Secrets drive the plots of some of the best movies. Memories are erased, alibis are fashioned, characters are killed or imprisoned and Jedi knights are kept working on farms for far too long, all to keep us guessing, interested and watching. That being said, sometimes a secret is only as good as the writers' ability to cover huge gaps in logic -- gaps that, when you think about it, are so huge that you can drive a bus through them, such as how the hell no one figured out Bruce Wayne was Batman in the Dark Knight trilogy.
6The Dark Truth Behind Robert's Magic Trick in The Prestige
Robert Angier (Hugh Jackman) is a magician hell-bent on winning a battle of wits against a rival magician to see who can better perform a specific trick, because this is 19th century England and women would have sex with you for such a thing.
"No syphilis and magic tricks? Deal."
Robert commissions Nikola Tesla to build him what is essentially a teleportation device, with the hopes of using it to dazzle audiences with the greatest magic trick anyone has ever seen (and not, for some reason, to rob all of the banks in the world). The problem is, Tesla's machine makes a copy of whoever uses it, teleporting either the user or the copy in the process and leaving the other standing in the device like a jackass. Robert decides to go ahead and use it for the trick anyway, installing a trap door beneath the machine to drop whichever clone was unlucky enough to be left in the device into a water tank beneath the stage, drowning him like a contemporary orphan (because at this point of the movie, Robert's brain is plucking the screaming bowstrings of insanity). This leaves only one Robert to take a bow after his apparent teleportation across the theater, and only one Robert to cash the subsequent paycheck.
"I'M ALIVE! Uh, I mean ... ta-daaaa!"
To keep the true nature of the trick a secret, Robert only hires blind stagehands and allows no one else backstage, and gets a new water tank for every performance. He has his blind employees cart out his floating dead Robert clones and store them in a warehouse, for reasons that are never adequately explained.
Perhaps because the greatest sin against nature is hiding your sin against nature.
OK, so when Robert books the theater for his Transported Man trick, he specifies that he'll be doing five performances a week for a total of 100 performances. That's 100 tanks over the course of 20 weeks. Where the hell is he getting all of them? There's no way to invoice that many tanks of that size and be subtle about it. And anyone who checks that order and reads a review of his magic show will immediately notice that not a single tank is being used onstage.
And it isn't like Robert is doing the trick once or twice before folding his tent like a gypsy to move to another town. He is performing his show five times a week in the same city for five damned months. He's parading his dark secret around in the open for anyone with half of a brain not poisoned by mercury from a yet-unregulated fishing industry to figure out. That's like hiding treasure in a box labeled "THIS IS NOT WHERE THE TREASURE IS." Moreover, Tesla, the guy who built the machine for him, knows full well how the device actually works and is bound to hear about Robert's famous trick sooner or later. How long do you think it will take Tesla, one of the most famous geniuses in history, to deduce what Robert is up to?
5Charles Xavier's Whereabouts in X-Men: First Class
Persecution, racism and the right to anonymity are the underlying themes of the X-Men series. After all, a person's ability to melt buildings with their eye lasers or lift submarines out of the ocean with their mind is nobody's business but their own. This is why Charles Xavier decides to keep his school hidden from the government, because as the climax of X-Men: First Class demonstrates, people tend to overreact to things they don't quite understand.
Calling in Michael Ironside is nearly always an overreaction.
Up to this point in the film, however, both Xavier and Magneto have been working openly with the CIA to help take down a much more devastating threat to the world. In fact, they put together an entire team of mutants to help, and manage to work together fairly effectively until the government turns on them and tries to melt them into radioactive goo (see Michael Ironside, above).
As a result, Magneto vows to murder humanity and Xavier gets paralyzed and goes into hiding. His final scene takes place at his countryside battle mansion/training school, where he and CIA agent Moira MacTaggert discuss the fact that obscurity is the key to the X-Men's success.
While Moira insists that she would never reveal his whereabouts to the CIA, Xavier decides to make doubly sure by erasing the knowledge from her head with a memory-boiling mind laser.
If he can do that, why can't he use his superbrain to make his fucking legs work?
But how exactly is erasing Moira's memory going to keep the CIA off of Xavier's back? After all, he's been working for them for months, using his real name. They know everything about him -- his family, his field, where he went to school and the location of his mansion.
The final scene in the movie shows Moira's CIA superiors exasperated and seemingly helpless at her loss of memory ... but how could this be? Could their frustration really last any longer than a few minutes of grumbling and a demotion? After all -- they know exactly who Charles Xavier is. He's the wealthy, prominent mutant who worked for them for months under absolutely no disguise. We cannot stress that enough. He probably filled out a freaking W-2.
"If only we had some way to locate him using only his name and address ..."