If there's one film trope that isn't going anywhere, it's the always divisive cliffhanger. While TV cliffhangers help keep audiences invested in weekly adventures, film cliffhangers can often throw the entire movie's message into chaos. Moviegoers tend to want a clear resolution and ending to their experience, so when filmmakers end their projects on a cliffhanger it can often lead to heavy debate. This is actually a rather brilliant aspect of marketing, as buzz for the film will continue to grow as more folks head to the movies. Here are 5 of those movies whose cliffhanger endings are still talked about years later.


Christopher Nolan's Inception is a purposefully trippy sci-fi adventure with an untrustworthy narrator. Dealing with the world of dreams and the human consciousness, we see Cobb and his crew attempt to infiltrate the target's mind in order to plant an original thought of their making (aka Inception).

The Cliffhanger: Following an adventure across multiple minds and dreams, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) accomplishes his mission, and is able to finally return home to the states with his children. In the final moments of Inception, Cobb turns his spinning top totem, which he typically uses to make sure he's not still in a dream. But as the totem momentarily hits a bump, Cobb ends up walking away and joining his children.

What We Think Happened: This cliffhanger was discussed ad nauseam when the film was released, but I've got a theory that helped me grapple with it at the time: Cobb isn't dreaming, the entire movie actually happened. And the top's bump was actually Chris Nolan performing an inception on the audience. That one shot put doubt in our minds, which then spread and became a moment of pop culture.

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