15 of The Worst Movie Endings of All Time

Sharing is caring!

The ending is the most essential part of any story. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel. The audience has stuck with the author for the entire duration of the piece, riding the ups and downs of a story in the hopes of getting to the end and feeling as if the resolution was worth it. In many cases, this reward of a proper conclusion is ultimately satisfying. However, in certain rare cases, the ending is either unsatisfying or practically ruins the entire film. 

Endings can be tricky. Stephen King, for example, is one of the most famous authors ever to live, yet he’s constantly criticized for his terrible endings. That’s to say that even the most gifted storytellers can construct a horrible ending. Today, we will look at those films whose endings either missed the mark or, unfortunately, ruined the film entirely. Naturally, this article will contain spoilers for every film listed, so reader discretion is advised. Now, without further ado, let’s look at some of the worst endings to ever grace the silver screen.

1. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

J.J. Abrams’ conclusion to the recent Star Wars sequel trilogy is an abject failure on many levels, not least of which is the film’s ending. The film, which retcons much of the prequel and original trilogies’ established mythologies, the film ends with Rey (Daisy Ridley) realizing that she’s Emperor Palpatine’s granddaughter and defeating her grandfather with the combined force powers of Leia and Luke Skywalker. Not only does this do little to expand the universe these films are playing around in, but it also leaves the viewer too frustrated to care about the film’s conclusion.

2. Pay It Forward (2000)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

A relatively upbeat film about the power of positive thinking ends with its protagonist, a ten-year-old boy, getting stabbed in the stomach by a schoolyard bully. Yikes!

3. The Devil Inside (2012)

Photo Credit: Insurge Pictures.

This supernatural possession film, riding high on the glut of found footage horror films being released in theaters in the early 2010s, has the distinct honor of not having an actual ending. Just as the film feels like it’s entering its third act, with several protagonists dying in a horrible car accident, the film cuts to black, fading to a title card that directs the audience to a website for more information. It was an insulting end to a terrible film.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

4. The Number 23 (2007)

Photo Credit: New Line Cinema.

This brain-dead Jim Carrey pot-boiler follows a man’s descent into paranoia after finding a book about a murderer whose life bears striking resemblance to his own. Only to end with the revelation that he was the author the whole time. Yawn.

5. Remember Me (2010)

Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment.

What starts as a bog-standard romance flick starring Robert Pattinson and Emilie de Ravin ends with one of the most bizarre conclusions to any film in the past two decades. The film ends with Tyler (Pattinson) and his wife, Caroline (de Ravin), parting ways for their morning routine. Complications arise, however, when the film reveals that Tyler works in the World Trade Center, and the date is September 11th, 2001. It’s one of the most mind-boggling reveals you’ll ever see.

6. Secret Window (2004)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

This Johnny Depp film, an adaptation of Stephen King’s short story, Secret Window, Secret Garden, follows Mort, an author who must contend with a stalker who accuses him of plagiarism. The threat grows, however, as Mort’s life comes under threat from the stalker’s ever-increasing attacks on Mort’s family. The film ends, however, with the stalker having never been real and Mort having killed his ex-wife and her new lover, burying them under his cornfield. Boring!

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

7. Promising Young Woman (2019)

Photo Credit: Focus Features.

This Oscar-winning thriller from Emerald Fennell follows a woman who makes it her mission to stop abusive men after her friend’s suicide due to sexual assault. It has one of the most frustrating endings in recent memory. The film ends with our protagonist having been murdered at the bachelor party of her friend’s rapist, only for it to be revealed that the murder was a part of her master plan to expose the men as the monsters they are. It is a rushed and illogical end to a gripping little thriller.

8. Lucy (2014) 

Photo Credit: EuropaCorp.

This high-concept action film from director Luc Besson sees a drug mule being able to use one hundred percent of her brain—an inherently goofy premise on its face—after ingesting a mysterious new drug during a run. However, the real issues come in when the film ends, revealing to the audience that the main character has ascended beyond the need for a human body, existing only as pure energy. And all of this is shown through a text message our protagonist sends to her friend. Sure.

9. Identity (2003)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Similarly to the previous entry, The Number 23, James Mangold’s thriller follows a group of ten strangers trapped in a motel room with a serial killer. The similarities come in, however, when it’s revealed that all ten strangers are aspects of the serial killer’s personality, with none of the events in the film having taken place. It’s an ending that renders the whole film pointless.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

10. Planet of the Apes (2001)

Photo Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

It’s a bold choice to remake one of the best science fiction films ever made. It’s an even bolder choice to try and top the ending of a film known for its twist ending. With his Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton tries to do both, resulting in the laughably awful reveal that not only has Mark Wahlberg’s character been on Earth the entire film, but the entirety of human history has belonged to the apes who now rule the planet. What a joke.

11. The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) 

Photo Credit: RKO Radio Pictures.

File this one away as one of the greatest crimes ever committed in cinema history. Orson Welles’ follow-up to Citizen Kane was lost in a whirlwind of studio interference. RKO insisted on cutting out over an hour of the film, including changing the ending to be more positive. It’s a shame we’ll never see Welles’ original vision.

12. Psycho (1960)

Photo Credit: Shamley Productions.

Alfred Hitchcock’s iconic shocker, which follows an investigation into the disappearance of Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) leading to Norman Bates’ (Anthony Perkins) infamous Bates Motel, has one of the most disappointing endings in all of Old Hollywood. The film ends with Norman sitting in a room for psychological analysis, where the film then proceeds to leave no room for ambiguity as to why Norman was doing any of his crimes in the first place. It’s a tacked-on ending forced by the Hays Code that nearly ruins one of the best films ever.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

13. Now You See Me (2013)

Photo Credit: Summit Entertainment.

This magic-riddled comedy, written by Ed Solomon of Bill and Ted fame, centers on a group of Interpol agents working to stop a caravan of traveling magicians who pull off bank heists using their skills in illusion. Playing with the nature of a magician’s work for most of the film, the film’s ending loses the plot when it’s revealed that magic has been real the whole time and only these special magicians can harness it. It’s an idiotic ending to what is a relatively entertaining heist film.

14. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This low-budget sci-fi thriller follows Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), who, after a horrific car accident, is locked in a cellar after being told by Howard (John Goodman) that there’s been an alien attack outside and that they need to stay put. Part of the film’s charm is not knowing whether or not Howard is telling the truth. However, the film ruins this ambiguity with its ending, with Michelle escaping to discover that there’s been an alien invasion the entire time. It is a lackluster ending to a highly compelling mystery.

15. I Am Legend (2007)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

This sci-fi horror blockbuster, based on the iconic 1954 Richard Matheson novel of the same name, centers on Neville (Will Smith), the last man on Earth after a plague turned much of the human population into nocturnal cannibals. The film’s current ending, a departure from the novel’s decidedly grim conclusion, sees Neville committing suicide with a grenade to save a group of survivors he met in his travels. However, this is a case where the film has multiple endings, with the original ending of the monsters being humanized as we are shown them cowering in fear as Neville tries to kill them, being much more effective than the one we got.

Follow us on MSN to see more of our exclusive entertainment content.

25 Extraordinary Sequels and Remakes That Outshine the Originals

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures

Sequels and remakes have a bad reputation for being really bad. However, not every sequel feels like a money grab to extend a successful franchise. These 25 movies are actually better than the original.

25 Extraordinary Sequels and Remakes That Outshine the Originals

15 Terrible Movies That Are Amazingly Enjoyable

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Here are 15 movies that are objectively terrible, but that people still love watching over and over again.

15 Terrible Movies That Are Amazingly Enjoyable

Similar Posts