What Are Some Good Movies Where The GOOD GUY Fails?*

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The Outer Limits tv series (the one from 1990s) would often end badly for the good guys. Very unnerving to watch as a child.

I would say "Stalingrad" from 1993 fits the bill. It is about the battle of Stalingrad during WW2 as seen by some German soldier.

Mr.Cynic88:
Falling Down

Ninja'd again! argh

But yes. More people should see this one. He really thinks he's the hero.

There are quite a bunch actually. Attempting to pull a few not already listed from multiple genres and avoiding horror (too easy):

The Departed
Donnie Darko
Braveheart
Moulin Rouge
Gladiator
300
Pan's Labrynth
Jacob's Ladder
American History X
Sommersby
The Notebook
Phenomenon
Carlito's Way
Scarface
Leon/the Professional
Matrix part 3
Armegeddon
The Prestige
Inception (depending on your view of the ending)
Saving Private Ryan
Road to Perdtion
I am Legend (all incarnations)
Titanic

And some more obscurely fail endings:

Green Mile


Blade Runner
Shane
The Natural

I feel like I'm saying too much just by posting the title, but Arlington Road.

Seriously, if you haven't seen it, look it up.

Well, not to spoil it, but I'd say that the James Bond film "On Her Majesty's Secret Service" is an excellent example of this. Sure, Bond saves the world, but the bad guy gets away and does something utterly awful to Bond himself, so he ends up paying a hell of a price. I'd really recommend that one.

Operation Valkyrie I suppose. They didn't kill Hitler.

I didn't notice this but The Road features this I guess as the man dies? Oh and Wayne's World could possibly qualify as the original endings are always super-bad and then they're like 'oh wait we don't want to end the movie like this, let's do the scooby doo ending!' or something. Great films.

Surprised nobody mentioned Glory.

Infernal Affairs comes to mind, it's pretty good, also: beneath the planet of the apes which is terrible, but fun.

Oldboy. The Departed as well.

I'm surprised no one has mentioned Red Dawn, granted it fits more as a maybe with the text at the end but none of the main characters make it.

Arlington Road
No Country for Old Men
Reservoir Dogs
Swordfish
Megamind (a movie based on this; "Now that the Super Hero is dead, what on earth does the Super Villain do?)

And that's all I can think of!

EDIT: Wait, would "The Color of Money" count?

The A-Team movie is technically a "good guys fail" since they don't manage to clear their name, although it's not played as a downer ending since we know that they thrive from that point on.

Keoul:
Fight Club
God damnit keep it together Keoul, rule 1, rule 1!

There were no "Good Guy"s in Fight Club.

There was a terrorist protagonist though.

Anoni Mus:
The Mist.

But I'd like an example of an epic story/adventure and then the bad guys win.

I was actually going to mention this one myself since I saw it recently. I'll still go with it though because it was a pretty cool movie. Much cooler than I remember thinking it would be when I saw the previews around it's release so I'm glad I gave it a watch last week.

Epic Bear Man:

Twelve Monkeys - Movie about time travel. Bruce Willis is a convict sent back in time as part of a deal to earn his freedom. The job is to figure out how to stop a viral outbreak that caused the earth's population to be forced underground to survive. Willis finds the source of the outbreak, but just as he's about to kill the man, he is fatally shot. At the same time, a younger version of him watches his future self die.

Well, him dying was actually part of the plan. I guess not his own plan, but still. The conflict is resolved.

Brake - Guy locked in a box in a boot of car during a terrorist attack in America. Terrorists drive the car and he is asked for information of location of president or something. Sorry, dont remember the plot so well but the ending was awesome. Cant tell you what happens as it would ruin it.

The Thing - Ultimate downer ending....did they kill it or not? Is one of them the thing?

kind of a dumb qoustion, your asking for spoilers pretty much?

1984, Brazil, No Country for Old Men, The Thing (hesitatingly), Chinatown, Let the Right One In, A Serbian Film, Momento, The Warlords, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, House of Flying Daggers, Beneath the Planet of the Apes, Rosencrantz and Guildernstern Are Dead, Das Boot, Soylent Green, Dr. Strangelove, Barton Fink, American History X, The Departed, Shutter Island, and All Quiet on the Western Front, to name a few.

Dangit2019:

There is no point in spoiler if you don't tell people what you are spoiling.

Everyone will be reluctant to open it as it could be something the haven't seen yet.

