Never Again…11 Great Movies You Can Only Watch Once (Part II)

August 13, 2013  |  
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Monster’s Ball. Precious. Do The Right Thing. Passion Of The Christ. For Colored Girls.

Last time we did a list on great movies you can only watch once, these were just a few of seven we picked. But we found that you, the readers, had a wealth of others you just had to recommend, and in all honesty, we agreed with most of them. That’s why we decided to make a second list with some new additions that were well done films, but only needed to be seen once. Whether it was because of the violence or the emotional rollercoaster they took people on, these movies got the point across, and let’s just say, we make a habit to pass them up in our Netflix recommendations…


I actually bought this movie before I had chance to see it, and it was the biggest mistake I made…in that year. After a colleague recommended it, and I saw it on sale at the now defunct Circuit City for like $6, I thought, “What the heck?” I bought it. Unfortunately for me, the film was horrifying. Don’t get me wrong, it was well-done and visually appealing, but the idea of teenagers passing on AIDS, making a game out of taking one another’s virginity, kids my nieces and nephews’ age raping one another, and just being general bad a** teenagers had me shook…my kids shall be home schooled (just kidding!).


Nothing makes me angrier than watching something black folks built and built up with blood, sweat and tears get torn down by folks who are just haters…and racists. Of course, that is the whole sad plot of Rosewood, which is based off the true events and the actual town of Rosewood in Florida. After a woman who was abused by her white husband blames a black man for it to protect him, a nearby predominately white town attacks Rosewood to teach the black folks a lesson. The movie also focuses on those who tried to keep folks from getting involved in mob violence against the town. It’s a pretty good movie, but it pisses me off, and still I don’t know why my mother bought that joint on VHS. Nobody wants to see that again!

Requiem For A Dream

Drug addiction is no joke. Seriously. That’s what I took from watching Darren Aronofsky’s film about four people battling drug addiction and the ways and means they go about trying to feed their habit. Saddest 101 minutes ever. Folks end up in psychiatric wards, lose limbs, end up in sex shows and in jail for their diseases. Kudos to Marlon Wayans for an amazing performance as Tyrone. By the way, Aronofsky isn’t a stranger to mind-bending sad films. If you saw The Wrestler or Natalie Portman in Black Swan, you know what I mean…

Red Hook Summer

Okay, I kid. This movie is the only exception to the list. It’s not necessarily that good…

I love Spike Lee, God knows I do, but I’ll never watch this particular Spike Lee Joint again. While another visually beautiful film by the director, the storyline was one I couldn’t get with. It didn’t have a sensible ending, there were moments that upset your stomach (one involves the bible) and let’s not forget how terrible the acting of the main child actors in it were. I’m sorry, it’s just the truth. I still got you on this new film though Spike!

Million Dollar Baby

Time to take a break from the Rs. There aren’t too many Clint Eastwood movies  I don’t like. And this one is a really great one. But boy, does it have the most sad ending and most frustrating characters EVER. I say the latter statement because the protagonist has a trailer hopping family that she can never seem to please or make proud, and who even in the most dire and sad moments, are looking to get her money. And just when Maggie is on top of the women’s boxing world, it hurts a playa’s soul big time to watch her go down in terrible fashion. I actually own this movie, but I’ve only watched it all the way through once. Don’t need to see it again.

Hotel Rwanda

The thought of the whole genocide of a people, though it’s not a new concept in history, is sad in itself. But what makes things worse when you watch Hotel Rwanda is the realization of the lack of intervention in Rwanda to help save the lives of Tutsi people. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed during the Rwandan Genocide and in the film we get to meet Paul Rusesabagina, a hotel owner who uses his influence to help save lives during the melee. And while we can all agree that Don Cheadle was amazing as Rusesabagina, who wasn’t left in tears during and after this film?


I actually saw this documentary in theaters at a time when I was on an independent movie kick. The topic of bullies and their effect on children today is one that definitely needed to be discussed. One of my nephews was being pushed around previously by a kid whose parents were pieces of s**t, so I wanted to see it. But while the film puts a lens on a very serious issue, it also puts it on some very sad families and the children in them. Some had lost their children, who had committed suicide after being the victim of nonstop bullying, while others had kids who were facing bullying by not just students in school, but in the community for their sexual identity. One young man was actually caught on camera being assaulted and stabbed with pencils on the school bus home by other children. You need to see this movie, but you only need to see it once.


