22 Satisfying Vs. Horrible Movie Endings That Prove Hollywood Is All Over The Place When It Comes To Writing Final Scenes
The ending to I Am Legend was a hot mess. (Warning: Movie spoilers ahead! 🚨)
We asked the BuzzFeed Community to tell us which movie endings made them feel either totally satisfied or supremely angry, and oh, boy, did they deliver. Here are the controversial results.
Warning: Movie spoilers ahead! 🚨
1. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: Twilight: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)
"I remember reading the final Twilight book, and how it was all leading up to this final showdown with the evil vampires. I thought, Okay, this might be pretty epic! Maybe we’ll see some people die! Then in the movie, the bad guys finally showed up and were like: 'Your baby is dangerous and we gotta kill it' and the good guys were like: 'Actually, the baby is harmless.' Then, the bad guys just left — the movie had to incorporate a whole hypothetical dream sequence just to add some sort of action to the story."
"Watching that fight sequence on opening night in a packed theater was the most fun I have ever had at the movies. People were losing their fucking minds."
2. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: Knives Out (2019)
"Marta looking out over the balcony while taking a sip from the 'my house, my rules, my coffee' mug was such a feel-good ending. It showed how a kind-hearted character made a selfless decision that went on to change her life for the better. The Rolling Stones' 'Sweet Virginia' playing over the looks on the Thrombey family members' faces made that final shot even more gratifying!"
3. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: Yesterday (2019)
"Yesterday was such a letdown — as cliché as it sounds, I would’ve loved some kind of twist where people remembered the Beatles at the end. I thought it would’ve explored the impact of the Beatles, and the meaningfulness of the band to the world. Those songs wouldn't nearly have the impact today if they were just randomly released by some guy, and it’s absurd the movie shows that without the Beatles most of our music today would still exist just as it is? No way — also, Harry Potter not existing at the end was the last straw. Just absolutely not."
4. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: Coco (2017)
"I loved the final scene of Coco — you could see how far the Rivera family had come. Miguel AND his cousins were playing instruments, the ghosts accepted Héctor, and Mamá Coco got to see her grandchildren and father all together. The visuals were so pretty, and it was such a sweet ending."
5. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: The Wizard of Oz (1939)
"I enjoyed The Wizard of Oz so much as a kid, so the ending never really bothered me back then (but now it does). First off, after Glinda sent Dorothy on a wild goose chase, she later told her: 'You had the power to go home all along by just clapping your ruby slippers together.' Whaaaat? Secondly, Dorothy woke up and realized it was all just a dream — what other movie could normally get away with that kind of plot twist?"
"If it helps, originally in the book (if I remember correctly) Dorothy looked at the end of her bed and the ruby slippers were there. Why they cut that out of the film I can't remember, but that was the original ending."
6. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: Little Women (2019)
"Little Women (2019) had a satisfying conclusion, which ended with a shot of Jo clutching her published book to her chest. It was a sweet scene of her life finally coming together and her family being reunited again, and she got to publish her book like she always wanted."
"Jo's small smile turning to frown, and the way her hands wrapped around the book — it brings tears to my eyes every time. It was so perfect."
7. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: I Am Legend (2007):
"Using the book's ending would've been fabulous, especially had they not shown the vampires and zombies throughout most of the movie. We're only told by Neville that they were evil, mindless creatures when really, they were just trying to survive and be organized into a society. It's just assumed and hinted that the creatures were monsters and then at the end, it threw everyone for a loop that they weren't."
8. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
"I was a MASSIVE LOTR fan when the movies were coming out, and I couldn’t imagine how the trilogy could be wrapped up nicely. But, Peter Jackson did such a good job; everyone’s stories were wrapped up perfectly. I was sad that Frodo went on the boat and left his friends, but I was satisfied that I knew what happened to him."
9. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: Death Note (2017)
"The whole movie was bad, but the ending was even worse. Light's plan was to write on the death note that Mia died while the page with his name burned. He survived the fall from the Ferris wheel, another person found the death note, and then used it in order to throw the police off. Almost all of that didn't happen, when it was essentially established in the beginning of the movie. Things had to be physically possible in order for the death note to make them happen, so how could he have survived that fall? You can't make people do stuff that they have no knowledge of, so how did that guy find the death note without knowing where it was? How did Light know there was gonna be a fire nearby for his page to fall in? If there wasn't a fire, the page wouldn't have been able to burn, and he would've died."
10. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: Get Out (2017)
"I absolutely LOVED the final scene in Get Out — when Rose's face sunk when she realized it was Chris's friend in the police car there to save him instead of her? Brilliant."
11. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: The Notebook (2004)
"I think the 'twist' that the old man was Noah and the old woman was Allie was a little too predictable for the emotional gut punch that the film tried to pull off. I wish the old man had turned out to be Lon — Allie never left him to be with Noah, and they lived out their days as husband and wife. During her dementia, knowing that she was never truly happy with him, Lon made the ultimate sacrifice to 'love' and allowed Allie to believe that she married Noah and had the fairy-tale life she always wanted with him."
12. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: La La Land (2016)
"Whoever didn't like La La Land's ending just didn't get it — the ending was perfect because it was imperfect, making it more relatable. The entire film was honest about what it's like to go after your dreams, and the challenges that come with doing that. Mia and Sebastian worked hard for what they wanted, and they finally found their achievements. They didn't end up together, but that's just the reality of being human. Even if we get what we want, that doesn't mean our lives are going to be perfect — we can't have it all. Mia and Sebastian got what they initially wanted from the beginning of the movie while accepting they couldn't be together. That's what made this ending so perfect — knowing that nothing can ever fully be perfect."
13. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: The Golden Compass (2007)
"The movie ended about one chapter from the end of the book, but the omission of that chapter took the story from 'OMG, WHAT THE ACTUAL FUCK?' to 'Yay, happy Disney ending!' I was pretty much on board with the movie until the ending."
14. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: Crush (2022)
Crush has quickly become one of the best teen, queer rom-coms of our time — it totally combated the "bury your gays" narrative in the most wholesome way possible. Paige declared her love for AJ in front of the whole school through her art, drawing all of the little, romantic moments between them. Who says a queer teen who's caught up in a classic high school love triangle can't get a happy ending?
15. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: My Fair Lady (1964)
"Eliza Doolittle just ended up with an emotionally abusive boss, and didn't live out her dream of owning a flower shop like he had promised."
"Especially because of the play it's based on (Pygmalion), Eliza recognized her worth and left Higgins to marry Freddy. George Bernard Shaw, the playwright, wrote in his stage directions to the actor playing Eliza in 1920 that the triumph of Eliza (and the most important part of her character) was emancipating herself at the end. I don't know why the film changed it, but the ending made no sense."
16. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: The Color Purple (1985)
"The Color Purple definitely had a satisfying ending. Shug got redemption and her father's forgiveness, Mister did right by Celie and Nettie, and Celie was finally reunited with Nettie and her children."
17. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: Avengers: Endgame (2019)
"Tony just wanted everyone to be safe, so for him to make the ultimate sacrifice was out of character. Steve and Thor would’ve made more sense for that sacrifice because that’s within their character arcs. I feel like the writing was ultimately catering to the 'final' Marvel film for Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans, rather than the characters we spent 10 years growing to love."
18. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: Mulan (1998)
"Mulan presenting her father with the sword of Shan Yu and the crest of the emperor, and her dad ignoring them and saying, 'The greatest gift of all is having you for a daughter' was so good. I don't know how many hours of my life I've spent wishing to hear that my dad is proud of me, so to see a dad say something like that to his daughter was just...wow, the feels."
19. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: Knowing (2009)
"The whole movie is pretty good up until the end where aliens save the world by taking some children (seemingly randomly chosen by them) from Earth and bringing them to a new planet to breed and make a new civilization. They only chose children, and just dropped them off on an empty planet. It was just a really bizarre ending, imo."
20. A movie with a totally satisfying ending: What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
I fully understand What's Love was a biopic, so you already knew how the ending was going to play out going into the movie, but oh, man — watching it was a completely different experience. Angela Bassett singing as Tina Turner when she was on top of the world as a solo artist in the '80s, then cutting to the real Tina performing live in concert to hundreds of fans was BRILLIANT. How this movie never won an Academy Award, I'll never know.
21. A movie with a totally dissatisfying ending: Us (2019)
"Adelaide knowing the entire time that she was the real Tethered just didn’t make sense to me, given her behavior throughout the movie. I would've had the reveal come not as a flashback but as the audience just going back in time to see what we didn’t get to see before. We know the truth, but it was strongly implied that Adelaide had completely repressed the memory because of trauma, so the characters had no idea who she really was."
22. And a movie with a totally satisfying ending: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
"Definitely Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2. The Golden Trio (along with Draco Malfoy) sending their children Albus Severus, Rose, and Scorpius to Hogwarts for the first time was just brilliant. The original music [from the first movie] was a great touch, and there was so much nostalgia."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
Writer's note: Casey Rackham, who cowrote Crush, is a managing editor at BuzzFeed.