The Most Insane Movie Endings Explained

By Tom Pearson 8 months ago

2001: A Space Odyssey

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This Stanley Kubrick classic has been described by many a film critic as a 'technological masterpiece' and the movie has stood the test of time. The ending shows David Bowman flies into the monolith where he sees an older version of himself, and becomes the star child.

Avengers Infinity War

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When the ending of a movie leaves half of the universe destroyed, you know the film has been pretty epic. In the final scenes of this classic, Thanos snaps his fingers, destroying half of all living things and taking out a few avengers in the process.

Bonnie & Clyde

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Based on the true story of Bonnie and Clyde, this movie is one for the romantics. As in real life, the pair know that they have come to the end of the road and can't run from the law any more, forcing them to drive into a hail of gunfire to their deaths, hand in hand.

Carrie

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Now this is a proper horror movie. Carrie realizes the whole horrific ordeal has been a dream as she wakes up kicking and screaming. A hand come from the ground to grab Carrie, which prompts her to wake up. This is how you adapt a Steve King novel!

Casablanca

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From Casablanca was born one of the most memorable closing lines to a movie: "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.". Rick and Louis walk into the fog after Rick murders Major Strasser and plans to blame the death on the 'usual suspects'.

Chinatown

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The cops are hot on the tail of Jake Gittes as he flees into the LA Chinatown, prompting the classic line "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown." Jake has finally figured out the twisted love affair, in which the girlfriend is also the daughter of Noah Cross.

Citizen Kane

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If you have ever studied film or media in college, then you will know Citizen Kane, it's a classic! After a dramatic movie long build up we learn the truth, as objects of the late Kane are thrown into an incinerator, including his boyhood sled, named Rosebud.

Easy Rider

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An aerial shot shows Wyatt's burning motorcycle on the roadside is one that certainly sticks in your mind after the movie ends. Billy is shot by a hillbilly, and when Wyatt rides off to get help, he's also shot and killed, showing even the tough guy can't keep running forever.

Inception

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This one still lives movies fans scratching their heads! Cobb completes the job that gets him back home he goes to see his kids, he spins his small top to prove he is in reality. But before he can see the top stop spinning he sees his kids and runs to them. The camera turns back to the top, still spinning.

Invasion Of The Body Snatchers

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Elizabeth, frozen in terror. Michael, now one of them. This ending is one that will keep you sleepless for weeks. We realize that Michael has turned into one of 'them' leaving Elizabeth helpless and certain to end up in the same position sooner or later.

La La Land

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In the finale of La La land we are thrust into a sequence of flashbacks of what he could have done to have kept Mia. It all would have culminated with him sitting next to her at the jazz bar instead of her current husband. The scene ends with no words just Mia and Sebastian locking eyes for the last time as she leaves.

Leon: The Professional

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The ending to this movie shows Natalie Portman's character leave the scene of a huge shootout carrying Leon's beloved pot plant. Leon has just sacrificed himself to save Matilda and she is grown up to realize the great sacrifice he has made for her. What a guy!

Night Of The Living Dead

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The lone survivor in the house from the zombie attack, Ben, is shot and killed by hunters the morning after the attack as he's mistaken for a zombie.This was to highlight the racial unrest at the time in the US, as Ben was a black character and was unfairly targeted.

One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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After a brutal lobotomy, the energy and charisma has been sapped from R.P. McMurphy. His strong minded personality somewhat transfers over to his fellow inpatient, Chief, who finally summons the strength to break his way out of the ward and escape for good.

Planet Of The Apes

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Stuck on a planet destroyed by apes, also known as Earth... Our protagonist realizes that he has been on Earth the entire time, and that this far off hellscape is not too far from what he already knows all too well. To this day it is still so shocking!

Predator

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Predator leaves us rooting for both the villain and the hero's throughout the film. We want to see the gory fight scenes and the heroism of our protagonists. The end of the movie ends in one of the most memorable battles ever, between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Predator!

Psycho

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Psycho is an Alfred Hitchcock classic and the ending certainly does not leave the audience wanting more. The ending shows that mass murderer Norman Bates has been dressing as his mother to commit numerous sick and twisted murders for years, what a shock!

Rocky

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The final scenes of the movie show Balboa and Creed knocked down in the final round and racing to stand before the referee gets to a 10 count. This still leaves the audience on the edge of their seats decades later, and is a true piece of cinematic history.

Scarface

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The Tony Montana shootout is one of the most memorable in cinematic history. As Tony and his cartel of drug dealers are finally caught, Tony decides to go out in a blaze of glory and sends bullets flying in all directions. This movie ending will have you ducking for cover!

Seven

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An incredible tale of the seven sins, the final sin is revealed in the final scene of the movie; Wrath. Officer Mills leads his suspect to the middle of nowhere to deliver him a mysterious box. Inside the box... the severed head of officers Mill's wife.

Sunset Boulevard

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Screenwriter Joe Gillis has been murdered and Norma Desmond is the prime suspect. Norma is taken by police for questioning, and begins her performance, staring into the camera for the audience and the press to see, and to show exactly what she is thinking.

The Godfather

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Michael Corleone puts hits on all the heads of his rival mafia families, before he is confronted by his normally subdued wife Kay in a shocking turn of events. As the door closes on Kay, she realizes Michael is no longer the man she fell in love with.

The Graduate

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After successfully breaking up Elaine Robinson's wedding, Ben and Elaine run off together. This scene was shot before the director even told the pair to start acting, which is why the look of 'well what do we do now' is so realistic and convincing. Because it was!

The Shawshank Redemption

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Andy Dufresne is the first man to ever successfully escape from Shawshank Prison. He sends a letter to his friend Red with details of where to meet when he is released from prison, and the pair have a touching reunion on a idyllic park bench. This film is gritty yet utterly wholesome!

The Sixth Sense

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Shyamalan reveals this through a series of flashbacks at the end of the movie and finally the reveal that Malcolm never survived the opening scene of the movie when the intruder entered his house, resulting in him being hailed King of the shocking ending.

The Thing

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MacReady thinks Childs could have been contaminated by the alien, but doesn't have the strength to do anything about it. This scene was actually paid homage to in the 2000's comedy horror movie, Shaun of the Dead, when Shaun's friend is bitten by a zombie.

The Third Man

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Sometimes the age old saying is spot on, actions do speak louder than words. This couldn't be more true for the ending of The Third Man. A single shot with no dialogue shows Alida walking from Harry's funeral and completely passing Holly, proving how much she really cared about Harry.

The Usual Suspects

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Legendary crime lord Keyser Söze is actually revealed to be "Verbal" Kint within the last few moments of the film, branding it one of the best twist ending in history. No one would have seen this coming and the scene is a benchmark in the industry even today.

The Wild Bunch

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This film is a classic western, dripping with blood and slick one line quips. The final scene is a complete bloodbath with few survivors as Pike Bishop and his gang take on the Mexican army with their sidearms and a very big, menacing machine gun. What a thrilling movie!

There Will Be Blood

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With this famous scene leading to a confrontation that ends with Plainview killing Sunday with a bowling pin, it's for sure one of note. After being tricked into denouncing his faith to make a sale, Eli (the preacher) is obviously left less than happy.