If you haven’t noticed, films about race are touchy for me. And there were so many pieces of the puzzle in this movie that just left me upset and emotionally exhausted in the very end. Those you thought were the bad guys turned good, and those who were supposed to be good were shooting folks and pushing them out on the street pretending they had nothing to do with it. The multitude of sad events (and the redemption of a few) within the last 25 minutes or so will just leave you sad, angry, even relieved at times, and hopeful that the racial tension you deal with isn’t as bad as it looks on-screen.

Blue Valentine

If you’ve ever been around two adults slowly but surely falling out of love, you know it’s a shame. And on-screen, it just puts a damper on your day, especially when kids are involved. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams give some amazing performances as a couple who in flashbacks meet and manages to marry, overcoming major obstacles, and then in present-day, go from being in love to loathing being touched by the other. The final few tearful minutes of the film, as their marriage implodes, will leave you feeling just as sad as they end up feeling.

Boys Don’t Cry

Like Darren Aronofsky, Hillary Swank knows how to pick films that will leave you feeling really down. No shade though, Boys Don’t Cry was a great film, and even based on a true story! However, the violence her character had to face being a transgender man who was found out by his male friends is too hard to watch more than once. Swank ended up winning an Academy Award for Best Actress for her work, and that ish was well deserved…

American History X

I’m all about redemption, but the stuff Edward Norton’s character has to go through and put others through to get to that point is difficult to stomach in this movie. If he’s not going to jail for stomping a black man’s head into a curb, he’s getting raped in prison. But when he finally realizes that he needs to change his life to be a better influence for his brother, who is beginning to follow in his past Neo-Nazi loving ways, it’s too late to keep him out of harm’s way. The last few minutes of the movie always leave me teared up.


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  • B

    Menace to Society is a film I can’t watch again, it was too raw for me.

  • Steffy93

    Shawshank Redemption.
    (except for the last 10 minutes or so, I could watch that all day long).

  • Diva Ex Machina

    I’d have to add Monster’s Ball to the list. The Horse Whisperer, too, and probably Schindler’s List. I also own A Beautiful Mind and have only watched it once. Just never in the mood to sit through it again.

  • Wendeec

    A Simple Plan. Loving family implodes after finding drug money. This is the gold standard of great movie that you never watch again. So heartbreaking.

  • tstucker

    Why have I only heard of one of them and why are 10 of the 11 black? How about 11 movies no one has ever heard of before?

  • aDayLateAndAdollarShort

    Snow on the Bluff is another movie that you only need to see one time.

  • aDayLateAndAdollarShort

    I watched Rosewood when I was about 10 and it left me feeling some kind of way about white folks. I knew to never watch it again if a movie brought out those feelings at such a young age.

  • HUgrad13

    I couldnt watch I Am Legend more than once, and I own it.

  • hiswomanandlovingit

    you forgot “8mm” and “sleepers”. those are two movies that hare just hard to watch the first time. i cant even imagine trying to watch them again.

    • Diva Ex Machina

      Totally agree on 8mm… Barely got through it the first time!

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  • Jen

    Your write up on Rosewood was wrong , the plot anyways…. A stranger (white man had sex with the wife) he roughed her up, she accused a black man, and from there the husband told the sheriff in which started an all out lynching in that ton

  • Pearl

    wow I’ve only seen Hotel Rawanda….these other movies sound so depressing…. I’ll stick to action flicks

  • jessica

    Actually in Rosewood it was her white lover not her husband who beat her up.

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  • kei

    Million dollar baby I own saw it once never again to sad. I seen kids mire than ince sicktwisted movie but it shows the face of hiv is changing. Rosewood I seen several times but won’t jump to see it again to real and to sad

  • Chanda

    The only ones I’ve seen on this list were Kids, and American History X don’t care to see them again. Other movies I don’t want to watch again: Watermelon Man, Pink Flamingos, and probably Silver Bullet. Some of these movies are just creepy.
    I still don’t know if I want to see I Spit on Your Grave (from 1978). I’ve done a bit of research and I know at one time it was banned and it sounds disturbing.

