Movie Article

Dead Ends

Steven Spielberg's bad endings Why can't the ''Munich'' director close out his films?

Munich (2005) THE ENDING Eric Bana has sex with his formerly estranged, recently pregnant wife in a scene intercut with a mass murder. Then the movie closes on a warmly lit shot of the Twin Towers. THE PROBLEM It's not 9/11. It's one of the most unfortunate lovemaking scenes ever filmed.

War of the Worlds (2005) THE ENDING Tom Cruise returns his daughter to his estranged, pregnant wife, who is living happily on a warmly lit, miraculously undestroyed street in Boston. THE PROBLEM One of Spielberg's most brutal films ends with one of his most treacly moments.

Minority Report (2002) THE ENDING Cruise reunites with his estranged, pregnant wife and the film's psychics live happily in a warmly lit cabin in the woods. THE PROBLEM The dystopian flick winds down with a coda that absurdly contradicts the film's noir trappings.

Originally posted Jan 20, 2006 Published in issue #860 Jan 27, 2006 Order article reprints