Here we go. Ever seen a great movie that falls apart or self destructs at the end?
Endings are tricky for good movies, they most certainly are the opposite of bad movies with great endings.
Here’s a list:
1) There Will Be Blood.
The entire movie is a masterpiece…until the end. That climax is a complete downturn from the meditative, sneaky vibe Paul Thomas Anderson set up on the film. The acting suddenly becomes over the top, and thus less convincing. Yes the milkshake scene is amusing (and quoteable) but sorta out of place with the rest of the film. That ending does a disservice to Danile Day Lewis’s acting, reducing him to stunt casting. A ruinous ending to what is otherwise one of greatest achievements of the decade.
2) Children of men.
If only because he ________ and we __________ to ___________
3) Natural Born Killers.
Come on, they get away? original ending was more fitting, and satisfying.
4) No Country For Old Men.
So you____________? great. What else is there to it?
Not the ending itself, but the coda the studio mandated at the end. The movie as it is is perfect, but what Fincher had in mind was far more sinister.
Originally, it was supossed to end on a gunshot and a fade to black, until commerce prevailed (and test screenings confirmed) that the fate of detective would be ok…still think it’s the best twist on a movie I’ve yet to see, yet it’s perfect as it is.
Aaaah spoliers, shield ze eyes!
Spoilers removed…upon request.
LAST TANGO IN PARIS: All that silliness with the gum under the bannister in the cartoonish death scene, surely Brando’s doing. Norman Mailer put it very well at the time: “Yet as the film progresses with every skill in evidence, while Brando gives a performance that is unforgettable, as the historic buggeries and reamings are delivered, and the language breaks through barriers not even yet erected — no general of censorship could know the armies of obscenity were so near! — as these shocks multiply, and lust goes up the steps to love, something bizarre happens to the film. It fails to explode. It is a warehouse of dynamite and yet something goes wrong with the blow-up … One leaves the theater bewildered. A fuse was never ignited.”
Excellent edit, I guess that’s where you get your name ;)
The worst ending to a film I have ever, ever seen in my life is that of the 2003 French slasher film, “High Tension”, also titled “Haute Tension”. Up until the absolutely depressingly bad twist ending, the film gratuitous but also genuinely tense, disturbing and suspenseful. It ruined the whole film.
I don’t know if I like the rest of High Tension all that much but that final twist turns a mindless film into a god awful one.
I like to call it an “Ohhhh, HE’S Tyler Durdern” ending. They have been very frequent in the past decade.
Two Hitchcock films have notoriously terrible endings: “Suspicion” and “Stage Fright.”
Apocalypse Now-Great movie until Marlon Brando shows up.
Have to agree on High Tension-great until final twist.
Marlon Brando was the most interesting aspect of Apocalypse Now and his character allowed the movie to transcend its “war-movie” confines to become a philosophic study of the nature of man and war itself. And thus another list thread devolves in on itself.
JP-I have to disagree with you. I find Brando’s acting to be so mannered in Apocalypse Now that it takes me right out of the film. Too bad Steve McQueen turned the role down.
I actually thought the ending to There Will Be Blood was perfect.
One ending to a movie that I throughly remember being disappointed was The Holy Mountain by Alejandro Jodorowsky. It was a great film, but just not the ending.
Vertigo. The film had been gradually reducing the extraneous character and details until it was only focused only on Stewart and his obsession. To add the extra person to the ending to spur the action is contrary to the logic of the narrative to that point.
I second that the ending to There Will Be Blood was great. It was a perfect ending to the movie, dissatisfying and eerie.
I’ve always thought M. Night Shamalayan movies have terrible endings. There is always some random event or revelation at the end that has nothing to do with the story up to that point. Its a little bit frustrating.
There are lots of other bad endings out there: Basic, High Tension, Secret Window, pretty much any “split personality” ending.
i loved the ending on children of men.. thought that was a great ending scene of the shot of her and the baby on the boat in the foggy ocean. and i totally disagree with no country for old men- thought his dream realization was great. and then finally i liked the ending on there would be blood except for the fact that they made the son speak- and he sounded nothing like a deaf person trying to speak. i was surprised that was done poorly and added in
What about The Omen III? The once almighty villian, who scaped any kind of danger during his childhood, school years and went to become prime minister..suddenly is stabbed in the back by someone who caught him distracted. The worst of all: as he lays dying, sees the shape of a GIANT MAN wearing a cassock falling to the earth!!! then Damian curses him and dies…
A terrible ending for a perfect saga known for its sophistication and mystery.
The Fountain, It was quite possibly the most beautiful movie I’ve seen in a long time, but the disastrously ridiculous ending ruined the whole experience for me. But that seems to be Aronofsky’s M.O., he just doesn’t know when to quit. (I’ve seen The Wrestler, which had the opposite problem)
I also agree that the ending to No Country For Old men was perfect.
Under the Volcano. The whole thing just unwraps with rushed editing. It takes you along this journey and then goes, “uhoh, gotta finish the movie in two minutes”.
As mentioned, There Will Be Blood and Apocalypse Now.
No Country For Old Men. I expected a standoff between Tommy Lee Jones and Anton Chigurh.
Vertigo. After the trial, the plot turns were just too ridiculous. Should have ended at the trial.
I’ve Loved You So Long is a pretty solid film in which Kristin Scott Thomas gives an outstanding performance, so it’s a real shame that it has a terrible cop-out ending (can’t say what it is for fear of spoilers).
No Country had a perfect ending. I do not understand people’s problems with it.
I also enjoyed the ending to I’ve Loved You So Long. I think the film was moving toward this ending for almost the entirety.
Rashomon. It is one of the greatest film I’ve ever seen, but that ending makes me so angry. It comes out of nowhere, and ruins the film for me.
I’m going to have to agree on High Tension and Vertigo.
The Maltese Falcon ending kind of sucked, it was really rushed.
Anything that M. Night Shyamalan has written has a terrible ending…but the worst ones were The Village and Signs…but then again, this thread is about GREAT movies and M. Night has not made a GREAT movie in his whole career. They are all decent…or terrible.
I didn’t read all the posts but…
WHAT ABOUT CITIZEN KANE?!?!?!
What’s wrong with Citizen Kane’s ending? The main point of the film is revealed in the final frame, when we see that this broken old man regretted his entire life in the moments before his death, wanting nothing more than to go back to the only time when he was happy, and nobody but the audience is privy to this information.
That’s a pretty great ending.
Even though it’s not a great movie, I’ll add The Mist to this thread. A fairly entertaining little bit of sci-fi horror, with an ending that pushes the limits of what’s usually allowed in mainstream cinema, only to then be turned on it’s head in the final minute, making it one of the most ridiculous and insulting things I’ve witnessed in film lately.
I didn’t mind the ending of NO COUNTRY. It was the beginning and middle that put me to sleep.
I agree on Rashomon for sure. If the film had ended a few scenes earlier it would’ve been much better. Same for High Tension, one of the worst endings ever, and the beginning had pretty good potential.