Best crime movie stupidity of all time

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Darkman picture

Stupidity: After Julie tells Louis that Peyton is still alive, she notices the Bellisarius memorandum on his desk and realises he was involved with the destruction of the lab. If Louis had kept the memorandum in his desk instead of in plain sight, he would never have been found out.

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Double Jeopardy picture

Stupidity: Ashley Judd finally tracks her husband down and what does she do? She doesn't try to capture him to prove her innocence, she doesn't notify the police, she doesn't take his picture and send it to every police dept in the US, she doesn't even follow him to find out where her son is. Instead all she does is ask for her kid back. What was she going to do even if she got him back? She is still on the run from the law, with little money and resources and she doesn't even know if her kid even remembers her.

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Suggested correction: As you said, she's on the run from the law. Why would she call the cops and risk going back to prison and losing her son again? Even if her husband was alive, she has no way of knowing what will happen to her. This was her best shot (especially in her mind) to getting her son back, thinking her husband would rather give up the boy's location rather than die; whereas height keep the boy's location a secret if all he was facing was possible jail time, if that.

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Scream picture

Stupidity: In the scene where Billy, Stu and Sidney are in the kitchen (when Sidney finds out they are the real killers), they begin to stab each other as a part of the plan to fool the police into thinking they were almost killed by Sidney's father, whom they were going to frame for the murders. They were planning on killing Sidney and her father, so it makes absolutely no sense that they begin stabbing each other BEFORE killing Sidney and her father, especially since Sidney would be at more of an advantage of outrunning them should she have the opportunity to since they have both been stabbed multiple times.


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Home Alone picture

Stupidity: When a cop goes to Kevin's house after being requested by police, he simply knocks on the door and after a few seconds walks away assuming no ones home. Had he actually bothered to announce himself as a cop, Kevin would have opened the door and he would have been found safe.

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Suggested correction: Some people just aren't good at their job or are too lazy. The cop didn't like the idea of being sent on a possible fake call and didn't put in the extra effort. Or he was simply waiting for someone to ask who it was before identifying himself. Plus the cop would have had no idea Kevin was hiding and not answering the door because he was scared nor that saying he was the police would get him to answer the door, he could have simply thought a kid left alone would answer the door to anyone.


Even if he thought it was a fake call, he still should have identified himself. By doing this, he could have confirmed that Kevin was indeed left alone.

And the script could have been written a 100 different ways to prevent Kevin from being left home alone, but that doesn't mean there's a plot hole or movie mistake.


Creating series of silly explanations for obvious mistakes/plotholes never resolves them. He should have identified himself regardless of the circumstances.


Perhaps the officer's failure to identify himself (as well as other deficiencies in the way he responded to the call) would more accurately be classified as a "character mistake"? This may result in fewer criticisms (corrections) while not negating the "stupidity."


Maybe it should be. Because he acted much too unprofessionally for a police officer.

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Punisher: War Zone picture

Stupidity: Someone with the Punisher's tactical knowledge would not hang upside down from a chandelier to shoot in a 360-degree pattern at his targets. This would make him a sitting duck and it's only because of the movie tropes of Stormtrooper aim and cannon fodder henchmen that he isn't killed because of it.

Phaneron Premium member

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Robocop 3 picture

Stupidity: At the end of the film, the Rehabs recruit gang members and give them all kinds of guns from shotguns, handguns, and automatic weapons. The cops and deputized citizens have similar weapons. But for all the shooting, not one gang member is hit and only one citizen appears to be shot (aside from the three blown off the building roof by the Rehab tank.) I don't think anyone has any bullets.

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Halloween II picture

Stupidity: When Dr Loomis and Sheriff Bracket are chasing who they think to be Michael Myers, you can tell that it isn't him. Michael Myers is supposed to be 6'2 - Ben Tramer is maybe 5'4. If Michael was shot 6 times there would be blood on his overalls. And the mask that the kid is wearing has blonde hair, whereas the mask Michael wears is brown.

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Suggested correction: Michael in the original was 5'10", and in Halloween II the actor playing him was 5'9." Ben Tramer was a high schooler and could have easily been 5'10." Loomis was also extremely paranoid and almost hysterical at finding Michael, and could have not noticed the hair or non-bloody coveralls in his frantic search for Michael.

