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Best Endings Ever (Over All Mediums of Entertainment)

When I was playing a video game, actually, I got this idea. The ending of that video game moved me so much, just because of how perfect it was. It fit so well that I actually said “Wow,” out loud, and I had tears in my eyes. Let me explain:

WARNING: THIS MOVIE HAS SPOILERS. FOR THE SAFETY OF THOSE WHO DO NOT WANT TO KNOW CERTAIN THINGS OR DETAILS ABOUT BOOKS, VIDEO GAMES OR EVEN MOVIES, THEN PLEASE DON’T READ THIS.

A movie ending is something sacred to me. It is that thing that gets you out of the seat in either anger, joy, with questions, or in so much amazement that you can’t get out of your seat. It is the ultimatum that tells the audience, “what do you think about this?”, which makes them respond in their own minds.

This can often be a bad thing, because for many movies and even books (like most of Stephen King’s works, no offense to anyone who likes his books), video games even, an ending can ruin what you just read. An example is the Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I loved all of them, and I got to the end and thought “Wait, he didn’t just try to do that, did he? The concept was cool for the ending, but when there is a seven part series, you don’t make an ending like that.” I’d tell you all what the ending is, but you should read the books, and the people who have read the books, you know what I mean.

Another example for a bad ending would be the movie The Happening. If he executed it correctly, then he could have developed it into something of a horror for people. They’d be thinking, “Well, maybe this sort of thing can happen and maybe it could kill us and drive us mad.” But, because he did it with enough cheese to open up a Fudrucker’s on screen, he made the whole problem of a movie end on an even more sour note.

But now, to the good endings. These endings are the ones that either made your spine tingle or made it to where you thought long and hard about how awesome what you just saw was, and tried to connect the pieces. Now, to the list:

Honorable Mentions:

> Primal Fear – Edward Norton turns out to be the killer who is faking being schizophrenic, and Gere, who helped him be free soon, is met at a literal crossroads.

> Saving Private Ryan – An older Matt Damon is actually at the grave site of Tom Hanks, who he thanks for helping him, and his wife says that he lived a good life as a good man as the American flag waves.

> American Psycho – You realize that he may have made the whole thing up, but because of the plot twists that are involved, you can’t know for sure. You assume, though, that he is just crazy and it’s all in his head because of the drawings on his calendar. It can also be viewed that Bateman wasn’t a real person, but a metaphor for the sickness of everyone’s minds, and how, if it were to form into a person, it would be a sly, cunning master of deception like Patrick Bateman.

> ICO – Ico is safely out of the castle as it crumbles, and Yorda is safely next to him.

> Reservoir Dogs – Everyone dies besides Steve Buscemi

> Pulp Fiction – Vincent and Lucius get out of the restaurant, where the movie began.

> Inglourious Basterds – Aldo carves a swastika into the head of Landa, and proclaims it as his masterpiece.

> Metroid – You win, Samus is a girl, and there is another M (The Other M), and it made gamers question for years who that other M was.

> System Shock 2 – CREEPY!!!! You thought Dead Space 2 was a creepy game, this is the original space terror! So, the ship, in the end, takes you over, and you say that you gained control of the ship so the other ship will turn around, but the other ship’s systems are also beginning to exhibit some weird things… specifically the psycho-bitch intelligence system.

> Bioshock – You beat Lafountaine, and release the Little Sisters.

> Halo 3 – John’s dead, John’s dead, John’s dead… John’s alive!!!

> Less Than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis – Clay goes back to New Hampshire to escape the insanity of his California hometown.

> Hold Tight by Harlan Coben – You need to read it to get it, but everything resolves itself, and no one dies!

> Following – Christopher Nolan’s first film, Following ends when you find out that the protagonist was set up by Cobb, and that the police officer says that Cobb doesn’t exist. Which is another ending that you need to solve for yourself, which Nolan likes to do.

> Avatar – Jake Sully stays and becomes a Na’vi.

