15 Could-Be-Great Movies Ruined By Their Terrible Endings

8. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)

The Matrix Revolutions

The Wachowski brothers’ epic trilogy deserved a good ending and unfortunately it doesn’t happen in this third Matrix movie that should’ve given the audiences some answers about the war between Neo and Agent Smith and The Matrix itself. Instead, The Matrix Revolutions only creates more questions.

The ending: The end fails to give an answer as to what happens to Neo, the entire Matrix, and everyone. It’s just a poor and undesired open-ended conclusion to an epic trilogy.


7. High Tension (2003)

High Tension

A good genre movie is ruined by a cliché ending. Horror movie fans are a tough crowd. Since the start of horror films the goal is to find who’s the killer in the movie. Because of that, filmmakers mostly rely on twist endings in trying to surprise their audience. Sometimes good movies are ruined by that twist and this is one of those cases.

The Ending: The girl who has been stalked throughout the story was the assassin all along in a cliched schizophrenia solution. This time it doesn’t make any sense and leave inexplicable narrative holes. Note to writers: there are some movies where the schizophrenia angle can’t save the ending without creating further questions and nor can the audience be expected to simply just accept that. This is one of those (few) times.


6. The Ninth Gate (1999)

The Ninth Gate

Roman Polanski is one of the great directors. Add that to a star such as Johnny Depp and the audience can anticipate a good movie, and it was until the ending. Dean Corso (Johnny Depp) is a rare book dealer seeking the last copies of a demonic book designed to conjure up the powers of Satan.

The Ending: Fans have made their own theories about the ending’s meaning. There has been symbolism throughout Polanski’s career but this time it’s not a question of symbolism, it’s simply a question of lacking a real ending as Corso traveled through the ninth portal.


5. Signs (2002)


Being a M. Night Shyamalan movie, it is anticipated that a twist was coming. What wasn’t known is that it would ruin everything. This movie follows a rural family in Pennsylvania as they try to survive during an alien invasion. Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix play the leading roles in this sci-fi/drama movie.

The Ending: The aliens, which were supposed to be intelligent, invade Earth and reveal their weakness: water. So, they choose to invade a world composed majorly of water? One could expect anything from Night Shyamalan, but not a twist so clumsy as this was.


4. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


In this anticipated third chapter of the Dark Knight trilogy from director Christopher Nolan, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is forced to return from his exile after villainous Bane (Tom Hardy), invades Gotham City, along his mercenary soldiers, in order to destroy the city.

Batman eventually finds a way of subduing Bane. However, Batman discovers Bane is not the son of Ra’s al Ghul, the villain in Batman Begins. In fact Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard), executive member of Wayne Enterprises, is his daughter and she has been planning Gotham’s destruction.

The Ending : The problem is that for more than two hours the brilliant and capable villain Bane (who is killed by Selina, played by Anne Hathaway) is in fact a puppet of Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Talia al Ghul, who doesn’t engage with audience throughout the entire movie. This sudden switch is truly unexpected, unjustified and not captivating.


3. The Devil’s Advocate (1997)

Devil's AdvocateDevil's Advocate

Kevin Lomax (Keanu Reeves), who’s married to Mary Ann (Charlize Theron), is an ambitious lawyer from Florida who is offered a job in the big New York law-firm of John Milton (Al Pacino). This is a depressing and dark drama of morality and sin.

The Ending: An “exotic” montage follows the final scenes where Milton is revealed to be Lucifer and Kevin is his son. Asked to father the Antichrist with his half-sister, Kevin destroys his father’s plan by killing himself. The story itself rewinds and Lomax returns to the film’s first scenes where he makes a different choice. What was this? It was all in Kevin’s head? Does the Devil controls time? This demonic thriller is somewhat ruined by this ambiguous ending.


2. I Am Legend (2007)


Francis Lawrence wrote this adaptation of Richard Matheson’s classic where a man-made virus designed to cure cancer kills 90% of the population and turns the survivors into mutated predators called “dark seekers”. Unaware that there are any others human beings alive, Richard Neville (a charismatic Will Smith) spends his days wandering in a post-apocalyptic New York with Samantha, his pet dog.

After finding two immune human survivors (Anna and Ethan), Robert also captures an infected woman he manages to treat. After trying out his cure on the infected woman, which is successful, his house is assaulted by the dark seekers.

The Ending: Richard, before killing himself and the Dark Seekers with a grenade, gives a blood sample to Anna (Alice Braga) and Ethan (Charlie Tahan) so they can find other humans and show them the cure to the virus. This is an easy way out and a needlessly heroic act in an abrupt conclusion. An alternate ending was released and is considered the “right ending”, a more philosophical and simply more interesting one.


1. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

Artificial Intelligence

Steven Spielberg’s sci-fi version of Pinocchio features a robotic child (David, played by Haley Joel Osment) who wants to be human, “a real boy”, so he can be loved by his adoptive human mom Monica (Frances O’Connor). For that he needs to find the “Blue Fairy”.

The Ending: David is trapped in the bottom of an icy section of the ocean when he’s found by robot-aliens who concede to his wish of seeing his mother one last time. This is a lazy solution.

Author Bio: João Vieira is a cinema aficionado since he can recall. His favorite director is Woody Allen and he likes to watch movies from all genres, years and countries. In his spare time you’ll probably see him reading a book or talking with his friends about a movie or series he just saw.