"Can someone tell me how he got into our system?"
The Movie: Skyfall
The Dumb Decision: Upon finding a laptop belonging to former MI6 agent Silva, the Secret Intelligence Service's resident genius Q hooks it up to the network, releasing a virus and destroying MI6's internal security.
If They Were Smarter: They would've poked around with the computer for a bit first.
Or at least been suspicious about how easy the password was to guess.
"Erik, you said yourself we're the better men. This is the time to prove it."
The Movie: X-Men: First Class
The Dumb Decision: Despite spending the entire film trying to surpress his new found friend's extremist tendencies, Charles Xavier decides to wave a massive red flag at a bull and convince a Holocaust survivor not to blow up a bunch of U.S. and Russian battleships with the words: "They were just following orders."
If They Were Smarter: A more nuanced, subtle argument for not declaring war on humanity might've calmed Erik down, and could have ultimately prevented Magneto from ever turning to the dark side.
"Don't worry. I'll be subtle. I'm good at subtle."
The Movie: Demolition Man
The Dumb Decision: Dr. Raymond Cocteau's plan to create the perfect graffiti-free society is riddled with issues. But the biggest by far is agreeing to not only free cryogenically-frozen mentalist and multi-murder death-killer Simon Phoenix but also unfreeze his team of murderous crims is definitely a bad choice.
If They Were Smarter: Reprogramming all of the inmate's brains so they couldn't kill him would've worked.
Or perhaps finding a more peaceful solution to the resistance problem was an option.
Come to think of it, why were all the criminals kept in storage in the first place?
"How many 'f's' in 'catastrophic'?"
The Movie: Superman Returns
The Dumb Decision: Intrepid journalist Lois Lane decides to investigate a story about a blackout which seems to have spread from a specific location and ends up being held hostage by Lex Luthor.
If They Were Smarter: It might've been an idea to tell someone where she was going. Taking her five-year-old son along for the ride probably wasn't the most responsible parenting we've ever seen either.
"Obviously I miscalculated a few things."
The Movie: Limitless
The Dumb Decision: Eddie figures out the secret to success - drugs.
Which, though questionable, isn't our major issue. Having taken lots of pills, seduced lots of women and earned lots of money, somehow the smarty-pants forgets to pay back the $100,000 he borrowed off of a Russian mafia loan-shark, who subsequently tries to kill him. Hard.
If They Were Smarter: Never underestimate the power of a to do list.
"I think they got him."
The Movie: Cloverfield
The Dumb Decision: The pilot flying the last chopper out of New York City mid-giant monster attack decides to fly straight into the path of the aforementioned giant monster.
The helicopter is of course swatted out of the sky.
If They Were Smarter: How hard would it have been to fly in the other direction? You know, away from the thing destroying the city.
"Run for it, Marty!"
The Movie: Back To The Future
The Dumb Decision: With the DeLorian's plutonium chamber loaded and ready for a jaunt to the future, Doc spies some terrorists approaching and decides to shoot at them with a tiny pistol, giving them plenty of opportunity to shoot him dead with their much better guns.
If They Were Smarter: Doc, Marty and Einstein would've just jumped in the car and driven away. To the future or past if necessary.
"I think at last we understand one another, Frodo Baggins."
The Movie: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
The Dumb Decision: Blinded by his desperation for approval from daddy, Faramir decides to drag Sam and Frodo, who are so close to Mordor and getting rid of that goddamned ring, all the way to Osgiliath.
If They Were Smarter: Faramir would've recognised Denathor for the total loon he was and accepted the Hobbits' quest as being more important than his own Gondorian pride rather than wasting everyone's time with a pointless detour.
"Ape alone... weak. Apes together strong."
The Movie: Rise of the Planet of the Apes
The Dumb Decision: Having seen the rampagey effects of the drug AZ-112 on its first primate test subject, scientist Will decides to adopt her baby chimp Caesar and rather foolishly chooses to ignore the potential dangers its intelligence present - in this case an ape uprising in which they take over the planet.
If They Were Smarter: Oh, what's the point? Movie scientists are never, ever smart.
