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8 Movies Where The Bad Guys Win

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Silence of the Lambs image
Orion Pictures

When watching movies, we normally know where it’s going to end, the bad guy is going to lose, and the good guys win right? Well, not all the time… There are, on occasion, films where the bad guys finish out on top. Granted some of these motion pictures are in the middle of franchises giving scope for more additions to come. But even in franchises, we’re used to the writers and creators making sure the endings are tied up as much as possible and that the hero is the one still in control. If you fancy a little change of pace with your films, below is a list of eight movies for you where the bad guys win.

SPOILERS Be warned if you read on. We might turn out to be the bad guys as there are spoilers ahead.

THE FRANCHISE MOVIES

1. Avengers: Infinity War

One of the biggest cliffhangers of recent years has to be the end of Infinity War. The moment Thanos (Josh Brolin) put the final infinity stone in the gauntlet, teased Thor (Chris Hemsworth) for a minute, then snapped his fingers. Fans knew they were in for a long excitable wait before Avengers: Endgame. Which lived up to all its expectations, unlike some final franchise films.

Having one of our beloved Marvel movies end with the antagonist winning, was probably one of the smartest plot lines for the studios. Normally as fans, we’re used to the bad guy winning a few battles within a feature to add suspense. But never really has one won the war. Even in other films where we know there is going to be a sequel, there’s always some kind of good guy wrap up to ease the viewer into knowing things are going to be ok. But, with the Avengers we couldn’t be sure as this ending really cemented to viewers that whatever was to come in Endgame, the Avengers part of Marvel, as we knew it, would be over forever and there would be some main character losses.

2. Harry Potter And The Goblet of Fire

Another Franchise of books and films which up until the fourth film, The Goblet of Fire, exercised the normality of wrapping each film up with a bow. Letting Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Herminie (Emma Watson) be crowned as the heroes. Took a dark twist at the end as it introduced the full form of ‘He who should not be named’ and the first real-time demise of a character. Yes, Harry’s parents and most of the ghosts of Hogwarts were murdered at some point, and we were told of the demise of Moaning Myrtle (Shirley Henderson), but never included in real-time and never a direct peer to Harry. The death of Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson) was one that shocked fans, even though he was only in one book/film.

Even though there is a small wrap up at the end of the film. And we knew Harry was safe and it seemed like he had won a small battle. The fact that Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) had been able to regenerate and ordered Peter Pettigrew to ‘Kill the Spare’. Like it was nothing not only changed the whole pace of the rest of the stories. But as Harry had to run away from Voldemort and not the other way around it does, unfortunately, mean that he won in this film.

3. The Dark Knight

Like all great Batman films, we do tend to find ourselves backing some of the villains too. One of the best things about DC Comics and films is that the bad guys can sometimes be good, and the good guys can sometimes be bad. But even when the bad guys are just pure evil like The Dark Knight’s Joker, we still find ourselves backing him and being intrigued by him. Especially when he becomes one of the main characters of the film like Heath Ledger’s version of the Joker did.

The Joker win’s this film on so many levels as he initiates so much organised chaos wherever he goes. In this film, he amps up his destruction by corrupting Heavy Dent (Aaron Eckhart). He works him into madness, bringing down Gotham’s so-called White Knight, creating a whole new unpredictable villain – Two-Face. He then starts his own murderous rampage, ending up getting killed by Batman (Christian Bale). Not wanting Joker’s intentions of showing the people of Gotham that good people can turn bad, like a flick of a switch. Batman decides to put himself forward as the murderer of Two-Face and his victims stirring up a manhunt for Batman. Which as far as I can see, gives The Joker another thing he wanted… to get Batman out the way. So the bad guy The Joker wins at the end of the film.

4. The Silence of the Lambs

When filmmakers made Thomas Harris’ psychological horror novel into a movie, viewers knew they were in for a bumpy ride. Not a fluffy ending where good wins out. Even though the ending of the book gives Clarice (Jodie Foster) a little bit of breathing space and a more closed off ending. The creators of the film gave it a little bit more of an open ending allowing for more to come.

At the end of the movie, it looks like Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) is free. He’s roaming the streets as he hangs up the phone to Clarice and starts to follow Dr Frederick Chilton (Anthony Heald). Showing that he may have the upper hand at the end of this film.

THE STAND ALONE MOVIES

5. Phone Booth

This phycological thriller kept viewers on the edge of their seats as they tried to work out who The Caller and mass-murdering sniper was.

