How To Write A Great Ending

  • Published on Feb 16, 2018
  • Start your free trial today at to get 10% off your first purchase.
    Support me on Patreon:
    Please Like and Subscribe for more video essays.
    A massive thank you to my patrons for helping me go full time with this channel :D
    sam reilly
    PJ Crabb
    Hugo Rocha Loures Kosop
    Pedro Silva
    Shemaiah Welch
    Kristján Ingi Einarsson
    Alara Hearthspire
    David Loisel
    Jaxon Pryer
    Max Buckley
    Alfons Dahl
    Sofie Khumkhet Vala
    Jimmy Dinh
    Sindiel Taylor
    Alexander Greenwood
    Jacob Westman
    Daniel Sturman
    Robby May-Sylianteng
    Evan Block
    Gabriel Hug
    Hannah Southerland
    Amanda Sutrisno
    Matthew T Julien

Comments • 996

  • MrShanester117
    MrShanester117 16 minutes ago

    Grammarly is for scrubs...

  • Rex Videos
    Rex Videos 14 hours ago

    The Karate Kid has the fastest ending I have ever seen. From the time the climax hits to credit rolling is under 30 seconds.

  • gineral007
    gineral007 15 hours ago

    Memento has a great ending and its basically the beginning

  • Randy Rogers
    Randy Rogers Day ago

    The Closer Look: "if there had to be a single..."

  • Browntown
    Browntown 2 days ago

    Avengers Engame couldve learnt from this

  • Jesse Scholz
    Jesse Scholz 2 days ago

    Couldn't agree more. The flaw with Casino Royale is one that was very present in the novel by Ian Flemming as well. The last 2/3rd or so of the book switches to a very long romantic getaway for Bond. I remember it being such a slog to get through

  • Cale Mitchell
    Cale Mitchell 2 days ago

    This is one of the most helpful videos I've ever watched. Thank you!

  • Blake Young
    Blake Young 3 days ago

    So Always end your movie with the viewers wanting more?

  • #dojella 241
    #dojella 241 4 days ago

    Have you ever noticed that the matrix is based on the color green except for when they are on their ship and in the real world?

  • uncle ben
    uncle ben 4 days ago

    I would like to let you know i actually learn from your videos and i appreciate you

  • MfingChristonya
    MfingChristonya 5 days ago

    Wait... After the fight scene isnt there like, 30 minutes of bull shit at the end of LOTR? Like straight, slow, droll, boring, screen time? -- Because, the entire video as you described "Ending fatigue" the only movie I could think of... Was LOTR. Where after everything was said and done, there was a good 30 minutes of tying up loose ends ect, that had me pretty much begging the film to end because I was so bored and uninvested.

  • Well Wisdom
    Well Wisdom 5 days ago

    wow, many thanks!

  • chompi
    chompi 9 days ago

    It’s simple, have Keanu Reeves in the movie and ready

  • Leto85
    Leto85 11 days ago

    Tying up the resolutions of the subplots into the mainplot often is what I think could be the best indeed: it makes everything connected.

  • Sebastien Merviel
    Sebastien Merviel 11 days ago

    Funny, i actually was disappointed by the matrix's ending. Didn't live up to the kinda philosophical implications of the rest of the film before and instead went for a pretty boring loveydovey thing or bc the film had been too hyped up as being perfect and legendary before i watched it for the first time about a year ago

  • Jonathan Nali
    Jonathan Nali 11 days ago +1

    My computer is going to be filled with your lessons. Thank you

  • richgarc84
    richgarc84 12 days ago

    This was such a great video essay on ending a movie.

  • Miss Kitty Grimm
    Miss Kitty Grimm 12 days ago

    How to write a good ending.
    First, make it a film.
    Second, make sure the event's resolved 10 mins before the credits roll.

    Can't say I got anything useful from this. Also, why call it a film half the time, then call it a movie the other half? Perhaps you should start with the basics like... consistency is key.