    • bookaday19

      I watched I Spit on Your Grave w/friends in…1981? It was disturbing, horrifying, painful to watch – the violence was awful. Skip it.

  • Laila

    City of God should be on this list! Good movie but I couldn’t sleep after watching it….

    • Yaya

      City of God is one of my favorites. I’ve watched it a million times, but I toatally understand why someone else wouldn’t want to.

    • Tee Elyse

      City of Men was also good! It’s crazy that that’s how they’re really living over in Brazil!

  • truth

    7 pounds was amazing, but depressing. Lol will smith was amazing in his role.

  • Maile00

    Good list. I’ve watched Rosewood more than once and am pissed every time. Dang I forgot about Kids!

  • Ellen Ellis

    Don’t forget “The Killing Fields”

  • Laine

    Atonement is a movie I only need to see once. It’s just too sad

  • Alexis Morris

    Ive watched american history x numerous times, the only one on this list in fact. Rosewood, I just cant bring myself to watch it again, i just cant.

  • NatashaDecemberBabyThomas

    I saw American History X when I was still in high school in Afro-American History class and I couldn’t stomach the scene with the neo-Nazi stomp on the back of that dude’s neck while he bit onto the curve, I lost my appetite that day. I say the same for The Last King of Scotland (the part that one of Idi Amin’s wife was mutilated for having an affair and became pregnant from it) and the ending of Jeepers Creepers.

  • Luckystar393

    KIDS made me sick to my stomach. The thought of all those teens having unprotected sex like that was unsettling. The main boy, Teddy I think, made me cry the way he did those girls. Making a game out of how many girls’ virginities he could take. And didn’t wrap up cuz he figured virgins didn’t have STD’s. come to find out this MF was HIV positive and spreading it to those same girls he just deflowered!! My stomach hurts again. Sorry if I spoiled it. Matter of fact I’m not sorry. I just saved u 90 minutes of side eye.

    • Tee Elyse

      That was a very sad movie, yet very eye opening!!

  • UnpopularOpinion

    I loved Crash! Great movie. Kids! Also a great movie–but the emotional rollercoaster in these movies are too much. What about Fruitvale Staiton? *tear* That movie is just too much for my heart strings. Can’t watch that again. And “Passion of the Christ”—too much gore for my eyes.

    The absolute worst movie I cannot watch a second time is “Burning Palms.” Its a series of vignettes and Zoe Saldana is in it. She plays a woman who has been raped but falls in love with her rapist. Another part of the film follows a woman whos engaged with a man who has an incestuous relationship with his daughter. Never EVER again!

  • Aukai Akiliano

    I remember the scene in Hotel Rwanda where the guy had Don Cheadle (I forgot his character’s name) take a shortcut or something that turned out to be him driving over a bunch of dead bodies. Oh my goodness!

    • KnowsBetter

      That scene made me boo hoo cry! Agreed, that is not a movie I will ever watch again.

  • KJ23

    I LOVE “Requiem for a Dream.” My friends can only watch it once, but for some reason, I love watching that movie!

    • me too. It’s sad but it just keeps pulling you in

    • #allNatural

      I’ve never heard of it. I will check it out

    • Diva Ex Machina

      It was excellent! I feel the same way about Black Swan, too. I said I wasn’t going to watch it again, but every time it’s on one of the movie channels I have to watch (even if it’s halfway over).

  • Rosewood was one Im glad I saw but dont need to see it again. Precious is another one and so was For the Colored Girls.

  • Steve Stone

    Precious….that is game, set, and match. Great, but never want to see that depressing isht again.

    • enlightened

      Oh yes, Precious. I watched that the for the first time—and I was eating. Needless to say, I lost my appetite.

    • Osoclassy

      For Colored girls is on that level for me. As great as it is, I can’t watch that again ever

  • Did that bird just shiit on me

    I’ll never watch anything with Trashonsay in it

  • Tee Elyse

    Couldn’t agree more about Red Hook Summer!! I LOVE Spike Lee, but this movie was ALL wrong! And then the unnecessary pop up of Mookie was just silly!