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Most Disliked Movie Endings



The hype you feel surrounding an anticipated movie release is unlike any other, as fans and critics alike are always speculating about a film’s potential approaching release day. But when it’s finally out, that’s when reception really takes its toll. And if people aren’t pleased, oh boy…
Sometimes a movie can be brilliant, only for the ending to ruin an otherwise hit film. And while it’s tough, an ending is permanent, and it’s oftentimes the writer’s vision, regardless of what critics wanted. Although these were hit movies, their endings forever tarnished their reputations.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The most recent Indy adventure was tortuous for so many fans who had to sit through refrigerators in nuclear blasts, giant ants, aliens, and Shia swinging through the trees with the monkeys. But then they made the big climax an alien encounter that concludes with Jones watching a giant flying saucer blast off into space. Then, to make matters worse, the very final scene is a wedding. So exciting.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2

The pulse-pounding climax to the Harry Potter franchise was as emotionally satisfying as it was riveting, with the (seemingly) final shot showing the three main protagonists standing together following the climactic battle just being grateful that they made it out alive. But then the movie divulges into an epilogue which shows them 19 years later as they send their own kids to Hogwarts. It’s a sweet sentiment, to be sure, but many fans found it wholly unnecessary (and weren’t really big on seeing fat Ron).

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi

Following a thrilling conclusion to the original trilogy in which Luke Skywalker finally brings peace to the galaxy and restores his father back to goodness, the ewoks and the rebels celebrate triumphantly. For many fans, the ending was ruined when the prequels’ Christian Haydensen was inserted into the shot next to Yoda and Obi-Wan, but even more fans have been put off by the very final shot — which looks like everyone’s posing for a picture on Thanksgiving.

Spider-Man 3

There was so much in this movie that fans absolutely despised, not the least of which was emo Peter Parker (which Tobey Maguire definitely couldn’t pull off). Then, just to make matters far worse, the movie concludes with a solemn funeral and a lifeless dance between Peter and Mary Jane who just seems to be totally ok with how much he screwed up. Even the director hated it, which says a lot!

2001: A Space Odyssey

Widely considered to be Kubrick’s masterpiece, this film strives to hit so many different points within its runtime, but many found the ending to be frustratingly unclear. It shows the aging process of Dr. Bowman until he finally dies an old man in bed before transforming into a human fetus and floats through space towards Earth. There’s a very complex and brainy explanation in there somewhere, but for many it was a poor ending to an otherwise brilliant film.


Depending on who you ask, this 1997 classic is either an astounding achievement or a complete waste of time. But pretty much everybody agrees that the ending leaves a bit to be desired. The movie is so predictable in many ways that the tragic parting of the star-crossed lovers is hardly a shock, though that isn’t the bad ending. The terrible part is the very end when an elderly Rose chucks the diamond into the ocean. It would have been far better if she had sold it for millions and donated that money to an art school in memory of Jack.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

As one of the greatest film trilogies of all time, many were looking to the final film to be an immersive and satisfying climax, and it certainly delivered. However, many who watch it become dismayed at how long the ending tediously drags on in order to fulfill the many story threads and individual character arcs. To the hardcore fan the many endings are necessary, but to the casual viewer these endings are essentially a chore to get through.

The Dark Knight Rises

While there were a good amount of issues that fans had with the third Batman film, many found the ending to be the crux of its issues. After saving Gotham from a nuclear bomb by getting it far away from the city, Bruce Wayne fakes his own death in order to officially retire from the suit. He’s later seen by Alfred living his life of leisure with Selina, and Blake is given the Batcave in order to become what we assume is Robin. It’s an exhilarating ending, but knowing that it was Nolan’s final film it begs the question of “What’s the use?”

The Village

Shyamalan’s movies aren’t exactly known for their riveting endings, and that certainly includes The Village. The audience spends the entire movie assuming that the setting is some 19th century New England commune only to find out that — surprise! — it’s all modern day and the elders created the village to escape the cruelty of the modern world. Oh, and those terrifying creatures are just people in Halloween costumes.

Man of Steel

While in its own respect many found the rebooted Superman flick to be a tasteful and more realistic take on the caped savior, much of that positivity was lost in the film’s final 45 minutes. A CGI-laden battle sequence that lasts for almost that long was nearly too much for fans, but then when Superman kills the last surviving Kryptonian it was the tipping point.

Kingsman: The Secret Service

Kingsman was exactly the kind of over-the-top melodrama that audiences ate up in spades, but then it took a bizarre turn. The exploding heads with rainbow-colored poofs was a pretty unexpected climax. Then the imprisoned princess offers Eggsy some “back porch” intercourse. Even by this movie’s wild standards, it was just a little too sudden and distasteful.


