18 Movies That Haven’t Stood the Test of Time

Hindsight is a beautiful thing, and sometimes, watching a movie made even a few years ago can feel dated or like it misses the mark on certain social issues that have evolved with time. Every movie reflects its generation’s attitudes and moral codes, which don’t always hold up retrospectively.  

Here’s a list of 18 movies that have not aged well.

Something About Mary

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Something About Mary became the 4th highest-grossing movie in 1998

Starring Ben Stiller and Cameron Diaz, it was a box office smash at the time. Unfortunately, some scenes in this film have not aged well, particularly how the movie portrays and mocks a character with intellectual disabilities. 

These scenes make for uncomfortable viewing in 2024. 

Back to the Future

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

An epic film, Back to the Future, is an icon of its time. The storyline, the set design, and the car, this film has so many nostalgic calling cards. But, sadly, in retrospect, some scenes in the film don’t quite connect with a 2024 audience.

The main premise of the film is for Marty (Michael J. Fox) to get his parents to date as teenagers, which Marty hopes to achieve by telling his father that he is going to “take advantage” of his own mother, which should then provoke his father into rescuing his mother, and then hopefully start dating her. 

Confusing, we know, but also slightly creepy. 

 

Weird Science

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

What might have seemed okay in this movie in 1985 does not look so good in 2024. Weird Science was a hit film in the 80s about two schoolboy geeks who create the perfect sex icon of a woman. 

Number one, in retrospect, it is not cool that an adult woman appears to kiss teenage boys in this film, and number two, the movie has been criticized for having strong misogynistic undertones. 

 

Uncle Buck

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures .

This comedy from 1989 was considered a humorous, light-hearted family movie. Rated a PG, watching this film back would make you question this rating as several scenes include crude jokes, profanity, sexual innuendo, and some generally questionable themes around adult responsibility in the care of a minor. 

All that being said, the film does star the charismatic and notoriously funny John Candy, so even though many aspects of this movie have not stood the test of time, the legend of John Candy has. 

 

Shallow Hal

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Shallow Hal, Starring Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jack Black was a hit in 2001. However, many aspects of this movie have not aged well. 

The storyline follows a guy, Hal (Jack Black), who will only date women based on their physical appearance, which is quite shallow. 

But after a run-in with the famous self-help guru Tony Robbins, Hal is hypnotized to only be attracted to women based on their inner beauty. Hal then proceeds to date a 300Ib woman, cue lots of demeaning and degrading scenes and remarks about people with a fuller figure.

 

Waiting

Photo Credit: Lions Gate Films.

This 2005 film is about competing food restaurants. Starring Ryan Reynolds and Anna Faris, it has been criticized for what now appears to be quite homophobic humor. 

Even in 2005, this movie was missing the mark. The entire film feels like it’s trying too hard, and overall, its attempts to be funny don’t stand up in 2024. 

 

American Beauty

Photo Credit: DreamWorks.

Starring Kevin Spacey (Lester Burnham) as a father who becomes disillusioned with his life and infatuated with his teenage daughter’s best friend. At the time of release, 1999, this movie was critically acclaimed, winning four Oscars for Best Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Director, and Best Film. 

However, time has not been kind to this movie, which, in hindsight, has been heavily criticized for promoting themes around the sexualization of a minor and misogyny. 

 

Home Alone

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Everyone remembers Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister and some of the hilarious scenes from Home Alone. 

As comedic as some of these scenes may have been, some have not stood the test of time, and many now appear to glamorize violence, commercialism, child neglect, and bullying. 

 

Dr. No

Photo Credit: United Artists.

You might expect any film made in 1962 to have some faux pas when held against the moral backdrop of 2024, and this James Bond film certainly does. 

While this movie is often praised as the best Bond film ever, it’s also received backlash for containing racism and misogynistic tropes. Unfortunately, most Bond films from the 1960s and 1970s do not hold up to the evolved moral codes of 2024. 

 

Empire Records

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Released in 1995, this film was about a group of record store employees fighting against a big chain’s takeover of their store.