  • Adrian
    Adrian 12 days ago

    I think you misunderstood Casino Royale. It wasn't about the banal plotpoint of "Bond in a Cardgame". It's about Bond becoming Bond. How he loses his believes, how he loses his love, his humanity and his self respect. In the end, he is the cool agent we know.
    He lost his vulnerability, learnt to bottle his feelings up and we needed the romantic subplot to get that point across. Also, it needed the romance to happen after the cardgame, to not destroy the tightly nit suspense of the Masterful Cardgame sequence.
    (Also, btw. The Matrix is amazing, but the only flaw that it has, is that the romance between Neo and Trinity is incredibly weak.)

  • Dungeon of Pain
    Dungeon of Pain 12 days ago +1

    With the critique you have in mind, what do you think of Manhunter, where "spoiler"
    the murderer survives, and as the family is going back to living normally he comes back? "end of spoiler".

  • Roshni Ali
    Roshni Ali 12 days ago

    So true for GoT. Night King died too early

  • Hemant Tavathia
    Hemant Tavathia 13 days ago

    I don't think you have given a good example in Casino Royale. A great comparison to structure of Casino Royale is The Ring with Naomi Watts. Similar to Casino Royale, there is more to the story past where the traditional story ends. Your video makes a poor case. Great endings are not a set formula.

  • Obligatory YouTube Channel

    My favorite ending is Good Will Hunting.

  • macdondald borgar
    macdondald borgar 13 days ago

    I personally hate uncertain endings (to movies that dont recieve any sequels).

    • Ice Gloves
      Ice Gloves 11 days ago

      macdondald borgar you don’t like inceptions ending ?

  • Baby Diary
    Baby Diary 13 days ago +1

    mmm thanks for the insight! Now I have to work better on my endings :)

  • Donavon Batiste
    Donavon Batiste 15 days ago

    Vasper is the main villain of casino royal james bond learned his first lesson in the spy game trust no.

  • Donavon Batiste
    Donavon Batiste 15 days ago

    Casino royal is amazing

  • TheBros2theend
    TheBros2theend 16 days ago

    Jesus Christ loves you.

  • Psiberzerker
    Psiberzerker 16 days ago

    Action? No need to write a good ending, as long as it satisfies your need for cathartic violence, and teases a sequel. Oh wait, that's not an Ending. That's promising something you might not be able to deliver. Don't bother with denouement. That might bore the Audience, who totally doesn't want any lose threads tied up. Just wow them with spectacle, and they'll forget all that when they leave the theater. It's not like there's entire channels devoted to what the film maker got wrong, as long as it has a good ending. (In the first one, we'll just forget that the real ending, to the Trilogy, ever happened.) The Matrix wasn't an Ending, it was a Beginning. That's what they put that phone call in the end to tell the Audience. Did you forget that, because Neo took off like frikken Superman, and they played epic music over the credits? No wonder audiences just never bothered waiting through the Credits to get a few seconds more movie... Thank God that never became a thing, because apparently, movie goers are goldfish.

  • CurbsideUnderwood
    CurbsideUnderwood 17 days ago

    Still one of my absolute favorite movies of all time! Excellent video as always.

  • Jonah Eriksen
    Jonah Eriksen 18 days ago +1

    Gotts love that he plays the breaking of the fellowship in the bsckground whiøe taking about the end of teh fellowship of the ring

  • David Orvik
    David Orvik 19 days ago +1

    How does the Return of the King follow these rules ?!

  • Legendary Legend
    Legendary Legend 19 days ago

    I just saw The Matrix the other night. Hoping to see Reloaded today/tonight and Revolutions tommorow.

  • Smuf - ulck
    Smuf - ulck 19 days ago

    My favourite ending, The Mist

  • Swizrad
    Swizrad 20 days ago

    Dude plays Duel of the Fates leading into Fellowship. I feel misled, but still pleased with the outcome, like when I ordered a small batch of brownies but instead got a very large order of tater tots, it felt like I got more than I would have if I got what I had asked for, but it's simply not what I asked for. I told the restaurant and they gave me a very large order of brownies for my troubles.

