11 Film Endings That Didn't Solve Anything

"Surely they're not going to end it ther... oh."

Surrogates 2009
Walt Disney Studios

There's nothing quite like that feeling when a film is wrapping up and you've got far more questions than answers; the shots start to get wider, the characters seem to be delivering less dialogue, the score rises from underneath... but something feels completely off.

"If they end this here, then f**k this movie" reverberates around your subconscious, and as scientists proved there's actually a very thin line between love and hate in terms of how our brains compute such things, so all the positive thoughts you held dear are quickly replaced by a stream of unending, future keyboard-rant-producing vitriol.

What about that character we only saw halfway through? That lingering shot on a certain item or part of the scenery that seemed to suggest so much, or the fact that the protagonist's mission isn't really finished? Surely they're not going to end it her... oh.

It's up for debate whether or not this feeling is better or worse than realising after the fact that the film you initially enjoyed is actually holier than the Pope's cheese sandwich, but the fact remains that some director/screenwriting combos just can't stick the landing, no matter how graceful and perfectly planned the vast majority of the film was beforehand.

11. (500) Days Of Summer

500 Days Of Summer
Fox Searchlight

On the face of it, (500) Days Of Summer is a traditional narrative with three acts that follow a romantic entanglement between a boy (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) and a girl (Zooey Deschanel), which charts their relationship blossoming and then stagnating and then, like all things, dying. Cheerful, right?

In the end, the point seems to be that Tom finally gets over his obsession with Summer, who he both idolises and unfairly castigates for not sharing his idealised vision of love. The reality is that he’s a bum and a toxic influence and that she’s precious and wonderful and deserves better. Which she gets in the end. That’s the satisfying finale in there, if you’re looking for one - Summer gets free of Tom.

But for Tom, there’s absolutely nothing solved. He starts the film as a love-lorn sad sack who listens to indie songs and becomes obsessed with good-looking girls who pay any attention to him. He’s destined to have his heart ripped out over and over, because he’s the one doing it to himself. And just because he supposedly meets his new love and “moves on” means precisely nothing. All that’s going to happen is he’s going to live that destructive loop again having learned absolutely nothing.


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NCTJ-qualified journalist. Most definitely not a racing driver. Drink too much tea; eat too much peanut butter; watch too much TV. Sadly only the latter paying off so far. A mix of wise-old man in a young man's body with a child-like wonder about him and a great otherworldly sensibility.