How do you shush a noisemaker at the movies?

From the 3/5 IMDb daily poll:

“What is your preferred method of attempting to quell a noisy person during a movie?”

In the lead so far are:

  1. “Shut the [bleep] up”
  2. Glare
  3. Shush

Personally, I went with “Grin and bear it,” but I’m a wuss.

I’m an “ask politely,” myself. When that fails (it almost always does), I become a “lose control of my beverage all upside they head.”

First I turn completely around and look at them. If that fails, I get up and move. (I realize this is not an option in a full theater, but I almost never go to a full showing b/c full movie theaters freak me out).

The other day during Dark Blue, a kid about 3 rows down kept opening up the worlds brightest cell phone until I chucked a Sour Patch Kid at his head while he was looking at it.

You gotta catch 'em in the act or they won’t learn.

I just “shhhh” them once. If they persist on talking after that or get abusive I immediately get theatre security involved. I don’t pay 10 bucks a person to see a movie (not including popcorn, candy, and sodas) to hear some running commentary from a bunch of brain dead troglodytes who have never been in polite society before.

I’m also of the “ask nicely” camp. But I could very easily cross over to the “shut the f*uck up” or “smack them upside the head” side.

Once, after bearing a half hour of her inane commentary, I politely asked a woman behind me if she would please stop talking, as I could barely hear the movie. She gasped, apparently simultaneously shocked, offended, and mystified by my request. I mean, really, how rude of me! :rolleyes:

I tend to start out politely, but if that doesn’t work then you need to combine anger and humiliation in the talker. When one of them fades enough that they feel like starting to do it again, the other one will quickly rise up.

This can be done with force (reach over the two seat gap, grasp collar, pull offender over so that you are face to face and hiss “Will. You. Shut. The. F%*$. Up.”, return offender to his seat), but for various reasons that’s not a tactic I recommend.

I find that joining in the conversation at normal volume will generally get the job done. Answer her question before the boyfriend can, argue with him over what kind of gun Mr. Actionstar is holding, stuff like that. It’s quicker than getting an official involved and doesn’t require getting up and missing more of the movie.

I’ll usually shush the first time. If it continues, I may either move, if possible, or say, “I paid to see and hear the movie, not you. Pipe down.”


I am a fairly large guy, and it helps.
I usually stand up, turn around and yell “shut the f… up!”.
I have had to do that twice at movie theaters, and both times I got applause from the audience.

Once, at a Broadway play, I was in the balcony and a large group of school kids were behind me. Most of those kids were great, but three teenage girls behind me spent a good 15 minutes yapping about everything except the musical. The women next to me asked them to be quiet twice. And they were, for about 2 minutes. Finally, after a huge hehehe from the three once again, I stood up and said, “I will personally throw all three of you over this balcony if you don’t shut up now.”
That was all it took. I think one almost started to cry, one of the teachers finally got off their ass and came down and told them to shut up and their school buddies all got a good chuckle.

But I have to admit, maybe it is just because I go to movies later in the run, I haven’t had that problem for years! Of course, the sound systems have gotten better and some films have a noise level that would make it impossible to hear anyone else in the theater…but fine with me.

I used to glare and shush, but I’ve found that 2trew’s tactic actually works quite well indeed.

I saw Old School recently (don’t waste your time), and there was a couple in front of me who chattered back and forth the whole time. In particular, they kept pointing out a minor character and saying, “Who’s that? Who is that guy? Where do we know that guy?” every time he appeared.

Finally, slowly as if talking to a child and using a loud, firm voice, not yelling but definitely intended to carry, I said, “He’s a correspondent on Jon Stewart’s Daily Show.”

They shut up.

How do you shush a noisemaker at the movies?

With a claw hammer, of course.

If you walk by and ‘accidentally’ trip and your elbow goes right into their esophagus, then that’s such a terrible thing to have happen.

I’d apologize if you did that. Especially if it happens twice in a row.


What a lousy poll! “A blackjack” isn’t even one of the options! Oh, wait–I guess that’s “Other”.


I usually just grit my teeth and sob quietly whenever someone is making a racket near me. Then I visualize them spontaneously combusting and emptying out the theatre in the process leaving me and whomever else Im with to watch the movie in peace.

I am never the only shusher in the crowd. It’s rare that twenty people all going “SHUSH!” doesn’t shut the yackers up the first time. But on the rare ocassion it hasn’t, I’ll go get a theater employee to handle it.

My daughter, OTOH, will stand up and tell them to “SHUT THE HELL UP!”

I start with a “shh” in case they just didn’t realize they were that loud.

If that doesn’t work, I usually whip out one of my more graphic or amusing insults – usually the combination of annoyed Blinkie and the rest of the audience laughing at the insulted idiots will shut 'em up.

Yikes! Hit submit too soon while flippin’ between windows. I meant to give an anecdotal example:

Bunch of friends and I went to see Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back the day it opened. So naturally, it was a big theater full of young slackers, stoners, etc etc etc. and it was sold out. One of the ushers was trying to get everyone to move to the middle of their rows so more people could be fit in, and a group of high school students near the back were laughing, jeering, and otherwise making asses of themselves, delaying the start of the movie.

So I stood up, turned around, and hollered, “SHUT UP, YOU F*CKING ASSMONKEYS!” Worked pretty well. Got lots of chuckles and several things were thrown at the offenders.

(Okay, so I didn’t pronounce the asterisk then. But I usually do these days.)

With a silencer. :smiley:

Seriously, first time a polite request, second time get an usher.

I stare at them until they go insane and run out of the theater. It doesn’t take that long either.