10 Great Movies With Disappointing Endings
Generally speaking, there is a lot of significance placed on endings in storytelling and movies are no exception. A lot of work gets put into crafting a good ending; all the more difficult because the closing moments tend to closely follow the climax and falling action, the most interesting and significant portions of the plot. The ending is simply one component of a film’s story, but because it is by definition the last component, a lot of significance is placed on an ending being effective. The truth is that a lot of movies, even very good ones, don’t always nail this important stage. When a great movie ends in a disappointing or unsatisfying way, it unfortunately diminishes the work as a whole and tends to stand out in the viewer’s eye. For whatever reason, the following 10 movies, while undeniably great in their own right, had some pretty disappointing endings.
10. War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds is seen by many as one of Steven Spielberg’s lesser works and while that opinion is very much up for debate, even a “lesser” Spielberg film is something special. This 2005 modern take on H.G. Wells’ classic science fiction story has a much darker tone than some of the director’s more well-known films and is a visual stunner anchored by the always dependable Tom Cruise. Unfortunately, much of the film’s criticism is aimed at its abrupt, convenient ending and for good reason. While the concept of the aliens dying from something as simple as not having an immunity to bacteria found on earth is interesting, there is almost no lead-up to this reveal, making the resolution more one of convenience than one that is earned. If Spielberg had spent a little more time developing his film’s conclusion, it could have been remembered as an all-time sci-fi classic.
9. The Wolverine
Hugh Jackman’s performance as amnesic mutant Wolverine has been the glue that has kept the X-Men film franchise together for 15 years now, but his first solo outing in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine was a pretty big stumble. Fortunately, the quality was ramped up considerably for 2013’s The Wolverine, which featured a tighter plot and competence behind the lens with James Mangold handling directing duties. While the film finally does justice to the character, it loses its footing pretty badly in the 3rd act, where Wolverine fights an old man in a ridiculous giant metal samurai suit. Most of the movie is understated, reflecting Wolverine’s more tempered style of superhero. His run-in with the giant mech is cheap in comparison, and feels more like the writers weren’t sure of how to end the movie than a fitting trial for the character to face.