10 Biggest Movie Plot Holes of All Time

A plot hole can be defined as an inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story’s plot. There are films that steer towards a more realistic path while some are meant to entertain and demand you to shut off your cynical intellectual nerves. But then there are films drenched in absurdities that blatantly humiliate human sensibilities. The reasons for such ludicrous movie plot-holes could be infinite; bad/lazy writing, exploitative intention to dumb the audience down or a miserable attempt at constructing a shocking plot-twist. This article takes a look at the list of worst and most famous plot holes in movies. Needless to say, this article contains major spoilers and if you haven’t watched the films, abstain from reading the write-ups entirely.

1. The Village (2004)

M. Night Shyamalan. Well, this name just had to come up, right? Shyamalan is a filmmaker yet to wake up from his glorious 1999 dreams of a famous plot twist that swept people off completely. He soon became the most exciting filmmaker to look out for in America. But a few years later, critics could hardly see the Hitchcockian genius in him that made him one of the more popular filmmakers at the time and was soon turning out to be a shadow of his own image. 5 years after ‘The Sixth Sense’, Shyamalan ventured into a similar zone again with ‘The Village’ that tells the story of people living in an isolated village with a monster lurking around. In an ocean of plot-holes, Shyamalan employs his now infamous plot-twists that defy the slightest of human logic. The village, set in contemporary times, is isolated from the outside world but is protected by high government officials and yet remains an inaccessible area to almost entirely anyone from the outside. A theory that contradicts the central plot of the film. The ending reveals that the apparently feared monsters aren’t real and this was a world crafted by people from the past to protect themselves from the nasty world outside.

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2. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

The searing cinematic vision of Christopher Nolan stormed to new heights in 2008 with the iconic superhero epic, ‘The Dark Knight’, that forever revolutionised a genre that was hardly ever taken seriously by movie buffs and critics. His follow up to the greatest superhero film ever made was a bloated mess of contrived plot-lines, stuffed with incomprehensible plot inconsistencies. Weak character development and thinly written characters wrecked the movie long before the plot-holes made their way onto the film. Nolan pulls off the entire final act with absolute directorial panache but the seeming implausibility of the it is irking a we see Bruce fly off in a plane with nuclear bomb to protect his beloved city in an apparent act of martyrdom. But in the closing scene, we see Bruce sitting in a restaurant with Selina, implying that he survived the nuclear explosion that has the power to destroy the entire city and its population. Well, that was one big compromise!

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3. Training Day (2001)

Lets face it, Denzel Washington’s delectably scenery chewing performance as Alonzo Harris is the only reason why ‘Training Day’ still remains a decent, entertaining watch. Denzel almost hypnotises you into taking the film a lot more seriously than it actually is. But on repeat viewings, the plot flaws inevitably creep on to you, almost wrecking the entire experience. The whole story-line itself seems a little hard to digest at first. We see a new, young trainee being taken on a ride along by Alonzo who is later revealed to be a wicked, morally deranged corrupt officer. What’s incredible here is a hard-core criminal such as Alonzo believing a completely new guy on the job and taking him along, exposing him to his secret world.  The most famous plot-hole is the Roger shooting scene. Someone as smart as Alonzo wouldn’t just shoot him and leave behind crucial evidences for the cops to detect later on as we see him and his team shoot Roger to steal his money and then leave with his body lying down as it is.

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4. Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

One of the most popular films of all time, Steven Soderbergh’s remake of the 1960 classic is one of the most stylish heist dramas to have ever come out of Hollywood this century . The film depicts a group of eleven people planning to loot three popular casinos owned by Terry Benedict. Soderbergh is in complete control over the film but an epic goof up towards the end very nearly destroys the movie for me. And this is perhaps the most talked about plot-flaw of the film. The SWAT team is revealed to be the Ocean’s crew and they get hold of the real money but what’s boggling here is how they managed to switch the fake and real money as it isn’t shown and there is no real time for such a thing to actually happen. But some slick editing here ensure that most people on first viewings miss this crucial plot-point out.

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5. The Matrix (1999)

Inventive, intriguing and endlessly entertaining, ‘The Matrix’ is unarguably one of the best science fiction movies of all time. Nitpicking hasn’t been one of my favorite hobbies after watching a film but a project as technically ambitious as ‘The Matrix’ requires a near perfect authenticity with regards to its complex scientific aspects and the movie succeeds at it for the most part. However, the whole idea of machines using the human bodies as the only source of energy and utilise their heat seems a bit of a contrivance and quite incomprehensible considering they could have used various other mammals instead of humans which made things a lot more complicated as it resulted in them having to build a constructed reality to subdue the human beings.

