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The Greatest Movies We'll Never Watch Again

There are millions of movies in the world, but only a select few stand out from the cinematic pack. These are the "great movies," the ones that stand the test of time, change the game, and touch hearts around the world. But let's be honest. Not every great movie is Star Wars, Rocky, or Pulp Fiction — films that are infinitely rewatchable. Certain great movies are definitely worth checking out at least once, but we wouldn't necessarily want to rewind them right away... or ever.

So what makes a great movie a one-and-done kind of deal? Well, maybe they're a chore to sit through. Perhaps they're just too disturbing. Or maybe they're so emotionally traumatic that they left us weeping on the floor for days, and we're really not eager to relive that experience. From melodramatic war movies to stunning but slow-moving sci-fi, these are the greatest movies we'll never watch again.

The Deer Hunter will leave you devastated

War is hell, and while no film can truly capture the horrors of battle, The Deer Hunter does a pretty good job of taking moviegoers into the ninth circle. Directed by Michael Cimino, this 1978 epic follows a trio of blue collar steelworkers who can't wait to see action in Vietnam. But when they finally descend into the jungle, they're put through the worst tortures imaginable — and the trauma doesn't stop once they come back home.

The movie opens innocently enough, with our three leads — Mike (Robert De Niro), Nick (Christopher Walken), Steven (John Savage) — celebrating at a wedding and joyously preparing for war. They ignore the grim warning from a shaken Green Beret, and when they're finally tossed into the jungle, they wind up smack dab in one of the most horrific movie scenes of all time: the Russian roulette sequence. Captured by the Viet Cong, the friends are forced to play the suicidal game for the amusement of their guards, and the acting here is so intense that it feels like a genuine snuff film.

After a devastating "rescue attempt," Mike is haunted by grief when he returns to the States. Steven loses both his legs and spends the rest of his life in a wheelchair. Nick's sanity comes crashing down, leaving him to wander through Saigon, lost in a fog of heroin and Russian roulette matches. It all culminates with that final tragic game and the saddest rendition of "God Bless America" you'll ever hear... and never want to hear against because it hurts too much.

Oldboy will leave you feeling icky

Oldboy is one messed-up movie. Want to see a man lose his mind and sink into the utter depths of animal depravity? Yeah, that happens in like the first 20 minutes. Kidnapped and tossed into a mysterious prison cell, drunken businessman Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-Sik) has no idea who's locked him up or why. And that's the way it stays for 15 maddening years, as his mind slowly rots. The only thing that keeps him going is the thought of brutally murdering his captor.

When Dae-su is released without explanation, Oldboy wades deeper and deeper into the ick and the id. He slurps down a live octopus, goes Nazi dentist on his old warden, and even sexually assaults a young woman. As protagonists go, it's tough cheering for the guy. On top of all that, you've got the movie's big bad, Lee Woo-jin (Yoo Ji-tae), who takes part in the creepiest ménage à trois ever put to film. But what truly makes Oldboy hard to rewatch is what happens in the last act.

After finally confronting his captor, Dae-su learns he was imprisoned because of his gossipy tongue. His indiscretion led to a young girl's suicide, and the girl in question was Woo-jin's sister... and lover. So to teach Dae-su a lesson, Woo-jin has him abducted, imprisoned, hypnotized, and released, all before tricking Dae-su into falling in love with his own daughter, Mi-do (Kang Hye-jung). That gut punch-of-a-plot twist makes all the earlier scenes with Mi-do incredibly icky to revisit — especially the sex scene.

And we haven't even mentioned those awful scissors. If you can sit through that a second time, then chances are good you're a psychopathic Korean millionaire, hellbent on revenge.

Inland Empire is one long nightmare

All David Lynch movies feel a little dreamlike, but Inland Empire is pure subconscious surrealism — a cinematic fugue state that lasts over three hours. It's a movie critics describe as "practically impossible to review in a newspaper" and "never less than intriguing but often close to inaccessible." It's like you've stumbled straight into Lynch's worst nightmares.

For some fans, this might sound like an awesome experience, but for most moviegoers, Inland Empire feels like the world's worst acid trip. And we don't mean that in a fun, Yellow Submarine kind of way. It's definitely worth watching once, but when it's over, you might be a too overwhelmed to give it another shot.

The plot — and we're using that term super loosely — involves an actress named Nikki Grace (Laura Dern, in a tour de force performance) who's set to star in a film called On High in Blue Tomorrows, a movie with a haunted history. As Nikki gets deeper into her part, the lines between fact and fiction blur, and suddenly, she can't tell the difference between her role and real life. Past that, well, we're not really sure what's happening.

