12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (2023)

While many people these days complain about movies being too long, there are still plenty of movies that should’ve been longer, even the ones now considered masterpieces. If certain films had more time to develop their characters and plotlines, they certainly would’ve been looked upon much more fondly by audiences.


  • 12. Avengers: Infinity War
  • 11. 2021’s Candyman
  • 10. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
  • 9. Spider-Man 3
  • 8. Thor: Love and Thunder
  • 7. The Exorcist III
  • 6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  • 5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
  • 4. The Dark Tower
  • 2. Dark Phoenix
  • 1. Suicide Squad

From superhero epics to horror pictures like Candyman, these films deserved more time to flesh out their characters and develop their plots. Some audiences might not like having to sit still in theaters, but it would’ve been worth it for these movies to improve in quality.

12. Avengers: Infinity War

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (1)

Considering the scope and cast of this superhero blockbuster, it’s understandable why the filmmakers decided to cut corners. While Infinity War is now generally considered an ok film that was overshadowed by Endgame, it may have been remembered more fondly if it had invested more time in certain aspects of its story.

The film could’ve taken a moment to acknowledge the destruction Thanos left on Xandar to claim the Power Stone, as the Guardians gloss over it surprisingly fast after they once fought so hard to protect it. It also wouldn’t have hurt if the film explored the characters of Captain America, Black Widow, Drax, and Thanos’s Black Order, to name a few. Endgame did just as well, if not better than Infinity War, with an extra half-hour, so the latter could’ve reached greater heights with more content.

11. 2021’s Candyman

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (2)

Clocking in at 91 minutes, Nia DaCosta’s reboot of Candyman successfully revamped the legend of the hook-handed killer for a new age. Despite its strengths, the film could’ve done better in portraying Anthony’s girlfriend, Brianna.

Specifically, it could’ve spent more time exploring her character and childhood trauma, as her father’s suicide was briefly shown in a flashback that had little impact on the rest of the story. This scene felt very out of place, and this subplot could’ve been expanded to develop Brianna’s character better.

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10. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (3)

Sam Raimi’s sequel to Doctor Strange showed the Sorcerer Supreme being chased across multiple realities by the Scarlet Witch in one of the Marvel Studios’ wildest and mind-bending adventures. However, Marvel could’ve gotten more into the wild and terrifying aspects of the multiverse and taken full advantage of the film’s premise.

For instance, the movie could’ve shown America Chavez meeting Defender Strange as she tries to escape Wanda’s demons. Instead, the movie starts with them at the end of their journey together across the multiverse with no other moments from their adventure together, which seems like a missed opportunity.

9. Spider-Man 3

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (4)

While Sam Raimi’s first two Spider-Man films are considered superhero classics, the filmmakers failed to stick the landing with this third movie. The resulting product is a tangled mess of plots and characters, as Peter is forced to apprehend the Sandman, deal with the vengeful Harry Osborn, confront the negative emotions brought on by his new alien costume, maintain his relationship with MJ, and defeat the evil Venom. Oh yeah, and life exists on other planets in this film, in case that was forgotten.

Spider-Man 3 could’ve explored more of the Venom symbiote’s desires and its origins, as it just shows up out of nowhere and latches onto Peter with no apparent motive or acknowledgment from the other characters that it’s a creature from outer space. Likewise, Eddie Brock could’ve had more scenes to help develop his character and make him less of a one-dimensional villain. All in all, the long and complicated plot of this film could’ve worked best as a miniseries, but adding an extra 20 minutes could’ve worked too.

8. Thor: Love and Thunder

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (5)

While Taiki Waititi recharged the God of Thunder with Thor: Ragnarok, his follow-up filmdidn’t quite measure up to audiences’ expectations. Zeus would’ve been a better character if he had gotten more screen time, as he’s more like a brief obstacle that Thor must face in a flashy fight scene on his way to Gorr.

Speaking of Gorr, this villain could’ve been more intimidating if he was shown slaying more deities across the universe, which would show exactly how he earned the title of “The God Butcher.”

7. The Exorcist III

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (6)

The Exorcist III remains a divisive but underrated gem dwelling in the shadow of William Friedkin’s iconic first film. Though it excels in psychological terror in the first two acts, Father Morning comes out of nowhere to perform an exorcism on Damien Karras in the final battle.

The Gemini Killer is also never heard from again as his demon master, Pazuzu, suddenly takes over as the film’s antagonist. Though the director’s cut without the exorcism is arguably better, the original’s third act could’ve been less jarring if Father Morning was given a greater presence and the Gemini Killer played a greater role in the climax.