> The Game – It is all just a game, and Michael Douglas attempts to commit suicide by jumping out of a window only to be caught by a large birthday balloon. With all the other coincidences in the movie, it is easy to see that the director (the amazing David Fincher) wants you to think: Is it just a game? Or is it reality?

> The Devil’s Advocate – Al Pacino is the devil, and he is trying to get Keanu to have sex with Charlize Theron, who is actually his sister, and have a grandchild. Keanu beats the both of them, but the devil comes back as someone else and starts all over again.

> The Mist – Thomas Jane kills everyone in the car because they ran out of gas, but as he tries to kill himself, he is out of bullets. He gets outside to see that the army shows up. Had he waited, he wouldn’t have killed the woman he loved and his only child, not to mention sweet elderly people from the film.

> The Village – After watching this movie again, I give it more props. There really aren’t monsters, and they are in modern times. The townspeople just told them that they weren’t to keep them innocent as long as possible.

> Identity – All of the people in the hotel are just the multiple personalities of a killer, and they are battling to win against a killer among them. When they kill Ray Liota, who kills John Cusack in the process, everything seems to be alright. But when Amanda Peete returns home, she finds her hotel room key while digging into the ground. She looks up and the little boy that was assumed to be dead, who was the killer the whole time. He kills Amanda Peete, and the killer in reality kills the doctor helping him, and the car comes to a stop on the road.

> Fight Club – After the revelation that Tyler and Edward Norton were the same person, he and Tyler fight to claim singular control over the body. Norton kills Tyler (somehow, might I add) and then he and Marla watch as the buildings explode.

> Oldboy – The man is having sex with his own daughter, and he decides to get his memory erased so he can continue to love and have sex with his daughter.

> The Descent – The girl gets out of the cave, but she see something that shocks her back into a consciousness, and she realizes that she’s still in the cave in the blood pool.

> Signs – All of the coincidences that happened in the movie weren’t just coincidences, and they kill the alien. Mel Gibson is, in the end, seen dressing as a priest to go back to church.

> Twelve Monkeys – The message about the Twelve Monkeys was a fake, but you cannot interrupt history, so the same events happened. The person who was killed in the beginning was not Brad Pitt, but was actually Bruce Willis in a wig.

> The Others – Nicole Kidman and children are actually the ghosts, and the family in the house are the living.

> No Country For Old Men – Tommy Lee Jones gives a descriptive speech that sums up the films by saying that whatever you see go ahead of you will be waiting on the other side. A great monologue to end the film on.

> Saw – The guy who had shot his head off (assumed) in the beginning gets up off the ground and slams the door closed on the only guy left in the room, exclaiming “game over.”

Top Ten Endings

10. Southland Tales – Its difficult to explain, but it is thought that Sean William Scott is the second coming of Jesus, and everyone besides him in the movie died. This may mean that the tagline “this is the day the world ends” might just mean that the world ends for those people, but begins again with the next group of people in perspective.

9. TIE
> Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – John hangs himself after an orgy because of the powers that exerted their strength on him.
> 1984 by George Orwell – Because of the tortures that occurred, Winston Smith now loved Big Brother, and thought that 2+2=5. After all, it makes since, right?

8. Memento – He was actually the person who killed his wife, and Teddy is a detective whose been trying to help him the whole time.

7. Kill Bill Vol. 1 – Beatrix’s daughter is still alive.

6. Kingdom Hearts – Video Game: Kairi and Sora finally grab each other’s hands, but Kairi is taken back home while Sora has to find his way back to her with Donald and Goofy.

5. The Sixth Sense – Bruce Willis is really dead.

4. TIE
> The Prestige – Christian Bale had a twin who switched lives with him as either he or Fallon. The only one left living kills Hugh Jackman, and leaves, burning his place of magic to the ground.

> The Usual Suspects – Kevin Spacey is really Kaiser Suze, and he killed everyone. Cujan tries to get him before he’s gone, but he disappears with the man he called “Kobayashi,” who was named by him after the company that makes the coffee cups that Cujan was drinking.

