Top 10 Movie Endings of All Time

Have you watched the movie – Chinatown? If you are someone like me, I bet you would have watched it at least a dozen times. And who can forget the final dialogue, “Forget it, Jake. It’s Chinatown.” the five words that sums the entire film. It’s the most famous and the saddest line in Hollywood’s history that created the best impression ever. Although a great script, acting and directing are essential to any film, the last few minutes of a movie can really make or break the movie. Let’s now take a look at the 10 best movie endings of all time:


1. The Sixth Sense:

The Sixth Sense (1999), an American psychological horror movie, is the most chilling and extremely terrifying ghost story that literally keeps you on the edge of your seat, right from the start till the finish. The Sixth Sense is the story of boy who can communicate with spirits and a child psychologist. The plot follows the psychologist as he helps the child and uses his abilities to help the spirits. The film with an exceptional ending is one of the rarest thriller movie treats that is genuinely haunting with an amazing final twist.

While there are hundreds of movies around, only a few best stories with jaw-dropping last minute revelations, narrative twists and turns and unpredictable endings leave a lasting impression.


2. Memento:

Memento (2000), an American psychological thriller film, is a story of a young man who hunts for the culprit who raped his wife even after losing the ability to make new memories. Memento is a rare piece of intelligence and a complete absorbing thriller, even though the plot moves backward in time. The movie had managed well to keep the minds hopping as each effect and its cause are pieced together. Memento is more like the jigsaw puzzle rather than a meaningful story, this film with its unexpected ending, disturbed its audiences immensely.


3. Inglourious Basterds:

Inglourious Basterds (2009), a war film, is a violent, thoroughly entertaining, genre-bending thrill ride with a suspense-filled and interesting first half and pretty bad second half. Can you guess what made the second half bad! Yes, the unpredictable ending – something less than a Hollywood ending. The movie is an enjoyably idiosyncratic film that takes devilish delight in going left when it seems to be going right.


4. Shutter Island:

Shutter Island (2010), an American psychological thriller, is a movie based on Dennis Lehane’s novel – Shutter Island (2003). The movie takes place on a remote and forbidden island. Some people describe the film to be disturbing while some have enjoyed it to the core. Shutter Island builds inexorably and slowly to its conclusion reaching far beyond its genre. Needless to say, it’s the unexpected ending of the movie which left viewers with countless questions that made this fiercely twisted, complex film a large success.


5. Dark Knight Rises:

The Dark Knight Rises (2012), a superhero film, is a thoughtful and breathtaking finale of Christopher Nolan’s Batman series. The movie with a brilliant array of cinematic magic has blown the audience away bringing an outstanding superhero. The Dark Knight Rises is a must watch movie that is truly astonishing with heartbreaking scenes of Alfred and Bruce Wayne.  Although the movie lives up to the hype with its ‘epic conclusion’, it’s a shock for the fans of the Dark Knight trilogy.


6. The Shawshank Redemption:

The Shawshank Redemption (1994), an American drama film, is the story of a banker – Andy Dufresne, who spends around 20 years in prison as he is convicted for his wife’s murder and sentenced to 2 consecutive life sentences based on circumstantial evidence. The plot of the movie has many twists and turns involving all the happenings in the prison as well as in the world after he gets out. But, the unexpected escape of Andy, when he is expected to be dead is as perfect as Stephen King’s happy ending in the book.


7. Inception:

A dream, within a dream, in a dream! Sounds incredible, isn’t it? But it’s possible with Inception!  Thrilling and innovative movie –Inception (2010) is a bestselling sci-fi movie and a rare summer blockbuster that succeeded intellectually as well as viscerally. Inception, a movie packed with allusions, is indeed a noir tinged caper of Christopher Nolan that trades in crafty puzzles to keep you totally engaged for 2 hours and 28 minutes. The plot of the movie is more likely to be a diverting reverie rather than a primal nightmare as you won’t know the start or end of the movie at all. It’s the best movie in which Leonardo DiCaprio dreams pretty amazingly to steal and implant ideas. Every minute of the movie seems to be nail-biting that keeps you confused about what to expect and ponder over the question – ‘Is it a dream or reality?’ whenever you watch the film.


8. Pursuit of Happyness:

The Pursuit of Happyness (2006), an American biographical drama film, is the true story of a dad who struggles to live contentedly but unfortunately cracks under the weight of his hefty ambitions as he never realizes when enough is actually enough. Smith in this truly challenging role shines with his heartbreaking performance as a frustrated and unsure dad who couldn’t afford to give his kid quality life. Pursuit of Happyness is indeed an inspiring true story that values sentimentalism over logic and emotion over common sense. The Pursuit of Happyness can be a glorification of capitalism for some people as it’s more about ‘not having’ and much less about ‘getting’ that leaves you in tears.


9. Sphere:

Sphere (1998), a successful sci-fi psychological thriller film, is based on the novel ‘Sphere’ by Michael Crichton. Sphere is an intelligent genre piece that gradually turns to a tedious guessing game where you will be left to draw your own conclusions. What’s special about the movie is the great suspense maintained throughout the movie that leaves you pondering over various questions even after the movie ends.


10. Jurassic Park:

Jurassic Park (1993), a successful American sci-fi adventure film, is a spectacle of life-like animatronics and special effects with some of Steven Spielberg’s best terror sequences ever. The plot, with fascinating ideas and entertaining moments, has made it one of the most impressive monster movies. The audience jumped in their seats as they were drawn in to the pulse-pounding menaces of two powerless electric cars with humans trapped inside and chased by the Tyrannosaurus. Regardless of what the movie has, the anticlimactic conclusion is what made the movie memorable.


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