We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood

Movie endings often remain a
mystery to their viewers and cause a lot of arguments among them. We may have
no idea what the director meant by the final scene or we may misunderstand the thought
of the creator, especially if they used metaphors and allegories. And our final
impression of the film is directly linked to how we understand the final
Bright Side decided to shed
some light on the most hard-to-understand movie endings. Maybe, it will help
you see some of these stories from a completely new angle.
 We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
While the story of Denis
Villeneuve’s film is progressing, it gives the viewers a lot of hints, but the
main idea isn’t described until the very end. This sci-fi drama completely
consists of closed cycles, in other words the story ends where it begins and begins
where it ends. The viewers might think that the film starts with the past of
the main character, linguist Louise Banks, but in the end we realize that these
episodes were from her future. After Amy Adams’s character learned to
understand the non-linear language of heptapods, time became a circle for her.
The flashbacks about her dead
daughter and divorce with her husband that we saw in the beginning of the film
haven’t happened to her yet. Louise got a glimpse of her future and even though
she knew she was going to lose her child and her love, she decided to not
change anything. This is the main idea of the film: time is not just a straight
line. If you see time the way heptapods do, it looks completely different. And
every person defines their own destiny.
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
“They are delighted. They
understood everything but in different ways.” Javier Bardem’s character says
about the reaction of readers to his book. The same could be said about the
people who watched this film. After the release of Darren Aronofsky’s
psychological thriller, the internet was full of different perceptions of the
events and interpretations of the ending of this film. Almost all the films
from this director are filled with symbolism and mother! is no exception. At
the core of the story is the idea of how violent humanity is toward nature and
the film itself is sort of a biblical fable.
In his interview for Variety,
Darren Aronofsky explained that Javier Bardem portrayed God in the film and
Jennifer Lawrence is nature, and the house is Earth. Nature is tortured, it is
used. And the apocalypse at the end of the film (when the house is burned) is
the result of our violence toward our planet.
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
The main characters of the
film, the Wilson family, are attacked by their insane doppelgangers. Soon, the
viewers find out that the attackers are part of an entire clone army called
shadows that live underground. In the final scenes of the film, Lupita
Nyong’o’s character follows her scary doppelganger into a mirror maze that
leads into a dungeon we saw glimpses of during the entire film. After the fight
between the characters, we see a flashback from Adelaide’s childhood and
realize that in fact, she was a doppelganger. When she was a child, she managed
to come up to the surface and the real girl stayed underground.
This story twist explains why
the main character and her fears changed so much. Now, it is clear why the
adult Adelaide was scared of going to the beach: she knew that the entrance to
the dungeon was still there and she didn’t want to return there. Also, we
understand why the real Adelaide becomes the leader of doppelgangers: she was
the only army member that could speak.
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
The ending of Alejandro
Iñárritu’s film, about an actor that lost his mind, is pretty difficult to
understand. In the final scene, we see Riggan’s daughter coming into an empty
hospital ward and seeing an open window with voices and sirens coming from the
outside. Emma Stone’s character looks down, slowly raises her head up and smiles.
Some viewers must have thought that it was a happy ending and a hint that
Riggan could actually fly. But most likely, the main character actually
committed suicide and his daughter is just hallucinating.
Sam loses her connection with
the real world and dives into a world of fantasy where her father is still
alive. Riggan’s relationship with his daughter is the key to understanding this
Sky, 2001
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
With every passing minute,
Cameron Crowe’s psychological film becomes more and more twisted and by the end
of the film, viewers have no idea what happened. The director himself gave us a
hint that we should look for the answers in the final 20 minutes. Tom Cruise’s
character is haunted by nightmares where he sees Julianna, who died in a car crash
and his mutilated face, and a psychologist is trying to figure out which part
of the suspect’s story is true and which part is not.
David remembers that he went
to the Life Extension company that saves the lives of hopeless patients by
freezing them. The employees of the company also make patients experience lucid
dreams. David then realizes that he is not satisfied with the world of dreams.