The movie is an impenetrably slow descent into a world of red lights, ambient noises, and digital camerawork. And while you can always appreciate Lynch's avant garde genius, Inland Empire provides more questions than answers. What's up with the talking rabbits? What's the deal with that clown phantom in the hallway? Why are those sex workers all dancing to "The Locomotion"? Why is Grace Zabriskie so terrifying in everything she's in?

Okay, maybe Inland Empire doesn't give any answers at all.

The Wrestler will tap you out

Darren Aronofsky has a way of ripping your heart in two, tossing the pieces into the mud-filled streets, and then kicking the bloody bits into the gutter. Sure, that sounds extreme, but he directed The Fountain and Requiem for a Dream, films that will leave you sobbing for days. He also directed The Wrestler, a movie that's made of aching muscles, brittle bones, and the deepest, darkest loneliness ever felt by man.

The titular wrestler is Randy "The Ram" Robinson, a man whose glory days have left him far behind. He makes his living at a supermarket, though he occasionally wrestles in small-time promotions. But when Randy suffers a massive heart attack, he's forced into permanent retirement. Lonely and depressed, the wrestler tries reconnecting with the daughter he left behind years ago, and he goes looking for love in a nearby strip club. But second chances are easy to screw up, and sometimes you simply can't make amends. So when Randy's life loses all meaning, he decides to risk it all and get back in the ring for one last match.

Seriously, this movie is one big tearjerker. Try not to cry when Randy tells his daughter "I'm an old broken down piece of meat, and I'm alone. And I deserve to be all alone. I just don't want you to hate me." Try not to sniffle when Randy imagines the roar of the crowds, only to step out into a deli full of ungrateful customers. And when our battered hero performs one final "Ram Jam" for the adoring crowds, you won't be able to see through all the tears. The Wrestler will break even the biggest, baddest WWE fans, and when it's over, you definitely won't want a rematch.

Kill List will leave you feeling dead inside

Directed by Ben Wheatley, Kill List is a creepy British film that mashes the brutal violence of Oldboy with the pagan horror of The Wicker Man. It's hard to finish the first time, and too terrifying to ever try and hit again.

Released in 2011, Kill List stars Neil Maskell as Jay, a soldier-turned-assassin who's fallen on hard times. He's got money problems, relationship troubles, and some serious PTSD. But things start looking up when he gets a gig to pick off three easy targets. However, whenever he shows up to put a cap in his victims, they start thanking him for the privilege of dying by his hand. It's more than a little unsettling, and soon, Jay realizes he's in the center of an occult conspiracy that demands a lot of blood and some really big sacrifices.

Ben Wheatley films are never easy to watch — see High-Rise and A Field in England for proof — but Kill List is an all-out assault on the senses. Not only is it one of the most suspenseful movies ever made, but Wheatley knows how to craft a disturbing sequence. If you've seen it once, then you probably have no desire to revisit that truly upsetting hammer scene. The final showdown with a group of naked pagans is pure nightmare fuel, but it's the final few minutes that will leave you reeling. We won't spoil the ending, but after you watch it once, you probably won't ever watch it again, because this is a horror film that stabs you in the back and leaves you gutted.

Enemy will trap you in its web

Arachnophobes, beware. If eight-legged creatures give you the willies, then you might want to stay far away from Enemy. Directed by Denis Villeneuve, this eerie thriller is full of spider imagery, from a massive arachnid wandering through a city to a woman with a tarantula head. Even spider lovers might find this film a bit unsettling, but there's more disturbing stuff going on here than just evil invertebrates.

Shot in a sickly yellow hue, Enemy stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a college professor who's made an unsettling discovery. After renting a particular film, he spots an actor who looks exactly like him. Eventually, the two doppelgängers collide, and let's just say they don't become best of friends. Actor-Gyllenhaal is a grim and violent man and pulls depressed and weary Professor-Gyllenhaal deeper and deeper into his web of darkness. (See what we did there?)

Playing two roles, Gyllenhaal makes your skin crawl, with his characters engaging in blackmail, rape, and manipulation. It's not exactly what you'd call a feel-good film. It's queasy and uneasy. Granted, despite the disturbing and downbeat tone, you might be tempted to watch it a second time so you can figure out that ending. But if you want to spare yourself another heart attack, you should probably let the end remain a mystery.

Sure, the second time around, you'll know that scare is coming, but trust us, the ending of Enemy will remain just as horrific and confusing no matter how many times you watch it. And what's going to happen if you're scared half to death twice? Don't say we didn't warn you.

Manchester by the Sea will leave you bawling

When it comes to portraying pain, there's no one quite like Casey Affleck. Maybe it's those mournful eyes or his husky, cracking voice. Whatever the reason, Affleck can emote some serious sad vibes, and the man is at the top of his depressing game in Manchester by the Sea.

