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Name some movies that left you so confused at the end that you couldn't really figure out what they were about.


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The Matrix! I watched it when I was still in grade school and it never made sense to me until I was already in college.

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Some of David Lynch's movies, especially Mulholland Drive; 2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Matrix films.

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”*StarWars: The Rise of Skywalker(??) *Episode 9, The Conclusion ended with a lie.

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StarWars: The Rise of Skywalker, Episode 9, The conclusion of the saga ended with a lie.

SPOILERS!: The long dead and disintegrated former Emperor Palpatine is inexplicably revived.  He expresses his plan to inhabit his granddaughter’s body after she destroys him.  She succumbs to his wishes and succeeds in destroying him.  His plan succeeded.  ALL prior sacrifices by a myriad of characters over generations in 9 films are completely negated.

At the conclusion of the 9th film, He/She deceitfully assumes the identity of the Emperor’s long time nemesis family “Skywalker”, thus destroying their ‘true’ legacy and perpetuating the Emperor’s own lineage.  Therefore, Palpatine wins and the Skywalkers are gone forever. - “Evil will always prevail”? -

So, yes, we were so confused at the end that we couldn't really figure out what the entire saga was about.

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On a recent flight I watched “The Lighthouse”. A very weird film but interesting.

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4 ( +5 / -1 )

-Naked Lunch

-English Patient

-1The Piano

Besides being some of the worst movies ever in film history, the endings are just befuddling.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Synecdoche, New York, directed by Charlie Kaufman. I liked this movie overall, but I had to watch it twice to even start to make sense of the overall plot, or my version of "sense" anyway, and I still don't get the last half hour. Talk about naval gazing so intensely that you actually fall into your own naval!

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. Maybe you're not supposed to understand it, but yeah...I could have skipped this movie and been less puzzled about the series Twin Peaks Season Two than after watching this "it will fill in the gaps from the show for you" movie. But hey...David Bowie!

Kin-Dza-Dza! Famous Soviet "science fiction comedy" from the 80s. From start to finish: good luck!

The Shining. So...was Jack Nicholson alive back in the Roaring 20s (see picture) AND trying to hack up his family in the early 80s, too? Was he a re-incarnated Charles Grady with a new family, but with a Shining son instead of Spooky Twin daughters? Hmm...

Mulholland Dr. lol It seems that David Lynch's movies and shows are supposed to be experienced more than understood, I guess. Like life, absolutely open to interpretation. ...OK, I'll stop!
5 ( +6 / -1 )


the emoji movie

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Not exactly a movie, but a series....Twin Peaks. It was really addictive to watch, but I still have no clue what that was really about, all blurred and grey....lol

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"Ash is Purest White" starring Zhao Tao and Liao Fan. The ending was just fubar.

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For me, that's easy - Howard the Duck. Probably one of the worst movies ever made.

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I'm with Hito Bito on The Shining. Probably Jack's zenith as an actor (He's kind of fallen into a Jack Nicholson impression of himself in much of the stuff he's done since), but if he'd been driven mad by the hotel, that would have made sense.

But the picture at the end where he was there before he was born? What? I don't understand.

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As expected, some people here mentioning Mulholland Drive. I'll admit that ( especially if you're watching it for the first time ) it can be pretty confusing, but



things get easier after we realize that she was dreaming. Then it's just putting the little pieces together and separate the "dream" from "reality". Essentially, the movie is about Hollywood and broken dreams.

For those of you that ( probably watched it recently and ) need some help in understanding the movie; some key explanations:

"The dinner", which is the beginning of everything.

The characters here will be incorporated into the paranoid fantasy of Diane's 'romanticized Hollywood' dream: The director talking about the pool man becomes the director in her dream, also with Diane's idea of the pool man. The fat man watching her as she drinks her coffee becomes the gangster who doesn't like his espresso. Coco, the director's mother, becomes her landlady. The cowboy-hat guy becomes the cowboy-hat Hollywood power figure. The girl who kisses Camilla becomes the "Camilla Rhodes" in the dream part. And of course, Camilla, her ex-lover, becomes the dependent, loving person Diane wants her to be: "Rita".

About the ( strange ) "Espresso scene":

( plausible explanation )

The reason this was in Diane's dream was because during the real life dinner party, when Diane hears Adam's news that his divorce resulted in him getting the pool while his wife got nothing, the coffee that she's drinking tastes bad to her in light of this news, and she goes to look away. (In a traumatic moment like this, a person's brain can memorize anything) And who does she see? The guy that is going to eventually turn up in her dream as an Italian mobster, who ruins all of Adam's plans for his own movie. In this way, Diane manages to get revenge on Adam in her own dream world.

About the blue box and the club Silencio scene:

Inside the box, Diane has hidden away all her anguish, hysteria and depression – the components of her real life. Locking the box would mean hiding the reality, and constructing her fantasy. So when Rita opens the box, the dream falls apart. The blue box appears in Betty/Diane’s lap at the end of the opera. This is the culmination of her fantasy. Or rather, it signifies Diane/Betty waking up. The magician is forcing her to face the truth; to deconstruct her fantasy, to open the box and let the harsh truth come out. In this "Silencio" club scene, when Diane realizes she is dreaming, she shakes uncontrollably. This means that on the edge of reality/waking, her subconscious could no longer repress her memories of murdering the woman she loved. The box can be seen as a symbol of Camilla's death and inside it Diane's guilt, which she kept locked up by her fears (the bum). Once Rita/Camilla unlocks it, the dream-cowboy says, "It's time to wake up."

