An open-ending climax is a film technique that leaves the audience feeling ambiguous about the outcome of the film. It has no evident meaning but left open to interpretation. Movies with open endings always intrigue us to make theories & create our own conclusion for the story. In other words, watching an open ending climax is a subjective judgment & everyone forms their own perception. However, the director is the only person who knows the true conclusion and underlying subtext of the scene.
We have a lot of movies with open endings that left us dumbfounded which still cinephiles talk about & write their theories on the internet fascinating other people. Recently, I’ve come across a new theory on the prisoners ending & It was so sensible that actually made me believe that was the case. Just like that, we have many open ending movies that hunt you & make you think about it.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 best open ending movies that will leave you stunned.
Note: The following films are not ranked in any particular order.
Talk about open ending movie, Inception comes first. Inception is personally one of my favorite open ending movies which is directed by my personal favorite director- Christopher Nolan. As the director of such acclaimed films as Memento, Prestige, and Dark Knight trilogy, he created another masterpiece with a complex concept that perplexes your mind in every way. It has a separate fan base and people still talk over its open-ended climax which led to millions of theories. It tells the story of a thief who steals secrets through dream-sharing technology is tasked to plant an idea in the mind of the CEO. Seems surreal right? So does the film.
You don’t know what you’re looking at. You have no idea.
Besides, Leonardo DiCaprio, along with a stellar ensemble cast, gave an amazing performance.
IMDb Rating: 8.8/10
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, and more..
Prisoners movie is symbolism on Christianity & Mythology. There are a ton of symbols & figurative allegories in prisoners, which you may not grasp in the first watch, but the metaphors would surprise you sooner or later when you rewatch the film again. Denis Villeneuve, my other favorite director, crafted the film perfectly, exploring enigmatic aspects with a subtext for every scene. On the other side, Prisoners is one of the best thriller movies, with an open-ended climax that may frustrate you, while in one sense, a perfect ending to the narrative.
Regarding the plot, I decided not to reveal it to you. As a guy who has seen the film already, I highly recommend that you watch it without watching the trailer or plotline. Just go ahead thinking you’re going to witness one hell of a dark thriller. As for me, I assume prisoners as an enigma, You have to decipher while watching it & comprehend the narrative while enjoying the performances of two amazing actors Hugh and Jake.
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Cast: Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Viola Davis , and more..
2001: A Space Odyssey
When we are talking about ambiguous endings, 2001 A Space Odyssey has to be discussed. It is indeed one of the most bizarre movies of all time. In spite of being released in 1968, It’s a timeless slow drama you can’t afford to miss if you’re in fact looking for something eerie & ambiguous. 2001 A Space Odyssey is many things. If anything, it sowed the seeds for deeper allegory with tropes. To tell the plot of the film, it’s always difficult to describe. So to dumb it down, Artificial Intelligence vs Human, that’s all I can disclose. The film never fails to impress you unless you’re not a fan of slow dramas.
To me, It’s one of the films that put me in deep thoughts & made me ponder about living. It is so thought-provoking, exploring the universe, God, origins, and other surreal facets, which allow us to interpret the subtext & allegorical concept according to our own interpretation. The director, Stanley Kubrick received a lot of honorable accolades for his top-notch direction. He has easily become one of my favorite filmmakers & made me explore his filmography.
Nonetheless, Here’s a short suggestion, ” BE PATIENT ”
IMDb Rating: 8.3/10
Cast: Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood, William Sylvester, and more..
Memento is the most unconventional and distinctive movie ever made in the history of cinema. Wondering why? The film is narrated backwards and forwards simultaneously. To be honest, I can’t describe it, so let me leave a video, Nolan explaining it:
The film has non-linear narration that challenges you to grasp the details, making it one of the challenging thrillers ever made. It’s so genius of Christopher Nolan to put the audience in the main character’s viewpoint to see the world through him. Basically, he has short-term memory loss, what his purpose now is to hunt his wife’s murderer & get revenge. However, the film isn’t as plain as the plot sounds. I’m telling you, It’s mind-twisting, & elusive. Every time I watch this film, I always feel like ” God I want to edit this movie.”
It takes an ingenious mind to come up with such an incredible idea and make it into a film that nobody could have imagined before it was released, so I gotta give big props to Nolan for a new approach to filmmaking.
can say with certainty that the climax will take you by astonishment & bewilderment. Even at the climax of the film, you’re not really sure if it’s a climax, but I
( Are you looking closely ) ⬆️
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Cast: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, and more.
Parasite is the oscar winner of the best picture in 2019. It is not just a noir thriller also, a movie with social commentary on class through a bunch of metaphors. Specifically, Parasite depicts the underlying aspects of class, labor, & anti-capitalism from the viewpoint of a rich class family and a working-class family. The title of the film “Parasite” itself is a metaphor for the whole plot. This shows how scrupulously the film uses metaphors.
