4. Superman (1978)

Christopher Reeve as Superman in flight in Superman (1978)

Richard Donner’s Superman in 1978 is, much like the superhero it’s based on, iconic. The influential nature of the film mirrors that of Superman himself, and Christopher Reeve’s portrayal of the Man of Steel is still cited as one of the best. However, the first film of Reeve’s four-film tenure in the role also boasts one of cinema’s most ridiculous endings.

After Lois Lane dies as a result of Lex Luthor launching multiple missiles at the USA, the angry hero vows to set things right. He begins flying at super speed around the Earth, spinning it backward and turning back time far enough to thwart Luthor’s plans and save Lois. The ending is notorious for its idiocy, serving as one of cinema’s most memorable movie plot holes as well as one of its worst endings.

To dissect it a little: flying backward around the Earth wouldn’t make it spin backward, and even if it did, that’s not how time works. What’s more, there is no “backward”, there’s left and right or east and west. It’s a very confusing and misguided plot development, and it actually makes Superman seem pretty stupid. It’s actually much worse for the way it’s carried off so seriously, and despite the fact that the film is generally very good, its laughable ending is truly awful.