Oliver Stone Criticizes ‘Ridiculous’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Finale

Published 2 years ago by , Updated October 9th, 2013 at 5:19 am,

Oliver Stone Breaking Bad Oliver Stone Criticizes Ridiculous Breaking Bad Finale




Oliver Stone is no stranger to controversy. In fact, you could say the director’s more than three decade career thrives on it. But the three-time Academy Award winner may have pushed things too far when he recently criticized the finale of AMC’s beloved hit show, Breaking Bad.

During a press day to promote the release of his documentary The Untold History of the United States, Stone sounded off on the “fantasy violence” featured in the finale and why he believes similar depictions of violence have “infected the American culture.” You heard it right. Oliver Stone is criticizing someone else for violent content.

Now, it’s very easy to dismiss Stone’s comments as a simple case of the pot calling the kettle black. And the fact that Stone is making these controversial comments as he’s promoting his work (as if to say, “Hey everyone! Look at what I have to say! I’m important!”) doesn’t give them much credibility either. However, if you look at Stone’s full quote in context (via Forbes), he makes some defensible points.

Here are his comments below:

“There’s too much violence in our movies – and it’s all unreal to me. I don’t know if you saw the denouement [of 'Breaking Bad'], I happen to not watch the series very much, but I happened to tune in and I saw the most ridiculous 15 minutes of a movie – it would be laughed off the screen. Nobody could park his car right then and there and could have a machine gun that could go off perfectly and kill all of the bad guys! It would be a joke.

“It’s only in the movies that you find this kind of fantasy violence. And that’s infected the American culture; you young people believe all of this sh*t! Batman and Superman, you’ve lost your minds, and you don ‘t even know it! At least respect violence. I’m not saying don’t show violence, but show it with authenticity…

“If people think that bringing a machine gun to your last meeting is a solution to a television series that’s very popular, I think they’re insane. Something’s wrong. It’s not the world we know.”

The fact that Stone didn’t watch the series regularly and is only basing his opinion on the last 15 minutes of the final episode means his comments should be taken with a huge grain of salt. Was the machine gun a little bit of a Deus Ex Machina? Maybe. But whatever implausibility there may have been in the final sequence of the show, Vince Gilligan earned it by taking audiences on a compelling five-year journey that has led many to call Breaking Bad the greatest show in TV history.

So on the subject of Breaking Bad, Stone doesn’t have much of a leg to stand on. That being said, his broader point is interesting. Is it credible when a filmmaker uses violence as a way to tie a nice bow on a story? Violence is messy and the decision to use it should come with consequences. The good guy shouldn’t always get to ride off into the sunset after shooting the bad guy.

breaking bad finale walt Oliver Stone Criticizes Ridiculous Breaking Bad Finale

Stone’s most recent film, Savages, was criticized by many for its excessive levels of violence. But Stone would likely argue that the violence in his film was appropriate and served more than just a basic narrative function, but worked on a thematic level. (Whether you agree with that assessment is up to you.)

At the end of the day, it’s just one man’s opinion and fans of Breaking Bad are going to (rightfully) tell Stone where he can stick it. If you can separate Stone’s bluster from his actual insights, however, you might actually have an interesting conversation.

What do you think? Is Stone’s assessment of violence in TV and movies accurate or do his comments stink of hypocrisy?


Breaking Bad: The Complete Series will be available on Blu-ray and DVD on November 26th, 2013.

Source: Forbes

Follow Rob Frappier on Twitter @robfrappier
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  1. For one thing, the plan didn’t go perfectly. Walt got shot, and Todd made it (even though Jesse got to kill him moments later). Why does this guy feel the need to talk out of his @ss?

    • Don’t even bother to attempt to explain it to Oliver Stone. The guy is a conspiracy theorist and hypocrite of the worst kind.

      Here’s a conspiracy for you Oliver…I am guessing that you commented on this in such an absurd way because you want to get your name in the news again.

    • Actually, I think the plan was for Walt to get shot. For everyone to get to shot. That’s why he provokes Jack into bringing Jesse in. The plan was for every one of them to go out. Re-watch it, when Jesse is walked in, Walt has the car/gun trigger ready to go, his finger on the button. However, when he see’s that Jesse is there against his will, he hides the trigger in his palm again, then takes Jesse to the floor before opening fire. The entire episode is Walt tying up loose ends before he dies. He never planned to walk out of it.

      • Yes, that’s how I saw it too.

  2. Pretty hypocritical from the guy who directed “Savages” a movie that involves drugs, violence, and sex.

    • +1

      His films are just as violent and puts its characters through laughable predicaments.

