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Don’t Confuse These Movies: Same Name, Different Story

Coming up with a catchy title for your new movie is really important, but what happens if you think you’ve got the perfect name for your film and find out someone else already used it? Go ahead and slap it on yours anyway, that’s what. Here are 18 movies you ought to double check the synopsis of first before you start watching.


Legend (1985)

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A science fiction fantasy about a woodland boy named Jack (Tom Cruise) who falls in love with a beautiful princess (Mia Sara). Problem is, she inadvertently leads the minions of evil to the unicorns, who hold domain over of the powers of light and good. Now the devil himself, Darkness (Tim Curry) wants to woo her and have her as his bride. Only Jack can save the day of course. A Ridley Scotdirected epic, this magical romance is nothing like . . .

Legend (2015)

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The story of two of the most notorious crime lords in London. This film, set in the 1960s, chronicles the life of the Bane Kray twins (Tom Hardy), a pair of ultra-violent gangsters who built a huge criminal empire before it all crumbled apart. A stylized version of a true story, this Brian Helgeland directed film earned high praise for Hardy and is a tense thriller . . . but sadly, features no unicorns.


Twilight (1998)

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Two words: Paul Newman. He plays a retired cop named Harry who was shot in the leg a few years before and now lives in the guest room of an older couple. The husband (Gene Hackman) is dying of cancer and his younger wife (Susan Sarandon) takes care of him. Soon, Harry is mixed up in a caper involving the wife, whom he also begins an affair. Naughty boy. A solid, well-acted thriller, this drama does have an angsty teen, but no vampires like . . .

Twilight (2008)

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The first in a long series, this romance follows the story of a teenage girl (Kristen Stewart) who unhappily moves to a new town to be with her father and soon falls in love with a glittery vampire (Robert Pattinson) who also falls for her, despite some efforts not to. Based on the book of the same name, this impossibly popular film was a huge worldwide hit, even without Butch Cassidy.


Project X (1987)

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Like chimpanzees? How about Ferris Bueller? If you do, then you’re in for a treat. Matthew Broderick plays a troublesome Air Force pilot who gets reassigned to a research facility that is training chimps to fly jets in a nuclear fallout. Problem is, the ape he gets paired with–supposedly a rescue from a zoo–is actually a highly-skilled sign language-speaking chimpanzee who wasn’t mean’t to be there. He has reservations about the project and contacts the chimps former owner (Helen Hunt). Naturally, the two come up with their plan for saving the apes. It’s a fun film but not a party like . . .

Project X (2012)

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Thinking a party for their friend’s 17th birthday party would be fun, a couple of boys aim to improve their popularity. But after one of them posts invites on Craigslist and the local radio, the party explodes as throngs arrive, soon involving drugs, naked girls, cops, SWAT teams and the fire department. You know. High school. But without chimpanzees.


Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941)

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When you hear then name Alfred Hitchcock, right away you think “screwball comedy.” No? Well, it turns out the cinematic master of suspense had a lighter side, as evidenced by this quirky little film about a loving couple who have been married for three years, except, nope, they haven’t. A technicality reveals they are not legally wed and while Mr. Smith (Robert Montgomery) initially hesitates in asking her to remarry, it causes Mrs. Smith (Carol Lombard) to question his commitment. She kicks him out. A light romantic turn that doesn’t feature menacing birds or a maniacal crop duster.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)

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Loving couple Mr. and Mrs. Smith (Brad PittAngelina Jolie) are your typical bored suburban husband and wife, but when they learn that they are also both master assassins hired by competing agencies to kill each other, it naturally causes a few wrinkles. A wild, action-packed comedy thriller, this explosive film is notorious for how the real life couple met and fell in love. Probably less firearms in that relationship. Probably.


Bad Boys (1983)

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A young Sean Penn stars as a Mick O’Brien, a troubled Chicago street thug who gets sent to juvenile prison for manslaughter after accidentally running down an eight-year-old kid. Too bad for him, that kid is the little brother of Paco Moreno (Esai Morales), a criminal rival. Taking revenge, Paco rapes Mick’s girlfriend (Ally Sheedy) and ends up in the same jail. You know that can’t be good and now Mick is in a fight for his life. A tough, gritty, drama, that has nothing to do with . . .

