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Movie Endings That Rock!

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We have a worst movie endings topic, and it was suggested we have a best, so, the wish is our command.

 

Only thing is, some of the best movie endings out there are when we are totally twisted to how we thought it would end.  With that being the case, if you want to contribute to this thread and want to talk about the ending, bold the movie title, and make use of the spoiler tags if necessary.

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Sixth Sense

I saw it after pretty much everyone else, yet I avoided the reveal. And I'm glad I did.

And even though it's not a happy ending, Brokeback Mountain ended the way ot should've. No messing e/ Annie Proux's story. And the image of Ennis' s shirt wrapped around Jack's....

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The best will always be Star Wars.  Luke blows up the Death Star with help from Han and Chewie, and the medal ceremony.  Just an absolutely perfect ending in every way.  Well, except for Chewie not getting a medal.

Edited by Jediknight
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I'm confused about the spoilers instructions--wouldn't the whole thread be a spoiler? Anyway...

Most endings are pretty neutral, as I think over the movies I've seen...neither "WTF?" or "Wow, didn't see that coming!" A few that were the latter:

 

Richard Dreyfuss

walking into the spaceship

at the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Raymond  

going back to the hospital

at the end of Rain Man. I'm glad the filmmakers didn't go with their first draft, where 

Raymond declares at the hearing that he wants to stay with Charlie and not go back.

The Usual Suspects, even though I now realize that the whole scheme would have unraveled if 

the fax with Keyser Soze's/Verbal Kint's picture had arrived a few minutes sooner.

Edited by GreekGeek
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I'm confused about the spoilers instructions--wouldn't the whole thread be a spoiler?

 

Working on it, stay tuned...

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I agree about The Usual Suspects.  Classic.

The other day I rewatched The Prestige.  Another great ending that in retrospect you think, "Of course.  It's a movie about magicians."

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Agree with The Sixth Sense.  Only good movie M. Night Shymalan ever did.

 

Other good movie endings I liked...well, there are so many, but I loved The Blues Brothers ending musical number of "Jailhouse Rock" compete with an actual jailhouse. 

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Arlington Road...soooo messed up, but very well done. Jeff Bridges' face when he realizes they've walked into a trap...it's stayed with me

 

Oh, yes.  What really got me was seeing Bridges' son at the end.  So heartbreaking.  You just knew that poor kid was going to grow up thinking his father was a terrorist.  It's one of the rare "the bad guy wins" movies that is so great.

Edited by Amethyst
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Since I mentioned it in another thread, There Will Be Blood. Eli comes to Daniel years later asking for money. Eli, who was always a holier than thou preacher man, is now destitute and is willing to allow Daniel to drill on the Bandy land. So Daniel makes Eli admit that he is a false prophet and that god is a superstition. 

He then tells him that due to the method of drainage, the Bandy land has been sucked dry (giving us the beautiful "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE" soliloquy, and proceeds to chase Eli around his personal bowling alley, throwing bowling pins and bowling balls at him. He then beats him to death with a bowling pin. When his butler comes down and sees the carnage, he looks up and says "I'm finished!"

 

I love the ending to Tommy because it is so much different than the stage show.

In the stage show, he reunites with the family that whored him out, physically abused him, the uncle that raped him, and used him as a cash cow.

In the film, they all die and Tommy is now free of them all as "Listening to You" plays in the background.

Tommy Walker's mom and step-dad are two of the WORST parents in film history.

 

I relish the ending of Inglorious Basterds because as a second generation Polish immigrant whose grandparents met in concentration camps, I choose to pretend that that is how WWII ended. Hanz Landa's branding was the icing on the cake.

 

And finally, I love love LOVE the ending of The Crying Game. 

With Fergus in prison for taking the rap for Dil, you know that they now have this unbreakable bond, and you know why Jody loved Dil so much. Whether or not they end up together romantically is not the point, but there is a deep love and respect there. And when she calls him "darling" as she leaves and he tells him not to call her that, so she calls him "sweetie" instead"... it was just so perfect.

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In addition to the ones already mentioned (The Usually Suspects is one of my favorite twists), Primal Fear had one of the best "Oh shit!" endings for me.  I'm still mad Edward Norton lost the Oscar to Cuba Gooding Jr, because the strength of his performance is what helps pull off the twist; just as the strength of Kevin Spacey's performance in the Usual Suspects.

 

My jaw was also on the floor for the endings of the first Saw,The Blair Witch Project and the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Carrie just straight up scared the shit out of me (geez, I watch a lot of horror movies.)

 

And in non-twist endings, I really love the endings of the first Rocky and The Godfather.    

Edited by Princess Sparkle
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Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. The ending broke my heart, when I first saw it as a kid. But now I'm older, I can't help but smile at the way both guys handle their situation, with humour and camaraderie and complete loyalty to one another. They go out like goddamned heroes, defiant to the last. And the freeze frame device means you never have to actually see them die. They're immortalised, in that defiance. Brilliant.

