#4. Citizen Kane
Yeah, even Kane. The greatest film of all time, according to those monocle-wearing types who refuse to even consider Robocop for the title.
A bunch of reporters try to figure out the meaning of Charles Foster Kane's last words. "Rosebud."
No one was around to hear them.
Now, no one's suggesting that journalists in the 40s weren't good at getting scoops. With the chief breathing down their neck and dames left and right trying to play them for saps, they pretty much had to be good. But unless their source was telepathic or invisible, there's no way they could know what Kane said.
Kane's nurse, arriving several minutes too late for the movie to make any fucking sense
And if they really are just that good, you think they'd also know the twist ending, that Rosebud was his sled (what kind of weirdo names his sled anyway? Does he miss his childhood desk chair too?).
So the next time some film critic is getting all up in your face, picking holes in your favorite movie, hit them with that, and watch them curl up into a ball and weep like a child. Then maybe kick 'em a couple of times. If you think we're being too hard on the critics, remember that they get paid to watch movies and be dicks about them. We on the other hand ... never mind.
#3. Fantastic Voyage
You may not have seen this one if you're the type who refuses to watch movies from before you were born. This is from a better time, when men were men, movie titles told you exactly what to expect (hint: an adventure that is fantastic), and Raquel Welch in a catsuit was the closest thing to pornography a man could get without having to go to a seedy-looking theater with sticky floors and Travis Bickle types making gun fingers at the screen.
A team of scientists shrink themselves to go inside a patient's body in a tiny little spaceship, in order to fix a blood clot in his brain. They have only an hour, and then they will return to normal size.
We don't ask that you stay within the bounds of physics, but at least follow the rules you freaking made up. At the end of the movie, the crew's tiny sub gets destroyed, but the team manages to get out of the guy's body just before they grow back to size. Only problem, they leave the wreckage of their miniaturized submarine behind. As clangers go, that's about as bad as you get. Anyone paying attention to the plot of the movie is wondering right up until the end when the giant submarine wreckage will be bursting out of the guys chest.
It's not quite true that no one cared about this plot hole. When one of sci-fi's greatest writers, Issac Asimov, was hired to write the novelization of the movie (something to keep in mind if your son is ever contemplating a career as a sci-fi writer) he pointed out the hole to the producers. The producers pointed out that Mr. Asimov could shut the hell up and kept it the way it was.
Asimov went ahead and changed the ending in the book so it made sense. Hollywood, believing revenge is a dish best served cold, waited 40 years and then turned his book I, Robot into a love story between Will Smith and a pair of converse.
Subtext: Suck it, Issac!
#2. The Lion King
Scar murders his brother and usurps the throne, then Simba returns from exile to avenge his father's death. Also, they're lions.
For someone who wanted to be king so much, Scar was really bad at it. There's being incompetent, and then there's being so incompetent that you cause the rain to stop and all the rivers and lakes to dry up. We know he let the hyenas run the show and eat whatever they wanted, but come on. What, did they drink the lake?
We know what you're going to say. "Why don't you just point out the fact that lions can't really talk, you pedantic dicks!" But think about the environmental message kids get at the ending. The place was basically a desert, the lions were on the brink of starvation and a huge fire couldn't have helped matters. Simba repairs an entire ecosystem and gets everything back to normal in a couple of years.
Obviously a slow and difficult reconstruction period during which most of the tribe dies isn't the most uplifting montage to end a kids' movie with, but it's a little late to spare our feelings at that point, isn't it Disney? Where was that concern when you killed Mufasa, you fuckers?
We like to hit rewind at this point, so then it's like Mufasa gets up and everything's okay.
#1. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
We had to make this number one, not because of the size of the plot hole, but because it's friggin' Star Wars. That's right nerds, the indisputably best one of the series has a pretty gaping hole of its own.
You know the plot. Don't play that game.
So there's the famous sequence where Luke gets trained by Yoda on Yoda's shithole of a planet. To break up the sequence, the film cuts to the Millennium Falcon getting chased by the Empire to Lando's cloud city. When they arrive, they get captured, at which point Luke has finished his training.
Well, that doesn't work. Were they chased for months? Or was Luke trained in an afternoon? Either we were spared some extended scenes on board the Millennium Falcon featuring starvation and debates about when they'd have to eat Chewbacca, or becoming a Jedi is easier than getting a cub scout merit badge.
Pictured: The entire Jedi training process
The latter explanation seems more plausible, as it just reveals Luke to be an even whinier bitch than he seemed. Talk about ungrateful, he's getting taught God-like abilities in about six hours, and he complains through literally every single one of them. It also means Yoda's insistence that Jedis start their training as young children isn't because the training's such a long arduous process, but because he's amused by the idea of children knowing how to choke each other with their minds.
Now it's true that when Luke tries to leave, Yoda insists the training isn't over. But when Luke returns to Planet Shithole in Return of the Jedi to finish it, Yoda waves him off and tells him there's nothing else to learn.
Then it turns out the final test Luke has to pass to become a Jedi is to defeat Darth Vader, the most powerful Jedi in the universe which kind of seems like a huge leap in difficulty after his one-day training session. That'd be like if the final stage of your driving test was to win the Indy 500.
So to answer the question, at what point did George Lucas stop paying attention? It looks like it was part way through the second movie.
For more movies that are way more disturbing when you actually think about them, check out The 6 Most Depressing Happy Endings in Movie History. Or for movies that you already know suck, but just don't know why, check out 5 Awesome Movies Ruined By Last-Minute Changes.