There's irony in here somewhere.
"When dealing with aliens, try to be polite, but firm."
The Movie: District 9
The Dumb Decision: The governments of the world allow a private corporation to exploit a group of sick, malnourished aliens for their own evil, money-grabbing ends.
If They Were Smarter: When malnourished extra-terrestrials eventually land on our planet, we hope that our good government will take care of and make friends with the sapient beings capable of extremely advanced technology that could ultimately end us.
"That's a job for the police."
The Movie: The Dark Knight Rises
The Dumb Decision: When Commissioner Gordon finds out that Bane is hiding in the sewers, he decides to send Gotham's entire police force into the tunnels to smoke the big guy and his henchmen out.
Inevitably, they all get blown to smithereens.
If They Were Smarter: Gotham's finest might've realised it's a rather obvious trap, and sent a small team - some SWAT dudes and a couple of unnamed extras - to investigate rather than leaving the city entirely free of law keepers and open to Bane's extremely long and tedious Reign of Terror.
"None of this concerns me."
The Movie: Looper
The Dumb Decision: After failing to kill his future self, Young Joe ignores Old Joe's warnings to leave town ASAP and instead the greedy so-and-so heads home to pack his pockets full of silver, almost getting deaded by the mobsters waiting for him in the process.
If They Were Smarter: Young Joe would've realised that with age comes wisdom, and gotten the hell out of dodge.
"The odds are always with the house."
The Movie: Ocean's 11
The Dumb Decision: Having pulled off the heist of the century, Danny Ocean and the rest of the Rat Pack hide their ill-gotten gains in ace electrician and recent heart attack victim Tony Bergdorf's coffin, which is promptly incinerated at his funeral.
If They Were Smarter: It might've occurred to the crooners to liberate the cash sometime pre-cremation, hide it somewhere less flammable or even include Bergdorf's widow on the rather insensitive plan.
"You know what a cautious fellow I am."
The Movie: Raiders Of The Lost Ark
The Dumb Decision: On finding that the Nazis are hunting for the Ark of the Covenant in the wrong place, Indiana Jones and his gal pal Marion decide to uncover the correct location of the Well of Souls, leading ze Germans right to it.
If They Were Smarter: They would've resisted the temptation to uncover archaeology's greatest prize and just gone home.
"I just couldn't live in a world where you didn't exist."
The Movie: The Twilight Saga: New Moon
The Dumb Decision: Mistakenly thinking that true love Bella has committed suicide, in a Romeo And Juliet-esque homage Edward decides to take his own life, despite the fact that he was the one to leave her in the first place.
This is man logic at its best.
If They Were Smarter: Not being a total imbecile, Edward double-checks whether or not Bella's alive by phoning her dad and then jumping to a whoppingly bad conclusion after hearing he's at a funeral.
As this is the 21st Century, checking out her Facebook page, Twitter feed, sending her a text or even - and we know this is a bit out there - asking to speak to her on the phone, would've cleared up the misunderstanding instantly.
"He wants us to cut through our feet!"
The Movie: Saw
The Dumb Decision: After suffering various tortures at the hands of the Jigsaw Killer, Lawrence is left with a choice - chop of his own foot in order to free himself from shackles, or reach a bit and answer a ringing mobile phone on the other end of which is his wife, daughter and the entire city's police force waiting to save everybody.
If They Were Smarter: Larry would've used his eyes and clever doctor brains to find a way to get to that handset that lies tantalisingly close to his outstretched hand.
We would've gone with the shirt as a phone lasso instead of a tourniquet technique.
Or he could've used the hacksaw to hook the phone.
Or the other prisoner dude could've thrown an object to knock the phone closer to him.
"Think of your men! I beg you."
The Movie: 300
The Dumb Decision: Overly concerned with protecting his troops' phalanx formation, Leonidas denies exiled hunchback Ephialtes the chance to redeem his father's name in battle because he can't hold a shield.
Disgruntled, Ephialtes immediately goes running to the Persians and delivers the secret to defeating Sparta.
If They Were Smarter: Leonidas wouldn't have risked Ephialtes' wrath, and just let him stand at the back instead.
