Who doesn’t love a satisfying ending to a movie? Cliffhangers, one last twist or leaving it ambiguous is fine, but there’s just something about when a movie ties up all the loose ends that feels so rewarding. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a “happy” ending, but it does wrap the story up perfectly.
From major blockbusters and independent films to Hollywood classics and modern masterpieces, a satisfying ending can be found in all types of films. It can be hard to pull off, but when done right, a good ending can actually elevate the entire movie. Not all great movie endings are satisfying, but all satisfying movie endings are great.
10/10 Marvel ended its first three phases on a high note
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Finishing a trilogy is hard enough, but Avengers: Endgame had to conclude intrigues which built from twenty-two films. The pressure on this film to have a satisfying ending was unprecedented. so it’s really remarkable that End of Game not only lived up to the hype, but exceeded all expectations and delivered one of the most iconic endings in recent memory.
Endgame wraps up Marvel’s first three phases with Tony Stark sacrifice to win Thanos and restore the universe, and Steve retiring as Captain America and return to the 1940s to live out his life with Peggy. While it’s sad to see these iconic characters go, their send-offs couldn’t have been more perfect.
9/10 Will Hunting went to see a girl
Good Hunting (1997)
In Goodwill hunting, Matt Damon stars as Will Hunting, a genius with a troubled past who is arrested and ordered into therapy. Will initially rejects these therapy sessions, as he is afraid of being vulnerable, which holds him back in life. His best friend, Chuckie, played by Ben Affleck tells Will that he hopes to one day knock on his door, and he’s not here because he’s finally realized his potential and moved on.
In the end, that’s exactly what happens. Will is able to forgive himself and finally pursue what he wants in life. It’s a heartwarming moment that’s completely deserved and brings the film full circle. Like Chuckie, the audience can’t help but smile and be happy for Will.
8/10 Django comes out with a bang
Django unleashed (2012)
Quentin Tarantino is a filmmaker who has perfected the art of finishing a film. pulp Fiction, inglorious bastardsand Once upon a time in Hollywood everything have extremely satisfying endingsbut he who stands above the rest is Django Unchained.
After being freed, Django, a former slave turned bounty hunter, embarks on a journey to free his wife from an evil plantation owner. After things go wrong, Django is forced to pull it off, and there’s nothing more satisfying than watching him unload on a bunch of racist slavers. Django saves his wife and destroys the plantation with sticks of dynamite before leaving together. The film literally comes out with a bang.
7/10 Bulbs never felt so good
Whiplash follows Andrew Nieman, an obsessive young drummer, and his psychological battle with his abusive music teacher, Terence Fletcher, who believes that pushing his students to their absolute limit is the only way for them to be great. It’s a movie that puts its audience under immense stress, but it’s a ;; it’s worth it in the last moments.
After Fletcher sabotages Andrew during the final concert, he leaves the stage humiliated, only to return moments later and deliver an epic drum solo. Andrew takes control and proves he’s got what it takes, earning Fletcher’s approval. It’s not a warm, fuzzy ending, but the moment is completely deserved and so satisfying to watch.
6/10 Rocky goes the distance
Rocky is the quintessential underdog story. Sylvester Stallone stars as the titular low-level boxer who gets the chance to fight the heavyweight champion, Apollo Creed. Although Rocky doesn’t think he can win, his goal is to at least go the distance and prove to everyone that he’s a worthy opponent, and that’s exactly what he’s doing.
Rocky endures a grueling 15 rounds with the much more experienced fighter, and although he loses the fight, it doesn’t matter as he earns the respect of everyone who doubted him. Plus, who could forget Rocky’s iconic “Adriiiiiaaaaann” belts to his girlfriend before the two declared their love? It’s just amazing.
5/10 The TSA saves the day
Get Out (2017)
Similar to Whiplashthe end of get out comes as a well-deserved sigh of relief after keeping the audience on the edge of their seat. The film follows an interracial couple, Chris and Rosevisits Rose’s parents for the first time, and it is revealed that they are part of a cult that kidnaps young black men to use in a brain transplant procedure.
Chris is able to escape but is stopped by a police car with flashing lights. He fears it’s the police as they racially profiled him earlier and probably won’t believe him. But he turns out to be his friend and TSA agent Rod, there to save him. The audience can’t help but burst into applause.
4/10 Truman cancels his show
The Truman Show (1998)
What do you do when you learn that your whole life has been one long lie fabricated for the amusement of others? That’s the question that lingers at the end of 1998’s psychological satire, The Truman Show. Truman, played by jim carrey, is a man who is unknowingly the star of a TV show; he lives in an artificial city and everyone he has known is just actors.
In the end, Truman learns the truth and tries to escape, but not before his “maker” Christoff tries to convince him to stay. Although initially hesitant, Truman rejects Christoff and the only life he has known. He says his catchphrase, bows, and walks out into the real world. It’s a cathartic and well-deserved happy ending.
3/10 Fans were happy to be there at the end of all things
The Return of the King (2003)
Although there have been countless jokes that The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King has “too many endings”, that doesn’t take away from the fact that it concluded perfectly one of the greatest trilogies of all time. Frodo destroys the ring, Sauron is defeated and Aragorn takes his place as rightful king.
Director peter jackson made sure every loose end was tied and every central character in this epic 9-hour adventure received a proper send-off. It’s not often that the last film in a trilogy is also the best, but Return of the King is the rare exception. It gave fans everything they could have asked for, and more.
2/10 An angel takes his wings
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
It’s a wonderful life is a holiday classic that follows George Bailey, a man on the verge of financial ruin who contemplates suicide on Christmas Eve. Clarence, a guardian angel, then shows George what the world would be like if he had never been born.
At the end, George realizes the positive impact he’s had on everyone and begs for his life to go back to how it was. Clarence grants him this wish and, overjoyed, George rushes home, hugs his wife and children, and learns that the townspeople have donated enough money to resolve his financial situation. It’s so wholesome and comforting that you can’t help but shed tears of joy every time.
1/10 Be busy living or be busy dying
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
If this isn’t the best movie ending of all time, The Shawshank Redemption is certainly the most rewarding. Based on a short story by Stephen King, the story follows Andy Dufresne, a man wrongfully imprisoned at the corrupt Shawshank State Penitentiary. There he befriends fellow inmate Red and becomes involved in a money laundering scheme run by the prison warden.
The Shawshank Redemption spans twenty years in which Andy faces many hardships and blows, but it is revealed at the end that Andy spent those years digging a tunnel to freedom. The icing on the cake comes when Red finds Andy on the beach in Mexico he told her about earlier in the film. It’s the perfect ending to a perfect movie.