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

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The example everybody is given about these things hasn't been mentioned (or I haven't seen it after a quick skim, at least):

Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Indiana Jones loses the ark, but more than that, he also loses in every single action sequence. Really, watch that movie again. Every time there's an action sequence he's trapped, knocked out, captured, talked down or Marion is kidnapped. The only thing he ever succeeds at doing is running away. In the entire movie. He doesn't even get the ark from the Nazis, they just die after opening it. Even after every Nazi on the island is dead, he STILL doesn't get the ark, the government hides it away.

To a lesser extent, this is true of Last Crusade, too. The Grail is lost, but Indy gets in the story to find his dad, who has gone missing, so in that sense he does wrap the detonating incident by the end. Not in Raiders. He's a loser, through and through.

Of course the theme of the movie is fortune and glory versus relationships. Indy does eventually gain Marion (until some point between Raiders and Last Crusade, anyway), but he doesn't accomplish any of the stated goals of any scene or subplot.

Surprised no one has mentioned Seeking a Friend for the End of the World. Unluckily if you know the movie, just saying that the end is depressing kind of spoils it, but I'll still put the ending in a spoiler.

Funny Games

Brazil. If you lived in the US when this came out, you got a happy ending. If you lived anywhere else or buy the Director's Cut edition, you get the real ending:

Grave of the Fireflies. I would recommend seeing the above movies--excluding Funny Games if you're sqeamish as it has torture in it--but not Grave of The Fireflies as it is pretty damn awful because of it's sad ending which is just tacked on it seems.

Noelveiga:

Raiders of the Lost Ark.

...He doesn't even get the ark from the Nazis, they just die after opening it. Even after every Nazi on the island is dead, he STILL doesn't get the ark, the government hides it away.

And that's why the movie would have ended exactly the same if Indie just stayed home and did his job as the worst teacher ever. The Nazis would have gotten the box, died after opening it, and then the box would have ended up with the government. The only difference is that his students might have learned a bit before Indie just runs off again because someone told him about a pretty object.
You could seriously just ruin the students' entire semester by telling Indie that Jesus' Vase of Jesusy Stuff has been found, then give him vague clues. Maybe send him to a Jamba Juice and see if he tries to kill the owner and renovate their floor.

Well, technically the movie isn't finished; but the book is still out soooooo...

Atlas Shrugged the story of a bunch of deluded, self-indulgent millionaires deliberately destroying the economies and infrastructure of countless nations simply because their power crazed leader convinces them that selfishness is good and money is more important with lives; it all ends with the nations of the world falling and technology going back to the dark ages, all the while the "protagonists" are laughing things up in some garden of Eden while people die right outside their front doors.

If there were ever a worse ending for all that's good, I wouldn't know it.

Anyways, here's the list from TVtropes if you're interested in looking at it.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/DownerEnding/Film

Do you accept anime?
If so,then Fate/Zero
It is no spoiler that 80% of the cast is dead by the end

300. It doesn't end up being a downer ending as such, but it definitely meets the other criteria.

Most zombie movies fall into this category too.

Requiem For A Dream

I walked away from that film feeling so hollow.

Epic Bear Man:

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.

Well, not to me. I find the survival of the human race a bit more important than one inmate's life.

What?

Absolutely no mention of Event Horizon?

Or In the Mouth of Madness?

Headdrivehardscrew:
What?

Absolutely no mention of Event Horizon?

Or In the Mouth of Madness?

Ninja'd by one goddamn post!

Yes, 'In The Mouth of Madness' is one of the first ones I thought of.

Also 'Dagon', depending on how you look at it.

Hm. Would A Clockwork Orange count? The protagonist "wins" I suppose, but nothing good comes of it all, and the protagonist is hardly good anyway.

klaynexas3:
Hm. Would A Clockwork Orange count? The protagonist "wins" I suppose, but nothing good comes of it all, and the protagonist is hardly good anyway.

Clockwork Orange is a hard one to say. Alex certainly isn't a good guy, not by any means. He doesn't really "lose" either, since at the end his mental conditioning is taken away and he's able to live the life of crime and rapin' that he loved so much. I would say it doesn't count, but I would like to hear an argument on the contrary.

Isn't Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels a bit of a losing end? All the main characters get out of it emptyhanded.

Also, Lord of War.

Se7en, so much.

And among the classics, Das Boot. Everybody who matters in the cast gets killed.

Hm the only one I can think of that hasn't been mentioned yet (I think) is Suicide Kings. It's an older movie but I really enjoyed it and it ain't no happy ending. At all.

Grottnikk:

Night of the Living Dead. Boom, headshot :(

I'd add Dawn of the Dead to this as well. The theatrical ending isn't as grim as the original, but "How much fuel do we have left?" "Not much." isn't very inspiring either.

Infernal Affairs. Although the ending was changed to a good ending for viewing in China, I think. Perhaps you could put The Departed in that list, even though the bad guys doesn't get away.

soren7550:
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.

I remember that! It was Law-Abiding Citizen!

