Most Disappointing Movie Ending Ever?

Howellis’s great post on  great movie endings got me thinking about movies with endings that just fall completely flat, or worse infuriate; films that may have been otherwise enjoyable, but when you get to the ending it’s so lousy it threatens to suck the enjoyment out of the previous 89 minutes.

One I sometimes see around this time of year is Prancer (spoilerish alert!), which Leonard Maltin accurately nails as having a too-literal ending. Throughout it is subtle and the magic hums be…

  1. Misthiocracy

    I dunno ’bout “disappointing”, but the ending of Time Bandits certainly gave me nightmares.

  2. Lord Humungus

    images.jpg

    uhm….yeah.

  3. Joan of Ark La Tex

    Do not ever, even if you are bored to the point of doing headstands,  watch Nicolas Cages The Weatherman

  4. Brian Watt

    Well, I wanted to get this off my chest, because I completely disagree with Howellis in his post about the ending of South Pacific. Since the stage production was before my time, I’m not sure how the final scene was played out but I found the film ending of Emile and Nellie clasping hands underneath the patio table to be an act of cowardice that I will assign to Josh Logan, the director. Since Rodgers and Hammerstein took great pains to make a statement about racism (You Have To Be Carefully Taught) and mixed marriage, when the moment comes for the two lead characters to show their true emotions in front of Emile’s children born of a Polynesian women, the director chickens out. The ending irritates me to this day.

    There. I feel better now.

  5. Brian Watt

    By the way, if you ignore the obnoxious and irritatingly poor (and at one point stammering) performance of Alec Baldwin, the recital production of South Pacific, with Reba McEntyre as Nellie and Brian Stokes Mitchell as Emile, is spectacular and ends as the movie should have ended. Keep some Kleenex handy. Of course, I’m one of those men who, Tabula Rasa, should know, gets weepy at the drop of a hat. Can’t even put in How Green Was My Valley without going all to pieces. Going to change into my rugby shirt now.

  6. Albert Arthur, 16th Earl of Tuftonboro, etc.
    Central Scrutinizer

    uhm….yeah. · 2 hours ago

    That whole movie annoyed me.

  7. Neolibertarian

    The Life Before Her Eyes.

  8. Aaron Miller

    Star Wars (the series, that is)

    “From my perspective, the Jedi are evil.” — Worst line ever.

  9. Propeller Head

    Thelma and Louise. There are very, very few things that would make driving off a cliff the best option, maybe if Nancy Pelosi was in the passenger seat and Joe Biden in the back.

  10. Paul Erickson

    Far and away the worst:  2001 A Space Odyssey.  The ending lasts for what seems to be 1/3 of the film, and makes even less sense today than when it first came out. 

  11. Z in MT
    Paul Erickson: Far and away the worst:  2001 A Space Odyssey.  The ending lasts for what seems to be 1/3 of the film, and makes even less sense today than when it first came out.  · 12 minutes ago

    The whole danged film was a waste of time.  How 2001 ever makes anybodies lists of good films is beyond me.

  12. Z in MT

    While I am bashing film legend I want put a lick into Citizen Kane too.  Dumb ending, boring movie.

  13. Stuart Creque

    Signs.  A culture that has mastered interstellar travel and is vulnerable to water as a poison (1) hasn’t figured out the technology of raincoats and umbrellas and (2) targets a planet whose defining feature is the abundance of liquid water on its surface and precipitating from its atmosphere?

  14. paulebe

    A feather floating off to end Forrest Gump ruined the entire movie for me. Spielberg is an idiot.

  15. Roberto
    Z in MT

    Paul Erickson: Far and away the worst:  2001 A Space Odyssey.  The ending lasts for what seems to be 1/3 of the film, and makes even less sense today than when it first came out.  · 12 minutes ago

    The whole danged film was a waste of time.  How 2001 ever makes anybodies lists of good films is beyond me. · 1 hour ago

    If you’ve read the book the film, including the ending, makes a great deal more sense. In fact I would not recommend anyone watch it who has not read the novel. 

    Of course if a film requires supplementary reading prior to viewing that certainly does imply some fault on the part of the director. 

    Seizing your topic as a chance to voice my own displeasure I’m going to go afield Mr. Key and declare my loathing for The Merchant of Venice. It was a fine play up until the ending which left me outraged. 

  16. TJ

    Rocket City Dave: What I got out of The Book of Eli was more that Eli was analogous to the monks of Ireland preserving western civilization through the dark ages. He didn’t carry his braille edition of the bible to his final destination because he didn’t need to and those who transcribed the bible from his memory would have had no use for it anyway. I felt the ending redeemed an otherwise needlessly violent movie.

  17. Jimmie Bise Jr

    If somehow you make it to the ending of The Thin Red Line, you will find the most confusing float-away ending I’ve ever seen. I literally (in the real sense, not the Joe Biden sense) sat through ten seconds of credits because I was too baffled to stand up.

  18. Byron Horatio

    No Country For Old Men. Outstanding movie and nail biter, but a main character is randomly killed off camera and the last conversation attempts to be needlessly preachy and profound while never resolving the chase th the movie followed.

  19. TJ

    As far as movies, the ending to The Abyss stands out as a particular disappointment. I saw it on one of the last truly big movie theater screens in the Minneapolis area when it first came out. When the plot was resolved by the gigantic alien vessel rising to the ocean’s surface it ruined the movie for me.

    As far as TV shows, the ending to Lost was one of the biggest letdowns ever.

  20. Daniel Jeyn

    There Will Be Blood.  It’s a very dark movie with a lead character that is intriguing, but becomes downright despicable.  Nothing wrong with — that’s the kind of movie it is.  Although the ending of *spoiler* him bludgeoning the preacher to death seemed to have no motivation whatsoever.  In what should have been a miserable character fading into obscurity became a completely different movie for me. 

    That’s one that the critics raved about.  There were a lot of very compelling things about the movie, but it’s the last scene that literally made the rest just meaningless to me.  As in that alone is why I would give it a thumbs down.

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