  3. Oh, jeez, here he goes again. This is coming from the guy who wrote the sorry excuse for an ending in Savages. Oh, and if he doesn’t watch the series, why the hell should we even care what he says in the first place? Pssshh.

  4. This guy is such a has-been completely overrated jackass. He gives a rats ass what he thinks about anything! Go back to your left-wing kook conspiracy films s*** head.

    • The guy’s opinion is clearly awful but don’t turn it into political mudslinging. This really isn’t the place or article for it.

      • He makes left wing kook conspiracy films! Its a fact! how is that political mudslinging? oh and yer not the boss of me!

        • What you say is a fact, and I agree wholeheartedly with it, but in saying it, you risk offending some of the left-wing sensibilities here, so best just to focus on the article and his absurd comments concerning Breaking Bad, with which I presume most of us will agree, left or right.

  5. If you show the violence “with authenticity” and how it actually is in the real world it would be removed from the airwaves so fast his big head would spin off his shoulders because it is being Racist, and Picking on one race more than any other! And a thousand times faster than this guy can say….I wish I made Breaking Bad and since I didn’t… IT SUCKS, so I will just bash it and say how stupid and fake the violence in it is.

    I actually like Ollie’s Movies but I must say he sounds like a whiney, very jealous man and he needs to close his hypocritical pie hole!

  6. Doesnt watch the series very much but criticises the ending, why dont you look at the ending too your own movie savages you tool.

  7. he should watch the whole series and take notes so he stops making s*** movies like savages :b

  8. Isn’t this the same guy who made a football movie where someone gets their eye knocked out and shows it laying on the football field??? Wouldn’t that be ridiculous unauthentic and unneeded violence?

  9. Uh oh….

  10. lol what a hack. He hasn’t made a good movie since the first wallstreet. Also savages was just dreadful and stupidly over the top.

  11. Oliver Stone and authenticity… Huh coming from a man who’s movies are all speculative history of who really killed JFK. I found Jim Garrison, Kevin Costner’s character too conveniently unraveling the grassy knoll conspiracy theory and it web of connections

  12. It’s really sad that this guy is so starving for attention that he has to use an opinion as a guise to be in the spotlight. The funny part is that he brings up Batman & Superman as if people really believe these characters are real. LOL what a joke.

  13. Just for saying that about Breaking Bad. Oliver Stone should go sit on a bench and wait for Mr.X to arrive and blow him because he sucks.

  14. “It’s only in the movies that you find this kind of fantasy violence. And that’s infected the American culture”

    From the guy that brought you “Natural Born Killers”

    Soooooooooo sad, Mr. Stone, you’re soooooooo sad.

    • Yes, exactly, though he would defend it by saying that was the point of the film, namely, media obsession with violence.


  15. This man has lost his mind!!!

  16. Everyone already said what I was going to say… So, I’m just going to say “Hi!”

  17. I’d agree with Stone, that Breaking Bad ending was totally asinine… but then so was most of that vastly overrated show.

    However, he really is calling the kettle black, everything he’s done since Natural Born Killers has been pretty much like what he’s saying about Breaking Bad’s final episode.

  18. I couldn’t care less about Breaking Bad, but Oliver Stone talking about authenticity makes me laugh…

  19. he’s just pissed he didn’t think of breaking bad.

  20. I would have to disagree with Oliver Stone on his point that violence should be depicted as authentic all the time instead of its more fantasy driven depiction in recent years. I would rather sit down to watch Man of Steel, Breaking Bad or The Dark Knight instead of Platoon, Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers, as good as these entertainments are. The point is the real stuff is just too depressing and quite frankly disturbing. Take Boardwalk Empire and Game of Thrones for instance – here are two shows that have fantastic stories and production values with the worst levels of graphic violence and sex. The violence is not escapist or fantasy which is to say its not exhilarating or uplifting violence like in Man of Steel. The violence in these shows is just appallingly depressing. Why do I want to see a head disintegrate when it gets hit with a wrench in Boardwalk Empire or see throats authentically slit in Game of Thrones? I say to Oliver Stone that some of us watch movies or TV to be entertained and not grossed out; Breaking Bad was pure entertainment. Our generation has been brought up on all the violence your generation decided to depict along with Scorsese and Coppola – we’ve had a gutsful of your realism and have moved on. Thank God Spielberg and Lucas dared to dream – our generation needs less Platoon and more Man of Steel.

