25 baffling movie plot holes that make no sense

With approximately a gajillion movies in existence, the odd continuity error ('He wasn't wearing that jacket a second ago!') or a flubbed voiceover edit ('Why do I hear 'Shit' when their lips say 'Fuck'?') is expected. But what about when those mistakes go deeper? What happens when the story goes batshit and things generally stop making sense? Here's where things can get dangerous, or, if you're watching a Lynch film, pretty standard. Sometimes they're minor quibbles anyone could forgive. But sometimes they're too glaringly obvious to ignore, including this lot. Naturally there's SPOILERS galore.

Read more: The 50 worst movie mistakes you never noticed... until now

25. Edward Scissorhands (1990)

The movie: An inventor spends decades of his life fine-tuning his artificial creation, Edward, until he can *almost* pass for human. Edward's creator dies before he's able to replace those scissorhands with actual hands. Luckily, the neighbours quite like his topiary work.

The plot hole: Edward likes to sculpt ice to pass the time since he's totally alone. But woah, hang on. Edward's friendless, and unable to grip anything - so how did he get the ice? It's not like he can order it online.

Is there a reasonable explanation? His dead 'Dad' (Vincent Price) was an inventor. Maybe he rigged up some contraption before his death that would remove blocks of ice from a freezer somewhere in the house and winch them over to where Edward needed them?

24. Batman Begins (2005)

The movie: The first entry in Christopher Nolan's Bat trilogy gave the cinematic community a Batman movie they could mention in public without people bringing up Batsuit nipples. Christian Bale's Dark Knight broods (of course) and fights off a slew of villains from taking down Gotham. 

The plot hole: Water pipes burst, sewer covers explode... it's the Ra's microwave emitter in action! But since the human body is composed of 75% water, shouldn't everybody in the city have died when the device was triggered? Plus, what happened to anybody who boiled a kettle during the month the toxin was slowly being released into the water supply?

Is there a reasonable explanation? Regarding the microwave, maybe it's a matter of aim. As for accidental toxin exposure... you kidding? This is Gotham City. Who's gonna notice a few more lunatics on the loose?

23. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

The movie: The second part of the Skywalker story finds Luke separated from his pals so he can train with a Jedi master, overthrow Vader and learn the truth about his real father. 

The plot hole: Luke visits Yoda and spends months training with him, while all Han and Leia do in that time is travel through an asteroid belt. Either Yoda works really fast (not very likely) or Han and Leia have bunked off for some quality time en route to see Lando Calrissian.

Is there a reasonable explanation? Given that the Millennium Falcon's engines fail throughout the film, we have to assume it takes Han ages to pilot the thing to Cloud City. Presumably there are several more off-screen incidents of C-3PO butting in as they're about to get jiggy, which is why nobody cares when he later goes missing.

22. Transformers (2007)

The movie: Before we had Arthurian legend being dragged into a franchise about shapeshifting spiritual robots, things were a tad simpler. The first Transformers flick involves Shia LaBeouf's clueless teen Sam Witwicky getting involved in the Decepticons' mission to locate the All Spark. 

The plothole: Sam has put a pair of glasses on eBay. By unfortunate coincidence, these are exactly the same glasses that the Decepticons are looking for because they contain the roadmap to where the All Spark is. However, we later learn that the Decepticons can hack into the United States military network with ease, so surely placing a bid on eBay would be a walk in the park.

Is there a reasonable explanation? The Decepticons don't have a Paypal account.

21. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

The movie: Humans will never learn that creating dinosaurs and setting them free in a park is probably the worst idea since shell suits. Still, that doesn't stop the InGen gang from nurturing a whole other load of creatures on a nearby island. Things don't go well when someone has the genius idea to take the T-Rex to San Diego. Where's it going? Comic-Con? Jesus.

The plot hole: The T-rex's boat crashes into the harbour, as in transit, it escaped and killed everyone onboard. But how? It's huge! There's no way it could have broken free and toddled on down to the control room to feast on the crew.

Is there a reasonable explanation? Outside of the film's proper mythology - yes. In a scripted yet never-filmed scene, we learn that a bunch of raptors tag along for Rexy's mainland debut and break free. They're the ones that kill the crew. 

20. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) 

The movie: The first Terminator is toast. Still, that doesn't stop the evil robots of humanity's doomed future, Skynet, from sending back another machine to kill John Connor the leader of the resistance.

The plot hole: We all know why Arnie arrives butt naked in the first movie. As Kyle Reese explains to Sarah, only living organisms can travel through the time machine or machines covered with living tissue. But where does this leave the T-1000, who is made entirely from liquid metal and therefore has no tissue matter at all?

Is there a reasonable explanation? Things have moved on from the events of the first film, and Skynet has developed a workaround for the whole "living tissue" conundrum. In which case, there's no need for the T-1000 to be naked, unless he's trying to trick any passing gawpers into thinking he's an older model of Terminator. Which would be exceptionally paranoid for an emotionless machine.

19. Star Trek (2009)

The movie: Kicking off a whole new series of events, referred to as the Kelvin timeline in the Star Trek universe, JJ Abrams' reboot is chock full of twists, turns and some very weird villainous behaviour...

The plot hole: Apparently, even though he wants to take revenge for Spock's role in his own planet's demise, Nero is quite happy to sit twiddling his thumbs for a quarter of a century. Did the crew not get a say in all of this?

Is there a reasonable explanation? Either Nero really holds a grudge, or - as explained in a deleted scene - he was captured by Klingons and locked up for the duration, before managing to escape more or less precisely the right time to pick up his vendetta with ol' pointy ears.

18. Independence Day (1996)

The movie: Alien spaceships the size of Texas (well, they're big) appear, hovering above Earth's major cities like a giant cloud of doom threatening to wipe out humanity. Roland Emmerich's mid-nineties summer blockbuster luckily has Will Smith's cocky pilot Steven and Jeff Goldblum's nerdy scientist David to help save the day. 

The plot hole: David has a brainwave on how to disarm the mothership! All he needs to do is boot up his Mac, write a nasty piece of code and infect the aliens' computer network with it. But how is this virus going to be downloaded? How can a Mac be compatible with their extra-terrestrial, and far more advanced, systems?

Is there a reasonable explanation? There is at least a deleted scene showing Goldblum dicking about with his computer to make it compatible, which at least proves Emmerich was aware of how silly this was going to look. Even so, you have to assume the aliens are big Apple fans. Maybe they invaded to get their grubby protuberances on an iPod, but arrived a few years too early.

17. Aliens (1986)

The movie: 57 years after the events of Alien and Ellen Ripley is drawn back into another bloody battle against the xenomorphs. This time around she's not alone - there's a load of marines to supply badass weaponry and one-liners!

The plot hole: After the initial skirmish, it takes the aliens absolutely bloody ages to crawl into the ventilation shafts so they can infiltrate the colony HQ from above. Why didn't they just try to bash the doors in?

Is there a reasonable explanation? They did; the scene was simply a victim of timing issues during the theatrical cut. But it was reinstated for James Cameron's preferred Director's Cut, where we learn the Marines left automated sentry guns to mow down the aliens during their abortive attack.

16. ET (1982)

The movie: Bringing every kid's dream to life, Steven Spielberg imagines a life-changing scenario for young Elliott who befriends an extraterrestrial and is then given permission by his mom to let the wrinkly chap stay.

The plot hole: One of the most iconic moments in the movie happens when ET and Elliott fly across the sky, evading capture. So how come at the beginning of the movie, with government agents in hot pursuit, why doesn't the titular off-worlder use this handy little conjuring trick?

Is there a reasonable explanation? Uh... he's still figuring out gravity?

Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.