 

And the second and third Bourne movies have great endings. I wasn't that invested in his romance with Maria, so The Bourne Identity ending was kind of meh. But Supremacy and Ultimatum were great because they both highlighted how cool and badass Jason Bourne was, playing into the espionage trope so heavily, and so well. And by then, Strange Ways by Moby was synonymous with the series, and the punch of it really worked.

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I'm confused about the spoilers instructions--wouldn't the whole thread be a spoiler? Anyway...

 

BizBuzz and I have decided to keep this topic without the spoiler tag in the topic prefix. The other movie endings and climactic topics are untagged as well. There are just too many movies that people have not seen. We feel it would more inclusive for posters to bold the movie title and then discuss the ending with spoiler tags if necessary. Hope this helps. Thank you.

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The last scene of the original (1968) Planet of the Apes blew my little child mind.

 

The ebullient Bollywood sequence at the end of Slumdog Millionaire was an excellent chaser to a frequently grim story.

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Recently Enemy with Jake Gyllenhaal, though great is dependent on you liking the movie up to it's shocker of an ending. 

I maintain that is how a spider ending to a story is done, suck it Stephen King's IT.

 

A favorite from the 80's is No Way Out I still get excited at the end, because I can't believe 

Kevin Costner is Yuri. WHAT? Holy Shit. The reveal is icredibly subtle too, you don't even understand what is happening until they start speaking Russian to him. Damn.

I love that it makes you rewatch it looking for clues and reinterpreting some of the acting choices. Ha Gene Hackman is such a grade A bastard in that movie.

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I was surprised at how much I liked the ending to Shutter, a Thai horror movie. Usually I feel like horror movies tend to fall apart at the end, but for me this one really kind of made the whole thing. Maybe I should've seen it coming (my mother of all people did), but I really didn't, and I loved how the final scene

shows Natre the ghost STILL sitting on Tun's shoulders, implying that he'll never be able to get rid of her

.

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I love the ending to Innerspace, because, really, it's not Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid's story, but Martin Short's.

He doesn't get the girl, but he handles it gracefully, and instead uses his newfound confidence to tell off the people who have been jerks to him, seize the day, and live the heroic, exciting life he deserves.

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The ending to Deathproof was easily the best part of the entire film, and even watching the scene out of context can alleviate stress.

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The ending to Deathproof was easily the best part of the entire film, and even watching the scene out of context can alleviate stress.

Hells yeah!

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In addition to the ones already mentioned (The Usually Suspects is one of my favorite twists), Primal Fear had one of the best "Oh shit!" endings for me.  I'm still mad Edward Norton lost the Oscar to Cuba Gooding Jr, because the strength of his performance is what helps pull off the twist; just as the strength of Kevin Spacey's performance in the Usual Suspects.

 

My jaw was also on the floor for the endings of the first Saw,The Blair Witch Project and the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  Carrie just straight up scared the shit out of me (geez, I watch a lot of horror movies.)

 

And in non-twist endings, I really love the endings of the first Rocky and The Godfather.    

 

 

You consider the original Rocky a NON-TWIST ending?  He loses in the first one.  I'd day that is a twist.  Even in Rocky II, he wins by a second because he stood up and Appollo did not

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One of the best (and funniest) endings was a lesser-known James Woods flick from 1987 called, Cop. Anyone who's seen that knows what I speak of.

To wit.

Bad Guy-What do you care? You're a cop. You have to bring me in.

Woods-Well, there's some good news and some bad news. The good news is, yes, I'm a cop, and I have to bring you in.

The bad news is I've been suspended and I just don't give a fuck.

BANG!!!

 

The Field Of Dreams ending....well, if one hasn't brought out the tissues by that point, you're stone cold.  Somewhat related, I like the ending of the Shawshank Redemption. It's just a strong emotional payoff.

 

The last scenes of Runaway Train. with

Jon Voight riding atop the train, hands in the air, hurtling to almost certain doom.

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A lot of endings don't stick with me or leave me unsatisfied but a great one is the ending to Roman Holiday. It's still a little unsatisfying but in a good way. It wouldn't be nearly as strong of a movie with a different ending and I think that's what makes the difference. It's not a crazy twist. It's realistic and heartbreaking and leaves things open but not in a cheap way that's just begging for a sequel or makes it clear that the writer ran out of ideas.

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  One of my favorite movie endings was The Lost Boys, the 1980s horror classic about Mike and Sam, two boys and their single mom moving back to her hometown to live with her eccentric dad. The town also has a gang of teenage vampires lead by David, played by Keifer Sutherland. The younger brother Sam tries to save his older brother Mike from the gang, which leads to an epic showdown,

which revealed that the true head of the group was Max, their mom's new boyfriend, who was killed by Grandpa, which saved the family and restored Mike. The boys hid the truth from their mom and Grandpa because they thought they wouldn't believe them. However, after Grandpa killed Max, he just went to the fridge, got a soda, and said, "One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach-all the damn vampires."-which proved that he knew all along, which stunned everyone

. Priceless!  

Edited by DollEyes
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Sixth Sense

I saw it after pretty much everyone else, yet I avoided the reveal. And I'm glad I did.

