12 Popular Ambiguous Film Endings Fans Feel Were Honestly Pretty Straightforward — Do You?

A recent online discussion about film endings that are meant to be ambiguous but are pretty straightforward ensued. Several popular movies were mentioned. Here are their top-voted films. Do you agree?

1. No Country for Old Men (2007)

No Country for Old Men
Image Credit: Miramax Films.

No Country for Old Men. “Anton Shigur checks his feet for blood before leaving the porch, meaning he killed Carla Jean. It’s also meant to show that Chigur doesn’t actually believe what he says. He doesn’t leave things up to chance. He kills anyone who gets in his way.”

2. Prisoners (2013)

Prisoners 2013 movies with ambiguous endings
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Prisoners. “The fate of Keller (Hugh Jackman’s character) is pretty obvious. He’ll obviously be found (Detective Loki will investigate the sound, being a detective, after all). Keller will serve heavy jail time for kidnapping, torturing, and nearly beating an innocent man to death.”

3. Shutter Island (2010)

Shutter Island 2010
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Shutter Island. “I’ve seen lots of debate over whether he was cured at the end or not. Is it not obvious that he was cured and chose to get lobotomized? He ‘chose to die as a good man!’ Great movie.”

4. Inception (2010)

Inception films with ambiguous endings
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Inception. “The spinning top literally starts to wobble before it cuts to credits. Cobb doesn’t care if he’s in a dream or real world at this point; he just wants to see his kids, so he’s accepted this as reality. At the same time, the top wobbles, indicating it is indeed the real world.”

“To me, the top has always been irrelevant. Even if it’s a dream, he never let himself see the kids’ faces in his dreams before. He’s now forgiven himself enough to go play with them. The resolution of his guilt is the point.”

5. Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner 1982 Harrison Ford
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Blade Runner. “I always took the ending to be more about the existential crisis of what he does for a living and realizing the thin line between ‘us’ and ‘them.’ It doesn’t matter if Deckard is or isn’t a replicant.”

“One of the most interesting parts of Blade Runner is the fact that the replicants display more humanity than Deckard — the actual human— does. Deckard is robotic and unfeeling in his pursuit of them — making the contrast between him and Roy at the end so compelling. If Deckard is a replicant, you lose this element of the story, which is a significant loss.”

6. The Wrestler (2008)

The Wrestler 2008
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The Wrestler. “He absolutely 100% dies in the ring. That’s what the whole tragic story trajectory leads to. The most tragic point is when he looks back and sees her gone. If he had looked back and Marissa Tomei was still standing there, he may have stopped and turned back. But they make a point that he tells her this is where he belongs after she shoots her shot. Then, she is gone when he looks back.”

7. The Thing (1982)

The Thing 1982 Kurt Russell
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The Thing. The alien doesn’t freeze to death. It can survive frozen indefinitely. So it wouldn’t have to attack. It would just wait for the human to freeze to death and wait to be discovered by other humans, which is what happened with the Norwegians. That’s my take. So, there really isn’t a way to know if they’re human at the end or not.”

8. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 2004
Image Credit: Focus Features.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. “When I first watched it, I was happy to see they found each other again, but after watching more recently, I realized that wasn’t the point. The point is that they kept going through the cycle of meet and break-up repeatedly. They were doomed to keep repeating their mistakes vs. learning and moving on, together or apart.”

“There’s an unused scene showing a much older Joel and Clem coming back to have their memories wiped again, showing exactly this.”

9. Whiplash (2014)

Whiplash 2014
Image Credit: Sony Pictures Classics.

Whiplash. “We think it’s maybe a happy ending that Andrew won. Or that Fletcher and he are good with each other. But earlier in the movie, Andrew states that his idol became famous and died of a drug overdose in his 30s. At the end, his father’s horrified expression confirms that he believes Andrew is on his way down that path. In fact, the writer and Director even confirm this in post-movie interviews.”

10. The Witch (2015)

The Witch 2015
Image Credit: A24.

The Witch. “I feel like there’s absolutely zero room for interpretation. It wasn’t ‘all in her head’ or delusions brought on by grief. A witch haunted and killed her family, and then she joined the coven.”

11. Lost in Translation (2003)

Lost in Translation Scarlett Johannson
Image Credit: American Zoetrope.

Lost in Translation. “She’s not going to leave her husband for him. He won’t leave his wife and children for her. Despite their romantic feelings for each other, they are committed to their spouses.

Also, the 30-year age gap. Both are smart and sensible enough to know any real relationship between them would be a disaster. Bob isn’t going to risk dumping his family for a confused, flighty newlywed who just graduated college.

She probably doesn’t want to spend her future with an older man. She knows it’s just a crush. Instead, he gives her some encouraging advice, and they part as mostly friends, the kiss aside.”

12. The Shining (1980)

The Shining 1980
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

The Shining. “Jack Nicholson appeared in the picture because he is part of what haunts the overlook now. I’ve talked to people who thought it meant he had been there in the past or was a ghost all along.”

20 Songs With Obvious Mistakes That the Artists Decided to Leave In

Mick Jagger The Rolling Stones
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Did you know that some of the biggest songs in music history have mistakes that the bands decided to leave in? From accidental words to the phone ringing, here are several popular songs with accidents that made it into the final studio versions.

15 Movies From the 1980s That Suck So Bad You Probably Forgot They Existed

Rhinestone 1984
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The 1980s produced many cultural landmarks that shaped modern cinema. The decade was full of cinematic invention, from thrilling action films to iconic comedies and revolutionary sci-fi.

Among the treasures that have earned their way into the halls of fame, there is a collection of films so lackluster and boring that you may have forgotten they existed. This trip back in time will see 1980s films so terrible you might have forgotten they existed.

22 Films Guaranteed to Make the Hair on the Back of Your Neck Stand Up

Prom Night 1980
Image Credit: AVCO Embassy Pictures.

It’s that time of year again. Fall decorations are coming out. Pumpkin spice is taking over, and scary movies are begging your attention. As a connoisseur of horror films, these are the ones that have stood out over the decades as having major creepy vibes and hair-raising experiences. Have you seen them?

10 Musicians and Bands From the ’70s That Still Deserve Your Attention Today

Stevie Nicks
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The 1970s was an incredible decade for music. So, I know dozens of singers, songwriters, and bands deserve their spots on this list. But I was an MTV baby who didn’t discover this great music until later in life. So, I have selected the musicians and bands that I personally love today.

26 Underrated Films From the ’90s That Never Make Best Lists

Drop Dead Gorgeous 1999
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

The 1990s are known for iconic blockbusters. Nonetheless, there are a ton of underrated films that are typically overlooked while revisiting the classics. Here are some of the most seriously underrated films of the 90s. Do you agree?

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Elizabeth Ervin is the owner of Sober Healing. She is a freelance writer passionate about opioid recovery and has celebrated breaking free since 09-27-2013. She advocates for mental health awareness and encourages others to embrace healing, recovery, and Jesus.