    • I think Oliver Stone’s pissed off because of the reception of Savages and the fact that it was compared to Breaking Bad, in that it dealt with the same ideas, drug dealers from Mexico. I remember hearing it compared to Breaking Bad before I saw it, “Breaking Bad fans probably won’t enjoy it, because it’s not as good” something like that. That’d piss me off too. I think it’s a little envy coming through. Breaking Bad was better than Savages.
      And Ed, you’re right, we don’t need to be grossed out and disturbed by graphic, realistic violence. Look at “Kill List”, the hammer scene in that film is horrific, then look at the scene in “Terminator”, where Ahnuld is pulling the skin off his face. One is escapism and the other is just disturbing. No prizes for guessing which is which. Movies are about escapism, if I wanted to see disgusting violence being depicted authentically, I’d watch some g****** “snuff porn” or something terrible like that. I want to be entertained, not sickened.

  21. As mentioned above, that’s rich coming from the director of Natural Born Killers! A movie banned in many countries for it’s ultra violence!

    It’s because of directors like Oliver Stone that violence has become acceptable within movies and television, shows like the Walking Dead and Game of Thrones would never have been allowed on TV ten years ago but I for one am glad that audiences are a little desensitised to it because they are quality entertainment!

    Stone hasn’t made a decent movie since………erm…. U Turn? Which was in 1997!! Sooooo ‘he has no frame of reference here Donnie!’

    Breaking Bad is the greatest tv show in history, end of!!

    • U Turn blew. Total David Lynch ripoff.

  22. the issue I have is the guy hasn’t watched the series at all, save for his fifteen minutes. the guy has a right to his opinion, but if the guy isn’t that informed about the show, how can he then engage in mudslinging? the m60 scene was there for a reason.

    season five had built up to that confrontation. following the warpath the neo Nazi’s had cut through the southwest, was diplomacy or a box cutter gonna get it done? were they to survive just cause, especially on a show built on consequences?

    his criticism is akin to me walking into the last few minutes of predator and blasting it as some hardcore green peace effort to showcase man made environmental disaster, not taking into account the previous two hours and the alien hunter going toe to toe with us special forces over intergalactic hunting bragging rights and plain old d**k measuring amongst red and green blooded blokes.

  23. If you’re just coming into a show’s finale and you’ve hardly watched the show at all before that, then guess what? Your opinion means nothing. Oliver Stone has some nerve criticizing any show’s or movie’s violence when he’s directed films like Savages and Natural Born Killers. What a tool.

  24. hey you know what haters, **** you !

    • fail troll is fail

      • that’s not nice from you young man

  25. “You young people believe all of this sh*t! Batman and Superman, you’ve lost your minds, and you don’t even know it!”

    … Does he think that we think Superman is real?

  26. Untold History rules.

    I am a huge fan of Oliver Stone, but he just lost points for talking completely out of his ass on this. Breaking Bad was twice as good as the last SEVERAL Oliver Stone films. The best Drama on recent television does not lose points for its sensationalized finale, as it was great.

    I will ignore this nonsense, as Oliver hasn’t watched the entire series, so he has no opinion about Breaking Bad that is worth listening to.


  27. I’d like to see him make an even better movie. Oh wait, this coming from the man behind Savages, ha! He can’t even beat Winnie the Pooh, let alone one of the single greatest episodes of television history. Dumba$$

  28. Oliver Stone doesn’t even watch Breaking Bad regularly. He also made the completely over the top Natural Born Killers.

    ‘you young people believe all of this sh*t! Batman and Superman, you’ve lost your minds, and you don ‘t even know it!’

    That is completely stupid to compare 15 mins of BB to Batman and Superman. What kind of fool compares a flying alien to a machine gun? I also know that they are not real, just because they are both fiction that doesn’t mean it is fair to compare them. People know that BB and Superman are not real, but for some reason he thinks they don’t. He’s just jealous because Savages was bad and nobody talks about him anymore. This attention seeker should just shut up and enjoy something that’s actually good.

  29. I have no idea what point this person is trying to make? Why did he bring up Batman and Superman? Why is he heavily criticising a show he’s never watched? Why do I feel that my I.Q dropped reading his rant?

    Breaking Bad was never a show that was meant to be realistic, it was meant to be entertaining. Remember Walt and his fulminated mercury? Yea I don’t think that’s too realistic either, but it’s the fact that the show was done so well that it made you believe this could happen, that is why Breaking Bad was so damn good. Of course.

    This seems to me he is bitter about how popular the show is, not so much what is in the show.