Even the creators of the film wanted to keep the identity of the actor playing the caller a secret. All so no one would know until the end. So much so that they didn’t even put any of the actor’s pictures in the posters or trailers for the movie, until its release on video and DVD. This also helped to keep the plot line a secret until the end of the film where we find out that the Police had got the wrong guy at the end and in fact, The Caller (Kiefer Sutherland) managed to walk away scot-free. Even giving Stu Shepard (Colin Farrell) some parting words as he walks past the ambulance where Shepard was sitting with a rifle case in hand.

6. Seven

One of the biggest film shock endings in the ’90s (next to The Sixth Sense) was Seven. Serial killer John Doe (Kevin Spacy) got the last word in. He had quite a gruesome present for Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and Mills (Brad Pitt) at the end of the film, presenting them with the head of Mills wife Tracy (Gwyneth Paltrow) in a box. Finishing off his seven deadly sins killing spree by admitting his envy of Mills’ life and making Mills kill him in a fit of wrath.


Mills might have killed him, but John Doe still managed to finish what he started.

7. Basic Instinct

This film is probably more known for its provocative scenes. One in particular which has been parodied over and over! But it’s also a film where the bad woman wins. Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone) is under suspicion of killing her famous boyfriend, with an ice pick. Tramell then writes a novel about it as a strange form of an alibi.

When Detective Nick Curran (Michael Douglas) comes to investigate her, he ends up falling for her, not long before he finds out she is writing a new book; one about a woman killing her Detective lover.

All the signs are there but for some reason hoodwinked by a pretty face and a bit of crotch flashing Nick finds himself at the mercy of Catherine and let’s face it we all know what happens there, especially when we see the ice pick under the bed.

8. Fight Club

So this one could be more of a tie! We’ve got another Brad Pitt film to finish off the list, this time but he is the antagonist in this story. Fight Club which is full of twists and turns was never going to have a fairy tale ending whichever way we look at it. And even though at the end it was perceived that the Narrator (Edward Norton) may have killed Tyler Durden (Pitt). It was all the same person on the crime and fighting spree, to begin with. So, if you think about it, does Tyler lose? Of course, he didn’t, the buildings still came down and there will always be a part of Tyler inside the Narrator.


So, that’s the list of eight movies where the bad guys win. If you think there were any more films worthy of this list, let us know in the comments below.


Check out the movies with the longest gap before their sequels HERE.

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Movie News

The Matrix Resurrections – Trailer

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Matrix Resurrections Trailer image
Warner Bros.

The first trailer for The Matrix Resurrections has arrived and there’s a lot to whet the appetite.

Neo’s alive?

When we left Neo (Keanu Reeves) in The Matrix Revolutions the assumption was that he had died in his final battle with Agent Smith. But in allowing The Matrix to use his body as a conduit to attack the rogue Agent he was able to save Zion and establish a fragile peace between machines and humans.

The trailer suggests that Neo was plugged back into The Matrix after this moment and has been controlled until now with ‘the blue pill’. This is why he has become Mr Anderson again but is haunted by dreams of the past.

Shrink or Agent

A very calm and controlled Neil Patrick Harris is counselling Thomas Anderson about these dreams but it’s clear that there’s more to him than just trying to help.

Heroes reincarnated

On iMDB Yahya Abdul-Mateen II’s character is unnamed. Yet the trailer suggests that he is a younger version of Morpheus and he helps Mr Anderson rediscover Neo.

The Laurence Fishburne incarnation of Morpheus grews impatient with the machines and demanded that they return the body of Neo in The Matrix Online game. It’s not clear if this will remain canon or not. After many unanswered public speeches threatening action, Morpheus starts terrorist attacks throughout the Matrix. These attacks take the form of weapons that reveal the Matrix’s inner workings (its code) for all human beings to see, even those not yet awakened to the simulation. This caused mass panic and forced awakenings to those not ready to see the truth.

During the game events on May 26, 2005 (as recorded on the game’s official website), Morpheus plants a code bomb in the Rumbaar water treatment facility. After planting the bomb, he realises he is being hunted by an assassin. Morpheus escapes the facility; however, upon his leaving, the Assassin bends the code of the Matrix and emerges from a vent in the wall. Morpheus is caught off-guard and is unable to dodge the Assassin’s bullets. He dies from gunshot wounds.

Familiar faces

You can expect to see the return of Trinity as well as Neo. But many other characters appear to be changed or reincarnated. It seems to follow many footsteps of the original with the use of the White Rabbit. Then there’s a younger Morpheus, a possible younger Oracle and perhaps a new Architect.

Here’s the trailer to enjoy:

The Matrix Resurrections will be in cinemas from 22 December 2021.


Do you like The Matrix Resurrections trailer? Are you planning on seeing it when it’s released? What do you think it’ll be like? Let us know in the comments below.


Everything that we know so far about The Matrix Resurrections is HERE.

Read IMDB information about The Matrix Resurrections HERE.

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