"He must DIE, Mr. Thorn!"
The Movie: The Omen
The Dumb Decision: We get that people love their children, we do.
But when a friendly local priest warns a father than his son may not be human and then people start dying left right and centre, it would serve that father well to pay attention.
If They Were Smarter: Love may be blind, but it's also4 asinine on occasion.
If only Gregory Peck had opened his eyes a bit earlier, he might not have adopted the antichrist.
"Something is happening in our house."
The Movie: What Lies Beneath
The Dumb Decision: On noticing the tempestuous relationship of the couple next door, and subsequent creepy goings-on, Claire becomes convinced that her neighbour has murdered his wife.
So what does she do? She holds a séance in order to communicate with the ghost.
If They Were Smarter: How about casually asking the guy outright? Or maybe calling the authorities and expressing her concern?
Pretty much any option would be better than inviting a ghost to scare the living shizzle out of you.
"In the fifth, my ass goes down."
The Movie: Pulp Fiction
The Dumb Decision: After winning a fight he has been paid to throw, Butch makes his getaway rather successfully... and then decides to return to his apartment to pick up a watch, knowing full well that Marsellus' men will be waiting for him. And it gets better. Once there, he chills out a bit with a Pop-Tart or two.
If They Were Smarter: Ok, ok. We know Butch ultimately gets away with it, but if he'd have just kept his head down he would have ended up doing much less murder.
"Are you ever NOT going to fall for that?"
The Movie: Avengers Assemble
The Dumb Decision: Having grown up with master of magic and mischief Loki, one might've thought Thor would be a little more aware of his ability to duplicate himself.
But apparently the God of Thunder wasn't thinking straight when he charged after his adoptive brother, effectively trapping himself in a giant glass cage suspended over 30,000 feet of nothing.
If They Were Smarter: Thor would stop falling for the simplest and most obvious of Loki's tricks.
"If you're really going down there, you're going to die."
The Movie: Prometheus
The Dumb Decision: In death, Meredith Vickers proved herself a total dolt by running away from the very long but very thin collapsing spaceship in a straight line.
The crushing was inevitable.
If They Were Smarter: It really shouldn't have taken much for Mer to realise that if she ran a bit to the left or right she would've been just fine.
"I was never a very good practical joker."
The Movie: Zombieland
The Dumb Decision: A year ago, mad cow disease mutated into mad zombie disease.
Most of the population are now mindless, animated flesh-eating corpses, while those left alive are fairly trigger happy and desperate to survive.
You're Bill Murray, and you've cleverly, though somewhat unbelievably, managed to survive the Zombiepocalypse by erm... faking it. Congratulations.
But what on Earth made you think it would be fun to scare the trigger happy, skittish man holding a gun by pretending to be a Zombie?
Bye bye Bill Murray.
If They Were Smarter: It's just like our mum said - Never, ever, ever piss off the nice man with the really big gun.
"I'm fucking doomed!"
The Movie: The Last King Of Scotland
The Dumb Decision: We've all worked for violent, paranoid, psychopathic dictators, haven't we?
It makes for a difficult working environment, fraught with stress.
But no matter how much pressure you're under, or how much she looks like Kerry Washington, deciding to embark upon an affair with Idi Amin's missus and getting her pregnant in the process was pretty foolhardy, wasn't it Nicholas Garrigan?
If They Were Smarter: Garrigan could've avoided quite a lot of pain and torture by simply keeping it in his pants.
Or, you know, not working for a polygamous despot in the first place.
The Movie: Scream
The Dumb Decision: Sydney Prescott does so many senseless things over the course of four movies they deserve their own feature.
But we literally have to go back to the beginning for the biggest display of daft from Casey Becker.
A phone rings, she answers, and then keeps talking to the crazy gravel-voiced dude, going so far as to flirt with him before figuring out far, far too late that he's probably not after a date.
If They Were Smarter: Hang up, Casey. Hang up, lock the doors and call the police.
And shut the curtains while you're at it, eh?
"You've always held her back!"