OT: by good guys, do you mean protagonists? Because the two aren't exactly the same thing

Black Reaper:
Do you accept anime?
If so,then Fate/Zero
It is no spoiler that 80% of the cast is dead by the end

Mm, I agree with this, and it makes it doubly painful in Fate/Stay Night because:

and on a side note, Fate/Zero was just a downer anyway, and there was really no 'good guy' although there was that one scene with an aeroplane and a boat which made me tear up.

OT: Uhhh, movie where the bad guy wins...Uhhh...Metal Gear Solid 4? *ba dum tish*

Twelve Monkeys. What I consider to be Bruce Willis' best work, and an excellent movie to boot.

ToastiestZombie:

klaynexas3:
Hm. Would A Clockwork Orange count? The protagonist "wins" I suppose, but nothing good comes of it all, and the protagonist is hardly good anyway.

Clockwork Orange is a hard one to say. Alex certainly isn't a good guy, not by any means. He doesn't really "lose" either, since at the end his mental conditioning is taken away and he's able to live the life of crime and rapin' that he loved so much. I would say it doesn't count, but I would like to hear an argument on the contrary.

An analysis begs to differ. The article on his site goes into more depth.

A Clockwork Orange isn't an example where the good guy fails because there is no good 'guy', only a good intention to treat Alex which fails. Even so, the people with authority are hardly good guys.

The Dark Knight Rises.
I was really enjoying the movie and wanting to see the whole social reordering win and see how it goes, up until Bane started arbitrarily killing people FOR TEH EVULZ and then for some reason the nuke was going to asplode anyway. Totally spoiled the whole thing for me

Evil Dead trilogy. I mean no matter what Ash does he's rewarded with either a marginal victory or completely screwed. Then again he does have his boomstick.

"Klattu Verata Nic*coughing*. There I said it."

No Country for Old Men. I wont bother explaining just go watch it now.

Blablahb:
Isn't Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels a bit of a losing end? All the main characters get out of it emptyhanded.

Well they did end up with the rifles which were worth a hefty amount.

I guess Apocalypse Now as in order to catch Kurtz the guy has to basically become him.

icythepenguin:
Evil Dead trilogy. I mean no matter what Ash does he's rewarded with either a marginal victory or completely screwed. Then again he does have his boomstick.

"Klattu Verata Nic*coughing*. There I said it."

Nah. I mean, ok yeah you have a point and Ash has a tendency to screw up but cmon. The guy loses his hand and his first thought is "hmm, that stump would look great with a chainsaw on it..." He is in my opinion, at the end of the day 100% solidified badass.

Oldboy.

It's a foriegn film, but completely worth seeing. The guys spends the whole movie fighting for the truth, and when he finally gets it he wishes he never found it.

Mr.Cynic88:
Falling Down

Memento

Rocky

I'm using the term "good guy" for Falling Down and Memento broadly, but these are three great classic movies with non-traditional endings.

Eh I know your stretching it, but D-Fens was only a good guy in his own mind....

I'm kind of ashamed for the Escapist that I'm the first to mention this:

Monty Python And The Search For The Holy Grail

Little Gray:
Well they did end up with the rifles which were worth a hefty amount.

And remember what was done with those in the closing scene of the movie? ^_^

mortalsatsuma:

icythepenguin:
Evil Dead trilogy. I mean no matter what Ash does he's rewarded with either a marginal victory or completely screwed. Then again he does have his boomstick.

"Klattu Verata Nic*coughing*. There I said it."

Nah. I mean, ok yeah you have a point and Ash has a tendency to screw up but cmon. The guy loses his hand and his first thought is "hmm, that stump would look great with a chainsaw on it..." He is in my opinion, at the end of the day 100% solidified badass.

well yeah, Ash does some badass stuff like cutting off his hand with said chainsaw in the first place. But look at his track record. He's forced to dismember his friends and girlfriend, then gets possessed, locked in a cellar with a Deadite, possessed again, attacked by a tree and ends up lone survivor again, sent back to the dark ages, copied by the evil, raises the Army of Darkness because he can't remember three words, thinks he's won and goes back to his time only to be attacked by another Deadite. The man can't win but he is damned stylish and badass while trying to though.

Blablahb:

Little Gray:
Well they did end up with the rifles which were worth a hefty amount.

And remember what was done with those in the closing scene of the movie? ^_^

They landed on the ledge and then the credits rolled while he was trying to answer his phone. You never actually see if they get tossed into the river or not.

Sinc3riT:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

I guess it's KIND of a cliffhanger ending ... but not so much when you think about it.

No dude they jumped off the cliff....

But seriously though, more people should watch this movie

Anoni Mus:
The Mist.

Came on here to say just this. What a pretty damn depressing ending.

The Final Destination films. Yes, I like them, you got a problem with that?

Watchmen.

Man on Fire. Based on a true story too. That was seriously the first and only film that's ever made me cry, although I think I was, like, 11 at the time.

Rocky, although I guess you could claim that it was technically a "moral victory" for him, considering what happens in the sequel.

Oldboy. 'Nuff fucking said.

Carrie.

The Dark Knight (yes, I know, there was a sequel, but I'm not sure whether or not that was entirely planned anyway).

The Machinist.

Casual Shinji:
Seven

The good guy most certainly fails there, and how, and the bad guy wins.

Oh yeah, what a fucking twist. Jeez...

Don't know if it was mentiond yet

Glory(A US civl war film)

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