30 Killer Movie Closing Lines

30. "You met me at a very strange time of my life..."

Fight Club (1999)

The ultimate sucker-punchline.

Bye-bye, financial district. Nighty-night, millennium...

Suggested by @gomark

29. "Not everybody gets corrupted. You have to have a little faith in people..."

Manhattan (1979)

Woody's cherubic ingenue grows up as the teacher/pupil roles reverse.

Aaaand... cut to Gershwin!

28. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship..."

Casablanca (1942)

Bogey's into-the-sunset bonhomie has become an iconic byline for sly partnerships. Mind yer backslaps, though.

Suggested by @danlight

Next: 27 - 25 [page-break]


27. "This is my life. It always will be. There's nothing else - just us, and the cameras, and those wonderful people out there in the dark. All right, Mr De Mille, I'm ready for my close-up..."

Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Gloria Swanson's insane ex-silent star Norma Desmond offers an ironic summary of this Hollywood life - to close the greatest film ever made about Hollywood.

26. "Listen to me - they're not human! Everyone! They're here already! YOU'RE NEXT!"

Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers (1956)

The frothiest Commie-panic allegory closes with a chilling warning that seems camp now, but would have stung sharply in the post-McCarthy era.

25. "Ernest Hemingway once wrote, 'The world is a fine place, and worth fighting for.' I agree with the second part..."

Se7en (1995)

Morgan Freeman wearily summarises the previous two hours of grief and grimness. David Fincher's steely misanthropy shines through the darkness.

Suggested by @yermam

Next: 24 - 22 [page-break]


24. "You finally really did it - you maniacs! You blew it up! God damn you! God damn you all to hell!"

Planet Of The Apes (1968)

The human-simian hybrid horror! It was Earth all along.

Er, either that or the damn dirty apes have constructed a scale replica of the Statue Of Liberty...

23. "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..."

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

Sure, it's sickly-sweeter than a swimming-pool full of candyfloss, but - in contrast to his Se7en final line - ol' droopy-voice confirms Frank Darabont's prison-flick as the most shamelessly emotional buddy pic of all-time.

22. "The horror, the horror..."

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Kurtz's rasping epiphany cuts through his death throes. It's a whisper that echoed across a post-Vietnam America: war is hell.

Next: 21 - 19 [page-break]

21. "I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner..."

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

Okay, it's cheesy - and Hopkins' cock of his Panama brim is chirpy-cartoonish - but Hannibal's impish au revoir to Clarice marks Dr Lecter as the '90s most indelible and irresistible anti-hero.

20. "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown..."

Chinatown (1974)

Meaning 'The world's a turd, no point trying to polish it.'

The signature dialogue riff for the cynical '70s.

19. "There's no place like home!"

The Wizard Of Oz (1939)

After a long, winding, spellbinding trip involving tin men, lions, scarecrows and little munchkin fellas, Dorothy gets all dewy about domestic bliss.

Next: 18 - 16 [page-break]


18. "Too bad she won't live. But then again, who does?"

Blade Runner (1982)

In which Edward James 'Old Man From Battlestar Galactica' Olmos confirms the existential pain at the heart of the film - for those who weren't paying attention or listening to Harrison Ford's carefully descriptive voiceover.

(Line at 5.30)

17. "I'm finished!"

There Will Be Blood (2007)

PTA's capitalism-created man-beast Daniel Plainview self-destructs, post-milkshake.

But is he proclaiming doom or just admiring his handiwork?

Suggested by @JerryD70 , @MickeyRyan


16. "The name's Bond. James Bond."

Casino Royale (2006)

Daniel Craig confirms that, despite all the flimsy 'controversy' and fanboy howling, we'd better forget about those other guys and get used to the new brash and brutal 007.

Suggested by @Falland

Next: 15 - 13 [page-break]


15. "I'm so happy that I am alive, in one piece and short. I am in a world of shit, yes. But I am alive. And I am not afraid..."

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

Private Joker gets serious, as Kubrick closes his 'Nam epic on a very British note of humanist defiance.


14. "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist. And like that... He's gone!"

The Usual Suspects (1995)

So says 'Keyser Soze' - or does he? Or is he? Etc.

Suggested by @TheGlimmerTwin


13. "Keep watching the skies!"