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Spider-Man 2 picture

Stupidity: Early in the film, Peter Parker desperately wants to see Mary Jane's performance, but he is turned away at the theatre doors because he is a few minutes late. Defeated, Peter shuffles away and sulks. Seriously? Why couldn't Peter simply enter the theatre through a side door or the roof? He's Spider Man.

Charles Austin Miller

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Suggested correction: There's two things to consider here. First, a major theme of the film is Peter struggling with keeping his Spider-Man and Peter Parker lives separate. Peter makes every attempt to get to the show on his own, as Peter by riding on his scooter. Simply breaking into the theater after he has been turned away would ruin the idea that keeping his two lives separate is a struggle. It would instead imply the opposite, that Peter can simply use his powers to solve his problems whenever it's convenient. Secondly, the usher makes it clear that no-one is to be admitted after the show has started as this would disturb the guests and possibly the performers as well. Sneaking into the theater could very well ruin the performance and Peter obviously wouldn't want that.


If there's one thing we know about Spider-Man, it's that he is incredibly stealthy, often coming and going without any detection whatsoever. He could have easily accessed the building and watched the show from a secluded vantage and even met Mary Jane backstage afterwards. Certainly in this case, using his powers would be justified, given that it was more important for Mary Jane to know Peter attended the show, rather than simply giving up.

Charles Austin Miller

He doesn't want to do any of that, though. He wants to go to the show as Peter, with a ticket, sit in a seat with the rest of the people, enjoy the show, and see Mary Jane afterwards. He stops the car chase as Spider-Man after his scooter is wrecked and instead of web-swinging to the theater, which would have been much faster, he chooses to change back into his regular clothes and drive the criminal's car. Sure, he certainly could have used his powers to get into the theater but the point is he doesn't want to. The fact that he chooses not to use his powers and instead deal with the consequences of hurting Mary Jane's feelings is the entire point.


And besides he'd probably get kicked out of the theater if he was caught.

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The Silence of the Lambs picture

Stupidity: Lecter fires the first bullet to alert the police that something is up, and the lift goes up, then comes down. Now in all this, only 6 or 7 go up the floor where Lecter was. Why aren't police sent in groups to investigate every floor? Lecter could have been anywhere, instead there are about 30 police huddled on the lobby floor.


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Die Hard: With a Vengeance picture

Stupidity: In the scene with the water-jug puzzle, both Zeus Carver and John McClane initially suspect that the small carrying case contains a bomb. McClane goes ahead and opens the case, which confirms that it is a bomb (the electronic readout in the case even says: "I AM A BOMB. YOU HAVE JUST ARMED ME"). If they suspected it was a bomb in the first place, why didn't Carver and McClane immediately try to warn the dozens of pedestrians all around them to evacuate the area before McClane opened it? That would be a seasoned police officer's first instinct. Instead, McClane and Carver banter and bicker and never attempt to warn the public, even as the timer is ticking down.

Charles Austin Miller

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Suggested correction: This carries over from the very first time McClane and Zeus talk to Simon on the phone (the "As I was going to St. Ives" scene). Simon tells the two not to run and McClane assures him they won't but that there are at least 100 people on the street, to which Simon responds "That's the point." McClane takes this to mean he can't just warn everyone or Simon will set the bomb off. They open the case because they don't know that doing so will arm the bomb. They wanted to know if there was a riddle or more instructions. Having the bomb be armed by being opened, complete with the pithy text "you have just armed me" was just a way for Simon to torment McClane. The bantering and bickering is of course, still pretty stupid but is consistent with how the characters behave for the entire movie.


Still, McClane's whole motivation in this movie is to save innocent people from death, which goes above and beyond his motivation in the first movie (which was to save his wife). What is the whole point of disarming the briefcase-bomb in the park if not to save the public? As stated in the original post, no seasoned and dedicated officer of the law would proceed without warning the public.

Charles Austin Miller

Except he was told specifically earlier not to do that. If he warned people of the bomb, it was implied that Simon would remotely detonate it. It can't be "stupid" of McClane to not warn people if he thinks doing so will get them killed. I agree that it is a trite movie cliche that a cop doesn't act like a cop would in the real world, but in the context of this film McClane's actions are consistent with the instructions Simon gives him.


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Batman and Robin picture

Stupidity: Mr, Freeze and Poison Ivy join together and plan to cover Gotham in freezing temperatures and plants, with none of them ever considering in the slightest that plants don't survive freezing temperatures, despite both of them being scientists.


