The films that have the absolute worst endings
Touchstone Pictures

The films that have the absolute worst endings

Some movies end with a bang, others end with a whimper. Or maybe they end with you rolling your eyes or letting out a heavy sigh. The movie may have been good to that point, but failed to stick the land. On the other hand, perhaps a film was not good from the jump and the lousy ending feeling totally fitting as a result. Either way, these are the worst endings in film history. They all left us with a bad taste in our mouths, regardless of how much we may have enjoyed the rest of the movie. And, of course, major spoilers to follow.

 
1 of 20

“Planet of the Apes” (2001)

“Planet of the Apes” (2001)
20th Century Fox

The ending of the original “Planet of the Apes,” when Charleton Heston realizes it was Earth all along, is iconic. On the other hand, the ending of Tim Burton’s remake is incredibly lame. The whole movie is a disappointment, but when Mark Wahlberg travels back in time to his world, he finds that the Lincoln Memorial has been replaced by a memorial to an ape general. It’s goofy as all get out.

 
2 of 20

“Man of Steel” (2013)

“Man of Steel” (2013)
Warner Bros.

You either are on Zack Snyder’s heavy-handed, miserable wavelength, or you find his movies kind of interminable. If you are in the latter category, “Man of Steel” probably left a sour taste in your mouth. The real beef that people have with this film is that Superman, usually a paragon of virtue, violently kills General Zod at the film’s conclusion after destroying much of Metropolis in the process.

 
3 of 20

“Signs” (2002)

“Signs” (2002)
Touchstone

M. Night Shyamalan has been riding on the good vibes of “The Sixth Sense,” and to a degree “Unbreakable,” by and large. Yes, the twist at the end of “Sixth Sense” is a good one. The ending of “Signs,” on the other hand? The invading aliens turn out to be defeated by water. Yes, they invaded a planet covered in water, seemingly their one weakness.

 
4 of 20

“Grease” (1978)

“Grease” (1978)
Paramount

There’s a lot of weird stuff about “Grease,” especially since so many kids watch it and are fans of it. The ending is doubly weird. First, Sandy decides to completely change her personality into that of a leather-clad bad girl for Danny Zuko (who had in turn become a preppy for her). Then, they get in a car and it flies away in a movie that had nothing supernatural in it to that point. Do you think this ending sucks? Tell us about it, stud.

 
5 of 20

“(500) Days of Summer” (2009)

“(500) Days of Summer” (2009)
Fox Searchlight

Some people like “(500) Days of Summer,” but personally we found it unbearable from the beginning. It has so many problems, but the end note is a really insult to the intelligence of everybody watching. After his tumultuous, grating relationship with a woman named Summer, Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character meets a new woman. Her name? Autumn, of course.

 
6 of 20

“I Am Legend” (2007)

“I Am Legend” (2007)
Warner Bros.

Richard Matheson’s “I Am Legend” has been turned into a few movies, though Will Smith’s film about the seemingly last man on Earth was the first to use the novel’s title. It also has the worst ending. It turns out there are a few people left on Earth, in addition to the “Darkseekers,” albino zombie mutants. There’s a director’s cut ending to the movie that is actually kind of interesting, but in the theatrical release of “I Am Legend” Smith’s character comes up with a cure for the Darkseekers, gives it to a couple of people, and dies. Those people deliver it to the military and all is well. It’s all too tidy and quite lame.

 
7 of 20

“War of the Worlds” (2005)

“War of the Worlds” (2005)
Paramount

Yes, there is the issue with the ending of “War of the Worlds” where the aliens die because they can’t handle the microbes on Earth. However, that’s not the real problem here. The Wikipedia summation of the plot includes the phrase “who somehow managed to survive,” which really says it all. To be more specific, Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning’s characters are able to reunite with Cruise’s wife and son, even though the former’s house was blown up and the latter joins in on the fight with the Marines who proceed to be obliterated. The fact they are all alive and are able to conveniently meet up is silly.

 
8 of 20

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018)

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018)
Legendary Pictures

First, there’s the reveal that the girl in the movie is a clone, like so many dinosaurs before her. Then, there’s the real ending of the film, when our heroes decide to let the dinosaurs free, instead of letting them die. This means dinosaurs are roaming the Earth, overtaking cities and nature. It’s kind of cool in a way, but the execution is incredibly poor, and the movie leading up to it is the worst in the “Jurassic Park” franchise as well.

 
9 of 20

“Remember Me” (2010)

“Remember Me” (2010)
Summit Pictures

You may not remember “Remember Me,” ironically enough, but those that do have nothing but problems with the ending. For a largely forgotten film it maintains a legacy based on the “strength” of its terrible conclusion. For most of the film, it’s a traditional romance movie with a coming-of-age element to it. Then, our protagonist, Robert Pattinson goes to work, and his sister goes to school. The date the teacher writes on the board? September 11, 2001. Pattinson’s job? It’s at the World Trade Center. Yes, out of nowhere “Remember Me” because a 9/11 movie. It’s crazier than it sounds somehow.

 
10 of 20

“Lucy” (2014)

“Lucy” (2014)
EuropaCorps

“Lucy” basically takes the whole “We only use 10 percent of our brains” myth and gives it a Luc Besson twist. That is to say, it’s completely insane. Still, even if you are along for the romp the ending is pretty much insane and untenable. Lucy reaches 100-percent brain capacity and she…disappears? Or turns into a supercomputer? Or maybe a flash drive? All we know is that her voice shows up on the bad guy’s cell phone to say that she is “everywhere” now.