This movie was just so coincidentally set up and concluded that it took many people out of the moment. How convenient that the aliens’ downfall was water, the substance that covers 70 percent of the earth’s surface. How convenient that the young daughter just happened to have a water fetish and left glasses lying around the house. How convenient that the son had asthma and wasn’t able to breathe in the toxic fumes. How convenient that the brother was an ex baseball star and still had those swings in him. It’s all just too much convenience and far too contrived to be taken seriously.

Now You See Me

It seems only natural that a crime heist movie with magic in it would have some kind of twist ending, but many were utterly underwhelmed by it. Turning Mark Ruffalo’s character into the ultimate mastermind behind everything severely undermines the concept that the four magicians are some of the smartest people on the planet and turns their Robin Hood mission into a glorified revenge scheme. It’s an unsatisfying twist that feels all too contrived.

I Am Legend

This apocalyptic zombie flick turned many viewers sour when it came to its ending. After spending the entire film trying to find a cure to the virus that’s destroyed mankind, Will Smith’s character is finally able to extract one from one of the kidnapped creatures but must hand it off as the zombie hordes are coming. Instead of helping them escape, he decides to just blow up himself and the entire horde. It’s an unsatisfying conclusion, especially considering that there’s an alternative ending that fits much better into the story.

War of the Worlds

Similar to Signs, this alien invasion film ends with the aliens being killed by one of earth’s most common aspects — this time it’s air. After spending the movie being strewn everywhere by the hostile invaders, mankind is suddenly saved from extinction because the aliens can’t handle the bacteria in the air. Convenient.


Nolan’s interdimensional space film was a gorgeously-shot film with so many complex concepts. It was the final concept, however, that had more than a few people scratching their heads. Murph finds himself within some kind of paradoxical representation of time in which he can communicate with his daughter in the past to save mankind. It’s a fascinating concept, but for many it was a sheer turn off moment.

The Matrix Revolutions

What started out as a revolutionary achievement with the first film ended on a pretty sour note for many fans. Many found the ending of Neo going into the Matrix and being killed by Agent Smith a big letdown, but then when attempts to revive him end in an explosion of light it just adds mass confusion to an already disappointing resolution.

The Abyss

James Cameron’s underwater epic is as exhilarating as any of his other films, but where it really falls flat is at the end. The movie introduces several themes which build towards a really satisfying and perhaps even probing ending, but it all concludes with Bud (who presumably gave his life) being saved by the aliens and coming back to kiss his wife. It’s touching, but it’s hardly the deep ending the film promised.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine

There really wasn’t much in this film for fans to love, but by the time the finale rolled around fans were about ready to burn this movie in effigy. As if the big climactic fight wasn’t horrendously CGI-heavy already, they had to go and give fans the worst interpretation of Deadpool possible by sewing up his mouth, thus making him just some stereotypical bad guy to defeat who can’t even deliver some cheesy lines.


This movie based itself off of the scientifically inaccurate theory that humans only utilize about 10 percent of their brain. Still, though, it is just a movie, after all. It gets pretty ridiculous at the end, however, when Lucy gains 100 percent brain power and essentially becomes one with the universe, able to transcend space and physical dimensions as we know them.


The 1978 original still gives people warm fuzzies when it comes to the man in red and blue, but it still doesn’t change the pretty head-scratching ending. After Lex Luthor succeeds in his devious plan, Superman is torn by the death of Lois Lane. All of it is fixed in a jiffy when Supes simply flies against the Earth’s rotation faster than the speed of light, thus turning back time and restoring everything to the way it was. Even for a superhero flick, it’s still pretty outlandish.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Spielberg’s sci-fi flick was pretty divisive when it first came out, but its ending was what caused such a divide for many people. The movie suggests that it’s a deep, thought-provoking story, but the end when young David survives a 2,000-year ice age only to be found by aliens suggests otherwise. It’s wholly unsatisfying and is a far departure from Spielberg’s typical firmness of storytelling.

Alien: Resurrection

Once the franchise died after Aliens, there was no contrived plot they could conceive that could make it any better. The fourth film in the franchise failed in so many ways, but even the plot was somewhat bearable compared to its horrendous ending. As if introducing a clone of Ripley wasn’t terrible enough, giving her a romance with one of the alien creature hybrids was simply the tip of the iceberg.


While there was a great sci-fi film lurking somewhere in there, Ridley Scott’s Alien prequel ultimately left more questions than it did answer them thanks in large part to its frustratingly ambiguous ending. After Dr. Shaw takes off with David’s severed head, the final shot shows what’s presumed to be one of the baby aliens. Problem is that it’s clearly not the same alien species as we’ve seen before, and the movie doesn’t seem to think that explanations are all that important.

Planet of the Apes

While the 1968 original’s ending has what’s considered to be one of the best endings, Tim Burton’s 2001 retelling has one of the worst. After traveling back in time, Mark Wahlberg’s character is relieved to be back in modern day Washington D.C. before — plot twist — he sees that the Lincoln Monument has been redone to celebrate a great ape general, thus confirming that he’s traveled into the future. It’s a cheap endeavor at replicating the original ending with downright terrible imagery.