  • BWS2K
    BWS2K 20 days ago

    It's also important to note that a major theme of the Matrix is to make us, the audience, question our own reality. In the end, our screen literally becomes a computer screen. It echoes Neo's own Awakening, giving us the final answer/conclusion. And when Neo says he's going to 'show them what [the machines] don't want them to see', he's not referencing other people in some make-believe world. He's referencing us, the viewer. It's as if the entire film was pirated through the Matrix directly to us. And... I dunno. I watched Casino Royale twice and I think it's just too dense on the front-end, regardless of one's analysis of the ending(s). It was trying too hard to be hip-and-trendy-and-not-at-all-what-you-expect, methinks. Lovely video!

  • Rebecca Mather
    Rebecca Mather 21 day ago

    Glass has ending fatigue. Never got to the end if the film.

  • I don't have a name
    I don't have a name 21 day ago +2

    So Endgame has a bad ending apparently...

  • rikiiss
    rikiiss 22 days ago

    I hate your voice, but your content is great

  • Catalyst V7
    Catalyst V7 22 days ago

    Explain John Wick 1 then.

  • Fortnite vortex
    Fortnite vortex 22 days ago


  • David Brown
    David Brown 24 days ago +1

    Game of thrones should’ve come to you

  • Torusaurus Rex
    Torusaurus Rex Month ago

    Does anyone else take notes while watching these videos?

  • SpaghettiWombat
    SpaghettiWombat Month ago

    4:21 We know what Hannibal's doing at the end. He's having a friend for dinner.

  • Samuel Ely
    Samuel Ely Month ago

    One of my favorite movie endings to A Hard Day's Night. After a comedic adventure, the protagonists simply sing a few songs, but it works so well.

  • Charlie Dove
    Charlie Dove Month ago

    I think Infinity war now takes the crown for best ending, it does what the matrix does but better

  • Coltyn Seifert
    Coltyn Seifert Month ago

    I thought Rule 1 was "SUBVERT THEIR EXPECTATIONS!!!" #GOT

  • biloboly gregsmith
    biloboly gregsmith Month ago

    I'll give you a pass. You made this before endgame

  • L1qu1d S1lenc3r
    L1qu1d S1lenc3r Month ago

    Casino royal was mainly about the poker game however if you thought the whole movie was about a SPY who wins a poker game when other bond movies clearly set up for the fact that there is always alot more going on(like the fact that a huge part of the story was about bond falling in love with Moneypenny enough to quit being a spy) then you would realize that CR didn't have bad story structure.. it was just that you don't know much about bond to begin with or you were somehow mislead by the title.

  • Stray
    Stray Month ago

    Decipher this
    697 @43 5(3 /3#5 69757/34
    The tranlation
    You are the best youtuber

    Get this to 50 likes and il tell you how to Decipher it

  • Chris McCartney
    Chris McCartney Month ago

    I think I disagree, for the most part. This type of ending is codified in the hollywood three act tradition, sure, but I personally feel that the catharsis you speak of comes in the resolution, not the climax. I much prefer the five act structure, and the devotion of an entire element of the story to the resolution. In fact, I've always felt that the ending to _The Matrix_ was its weakest point (not that it's in any way weak, but compared to the rest of the film... you know).

    As an example of what I'm talking about, I'd like to point out the film _Hostage_ with Bruce Willis, a neo-noir crime thriller directed by Florent Siri. Without spoiling anything, the end of the film takes place well after the climax, but there is a resolution of character (which in of itself is kind of a sub-climax) well after the main plot is finished; and it isn't until that point that we have catharsis. I feel that the ending in this particular film shines, in my humble opinion.

  • Amadeus Dredd
    Amadeus Dredd Month ago

    Yeah perfect way to end the film

    Until Revolutions that is...