The Movie: X-Men: The Last Stand
The Dumb Decision: Ok, Magneto. We know you want supremacy on Earth for all mutantkind, but was encouraging the somewhat mental dark side of the world's most powerful mutant to manifest really necessary? What have you done indeed.
If They Were Smarter: Sometimes, even megalomaniacs need to draw a line. Perhaps another mutie would've done the job?
"The map wasn't doing shit all day!"
The Movie: The Blair Witch Project
The Dumb Decision: Three unbelievably unlikeable kids are lost in the woods and some scary shizzle is going down. So what does Mike do?
He has a strop and loses their only means of navigation by booting the map into a river.
If They Were Smarter: He and fellow simpleton Heather would've kept their cool and absolutely, definitely not rushed to friend Josh's aid when they heard his cries for help coming from the creepy abandoned house nearby.
Let's face it, they deserved to die.
"Oh, I feel dead."
The Movie: Alien
The Dumb Decision: That Kane was brought aboard the Nostromo following his terrifying run-in with an acid-blooded facehugger makes sense because of clever plot device reasons.
But why didn't the highly-intelligent technical, sciency crew of nincompoops keep him in quarantine a bit longer?
If They Were Smarter: Just a couple more hours, and the whole explodey-stomach incident would've happened behind closed doors, keeping the parasitic alien contained and, most importantly, giving no one nightmares.
"Hasta la vista, baby."
The Movie: Terminator 2: Judgement Day
The Dumb Decision: Skynet's first attempt to do away with Sarah Connor and her unborn son failed miserably. So what do they do? They try again, of course.
Only to find Connor and her child are prepared this time. Smart.
If They Were Smarter: Why not dispatch a T-1000 further back in time to eradicate the family line earlier on?
We'd suggest sometime around the civil war would do it.
"Did I hear that code red or am I losing my shit?"
The Movie: 28 Weeks Later
The Dumb Decision: Ah, love. It's been the downfall of many over the years.
But Don's decision to give his Rage-infected missus a massive snog on seeing her again was ill-advised to say the least.
If They Were Smarter: The man could've had a little more self-control, could he not?
Romance isn't everything, after all.
"You were my greatest student."
The Movie: Batman Begins
The Dumb Decision: So Ra's Al Ghul wants to burn Gotham to the ground. Again. Fair enough.
But then why does he decide to make the revenge-hungry son of the people he murdered last time he did it his progeny? Ninja skills are a very serious guilt gift.
If They Were Smarter: Actually, it was arrogance, rather than stupidity, was Ra's Al Ghul's downfall.
But either way, he could've just not invited Mr Wayne to join the League Of Shadows. Or not told him that he killed his parents. Or he could have trained him really badly.
"Now the sharks, they're screwing with us."
The Movie: Deep Blue Sea
The Dumb Decision: It turns out shark brains might be able to cure Alzheimer's.
So let's go to an easily-floodable abandoned submarine base in the middle of the ocean, totally isolated from civilization and do experiments on the giant swimming death machines with really big needles.
If They Were Smarter: A lab with lots of dry land around it might've been a more sensible place to experiment on things with lots of flesh-tearing teeth and an angry disposition.
"I'll show you mine if you show me yours."
The Movie: Harry Potter & The Goblet of Fire
The Dumb Decision: Desperate to prove his worth as Voldemort's bestest Death Eater, Crouch goes to a lot of trouble involving Polyjuice Potion and an elaborate, deadly wizarding tournament to get Harry to a graveyard.
If They Were Smarter: How about just kidnapping the kid and grabbing a handy portkey out of Hogwarts? No?
" Just follow the screams."
The Movie: The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The Dumb Decision: Feeling sorry for a poor baby T-Rex with a broken leg, Nick and Sarah bring the dino back to the camp to make it better.
But they didn't think about Mamma T-Rex, who's on the hunt for her young 'un and swiftly finds it - crushing and eating loads of people in the process.
If They Were Smarter: Leave the thing be, kids. Leave the thing be. (Or, if you insist on being less cold-hearted than we are, how about treating it in situ rather than putting everybody else in danger too, eh?)
"What's to be scared about? It's just a little hiccup in the power..."
