10 Biggest Downer Endings In Major Movies

Infinity War isn't the first blockbuster to leave audiences down in the dumps.

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New Line Cinema

Without assuming that literally all readers have been out to see Avengers: Infinity War just yet, it seems fair to say that, by now, most of us should be aware that the record-breaking Marvel blockbuster doesn't have the most upbeat of conclusions.

While opinions vary as to just how emotionally devastating Infinity War's climax really is (especially given that the as-yet-untitled fourth Avengers movie is scheduled to open only a year from now), most fans and critics seem to agree that it's the boldest, darkest ending we've seen yet from Marvel, if not comic book cinema overall.

Still, Infinity War's major bummer of an ending is hardly without precedent. Conventional wisdom may dictate that a major movie has to end in a nice, neat, feel-good fashion, with conflicts resolved and the bad guys vanquished; but now and then, Hollywood likes to pull the rug from under us with something considerably grimmer.

Oftentimes, these much darker endings hit home on a deeper level, puncturing the celluloid myth about good conquering all, and presenting imaginary worlds where, much like in reality, even the greatest, most heartfelt efforts of well-meaning people don't always prove sufficient to save the day.

10. The Empire Strikes Back

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The Star Wars saga has given us a few downbeat conclusions over the years. Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One didn't necessarily go out on the sunniest of notes, and there are a fair few fans who were less than pleased with how The Last Jedi came to an end.

However, any Star Wars down ending - and indeed, any Hollywood blockbuster down ending in general, including Infinity War - inevitably draws comparisons with the climax of The Empire Strikes Back.

1977's original Star Wars: A New Hope established its core trio of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia as plucky young do-gooders whose optimism and tenacity can see them through the direst of circumstances.

But the 1980 sequel flipped that on its end, putting our heroes through the wringer and leaving them as good as defeated by the tyrannical Empire, and in particular Darth Vader; who, in one of the most memorable (and frequently misquoted) scenes ever, reveals himself to be Luke's father.

Even so, given that all of our core characters live to fight another day (though this was by no means certain of Han), Empire isn't necessarily the bleakest conclusion ever put to film.

But if we put ourselves in the position of audiences at the time, it's not hard to imagine the impact - particularly given that, while we've only got 12 months to wait for the next Avengers, they had to wait three whole years for Return of the Jedi.

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