21 of the Best Cliffhangers in Movie History

The ending of ‘The Italian Job’ was a literal cliffhanger
21 of the Best Cliffhangers in Movie History

Stories have been leaving us hanging for about as long as we’ve been reading them, but the term “cliffhanger” only dates back to the late 19th century, with a Thomas Hardy serial that literally left its protagonist dangling from the bluffs. Back then, it was a trick for getting readers to buy the next volume of whatever literary magazine the story was published in. Today, it’s for setting up blockbuster sequels. The circle of life is a beautiful thing.

Cliffhangers were on Redditor blueXwho’s mind recently, after they watched Back to the Future Part II. “That scene with the mailman delivering the package and the final scene with the Doc make up one hell of an ending,” they told r/Movies, before asking, “What’s your favorite open-ended final scene of a movie, and did it pay off in a sequel? I am sure there are tons that were great but never came to fruition.”

In response, Reddit remembered their fondest “Seriously, that’s it?!” moments and the ones that can finish up aaaaaany time now.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

The Matrix Reloaded

The Italian Job

The Empire Strikes Back


Kill Bill: Volume 1

Before Sunset


Evil Dead II

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire


Patriot Games

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

John Wick: Chapter 2

Avengers: Infinity War


District 9

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