10 Movie Endings Darker Than You Remembered

Russell Crowe was busily drinking himself to death at the end of The Nice Guys.

District 9

An ending can make or break a movie - get it right and you've placed the cinematic cherry on top of a great story, but get it wrong and you can undo an entire film's worth of hard work.

For that reason, filmmakers often opt to end their stories on something of an ambiguous note, allowing viewers to make up their own minds about what they witnessed.

Elsewhere, directors might sneak hints of a darker outcome into an ending which doesn't seem quite so bleak - a grim implication which can fly over the heads of some viewers, but is nevertheless there for all to see.

These 10 movies, from dark, gritty thrillers to colourful animated films aimed squarely at children, offered up endings that were much, much darker than they appeared on the surface.

They may have posited a superficially happy, closed-off finale for our heroes, but look a little closer and you'll see the less-savoury implication that things were far from sewn up.

But that's the real beauty of most of these endings - audiences remain free to fiercely debate their true meaning forever more...

10. Danny, Rusty & Tess Are (Probably) Targeted For Assassination By Benedict's Men - Ocean's Eleven

District 9
Warner Bros.

On paper, the ending to Steven Soderbergh's Ocean's Eleven remake fits the movie's generally breezy tone like a glove - the team pulls off the heist, and Danny (George Clooney) completes a stint in prison for violating his parole before driving off into the sunset with Tess (Julia Roberts) and Rusty (Brad Pitt).

People tend to forget, though, that the final seconds of the film also contain a darker implication, as we fleetingly see two of villain Terry Benedict's (Andy Garcia) bodyguards watching the trio drive off and promptly tail them.

On the movie's DVD commentary, Soderbergh and screenwriter Ted Griffin discuss the ending, with Griffin explaining that friends of his were left confused, believing that the bodyguards had been sent by Benedict to assassinate the three.

While this obviously didn't happen as two sequels were eventually released, Griffin said he regretted not writing a small beat to clarify the ending, where the bodyguards' car conks out due to one of the heroes tampering with it, in turn getting rid of any potential ambiguity regarding the heroes' fates.

As it stands, watched in a vacuum, it sure as hell seems like the bodyguards are gearing up to clip Danny, Tess, and Rusty.

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.