And even though it's not a happy ending, Brokeback Mountain ended the way ot should've. No messing e/ Annie Proux's story. And the image of Ennis' s shirt wrapped around Jack's....

Then the shot of the postcard and the pan outside to that empty, lonely road...

For an older movie with a great end, see The Heiress with Olivia de Havilland. They remade it as Washington Square with Jennifer Jason Leigh and the ending was "happy," which was all wrong.

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I love the ending to War of The Roses with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

At the end, they are both hanging from a chandelier in the massive double height foyer of their Washington mansion. Turner's character has rigged the chandelier to collapse, ostensibly on Douglas to kill him but instead they both fall and smash into the floor. As they both lay there dying, Douglas reaches out to Turner one last time-after all their feuding, he wants to reach out and express that, through it all, he still loved her. She reaches for his hand-and throws it off her shoulder. Then they die.

 

The whole movie is nasty and I just admire a movie that does not pull its punches. It did not wimp out and get sentimental-in fact it basically mocked the audience members that wanted that by teasing it.

 

About Schmidt-

Jack Nicholson returns home to Nebraska after being trashed by his daughter and failing to prevent her marriage to a not-so-great guy. While he is driving home, there is a voiceover where he talks about how he is fairly certain that statistically he doesn't have much life left (he is a retired actuary) and he has nothing to show for his time on Earth. He goes home and finds a letter from a nun taking care of Ndugu, the child he sponsors via a religious charity and write strange angry venting letters to (the kid can't speak or read English and is 8 or so) The nun, in voiceover, tells Schmidt that Ndugu was sick but is now better and appreciates the letters. Also enclosed is a drawing Ndugu made of him holding Schmidt's hand and smiling. The movie ends with Schmidt just reading the letter and crying.

It's just a really really moving ending.

 

Breaking The Waves-

the bells ringing in the sky, showing that God had been listening to Bess the whole time and loved her.

I'm not religious and that scene destroyed me.

 

Zero Dark Thirty-Jessica Chastain crying alone on the plane and the low key music after everything that has just happened. It was powerful because it was so non-triumphant and left you actually wondering whether it was all really worth it.

Edited by yourstruly
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The first movie ending I thought of when I saw this thread title was Four Rooms. You might think of it as one of the endings, since each vignette in the movie mostly stands by itself. Anyway, the way the last one ("The Man From Hollywood") introduced the final plot, then built and built on it, increasing the tension until the very last second, then resolved everything so fast that it was practically an assault on the audience. Took my breath away. I'm not a Tarantino fan, but that was a great ending.

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I love the ending to War of The Roses with Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner.

 

Oh, yes!  I can still remember sitting in the theatre, watching him reach over to her, and getting ready to come out of my skin that this fantastically dark movie was going to wimp out in the end, and then realizing I should have kept the faith.  That was perfect.

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Movie endings I love:

 

Fred and Ginger dancing off into the Art Deco sunset (okay, it's already night, but humor me) in Top Hat.

 

The chilling, haunting (pardon the pun), unforgettable end to The Innocents. I don't dare spoil it, but it's the greatest ending to a ghost story I've ever seen (and this is from someone who doesn't like ghost stories).

 

Barbara Harris's defiant stand against tragedy by beautifully leading everyone in a rousing, "Hell Yeah!" rendition of "It Don't Worry Me" in Nashville

 

The citizens of Harrington Town coming to visit our heroine and restore her spirits

in Pollyanna. Not only that, but I appreciate

that it's left ambiguous whether or not she'll walk again.

I won't lie, I did blubber quite a bit at that. I think Pollyanna is the greatest live-action Disney film ever, and that it deserves more credit than it has. 

 

Don revealing the gifted and unknown Kathy's identity to Hollywood, while serenading her with "You Are My Lucky Star" in Singin' in the Rain. How can your heart not swell with stupid joy over that?!

 

The Iron Giant has one of the greatest happy endings of all time. I don't care how old you are, or how jaded you are, you will shriek aloud

"he's alive! He's alive, and he'll be coming back to Hogarth any day now!!!"

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
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Not sure yet how I feel about the whole movie, but I think the end of Harold and Maude is kind of beautiful, in a jarring, weird way. Harold finally breaks his hobby of pretend suicides and starts really living, the way Maude taught him to.

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The ending of Straight Outta Compton was both amazing and touching.

It not only showed all that Dr. Dre & Ice Cube have done over the years for hip-hop and pop culture since N.W.A started, it was a tribute to Eazy-E, one of the founding members of the group, who died of AIDS in 1996

.

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I love the end of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The twist that the

"heiress" they were both trying to scam wound up scamming them both was too perfect, as was the ending scene of all three of them teaming up to scam some tourist.

.

And while this may raise some debate, but I loved the end of Stardust. I know it was a huge departure of the more depressing ending of the original novel with

Yvaine being stuck as the eternal queen of Stormhold when Tristan dies, unable to return to the sky and having lost her love. Call me sentimental, but I just liked the end of Tristan and Yvaine using the Babylon candle to return to the sky after living a long and happy life better.

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