The worst thing a movie can do is make you feel nothing, for it is an inherently emotional medium where you're supposed to be left thrilled, scared, happy, or sad.
And then there are movies that want to make you deeply uncomfortable in a very specific way, by dialling up the awkwardness to such egregious levels that you're left wishing the floor would open up and swallow you along with the movie itself.
These 10 movies, though basically brilliant in their own right, each served up a scene so tough to watch that it left viewers sweaty with anxious second-hand embarrassment.
It won't be a surprise that several of them involve grand romantic overtures which backfire spectacularly, while others relate to public displays of humiliation and excruciating acts of self-sabotage.
There's a humanity in cringe-worthy cinema, because it allows the audience to identify with the on-screen predicament in a uniquely visceral way, even if the experience of doing so might not be pleasant in the moment.
For better or worse, you certainly won't ever forget these moments, which rank among the toughest to watch you'll ever find in fantastic films...
10. Travis & Betsy's Date - Taxi Driver
There's nothing that Martin Scorsese can't do as a filmmaker, so it's fitting that way back in 1976 he unleashed one of the all-time most cringe-worthy movie scenes upon audiences.
At the end of Taxi Driver's first act, PTSD-afflicted war vet Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) takes the object of his affection, Betsy (Cybill Shepherd), out on a date to the movies.
Except, Travis doesn't take her to any regular cinema - it's a porno theater, and when Betsy expresses reluctance to watch a "dirty movie," he assures her that normal couples do this all the time.
Cut to Travis and Betsy watching the porn film, with Betsy quickly growing visibly uncomfortable until she angrily leaves and Travis goes after her.
Betsy then hails down a cab while Travis awkwardly attempts to stop her leaving, being totally oblivious to the fact that taking someone on a second date to a porno theater might be ill-advised at best.
From the moment we see where Travis is taking Betsy, it's like watching a slow-motion car crash. We all know what's going to happen, and can do nothing but watch the deeply embarrassing outcome.