A cult classic of the 1990s, this movie has themes that teenagers and young people can relate to, or at least they could relate to. But we aren’t sure that the same can be said today, as re-watching this movie almost 30 years later is eye-opening and a little uncomfortable in parts.

The film has come under fire for one scene in particular where Liv Tyler (Corey) strips down to her underwear, and at the time, Miss Tyler was a minor at only 17. Which in 2024, or at any time, should not be ok. 

 

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This movie takes us right back to 1987 in more ways than one. Starring Steve Martin and John Candy, their onscreen chemistry is unparalleled. However, this film has upset some viewers with its use of homophobic humor and sexist vibes, which haven’t stood the test of time. 

This movie divides opinion; while some argue that it has not aged well, others claim that it should be watched within the context of its time, the 1980s, and not 2024. 

 

The Breakfast Club

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

An 80s cult classic, The Breakfast Club became a poster movie for an entire generation of teenagers. However, like with many films made around 40 years ago, the cinematic aspirations of them don’t always measure up to the present. 

The movie has been criticized for perpetuating sexist and misogynist tropes. One character, Claire (Molly Ringwald), is labeled “princess” for her privileged upbringing, and some of her male classmates joke about how they need to “get the Queen pregnant,” insinuating that their female classmate somehow needs to be tamed by a man, pregnancy, or both. 

 

Three Men and a Baby

Photo Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

This movie became a big box office hit in 1987. 

Starring Tom Selleck, Ted Danson, and Steve Guttenberg, Three Men and a Baby was the movie of the moment, but we’re not sure this would be the case if this film were to be re-released in 2024. 

The film now emits uncomfortable attitudes about gender roles, sexism, and masculinity that would frankly appall audiences in 2024. 

 

Breakfast at Tiffany’s

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

A beloved romantic comedy that was trailblazing in many aspects. This movie is held up as a symbol of Hollywood glamour and timeless Audrey Hepburn style. But, some aspects of the film are incredibly cringy to watch in 2024, namely the very racist portrayal of an Asian character. 

Matthew Fleischer called this film “..the most inconspicuously racist movie of all time.”

 

American Pie

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

American Pie was the hit movie of the summer in 1999; it was all anyone could discuss. Unfortunately, time has not been kind to this film, and it is now beginning to show its age. 

Many themes now seem questionable in this film, like how it features underage s**, a teenage boy having s** with his friend’s mother, and a boy having s** with a pie. 

A group of Gen-Z viewers told Lad Bible that they found many scenes in the film “problematic.” 

 

Dumb and Dumber

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

In 1994, this movie felt like the epitome of funny, and now it feels more like the epitome of not funny. The gags and slapstick humor have not stood the test of time, and now the comedy feels very staged and set up. 

Somewhere between 1994 and 2024, this film lost its punchline. 

 

Overboard

Photo Credit: MGM.

An often forgotten-about film starring Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell, Overboard is a hilarious film. 

After a rich, somewhat spoilt heiress (Goldie Hawn) falls overboard on her yacht, she is rescued by a handsome carpenter whom she had previously mocked. The woman develops amnesia, and the carpenter (Kurt Russell) decides to teach her a lesson by making her believe she is his wife and mother to his three boisterous boys. 

The only problem with this movie is that it emits dated attitudes around gender and marital roles and uses sexist stereotypes as humor, none of which would be deemed acceptable by audiences in 2024. 

 

Short Circuit

Photo Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

“Jonny five is alive.” If you remember this line from the film Short Circuit, it will bring nostalgic memories flooding back. 

A funny and charming film in many ways, this movie is a fan favorite with a cult following. The problem begins whenever you watch this film within the context of 2024; some things just don’t sit well. 

For example, Fisher Stevens plays Ben Jabituya, an Indian engineer, and this involves Fisher being painted in brownface, which is unequivocally considered racially offensive and a massive faux pas in 2024. 

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Catherine Keating

Writer & Blogger

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