10 Best Movies With Worst Endings

The end of a movie should bring a sense of closure. While a good ending shouldn’t be entirely predictable, it certainly should be in harmony with the rest of what came before it. Sometimes, however, an ending undoes all the events that preceded it, or is so surprising that it gives the audience no satisfaction.


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A good movie will make audiences connect with its characters – even if the characters aren’t necessarily likable – and as such, an ending should suit their journey. However, sometimes the previously established goodwill is sacrificed in favor of an undeserved surprise.

Major movie spoilers ahead. Proceed with caution.

10/10 A law-abiding citizen treated his hero like a villain

Law Abiding Citizen could be the next saw

Law abiding citizen refused to let Clyde win, leading to an unsatisfactory ending. The film follows Clyde on his journey to get revenge for the death of his family. Enter Nick Rice, who tries to reason with him several times. Clyde finds it hard to reason with the man who has caused most of his problems.

In the end, Clyde is seen as more of a villain, and despite being the more likable character, the movie decides to close after his death. The film’s ending allowed the unlikable “good guy” Nick to walk away.

9/10 No country for old men ends off camera

Sheriff Bell gets mad in no country for old men

There is no country for old people was a great movie who lost his touch at the end. Many viewers considered the film a great watch until its closing monologue. For most of its runtime, the film closely follows Anton and Llewelyn’s story, inviting viewers to feel deeply connected with its characters.

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However, near the end, Llewelyn’s brutal death occurs entirely off-screen. The story then concludes Anton Chigurh’s narrative and ends with a monologue. Despite a solid setup filled with chills and thrills, the film runs out of steam.

8/10 La La Land doesn’t work happily ever after

Image La La Land of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone dancing

The Earth is a beautifully romantic musical with a disappointing ending. Unfortunately, viewers saw the ending as a disappointment when the couple decided to go their own way and pursue their careers rather than the relationship. It’s not necessarily bad, but it just didn’t keep up with the rest of the movie. From the start, Sebastian and Mia have been dreamers who have supported each other in pursuit of their goals.

The two part ways in the end, and it’s unclear if it was the right choice. This ending almost ruins the movie because it ends on a note too open to interpretation.

7/10 The shape of water speaks of love and gills

The shape of water

The shape of water was a visual masterpiece that earned the film numerous awards. The story of the movie is beautiful and the audience can feel the love of Elisa and the amphibian man. The story itself is one that viewers would find in a fairy tale book. The ending, however, fell short of the grandeur of the rest of the film.

It ends with the shot that they lived happily ever after. Still, the audience was left with questions and had to come to their own conclusions. The shape of water ends with Elisa growing gills and joining her lover in the water. For a rather impactful film, it ended on a simple and fantastic note.

6/10 In Lucy, knowledge becomes power

Scarlett Johansson as Lucy using her mental powers

Lucy was a great all-around movie until the end of the film, which lands on a rather odd note. Instead of following the same logic as the film, the ending takes a different direction, leaving many viewers in disbelief. By the end of the film, Lucy is using 100% of her brain.

It becomes the equivalent of a supercomputer and is overtaken by a dark substance. The film ends as Lucy seemingly disappears, leaving only her acquaintances behind. Despite an already absurd premise, the ending was incredible, which ultimately made it less satisfying for audiences.

5/10 I am legend has a better alternate ending

Will Smith as Robert in I Am Legend, lies in the middle of the street with his dog by his side.

I’m a legend may not hold up the same way it once did. However, once upon a time considered a good movie which was simply marred by a terrible ending. Many viewers came away dissatisfied with an over-the-top sacrifice that magically made everything better.

Shortly after the film’s release, however, an alternate ending was made available. In the alternate ending, Will Smith’s character Neville unwittingly caused much of the mayhem because he captured the leader of the vampiric creatures. Overall, neither ending satisfies viewers enough.

4/10 Creation did not provide any closure

Dom examines his totem in Inception

Creation is a great movie. The effects are amazing and the story really grabs its audience. However, at the end of the film, viewers wonder exactly what they just watched.

At the end of the film, Leo spins his totem, a top. For a moment, it seems like it will spin endlessly, but at the last second before the credits roll, it falters. It’s unclear whether or not he’s trapped in a dream from the opening ending, but some viewers are adamant that the wobble is just enough to say it’s reality.

3/10 Shutter Island was all a lie

Leonardo DiCaprio, Shutter Island

shutter island twists to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. The movie has a great build up to the end of the movie. The end is where all is lost. Throughout the film, the audience follows Teddy’s story. Teddy is the made-up version of a patient named Andrew, who believes himself to be a Deputy U.S. Marshall undercover.

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The ending reveals that was not the case at all, and everything the audience just watched never happened. The ending would have had a bigger impact if the movie implied that Andrew was a patient at the asylum.

2/10 The War of the Worlds comes to an abrupt end

War of the Worlds had a consistent dark theme and plenty of tension throughout the film. Audiences felt the ending was rather abrupt and didn’t quite follow the rest of the film. Years later, Steven Spielberg admitted he wasn’t a fan of his own demise.

The end of War of the Worlds ends when the aliens discover they cannot live on Earth. It’s rather unsatisfying for viewers when the aliens come out of their tripods and die on contact with Earth’s air. After all the tension and buildup, the film slows down and ends on a rather abrupt note.

1/10 The accountant has a surprising end

Accountant has everything to please. It was action packed and an engaging story. Near the end of the film, an unpredictable twist occurs, ruining everything that came before it. The twist had no buildup, so the reveal wasn’t as big as expected.

John Bernthal’s character is revealed to the public as Affleck’s brother. Had there been a build up of this scene, it would have been more of a confirmation for the audience. Instead, the revelation turned into a sudden realization that spoiled the film’s ending.

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