The Movie: Jurassic Park
The Dumb Decision: Who builds an electric-fence surrounded theme park packed full of dinosaurs and doesn't come up with a contingency plan in case the power fails?
If They Were Smarter: The giant death monsters would have been contained safely and securely.
With a back-up system.
"I am trying to solve a puzzle."
The Movie: The Fugitive
The Dumb Decision: Wrongly-convicted surgeon Richard Kimble lends friend and colleague Dr. Charles Nichols his keys.
So far, so innocuous.
But then follows the dumbness. He forgets that he did it. He forgets!
If They Were Smarter: What with all the excitement of his wife being murdered and fisticuffs with the one-armed killer and being arrested, we can understand why looking for his keys wasn't the first thing on Kimble's mind.
But once it becomes clear that the police investigation hinges on the fact that there was no forced entry to the house, you'd think he'd make the connection, wouldn't you?
"Ok, I'm drawing a line in the fucking sand. Do NOT read the Latin!"
The Movie: The Cabin In The Woods
The Dumb Decision: Horror films wouldn't exist if stupid people didn't do stupid things in them. But of all stupid things done by stupid people in a horror film, finding a creepy book and reading from it is probably the stupidest. And yes, The Evil Dead , we're looking at you too.
If They Were Smarter: They wouldn't have read the book and unleashed the demons, would they?
And a nice, wholesome, zombie-free country holiday would've been had by all.
"I have failed you, Anakin."
The Movie: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The Dumb Decision: Having realised Anakin's treachery, Obi-Wan and his Padawan engage in a fierce duel to the death.
But assuming that chopping off his legs and an arm and leaving him to burn in the fiery pits of a volcano was enough to finish off the midi-chloriantastic Chosen One was a bit of an oversight.
If They Were Smarter: Obi-Wan would've saved everybody a lot of trouble by taking up his lightsaber once more and getting the job done.
And while we're at it...
"There... is good in him. I know there is... still..."
The Movie: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
The Dumb Decision: Let's face it. Obi-Wan made a few mistakes in his time, but hiding Luke Skywalker with his family on the planet his dad grew up on without even changing his name is just ridiculous.
And while we're at it, let's talk about his fake name. 'Old Ben Kenobi?'. Is he having a laugh?
If They Were Smarter: Anything would have been better than this. Anything at all. Obi-Wan's clear favourite Leia got to go to a wealthy place and be a princess. All it takes is a little imagination, for crying out loud.
"It is a burden he should never have had to bear."
The Movie: The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring
The Dumb Decision: Dear Gandalf, we love the story and everything but why-oh-why-oh-why did delivering the ring to Mount Doom have to be full of such hardship and hassle? Seriously, loads of people died because you weren't thinking logically.
If They Were Smarter: Gandalf captures a butterfly, whispers at it a bit, the eagles come, he flies to Mordor, drop the ring into the volcano, and everything's happily ever after. Easy-peasy.
There's a possibility the big G was worried about the eagles slipping the ring on and going bad, but giant evil eagles are exactly the sort of thing we want to see on a massive screen, so we wouldn't have been all that bothered.
"We don't need you! We need nothing!"
The Movie: The Matrix
The Dumb Decision: Evil machines need energy, so they decide to power up by harvesting the natural electrical energy produced by human beings. Makes sense, right? Except that it doesn't, really...
If They Were Smarter: Why didn't the machines just make use of those massive drills and tunnel through to the Earth's core to get at the geothermal energy there... you know, the same way that the Zionites did? OR, they could've not farmed a species capable of using computer technology. Cows would've done the job. Or sheep, there's plenty of those.
"Why, the whole world will pay to see this."
The Movie: King Kong
The Dumb Decision: Bringing a giant, wild, raging gorilla to New York City was just asking for trouble, wasn't it?
Yes, we get that Denham was all eccentric and ambitious and insane, but it's not like he was just smuggling some cheese past customs.
We're talking about a thirty-thousand pound primate.
If They Were Smarter: Well, Denham clearly wasn't smarter, but there's no excusing the many others who chose to go along with his plan.
