Skip to main content

50 Movies That Are Longer Than They Should Be

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Length: 172 mins

Why That's Too Long: Granted, this is a film that concerns itself with the very nature of life and destiny so you’d expect that it can’t all be wrapped up in 90 minutes. But when the film is made up of cleverly edited short stories, you’d think that one of them could get cut along the way without making too much of a dent.

How We'd Fix It: Easily accomplished by cutting out just one of the storylines, and we’d opt for Jim Broadbent’s camp OAP-centred comedy.

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001)

Length: 178 mins

Why That's Too Long: This is just the introduction of a story covering three films – we don’t need to get to know every single character in the Shire THAT well.

How We'd Fix It: Cut down most of the Shire scenes. If this is a trilogy about a lot of walking, it’s almost an hour before Frodo even takes his first step.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo (2011)

Length: 158 mins

Why That's Too Long: As complex as Stieg Larsson’s novels are, for a film this story works best as a murder mystery whodunnit. And there are huge chunks of Larsson’s text that be ditched to make that happen.

How We'd Fix It: Cut out all the scenes referring to the Millennium publication and the business side of keeping that magazine afloat, and you’ll end up with a leaner, meaner movie. In fact, you’ll end up with the original Swedish film, which did it just right.

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Length: 160 mins

Why That's Too Long: Do we really need to say? Even the title can be trimmed to at least half its length.

How We'd Fix It: The opening act of the film establishing the dynamic between Jesse and Bob can be cut right down to get straight into the thick of the plot.

Man Of Steel (2013)

Length: 143 mins

Why That's Too Long: Supes may be gritty and sad in this film, but he’s still a comic-book character who needs to deliver fun and excitement and little else.

How We'd Fix It: Cut the final showdown with Zod right down. Not only would it shave about 20 minutes off the total running time, it would save the lives of thousands of Metropolis residents in the process.

Australia (2008)

Length: 165 mins

Why That's Too Long: We realise that Australia is a huge country that deserves an epic movie to do it all justice, but really a lot of it is just open country with nothing much to see…

How We'd Fix It: There’s really a lot of set-up in this film establishing the relationship between the “whites” and the Aborigines, let alone Lady Sarah’s relationship with Drover. Surely this can be chopped down and we’d all still get the subtext?

Pirates Of The Caribbean: At Worlds End (2007)

Length: 169 mins

Why That's Too Long: This was a franchise based on a Disney theme park ride – it was never meant to be an epic saga.

How We'd Fix It: The surreal scenes at the start portraying Sparrow trapped in the Purgatory-like Locker of Davy Jones can be first to go.

The Pianist (2002)

Length: 150 mins

Why That's Too Long: It’s a harrowing tale of Holocaust-era tragedy. Powerful it may be, but we can only take so much…

How We'd Fix It: Adrian Brody’s Szpilman spends so much time in a big almost-empty house hiding from the outside world that it starts to feel like… um… nothing much is happening.

Lincoln (2012)

Length: 150 mins

Why That's Too Long: Historical biopics are already fighting an uphill battle to keep our interest. There, we said it.

How We'd Fix It: Perhaps a few less scenes of old men talking? There’s a reason why Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter seemed so enticing…

The Lone Ranger (2013)

Length: 149 mins

Why That's Too Long: Where Pirates Of The Caribbean kinda earned the right to get bigger and bloated with its sequels, the Lone Ranger is a new character for young audiences and this doesn’t do a great job of immediately capturing their imagination.

How We'd Fix It: Focus on the adventure-driven plot and keep the sideshow antics of Johnny Depp’s Tonto to a minimum.