Top 10 Best Action Movie Endings of All Time
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Top 10 Best Action Movie Endings of All Time

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Now that's how you finish a movie! For this list, we're looking at the all time greatest endings to action movies. Our list includes the last scenes of “John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum” (2019), “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991), “Jurassic Park” (1993), “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), and more! Which action film finale is YOUR favorite? Let us know in the comments!

Disagree with our rank? Check out the voting page for this topic and have your say! WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Ending+Scenes+of+Action+Films
Special thanks to our user MikeMJPMUNCH2 for suggesting this idea!
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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Ending Scenes of Action Films


Top 10 Ending Scenes of Action Films

Now that’s how you finish a movie! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten ending scenes of action films.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the all time greatest endings to action movies. We’ll be focusing on the endings themselves, not the climactic final battles, and excluding superhero movies, which deserve their own list.

It goes without saying, but there will be spoilers aplenty.

#10: “You Pissed, John?”

“John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum” (2019)
Over the course of the series, John Wick has been beaten up, knocked out, stabbed, and shot. A lot. But every time, he just gets angrier. And that’s why we love him! However, in the twist ending of “John Wick Chapter 3”, he takes a bigger knock down than ever before - getting shot right off the top of the Continental. Et tu, Brute?! Of course, you can’t keep a good retired hitman down, and thanks to the Bowery King, John Wick is still kicking. He’s a man of few words . . . but sometimes, one is all you need! [“You pissed, John?” “Yeah”]

#9: Max & Furiosa Bid Farewell

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)
“Fury Road” was an excellent movie, and thankfully, it had an ending to match.. After returning to the Citadel, Furiosa and the wives are cheered by the people and cherished as the saviors of their civilization. Furiosa then looks down and spots Max in the crowd, leading the two of them to share a respectful head nod before Max ventures off on his own. Everything about this scene makes for a great ending, from the completed character arcs to the subtle acting to the sweeping music. Who knew a Mad Max movie could be so emotional!?

#8: Riding Off into the Sunset

“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989)
If only that title turned out to be true, because this was a flawless ending to one of the greatest and most influential trilogies of all time. But nooo, they just had to bring in the aliens. This ending has a bit of everything: funny and touching father-son banter, funny physical comedy, and the heroes riding off into the sunset as John Williams’ timeless score plays and the credits roll. It really doesn’t get more classic than that. While “Crystal Skull” certainly had its moments, there are those out there who certainly consider this to be the real ending of the series. And can you blame them? It really was a perfect one.

#7: The T-Rex & the Helicopter

“Jurassic Park” (1993)
Steven Spielberg certainly knows how to end his movies. This classic has perhaps one of the most recognizable endings in history, as a group of raptors trap the heroes only for an enormous T-Rex to suddenly appear and unintentionally rescue them. It’s immediately after this that the group boards a helicopter and high-tails it off the island, complete with a sunset and . . . a timeless John Williams score. Hey, that sounds familiar. This movie was breathless right to the intense but happy ending, which has understandably become a piece of cinematic history.

#6: Neo Flies Away

“The Matrix” (1999)
As we were saying, a great song can really do wonders for an ending. After making a phone call to the machines and promising to show their captors that “anything is possible,” Neo does just that. As the music slows, the camera goes into the sky, we hear a rumbling, and Neo flies away as the music kicks into gear and the credits roll. It’s arguably one of cinema’s most badass and fist-pumping endings, and we couldn’t have asked for a more kickass way to send the movie out. Hell, you can even just pretend the story ended there if you like.

#5: “It's Never Goodbye”

“Furious 7” (2015)
It’s been a long road for Paul Walker’s character Brian O'Conner. At the end of “Furious 7”, the former police officer turned criminal street racer finally has the chance to kick back and enjoy fatherhood. As Dom and the crew watch Brian and Mia play with Jack on the beach, they realize that their roads have diverged . . . This moment was especially poignant, because during filming, actor Paul Walker, who played Brian, died in a tragic car accident. The writers reworked the script, and the result was this scene that paid tribute and said goodbye to both Paul and his character. Or, maybe not “goodbye” exactly, because as Dom’s character puts it . . . [“It’s never goodbye”].

#4: John Meets Powell

“Die Hard” (1988)
Following a night of pure hell and adrenaline, it’s certainly nice to get a happy ending. After being escorted out of the now completely destroyed tower, John finally meets Powell in person, complete with a tearful hug and swelling music. It’s an unexpectedly touching moment in an otherwise testosterone-fueled film. To top it off, Powell gets to complete his character arc when he shoots the boogeyman-esque Karl. While the music that plays is definitely a little corny, it’s still a moment of pure awesomeness, and it ended the movie on a cheerful and feel-good note.

#3: Spinning Top

“Inception” (2010)
Even years later, people are STILL talking about this ending, proving just how masterful it is. After returning to the US, Cobb uses his top totem to deduce whether he’s dreaming, but decides to ignore the result when he sees his children. While we’re left with the tantalizing question of whether or not it’s real (despite the wedding ring theory), that debate doesn’t really matter. What matters is that Cobb chose his own reality, one in which he gets to be with his children, and that is as beautiful an ending as we could imagine for an action movie.

#2: Good Luck

“Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)
OK, let’s take stock. Luke’s hand has been chopped off and he now knows that his nemesis, Darth Vader, is actually his father. Han has been frozen in carbonite and has been taken to Jabba the Hutt for a bounty. Lando and Chewie are flying off into unknown perils in order to rescue him. Holy cow Lucas, talk about a dark turn! Thanks to its thoroughly depressing and mature nature, the ending to “Empire” is without question one of the most memorable in cinematic history. Many fans argue that “Empire” has the greatest story of the saga, and with an emotionally-charged ending like this, it’s hard to argue against that claim.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

You Have ID?
“The Bourne Identity” (2002)

Christmas Dinner
“Lethal Weapon” (1987)

Moneypenny & M
“Skyfall” (2012)

Baby Released From Prison... Unless It's All A Dream
“Baby Driver” (2017)

Maximus’ Death & Figurine Burial
“Gladiator” (2000)

#1: Thumbs Up

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)
And this is the ending that made even the most hardened amongst us shed a tear. To ensure the safety of humanity, the Terminator deduces that his chip needs to be destroyed, and Sarah lowers him into the vat of molten steel - leading to one of the most iconic images in film. James Cameron shows his genius not only from a storytelling perspective, but a character one as well, as this ending perfectly completes the story and provides some fantastic closure for all three of its main leads. It’s not only the best ending of an action film, but one of the best endings to any movie, period.


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