in 3D. Also, I’m mad at this movie because it makes it hard to refer to the real Avatar (the Nickelodeon series) without long unnecessary explanations.

    1. The Fellowship of the Ring: When I was a teenager, I was very passionate about the LOTR books. I got really angry when I heard they were making movies, because I could just imagine the things Hollywood would do to my darling story. I resolved to never watch them. However, one night the first movie was on TV, and I thought ‘Let’s just see if I’m missing out on anything’. I wasn’t. After laughing (or maybe crying) my way to Rivendell, I gave up.

  13. I don’t know that a movie pissed me off as much as The Phantom Menace. It ruined the idea of the force to me, and I honestly just try and pretend that the 3 prequels never happened. Maybe Disney will just retcon the whole thing….

  14. The only movie that I have actually walked out on was I Hart Huckabees. I still don’t know what the hell that movie was supposed to be about. I got about an hour in and figured I had better stuff to do.

    I find it funny that Rodrigo and I both hated Avatar for completely different reasons. He spoke a little bit about how it was degrading that the natives had to be saved by the great white hope and how the native woman warrior needs the white mans help to solve her problems.
    I saw the movie as James Cameron taking a dig at the “evil white military industrial complex”. Notice that all the villains are violent and or greedy white men. The only military person who fights back is the altruistic hispanic female.
    Two sides of the same coin I guess.

  15. Well I’ve decided to go back and do my Top 5 for each and every episode. Thanks guys.

    Anyways Top 5 for this episode.

    5) Superman Returns, its everything I hate about Superman brought into one film. Not only that it breaks the mythos and uses Lex Luthor again and I keep saying make Lex a business man who spends money on the side to try and kills Supes it should not be his entire life. Make it obvious that yes Luthor is evil now but if Superman hadn’t been around the world would be better. Not just the tired old stuff again and again

    4) Marley & Me. Did you read the book? Well change the entire point and story of the book from being a man growing older talking about the stories of his dog into… that abomination

    3) Avatar. Already enough said

    2) Avatar The Last Air-bender. White Washing is bad. This movie is bad. Zuko a great character sucks, and no Water-Cthulhu. I still worked in the theater when it was out. I told people you don’t want too see that, if you enjoyed the show avoid this.

    1) Any movie of the Twilight Series. I will say one thing I have had 1 relationship in my life with a girl it lasted 7 almost 8 years, from 9th grade[that is 4 years out of high-school for those keeping track]. And then it all came tumbling down. These movies were bad in every single way and I should have walked out or anything and now they on a emotional level anger me

  16. I rarely go to the theatre, so when I do go, good movie or bad I stay planted. My list is a mix of movies I either wish I had walked out of, or turned off/almost turned off the tape/disc/stream . . .

    5) The Cat in the Hat – RENTAL – turned off.

    I actually enjoyed the live-action Grinch movie, but I put off watching this film because I just knew it couldn’t capture that same magic. Especially since I can count on one hand the number of movies I’ve enjoyed Mike Myers in. Then that special moment came where they gave The Cat a plumber’s crack, and I was out.

    4) The Last Airbender – NETFLIX – would have turned off if I didn’t have kids who really, really, really wanted to see it.

    The cartoon show was and still is the pinnacle of animated television programming. This movie doesn’t even deserve the time I’m taking to mention it. My only consolation is I pay for Netflix anyway.

    3) The Shadow – THEATRE – wished I could’ve walked out of, but I had nowhere to go.

    It was 1994, I was 13 and a huge Batman fan, and it had been two years since the not-so-great-but-better-than-nothing Batman Returns. So I was craving . . . something, ANYthing with a superhero in it. My mom dropped me off at the theater with permission to watch one of a select list of movies, so I chose The Shadow. Big mistake. And it wouldn’t have been so tragic if not for the fact I had the alternate choice of watching The Lion King.

    2) The Dark Knight – RENTAL – Kept waiting for it to get better.

    That’s right, me, one of the biggest Batman fans you’ll ever meet, did NOT like this movie and very nearly turned it off. I enjoyed three specific Joker scenes and the fact “Batmanuel” was the mayor. Beyond that, bleah. The short story (you do NOT want to hear the long one) . . .

    There’s a quick-cut sequence in Batman Begins where someone is talking about the moisture-zapping macguffin machine being turned on while in transit. It’s a terribly constructed blip in an otherwise great film. With TDK, the entire movie felt like that scene and it’s simply uncomfortable to sit through. I have yet to see Rises; fandom can only carry me so far.

    1) Titanic – THEATRE – wanted to walk out about 30 minutes in.

    I wanted to watch the boat sink, that is the only reason I didn’t walk out. How it won Oscars for anything beyond the effects, costumes, etc. is beyond me. To this day I refuse to watch that movie ever again, actually, I refuse to watch another James Cameron movie, so there’s a reason Avatar isn’t on this list.

  17. There’s only one movie that ever caused me to walk out of a theater:


    Yup, that’s right, I sat through Battlefield Earth, but I walked out on a Richard Gere musical that won a slew of Academy Awards.

    It’s because I hated, Hated, HATED every single character in the movie except the girl that got executed about 15 minutes in…and it seemed unlikely that a surprising “rocks fall, everyone dies!” was coming along to redeem it.

