We've all been there. That moment you find yourself sucked into a movie, on the edge of your seat waiting for what happens next, then...BAM! It's over. Dark screen and cue the credit roll. You're left sitting there trying to figure out if you now hate this particular movie, if you hate the director, or if you have just witnessed the greatest film ending ever.
Here are a few of those films that left us sitting in Wonderland and pondering what we just saw long after the credits rolled.
1. Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
I'm not sure that any film in modern history has left an audience with a blanker stare than the ending to #TheForceAwakens. We all knew it had to end at some point. But we were certain we would at least hear some words of wisdom from the great Luke Skywalker—not just an intense stare down. But at least it left us in anticipation of #TheLastJedi. Still, none of us saw that coming (and, apparently, neither did Mark Hamill).
2. Ex Machina (2015)
Ex Machina was easily the greatest surprise film of 2015, with Alicia Vikander delivering a breakthrough performance as the humanoid robot, Ava. While the movie itself took us through endless twists and turns, it was the cliffhanger ending that left us with questioning the implications and the dangers of self-aware artificial intelligence.
3. Inception (2010)
So many theories have surfaced trying to explain the ending to this film. Inception takes us through what is quite literally a mind trip, dreams within dreams and warped realities. And nothing was more of a mindfuck than its The Lady, or the Tiger?-esque ambiguous ending. Years later in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, director Christopher Nolan offered his interpretation of the ending:
"The way the end of that film worked, Leonardo DiCaprio’s character Cobb — he was off with his kids, he was in his own subjective reality. He didn’t really care anymore, and that makes a statement: perhaps, all levels of reality are valid. The camera moves over the spinning top just before it appears to be wobbling, it was cut to black.
And yes, he absolutely knows how that ambiguous ending drives people nuts:
"I skip out of the back of the theater before people catch me, and there’s a very, very strong reaction from the audience: usually a bit of a groan. The point is, objectively, it matters to the audience in absolute terms: even though when I’m watching, it’s fiction, a sort of virtual reality. But the question of whether that’s a dream or whether it’s real is the question I’ve been asked most about any of the films I’ve made. It matters to people because that’s the point about reality. Reality matters."
So basically, he took all that to say, "The end is what you make of it." And we're still trying to figure out what we make of it, years later.
4. Matrix Revolutions (2003)
The Matrix trilogy as a whole took us for a ride, playing with heavy theological and philosophical ideas as we followed the story of Thomas Anderson, a.k.a. Neo and his journey to becoming the savior of humanity.
But was he really the savior we thought he was? Some fan theories suggest it was actually Agent Smith, not Neo, who was the Chosen One. No one really knows as the trilogy decided to end with the true fate of Neo being unclear. Most eventually assumed that he had died. But the film never really gave us a concrete answer either way and now we're left to wonder forever.
5. Sucker Punch (2011)
Though Sucker Punch wasn't one of #ZackSnyder's best films and bombed at the box office, I personally was entertained. It happens in an asylum where a group of girls journey into their minds to escape the terrible world into which they had been forced. It may not have been a good film, but to give credit where credit is due, the twist ending left us wanting to see more. And maybe that's what haunts us most about it, because we know there will never be another film to answer our questions.
- The Best Twist Endings In Movie History
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- Movies You Can't Watch Twice Because Of Terrible Plot Twists