The Devil Inside

Theatergoers were pretty satisfied with this horror flick….until the ending. Instead of giving an actual resolution like the vast majority of movies do (or even just leaving it ambiguous like some other movies do), it cuts to a screen prompting viewers to go to a site in order to find out how it’s resolved. The worst part is that the site is now defunct. So you could only find out how the movie ends if you saw it when it first came out and did your homework afterwards.

The Lady in the Water

Even for a movie that bases itself in storybook lore, the ending to this Shyamalan film was still pretty lackluster. After going through everything, Story and Cleveland share a somewhat touching goodbye before she’s swept up by an eagle and carried away. That’s it. Pretty anticlimactic.

Source Code

This movie explores numerous “scientific” theories, including putting your consciousness into a different body. It’s all pretty fascinating, until the end of the movie attempts one of those “everything will be alright” conclusions (there’s even a voiceover by Jake Gyllenhaal’s character in which he says this very thing) and we see his old body encased in some lab. Problem is, by this point we have no clue what’s actually reality and what isn’t.


Kevin Smith’s horror comedy was as bizarre in concept as it was in execution, with the ending leaving many with a sickening feeling. After spending most of the movie being slowly turned into a walrus, the main character finally kills his captor with his, well, tusks, and is then forced to live the rest of his life in seclusion due to the fact that he no longer bears any resemblance to a human. It’s as depressing as it is repulsive.

Fifty Shades Darker

Ridiculous though it may have been, the first film at least ended with a sensible Anastasia leaving the abusive Christian Grey. Then that’s all thrown out the window for the sake of a sequel, with the two getting back together after he essentially stalks her and manipulates her back into his life. After all of that, he proposes to her at the end of the movie and she accepts.

Shutter Island

The bait and switch ending took many viewers by surprise, but what also surprised them (and not in a pleasant way) was the unexpected final scene. Following a murder investigation that ends with the revelation that Leo DiCaprio’s character murdered his mentally disturbed wife and has completely blocked it from his memory, he’s given the option to undergo a lobotomy to cure himself. Rather than face his actions, he chooses to continue living out his fantasy by undergoing the lobotomy. It’s something of a cop-out ending for the legendary Scorsese.

The Wolverine

James Mangold’s 2013 take on everyone’s favorite X-Men was a marked improvement over anything we had previously seen in the franchise….until the ending. Yet again the Wolverine lost his adamantium claws and viewers had to sit through a lackluster battle between an Iron Man samurai (who ended up being the same old guy who tried to extract his powers from him so he could live forever). It was an exciting build to a really weak conclusion.


Yet again, a Shyamalan film makes the list. Many agreed that last year’s Split was a welcomed return for the once-great director, a film that actually managed to be compelling. Then M. Night had to go and ruin the ending by introducing Bruce Willis’s character from Unbreakable (his original breakout film), thus establishing some sort of shared cinematic universe. Leave that to Marvel, Shyamalan.


Despite being one of the biggest teen hits of the ‘70s, more than a few eyebrows were raised when Sandy and Danny hop into Greased Lightning at the end and it takes off soaring into the sunset. While it was intended to be a romantic storybook ending, it just felt really out of place in the ‘60s greaser setting.

Jurassic Park III

As purely entertaining as the third Jurassic Park outing is, it kind of screwed things up with the ending. After receiving the distress call, Ellie (a civilian) is able to amass the Army and the Marines with no proof within a matter of hours, and they happen to land on the exact same coast and beach.

Monty Python & The Holy Grail

As much as this Monty Python film has gained huge cult classic status, that doesn’t mean that fans still aren’t unamused with the ending when King Arthur and his knights are arrested by very modern policemen. It felt like they had no clue how to end the damn thing, so they just tacked on this very cheesy ending.

Remember Me

Remember Me wasn’t exactly considered a great film, but then it had to go and muck things up with the ending. After falling in love with a woman, Robert Pattinson’s character visits his estranged father’s office to inform him that he’ll be marrying her no matter what he thinks. Then we find out the date — September 11, 2001 — just as the camera zooms out and shows that the office is located in one of the towers. It was a pretty tasteless effort to draw some sympathy from the audience.


“It was all just a dream” is one of the worst endings a writer could possibly conceive, which is exactly what ticked off so many viewers with this one. About two weed growers and their girlfriend who get in a bloody shootout with the Mexican cartel, causing one of them to die, the other two kill themselves because they can’t stand living without the other. But then — psych! — the whole thing was just a dream. Lame.

500 Days Of Summer

After spending so much of the movie’s final runtime trying to get over his breakup with Summer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character has finally met another girl who he thinks he likes. But when she introduces herself as Autumn, it’s enough to make even your Hallmark Channel-loving grandma groan.

High Tension

This horror flick suffers from having a shock ending simply for the sake of having a shock ending. After two friends are pursued by a killer throughout the entire film, it’s revealed that the one friend is the actual killer. What a twist!

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