  • Noomi Herran
    Noomi Herran Month ago

    This really only applies to films with traditional 3 act structures, as films with 4 or 5 act structures often reserve the last act for tying together the characters and theme rather than the story itself.
    The last act of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo- 5 act structure- has basically nothing to do with the main story but it is integral to understanding how the two main characters have grown over the course of the film.
    The original Ghost in the Shell- 4 act structure- resolves its central conflict by the third act and devotes its entire 4th act to discussing the ramifications and possible avenues of growth that have resulted because of the prior events.
    If those films had cut to the chase with their endings, they would have been substantially weaker for doing so.

  • frinaldi 412
    frinaldi 412 2 months ago

    One of my favourite endings was from the original Italian job

  • fl333r
    fl333r 2 months ago

    Far Cry 3 was great but it was a weird feeling. The goal was to rescue your friends but after killing Vaas, and you had to spend the rest 1/3 of the game killing Hoyt, it just felt off. Both were great villains in their own right but Vaas' death felt like the climax. You can't have 2 climaxes after all.

  • Manish
    Manish 2 months ago

    A little interstellar score

  • m ms
    m ms 2 months ago

    Matrix is the perfact.

  • Timmystwin
    Timmystwin 2 months ago +1

    Just a point on inception, the question isn't actually the point. It's there, but it's a red herring.
    The point is that cobb no longer cares. So it leaves the audience with a question, that is unimportant. Which is kind of neat.
    Also, I disagree on casino royale. The winning of the poker game is sort of the end of act 3, but then there's an act 4. It's a common thing, happens in all sorts of things, even games such as bioshock. Any film that uses a "they weren't the bad guy, it was this guy all along" then goes for the new guy. Where it goes wrong is where you build the original up to be the big ending. In casino royale the big ending is nailing le chiffre. Not beating him in poker. It was beating him in general. So the real ending is when he dies. I agree on the final, say, 10 minutes being a bit unnecessary. But that's it.
    If you look at the last jedi for instance, snoake is dead, first order fleet is annihilated, everyone gets away... Then we get another ending on top. That's ending fatigue, as the whole film was focused around this chase, rei meeting kylo etc. To then go "oh don't worry they're still being chased" after we see that first climax, is a step too far.

  • Ibby Taz
    Ibby Taz 2 months ago

    The usual suspects has the best ending I've ever seen in a movie.

  • LR Buxton
    LR Buxton 2 months ago

    I do like your video and I see your point, Henry, but I'm not sure I agree. Sometimes the viewer needs to be surprised - Casino Royale did so very well with Vesper Lynd, and if you watch the earlier Casino Royale (a bizarre romp at the best of times) the structure is similar with Le Chiffre being killed at around the same part of the film. It also explained clearly why Bond is the way he is...

  • Josh Eastwell
    Josh Eastwell 2 months ago

    This makes so much sense and is so simple! Yet easy to over look 😅 Cannot wait to start implementing this into my own work.

  • 035 Strijder
    035 Strijder 2 months ago

    Inthought shutters island was a really good ending

  • Josh. Outcast
    Josh. Outcast 2 months ago

    How I met your mother, best ending

  • Dion7
    Dion7 2 months ago

    I actually love a good aftermath.

  • Milk Bread
    Milk Bread 2 months ago

    love this show but cant stand that dudes voice

  • -MeinJuaco-
    -MeinJuaco- 2 months ago

    That's glass

  • Sir Reginald Von Bartlesby

    I just want to say that Boromir was not a greedy bad man, as a human he was the weakest against the corrupting power of the ring, sooner or later everyone in the company would have soccumbed to its power. That is the reason why Frodo choose to continue its journey alone.