Bad Boys (1995)

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A pair of Miami Police detectives take on a drug lord while trying to protect a witness (Téa Leoni) to a murder. This action comedy starring Will Smith and Martin Lawerence can be summed up in two words: Michael Bay Explosions. Okay, three words. Loud and over-the-top, the plot takes a far backseat to the style and action as logic and reason are gleefully tossed out the window of a speeding car. On fire. With lots of bullets.


Gladiator (1992)

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A couple teenagers in Chicago become friends in a world where they shouldn’t. Trapped in the illegal underground boxing circuit by a lowlife promoter, the two boys (Cuba Gooding Jr. and James Marshall) fight for different reasons but with the same hope. A bit predictable, this is a tough and violent film that, if you’ll excuse the phrasing, pulls no punches and expect for the fighting has little in common with . . . 

Gladiator (2000)

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A former general (Russell Crowe) in the great Roman Empire escapes execution and becomes a gladiator on a quest to fight his way to the mighty Coliseum in hopes of facing the emperor (Joaquin Phoenix), who killed his wife and son. An Oscar winner, this moving story of revenge and honor is all about style, with some intense, graphic battles and lots of half naked men duking it out with sharp things. Are you not entertained?


Crash (1996)

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Ever been in a car accident and instead of feeling happy you made it out alive, got turned on by your gaping wounds and wanted to have raw carnal sex? No? Good. The characters in this bizarre David Cronenberg twisted tale of horror however are a different lot, and spend their time looking to break a few bones in the name of lust, as long as it’s behind the wheel of a car. And aside from that car thing, it’s nothing like . . . 

Crash (2004)

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In Los Angeles, over the course of a day and a half, the lives of several people of different ethnicities, backgrounds and genders will all crash as their personal stories affect the others. A polarizing film, this controversial Academy Award winner is an ensemble work that is wildly dramatic but well-acted. It’s best remembered for a couple scenes and a brilliant performance by Matt Dillion. But it’s not the classic it wants to be. And you won’t find Holly Hunter getting it on in the backseat.


The Kid (1921)

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Arguably the great Charlie Chaplin film, this classic silent movie sees our hero, The Little Tramp, find an abandoned baby and raise it as his own, facing the hardships of a poverty-stricken life with god humor, great courage, and unconditional love. Funny of course, it is also deeply moving and features one of the greatest movie moments of all time as Chaplin rescues the boy from those trying to take him away. You can’t help but be moved by this masterpiece from the early days of cinema. We’ve already raved. And it’s leaps and bounds better than . . .

The Kid (2000)

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Action star Bruce Willis hangs up his sidearms for this Disney family film about a despondent, unsatisfied image consultant with no family, no girl, no pets, and no memories of his childhood who one day meets an oddly familiar little boy (Spencer Breslin). And well it should be familiar as it turns out to be him . . . as a kid. The two depart on a journey into his past to discover the what’s and why’s of his life and how he ended up as he did. Meanwhile, two women (Lily Tomlin, Emily Mortimer) remain at the center of it all and you can be sure will play a part after redemption is found. There are no Yippee-ki-yay’s though so, you know, there’s that.


The Illusionist (2010)

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Okay, so this is actually French and is spelled L’Illusionnistebut it still makes the list. It follows a former popular stage illusionist whose star begins to fade when technology strips away the wonder of ‘magic’ shows. He travels to Scotland as modern entertainment challenges him wherever he goes, finally meeting a girl who still believes what she sees and is taken by his skills. Together they share adventures in this touching, mostly dialog-free animated treasure. It’s actually a nice little companion film with . . .

The Illusionist (2006)

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Often confused with and compared to Christopher Nolan‘s The Prestige, this story of a stage illusionist with some controversial methods sees Eisenheim the Illusionist (Edward Norton) use his skills to move up in social ranking to win back the love of his life, now a Duchess (Jessica Biel) vowed to be married to a cruel Crown Prince (Rufus Sewell). A bit disappointing, but still a good experience, this well-directed (Neil Burger) film is worth a look.

Sure there are lots more movies with the same name. What are some you’ve confused?

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