10 Stunning Movies With One Awful CGI Moment

So close to perfection.

Tron Legacy Clu Jeff Bridges

It goes without saying that basically every major Hollywood blockbuster is extremely reliant on CGI these days, and in fairness, when it's used appropriately it can be an incredible tool for smart filmmakers to achieve mind-bogglingly impressive results.

But when a director is spinning countless plates and potentially dealing with up to a dozen different VFX houses on a single movie, maintaining a visual consistency isn't easy.

As such, even splendid-looking films with state-of-the-art CGI aren't beyond delivering a shot or a scene that just doesn't look right.

That's certainly the case with these 10 films, all of which boast terrific, cutting-edge effects work, only to drop the ball in one unforgivable and unforgettable moment.

Do these CGI gaffes ruin the movie? Of course not, but they do add a needlessly cringe-inducing element, and one that undermines their otherwise sublimely convincing world-building.

And then there's District 9, which despite being a decade old and costing just $30 million, still looks miles better than most movies released today.

Having Peter Jackson as a producer and presumably getting a mate's rate on the VFX probably didn't hurt, though...

10. The 3D Steering Wheel - Mad Max: Fury Road

Tron Legacy Clu Jeff Bridges
Warner Bros.

Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the most technically impressive blockbusters ever made, a white-knuckle action film that prides itself on a genius collision of practical stunt work and seamless visual effects.

In fact, Fury Road has a lot more CGI in it than most people think, but as expertly directed by George Miller and conceived by his VFX team, there are precious few instances where the seams become visible.

There is one frustrating blip right at the end of the film, however, when Nux (Nicholas Hoult) sacrifices himself by crashing his war rig and blocking the canyon with a massive pile-up of vehicles.

Rather than simply depict the crash, Miller suddenly goes into garish, plastic CGI overload, throwing an unconvincing digital guitar right at the audience's faces and, as is especially egregious, a CGI steering wheel.

One's left to assume these elements were added to make the 3D presentation seem more worthwhile, but honestly it just feels chintzy and looks embarrassingly cheap in a movie that otherwise seems anything but.


Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.