  • James Pout
    James Pout 3 months ago

    The example used of Casino Royale is odd as the film does not suffer negatively from its suggested 'ending fatigue'. A better example could be Temple of Doom. Also the issue with using films based on books (casino royale/lotr)it is difficult to critique the ending as it is based on a preset ending. But it is inteto see that pre-established texts have issues with endings. I thought of Return of the king, HP6, Casino royale. Comment if you know any more

  • Aslin Arroyo
    Aslin Arroyo 3 months ago

    Wait! No D: Boromir isn't a bad man. Yes, he wanted to use the ring but not for him. For his people. People forgot about the ring so there was little knowledge of it. It was the ring who warped him and then realized what he did was wrong--this doesn't mean he was a bad man. Just because he was weak against it doesn't mean he was a bad man.

  • Joseph Scheidl
    Joseph Scheidl 3 months ago

    I disagree with you that boromir is a bad man in the fellowship of the ring. Boromir is the characterization of Man doing his best to do good, but falls to the temptations of the ring. He wants to save his people, whose hope is fading. He is fighting a losing battle to save his country, who has been abandoned by the rest of the world. This is why he turns to the ring, as it seems to be the only thing that can help him. That is his entire motivation, and besides the one seen where he is taken by the ring and attacks frodo, he doesn't do anything evil in the film. He isn't a bad man

  • Susseratal
    Susseratal 3 months ago

    Just seeing boromir's death still makes me want to cry it was so well done. I've watched the films twice and read the books once, and it's still such a poignant moment

  • cybust
    cybust 3 months ago

    Not technically a movie, but the ending of the documentary "Behind the curve" is absolutely perfect. Check it out.

  • nowonmetube
    nowonmetube 3 months ago

    Matrix 3 - great ending

    right? xd

  • androssteague
    androssteague 3 months ago

    Say what you want about Casino Royale. The climatic twist that Vesper was a traitor is what put a cherry on top of a great movie. If the plot structure were rearranged the way he explained, love interest, poker game, villain dies. It would be another cliches story structure.

  • civilwarfare101
    civilwarfare101 3 months ago

    Martrix has the most badass ending ever. People can call Keanu a weak actor but he brought for that end monologue.

  • Coolshows101
    Coolshows101 3 months ago

    I will take this to heart as I write more of my new script.

  • JustinDL97
    JustinDL97 3 months ago +1

    I'm sorry but this advice is just how to write a formulaic action popcorn flick, instead of doing what works best for the story and themes and placing a little trust in the audience. Pacing is still really important to making a great movie, but you shouldn't just rush every ending on principle because the audience might have to pee.
    Also Casino Royale is fine how it is and its based on a book written in 195fucking3, so yeah it might be a little oddly paced compared to The Matrix.

  • Chuck Father of Rock
    Chuck Father of Rock 3 months ago

    The Usual Suspects has one of the greatest endings ever

  • kyndal daniel
    kyndal daniel 3 months ago

    Great video, very helpful! :)

  • Dj Hastings
    Dj Hastings 3 months ago

    The Matrix has one of the most cathartic endings ever.

  • Jakomi of the Rose
    Jakomi of the Rose 3 months ago

    My stories always used to end miserably. Guess that's what I'm into.

  • bananaempijama
    bananaempijama 3 months ago

    the definitive ending is Robocop, goes full circle just by him saying his name. It makes you cheer loudly and it payed off the agonizing the journey Murphy had

  • Corey Newell
    Corey Newell 3 months ago

    Using the Fellowship of the Ring as any kind of example of a literary ending does not work well because the end of the book was never intended by the author. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings as a single volume. It was the publisher who broke it up into 3 novels because they thought it was too long. As such they divided the book into 3 equal parts by chapter endings. The second novel has a good ending but that is happenstance. This is why the first book seems to end quite abruptly with very little resolution.

  • Ben Abele
    Ben Abele 4 months ago

    A climax about winning poker and a main bad guy who gets delt with outside of the hero might not have been the most satisfying ending of a Bond Film to begin with

  • Cal Minera
    Cal Minera 4 months ago

    I remember being in the theater for the ending of inception when everyone let out a loud collective 'awh' when it cut to black before the top stopped

  • SugarCookieKitty
    SugarCookieKitty 4 months ago

    And then, there's Infinity War..

