In a bid to stop Congress from passing the Internet censorship bills SOPA and PIPA, several websites are going dark for the entirety of the day on Wednesday, January 18th in protest. Reddit, Boing Boing, and Wikipedia have announced their participation in the movement while Google has announced it will call the issue into question via a link on its home page. That link reportedly will not involve a functioning Pac-Man interface.

In honor of this online blackout, I've decided to evaluate the best blackouts in film. I'd better get to it before Wikipedia goes dark.

Summer of Sam

This Spike Lee joint takes place in the Bronx during the summer of 1977. Residents live in fear of the Son of Sam killer and a curfew has been put into effect. As tensions in the Bronx escalate, so does the temperature, resulting a heatwave that knocks out the power. This causes things to reach a fever pitch as suspects are subjected to mob justice.

Blackoutiness: 4 out of 5

The Trigger Effect

In this early directing effort, screenwriter David Koepp proved that he loooooves blackouts. The story of civilization's quick breakdown in the face of no electricity is seen through the eyes of Kyle MacLachan as a husband and father struggling to get his family to safety amidst a world of gun-toting paranoids.

Also, it's worthwhile for Elisabeth Shue topless in mom jeans.

Blackoutiness: 5 out of 5

The Hangover I & II

I shouldn't have to explain the plot of The Hangover to you. Three buddies party in Vegas and get blackout drunk. They wake up to find they've misplaced their friend. They spend the next day trying to piece together the previous night while completely hungover. Which sounds like a bitch. I have a hard enough time leaving my house for a bagel when hungover. The sequel involves the same plot, except it takes place in Bangkok and an actual blackout is thrown into the mix.

Blackoutiness: 3 out of 5

Live Free Or Die Hard

Angry with John McClane's constant interference, computer hacker Timothy Olyphant re-routes natural gas in surrounding pipelines toward McClane. McClane happens to be standing in the control center for the National Power Grid at the time, so the explosion knocks out all power on the Eastern Seaboard. Millions suffer great losses when they have to eat all of the food in their refrigerators before it spoils.

Blackoutiness: 3 out of 5

Darkness Falls

The antagonist in Darkness Falls is a vengeful ghost who can only be harmed by direct light. Sounds easy enough to avoid. However, when a storm knocks out the town's power grid, it's a fight for survival as the spirit seeks revenge by ripping the lower jaws from all her victims. As if not being able to watch TV weren't bad enough.

Blackoutiness: 1 out of 5


The guys in The Hangover did some pretty crazy things when they were white boy wasted in Vegas. But their night pales in comparison to Jack Nicholson's werewolf hangover in Wolf. After a night of marauding around the park possessed by a werewolf curse, Nicholson returns to work to find someone's fingers in his coat pocket. Now THAT's a black out!

Blackoutiness: 5 out of 5


The world is Bradley Cooper's oyster after he takes the experimental intelligence drug NZT in Limitless. However, a drawback to the medication is eighteen hour blackouts where you attend random parties, fight attackers in the park, have sex with random strangers before seemingly murdering them. Just like Four Loko.

Blackoutiness: 3 out of 5

Jurassic Park

It all hits the fan when the power goes out at Jurassic Park. As a storm bears down, the dinosaurs escape their enclosures and start making meals of the parks human visitors. The stranded guests fall victim to Tyrannosaurus, Dilophosaurus, and Velicoraptors. The worst thing that happens at Disney is sometimes people get stuck on top of the Matterhorn (which still sucks but it's better than getting your head eaten).

Blackoutiness: 4 out of 5

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