The 50 greatest films you'll only watch once

Never again!

A film doesnt have to be bad to stop you watching it a second time. Some great films lack that rewatchability factor. Maybe they have a twist which makes watching again pointless. More likely, theyre just so damned harrowing you dont think you can ever sit through them again. Some films show us truths we need to see, but once is enough; the point is made. Others can have an exquisitely painful moment that so overshadows the rest of the film, you cant rematch it, knowing whats to come. And some films seem downright designed as endurance tests.

50. The Birth Of A Nation (1915)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: Frankly, you'll only reason you'd watch it the first time is for historical curiosity.

49. The Machinist (2004)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: Bale is frightening to see in that state.

48. Elephant (2003)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: There are only so many over-the-shoulder shots of students walking around a school you can watch before you give up and watch Good Will Hunting instead.

47. Jude (1996)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: Hardy's never exactly a barrel of laughs, but Eccleston and Winslet go for broke in mining the writer's bleakness.

46. American History X (1998)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: The opening curb-stomp sets the scene for a film so in-your-face it's better to turn away.

45. The Mist (2007)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: With that ending, it's far too intense for most folk's B-movie needs.

44. Breaking The Waves (1996)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: Like a lot of Von Trier, this depends on your tolerance for watching a woman's suffering.

43. Solaris (1972)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: Steven Soderbergh and George Clooney did it in half the time.

42. Un Chien Andalou (1928)

Why You'll Only Watch It Once: Although it is only twenty minutes, Pixies distilled its essence into three for their song Debaser--just as crazy but altogether catchier.

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