The key to making any story word is to stick the landing. Movies are generally no different, and a cohesive ending makes the journey feel worthwhile, whether it’s happy or sad, funny or poetic. On the other hand, a bad ending can undo even the greatest build-up.
There are some endings, however, that take the idea of wrapping up their film’s story to a whole new level. Instead of ending with the seemingly natural conclusion of the narrative, these movies limp on, dumping further exposition on what happened next or detailing the specifics of the story to make better sense of what came before. These endings aren’t necessarily good or bad, but they certainly feel unnecessary.
Some fans enjoy these endings, and that’s okay – after all, they aren’t without their merits. However, each and every one finds itself here on this list by merit of it feeling like an extension. These are those endings that you find yourself itching to get up and walk away from, because they seemed to come after the movie had already ended.
8. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is one of the most beloved cinematic iterations of the character, and 2012’s The Dark Knight Rises marked the end of Christian Bale’s Batman and his narrative arc. While the film itself isn’t considered the best of the trilogy, it does conclude Nolan’s saga in a satisfying manner. However, its ending also seems to drag on far past the point of necessity.
After the hero seemingly sacrifices himself to save Gotham from a nuclear blast, The Dark Knight Rises then continues, establishing the ways in which his heroic sacrifice inspired those around him. Then, the film goes to the trouble of revealing that he may not have died after all, with a short, wordless exchange between Wayne and his long-time butler Alfred confirming that he didn’t really die.
Of course, it makes for a happy ending to the trilogy, but it actually detracts from the realism and the impact of Batman’s sacrifice. It also creates one or two minor plot holes, and makes the film several minutes longer than it needed to be. Far from a pointless scene, but it came after the film’s story had actually ended.