15 Movies That Were Completely Ruined by the Third Act

Is there a film that started out great but completely went off the rails in the third act? According to a popular online movie forum, there is. After someone asked for their best examples, here is what they volunteered. Do you agree? There are several that I disagree with in this list.

1. Spectre (2015)

Spectre 2015
Image Credit: MGM/Columbia Pictures.

Many concurred that Spectre was on track to be a solid Bond film until they arrived at Christopher Waltz’s base. Furthermore, they agree it was a complete waste of Christopher Waltz. “It was me, James. The author of all your pain.”

2. Iron Man (2008)

Iron Man 2008
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Ruined is a strong word as I still liked the movie, but the third act of Iron Man is noticeably weaker than the rest of the film. I didn’t like how Iron Monger turned into a ‘Look at me, I’m so evil’ cliche villain all of a sudden. They could’ve been done a bit better.

3. Law Abiding Citizen (2009)

Law Abiding Citizen 2009
Image Credit: Overture Films.

Law Abiding Citizen — “Absolutely fantastic for two-thirds of the film. It’s an excellent revenge thriller, and it could’ve been perfect. The bad guy should’ve won. It would’ve been so refreshing. I still love the movie, but I find myself wanting to turn it off in the final third.” This is one of my favorite movies! But I agree with the forum; the ending was not as satisfying as I had hoped. 

4. Downsizing (2017)

Downsizing 2017
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“Downsizing with Matt Damon. The third act was like out of left field. The premise was amazing. They could have done so much with it, but the writer and director dropped the ball.”

“It just kept going. I checked out about 20 minutes after he got on the boat, and then the movie just kept going and going.”

5. I Am Legend (2007)

I Am Legend 2007
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

I Am Legend had the potential to be a better film if the third act didn’t fall apart. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy it, not as much as The Omega Man (1971) or Last Man on Earth (1964), but had its third act been better — it could have been right up there with the other two.”

6. A Simple Favor (2018)

A Simple Favor 2018 Blake Lively
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

“A Simple Favor goes through the first two acts as a Gone Girl-esque mystery with a hint of comedy thrown in and is pretty intriguing. Then, the third act honestly seems like a completely different person wrote it.

The movie suddenly changes from realistic dark drama to the type of stuff you’d see in a bad made-for-TV movie before just going all in as a slapstick comedy to wrap everything up. Even as a dream sequence, the ending doesn’t make sense because all the characters behave in ways that go entirely opposite of what they represent at the movie’s start.”

7. Passengers (2016)

Passengers 2016
Image Credit:
Columbia Pictures.

Passengers. The movie’s beginning was gripping, setting itself up to be an interesting and thought-provoking psychological thriller. Then they turned it into The Notebook.” I LOVE this movie. So that is a hard disagree for me. 

8. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

Star Wars The Force Awakens
Image Credit: Lucasfilm Ltd.

“The Force Awakens’ second half has issues — basically, once they get off Jakku. Any time Rey and Ren are onscreen together works, but the overall story is rote.”

“The first hour of The Force Awakens is so electric. Anything is possible. Everything is cool and new and weird. We are living in the carcass of the old world. Then they did that. JJ should never be allowed to end anything. I do not know why we haven’t learned this.”

9. The Worlds End (2013)

The World's End 2013
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

“The World’s End (last of the Cornetto Trilogy). Ticks along quite nicely until they end up in the hidden chamber and then have what seems like an eternity of exposition, and the film just dies a death.”

10. It Chapter Two (2019)

It Chapter Two 2019
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

It Chapter Two — I loved the movie, but that third act (especially the ending) was comical. I was so disappointed with It’s final form at the end. If I recall correctly, in the book, the human mind can’t even really comprehend Its true form, and they just see it as a giant spider thing.

So when it came to the movie, I was hoping we’d get something really cool looking, like a cross between the Alien queen and Cthulhu. But instead, we just got a bigger-sized Pennywise with spider legs.”

11. In Time (2011)

In Time 2011
Image Credit: New Regency.

“In Time. It had a great premise, and I liked where the story was heading until the third act turned it into a cheap Bonnie & Clyde copy.” A few people suggest Justin Timberlake’s acting was subpar.

12. Fury (2014)

Fury 2014
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Fury. A solid and reasonably realistic dark portrayal of World War II armored combat ruined by a 90s-style action sequence with no basis in reality.”

13. Insidious (2010)

Insidious 2010
Image Credit:

Insidious. I firmly believe that the first two-thirds of that movie (the haunted house part) is one of the best horror movies of the last few decades. But I’m always so let down by the last act (the astral projection part) that I hesitate to recommend it to people.”

14. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

A.I. Artificial Intelligence 2001
Image Credit: Warner Brothers and Dreamworks LLC.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence stands out — two-thirds of the movie is humans abusing and wishing to terminate the boy, then he runs away and wakes up centuries later just to have his wish of his mother telling him she loves him fulfilled. I don’t buy it.”

15. Sunshine (2007)

Sunshine 2007
Image Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures.

Sunshine is a superb science fiction in the first two acts and a cheap slasher in the third. It was still great, but it could have been even better. It’s worth watching. Just walk into it knowing it changes tone dramatically in its final act, and not for the better.”

15 Surprising Movies That Boomers Were Forced to Watch in School

Psycho Anthony Perkins
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Everyone knows the feeling of walking into the classroom and seeing the TV on the rolling stand. It was a feeling of pure joy; you were either watching a film for educational purposes or watching a film because the teacher didn’t want to work on their lesson plan. One way or another, you knew you were watching a movie that day.

10 Movies That Film Fans Voted Are a 10/10 on Every Watch

Raiders of the Lost Ark
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

What movies would you rate as a 10/10 on every watch? I’ll go first and say The Godfather. It’s classic, and no matter where it is in the story, if I see it, I am sitting down and finishing it. The Godfather II is also a 10/10 in my book. After someone polled a film forum, here are what Cinephiles voted as 10/10 movies.

12 Best Movies With the Absolute Worst Acting, Do You Agree?

Kim Cattrall Big Trouble in Little China
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Performances can make or destroy a film in the world of cinema. While many films are lauded for their outstanding performances, there are times when particular performances fall short of expectations, even in otherwise good films. After someone asked an online film forum for examples of said movies, here is what they volunteered.

10 Magnificent Performances That Tricked Us Into Loving Terrible Movies

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures.

Ready for some controversy? First, let me preface that I do NOT agree with several of the films listed on this list. Recently, an online film forum member asked about amazing performances in terrible films. Again, don’t hate the reporter. These are not my picks. Here is what they had to say. I know ya’ll…

15 Magnificently Mind-Blowing Movies You Must See

Lucy Scarlett Johansson
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

What’s the first mind-blowing movie you have ever seen? What’s your favorite thought-provoking film of all time? My favorite mind-bending film of all time is either Inception or The Mist. After someone asked for other examples in an online film forum, here is what moviegoers had to say.


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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.