And the ending of the film is the main character’s choice: does he want to wake
up and live in the real world or does he want to continue to live in the world
of dreams? David chooses the real world without any doubts.
Cure for Wellness, 2017
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
At the end of Gore Verbinski’s
thriller, Lockhart finds out that the head of the sinister health center is
Heinrich Vollmer, a Swiss baron and crazy scientist, who was born 200 years
before the events of the film and who conducted bloody experiments there.
Vollmer was able to create the elixir of eternal life by using a special liquid
produced by eels.
Lockhart manages to beat the
crazy man and together, with Hannah and Vollmer’s daughter, he leaves the
sanatorium and is finally free, but his unnatural smile tells us that his
psychological health is totally ruined. Lockhart seems to understand that it is
impossible to fight the system and go against it in the modern world.
Swan, 2010
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
In the epilogue of the film,
Nina (Natalie Portman) falls during the first act of the performance and while
crying, leaves to change clothes for the second act. In the dressing room, she
sees Lily (Mila Kunis) who is totally ready to replace her on the stage. The
girls start to fight and Nina kills her competitor by piercing her with a piece
of glass. She then hides her body in the bathroom and nails the second act.
After that, in the dressing
room, Lily, who is totally alive and well visits Nina and tells her that she
did a great job. Natalie Portman’s character realizes that she had been
fighting herself this whole time and has a bleeding wound in her stomach. At
the end of the 3rd act, Nina falls into the hands of the director, bleeding to
death and we realize that the dancer wounded herself by trying to become
Box, 2018
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
When the main character with 2
children finally reaches the sanctuary, it turns out to be a school for blind
people. And this is very symbolic. It was this blind faith that Mallory had
that made her travel through the river rapids totally blindfolded. The film
makes you think about what a weakness is and what a strength is. In the real
world, blindness is a limitation, but in the film, it was a protection against
Mallory was able to save her
children only when she opened herself to love. When in the final scene, the
main character gives her son and daughter names and lets the birds out, she
destroys the walls she had previously built around herself. The epilogue is the
metaphor of hope and faith that it will all be alright and the bird box is the
cage that Mallory kept her feelings in.
Animals, 2016
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
Susan, the owner of an art
gallery, receives a manuscript from her ex-husband Edward. She had never believed
in his writing talent before that. In his novel, Nocturnal Animals, he shows
her the world inside his head. Edward compares the pain of losing Susan, to the
pain of the main character in the book, Tony Hastings, whose wife and daughter
were killed by criminals. The novel captures Susan’s attention and she
realizes: Edward is a really talented writer. Under his spell, she asks to meet
her ex-husband and he instantly agrees.
She chooses an expensive
restaurant to meet him in, because it now suits her status. But Edward never
shows up and Susan then realizes that he was never going to show up. The
brilliant novel and the meeting that was never going to happen are Edward’s
revenge on his wife. He proved to her that his inner world is far richer than the
real world she exists in. Revenge is the central topic of this film. Tony
avenges the murders and Edward avenges Susan.
Darko, 2001
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
Even though this film was
released 18 years ago, people are still having debates about its ending.
According to the idea of director Richard Kelly, the main character is a guide
whose mission is to save the world. Donnie is supposed to return the artifact,
which is a jet engine that fell from the sky in Middlesex, or a black hole will
appear which will lead to the apocalypse. In the end, Jake Gyllenhaal’s
character lets the jet engine fall on his house, even though he knew he would
die. On the plane were his mom and sister.
Donnie deliberately sacrifices
his life. His hysterical laugh in one of the final scenes is a clear indication
of that. The fact that he gets rid of the responsibility for the world makes
him more calm. Donnie Darko is a complex film that is hard to understand after
only watching it once, but every next time you watch it, more and more
questions will be answered.
Dark Knight Rises, 2012
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
At the end of the film, Bruce
Wayne tries to save Gotham from a nuclear explosion. He loads the bomb on his
plane and flies fast into the ocean where it explodes. The city is saved and
the grateful inhabitants mourn their hero and erect a monument of Batman.
