The Saddest Endings In Movie History

As fun as it is to watch a great movie, there’s
no guarantee that you’ll walk out of the theater feeling good yourself. Here are a few fantastic flicks where the
last few minutes are so monumentally depressing that they’re almost guaranteed to wring
a few tears from the audience. If you only saw the last three minutes of
End of Watch, you might think this cop drama was ending on a happy note. The final scene features two buddies having
a laugh over a crazy story on what looks like a pretty good day. Unfortunately, context is everything. In actuality, the camaraderie between Officers
Brian Taylor and Mike Zavala is an incredibly bittersweet flashback scene, one that jumps
back to a moment before Zavala was gunned down by gangsters. Taylor and Zavala are super cops. In fact, they’re such good cops that they
try to take down the Sinaloa Cartel… only that doesn’t pan out too well. After disrupting the cartel’s business, the
officers are ambushed by heavily armed thugs, and despite their bravery, Taylor is gravely
injured, and Zavala is murdered. After learning about his partner’s death,
Taylor is absolutely shattered. Zavala was his best friend in the world, and
at the funeral, Taylor is so grief-stricken that he can only muster four powerful words
that make all those happy moments heartbreaking: “He was my brother.” Thanos first appeared in the Marvel Cinematic
Universe all the way back in 2012, but when he finally arrived on Earth with the Infinity
Gauntlet, Earth’s mightiest heroes were completely overmatched. With a single snap of his fingers, Thanos
wiped out half the population of the universe, including the majority of our beloved heroes. Black Panther, Doctor Strange and even poor
Teen Groot went up in smoke. The most painful death to watch, though, was
Peter Parker’s. “Mister Stark, I don’t feel so good.” Even though he just fought the toughest villain
in the MCU, Peter’s still just a kid, afraid of fading away. Avengers: Endgame will undoubtedly undo a
lot of the damage, but when a horrified Captain America – the team’s strongest and most optimistic
member – is this wrecked, you know things have gone bad. Infinity War might have the darkest ending
of any major blockbuster ever. There’s no moral victory here; there’s no
feel-good speech. For the first time ever, the Avengers have
truly lost, and it all ends with Thanos admiring his handiwork, smiling as the sun rises on
a “grateful universe.” Despite their god-like superpowers, the Avengers
are a sad bunch of people, and the most tragic might just be Steve Rogers, a man out of time. In Captain America: The First Avenger, the
star-spangled superhero decides to sacrifice his life, crashing a Hydra plane into the
Arctic ice. In those final moments before taking the plunge,
Cap promises to take his new love Peggy Carter dancing as soon as he returns. Obviously, neither expect Steve to make it
back home, but, well, you’ve seen the movies. “I understood that reference.” When Cap finally returns, he learns that he’s
been asleep for nearly seven decades. It’s a gut punch of a moment, and the look
of shock and sadness on Cap’s face is heartbreaking. Yeah, he survived the suicide mission, but
the world he knew is gone, and he’s been separated from the woman he loves for most
of a century. When Fury finally asks if Cap is going to
be okay, all his pain is summed up in one sentence: “Yeah. Yeah, I just — I had a date.” War movies aren’t really known for their upbeat
endings, but when it comes to pure tearjerking power, nothing goes after your heartstrings
like 1989’s Glory. This Civil War flick tells the story of the
54th Massachusetts Infantry, which was the first African-American regiment to fight for
the Union army. The regiment was led by Colonel Robert Shaw,
played in the film by Matthew Broderick, and after overcoming all the racism you’d expect
from the 1860s, Shaw and the 54th wind up leading the charge in the film’s climactic
battle. Unfortunately, that battle doesn’t go their
way. After being surrounded by Confederate soldiers,
Shaw charges the enemy, hoping to inspire his men, and he’s quickly gunned down. Enraged, Private Silas Trip, a role that earned
Denzel Washington an Academy Award, picks up the flag and charges after the colonel,
only to be shot down seconds later. Their sacrifice inspires the rest of the 54th
to rush out of the ravine and continue their charge, but despite their bravery, the heroic
soldiers are no match for cannonballs, and all the characters we’ve come to love – played
by the likes of Morgan Freeman, Cary Elwes, and Andre Braugher – are blown to oblivion. If that wasn’t sad enough, the movie ends
with Shaw’s and Trip’s bodies being buried side by side in a mass grave. Gone Baby Gone isn’t exactly a feel-good
film to begin with, and the ending is appropriately downbeat. Based on the novel by Dennis Lehane, this
thriller follows two Boston detectives – Patrick Kenzie and Angie Gennaro – who are hired to
find a little girl named Amanda. At first, they believe the kid was murdered
by a local drug dealer, but as they dig deeper into the case, they discover a surprising
conspiracy. As it turns out, Amanda’s concerned uncle
kidnapped her from her abusive, addict mother with the help of several high-ranking cops,
but Patrick isn’t a big believer in moral ambiguity, and brings brings the conspiracy
down and has the little girl sent back home. “You may not regret it when you get home. You may not regret it for a year. But when get to where I am, I promise you,
you will.” Sure enough, it doesn’t take long for regret
to set in when Patrick goes to visit Amanda. He sees that her mom is just as awful as ever
and realizes he might’ve damned Amanda to a life of poverty, neglect, and mistreatment. In the final few moments, he volunteers to
babysit Amanda and sits beside her, watching the traumatized, lonely girl as she stares
at the television. It might seem weird to say this about a movie
where a gorilla fights a helicopter, but Rise of the Planet of the Apes has more than its