Affleck plays Lee Chandler, a handyman who's cut himself off from the world. The only time he interacts with people is when he's picking fights at the bar. However, Lee is forced out of hiding when is brother dies from a cardiac arrest. Naturally, Lee has to return to his hometown to arrange the funeral and care for his nephew Patrick (Lucas Hedges). But while he's going to do his brotherly duty, Lee wants out of that town ASAP. There's some bad history here in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and everywhere Lee goes, he sees ghosts from his past.

Eventually, we discover why Lee hates his hometown and why he's a depressed, angry shell of a man. One evening, after a night of drinking, Lee accidentally started a fire that killed his two kids. Unable to deal with the pain, Lee divorced his wife (Michelle Williams) and has done his best to disappear. For a moment, it seems like the bond he's forming with his nephew might save him from his past, but this ain't no Hallmark movie. In the third's last act, Lee admits that "can't beat" the depression and guilt. They will haunt him every day for the rest of his life.

There are no easy solutions or feel-good endings here, and while Manchester by the Sea is a beautiful film, wallowing in all that misery a second time sounds like the most painful two hours you could ever spend.

Silence will torture your soul

A passion project for Martin Scorsese, Silence features no gangsters, no dirty cops, and no tax-driving assassins. Instead, the story follows two Jesuit priests, Father Rodrigues (Andrew Garfield) and Father Garupe (Adam Driver), as they head for the Land of the Rising Sun. It's a search-and-rescue mission, with the two men hoping to save the missing Father Ferreira (Liam Neeson), who was tortured into recanting his faith by the Japanese government.

Steadfast (and stubborn) in his faith, Rodrigues is tested when he falls into the hands of Governor Inoue Masashige (Issey Ogata), a guy who's not exactly a churchgoer. Practicing Christianity in Japan was punishable by death in the 17th century, but Masashige doesn't just want to murder this priest. He wants to break his spirit and make him renounce his beliefs. Needless to say, Masashige is very good at getting Christians to forget about God.

From the very first frame, Silence lets you know this isn't a family-friendly faith film. Japanese soldiers pour boiling water onto screaming missionaries. Catholic villagers are lashed to crosses set in the sea. Terrified locals are bound and tossed into the ocean. Worst of all, brutalized Christians are hung upside down in a torture device that would make Jigsaw feel uncomfortable. On top of the physical torment, Father Rodrigues is in constant spiritual pain. Should he recant and damn his soul to save the lives of others? And in the midst of all this pain, why is God so silent? Whether you're a believer or an atheist, Silence is a painful reminder that faith is never easy, pride is always destructive, and the silence of the universe is the most painful torture of all.

The Killing of a Sacred Deer will leave you feeling ill

Yorgos Lanthimos is a unique and brilliant filmmaker, but his movies always make you squirm in your seat. When it comes to watching his films, once is enough, especially The Killing of a Sacred Deer — a story of human cruelty and divine wrath.

Colin Farrell plays a cold-hearted heart surgeon named Steven Murphy whose fondness for the bottle contributed to the death of a patient. Steven refuses to admit any wrongdoing, and that's just not going to sit with the patient's son, an unusual teen by the name of Martin Lang (Barry Keoghan). There's something off about Martin. Maybe it's his matter-of-fact style of speaking. Maybe it's the way he eats spaghetti. Or maybe it's his godlike power to curse Steven's entire family.

As part of his revenge scheme, Martin tells Steven all his family members are going to die of a mysterious illness. They'll become paralyzed, and then they'll refuse to eat. And after they start bleeding from their eyes, they'll drop like flies. The only way Steven can stop this plague is by killing a member of his family. Lanthimos shows us every excruciating detail as Steven's children violently collapse and drag themselves across the floor. The movie gets even darker when the kids turn on each other, begging their father to kill their sibling. The desperation, the betrayal, the blood — it's all so cruel, and it culminates in one of the most disturbing climaxes ever filmed.

Horrific in ways that no slasher film could ever achieve, The Killing of a Sacred Deer is a powerful film that you won't watch more than once. Instead, you'll want to put a curse on whoever recommended the film to you in the first place.

Blade Runner 2049 will test your endurance

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049 is one of the most gorgeous movies ever made. A worthy follow-up to the 1982 original, this stunning sequel nabbed cinematographer Roger Deakins the Oscar he's deserved for so many years. From its barren desert wastelands to its neon holograms, 2049 is a visually rich world of replicants and artificial intelligence, all beautifully bathed in smog and city lights.

However, it's not exactly what you'd call a fast-paced film. In fact, you might even call it a slog.

The movie follows Ryan Gosling as K, an android blade runner who stumbles across a mystery that might revolutionize the entire world. Crazier still, he might be at the center of a vast conspiracy, and during his quest for the truth, he meets the OG blade runner himself, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford). But while K does indeed solve the mystery, the film takes its sweet time in getting to the answers.

