Skip to main content

50 Nastiest Movie Arguments

Kramer Vs Kramer (1979)

The Nasty Argument: Ted and Joanna Kramer (Dustin Hoffman and Meryl Steep) meet at a New York restaurant to discuss their child custody battle, but an incensed Ted ends up smashing his glass against the wall and storming out.

Make-Up Or Break-Up: The Kramers remain apart, but at least Joanna ultimately relents and lets Dad look after their son Billy (Justin Henry).

Sexy Beast (2000)

The Nasty Argument: Psychotic gangster Don Logan (Ben Kingsley) won't take no for an answer when he arrives at Gal Dove's (Ray Winstone) Spanish villa to recruit him for one last job. "Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!" he barks, between expletive-filled rants.

Make-Up Or Break-Up: "I won't let you be happy" warns Don, so Gal, his wife and their friends gang together to kill him.

Rushmore (1998)

The Nasty Argument: Max Fischer (Jason Schwartzman) and Herman Blume (Bill Murray) share A Quick One, While He's Away - settling their dispute over shared love interest Rosemary Cross (Olivia Williams) through a series of childish, but increasingly dangerous, pranks.

Make-Up Or Break-Up: Max grows up, and plays matchmaker to reunite Herman and Ms Cross.

Goodfellas (1990)

The Nasty Argument: The smile is wiped from Henry Hill's (Ray Liotta) face when an innocent remark to Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) is taken the wrong way. "I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you?"

Make-Up Or Break-Up: Henry eventually twigs that Tommy is having him on, but his friend reckons (not unreasonably) that Henry "may fold under questioning."

The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

The Nasty Argument: Gollum (Andy Serkis) is surprised to find his hitherto weak-willed, pre-Precious personality Smeagol standing up for himself in a split-personality slanging match.

Make-Up Or Break-Up: It doesn't last long - Gollum is too far gone to give up his obsession with the One Ring.

American Beauty (1999)

The Nasty Argument: Deep in a liberating mid-life crisis, Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) still can't get wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) or daughter Jane (Thora Birch) to "pass the asparagus", so he does it himself - into the wall.

Make-Up Or Break-Up: We know from the opening narration that Lester will die; the biggest surprise is that it isn't Carolyn who pulls the trigger.

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

The Nasty Argument: When real estate guru Blake (Alec Baldwin) starts to berate an office full of salesmen (Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris), they have the temerity to question his credentials. "What's your name?" "Fuck you, that's my name!"

Make-Up Or Break-Up: Blake walks away, but he's rattled the salesmen to the point where now they're fighting each other.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Nasty Argument: "Over the line!" A perceived foul during a competition bowling match by Smokey (Jimmie Dale Gilmore) upsets Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) to the point where he's waving a gun and invoking war logic - "this is not 'Nam. This is bowling. There are rules."

Make-Up Or Break-Up: Smokey, understandably reluctant to live in Walter's world of pain, marks a zero - but it's doubtful they'll ever hang out again.

Five Easy Pieces (1970)

The Nasty Argument: When a pedantic waitress insists Bobby Dupea (Jack Nicholson) can't order toast because "no substitutions" are allowed, he devises an inventive alternative by ordering a chicken salad sandwich on wheat toast - no mayonnaise, no butter, no lettuce and hold the chicken "between your knees."

Make-Up Or Break-Up: It's all very clever, but as Bobby points out, he doesn't get his toast because the waitress kicks him out.

Precious (2009)

The Nasty Argument: Abusive mom Mary (Mo'Nique) takes out her frustration on daughter Precious (Gabourey Sidibe) by dropping the latter's three-day-old baby.

Make-Up Or Break-Up: With the help of social worker Ms Weiss (Mariah Carey), Precious severs all ties with her mom and starts a new life.