SPOILER ALERT! The movies in this article ARE a few years old, so we'll hold back on saying I told you so if you continue to read on. If you haven't seen these movies you should probably schedule some time and put them in your Netflix queue-- they’re well worth watching, even if we don’t fully grasp the ending.
Christopher Nolan's ensemble cast film left many moviegoers very angry, mostly because the ending left the movie’s biggest question unanswered. In our current culture of immediate satisfaction, the obscure ending just wasn't what the audience wanted to see. In Inception, a movie about the layers of our dreams and how our reality influences them, we are introduced to the concept of a token. This item lets characters know whether they are in a dream or not. If they can knock the item down, they are in the real world, but if the item does not fall over, they are still dreaming. Well, the movie ends with Leo DiCaprio’s token (a top) spinning and spinning. Just as you think it wobbles and is about to fall the movie ends, leaving you wondering if the final happy moment between DiCaprio’s character and his family is indeed a dream or reality.
This Stanley Kubrick film, based on a novel by horror master Stephen King, gave us some key pop culture quotes and scenes. Who could forget Jack Nicholson’s crazed visage peering through the broken door and yelling, “Here’s Johnny!” ? But believe it or not, many people have not seen the movie in its entirety--they just know the quotes. If you have seen the movie, the ending doesn't leave you hanging as much as Inception’s ending, but we are still left with a big question. We discover that Jack Nicholson's character has actually been in that hotel for a very, very long time, appearing in photos from the 1920’s. Does that mean his wife and child are also ghosts? Is Nicholson’s character reincarnated? Is any of it real at all? People still debate the movie’s ending and its creepy scenes today.
This movie isn't as well known as the others on our list, but the ending is just as mysterious. In K-Pax, Kevin Spacey plays a man that claims to be from another planet. His psychiatrist, Jeff Bridges, tries to convince him otherwise, but starts to doubt his own knowledge of medicine. Throughout the entire movie we are wondering if Spacey is indeed an alien from the planet K-Pax or just a mentally ill man. The movie explores the concept of science, psychology, and insanity, but it also makes you wonder if people that are institutionalized are actually as crazy as we think. Was Spacey’s character indeed from another planet? We don’t know.
This movie brought very little closure to fans of the Wachowski brothers famous trilogy. People had a difficult time fully understanding the concept of The Matrix the first time around, and Revolutions didn’t seem to add anything concrete to the situation. The characters Oracle and The Architect didn’t clarify much of anything--instead, they seemed to have confused fans even more. Finally, at the end, the audience is left wondering: Did Neo become part of the I Matrix? Was he actually killed in his final battle against Agent Smith? We have yet to find out.
If you could even sit through this lengthy, somewhat strange Kubrick movie, the ending will have you wondering what in the world you actually watched. The movie has very little dialogue, and we go from apes and a monolith to astronauts in a space ship without much of a bridge. People are mostly familiar with Hal 9000-but if you've seen the image of the giant baby floating in space and wondered what in the world it had to do with the movie--join the club. We still don't know if that is the reincarnation of the main character or something else entirely.