The Thing From Another World (1951)

Good advice, hollered from the frostiest peak of Cold War mountain.

Prescient in movie terms, too. Spaceships were destined to rule the screens...

(Line at 6:00)

Next: 12 - 10 [page-break]

12. "Life is a state of mind."

Being There (1979)

Peter Sellers' gardener confirms director Hal Ashby's modern-Jesus riff by walking off into the sunset - on water...

(Line at 4.30)

11. "I'm the boss, I'm the boss..."

Raging Bull (1980)

De Niro's ageing prizefighter stirs up a flurry of his old inner fury to psyche himself for a lame stand-up stint.

The punches pummel out but, as ever, he's fighting no-one but himself.

10. "I'll be right here..."

ET: The Extra Terrestrial (1982)

The squidgy little alien guy with the healing finger has a home to urgently go to.

But before he leaves, he confirms his eternal love for lonely Earth-friend Elliot.

Dry eyes? Check that pulse.

Next: 9 - 7 [page-break]


9. "We will hunt him down because he can take it. Because he's not our hero. He's a silent guardian. A watchful protector. A dark knight..."

The Dark Knight (2008)

Okay, so it's the old game of 'Say the title!', but at the end of a three hour-pushing crime thriller, kudos to Chris Nolan for shamelessly reminding us it's a comic-book thing - and that comic-books can hint at the humanity behind the mask.

8. "I'm not even gonna swat that fly. I hope they are watching. They'll see. They'll see and they'll know and they'll say, 'Why, she wouldn't even harm a fly'..."

Psycho (1960)

*Brr*. It's the 'she' that does it...

7. "I never had any friends later on like the ones I had when I was 12. Jesus, does anyone?"

Stand By Me (1986)

Reiner wraps up his coming-of-age masterpiece on a beat of potent poignancy, as the grown-up Writer reveals how wayward Chris (River Phoenix) was stabbed and killed trying to break up a fight.

He seals his memoir of their adventure and then takes his own boy out swimming. So it goes...

Next: 6 - 4 [page-break]


6. "Now, where was I?"

Memento (2000)

"I have to believe in a world outside my own mind... I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still here..."

Finally, memoryless Lenny has achieved 'closure'.

No, wait...

Car screech. 'Emma's Tattoo'...


Suggested by @annemarie_ch6 , @Falland

(Line at 9.35)

5. "Told ya I'm never going back..."

Heat (1995)

It is, of course, one big bromance - between Pacino's workaholic cop and De Niro's driven robber.

In the end, Pacino 'wins', nailing De Niro after a scorching airport-runway chase.

Still, at this point, both men are pretty much alone, but for each other (De Niro's girlfriend has gone and his crew has imploded, Pacino has lost his wife - and almost his daughter).

That final look in Pacino's eye? Not triumph. It's sadness that he's lost a partner...

Suggested by @NathanDitum

4. "Shut up and deal..."

The Apartment (1960)

Shirley MacLaine's troubled elevator operator flees her slimy lover when she realises Jack Lemmon's insurance drone is the guy who loves her best.

At his titular Upper West Side crib, he confirms ("I absolutely adore you!").

She smiles, twinkles and displaces with a game of rummy...

Suggested by @olilyttelton , @Filmhouse

Next: 3 - 1 [page-break]


3. "And then I woke up..."

No Country For Old Men (2008)

Tommy Lee Jones' retiring lawman's pipe-dream of a benevolent, Heaven-bound future gives the Coens their most infuriating/appropriate ending.

Suggested by @HughLangley

2. "Roads? Where we're going, we don't need roads!"

Back To The Future (1985)

The doc returns, to zip Marty and girl off to where it's all happening - er, will happen.

What's he seen? Where's he been? Sadly, as the limp sequel confirmed, the future's always brighter in the imagination.

Suggested by @El_Duderino81 , @jamesbuckingham

1. "Well, nobody's perfect..."

Some Like It Hot (1959)

As the final pay-off for Billy Wilder's supreme screwball comedy, Jack Lemmon dramatically reveals himself to be a man.

His driver's unflappable response manages to be sharp, funny and unexpected, while beautifully skewering the contradictions of the human condition. Bliss.

Suggested by @sherred , @alycm , @Reynardcity , @Cerithomas