It is a strange thing that so many films should include endings capable of reducing us to a shaking, sobbing wreck, just wanting to expunge our minds of the memory of the emotionally charged finals scenes. Why are these depressing films so popular? Why do we part with our hard-earned money to experience something that could potentially reduce us to tears? Aristotle mused in his Poetics that people crave tragedy in drama for cathartic release, or to exorcise stored-up and repressed emotions which to use Shrek's parlance are better out than in. Aristotle and Shrek probably do have a point; you always feel better after a good cry, after all. Since the year 2000 film endings have become all the more depressing. The attack on the World Trade Centre in 2001 certainly had a huge effect on the cynical, pessimistic world-view Hollywood seems to default to in contemporary cinema. This isn't to say that directors love making films literally about terrorism (only one of the films featured here fulfils that criteria) but rather that it promoted the use of a more negative tone in film. Before embarking on this trawl through the 20 Most Depressing Film Endings please note that there are spoiler aplenty no one wants to read about all these painful endings and have the whole experience made worse by having a load of films ruined as well. So grab a box of tissues, have your shrink's number on speed dial (is that you, Tony Soprano?) and prepare to be reminded of some of the most painful film endings in recent memory which left you craving a stiff drink.
Hailing from South East London, Sam Heard is an aspiring writer and recent graduate from the University of Warwick. Sam's favourite things include energy drinks, late nights spent watching the UFC with his girlfriend and annihilating his friends at FIFA.