Skills You Shouldn’t Learn From Watching Movies


Movies are great for a lot of things - entertainment, inspiration, and even just to get a warm and fuzzy feeling from a G-rated family flick. With that said, if you’re trying to develop skills from your film viewing, it might be a good idea to try and be a little critical of what you see. There are an infinite number of great examples of what NOT to do in certain situations. Granted, these are extreme cases, but if you can take even a tiny nugget of wisdom from the mistakes made in these movies, it could help you further down the road.

Common Sense Goes A Long Way


Often considered to be one of Harrison Ford’s best films, The Fugitive’s high-energy action is bound to keep you on the edge of your seat until the credits roll. The basic premise is that Ford’s character, Dr. Kimble, is accused of murdering his own wife and must go on the run to find the actual killer.

However, there is a pretty important lapse in Dr. Kimble’s common sense that could have drastically changed the direction of the film. In the beginning of the movie, Kimble gives the keys to his house to an associate ON THE SAME DAY that his wife is killed. When questioned by the police, Kimble forgets to mention that someone else had access to the house, a detail that oh, we don’t know, may have stopped him from being arrested in the first place.

The Right Way


We all know that emotions can run pretty high when you’re accused of murdering your wife (we always hate it when that happens), but the important thing to remember is to cooperate with police as much as possible, assuming that you are innocent (you are innocent, right?). When it’s clear that the killer entered with their own set of keys, you really have to remember giving out another set of keys. Yeah, maybe it’s hard, but watch The Fugitive and you’ll see why it’s important.


Quit When You’re Ahead


In the poker movie Rounders, there’s a critical scene featuring Mike McDermott and KGB, his Russian-mafia, poker-playing nemesis. After winning enough money in a high stakes variation of No Limit Hold’em (the game Mike refers to as “the Cadillac of poker”) to clear his friend’s debt (which was another mistake, but more tolerable given the context), our pal McDermott is unable to walk away from the table and go back to normal life. Nope, just a little bit of goading by KGB and his classy assistant are enough to push Mike back to the table to put his life literally on the line again.


The Right Way


Ask any professional poker player and they’ll tell you that the game isn’t about results - it’s about making the right decisions. This was clearly not a good decision. While McDermott might have emerged victorious this time, if the same situation was played out 100 times, how many would Mike survive? With the two possible results being a reasonable pile of money or death, it seems like a no-brainer that walking away is the right choice. Next time you’re in a high stakes poker game against a mafia gangster that could easily have you “taken care of,” just take the money and live to fight another day - that’s our advice. Even though this scene from Rounders is a bit outlandish, it’s a great movie and one of our favorite gambling films of all time.


Know Your Enemy



The story of Whiplash goes something like this: drumming prodigy works hard to impress his less-than-amiable teacher, gets in a car wreck and loses his spot, betrays the teacher, teacher gets fired, and then they team up, but the teacher (surprise surprise) betrays the kid. While you have to admire the kid’s persistence and passion for drumming, the naiveté on display here is nothing short of stunning. He’s already gone through a pretty serious ordeal in his quest for drumming excellence but then has no problem stepping back behind the skins to appease the teacher he betrayed - not the sharpest stick in the bag.


The Right Way


Look, we know life is hard and there are some times when you might unintentionally cause problems for other people, like ratting on a teacher for their rough practices and getting them fired. Sure, it happens, but if you do that, then you’ve got to realize that they may not exactly be on your side if you meet again in the future. The takeaway - don’t expect someone to be nice after you’ve screwed them over and be extra careful when you have dealings with them. And always have band-aids, lots of band-aids.


Arrogance Has Its Consequences



Taking things to new heights, let’s say you have a terrorist enemy hell bent on destroying you, a la Tony Stark in Iron Man 3. What’s the absolute worst thing you could do other than offering yourself up on a plate to be killed? Hmm…how about giving your enemy your home address and challenging them to attack you? Well, that’s exactly what the supposed super genius Stark decided to do. As you may have guessed, the well-thought out plan didn’t go so well, with The Mandarin sending a paramilitary team that managed to destroy Stark’s gazillion-dollar home and almost killing him and his assistant Pepper.


The Right Way


Let’s extrapolate that idea a bit. You’re in a to-the-death blood feud with an enemy that has access to countless weapons and is not afraid to use them. In your defense, you do have a pretty fancy metal suit. A far less risky tactic would be to use your seemingly unlimited resources to hire a band of mercenaries and send them on a mission to destroy the enemy while you’re hiding out on a Caribbean island somewhere sipping Pina Coladas. Even a covert one-man assault would probably have a better chance of survival that staying at home like a sitting duck.


Like we said, it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever find yourself in one of these situations, but as they say, knowledge is power. With these lessons in mind, you’ll be better prepared for the impossible and maybe, just maybe, you’ll use a more critical eye when watching movies that feature bonehead decisions.