fair share of emotional moments. Nothing can top the finale, when Caesar, ably
played by mo-cap master Andy Serkis, says goodbye to his human friend, Will Rodman. Their relationship is the emotional crux of
the story. Caesar has known Will his entire life, and
the biologist is basically his adoptive dad. In fact, Will is the guy who gave Caesar is
above-average intelligence. But after Will is forced to put Caesar in
a primate sanctuary, the chimpanzee decides it’s time for a revolution. After sparking a full-blown primate rebellion
and a battle on the Golden Gate Bridge, Caesar and his army disappear into a redwood forest. But before vanishing into the trees, Caesar
is confronted by Will, who begs the chimp to come back home. That’s when Caesar pulls his foster father
close and whispers into his ear. “Caesar is home.” With those three powerful words, Caesar and
Will realize nothing will ever be the same. Tom Hanks movies generally leave audiences
feeling pretty good, but Road to Perdition is a bloody exception to that cheerful rule. This gangster flick finds Hanks playing Michael
Sullivan Sr., a mob enforcer out for revenge while trying to make sure his surviving son,
Michael Jr, doesn’t wind up dead too. That’s easier said than done when you’re being
hunted by a psychopathic hitman. For a moment, it seems like everything might
be okay. Then, Michael’s violent past catches up with
him when he’s ambushed by the assassin. After taking two bullets to the back, Michael
lies dying as the psychopathic hitman assembles an old-timey camera and begins taking photos
of his bloody victim. Michael Jr. shows up with a gun to interrupt
the hitman’s sick hobby, but unlike his dad, the boy isn’t a killer. Fortunately, the distraction gives his father
enough time to gun down the assassin before shuffling off this mortal coil. What really seals a deal and cues the sobbing,
though, is Michael Jr.’s final lines, answering the question of whether his father was a good
man: “I always give the same answer. I just tell them he was my father.” Directed by Martin Scorsese, Shutter Island
is a frightening film noir that finds Leonardo DiCaprio as Teddy Daniels, a detective who’s
investigating a disappearance on an Alcatraz-style mental hospital. But as Teddy and his partner dig deeper into
the case, Teddy makes a horrible discovery: he isn’t really Teddy. In reality, he’s Andrew Laeddis, a World War
II vet who killed his mentally ill wife after she murdered their kids. His partner is actually his psychologist,
and the whole investigation is an elaborate role-playing game meant to bring Andrew back
to reality. And if the game doesn’t work, then poor Andrew
has to get lobotomized. After this shocking twist, it seems that Andrew
reverts back to his Teddy persona, forcing his doctors to perform the lobotomy. But before he’s taken away to his mind-numbing
fate, Teddy looks over at Chuck and asks a haunting question: “Which would be worse? To live as a monster, or to die as a good
man?” It’s a simple line, but it conveys the crushing
sadness of Andrew’s story. The experiment worked. Andrew knows exactly who he is and what he’s
done, It’s his guilt that leads him to accept his grisly fate. Arnold Schwarzenegger movies aren’t generally
considered tearjerkers, but the ending of Terminator 2: Judgment Day has caused so many
sobs from macho movie fans that it’s basically the action movie equivalent of The Notebook. “You think I’m unemotional, don’t you? I can be emotional! Jesus, I cried like a child at the end of
Terminator 2!” Sent from the future to protect teenage John
Connor, the T-800 starts out this sci-fi flick as an ice cold killer robot. As he spends time with the future resistance
leader, however, the T-800 becomes the teen’s best friend and father figure growing increasingly
lovable as he battles with a shapeshifting android. He’s picking up slang words, developing human
emotions, and learning you can’t just go around killing people. He also realizes that if humanity is going
to survive, then all Terminators need to be destroyed. After defeating the T-1000, Arnold realizes
that if he doesn’t destroy the advanced AI inside his own head, that tech will eventually
give rise to the robot rebellion that will doom mankind. So despite John’s pleas for him to stay, the
T-800 slowly lowers himself into a pit of molten steel. He gives a thumbs up before disintegrating
completely, letting John know everything is going to be okay. But, despite that reassurance, poor John is
in tears, and so is everybody watching the saddest ending in Schwarzenegger’s career. “I know now why you cry, but it’s something
I can never do.” With movies like Requiem for a Dream in his
filmography, it’s safe to say that Darren Aronofsky loves a truly depressing ending,
but of all the films he’s ever directed, none have caused as much sobbing as The Wrestler. This gritty and grim drama follows the story
of Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a professional wrestler who’s far from his in-ring glory
days. This dude has a lived a hard life and made
some bad decisions, and now he’s all alone. His daughter doesn’t want anything to do with
him, his romantic life isn’t working out, and the world outside the ring is nothing
but pain and misery. Lonely and depressed, Randy gets back into
the wrestling game, where at least the fans respect and adore him. But stepping back into the ring comes at a
high price. Randy has a bad heart and knows that another
match might be his last. However, when he hears the cheers of the crowd,
the wrestler climbs up on the turnbuckle to perform his signature move… even as his
heart starts to fail him. When he leaps down onto his opponent, we know
it’s the last time he’ll ever do the legendary “Ram Jam,” but it’s all worth for it Randy,
because he’s living and dying for the only family he’s ever known, the fans… who now
have to watch their hero die in the ring in front of them. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Looper videos about your favorite
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