( the blonde wig : the dream begins to break down once Rita dons the blonde wig--making her look like Betty. This is a way of showing that Diane is beginning to realize that "Rita" is just a fiction of her own mind. Diane IS "Rita", hence their resemblance in the dream's waning moments. )

( at Winkie's ( which is where Diane hires the hitman to kill Camilla ), the waitress's real name, Betty, is the name Diane takes in her dream persona. In Diane's dream, the waitress becomes "Diane". )

The ending:

As shown on her face when she wakes, Diane is forced to face the fact that it was all a dream, the sadness of her own life, and the guilt brought on by having her ex-girlfriend murdered. Diane's neighbor knocks on her door, which is what actually woke her up, to tell her there have been detectives looking for her, additional confirmation that there has been a murder. She starts reflecting on how she came to be in this position, from Camilla's coolness to her flirtations with Adam to the unforgivable humiliations at the party. In her kitchen, Diane says excitedly, "You've come back", to "Camilla" before quickly realizing it was just another hallucination/fantasy. The final breakdown / hallucination starts with the bum dropping the open blue box (the murder realization), and then comes the crushing guilt. The escaping little old people (the ones who are possibly her parents or grandparents) remind her of how far she's come and how much she's changed and also how she couldn't possibly face those people again, knowing what she's done. (When we first meet Betty, she is saying goodbye to this old couple, on to a better, brighter future in Hollywood.) As her guilt and the reality of what she's done overwhelm her (and with the hallucinatory breakdown of the old couple attacking), she shoots herself in the mouth.


Naomi Watts said in an interview: "Diane is the real character and Betty is the person she wanted to be and had dreamed up. Rita is the damsel in distress and she's in absolute need of Betty, and Betty controls her as if she were a doll. Rita is Betty's fantasy of who she wants Camilla to be."

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Gotta agree with Chico3 about "Howard the Duck". I couldn't figure out the ending because I left the theater after about 30 minutes since it was so stupid. I couldn't believe Hollywood expected people to pay money for that. I only paid a couple of buck but I still felt like I got ripped off.

"Eraserhead" had me scratching myself and thinking about ending it all too.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Army of the 12 monkeys, when watched first time.

Tenet, need to watch probably 12 times before finishing the time puzzle.

Matrix, for the first 30 minutes.

Inception, need to be an adept at Matrioska boxes.

All are good movies.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )


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Don't blame yourselves. Some movie makers, auteurs and script writers get off on confusing their audiences, particularly at the 'art house' end of the spectrum. Sometimes it is genuine, honest playfulness, sometimes they are offering a product for those who want it that way, accidentally pulling in punters who don't. It can be the unwholesome desire to be seen as superior to others.

If you aren't doing a film studies degree, feel free to bale out and accept that some movies aren't for you. It is better than staring at the credits and wishing you had 90 minutes of your life back. Pressing the 'Stop' button doesn't make you a bad person.

If you feel you really need to see a movie, even though it is awful, pop the subtitles on and watch it at twice normal speed.

The same thing happens with books. It's easier with books as you don't need the extra budget to twist reality inside out. Try 'Finnegan's Wake' and see how far you get. Joyce was tremendously important in the development of fiction, but I would only read his works at gunpoint.

Watch movies that you enjoy and that you get something from. It's not compulsory to watch them all the way to the end - it's not an exam.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Speaking of “Howard the Duck” and endings, he makes a ‘cameo’ in the end credit scenes of “Guardian of the Galaxy”.

@chico3 & @Speed: You can blame George Lucas for HTD. Yet, the technology developed went on the create “The Matrix” and “Toy Story”.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The 70’s and 80’s were a ‘trippy time’ and ‘cocaine-fueled’ Hollywood ‘green-lit” many things that, maybe, never needed to be seen but made ‘a ton of money’.

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For the ‘Eraserhead’, “TwinPeaks’” fans/nonFans, David Lynch was, and still is a painter, before he was a director. He hated ‘the theatrical cut’, but, despite its dated, poor ‘green screen’ effects “Dune” is awesome. Recommend watching the ‘deleted scenes’ or better, the entire “Dune 1984: The Alternative Edition Redux” in YouTube.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Appreciated your synopsis @rcch 3:37p. Mulholland Drive” was better on the second viewing. That may be the sign of a good film. It provokes you to give it a second look. (“What the fuzz, did I just see??”)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Eraserhead and Lost Highway

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He expresses his plan to inhabit his granddaughter’s body after she destroys him.  She succumbs to his wishes and succeeds in destroying him.  His plan succeeded. 

This isn't correct. He destroys himself, and doesn't inhabit her body. Rise of Skywalker is a garbage movie - or it would be if it weren't only a fever dream I had once - but that's not a fair criticism.

Synecdoche, New York, directed by Charlie Kaufman. I liked this movie overall, but I had to watch it twice to even start to make sense of the overall plot, or my version of "sense" anyway, and I still don't get the last half hour. Talk about naval gazing so intensely that you actually fall into your own naval!

Yeah, agreed.

As for my answer? I guess maybe Brazil?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Surreal movies that leave you feeling confused and dumbfounded are the best kind, in my opinion.

Why should everything be so rational, clear and obvious? It's one reason why I don't like action movies... no room for thoughts and cogitation during or after them.

One recent favourite of mine, from the surreal genre, was 'I'm thinking of ending things', even though in a way it all makes sense in the end - if you just understand, the end.

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