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6. Interstellar (2014)

Don’t get me wrong, ‘Interstellar’ is a breathtakingly beautiful film and is one of the finest science fiction movies of the decade. But like any other film from the genre, it is not without its share of plot-flaws and inconsistencies. Nolan’s cinema has this ability to magically deceive you on your first viewings but kind of loses it charm on repeat viewings and further thinking. The idea of NASA officials sending Cooper to the space hasn’t been explained in the movie. He is claimed by many to be the best pilot ever but his character isn’t well developed or established to make us feel the same. So, logically speaking, a man who needs hours of lecturing on the theories of black holes, the drastic change in time, wouldn’t ideally be the first person to go to. But despite all this, the film gets almost all of its scientific concepts bang on only to be spoiled by a ridiculously kitschy ending which concludes that love transcends time and space. In an ambitious drive to blend Kubrick and Spielberg, Nolan falters and somewhere loses his focus.

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7. The Sixth Sense (1999)

sixth sense

Featuring arguably one of most famous plot twists of all time, ‘The Sixth Sense’ is undoubtedly M. Night Shyamalan’s best work. The film tells the story of Malcolm Crowe, a psychologist who treats a young boy, Cole Sear, who claims to communicate with dead people. In a classic M. Night Shyamalan ending, we are revealed towards the ending that Crowe himself was a dead man and that concludes the reason as to why Cole could speak with him. But as we are shown, even Crowe is revealed about his identity only through the boy and this is a bit of a hard swallow considering how dead people in the film just walk around and normal people can neither see nor talk to them. But Shyamalan wants us to believe that Crowe was unaware of this fact despite apparently being considering himself as a normal person, walking around, going to work and so on.

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8. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

It almost breaks my heart to add this beloved gem on to this list but as cinephiles we do know that the more iconic a film gets over the years, the more famous its plotholes get talked about. I am certainly not trying to take anything away from this Frank Darabont classic that swept people away with its sheer simplicity and humanity but there’s a sweet little plot flaw in the film concerning Andy’s famous escape from The Shawshank prison. We are told that Andy has been digging a tunnel out from his cell for almost 20 years to crawl his way out of the gargantuan prison but the Rita Hayworth poster inside the cell remains intact and it slightly defies logic to think that he could stick the poster back on to the wall after having to pull it out and dig the tunnel. But well, we’ve all evolved enough to stand certain cinematic disbelief for the sake of such a great story, haven’t we?

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9. The Usual Suspects (1995)

A stone cold classic, Bryan Singer’s 1995 crime thriller, ‘The Usual Suspects’, is widely known for its iconic plot-twist that triggered an unprecedented frenzy among audiences of its time. And even two decades later, the legend of Keyzer Soze continues to be discussed in posts and forums across the internet and social media. However, there lies a bit of brain scratching to be done towards the end when it is implied that Verbal himself was Soze and he was fooling Agent Kujan all along, making up a convoluted story of the events that led to the horrific gun battle. Just as Verbal leaves the office, smoking a cigarette, walking away with absolute swagger and then driving off with Kobayashi, the fax of Soze’s sketch reaches the office but by that he leaves. Verbal apparently didn’t know about the whole sketch thing and was looking forward to killing the one man who could identify him. So the entire plot-line of him sitting in the office and narrating the story to Agent Kujan seems illogical, especially considering he could have walked off with the powers of immunity granted to him.

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10. Primal Fear (1996)

Another case of an actor almost single-handedly driving the film to unbelievable heights, ‘Primal Fear’ is an acting showcase of a young, roaring Edward Norton. The film follows a straightforward narrative that tells the story of an Altar boy who is accused of murdering a priest with all key evidences against him. A hot shot lawyer comes to his rescue and gets his hands on the case. We are revealed that the accused is a smart, cunning psychopath who fakes a peculiar mental illness to escape prison time. But what’s baffling here is how a case that has managed to grab the eyes of the media and the public so much has not caught the attention of people from Roy/Aaron’s past life. Considering how well written and established Richard Gere’s character is, it’s highly unlikely that a lawyer of his level of brilliance and stature couldn’t delve deep into Roy/Aaron’s past and dig his character a lot deeper.

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