In most films containing a mysterious element, the truth behind said mystery is revealed before the end credits roll. But that’s not always the case – indeed, some of the greatest movies of all time conclude with at least one major loose end intentionally left dangling.
While ambiguity in films can be seen as a good thing – it invites viewers to actively engage with the story in order to find answers, and encourages further discussion – it can also be more than a little maddening!
After all, curiosity is huge part of human nature – we desperately want (even need) to know the definitive answers to these cinematic questions, in the same way we crave the secret behind a magic trick. Yet as with a magic trick, should we ever actually uncover conclusive proof that unravels one of these puzzles, deep down, we know we’re bound to wind up disappointed – after all, they’re not really meant to be solved.
Nevertheless, we all still try to decipher these big screen enigmas, and the detective work involved is undeniably fun.
With this in mind, here are 15 Movie Mysteries That Have Never Been Solved.
If you’re a movie fan – and we’re guessing you are, given you’ve visited Screen Rant – you’ve come across your fair share of confusing endings. While some films are downright baffling from start to finish, in a lot of cases, things only start to take an unexpected (and often inexplicable) turn during the closing moments.
Sometimes, we can tease out the meaning behind a finale with bit of extra thought (not to mention a cheeky repeated viewing or two). But just as often, even after considerable mental effort and umpteen re-watchings, viewers can still be left scratching their heads.
This can be further aggravated in instances where films end on an ambiguous, open-ended note. Here, the director deliberately refuses to serve up an easy answer to audiences, leaving us to wonder not only how the story ended, but inviting us to speculate over what happened next.
Fortunately, thanks to the wonders of the Internet age, we have a jaw-dropping wealth of information at our finger tips – whether it’s actual commentary by the filmmakers or well-researched theories by fans and critics.
As such, we’ve mined this online knowledge bank to create this list, which covers 20 Insanely Confusing Movie Endings (And What Happened Next) – try to keep up!
Cliffhanger endings have been keeping movie audiences on the edge of their seats since virtually the dawn of cinema. Not to be confused with stand alone films containing ambiguous, “open” endings, this storytelling device sees films draw to a close without a true resolution, but rather with the promise of more events to come.
First popularized in serials of the 1920s and 1930s – famous for the “To be continued” text that rounded each instalment – cliffhangers have long proven divisive among cinemagoers. After all, by their nature, cliffhanger endings typically prevent a film from having a truly satisfying conclusion.
How can they, when they’re designed to build anticipation for a follow-up movie containing the story’s actual finale? Even so, when done well, cliffhangers can be a thrilling way to wrap up a film, dramatically raising the stakes even as they surprise viewers with shocking revelations and happenings.
As cinema history is filled to the brim with famous – and infamous! – cliffhanger endings, we’ve pulled together this list of 10 Amazing Movie Cliffhangers (And 5 That Are Terrible) for your reading pleasure.
There’s been a lot of buzz lately around Christopher Nolan’s latest film, Dunkirk, which opened last month. As stunning as Nolan’s war epic is, recently, I’ve actually found myself more preoccupied with one of the director’s earlier classics, dream-heist caper, Inception.
Specifically, I’ve been fixated on one question: at the end of the film, is Cobb awake or not? It’s a question that cinephiles have debated constantly since Inception was released way back in 2010 – and in this month’s Live From The Pop Culture Studio, we’re going to answer it!
If there’s a common criticism levelled at films by moviegoers, it’s that they can be too hard to understand. Whilst some audience members enjoy the exciting sensation that comes with piecing together what a movie actually means, plenty of people just want to be entertained, not bewildered.
However, while some flicks are indeed a chore to follow – sometimes intentionally so (although not always!) – often times, they’re actually not that hard to figure out, with just a little effort. And why shouldn’t viewers meet filmmakers half way, when it comes investing themselves in the narrative?
After all, while we all enjoy the satisfaction of switching off our brains and relaxing in front of a film with a straightforward plot, there’s also something to be said for movies that force us to use our grey matter.
Sure, films by directors like Stanley Kubrick, Christopher Nolan, and Terry Gilliam may leave us scratching our heads at first, but the “Eureka!” moment when it all clicks into place – either in the cinema or days later – is always worth it.
With that in mind, this list takes a look at 15 “Confusing” Movies That Are Actually So Easy To Understand – if you’re prepared to use the ol’ noodle, that is!
Welcome to Part 2 of this month’s Five Minutes With… Q&A, featuring production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas (you can check out Part 1 here).
In this second instalment, Guy discusses his work with Steven Spielberg on Indiana Jonesand the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, provides insight into the mind-bending world he helped create for Christopher Nolan’s Inception, discusses his recent work on Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs, and much, much more!