    Also, after Moulin Rouge (which got robbed in the Academy Awards), this piece of garbage was not even worth a dead hooker’s kazoo for the music.

  18. I walked out of the same movie twice. It was 1990, and I went to see Spaced Invaders. It was so horrible I left. The next weekend, my girlfriend took me to a movie as a surprise. It was Spaced Invaders. We walked out about the same time.

  19. Solid Muldoon on

    The only movie I ever walked out of was Bertolucci’s 1900. After seeing Robert Dinero fuck a hole in the ground, Burt Lancaster get a handjob from a child, and Donald Southerland strap a cat to a post and head-butt it to death, came intermission. I went out to the lobby fully intending to return for the rest, but the exit door was just too inviting.

    I attended the world premier of Dick Tracy at Disneyworld. All the stars were there. I fell asleep after about twenty minutes. I went backto see it a week later an fell asleep again.

    I got The Spirit from Netfix and turned it off after about ten minutes. Months later I thought I’d give it another chance. Same result.

  20. Django Unchained is a movie I should have walked out on. I hated everything after Candy’s death. Leaving at that point would have been preferable.

  21. Time to shake some trees. However please be sure to read why for the lower ranked ones.

    5. Thor: The Dark World – 2013 / Lady and the Tramp – 1955

    I love both of these movies but they meet the criteria. Since these are the only ones on the list that I do like I had to make number five a tie.

    Thor: The Dark World was due to going to the midnight showing because I loved the first one so much. However it was only showing in IMAX 3D (I liked 3D briefly when they brought it back but I do mean briefly I hope it dies this year, wish it had died five plus years back). However their IMAX digital projector was out of focus which was bad on its own, massively amplified in 3D. Their tech couldn’t get there until midday the next day. I walked out before I got a headache. The manager was very nice when I called the following day and actually gave me two free showings of films to make up for it. Saw it the following night in just plain old IMAX and loved it.

    Lady and the Tramp I wasn’t alive in 1955 however when I was a young child most likely in in 1985 due to the thirty year anniversary it was showing in theaters again. Sadly I got violently ill and had to ruin my mother and I’s large popcorn. Needless to say my mother got me out of there ASAP. Later I got to see it on a good old VHS tape and loved the movie. Awkwardly enough I happened to get sick during the rat scene which happens to be the scariest part of the film.

    4. Spirited Away – 2001

    Hayao Miyazaki is an amazing director/creator that I love. I have no problem with people that love Spirited Away. However I just have zero interest in spending eighty plus minutes watching a movie about a bath house for spirits. The animation is beautiful but the story didn’t captivate or grab me like Miyazaki’s other films. On the flip side since it was free for me due to working at said theater there is a good chance I wouldn’t have left if I’d payed for it but I would have continued to be bored.

    3. The Grudge – 2004

    I love scary movies but I love them due to suspense and at some point I should probably watch the original Japanese version as I imagine it is better. Every scene that was supposed to be suspenseful and scary through the first fifteen minutes of this film would use what I like to call micro cuts to imprint the image of what is about to jump on screen. Basically a one to two second flash on the outer edge of the frame as the movie focuses on whomever is about to be scared and then they pan back to the shadow as the creepy kid or one of the other ghosts charges the screen. This movie did nothing for me on any level through the first fifteen minutes and the annoyance of dealing with all the teens texting and then jumping at what I saw coming a mile away was just too much.

    2. Alexander – 2004

    This came out while I was at the theater and I had to screen it with my good friend Mike a fellow manager. I was super excited based on loving all prior Oliver Stone films up to this point so I invited my girlfriend and a couple of friends and Mike invited some of his friends as we had high hopes for this flick. I really wish I could have walked out of this but could not as it was work related. Our friends all left with the exception of my girlfriend. The three of us suffered through this god awful, horrendously long and nightmarish example of acting. According to Mike I missed the only good part when I had to use the restroom as that was Rosario’s topless scene. That is a very sad state of affairs (she’s lovely but that shouldn’t be the highlight of a three hour film).

    1. Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever – 2002

    Most over hyped useless piece of cinematic garbage I have ever seen to this day. I hate it so much that Mike got this for me as a gag gift one year leading to me getting him the Burger King games for the original Xbox due to his hatred of the Burger King. It is an awesome friendship. Again Mike and I were screening this for work and based on this being the first film Ray Park was featured in since being Darth Maul (one of the few positives from The Phantom Menace) plus Antonio and Lucy Liu Mike and I were excited to screen this. I wish I could have walked out, I really, really, really wish I could have walked out. At least with Alexander I could use that as a fantastic sleep aid. This hunk of discarded shrapnel that was dug out of an already epic train wreck just ruins everything I love about films.

    Honorable Mention:

    Maid in Manhattan – 2002

    Again work related, again Mike and I. However I’m glad we watched this as it was some of the best Mystery Science Theater 3000 that we have ever done for a movie. Much of which was centered around an inside joke about what Mike wanted to put on the marquee while I was splicing together (yes I was working at a theater prior to digital back when just building a movie was almost an art form) this film. Shortly after Mike gave me Ballistic as the gag gift he got stuck with this as an in flight movie on a trip back from New York. Clearly Karma is real.

    Hopefully someone is still reading this thread and can avoid the top 3 and my honorable mention. As a side note I love romantic comedies, MiM is just not a good film and highlights why Jennifer Lopez is a better singer than actress.

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