It all starts when the working-class family Kim’s son starts working for the wealthy Park family. But it doesn’t end there, working-class Kim’s family plots something cunning to take leverage of the situation which is bold, crafty, & parasitic. I’m sure right from the beginning, you will be glued to the screen till the film ends. The director, Boon Joon-ho, also the oscar winner of the best director, outlines the narrative with meticulous details, leaving no frame to no avail. The film ” Parasite” also won oscars for Best Original Screenplay, Best International Feature Film, & Best Picture.
The ambiguous ending may baffle you, but it accomplishes what it wants to tell. To put it in a nutshell about the complete cinema, Parasite is full of metaphors & tropes.
IMDb Rating: 8.6/10
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-Kyun Lee, Yeo-Jeong Jo and more.
Shutter Island is certainly a dark and grim suspense thriller. Subjectively, I would call this film a staggering thriller for its jaw-dropping climax. I was completely dumbfounded & speechless for few minutes when I first time watched the film. A great aspect of Shutter Island is the mystery that lurks around the characters; U.S Marshal and his partner who are tasked to track down a criminal who recently absconded from the psychiatric asylum. Probably, that’s all I can reveal about the film to give you a crazy experience.
It is directed by legendary director, Martin Scorsese, one of the top directors of all time. Just as always, he knocked the socks off with Shutter Island, alongside Leonardo Dicaprio and Mark Ruffalo excellent performances throughout the drama.
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Emily Mortimer, Mark Ruffalo, and more..
Oldboy is kind of a movie, that puts you on the edge of your seat through the end. But, what comes at the end is probably one of the deeply shocking & darkest endings in cinema history. As you can see in the poster, you must have guessed it, it’s going to be raw & gory. The entire movie is defined by revenge, raw, gritty, rustic, and savage. It begins with a man who has been incarcerated for years for no particular reason gets vengeance on his captor. However, there is a deeper, darker message waiting behind for him.
The major assets of the old boy are narration and performances by actors. Chan-wook Park, the director, deserves accolades for incredible work & also Choi Min-Sik for amazing performance.
Here’s the suggestion: Don’t watch the film, waiting for the twist to reveal. Just engage in it & I’m sure you’ll be shocked by its enigmatic climax. It’s definitely one of the best open ending movies you must watch.
IMDb Rating: 8.4/10
Cast: Min-Sik Choi, Ji-Tae Yoo, Hye-Jeong Kang and more.
Gone Girl is undoubtedly one of the best forbidding & ominous movies, directed by one of the most embraced directors, David Fincher. If you have seen his filmography, Fight Club and Seven. Then you must guess how gone girl is going to be & how it enthralls you with its slow burn drama. Just like the other Fincher film, ofcourse you will watch the ambiguous scenes, open to interpretation. Nick Dunne, after his wife disappeared, he realizes that the entire media attention has shifted on him that he may not be Innocent. However, that’s not the end.
Especially, the last shot will be the ones that stun you, makes you curious to know more about it, going through every theory on the Internet. Now, don’t go to the internet & search for it, because it contains serious spoilers concerning the movie. Besides, If I’m not wrong, it’s one of the best shocking cinema shots of all time. It’s proof that how a one-shot is sufficient to interpret & how it draws diverse conclusions.
IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Cast: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, and more.
American Psycho, as you can see in the title, it’s about a psychopath. Not necessarily, a cruel & savage psychopath you’ve seen in No Country for Old man. But, more of a film on satirical psycho film, that frightens as you watch the cinema. Ofcourse, The best thing is Christian bale’s performance accompanied by riveting narration. It would put you on the edge of your seat & holds your spellbound through the open ending. A wealthy investment banker hides his psychopath face from his friends and colleagues but, things go in an unexpected direction. Basically, you’ll see a rampage.
Maybe, it’s wise to say American Psycho is kind of a horror film.
IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Cast: Christian Bale, Justin Theroux, Josh Lucas, and more.
Black Swan is a psychological film that deals with obsession & addiction, and how they could affect the mental side of human. When I talk about Black Swan, It would be disrespectful If I don’t acknowledge the mind-blowing performance of Natalie Portman. Throughout the film, she was a major asset and an eye-catcher. Nina, a ballerina gets the opportunity to play the White Swan, Princess Odette. However, her paranoia & insecureness take hold of her mind, when Thomas, the artistic director, decides that Lily might fit the role better. The whole movie is grim & gloomy from Nina’s viewpoint & takes us to an entire melancholy atmosphere.
The pinnacle of Black Swan is its climax & outstanding cliffhanger, which makes it one of the best open ending movies. The audience still talk about its ending & conceive theories on the last shot. The film won oscar honors for Best Picture, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Director, with Natalie Portman winning her first academy award.
IMDb Rating: 8.0/10
Cast: Natalie Portman, Mila Kunis, Vincent Cassel, and more.
Honorable Mentions :
- A Serious man
- Take Shelter
- The Wrestler
- The Graduate
Wanna know more best movies from other genres :
- 10 Best Sci-Fi Movies of All Time
- 10 Best Post-Apocalyptic Movies of All Time
- 10 Best Romantic Movies of All Time