Movies I've Walked Out Of


I very rarely walk out of movies. If someone's gone to the trouble of making a film--and I've gone so far as to decide to see it and pay for a ticket--I'll usually sit it out. Unnervingly, I've walked out of 2/3 as many movies in the last two weeks as in the last 10 years. At this rate, by December, I'll be walking out of more movies than I walk into.

Here are the exceptions (I might add to this list, but even after a 4-hour solo drive, I can't remember any others):
To be honest, I only went out for a few minutes, to chat with the old geezer at the concession stand and regain my composure. We went to opening night in East Hampton, and we were laughing so hard, it was offending the "serious" filmgoers. Can you imagine going to Showgirls and being more offended by something happening in the theater? You can? Then move to East Hampton.

Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil:
Kevin Spacey plays a queen with a thing for criminally minded hoodlums (there's a stretch); John Cusack plays the invisible narrator, invisibly; and the court scene drags on for so long, you should've brought a book, or walk out. Hell, you should--and could--read the book in less time.

Dancer In The Dark
In an impulsive fit of slackness, I left a busy office for a noon showing. Within 15 minutes, I came to my senses, realizing I had a pile of stuff to do and didn't have 3 hours to give over to Bjork and Lar von Trier at that moment. With empty hope, in my wallet, I still carry the emergency raincheck ticket the theater gave me upon my hurried exit. I've since seen this movie many times.

It was fine enough, but I just couldn't care about the guy at all. And I had a splitting headache, a painfully empty stomach, and a harsh free-refill Diet Coke-induced caffeine/nutrasweet buzz going; I shouldn't've gone in the first place.

Laws of Attraction
I know The Thomas Crown Affair. The Thomas Crown Affair was a friend of mine. (if only because I watched it on the plane every week when I was commuting to Paris for a deal). You, Laws of Attraction, are no The Thomas Crown Affair.

Actually, I saw this shameless chickflick for my other site, Daddy Types, at Reel Moms, a morning movie program with a thick-headed name for parents with babies. Parents who don't care what movie they see, they just want to get out of the house.

[Update: I remembered another one. I left Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused early to make a NY Film Festival screening of Krzysztof Kieslowski's Blue. And because I was painfully Bored and Uninterested. Apparently, D&C became The Breakfast Club of its generation. Damn kids.]


Since my son was born, I too have gotten religion and realized that my time is too important to waste watching dreck. I used to be a stalwart who was dead-set on getting my money's worth. But hanging around to the bitter end is sending good money after bad; better to cut your losses and vamoose.

Right on, brother. I'm pretty sure Janis Karpinski was planning to do a non-optional screening of the unholy trinity of Dancer, Midnight, and Laws of Attraction before everything went down. These days, I save the movies with "walk out" potential for the small screen. And the last movie I can recall that seriously deserved to be abandoned was The Life Of David Gale. I wanted to pop a Hefty bag on my head by the end of that one.

Isn't it ironic that Spacey's in some of the best movies of the last 12 years (Glengarry, Seven, LA Confidential, Hurlyburly, American Beauty) but also some of the absolute dregs (Midnight, K-Pax, David Gale, Pay It Forward)?

You should really go back and see the rest of Hellboy. It's one my favorite movies of 2004 so far. The script was great and Selma Blair is always so very Real. Plus fire came out of her hands. AWESOME. -F

I see some really crappy movies, and the only one I've walked out on was The Ladykillers. I had to walk back in ten minutes later because my brother was still in the theater. But I would have left otherwise.

Other than that, I had to leave a NY Film Festival screening of AutoFocus because my friend started to have a seizure or panic attack. I hustled him out of the theater to sit on a bench for a few minutes. When I went back into the theater to retrieve my bag and umbrella, people had already moved into our vacated seats. NYers are fast.

Crappy Movies I Simply Had To Abandon:
Lord Of The Rings Pt 1, Bad Boys 2, Signs, Charlies Angles 2, Scary Movie 3, Seabiscuit, Old School, In America, A View From The Top, Terminator 3, Legally Blonde 2,

Crappy Movies I'm Surprised I Made It Thru:
The Real Cancun, Gigli, Dancer In The Dark, Fulltime Killer, Camp, Cold Mountain, Somethings Gotta Give, The Passion of Cash (oops, Christ), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Dreamers, Kill Bill V2

The first movie I ever walked out on was "Modern Problems" featuring Chevy Chase as a bumbling fool who gets covered in nuclear waste and develops strange powers. I was 11, but even then knew when to cut my losses.

I pity anyone who sat thru "Envy" with Jack Black and Ben Stiller.

I made it thru the first half hour, and I couldn't take it anymore.

It's not like we have a shortage of actors. Why do they try to make us deal with one trick ponies doing their one trick for the tenth time?

Bring us some new faces! I'm tired of these old zombies!

The Russia House. I walked out of that. And I was about two seconds away from walking out of Born on the Fourth of July because it made me crave gin and tonic for some strange reason.

I HAD to walk out of Big Fish..."Big Fish"~one of the most trumped up, crappy, sacchrine movies I've seen. The editing was poor and even tho Im the BIGGEST Tim Burton fan and I think Ewan M. is really REALLY cute...just yuck!Rotten Tomatoes has this comment down which nicely surnises the movie..."Belabored oddity that is one long-winded tall tale illustrated with hammy, artificial sets and gee-whiz acting." -EXACTLY!

Years ago, my friend's parents took us to see Raising Arizona, and they walked out halfway through, leaving me and my 11 year old buddy still mesmorized and stuck in our seats. I've never been able to appreciate why someone would walk out of something. Until I couldn't make it through McHale's Navy. For some reason, I expected a Caddyshack romp, but with irrepressibly funny Borgnine cameos. Wrong-o. I wanted to walk out of Batman Forever, but I forgot to take an aisle seat and was glued into the row by basketball players. Other than that, I sit and watch because that's what I paid to do, and because I'm a completist. I just have to know how it ends. But I have a list of movies, that after the fact, I should have walked out of: Every Hal Hartley movie (I never learn), every Ashley Judd movie (again, I'm thick skulled), and H.R. Pufnstuf movie, which gave me nightmares.

We went to a matinee of Coyote Ugly in Union Square and walked out. On a whim, we strolled down First Ave to the real saloon, and got whacked on $2 cans of Pabst for the rest of the afternoon with the cutie bartender.

..i havent walked out of a movie for sometime,i think the last one was christianne f(so last century) but i was amazed that i sat through the first lord of the rings and the league of xtraordinary gentlemen..

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: May 7, 2004.

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