While Blade Runner 2049 is a fantastic work of science fiction, it runs almost three hours long, and even thinking about rewatching it might be enough to make you a little sleepy. The sequel makes the first Blade Runner feel as fast-paced as a Fast and Furious movie, and if you've seen the Ridley Scott original, then you know it's not exactly in a hurry. While it's a beautiful film that will most likely be remembered decades from now, we definitely won't be watching this movie 2049 times... or even twice.

Fruitvale Station will break your heart

Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan have made some incredibly rewatchable films. Black Panther is one of Marvel's most entertaining movies, and Creed is practically flawless. However, Fruitvale Station is a little bit different — Coogler's first film is a powerful story that everybody should watch at least once, but that doesn't mean you'll want to revisit it anytime soon, especially if Fruitvale Station hits close to home.

Based on a tragic true event, Fruitvale Station tells the story of Oscar Grant (Jordan), a 22-year-old man who was killed by a Bay Area Rapid Transit officer in 2009. And that's not a spoiler: The movie starts with actual footage of the shooting, so for the rest of the film, we know what we're building toward. We watch Oscar bonding with his daughter and connecting with strangers. We see him smile and laugh, full of life. Sure, he's got some issues, but he's a sincere guy trying to make things better. And what hurts is that we know he'll never get that chance.

Coogler does an excellent job of showing Oscar as a living, breathing human — not just a statistic. He loves, feels pain, makes mistakes, and affects so many people. But all his chances for a brighter future are brought to a bloody halt when he's shot in the back for absolutely no reason. He leaves behind a child, a girlfriend, and a mother. He loses a future full of promise. A human being bleeds to death on New Year's Day, and as Fruitvale Station comes to an end, we're not just depressed — we're mourning a life that was taken far too soon.

Room is one rough journey

Based on the novel by Emma Donoghue, Room is a survival story that ends on a hopeful note. But getting to that ending is one rough journey. Brie Larson plays Joy Newsome, a woman who was kidnapped and held prisoner in a one-room shed for seven years. During that time, she gave birth to Jack (Jacob Tremblay), an adorable little boy who thinks "Room" is the beginning and the end of the universe. That's what Joy has been telling him, anyway, to keep the kid sane. But Jack's mind is blown when his "Ma" devises a plan to escape her captor, thrusting the boy into a world full of cars, trees, buildings, and dogs — things he's never seen before.

There are plenty of sweet moments as Jack tentatively explores this great big planet. The look on his face when he sees the vastness of the sky for the first time is one of pure awe. The little sound of delight he makes when he meets a puppy is pure joy. Even back in "Room," watching Jack bake a cake and say good morning to his toilet is almost too cute to handle. But underneath these happy scenes, there's a lot of darkness. Back in "Room," Joy was raped every night, and in the real world, she's struggling to cope with the trauma of what happened in that shed. She sinks into anger and depression, finally culminating in a suicide attempt that leaves little Jack screaming in terror. After seven years of hell, readjusting to the real world is difficult for both Joy and her son. And while they eventually go back to face the horrors of "Room" one last time, we certainly don't have that kind of courage.

Green Room will gross you out

Directed by Jeremy Saulnier, Green Room pits punk rockers against Nazis, and while music hath charms to soothe the savage beast, it can't stop a bunch of machete-wielding skinheads. After winding up in the world's scariest club, the members of the Ain't Rights stumble across a particularly nasty murder scene. Knowing the alt-right owners aren't going to let them walk away, the band members lock themselves in the titular room and prepare for war. But jiu-jitsu will only get you so far when your opponents are walking around with pistols and pit bulls.

With our heroes completely outmatched, Green Room quickly devolves into a gore-soaked nightmare of ripped-out throats and nearly-severed limbs. Don't get us wrong: This is a masterclass in horror, with Saulnier keeping us on the edge of our seats as the Ain't Rights battle their way to freedom. But not everybody is getting out of this clubhouse alive, and poor Pat (Anton Yelchin) is going to lose a whole lot of blood by the time he lets go of that gun. Stomachs are slit with the greatest of ease, and dogs make mincemeat out of unlucky guitarists, all while Patrick Stewart looks on with cold, calculating contempt.

Unlike a lot of other horror films, the deaths in Green Room aren't at all fun. These kids are screaming in genuine pain as they're mangled by dogs and hacked by machetes. And the practical effects in this movie are so realistic that it feels like you're watching a snuff film. Yeah, Green Room is fantastic, but at its core, it's as mean and nihilistic as cinema gets. And while the rockers eventually take their revenge, so much blood gets splattered on the walls by the end that it should probably be renamed Red Room.