10 Movies Ruined In Their Final Shot

When the final shot just ruins everything.

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Warner Bros.

The final shot of a movie gives directors one last chance to leave a significant lasting impression with audiences, by offering up an image that satisfyingly wraps the story up, returns to the overpowering themes, and basically sends viewers home satisfied - if not happy.

Despite generally lasting just a few seconds, that final image can have a major impact on how audiences perceive the overall movie, and in extreme cases it can be bad enough to colour the entire experience negatively.

These 10 films, no matter how good or great they might've been up to that point - admittedly, one isn't really good at all - were rendered entirely ridicule-worthy by these terrible final shots.

Perhaps the last shot destroyed a potentially ambiguous ending, set up a terrible sequel, or simply wrapped up an otherwise entertaining story in totally unsatisfying fashion.

Whatever the reason, these iffy final shots left a sour taste that audiences have continued to disparage and debate ever since, casting a dark cloud over films that, for the most part, were otherwise getting so much right.

When you know the final shot is coming up, you're better off turning these movies off a few seconds early...

10. Knowing

Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban
Summit Entertainment

2009's Nicolas Cage-starring sci-fi thriller Knowing isn't a great movie, but it does include a number of standout set-pieces, namely a technically superb plane crash sequence and a totally ballsy ending in which Earth is destroyed by a massive solar flare, ending all life on the planet.

To soften the blow, a race of extraterrestrial angels show up to rescue Earth's children - including John (Cage) and Diana's (Rose Byrne) kids - on a series of interstellar arks, getting them to safety before the solar event strikes.

This seems like a fittingly bittersweet ending, but because general audiences absolutely need that crowd-pleasing affirmation, a brief final scene is tacked onto the very end showing John and Diana's kids being safely dropped off on an alien planet.

And even if you still accept the possibility that the angels could have malevolent intent, the final shot basically obliterates that theory entirely, by showing the children running towards what is very clearly the tree of life - one of the most elemental symbols of peace and harmony in all of human history.

The entire scene, but this shot in particular, feels like it was the result of a studio note, that an executive couldn't face a bummer ending possibly affecting the film's box office potential.

It's a strategy that worked, evidently, as Knowing grossed over $180 million worldwide against a $50 million budget.


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.