 
11 of 20

“Super Mario Bros.” (1993)

“Super Mario Bros.” (1993)
Buena Vista

There is a particular sting to watching a movie that ends on a cliffhanger for a sequel that never comes. It makes you feel like you’ve been cheated out of a real conclusion to the film. Of course, basically everything about “Super Mario Bros.” cheats its audience, as it’s a lousy film about beloved video game characters. And, of course, it hubristically ends by setting up a sequel that did not happen (thankfully, in this case).

 
12 of 20

“The Devil Inside” (2012)

“The Devil Inside” (2012)
Paramount

There are copout endings, and then there is “The Devil Inside.” How does this exorcism horror flick end? It tells you to go to a website. Seriously, they end the film not with a conclusion or resolution, but to invite you to go to a website for “more information on the ongoing investigation.”

 
13 of 20

“Identity” (2003)

“Identity” (2003)
Columbia

Several movies do the “This was all in somebody’s head all along!” thing, and every time it sucks. “Identity” is maybe the worst of the bunch. The movie begins with 10 strangers trapped in a hotel, dying one by one. A murder mystery? Nope! The characters are all personalities in the head of a murderer instead. Yes, we spent time watching a bunch of not real people dying. Ugh.

 
14 of 20

“Now You See Me” (2013)

“Now You See Me” (2013)
Summit Pictures

Maybe we shouldn’t have expected much from a film that is about magicians who rob banks. For the entire movie, we watch Mark Ruffalo’s character try to capture the heisting illusionists. Then, it turns out that he was actually the mastermind all along. Also, he’s a magician too, of course. In addition to being an FBI agent. Somehow, this led to a sequel.

 
15 of 20

“Knowing” (2009)

“Knowing” (2009)
Summit Pictures

As a Nicolas Cage movie post the turn of the millennium, it’s not surprising that “Knowing” is both bad and insane. “Knowing” is one of the worst of the bunch, though. At the end of the film, children are loaded onto intergalactic arks by aliens/angels to save humanity. Then, we see the world destroyed by a solar flare. Sure, the ark saves the kids and take them to a new planet, but it’s all so insane and dumb.

 
16 of 20

“The Grey” (2011)

“The Grey” (2011)
Open Road Films

Personally, we don’t mind endings that don’t give you a tidy, definitive resolution. We actually like the ending of “No Country for Old Men,” and even “A Serious Man.” However, we feel differently about “The Grey.” The movie feels like it spends the entire time building up to Liam Neeson fighting off wolves. At the end of the movie, he’s surrounded by a wolf pack with a knife and shards of liquor bottles taped to his hands. This should have led to a massive, epic fight between man and nature. Instead, Neeson charges the wolves and the movie goes to its credits. That’s bad enough as is, but then we found out there is a post-credits sequence where we see the alpha wolf dying with Neeson next to him. That’s even less satisfying.

 
17 of 20

“Blazing Saddles” (1974)

“Blazing Saddles” (1974)
Warner Bros.

We expect silliness from Mel Brooks. His movies are often quite meta and that’s fine with us. “Blazing Saddles,” though, is a step too far. The movie doesn’t really end. Instead, all the actors flee the set of “Blazing Saddles” to run onto the lot for a big zany fight. There is no real ending, and it shatters the fourth wall way too much. It seems self-indulgent of Brooks, and we aren’t on board.

 
18 of 20

“Don’t Look Now” (1973)

“Don’t Look Now” (1973)
British Lions Films

Some consider “Don’t Look Now” a classic horror movie. It definitely has a mood to it, but as a film it feels more like sad psychological thriller. Then, inexplicably in many ways, Donald Sutherland’s character finds himself face to face with a lady dwarf who cuts his throat with a meat cleaver for some reason. It just sort of happens, and it just doesn’t work.

 
19 of 20

“Jaws: The Revenge” (1987)

“Jaws: The Revenge” (1987)
Universal

“Jaws” is a great movie. “Jaws: The Revenge” is terrible. For starters, it’s about a shark literally targeting the Brody family to kill them off for, well, revenge. Our real beef with the ending? The shark roars like a lions. That’s what gets this film on the list. At least Michael Caine cashed a check.

 
20 of 20

“Robot Monster” (1953)

“Robot Monster” (1953)
Astor Pictures

“Robot Monster” is considered one of the worst movies ever made. It got the “Mystery Science Theater 3000” treatment, a show that showcased many a movie with a bad ending. “Robot Monster” is maybe the worst of the bunch, though. “The Great One” kills Johnny and the titular robot monster Ro-Man with a “Calcinator” blast. Then, he kills everybody else on Earth with “Cosmic June Rays,” an excuse for using some old stock footage of prehistoric reptiles. The rise of the reptile is short lived, because the Great One then uses “psychotronic vibrations” to destroy the Earth itself. Or so we think. In actuality, this was all a dream that Johnny had while concussed. None of that happened, his family finds him, and they all go home to have dinner with a couple scientists.

Chris Morgan is a sports and pop culture writer and the author of the books The Comic Galaxy of Mystery Science Theater 3000 and The Ash Heap of History. You can follow him on Twitter @ChrisXMorgan.

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