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Along Came a Spider picture

Stupidity: You'd think that Jezzie would have been a little smarter as a secret service agent. You know, like once they acquire Megan, to delete all the incriminating evidence sitting back on an unattended computer. Aside from the fact she also used quite a stupid password, a single password isn't very secure at all. And then the content, displayed instantly when you get in, might as well say things like "hey look, we know what the kidnapper looks like" and "wow, here's the boat he's in too" and "wow, a cabin for sale. Why don't we go hang out there with all the evidence." Come on....they might as well have left a trail of breadcrumbs, because they sure were asking to get caught.

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Outland picture

Stupidity: When the shuttle arrives with the assassins, O'Niel is shown loading a shotgun, then he carries that gun when he runs to his office. When he leaves his office again to confront the assassins he grabs another shotgun from the locker. Why didn't he just grab the gun he walked in with?


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Death Proof picture

Stupidity: When Stuntman Mike is taking photos of the girls, he is shooting with the lens cap on the camera.

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Triple 9 picture

Stupidity: The bodyguard takes Michael's pistol from him and later shoots the pistol near Michael's ear, deafening him, then beats him a bit and leaves him on the ground. As the bodyguard is walking away he gives Michael his sidearm back by ejecting the magazine and tossing the gun on Michael's body. He however didn't eject the bullet in the chamber. Michael's gun, a Sig Sauer, doesn't have a magazine disconnect which prevents a gun from firing with a magazine removed. This was a safety feature for police. (01:33:00 - 01:37:00)

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Con Air picture

Stupidity: For a brilliant criminal mastermind, Cyrus makes so many idiotic mistakes. (1) He leaves his entire escape plan hidden in the wall for the guards to find later instead of trying to dispose or destroy them (2) He makes the fatal mistake of trusting Santiago completely and never suspecting a double-cross. At the very least, he should have checked all of Lerner airfield just in case the plane was hiding (which it was). (3) He never notices or even questions Billy Bedlam's sudden absence until he sees his body. Odd considering he notice Santiago's absence immediately. And (4) When escaping on the firetruck, he (pointlessly) chooses to ride on the ladder instead of the front seat where he stands out, and Poe and Larkin both spot him. No surprise his whole plan failed.

Gavin Jackson

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Knives Out picture

Stupidity: Spoiler. The protagonist is a trained and competent nurse, paired with one of the greatest murder mystery writers. Neither finds strange in the slightest that after jabbing his vein with a dose of drugs 30 times the norm he is absolutely fine, not just conscious but even able to concoct on the spot a convoluted plot, speaking normally and quite at length, no trouble at all. He should be dead "in 10 minutes" sure, but it's not a time bomb. You'd think one would not be so blasé about slitting their own throat and the other would have to notice how amazingly unaffected and lucid the other appears to be minutes later. Not to mention that his plan would have never worked with the toxicology report, which should be routine in a suicide case also to assess the mental state of the person who left no note or anything behind.

Sammo Premium member

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Suggested correction: It is explained that the drug overdose will kill Harlan in 10 minutes based on the dosage. The implication is that Harlan's heart will stop, not that he will become gradually and obviously sick over those 10 minutes. Regardless, based on what they believe will happen, even if they did notice that Harlan wasn't getting sick they wouldn't have the time to test that theory. The fact that neither Marta nor Harlan thought about a potential toxicology report is a pretty major part of the plot, and it is perfectly reasonable given the circumstances. The plot was hatched on the spot within a few minutes and there are several holes in the plan that drive the story throughout the film. Although a brilliant man and a great writer, Harlan simply didn't think of everything.


She explicitly says "You'll feel symptoms in 5" and when he shuts her up putting a hand on her mouth she says "We have 6 minutes."Then his daughter interrupts them and more time is wasted. By the time when he begins his convoluted explanation of the big plan he should have already been disoriented, sweaty and the whole gamut leading to his respiratory failure. And he goes on for minutes after that. It's very true, it moves the plot along, but by what they say themselves (which is from I understand not medically accurate and contradicted also by what happens later in the movie with the second death) they should have realised that time has passed with nothing happening. You could even say it's Rian Johnson's intentional deconstruction of the artificial nature of the whoddunit contrivances! But also, just saying, one of those "Stupid actions and decisions people take in movies, which no-one would ever do in real life."

