Film Academy Challenges Fans to Sum Up Movies in Five Words, Succinct Hilarity Ensues

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent out a call for five-word movie summaries on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. And thousands of people responded — including “Terminator” star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Share the plot of your favorite movie in five words.

— The Academy (@TheAcademy) July 31, 2018

It’s a refreshingly off-brand idea from the Academy, being a hell of a lot more succinct than the typical Oscar acceptance speech, and the responses have been pretty fun and often very clever. For instance, Schwarzenegger, who not surprisingly picked the plot of his career-defining hits “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2.”

Machine sent back to save.

— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) July 31, 2018

Also Read: ‘Billionaire Boys Club’ Film Review: Kevin Spacey Stuck in Convoluted True-Crime Remake

CNN anchor Bill Weir picked Roman Polanski’s 1974 neo-noir “Chinatown,” though his contribution is less a summary of the plot and more just a recitation of the film’s second most famous line.

Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown

— Bill Weir (@BillWeirCNN) July 31, 2018

Our personal favorite comes from Twitter user John Bousfield, who offered up this perfect summary of the plot of Christopher Nolan’s 2001 film debut “Memento”:

Wife my killed who discovering.

— John Bousfield (@Abusefield) July 31, 2018

(For those of you who might have forgotten, Memento plays out in reverse chronological order to simulate the experience of the main character, played by Guy Pearce, who is unable to form short-term memories.)

User Alex Benjamin had this pithy take on 2004’s Tina Fey-written dramedy “Mean Girls”:

There’s four girls. They’re mean. pic.twitter.com/2ADwPKRlUh

— alex benjamin (@alexfatwombat) July 31, 2018

Jessie McFadden meanwhile had this to say about John Hughes’ 1985 coming-of-age classic “The Breakfast Club”:

Five teens who got Detention. pic.twitter.com/7PPVNgtRnP

— Jessie McFadden (@JessTheBud) July 31, 2018

Christopher Buehlman got a Matt Damon threefer with this sum up of the plots of “Interstellar” (where Damon plays an astronaut who must be rescued in space), “Saving Private Ryan” (where Damon plays a soldier who must be extricated from World War II France), and “The Martian” (where Damon plays an astronaut stranded on Mars):

Massive Matt Damon rescue mission.#TheMartian#SavingPrivateRyan#Interstellar

— Christopher Buehlman (@Buehlmeister) July 31, 2018

Here’s Pixar’s “Up”:

The saddest opening montage ever pic.twitter.com/vPo96AtmaG

— kim powrie (@radgirl08) July 31, 2018

Also Read: Can ‘Jaws’ Help Solve a 44-Year-Old Murder Mystery?

“Mulan”:

Brave girl soldier saves China pic.twitter.com/lpdZHRfCWM

— Maritza Moulite (@MaritzaMoulite) July 31, 2018

A certain 1994 British romantic comedy:

Four weddings and a funeral.

— Andrea Mann (@AndreaMann) July 31, 2018

Re-litigating the final scene of that one Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet movie:

Rich woman lets man die pic.twitter.com/TEEbw05Za1

— Oli Pettigrew (@Oli_Pettigrew) July 31, 2018

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”:

Alien charms kids, phones home

— Marc Duvoisin (@MarcDuvoisin) July 31, 2018

And speaking of Spielberg, people have opinions about how best to sum up “Jurassic Park.”

DINOSAURS
SHOULD
NOT
BE
ALIVE

— Colton Butcher (@cltnbutcher) July 31, 2018

Shouldn’t have brought back dinosaurs.

— Ryan Isaacs (@frutescent_) July 31, 2018

People fuck with dinosaurs. Again. pic.twitter.com/INfVo8U6hw

— Robert Wuhl (@RobertWuhl) July 31, 2018

And quite a few “The Big Lebowski” stans showed up.

Yeah, well – the Dude abides.

— Sean A (@SeanKDLA) July 31, 2018

It tied the room together

— Josh Campbell (@joshscampbell) July 31, 2018

they pee’d on my rug!

— justreadingdontaddme (@justreadingdon1) July 31, 2018

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The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences sent out a call for five-word movie summaries on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon. And thousands of people responded — including “Terminator” star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

It’s a refreshingly off-brand idea from the Academy, being a hell of a lot more succinct than the typical Oscar acceptance speech, and the responses have been pretty fun and often very clever. For instance, Schwarzenegger, who not surprisingly picked the plot of his career-defining hits “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2.”

CNN anchor Bill Weir picked Roman Polanski’s 1974 neo-noir “Chinatown,” though his contribution is less a summary of the plot and more just a recitation of the film’s second most famous line.

Our personal favorite comes from Twitter user John Bousfield, who offered up this perfect summary of the plot of Christopher Nolan’s 2001 film debut “Memento”:

(For those of you who might have forgotten, Memento plays out in reverse chronological order to simulate the experience of the main character, played by Guy Pearce, who is unable to form short-term memories.)

User Alex Benjamin had this pithy take on 2004’s Tina Fey-written dramedy “Mean Girls”:

Jessie McFadden meanwhile had this to say about John Hughes’ 1985 coming-of-age classic “The Breakfast Club”:

Christopher Buehlman got a Matt Damon threefer with this sum up of the plots of “Interstellar” (where Damon plays an astronaut who must be rescued in space), “Saving Private Ryan” (where Damon plays a soldier who must be extricated from World War II France), and “The Martian” (where Damon plays an astronaut stranded on Mars):

Here’s Pixar’s “Up”:

“Mulan”:

A certain 1994 British romantic comedy:

Re-litigating the final scene of that one Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet movie:

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial”:

And speaking of Spielberg, people have opinions about how best to sum up “Jurassic Park.”

And quite a few “The Big Lebowski” stans showed up.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Kendrick Lamar, JK Rowling, Jonathan Nolan and 20 Other Surprising New Academy Members

Oscars: What Does It Take to Become a Member of the Motion Picture Academy Anyway?

Oscars Academy Has Doubled Non-White Members Since 2016, on Track to Double Women Too

Academy Invites Colossal List of 928 New Members

Oscars Diversity Push: Academy on Target to Double Non-White Members – But Not Women

That Time Rob Schneider Got Rejected for Academy Membership