20 Greatest Movie Endings of All-Time

20.  2001:  A Space Odyssey-Considered to be the most weird, and talked about movie endings of all time, the conception of a dying man through space and time seems to evolve into an embryo overlooking the globe.  This ending holds many theories and meanings yet director Stanley Kubrick never gave a definitive answer to his Space Opera.

19.  Fight Club-Can’t we all just have a little bit more of Tyler Durden?  The craziness and the masculinity seeping through David Fincher’s 90’s masterpiece “Fight Club” never gets old and that ending was jaw dropping.  “You have to fight!”

18.  Memento-The weird thing about Christopher Nolan’s first film, is that the ending starts at the beginning as the film moves backwards in time, while also moving forwards.  If that’s not enough of a mindfuck for you, try deciphering the narrative.  This film is crazy, mature and a well done effort by Nolan.

17.  Inglourious Basterds-“I think it might just be my masterpiece.”  The final line delivered by Brad Pitt in Quentin Tarantino’s masterpiece fantasy WWII drama.  The ending is excruciating, funny and at the same time awesome.  This is indeed an inglourious ending to a great film.

16.  Psycho-Mother and Norman, Norman and Mother; they are one in the same.  Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece horror film ends on such a creepy note, that will send chills down your spine and make you tingle.  How could Norman be that bad, after all, he wouldn’t even hurt a fly.

15.  Some Like it Hot-This dress and drags gangster comedy is considered to be a classic and one of the best comedy films of all-time.  The famous ending of Jack Lemmon revealing to his lover that he isn’t in fact a woman, lends a great final line:  “Well, nobody’s perfect.”

14.  Gone With the Wind-From the sweeping cinematography, to the daring love story set during the Civil War, “Gone With the Wind” is a staple American film with phenomenal performances from Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable.  And the final line proves the immortality of this everlasting film, ending with “Frankly my dear I don’t give a damn.”

13.  Inception-Another Christopher Nolan masterpiece becomes mainstream with Leonardo DiCaprio.  This is a film about the dream-state.  And a heist taking place inside a dream-state offers many interpretations to this coin-toss of an ending.  It’s perfectly ambiguous and left many craving more from this science fiction action film.  Who would have thought that a spinning top could be so suspenseful.

12.  Planet of the Apes-“Damn you, Damn you all the Hell!”  This was a total shocker ending for an other-worldly film.  One of the greatest endings of all time, sees Charleton Heston screaming as he realizes that Earth has been inhabited by Apes for thousands of years, and the planet that he crash landed on, was his home from the future.

11.  Rosemary’s Baby-A horrifying ending to a great thriller.  Roman Polanski delivers one of the best horror films of all time with “Rosemary’s Baby.”  The ending is subtle yet ominous, and the look of horror in Rosemary’s eyes makes this a great film with a superb finale.

10.  Gladiator-This ending is sure to echo in eternity.  In a sweeping action spectacle of the Roman era, watch as Maximus topples and shatters an empire of evil and deceit.  The dream-like ending in the wheat field is memorable, touching with pure masculinity.

9.  E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial-This is probably the most sad, touching and heartfelt ending in movie history.  A boy and his pet alien depart, as Steven Spielberg tugs at our heartstrings.  This is one movie that never made me want to go home.

8.  Saw-This is probably the biggest mind fuck ending in film history.  You will never see this brilliant ending coming for the life of you, in James Wan’s indie horror film “Saw.”  It wasn’t game over for “Saw” fans as seven more films succeeded it.  However, the first one is the best and most memorable with a jaw dropping twist.

7.  Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade-What better way to end a film, by riding off into the sunset.  The finale to Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ classic adventure story came to the perfect close, until some years later it started up again in a less than stellar way.  Most of us try to ignore “Crystal Skull,” and prefer our dream ending with Indy and his father on horseback.  What better romantic way to ride off into a sunset.

6.  Sunset Boulevard-A bizarre and mesmerizing ending to Billy Wilder’s classic black and white noir.  “Sunset Boulevard” is all about the Hollywood spotlight, murder and the excessive compulsion of living the Hollywood dream as a star.  Or as Norma Desmond puts it, “Mr. Demille I’m ready for my closeup.”

5.  Casablanca-“Louie, I think this is beginning of a beautiful friendship.”  The best ending of a movie line ever.  “Casablanca” literally follows two gents as they stroll off into the midnight fog, after one of them let go the love of his life.  “Casablanca” is a classic and the ending regards it so.

4.  Shawshank Redemption-The best film with Morgan Freeman shows the life inside a prison.  Andy and Red are two friends who dream of a life outside of Shawshank Prison.  And the ending is too perfect, but also the best finale possible.  It’s sad, yet joyful and will put a smile upon your face when the twist is revealed.

3.  Whiplash-This is the most adrenaline fueled endings that I have ever seen.  I felt my eyes about ready to explode.  The angst, the terror, the pure bombastic sound of crazy drumbs echoing through the last few minutes are not only badass but extremely exciting for a torturous display of character from J.K. Simmons in his Oscar- winning role.

2.  Cinema Paradiso-This is the most touching and heartfelt film that I have ever seen and the ending is a pure masterpiece.  This is a love letter to cinema and every time you watch it you get the feels as the characters connect with movie lovers on so many different levels.  Without spoiling this perfect ending, it is wrapped in a perfect red bow.

1.  Seven-To this day, this is the most suspenseful, and mind blowing ending in cinema.  The way it’s shot, the twist and reveal, and the sheer disgust of how to end a movie is all present in this David Fincher neo noir film starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman.  Kevin Spacey is magnificent as John Doe, and the famous line “what’s in the box,” is just a sample of this twisted yet near perfect movie.

So there you go, our breakdown of the greatest movie endings of all time.  What did we miss?  What would your list look like?  For more movie endings and Hollywood dreams, follow us on Twitter @filmschooligans and on Youtube at Film School Hooligans.  Or if you despise movies all together, leave a comment and let us know why.  It’s all good here; with mischief, mayhem and movies.

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