The trucking company, the police, the theatre owner... King Kong is a film full of cretins.
"Okay, what do you mean, 'a life form'?"
The Movie: Prometheus
The Dumb Decision: It's understandable that a biologist would be curious on finding a worm on a weird alien planet.
But trying to seduce the Hammerpede with a cute "Hey little fella!" really wasn't the best idea Millburn ever had.
If They Were Smarter: Never touch the creepy, vicious-looking space cobra. Ever.
"I want to play a game."
The Movie: Die Hard With A Vengeance
The Dumb Decision: Vest-loving vengeance-fuelled villain Simon Gruber's carefully orchestrated plot for an epic super-robbery is genius worthy of his elder brother Hans.
But of course, Hans' intricate plan was foiled by John McClane - the one man whom Si decides to involve in his elaborate scheme for basically no reason. It was never going to work.
If They Were Smarter: A real criminal mastermind would have dispensed with this time saving exercise and pulled of the heist without a hitch, following it up with a spot of revenge murder. Far less complicated, but far more effective.
"No, see, this is a really shit idea."
The Movie: 28 Days Later
The Dumb Decision: Nobody likes to see poor cute animals locked in cages, even if it is in the name of science.
But even so, deciding to ignore the warnings of scientists and release a bunch of chimps infected with a highly contagious virus called Rage into the world was nothing short of moronic.
If They Were Smarter: They would have found some other, far less apocalypse-instigating monkeys to liberate.
Of course, if that had happened, it would have been an extremely boring movie.
"I have it under control."
The Movie: Inception
The Dumb Decision: Throughout Inception we see Dom Cobb trying to keep his ex-wife-shaped evil subconscious from sabotaging his every move.
But towards the end, when everything's going wrong, Cobb makes it all a million times worse by forcing Ariadne to tell him some information that will allow murderous ghost Mal to make everything go boom.
If They Were Smarter: Granted, it's a touch childish, but there's something to be said for sticking fingers in ears and singing loudly while other people talk about things that you don't want to hear.
"For England, James."
The Movie: GoldenEye
The Dumb Decision: Alec Trevelyan's master to hack into the Bank of England, steal all the money, use the GoldenEye satellite to send an electromagnetic pulse through London, erasing all financial records, sending the country into chaos and neatly covering his theft. Brilliant, no? No.
In return for his dastardly efforts, Alec's getting paid in the currency of a nation whose economy he has just annihilated.
If They Were Smarter: Alec should've collected in dollars. Or dinar. Rial are good. Even Swiss francs would've done the job.
"We're the top of the fucking food chain."
The Movie: Blade
The Dumb Decision: So, you're Deacon Frost, a badass vampire with rock star good looks.
Your enemies fear you, your underlings want to be you and your girlfriend is your archenemy's mother.
Everything's perfect, right? Right.
So why would you go and ruin it by destroying all the human beings and cutting off your food supply?
If They Were Smarter: Some kind of human cattle farm might have made more sense... or, you know, just leave things as they are. They're pretty good.
"Death to each and every traitor!"
The Movie: Les Miserables
The Dumb Decision: He might be the most feared and recognized lawman in all of France, but for some reason Inspector Javert thought going undercover to do a ditty with the rebels was a brilliant idea.
Unsurprisingly, the dumb copper gets recognized the instant one of the rebels gets a good look at his face.
If They Were Smarter: Javert should've taken a leaf out of the bad guy handbook and simply got a minion to do his dirty work.
After all, what else are minions for?
"I'm not afraid of you."
The Movie: Iron Man 3
The Dumb Decision: Who picks a fight with a trigger-happy terrorist? Tony Stark picks a fight with a trigger-happy terrorist by shouting out his address loud and clear.
Of course, said trigger-happy terrorist then blows Tony Stark's house to smithereens.
If They Were Smarter: If he was that clever, Tony wouldn't have picked the fight in the first place. After all, fisticuffs never solve anything.
But if he insisted on a bit of rough and tumble maybe suggesting some neutral ground - a playground, the local park after midnight or the middle of the desert, for example - would have been a good idea.