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While a captivating opening to a movie makes for a key element throughout its runtime, playing a huge role in keeping audiences invested and intrigued, a well-crafted finale is just as important. Endings do not have to be grand to be memorable. However, they should be thoroughly considered and offer proper closure, as a bad landing can easily undo a good film.
Because the final moments in films are so defining – or redefining – and help shape a good story, we look back at some of the best ever provided to cinephiles according to Reddit, where many movie enthusiasts users share their favorite final moments, from Before Sunset to The Truman Show.
10 ‘Before Sunset’ (2004)
The second installment to a beautifully-written trilogy, Before Sunset follows Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke‘s characters as they reunite nine years after having an affair. The two share a stroll in Paris, walking over the city and catching up on each other’s lives in this Richard Linklater film.
From the heartfelt conversations to the beautiful landscapes it features, there are many great things about the Before trilogy. On Reddit, users agree that the ending to the second entry is one of them: When a user quoted the characters’ final lines on the platform, a now-deleted Reddit account highlighted how “good” the film is.
9 ‘The Shawshank Redemption’ (1994)
Starring Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins, Frank Darabont‘s 1994 emotional film The Shawshank Redemption tells the story of the tight bond between two convicts as they find solace and consolation in each other, as well as redemption and friendship.
Spidey10 reveals that, although they know that the book’s ending is ambiguous, they’re very happy that the movie went on another path and “showed us that Andy and Red reunited on the beach.” On top of that, they also highlight how incredible Thomas Newman‘s score is.
8 ‘The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly’ (1966)
This iconic 1966 Spaghetti Western by Sergio Leone stars Clint Westwood in one of his most memorable roles and centers on a race to uncover a fortune in gold buried in a rural cemetery, illustrating the beginning of an uneasy partnership between three men and against a fourth.
In addition to an unforgettable storyline and amazing performances, the landing of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is also what makes it stand out, according to Redditors. “The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly. The grave yard to credits is goated,” allthereeses said.
7 ‘Arrival’ (2016)
Set in the aftermath of a bizarre alien invasion in 12 different locations on Earth, Arrival follows linguistic professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams), who is recruited by the military and works with an elite team of investigators in order to communicate with otherworldly beings.
“Hard to say, maybe Arrival,” santichrist replied with Denis Villeneuve‘s mind-bending sci-fi movie when asked which is the best movie ending they have ever watched. “The way the true meaning of the movie and the way the ending is folded and weaved in throughout the story leading up to the ending is really well done and impactful.”
6 ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995)
The twisting The Usual Suspects invites viewers to embark on a wild journey as it depicts a sole survivor describing the sequence of events that started when five criminals rounded up at a seemingly arbitrary police lineup and led to a brutal gun battle on a boat.
“The Usual Suspects. When Virgil walks out of police station,” togocann49 remarks, and many people seem to agree that the film’s final moments stand out among the rest. “It’s tainted by Kevin Spacey now, but that ending was a completely unexpected twist. Talk about an unreliable narrator,” BigLan2 added.
5 ‘Whiplash’ (2014)
One of Damien Chazelle‘s finest features (arguably the best), Whiplash stars Miles Teller in the lead role and follows an ambitious, talented young drummer as he enrolls in a competitive music conservatory and is guided by a demanding teacher who will go to great lengths to help his pupils reach their true potential.
A really intense watch throughout, this 2014 feature is guaranteed to keep viewers on the edge of their seats. On top of that, it also counts on a grand finale. “Ending blows me away every time,” Unhappy_Grocery_351 said. “The closeup on JK’s eyes when he finally smiles is phenomenal,” malleable replied.
4 ‘Heat’ (1995)
Starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer, Heat is a high-regarded action crime movie that centers on a crew of high-end professional thieves who start to feel the pressure from the LAPD when they unintentionally leave a clue at their most recent theft.
Throughout the years, Michael Mann‘s gritty movie managed to capture many’s attention, and KyubiCarpe is one of the many cinephiles that could not remain indifferent to its simple but touching finale. “The final shot of Heat with Pacino and De Niro holding hands is absolute perfection,” the user said.
3 ‘Memento’ (2000)
A former insurance investigator (played by Guy Pearce) who is unable to form new memories attempts to find his wife’s killer in this Christopher Nolan film that features a non-linear narrative. While one storyline moves forward in time, the other unveils backward.
There is no doubt that Memento makes for a truly mind-blowing experience, and its twisted ending obviously adds to that. As ramriot puts it, the movie also counts with a “good 1st scene.” Another Redditor added, “Memento should be taught in every film editing class.”
2 ‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007)
Loosely based on the 1927 novel “Oil!” by Upton Sinclair, Paul Thomas Anderson‘s dramatic masterpiece There Will Be Blood endures as one of the best movies of all time. It centers on an ambitious silver miner turned oilman on a ruthless quest for riches.
Excellent acting from everyone involved, including, of course, powerhouse Daniel Day Lewis, isn’t the only strong aspect of the movie. As Redditors argue, “There Will Be Blood, bowling alley scene, just wow,” Rob_Reason noted. “The cut to the score in There Will Be Blood after plainview saying “I’m finished” is so great,” road2five added.
1 ‘The Truman Show’ (1998)
A very thought-provoking sci-fi drama, the Peter Weir movie invites viewers to take a look inside the life of Truman Burbank (Jim Carrey), the star of a reality television program filmed 24/7 through thousands of hidden cameras and broadcast worldwide who has no idea that everything around him is a set and everyone he connects with are actors.
For users on the platform, The Truman Show‘s ending is surely among the most pleasant. “Can’t say it’s the best I’ve ever watched, but the end of The Truman Show was pretty satisfying,” positivecynik said in a comment with which many agreed. “The absolute warmth and sincerity Carey puts into that is amazing,” another Reddit user replied in a different Redditor‘s comment quoting Carrey’s character’s last lines.
NEXT: The Most Disappointing Series Finales, According to Reddit