When a movie ends, you expect resolution. You expect an end, right? Sadly, that isn’t always the case. Movies like The Italian Job, Inception, or the Green Lantern leave you grasping for the edge of the cliff and praying your fingers are strong enough to hold on. Cliffhangers make sense, in theory--they help movie studios pump out sequels and make more money. And if a movie is good, who doesn’t want a sequel. Right? Right?
Wrong. Let’s face it, most sequels aren’t great. Perfectly phenomenal movies have been ruined because a studio thought leaving the ending ambiguous was a better idea than wrapping it up nicely. And don’t get us wrong—-we understand why it may be a good idea to leave an ending a big vague. Maybe the studio doesn’t know if there will be a sequel, or part of the ending was 86’d on the editing floor for some reason and will appear in the director’s cut. Films like Inception even leave the ending open to make a philosophical statement and inadvertently leave fans debating the ending for years after the film released.
That said, there’s something distinctly unsatisfying about watching a great movie only to have the ending fall flat. All of that dramatic tension needs release, and if the ending sucks, it hurts the entirety of the film. We’ve taken a look at cinematic history and picked out ten of the worst cliffhanger offenders. These movies are great, but their endings leave a lot to be desired.