Sammo Premium member

Even taking that into account, what you are saying is Harlan should have said "Hmm, a few minutes have passed and I haven't felt any symptoms, so I'm not actually poisoned. Carry on then, false alarm." It moves the plot along because Harlan isn't willing to risk Marta getting in trouble for poisoning him and they have less than 10 minutes to act. This would count as a stupidity entry if Harlan didn't care about who took the blame for killing him, but obviously he does. Remember, stupidity entries are not for poor decisions by characters, they are for minor plot holes. This being "an act no-one would ever do in real life" is kind of the entire point of the movie. Nobody believes Harlan would do this because, well nobody cares about their nurse that much. But he does.


The part I was quoting is the description of the category in the metadata on google, or if you prefer the hover text description just above this very page go by "Something just plain stupid. Not as deal-breaking as a plot hole, but something daft, like running upstairs with a killer behind them, instead of out of the front door." I call "slitting your own throat feeling totally fine after you yourself have been calling the minutes with precision earlier", pretty silly, to say the least. Again, this is all stuff the script itself unnecessarily calls attention on. If he didn't mention twice the time before, if she hadn't said that the symptoms happen after 5 but just "your heart is gonna exploded at the 10 minute mark", then, maybe, I would have simply reported the factual error that this is not how it works. It's the script itself that points out (Harlan himself says it twice) the exact minutes, and the symptoms and how they are gradual.

Sammo Premium member

This still ignores the fact that they don't have time to test the theory. They would have to notice the lack of symptoms, and assume somehow that the lack of symptoms after 5 minutes must mean that Harlan isn't actually poisoned, and stop their plan right then and there. The audience knows that Harlan isn't really poisoned, but we don't find that out until later. I doubt very seriously that anyone watching this film for the first time believed, as you suggest, that Harlan obviously wasn't poisoned because he didn't show any symptoms and it was therefore stupid for him to kill himself. It seems to you to be stupid in hindsight, but I honestly don't believe, based on what the characters knew, that Harlan's action was so egregious that it constitutes a mistake in the script.


We definitely had a very different impression watching it the first time. The thought that this old man could be shot a big dose of morphine in vein and calmly think of perfect murder plans for the next minutes was 200% absurd on first view here. I could say that others thought the same but it's just anecdotical and I respect you having a different take. For the rest, it's again just the script itself drawing attention to it. From the mouth of the same character who nonchalantly slits his own throat feeling still fine. It seems egregiously stupid and contradictory.

Sammo Premium member

But he wasn't shot a big dose of morphine. He got his normal meds, they only think he overdosed.


We don't know that yet. We know that, in their words, he was shot 100 mg instead of 3 (does not matter if true or not, we are fed this information and the characters believe it). Again, the whole scene would have worked if they didn't, themselves, add details. Makes the overdose sound huge, and inserting the 6 minutes mark (which means, barely 1 min till the symptoms show up) before the daughter arrives when more than half of the scene has still to be played, weakens it terribly. Some things are maybe just stupid in hindsight, like the fact that all he needed to do was to write in his own penmanship a suicide note saying he killed himself with an injection once Marta left, but the overdose bit felt absurd on first viewing.

Sammo Premium member

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Lethal Weapon 2 picture

Stupidity: It was pure stupidity for Riggs to bring Rika back at her residence after escaping the hit on Riggs. The villains know where Riggs' love interest lives and this nor the option to hide somewhere else or safer never occurs to him?


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Collateral picture

Stupidity: Vincent's choice to cut the power to the building that Annie is in does nothing but waste enough time for Max to save Annie. It would have been easier just to go up to kill her and he probably would have gotten away from the police if he did so.

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Suggested correction: It also slows Annie and Max down by forcing them to walk in the dark, and also, at this point, Vincent is really torn up from the crash, and the mere sight of him is going to make Annie very suspicious or even afraid, unless the power out (which for all she knows is just from the building) gives him a plausible reason for being so mauled.


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Heat picture

Stupidity: In the opening robbery, killing the third guard made no sense. Even if they didn't kill anyone, they'd still already committed a serious crime, that would result in lengthy prison time if caught. It makes no sense that they have no problem leaving witnesses when they're guilty of armed robbery, but don't want to when they're guilty of murder. If they didn't kill the third guard, their chances of getting caught would've been the same as if they didn't kill anyone.


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Suggested correction: Leaving an eyewitness for an armored car heist is certainly risky, but leaving an eyewitness for an execution style double homicide is totally different. California had the death penalty at the time this film was set.


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