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Top 10 Best Movie Endings of the 2010s

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Thomas O'Connor

The 2010s had plenty of great movies, and a lot of those movies had great endings. From Birdman, to Logan, to Toy Story 3, these films ended strong. WatchMojo ranks the top best movie endings of the 2010s.

Check out the voting page for this list and add your picks: https://www.WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+best+movie+endings+of+2010s Special thanks to our user Sanjeev Srivatsan for suggesting this idea!

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A great conclusion is hard to come by, but oh-so-satisfying when you find one. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Movie Endings of the 2010s.

For this list, we’re looking at the best movie endings of the decade so far. We know, there’s a few years left to go, but these endings are gonna be hard to beat. Obviously, beware of spoilers in the video ahead.


#10: “Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)” (2014)


Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s 2014 film stars Michael Keaton as an actor living in the shadow of his time playing a famous superhero. So yeah, this one’s pretty meta. Full of breathtaking long takes and furious drum solos, the film is a captivating look at fame and depression that frequently throws viewers for a loop with doses of magical realism. The film looks like it’s going to end on a down note when a despondent Keaton appears to commit suicide after throwing himself from a hospital room window. But the final reaction of his daughter as she looks skyward instead of down indicates it may be a happy ending after all.


#9: “Moonlight” (2016)


The only thing that got us more emotional than the surprise win that Barry Jenkins’ film had at the 2017 Oscars was the ending of the film itself. The powerful story of a gay black man living in Miami, the film explores themes of masculinity and identity as it follows main character Chiron through three stages of his life. The final segment sees Chiron, now an adult, return to Miami and reconnect with his former lover Kevin. As you might expect, old emotions come bubbling up to the surface, especially given how Kevin has seemingly moved on with his life. It’s no wonder the film won an Oscar… eventually.


#8: “The Florida Project” (2017)


Disney World may seem like a happy place, but this hard-hitting film explores the poverty and hardship experienced by those living just outside the walls of the fabled theme park. The film follows Moonee, the child in a family constantly struggling to make ends meet - a situation made all the more bitter thanks to their frequent exposure to the well-off tourists they frequently encounter. In the film’s final scene, Moonee flees when Child Protective Services arrive at her home. After finding her close friend Jancey, the two flee into the park. Whether the final scene is real or a fantasy is unclear, which ends the film on a beautiful and enigmatic note.



#7: “Logan” (2017)


Hugh Jackman’s final outing as Wolverine was only ever going to end two ways: with the former X-Man riding off into the sunset or with his years of dodging death finally catching up to him. As much as we would have liked a happy ending for Wolverine, the tearjerker ending is just too good to pass up. After a pitched battle with his younger clone to save a group of mutant children, including his genetic daughter, the legendary character meets his tragic end. The final shot of the movie sees his grave marked with a simple X, reminding us that he was an X-Man up until the very end.


#6: “Annihilation” (2017)


A true sci-fi mindbender, this film by Ex Machina director Alex Garland sees Natalie Portman playing a scientist who must venture into an area cordoned off by a mysterious wall known as The Shimmer. There, she and her team find bizarre mutated animals and other strange phenomena. But rather than just leading a research expedition, Portman’s Lena is searching for a way to save her dying husband, who became mysteriously ill after a previous mission. After a fiery climax that sees Lena square off against a duplicate, she escapes and is reunited with her husband, but it’s unclear if the Lena we’re seeing isn’t a duplicate herself. But hey, who doesn’t love an ambiguous ending?


#5: “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)


After a fun and exciting rollercoaster of a movie that brings together The Avengers, The Guardians of the Galaxy and every other Marvel hero to take on the villainous Thanos, the last thing we expected was for the cosmic big bad to succeed in his ambition to kill half of all life in the universe. One by one, numerous Marvel heroes perish before our very eyes, with Spider-Man’s emotionally devastating death in particular hitting us like an Infinity Gauntleted gut-punch. We’re well aware of all the theories as to how it will all get undone in Avengers 4, but for now... that infamous snap gets us every time.


#4: “Toy Story 3” (2010)


Speaking of endings that had us weeping, the third instalment in Pixar’s beloved franchise left pretty much everyone who saw it in tears. After a harrowing adventure that took them from a daycare to nearly being melted in an incinerator, Woody, Buzz and friends finally get the happy ending we were hoping for. Andy gifts his toys to a neighborhood child and plays with them one last time before leaving them to their new lives. It’s really the best ending we could have hoped for, and after the terrifying experience of nearly seeing these beloved toy characters meet their doom, we’re grateful for the happy ending.


#3: “Prisoners” (2013)


Denis Villeneuve’s suspenseful thriller from 2013 ends at the exact right moment, deftly avoiding the problem that many films have: ending way too early or way too late. After finally unravelling the case of two missing children, Jake Gyllenhaal’s Detective Loki returns to the scene of the crime, as one of the parents of the abducted kids is now missing himself. In a tense final shot, we see Loki faintly recognize the sound of a whistle that the missing parent is using to signal for help. He almost dismisses the sound, but finally turns back just as the film cuts to black in a moment of pitch-perfect cinematic timing.


#2: “Whiplash” (2014)


Damien Chazelle’s 2014 film had audiences staggering out of the cinema after its powerhouse closing scene, a furious drum solo performed by the main character. After enduring emotional abuse at the hands of his demanding music teacher, Miles Teller’s Andrew is ready to throw in the towel on his dreams of becoming a world-class drummer. But after one last humiliation by the domineering teacher, Andrew finally performs a notoriously difficult drum solo while his former teacher looks on. It’s a hugely satisfying finale that left many audience members holding their breath as the beats flew and Chazelle’s career-making film drew to a triumphant close.


Before we end our list on the perfect number one choice, here are some honorable mentions.


“Inside Out” (2015)


“Carol” (2015)


“Get Out” (2017)


#1: “Inception” (2010)


The ending that had audiences arguing over the tiniest wobble of a spinning top, the final shot of Christopher Nolan’s mind (and reality) bending sci-fi epic is a lesson in how to get the maximum effect out of something minuscule. After planting an idea in a target’s mind by infiltrating their dreams, Leonardo DiCaprio’s Cobb seemingly returns to an idyllic life. But rather than follow DiCaprio, the final shot of the film lingers on the spinning top he uses to determine that he’s not still in a dream, leaving the audience to scrutinize the shot endlessly in a search for closure. Between this and Shutter Island, 2010 was Leo’s year for endings.
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