Unforgettable Finishes: 30 Movie Endings That Left Us Speechless

Get ready to relive some of the most unforgettable and awe-inspiring cinematic moments in film history! Someone recently asked, “What’s the best movie ending of all time,” and here are the top 30 answers.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Good Will Hunting (1997) - Miramax Pictures
Photo Credit: Miramax Pictures.

“This. I’m a sucker for ambiguous endings. Sad and ambiguous makes it Oscar-worthy, in my opinion.”

“Will Hunting just leaves! Even though everybody loves to mock it (including the cast), it is absolutely a beautiful story!”

“What a good movie that is.”

First Blood (1982)

Photo Credit: Carolco Pictures.

“The ending is so powerful. I’ve seen the movie countless times, and Rambo’s monologue/breakdown at the end always makes me cry.”

“I watched it last week, and that scene is just so well acted. Sylvester Stallone did a wonderful job showing a veteran having a mental breakdown, but Richard Crenna as Colonel Trautman deserves a huge amount of praise too.”

Memento (2000)

Photo Credit: Summit Productions.

“That movie redefined how I saw time and the healing process. To this day, it’s still one of my favorites if I’m having a hard time. Absolutely fantastic.”

“Only film I ever watched and then immediately watched again and enjoyed it even more the second time.”

The Prestige (2006)

The Prestige Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“That slow wide-angle pull-out shot revealing all the rows of glass lockboxes with the drowned bodies of Angier’s doppelgängers in them. Chilling and powerful!”

“This has been my favorite movie since it came out, and my favorite ending, but the original wasn’t necessarily the first to die in the tank. He could have always just been the one doing the Prestige of each trick.”

The Truman Show (1998)

The Truman Show (1998) - Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“Can’t say it’s the best I’ve ever watched, but the end of The Truman Show was pretty satisfying.”

“You ever have these moments where you know 100% that something WILL happen that it almost feels like you’re looking into the future? This is one of those, lmao.”

Heat (1995)

Heat Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“The final shot of Heat with Pacino and De Niro holding hands is absolute perfection, visually, and from a story perspective.”

“With Moby playing. One of my favorite movies, endings, and my favorite ending song.”

“It’s De Niro’s character raising his hand that gets me, reaching out for comfort from the man who killed him.”

Planet Of The Apes (1968)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

“Still gives me a lump in my throat, and goosebumps, after watching it countless times.”

“Funnily enough, the author of the book said he didn’t like that ending, which was different from his own, but the producer told him he wished he had thought of it for the book!”

The Sixth Sense (1999)

The Sixth Sense (1999) - Spyglass Entertainment
Photo Credit: Spyglass Entertainment.

“It absolutely fried my brain. Got me. Big time. Walked out of the theater like I was drunk.”

“I feel bad for anyone who guessed it before the end because it was one of my best theater experiences.”

“The twist is fun, but the kid and his mom in the car when he finally works up the courage to confess what’s going on to her is phenomenal.”

The Matrix (1999)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“I took several friends to see The Matrix just to see the looks on their faces when we came out at the end. God, that was a fantastic movie to talk about afterward.”

“I saw The Matrix just a few months prior to seeing The Sixth Sense. Oh, and The Truman Show just a year before. All have killer endings, but, even among kings, The Matrix takes the crown.”

Arrival (2016)

Arrival FilmNation
Photo Credit: FilmNation.

“It’s hard to say, but my vote is for this because of the true meaning of the movie and the way the ending is folded and weaved in throughout the story; leading up to the ending is really well done and impactful.”

“I don’t think any movie has ever impacted me more afterward; I think about it a lot, and I feel like the movie gets better and better with each rewatch.”

Prisoners (2013)

Prisoners Photo Credit_ Alcon Entertainment
Photo Credit: Alcon Entertainment.

“The climax of Jake G finding the girl, and the masterful and suspenseful way Villeneuve shot the rush to the hospital, plus the way that the ambiguous ending gives you just enough hope without confirming anything; the movie ends in a brilliant place.”

“Yeah, I love the end. The faint whistle and the eye twitch “ok, I definitely heard it,” just enough to know that he was going to be saved.”

Galaxy Quest (1999)

Galaxy Quest (1999) - Dreamworks
Photo Credit: Dreamworks.

“Half the audience in the theater had their hands on their heads, and everybody was doing this weird combination of laughing and cheering.”

“It’s this weird cocktail of emotions; you’re laughing at the main crew, who are stumbling out of the wreckage in a daze smack dab into the middle of a sci-fi convention. And then you’re laughing at the sci-fi nerds, who have no idea that the spaceship is real.”

Back To The Future (1985)

Back to the Future - Universal Pictures
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

“Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.” And then the DeLorean takes flight. Still makes me cheer after 35+ years.”

“Plus, the soundtrack is amazing and just right at this moment.”

Some Like It Hot (1959)

Some Like It Hot (1959) - Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
Photo Credit: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios.

“It’s quite old, but it’s a great movie, though. It was the first Marilyn Monroe film I ever saw, and I really quickly figured out why she was such an alluring icon in that era. Total B A B E. It’s really funny too. And the ending is justly iconic.”

