Good films you cannot bring yourself to keep watching

Schindler’s List was on TV recently and I happenned on it quite early on, not at the start. But I found that, knowing the subject matter, I simply could not bear to keep watching and switched it off after 5 minutes.

Which films have had this effect on you?

Do you mean good films we can’t bring ourselves to watch even once? In that case, I can’t think of any. But any time Leaving Las Vegas is on, as great as I thought it was, I can’t watch. Knowing what’s coming doesn’t make it any easier.

Not a film as such, but I can’t go anywhere near Othello. Can’t watch or read the play in movie or any other form, can’t hear a note from Verdi’s opera, can barely hear it mentioned. It just totally kills me. It’s too sad!

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.

Stunning cinematography and Hellen Mirren sex scenes can’t get me past the awfulness of that husband of hers.

Me too. My high school girlfriend had a couple psycho parents, and that movie triggers flashbacks for me in a pretty dumb way (no, they never forced me to eat her cooked remains, but still).

Also: Reservoir Dogs. I can watch it right up until a certain scene, and you know which one I mean, but I gotta leave then.


I heard somewhere that Godfather and Godfather II are considered above average by some people, but I’ve never been able to sit through either. Too slow.

I’ve never seen all of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. The characters of George and Martha remind me of my parents, and their verbal battles bring back memories that are best not remembered. I read the play when I was in college, and it didn’t affect me nearly as much. There’s something about hearing the lines read aloud that makes me feel very uncomfortable.

The Deer Hunter. I have had nightmares about that Russian Roulette scene.

I loved both Brokeback Mountain and No Country for Old Men, and will never, ever even consider the possibility of watching either a second time. They’re just too earth-shatteringly bleak.

House of Sand and Fog. Good movie, but the end…yowsa.

“Casualties Of War”. I’m told it’s an excellent movie, and the few minutes of it that I saw were very well done, but it’s so hideously unpleasant that I walked out.

Pretty much any film with horrific rape scenes in it, really.

To derail the thread yet more, I couldn’t watch Requiem for a Dream again, even having sat through it a first time. I also have a hard time with scary movies in general, so haven’t even attempted to watch many which are considered great films (The Shining comes to mind). As to movies that I started watching, but couldn’t finish even though they were good movies, I can’t think of any. Usually if I stop watching a movie, it’s because I really don’t like it and don’t consider it good. Also, I tend to watch through most movies even if I don’t like them much.

This is perhaps a bit out of theme, but…

I have found that True Lies is a much, much better movie if you stop it right after the nuclear weapon on the island explodes. Just skip to the last tango scene. Seriously, it improves the movie tremendously.

I have tried to watch Beyond Borders three times, and have never managed to finish it. The plot (as far as I’ve seen it) is fascinating enough – it’s about poverty in Africa, and human rights violations and the human side of world aide-- that markets itself as some kind of cheesy romantic thriller. The cinematography is epic and beautiful, the emotional points are salient and visceral… But there are some images in that film, of emaciated starving children crawling through the desert, of Ethiopians in triage receiving operations with no anesthetic – that is just way too much for me make it all the way through. It is just way too good at portraying reality. I’m getting all worked up just thinking about it.

Yeah, I hate it when people won’t tip.

I thought so, too…now that I’ve seen them both, I really enjoy watching them, though. I’d recommend another try for both, but to each their own.

To the OP–hey, at least you weren’t making out during it.

“What part of di-di-mau don’t you understand?”

Hotel Rwanda I’ve seen it once, thought that the performances and story were amazing, and I just can’t watch it again. The subject matter is simply too horrible.

Titus. I feel sick just thinking about it.

I was once part of a stage crew for a production of Glass Menagerie. Sitting there listening to those characters building up to an emotional train-wreck, night after night, for weeks through rehearsals and then the actual performances, was so depressing that I now cannot bear to sit through any movie or play by Tennessee Williams.