Every Movie Rule Ever

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All movies have rules, even parodies… especially parodies. Ranging from the virgin being saved in a horror film to the black person usually being killed first in the same genre, movies have limitations and constructs that they all must abide by. Accordingly, film enthusiasts around the world have seen enough movies to create lists of rules for nearly every possible cinematic scenario. Here are a few of my own:

STAR-CENTRIC

  1. Brad Pitt eats… a lot.
  2. Jeremy Irons is mostly evil.
  3. Yes, Matthew McConaughey is usually shirtless.
  4. Johnny Depp must always have the most interesting hat.
  5. If Brendan Gleeson is in a film, nine times out of ten, he dies.
  6. Mel Gibson hates English people.
  7. Half the time, Robert DeNiro is a cop. The other half the time, he’s a gangster.
  8. Keanu Reeves kills himself. A lot.
  9. Ray Liotta is a very dirty cop.

ROMANTIC COMEDIES

  1. Grown men can’t handle children, especially single ones.
  2. Every couple that meets cute will date, break up, and get back together.
  3. Mousy girls are hot when you take off their glasses and pull out their ponytail.
  4. Weddings must be freaked out about, until the last fifteen minutes.
  5. A girl can have it all (work, family, and happiness)… if her name is above the title.
  6. Male romantic rivals are assholes.
  7. Relationship statuses are decided at airports.
  8. Musical montages can happen anywhere.
  9. Women always have sex wearing their bras.

SCI-FI

  1. Androids cannot be trusted.
  2. Androids are more attractive depending on the film’s age.
  3. Latinas are always the bad-asses of military outfits.
  4. When in doubt, use a nuke (Godzilla) or a robot fighting suit (Pacific Rim).
  5. Aliens are either malicious or friendly, but never indifferent.
  6. Armed forces are always in wait to wipe out hordes of baddies, only to convince you to come back to their compound.
  7. The mothership will be destroyed.

CRIME

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  1. Cops are always killed just before retirement.
  2. Con men always fall for a con.
  3. Where there’s a heist, there’s a montage.
  4. Police captains never have control over their staff.
  5. Ammunition never runs out.
  6. Robberies are discussed in diners.
  7. In every heist there is an insanely unhinged person in the crew.
  8. Damning evidence is always left around as an afterthought.
  9. Young partners in cop films die. Horribly.
  10. Cops can tell the purity of drugs by tasting them.
  11. If cops can’t catch someone, a convict can.
  12. Hit-men have hearts.
  13. So do prostitutes.
  14. Parking garages are war zones waiting to happen.

HORROR

  1. All local sheriffs are idiots.
  2. All forest trips involve rednecks.
  3. All rural gas stations are owned by weirdos.
  4. And all redneck gas stations have the Confederate flag hanging proudly.
  5. Check the backseat of the car.
  6. When the camera cuts from a wide shot to a close shot to a wide shot again, someone is lurking behind the character.
  7. If a single woman survives a horror film, chances are she was actually the killer as well.
  8. Zombies move faster if the film is newer.
  9. Dead people tend to offer a lot of advice.
  10. That benign scratch? It WILL turn into a contagious virus that WILL kill everyone.
  11. That bush? It has a zombie in it.
  12. Being in a horror film will ruin your relationship.
  13. If you toke, you croak.
  14. Never hide under the bed.
  15. Teapots boiling sound like screams.
  16. People running are 87% more likely to trip and fall.
  17. If it gets quiet, it will get very loud soon.
  18. A group of zombie survivalists must always have a Judas.
  19. The nuclear family for a horror movie is a single father and teenage daughter.
  20. Closing bathroom medicine cabinets often causes ghosts, serial killers, et al, to materialize.

DIRECTOR RULES

  1. If it’s by Wes Anderson, expect French pop songs. 
  2. If it’s by Stanley Kubrick, expect one-point perspectives.
  3. If it’s by Tarantino, expect feet.
  4. If there is a woman in a Lars Von Trier film, she will be treated… badly.
  5. BAYSPLOSIONS!
  6. David Mamet likes characters to say fuck.
  7. David Fincher really likes yellow.

BLOCKBUSTERS

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  1. A visitor from a foreign land will inevitably save the new land.
  2. All billionaires secretly spend their downtime as superheroes.
  3. Football games always end in a come-from-behind 4th quarter victory.
  4. And as that game draws to a close, it gets much quieter too.
  5. A superhero’s mentor will inevitably turn into a villain.
  6. A twist ending will only occasionally make sense.
  7. Only push around food with your fork, never eat it.
  8. Older characters always have wisdom to share.
  9. Children always get the first look at an impending disaster using a telescope.
  10. Minions can’t shoot worth a damn.
  11. The Golden Gate Bridge must be destroyed!
  12. The bad guys always keep the good guys alive.
  13. Heroes always wear black leather (The Matrix, The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises).
  14. Bullets don’t go through wood.
  15. The uglier a character is, the more evil they are.
  16. Villains die once, come back to life suddenly, and stay dead the second time.
  17. John McClane’s undershirts are always filthy.
  18. Gritty cop films must have at least one happy flashback.
  19. James Bond will disarm the bomb within 7 seconds of it exploding.
  20. No, it’s not the red wire.

MISCELLANEOUS

  1. Moments of moral conflict occur in front of mirrors.
  2. Secrets result in death.
  3. Drivers don’t need to look at the road.
  4. Rethink sex with that crazy chick.
  5. Old men are break-out artists in prisons.
  6. Characters order food, or coffee, at restaurants and then promptly leave.
  7. Being fired by an evil overlord/criminal mastermind means swift, sudden death.
  8. Fantasy stories only involve white, English people.
  9. It was a dream the whole time.
  10. Lightning and thunder are simultaneous.
  11. Wet suits have tuxedos underneath them.
  12. Cute and cuddly animals turn vicious immediately.
  13. Shocking events are capped by fainting.
  14. Reflections prompt soliloquies/arguments.
  15. When surrounded by people that want to harm you, you spontaneously have the ability to kick-ass.
  16. Musician in a biopic? Addicted to alcohol or drugs.
  17. Heaven is a pure landscape.
  18. Dinners often end abruptly and with the words “check please“.
  19. Realizations are had only after a rapid close-up to the character’s face.
  20. People that switch bodies stumble into the bathroom, look in the mirror and then scream.
  21. Psychiatrists only want to talk about dreams.
  22. No one says goodbye on the phone. Ever.
  23. Meals always go unfinished.
  24. Nothing good happens to beloved Kings and Queens expecting child.
  25. All dogs die in movies where the title is the dog’s name.
  26. If a child dies in the movie, then the mother stops wearing make-up.
  27. Cash is never exchanged in stores.
  28. Revenge is a dish served over and over again.
  29. There’s always a loudmouth from the Bronx in a WWII film.
  30. People who wander into the street without looking get hit by a car…or a bus.
  31. Air bags only go off after the accident.
  32. There’s never toothpaste on toothbrushes.
  33. If you’re watching a symphony, someone’s going to die.
  34. Cocaine will ruin your life.
  35. And finally, it’s an oldie, but a goodie: The butler did it.

Of course there are countless others, so chip in a few of your own in the comments section below!




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