Treblaine:

Dangit2019:

There is no point in spoiler if you don't tell people what you are spoiling.

Everyone will be reluctant to open it as it could be something the haven't seen yet.

But telling people what I'm spoiling is in itself a spoiler...

Dangit2019:

Treblaine:

Dangit2019:

There is no point in spoiler if you don't tell people what you are spoiling.

Everyone will be reluctant to open it as it could be something the haven't seen yet.

But telling people what I'm spoiling is in itself a spoiler...

SPOILERCEPTION!!!

Equilibrium, but I guess that is how you look at it.

Causing massive riot and perhaps downfall of humanity (or country) seem like a terrible ending, who cares about feeling when everything goes to hell?

No Country for Old Men and Cabin in the Woods.

Both are amazing!

Jayemsal:

There were no "Good Guy"s in Fight Club.

There was a terrorist protagonist though.

Well he did try to stop the terrorists, I think that would qualify as a good guy?
He was just going through a weird mid-life crisis.

Keoul:

Jayemsal:

There were no "Good Guy"s in Fight Club.

There was a terrorist protagonist though.

Well he did try to stop the terrorists, I think that would qualify as a good guy?
He was just going through a weird mid-life crisis.

Oh, that moment when you realize that Fight Club is little more than

image

28 Weeks Later. The girl's refusal to abandon her little brother leads to the infection being spread from Britain (where it had been quarantined to in the first movie and almost completely starved out at the start of the second) to mainland Europe and possibly even further. And the stereotypical evil general who says that they should kill one woman in order to prevent the infection from coming back? If people had listened to him, things would've gone MUCH better for everyone.

Got another one that comes to mind, but I don't think this one counts either, and I don't recommend watching it anyway.

For the life of me, I can't remember what it's called, but it stars Gerald Butler and Jamie Foxx (least I think it was him, been a few years since I've seen it). Anyway, the plot is Butler's home is broken into by two dudes, and his wife and child are raped and murdered in front of him. The dudes are caught, but Foxx aiming to further his own career, lets the guy who did the raping and murdering get off with a light sentence, and the other is put on death row. Butler isn't happy about this, pointing out that he saw what the other dude did, but Foxx doesn't care, so Butler is out for revenge against not only the people that broke in and killed his family, but the people in the legal system that persecuted the wrong guy in spite of his testimony.

Now, you'd think that Butler is the hero of this movie, right? Wrong. In this asstarted film, it's Foxx who's the hero, and Butler who is the bad guy. Yeah, you're supposed to root for the guy that's the main reason why a rapist/murderer got off very light.

The Crazies
Vanishing on 7th Street
Paranormal Activity
Donnie Darko
Inglorious Bastards (a bit, most of them die horribly but they finish the mission so that's something)
Scarface
Reservoir Dogs

And some more I can't remember.

Johnny Got His Gun, pretty old movie with a fucking depressing ending.

Well...you could say that Sweeney Todd fits the bill if only because the only characters you could really describe as 'good' are practically glorified extras, and while the antagonist is a villain through and through[1], so too are the principle protagonists[2].

Less ambiguously, Steven King had a few tales like this, like Storm of the Century...

I also have to second the recommendations of Arlington Road. I'm actually a bit ashamed that I didn't think of it until I saw it mentioned.

[1] In that he's a corrupt rapist judge who falsely imprisons the protagonist due to his lust for the man's wife now lusts for his ward (the child of the woman he raped and the man he'd falsely imprisoned)
[2] Todd being a mass murderer, Lovett being complicit in the act and ultimately using it for her own profit

Only one I know of that isn't a slasher or something is

I was thinking Full Metal Jacket, the protagonist ends up scarred at the brutality of his own sides actions when he is forced to kill the Viet Cong girl after she helped to kill some of his squad members.

Akratus:

Epic Bear Man:

Twelve Monkeys - Movie about time travel. Bruce Willis is a convict sent back in time as part of a deal to earn his freedom. The job is to figure out how to stop a viral outbreak that caused the earth's population to be forced underground to survive. Willis finds the source of the outbreak, but just as he's about to kill the man, he is fatally shot. At the same time, a younger version of him watches his future self die.

Well, him dying was actually part of the plan. I guess not his own plan, but still. The conflict is resolved.

True, but this suggests that his superiors are evil (to our moral codes at least), and that "the good guy" has failed.

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