Alfred goes to Venice where he meets Bruce who is perfectly healthy sitting at
a table with Selina (Catwoman).
Many viewers thought this part
was Alfred’s dream. But as you might remember, in Batman’s lab the character
said that the plane was on autopilot. Most likely, Bruce programmed the plane
to get the bomb as far from the city as possible and faked his own death.
Besides, in the Venice scene, you can see a necklace on Selina that belonged to
Wayne’s mother. She tried to steal it at the very beginning of the film. Alfred
didn’t know about it, so this couldn’t be in his dream.
Island, 2010
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
In one of the final scenes of
the film, Marshal Edward Daniels appears in the lighthouse, where, as he
thought, Dr. Cawley was conducting terrible experiments on people. This is
where we find out that the main character, Andrew Laeddis, is actually a
patient of the psychiatric hospital and all the events were staged by the
doctors to help him understand what happened and avoid a lobotomy. Leonardo
DiCaprio’s character seems to remember that he had killed his wife, but then he
starts the whole conspiracy thing again. We understand that the experiment
failed and Andrew is going to have the lobotomy.
But the last look from
Laeddis, and his words, let us know that he is going to have the surgery
because he wants it. He understands what he is doing and he realizes that the
therapy actually worked, but he doesn’t want to keep living with the thought
that he couldn’t save his wife and his children. This is why the character
pretends to act like he is Edward Daniels and the doctor decides to do the
Buzzsaw, 2019
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
In the epilogue of the film,
the artist, whose name is Vetril Deas, kills 3 main characters at the same
time. Morf is attacked by a robot Hoboman that he first saw in a Miami gallery.
Josephina mysteriously turns into part of the building art when the paintings
melt around her and cover her skin. Deas didn’t manage to kill Rhodora with a
piece of art: she avoids the falling sculpture in the back of her house.
Even though he got rid of all
the paintings, the dead artist still wants to avenge the people that wanted to
earn money using his work. The buzzsaw tattoo on Rhodora’s neck comes to life
and kills her. From the film, we know that Velvet Buzzsaw is the name of the
punk band the character was a part of in her youth. Since then, she has been a
boring and greedy art gallery owner. So, Rhodora was killed by a symbol of the
time when she was a creator.
Strangers, 2016
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
In Paolo Genovese’s drama, a
group of friends comes together to have dinner, enjoy the full moon eclipse,
and just have a good time. When they start talking about mobile phones, one of
the characters suggests they play a game: put all of their phones on the table
and accept all the calls on speaker and read all their texts out loud. During
this seemingly simple and funny game, the friends realize that they don’t know
anything about each other. This is the main point of the film: all of us, just
like the moon, have 2 sides: the brightly-lit one and the side that nobody
But the ending of the film
confused many people. The characters leave the house, laughing and holding
hands, as if nothing had happened. This is how the evening would have ended if
they hadn’t played the game. No disappointment, no resentment, no shame. All
the problems are there, on the dark side of the Moon. You have the right to
decide which is better — the bitter truth or ignorant bliss.
Astra, 2019
  We Explain the 15 Movie Endings You’ve Probably Misunderstood
When Roy goes on a mission to
find a spaceship that disappeared, he was also going to put an end to Project
Lima and save his father. When they finally reunite, the young McBride realizes
that his father is not the hero he thought he was. Clifford escaped to the
space abyss because he knew there was nothing left for him on Earth. The most
symbolic scene happens when the cord that connects the father and the son is
When Roy returned home, he
finally understood and accepted his place in the universe. He gets rid of the
emotional and physical loneliness, he doesn’t have the burden of finding his
father anymore, and he is ready to reunite with his ex-wife. Ad Astra is a film
about self-knowledge and the important changes of the human soul.
Were you able to understand
the endings of these films? Which other films do you know of that had very
cryptic final scenes?
Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.