“Can’t believe no one’s said this yet. The ending’s famous for a reason!”

“Nobody’s perfect, but this ending is.”

The Sting (1973)

The Sting (1973) - Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

“I haven’t watched this movie in decades but I still remember how duped I was at the ending.”

“I saw this again recently and agree. It had been several decades ago, so I had forgotten everything about the movie. It’s a great final scene and a fun movie experience.”

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly (1966)

Photo Credit: United Artists.

“From the graveyard to the credits, it is the most magnificent piece of cinema ever.”

“Ecstasy of gold really adds to the tension too.”

“Absolute masterpiece. Every scene in that movie is perfect, especially the end.”

Gattaca (1997)

Gattaca Columbia Pictures
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

“The music, the closing of all the threads… the sadness of it all!”

“For me, it isn’t even the very end. The doctor talking about his son gets me every time. Explodes the world from a tiny conflict surrounding the main character to an entire part of society looking for hope, for a chance. Fantastic stuff.”

The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford (2007)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“The narration and cinematography are perfect; that final shot before it cuts out is iconic.”

“The last 5 minutes are absolutely perfect. I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve watched it probably 100 times now.”

“I remember being on the edge of my seat the entire movie. Everything from the plot, cinematography, and music caused such tension and anxiety. The ending was phenomenal.”

Babe (1995)

Babe (1995) - Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

“My favorite movie. And I always rewind the last 5 minutes and watch the end again.”

“That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.’ Every now and then, I use this line when something is good enough or works right. My wife gets very mad when I say it to her.”

“I get tears just thinking about that final scene. The swelling music and that sweet, kind face as he delivers the line. What a great movie.”

Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

“Marla and the Narrator holding hands as the buildings collapse and Pixies “Where is my mind,” plays, and all he says is, “You met me at a very strange time in my life.” Genius.”

“Everybody talks about the twist, but the fact that Project Mayhem succeeded is pretty slept-on detail in that movie.”

“It stopped me in my tracks and made me rethink everything I knew about movies.”

Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash Sony Pictures
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures.

“Great answer. The closeup of JK’s eyes when he finally smiles is phenomenal.”

“That’s it. The whole movie is encapsulated in that one look. Whether you interpret the movie as tragedy, with Andrew losing himself to Fletcher, or as a triumph when he finally achieves the validation he was struggling for, it all hinges on that single moment.”

“The ending blows me away every time.”

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II (1974) - Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“As Michael completes his transition to a cold-blooded emperor all by his lonesome.”

“For sure. It’s the kind of ending that sticks in your head for hours. It somehow managed to top all other movies, in my opinion.”

12 Monkeys (1995)

12 Monkeys (1995) - Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

“The astonishing twist at the end; I did not see that coming.”

“In case you didn’t know, 12 Monkeys is basically a remake of the French film ‘La Jetee’ (1962), which has the same twist.”

“Also somewhat of a happy ending, because the people from the future found out Brad Pitt’s character was actually a red herring.”

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)

Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989) - LucasFilm _ Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: LucasFilm _ Paramount Pictures.

“For me, it was a perfect ending. The music, the riding off into the sunset, the completion of the story, and, for a time, an ending for the characters.”

“This was a great movie. As far as I’m concerned, that ending was the end of that franchise. Perfect ending.”

“Just rewatched that for maybe the hundredth time the other night.”

The Mist (2007)

The Mist Dimension Films
Photo Credit: MGM.

“It has always stuck with me the most. The end gets brought up constantly for discussions like this, and for good reason.”

“I was surprised to have to scroll to find it. It’s a very divisive ending and definitely not a feel-good happy one. But you will never forget it.”

The Witch (2015)

The Witch A24
Photo Credit: A24.

“I loved how it ended. Horror movies can be tough to end in terms of giving the viewer something satisfying while also maintaining an air of mystery, and I thought The Witch walked that line perfectly. More than the subject matter, I just thought what they did visually in the stable was perfect. Like they revealed/obscured just the right amount.”

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Usual Suspects Gramercy Pictures
Photo Credit: Gramercy Pictures.

“When Verbal walks out of police station, and you see his limp disappear and you slowly realize what’s been happening the entire time.”

“I can’t believe how far I had to scroll to see this; it should be at the top!”

Inception (2010)

Inception (2010) - Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“I doubt I’ll hear an entire theater gasp collectively ever again.”

“When Cobb spins the top, the camera loses focus on it, and then it starts shaking before it cuts to black silence, and the whole theater inhaled at the exact same time.”

The Thing (1982)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

“This would be my answer, too. So many ways they could have milked that and drawn it out, or there could have been a really unsatisfying fight. But it was much creepier and more unsettling to have them both just sit there.”

The Departed (2006)

The Departed (2006) Warner Bros. Pictures
Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

“It was great, but I still have questions. Queenan was no longer a cop, but he figured out Matt Damon’s character was dirty, right? Or was Queenan also dirty?”

“He pretty much knew for a while, but he couldn’t do anything about it; also, you’re thinking of Dignam. Queenan was the boss who died. Dignam avenged his death at the end.”


Heat Warner Bros
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

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