  • N Leslie
    N Leslie 4 months ago

    Movies like Star Trek have long endings but the endings are still great

  • Michael Nurse
    Michael Nurse 4 months ago

    I always like a surprise "I have been using SquareSpace...".

  • Eric Praline
    Eric Praline 4 months ago +2

    This video came out too early to take Infinity War into account, but what he is saying around the 3-minute-mark is exactly how IW ended. It‘s probably the most extreme version there will ever be.

    • ZedK49
      ZedK49 3 months ago

      Agreed, especially considering that everything following the snap is a horror-style silent sequence of panicked and confused defeated heroes. Complete change of tone and 180 on the usual tropes of superhero flicks.
      I couldn't believe what I was witnessing in the theater; the whole audience was mortified. Memorable ending indeed!

  • Jeffrey Jones
    Jeffrey Jones 4 months ago

    I hate that you're right about Casino Royale. I love that movie so much but you're absolutely right about the ending.

  • MrShanester117
    MrShanester117 4 months ago +1

    Matrix 1 is brilliant. 2 and 3 are shit. I argue this with people all of the time.
    Matrix 1 is like the rabbit hole. As you go, you just keep falling further and further down the hole.
    At the end the hero discovers his abilities and then gets the big payoff. Then it ends leaving you wanting more. Brilliant.
    But the more they give you is just exposition in movie form as they force a narrative that falls apart completely

  • Darek Wroblewski
    Darek Wroblewski 4 months ago

    I wish my pickup lines were as smooth as his ad transitions...

  • Skyrim Withguns
    Skyrim Withguns 4 months ago

    Pause at 4:09

  • jeppe Strelow Lund
    jeppe Strelow Lund 4 months ago

    dunno why you take casino royale as an example. the ending was great and set up why Bond is so cold.

    • ZedK49
      ZedK49 3 months ago

      Because it's an example that has an ending that drags on for a long time after the main plot points are resolved, which is on topic for this essay?
      Good or bad is irrelevant in this context, it's about how satisfying it is.

  • Henry Bones
    Henry Bones 4 months ago

    For Casino Royal, I would argue the death of Vesper to be the climax.

  • Colin Chilton
    Colin Chilton 4 months ago

    Every other point you made is perfect except when you start using Casino Royale as a bad example. The climax of the film wasn’t when the villain dies - as it may be with other films - the movie was about bond becoming bond and that only happened after the romantic (not subplot) plot ended. I’m trying not to let my love of Casino Royale get in the way of logic here, but the way you talk about the movie makes it sound way worse than it is.

  • Ty Finn
    Ty Finn 4 months ago

    Disagree. End of LOTR Fellowship is mostly Frodo's character resolution. The first film's arc is Frodo accepting the task given to him from beginning to end. When he closes his hand over the ring and takes that boat, he accepts the task and the main subplot of the first film is resolved, leading into the next. Boromir's resolution is a nice sub-sub plot.

  • Rebel In the F.D.G
    Rebel In the F.D.G 4 months ago

    The Sopranos had an incredible ending. Granted it requires a lot of analysis to realize exactly what just happened in that abrupt final scene, it's still fantastic.

  • Anos Anosn
    Anos Anosn 4 months ago

    Rule 3 is just wrong imo. Take Kingdom Hearts 3 as an example - it ends so many plot threads in quick succession that by the end of it you just sit there, nodding, thinking it's all stupid.
    If it becomes TOO convenient, you've resolved too many plot threads in one go and ends up feeling like a deus ex machina. You shouldn't be afraid to leave threads unresolved, as long as you resolve one or more major plotlines.

  • The man across the street

    If you want a good film ending. Just end it with any Hans Zimmer theme.