Action is always better than inaction.
Bullshit. Try cooking rice, or running a central bank: sometimes, you just have to wait, and any action you can take will not make things better but worse. Sometimes you have to leave an unsolved situation unsolved, and let it solve itself, or solve it later.
Every option you're offered is interesting.
In real life, just because someone comes knocking at your door with a proposition to join a secret society to save the world, doesn't mean you should accept it. Maybe ten guys like this will come, and you should pick only one. Or none at all. Not every piece of information is relevant. Not every drawn gun must be used before the end of the feature.
A healthy lifestyle is irrelevant.
In real life, if you drink, smoke and don't exercise like Mad Men characters, you won't be a super alpha, always in shape, etc. You'll be a confused wreck, weak, tired, unmotivated, dead.
Everything's black and white, simple and clear.
Bad guys and good guys, bad guys with a big bad guy label on the forehead, good guys with a big good guy label on the forehead. A simple binary option between one or the other. The difference between success and failure is huge. It's not-it's marginal. The difference is often in the details. Then there's a leverage effect.
Movies describe reality.
It's a movie. It's fiction. You can't derive any conclusions regarding reality from fiction. It can illustrate a point, but it cannot prove it or support it.
The psychology of the characters is that of real persons.
Just because a character has a given personality doesn't mean it's realistic or even possible, and that you can therefore learn anything relevant for the real world from the characters' psychology. Remember that movies come from the imagination of some writer, who has the freedom to write whatever he likes. He is under no obligation to follow basic psychological guidelines.
You can, and should, change people.
You cannot change most people. But there are lots of people in the world, not just a given character set from a movie. You don't have to impress your peer group-you can change your peer group. In a typical movie, you get what, 15 characters? So of course, if you were one of them and your universe were limited to the other 14, if you didn't like them, you could either change them, accept them or fight them as enemies. In real life, however (!), there are 7 and counting billion people (notice the difference!). Some of them are bound to like you, some to dislike you. Make your pick:
KAREN: Who is more important to you, her or me? I like you, she doesn't. Who are you gonna pick?
GEORGE: (he thinks a little about it... and as he puts his hand on his knee and gets up) I'm sorry Karen. I know I care for you, but I just can't stand when someone doesn't like me.
You must convince the bad guy that you're right and he's wrong.
One movie got that one right, through neither the good guy nor the bad guy, but the "ugly" guy, Tuco:
When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
In most other movies, the bad guy will have killed the good guy's family, raped his woman, exiled him into a life of suffering, and trampled his toys. What does the good guy do once he gets the upper hand over the bad guy? Make him a speech. Make. Him. A. Speech. That's right: actually try to convince the bad guy of something, try to change what's inside his head. Try to make the bad guy love him. "You slaughtered my family, but please, please, tell me I beat you, admire me, admit you were wrong, admit that I won, I still care so much about your opinion!" Don't be that guy. Don't try to change what's happening inside other people's heads if you have no interest whatsoever in doing so.
There is only one contextual hierarchy.
Surprisingly, there is more than one context, more than one value hierarchy, more than one frame. Again, one scene from one movie got that one right (by accident, incidentally): Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Just because your enemy wants to beat you in a sword fight, doesn't mean you have to wish to beat him in a sword fight. Just because your enemy does karate doesn't mean you have to beat him at karate. Maybe your best option is to beat him using kung fu instead-or ignore him completely and focus your energy on, e.g., learning a constructive skillset, acquiring wealth and knowledge, etc.
All lists must have nice rounded numbers.
Some things happen for a reason, and some do not. Some things are always true, and some only sometimes. Some things are binary, others are not. Some things are absolute, some things are relative. Some lists have nice rounded numbers, others do not.