An ending, sometimes its the thing that makes or breaks a film. Sometimes an ending can be considered the most important aspect of any film. The entire plot, the characters, the tale at hand is all leading to one point, the ending. At so many points I’m completely engrossed in a beautiful film and wondering just how their going to take this fantastic plot and end it.
If you’re watching something amazing, you’re going to be saddened if it doesn’t end on an amazing note. There are unfortunately times where a film is incredible up until the ending. That’s how important an ending is. There are also other times (and these make for some of the best endings) when a film is pretty decent, but becomes a masterpiece because of the ending.
This list celebrates my absolute favorite movie endings. I’d like to say that each ending becomes a billion times less powerful with out watching the the movie in its entirety first so if you haven’t seen the movie I’m talking about, don’t read into why I love that ending. It would ruin the movie, but here it is. These are my top ten favorite movie endings.
!!!DON’T READ INTO THESE ENDINGS IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE MOVIE!!!
10. Batman Begins
Even before 2008 when I fell in love with The Dark Knight and Heath Ledger’s portrayal of The Joker, I was blown away by the original Batman Begins. They’re have been many endings that attempt to make you excited for a sequel, but no other film made me as excited for a sequel like Batman Begins and the flip of that card did. Then on top of that, they end with brilliant written last lines: “I never said thank you”, Gordan says. “And you’ll never have to.” Batman says before he flys off. Takes my breath away each time.
9. Dead Poets Society
Its rare to get me as emotionally involved in a movie as I was at the end of Dead Poets Society. The film just builds and builds upon a story surrounding characters we love. The film just plays with your emotions. You absolutely love everyone in the movie that the filmmaker wants you to love and you absolutely hate everyone in the movie that the filmmaker wants you to hate. The plot is driven, eventually reaching a climax that makes you want to stand up on the nearest chair yourself. A truly beautiful film.
Unforgiven is the greatest western in existence. It introduces you to two aging gunman in the west. A one-time ruthless bandit and murderer (William Munny played by Clint Eastwood) and a sheriff whose tactics in justice are nothing short of brutal (Little Bill Daggett played by Gene Hackman). We get to know these two characters eventually reaching the end, in which we see the two meet. “I ain’t like that no more”, William Munny constantly says throughout the film. The film builds and builds to one of the most memorable climaxes in film. Unforgiven was amazing throughout, but its the ending that makes it a masterpiece.
7. No Country for Old Men
When No Country for Old Men was released in 2007, a general complaint about the film was its unexpectedly dull ending. I’m not quite sure what the general consensus on the ending is now after the public’s had years to think about its meaning, but I honestly don’t care. The ending of No Country for Old Men is one of the greatest of all time. I truthfully not exaggerating when I say that my heart is pounding each time it ends. It’s a truly brilliant ending to a truly brilliant films and I never second guessed my placement of it on this list.
6. Fight Club
Fight Club is one of my favorite movies of all time and one of the reasons for this is because of its fantastic ending. And I’m not just talking about the fact that we find out who Tyler Durden truly is. The ending scene between the Narrator and Tyler Durden makes for one of the greatest scenes in film. We get the bravery of the Narrator as he shoots himself in order to get rid of the anarchist Tyler Durden, than we got a shot of true love as the Narrator holds the hand of Marla Singer. This is all happens right before we get to view a bunch of skyscraper’s leveled to the ground.
5. Pulp Fiction
The ending diner scene in Pulp Fiction is my favorite scene in film and it makes for one of the greatest endings in film. The ending of Pulp Fiction is amazing in the way that it somehow manages to take everything in the film that didn’t make much sense and then gave it some sense. We get to see why the film began the way it did, then we see why they weren’t in their suits when they went to the bar earlier in the film, why Vincent was alone when he was shot, etc. And this is all told through a scene involving the greatest writing ever put on the silver screen.
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
The ending to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is absolute perfection. That’s truly the only way to describe it. It somehow finds a way to make you incredibly sad and incredibly happy at the same time. There is no possible way it could’ve had a better ending. All you can do after watching the ending of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is sit back, take a breath and say, “wow, now that’s a movie.” The ending doesn’t make the movie because even before the ending I felt as thought the movie was a masterpiece, but the ending certainly solidified that thought.
3. There Will Be Blood
Its honestly hard to put into words just how amazing I feel that the ending to There Will Be Blood is. The whole movie we watch a rivalry between two undoubtedly terrible people. We watch as these characters constantly one up each other in despicable. The plot just weaves through the rise of an awful person and leads to one of the most mind blowing finales you could ever ask for. My heart just skips a beat every single time I hear Plainview say “Those areas have been drilled”. I absolutely love There Will Be Blood and the ending almost makes me tear up because of how brilliant it is.
2. The Usual Suspects
If you know anything about movies and you saw the title of this Top Ten list, you had to have guessed that The Usual Suspects would be on this list. The Usual Suspects has the greatest plot twist in film. The very mention of plot twist brings to mind the amazing ending to The Usual Suspects. The Sixth Sense pales in comparison.
The most beautiful aspect of The Usual Suspects is in the way that it makes you think that its going to end a certain way making the film great, but not amazing. Then the film becomes a masterpiece in the way that it flips the entire plot upside down and gives you a completely different and unexpected ending. Its truly an amazing film that I have watched so many times and will continue to watch till the day I die.
1. Inglourious Basterds
There is absolutely nothing and I mean nothing that is as satisfying to me in any movie than the ending to Inglourious Basterds. Col. Hans Landa is unquestionably one of my favorite characters in film and I absolutely love the fact that he gets exactly what he deserves in the end of the World War II epic Inglourious Basterds.
Quentin Tarantino has a knack for establishing these incredibly compelling villains, whether its Bill from Kill Bill or Stuntman Mike in Death Proof, who get exactly what’s coming to them. Inglourious Basterds is Tarantino’s magnum opus and that’s in part due to the fact that it ends on its highest point.
One of my favorite lines in film history is, “I mean if I had my way, you’d wear that god damn S.S. uniform the rest of your pecker suckin’ life. But I understand that ain’t practical. I mean at somepoint your gonna have to take it off. So, I’m a give you a little something you can’t take off.” If you’ve watched the rest of the movie leading up to this line and this scene, you can’t help but grin. The ending of Inglourious Basterds is the greatest ending in film.