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.
Everybody loves a movie tough guy or gal – powerful characters with a reputation for being able to win virtually any fight. Yet a surprising number of these iconic fighters have actually lost almost as many battles as they’ve won (at least based on what we see on screen).
Of course, a large part of this is down to the way that films work. In order for a story to be compelling, our heroes need to struggle – and even occasionally lose! – despite their incredible martial prowess. Similarly, in most instances, villains need to be defeated before the credits roll – which means that they are predestined to be second best, no matter how many times they’ve beaten the hero throughout the story.
That’s why most movie powerhouses earn their street cred by mowing down unfortunate redshirts, only to end up on the wrong end of a brutal beatdown when faced by an opponent at least as skilled as they are: because they’re really only as good at fighting as the story needs them to be at any given moment.
But even taking into account the mechanics of storytelling, you’d be amazed by just how patchy the win-loss record for some of cinema’s most well-known heavy hitters really is.
Don’t believe us? Then check out this list of 15 ‘Tough’ Movie Characters Who Always Get Defeated – we promise you: you won’t believe who made the cut!
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.