Top 10 Weakest Movie MacGuffins

by Collin Willis

This week will see the release of a new Transformers and a new DC movie. Due to the lackluster history of these franchises, their stories will no doubt be focused around a MacGuffin. A MacGuffin is an object/event/person that drives the story forward. When done well, MacGuffins come in the form of Death Star plans or a Maltese falcon. However, MacGuffins are often done poorly and with lazy writing. Hollywood’s Top 10 Weakest Movie MacGuffins are broken down for you below. Spoilers below, but let’s be honest, you’ve already seen these movies.

Honorable Mentions

Shankara Stones, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The Witch’s Heart, Suicide Squad

The Mutant Cure, X-Men: The Last Stand

The Deathly Hallows, Harry Potter Franchise

The Indo-Raptor, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

#10: Amanda Waller, Suicide Squad (2016)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via the Wrap

Oof. There is no better word to describe Suicide Squad than “oof”. Amanda Waller puts together the Suicide Squad and is the main focus of the first act of the film. Then “poof” she’s trapped and being hunted by the Enchantress. Despite the fact that Enchantress has met people with greater power, Waller is the key to her sky beam machine, because…reasons. Sorry, David Ayer, but Suicide Squad lands itself on a lot of “bad top ten” lists, and Weakest Movie MacGuffins is no exception.

#9: The Aether, Thor: The Dark World (2013)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Inverse

The Aether is actually the reality stone. Malekith decides to use it to make the universe dark. That’s right, he could change reality to be anything he wanted. Instead, Malekith decides to make it eternally nighttime. No wonder everybody forgets about Thor: The Dark World. The MCU has a history of MacGuffins, but the Aether is weak enough to land itself a spot on this list.

#8: The Microwave Emitter, Batman Begins (2005)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Entertainment

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is noted for its adherence to the laws of reality. While Batman stretches the rules a bit, his character easily fits within our definition of the “real world” is. Wayne Tech’s Microwave Emitter does not fit within this definition. It’s basically a magic science box to deliver Scarecrow’s gas. In reality it would have vaporized most of Gotham’s blood, leading its citizens to explode.

*The Internet has had a field day with the science of this box.

#7: The Allspark, Transformers (2007)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Giant Freaking Robot

The Allspark both brings Megatron to life and it kills him. This box creates transformers and automatically makes them all evil. At the beginning of the film it requires the Hoover Dam to contain it. By the end of the film, Sam Witwicky can carry it around with ease. Yet it has the same power level whether it’s the size of a lake or the size of a loaf of bread. Transformers could probably hold every spot on the weakest movie MacGuffin’s list, but I’ll leave it at the Allspark for now.

#6: Davy Jones’ Heart, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Fanpop

I’m just gonna come right out and say it, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is bad. None of these movies are exceptional, and neither is the plot device within Dead Man’s Chest. The titular Dead Man’s Chest holds the heart of Davy Jones. This chest is the key to defeating Jones, but is also the key to saving him and returning him to his natural form. Except when Jones doesn’t really need the heart as his existence is a curse, making it and the chest pointless to the end story. Congratulations Jack Sparrow, you’ve made the list!

#5: The Rabbit’s Foot, Mission: Impossible III (2006)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Mission Impossible Fanon Wiki

J.J. Abrams sure does love his MacGuffins. The famed director is well-known for his use of MacGuffins, or mystery boxes, in the majority of his films. Whether it’s Luke’s lightsaber, Kahn’s superblood, or the Rabbit’s Foot, MacGuffins are littered throughout his films. Mission: Impossible III is no exception. The Rabbit’s Foot is a mysterious vial of mysterious liquid that could end the world. This film represents the low-point of Tom Cruise’s career, as Ghost Protocol was original designed as a passing of the torch from Cruise to Jeremy Renner. Thankfully Cruise rebounded with the more refined MacGuffin of Ghost Protocol. The Rabbit’s Foot represents everything audiences were bored with the franchise, and so it lands itself on this list.

#4: Jupiter Jones, Jupiter Ascending (2015)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Time Magazine

Jupiter Jones is the reincarnated physical form of the Matriach or Abrasax. She is somehow heiress to the throne because of her resemblance to its former owner. Everyone eying the throne decides to either marry or kill Jupiter, instead of just letting her remain ignorant to her claim. The final straw here is when Jupiter decides to have sex with a dog man. Bestiality lands Jupiter Ascending the number four spot on this list.

#3: The Crystal Skulls, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Little White Lies


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull makes me sad. The original trilogy ended on such a high note with the Holy Grail, and the Crystal Skulls fall embarrassingly short of their predecessor. They can open people’s minds to telekinesis, but only when its convenient to the plot. They can form together to become one alien being, but only when already in close proximity and with no defenses guarding them. Not even Spielberg was a fan of this MacGuffin!

#2: The Matrix of Leadership, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via

It’s the Allspark from Transformers, but this time it’s shaped like a dagger. Thank you, next.

#1: The Mother Boxes, Justice League (2017)

Weakest Movie MacGuffins

Image via Spotern

Three Allsparks, but this time they are called “Mother Boxes”. Mother Boxes can destroy planets or transform things into hellish landscapes. They can created robot cyborgs, but they also resurrect super people when wet. The boxes come with little explanation and Steppenwolf yields no information about them save that he calls them “mother” about fifty times. As an added bonus, they can even create sky-beams.

The Mother Boxes land as the number one weakest movie MacGuffins because they are the laziest written parts in one of the laziest written movies Hollywood has ever produced. Even Batman V Superman makes more sense than these magic space boxes.

Thank you for reading! What are your thoughts on the Weakest Movie MacGuffinsComment down below!

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The Animation Commendation December 19, 2018 - 9:47 am

Whoa, “none of the POTC movies are exceptional”, them’s fighting words, lol! I think the first film is quite exceptional!

P.M. Henderson December 19, 2018 - 2:47 pm

Seconded. After Black Pearl, though… nosedive!


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