3. TIE
> Donnie Darko – Donnie dies to save his family, and it is a cut-to ending. Must be seen to be appreciated.

> Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane – This is why I’m pissed at film adaptations. Yes, he may have been crazy, but the movie’s controversy made it to where perhaps he wasn’t crazy. In fact, it leaned towards the idea that perhaps he wasn’t crazy.

2. TIE
> Vanilla Sky – Tom Cruise’s eye opens after awakening from his suspended sleep (or was it) to someone telling him to open his eyes. He does so and breathes what sounds like a sigh of relief.

> Kingdom Hearts 2 – Sora returns home, and sees Mickey, Goofy, Donald, Riku and while in the water surrounded by his best friends, he looks up and sees Kairi. He has the star emblem in his hand, and reaches out to Kairi’s extended hand and grabs it, assuring that he was home.

1. Inception – Dom spins the top as he sees his kids. He goes to them and hugs them as the top continues to spin on the table. It continues to spin and looks to be possibly falling, but just before you can be sure, it cuts to black.

So there you go. There’s my final draft… for the moment… of my top movie game and book endings. Please comment on thoughts, because I’m sure I missed one great one somewhere.

About J.C. Simpson

I am a high school student who is involved in film at my school in my broadcasting/video production class. Having met up-and-coming film affiliates in my area, I have come to know many great camera techniques, good writing skills and cinematographic specialties. I have taken courses and am in the process of becoming certified to use multiple different editing equipment/software engines and cameras. I am in the process of writing over 10 Screenplays and 3 Books, and look to hopefully enter into the world of cinema as a editor, scorer, cinematographer, writer and director.

10 Responses to “Best Endings Ever (Over All Mediums of Entertainment)”

  1. RachForbes1 says:

    Excellent review, however I do feel I need to make a point about endings. In the writing world, its often said that the hardest part of any piece of work is the ending. Sometimes even the writer doesn’t want to end it “that way” but feels compelled to, in order to remain true to the character, or the story itself.

    Your first example is a rather bad one. A long time follower of the Dark Tower series, I too was a little disapointed with the ending to the final chapter. We can’t take this to heart though. Before you even get to that stage, there’s a note from King himself, warning the reader that to continue past this point might leave them disapointed with the end of Roland’s story. Who are we to be upset if we chose to read on past the happy ending?

    Other than that, you’ve compiled a pretty killer list. Personally, I would have put Fight Club in the Top Ten, not the Honourable mentions. There is no way that ANYONE saw that coming.

    Is it possible we will see a WORST endings ever list? Surely there would be much more to say

  2. J.C. Simpson says:

    Thank you for the comment, and yes, Fight Club had a TWIST that you didn’t see coming, but the ending was different… but it was still an amazing ending. Regarding the Dark Tower series, it is more of a thing that King ALWAYS tries to do this, make something of the ending like “hey, I’m gonna repeat the beginning of The Gunslinger in the end of The Dark Tower, and see if people notice that I’m just starting this series over in a never-ending paradox. The idea was good, but I just think that this was the wrong series for him to do that in. He needed a solid ending for this one, because I think certain stories shouldn’t be left open. To your last comment, yes, I’ll probably put out a Worst Endings Ever in a while. Thank you for the idea.

  3. Ajambor says:

    Very good list you included many films with great endings. I would have put indentity and fight club in the top ten. Both of those movies have a killer ending that really surprized me. Overall good list looking forward to more list and reviews from you

  4. Dr.Manhattan says:

    This is a very interested list, and with many I agree. But I was also disappointed to not see quite a few truely remarkable endings to films. The only thing I can ask is that the more are added to the list.

  5. J.C. Simpson says:

    Sure. What are some you would recommend adding, because these are pretty much the ones I love.

  6. Devon Kirchner says:

    Props on mentioning Kingdom Hearts and The Prestige was good, but the ending made it incredible. Great list.

  7. Good shout on The Mist, definitely one of the bleakest endings I’ve ever seen. One of the most under-rated horrors of recent times.

  8. J.C. Simpson says:

    Thanks you guys! Can’t wait to see your comments on my “worst endings” list coming out soon.

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