Some people love books, but I’m more of a movie person myself. Movies that leave you feeling thoughtful are right up my street. Action and adventure movies, chick flicks, and comedy have their place too of course. But my favorite movies all follow a formula that my old friend Karen used to say made them what she called a ‘Simon film.’

That formula would be made up of at least one of the following: A narration, a death, and a piano driven score probably by composer Thomas Newman. Karen once pointed out that in all my favorite movies someone died and as I tried to prove her wrong, it soon became apparent that this is indeed true, someone always dies in a ‘Simon film.’

There are exceptions to this rule though. Nobody dies in ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind‘, ‘High Fidelity‘ or ‘On Golden Pond‘ (Yes, I do like that film from 1981!). I was also about to write that despite the title nobody died in ‘Crash‘ either, but then I remembered one of the final scenes, the one with the young cop.

Endings are extremely important. Odd as this might sounds, I sometimes watch the last few minutes of my favorite movies end. So with that in mind I though I would share this strange pastime with you and share three of my favorite movie endings.

Love it or loathe it, the ending of this film is really superb. Lester Burnham, played by Kevin Spacey, is a depressed suburban father in a mid-life crisis. He’s just been shot and killed. His narration then concludes the movie;

“I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn’t a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time… For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars… And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined my street… Or my grandmother’s hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper… And the first time I saw my cousin Tony’s brand new Firebird… And Janie… And Janie… And… Carolyn.

I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me… but it’s hard to stay mad, when there’s so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I’m seeing it all at once, and it’s too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that’s about to burst… And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can’t feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life… You have no idea what I’m talking about, I’m sure. But don’t worry… you will someday.”


Johnny Depp plays George Jung in this true story about the man who established the American cocaine market in the 1970’s. I took a bunch of people to see this movie and afterward one became quite annoyed at the fact that the movie leads you to feel somewhat sympathetic toward the drug baron whose actions have probably accounted for countless deaths in the drug world. But no in the end the final scene is truly arresting as Depp (playing Jung) looks back on his life of crime from prison;

“So in the end, was it worth it? Jesus Christ. How irreparably changed my life has become. It’s always the last days of summer and I’ve been left out in the cold with no door to get back in. I’ll grant you I’ve had more than my share of poignant moments. Life passes most people by when they’re busy making grand plans for it.

Throughout my lifetime I’ve left pieces of my heart here and there. And now, there’s almost barely enough to stay alive. But I force a smile, knowing that my ambition far exceeded my talent. There are no more white horses or pretty ladies at my door.”


Quite simply the best most moving and inspirational end to any movie I have ever seen. I doubt any movie will ever top this one in my book, I’ve seen it more times than I can remember yet it still draws me and moves me every time I see it. Again, the movie is concluded by a narration from the main character ‘Red’, played by Morgan Freeman;

“I find I’m so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend, and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”


Now that I see those three endings together the similarity is actually quite strinking. It leaves me wondering what these movie choices might actually say about me.

If you haven’t seen any of those movies then I guess maybe I just ruined the end for you, but honestly I don’t feel like it would take away from the actual movie itself. They’re all worth seeing, in fact if you haven’t seen The Shawshank Redemption then that simply a must! Trust me, you’ll thank me for that recommendation!