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6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (7)

Like Spider-Man 3, Andrew Garfield’s second superhero film suffered from trying to include too many villains and too many plotlines. While Spider-Man tries to save the city from Electro, he must also deal with his declining friendship with Harry Osborn, uncover the mystery behind his parents’ deaths, and salvage his relationship with Gwen Stacy. There’s so much the film tries to do in so little time, which includes setting up Spidey’s battle with the Sinister Six in the sequel that never was.

This film could’ve been better received if it had tied these plotlines together instead of just mashing them all together. Since much of the story was connected to Oscorp, the film should’ve dug more into the Osborns and their relationship with Peter and his parents. Similarly, Jamie Foxx’s Electro deserved more time for his character to be developed, as he came across as a down-on-his-luck guy engineer obsessed with Spider-Man.

5. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (8)

From the moment this film began, the story light-speeds past so many things that the audience hardly knows what they saw. The Rise of Skywalker spent a lot of timeintroducing characters old and new into the story, and the resulting film just felt too cluttered and hazy. While Rey and Kylo Ren took the spotlight, the filmmakers included more scenes focusing on Finn, Poe, and Rose, especially considering their significant roles in previous movies.

In addition, the film should’ve elaborated more on how Palpatine survived his death in Return of the Jedi (which apparently involves transferring his spirit into a clone body) and how he had the son that would become Rey’s father. The film was already two-and-a-half hours, so spending another 30 minutes filling in the gaps wouldn’t have hurt. In fact, it could’ve made for a much more satisfying conclusion to the Skywalker saga.

4. The Dark Tower

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (9)

This Stephen King adaptation follows gunslinger Roland Deschain and his young apprentice Jake as they try to stop the Man in Black from destroying the Dark Tower and wreaking havoc on the multiverse. King’s classic eight-book saga is so full of lore that a film about it needs more than just 95 minutes to make a great first impression.

The film should’ve focused more on Roland’s character and explored more of the strange and magical realm of Mid-World to do the source material justice. There is even mention of the Man in Black’s master, the Crimson King, which really should’ve been explained more to show just what kind of epic conflict the film was setting up.

3. Venom 1 & 2

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (10)

One of the biggest problems with Sony’s Spider-Man Universe is that its films are too short, and both Venom films are victims of it. In the first film, Eddie and Venom’s characters needed more time to show audiences what makes them both tick and why they wanted to be heroes. Likewise, in one scene, the symbiote admits he is seen as a “loser” on his home planet with no explanation why, leaving the audience wanting to learn more about him.

In Venom: Let There Be Carnage, the titular villain would’ve benefitted from the film exploring more of his motivations, specifically, why he kills people and what he plans to do beyond just getting revenge and marrying Frances. Eddie’s ex-fiancée, Anne, could’ve even been more memorable if the film took the time to make her character more than just a supporting love interest for the hero. While the Venom films may have been hits in theaters, they still needed to expand on their characters to justify their existence outside of Spider-Man’s world.

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2. Dark Phoenix

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (11)

This movie was supposed to be Fox’s second chance to do The Dark Phoenix Saga rightafter X-Men: The Last Stand. But like its predecessor, there are many issues that could’ve been remedied if the movie had built up its story more. The film could’ve explored more of the characters of Jean and Scott, as well as other supporting heroes like Storm, Quicksilver, Beast, Nightcrawler, and Magneto.

The film should’ve also spent more time delving into the invading D’Bari aliens, who came across as bland, emotionless, and forgettable villains. Speaking of which, the film could’ve shown the X-Men taking in the fact that they’re now fighting aliens from outer space, something that wasn’t a big thing in Fox’s X-Men universe up until that point.

1. Suicide Squad

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (12)

2016’s Suicide Squad crashed and burned in theaters, leaving audiences with much more to be desired. For instance, members of the titular squad like Killer Croc and Katana would’ve benefitted from having their characters fleshed out in additional scenes. This goes for the villain Enchantress, too, as she comes across as a regular villain who wants to dominate the world, leaving her with very little beneath the surface.

Likewise, there is the matter of the Joker, who only appears in a few scenes when he was originally supposed to have a much bigger role as a villain. Jared Leto needed more screen time to have audiences really know his version of the Clown Prince of Crime. His relationship with Harley Quinn should’ve been addressed as well since the first film glosses over his abuse of her and romanticizes their toxic romance, leaving the latter character seeming far too hollow.

12 films that should've been longer | Digital Trends (13)

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