IMDb Polls

Poll: The Climax Types

The climax is the final confrontation of all the conflicting forces in the movie, in a generally spectacular or emotional manner leading to the resolution, for better or for worse. So, if you judge a story by the height it reaches, then there's no good movie without a good climax.

Here are different types of cinematic climaxes based on the situations (rather than the settings, contexts or even the genres). Generally speaking, which climax type is your favorite or satisfies you the most?

After voting, you may discuss the list here

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Keanu Reeves and Hugo Weaving in The Matrix (1999)

    The Showdown: the anticipated final fight or duel between good and evil.
  2. Vote!

    William Holden in The Wild Bunch (1969)

    The Shootout: The gun-related chaotic battle between the two (sometimes three) antagonistic sides of the film, often in a darkened, abandoned location, sometimes preceded by a Mexican stand-off.
  3. Vote!

    Liam Neeson and Ben Kingsley in Schindler's List (1993)

    The Emotional Breakdown: As evidenced by the picture, other examples includes It's a Wonderful Life, 12 Angry Men, Good Will Hunting...
  4. Vote!

    Kevin Spacey in Se7en (1995)

    The "Twist": Many classic thrillers' denouement relied on the revelation of a final twist.
  5. Vote!

    Mia Farrow in Rosemary's Baby (1968)

    The Answer: The moment of truth that doesn't come as a twist but as a reveal or a verdict (courtroom dramas included then).
  6. Vote!

    Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction (1994)

    The Speech: No blood shed during the part, but it can be the most thrilling moment, the speech or confession can either be intimidating, inspirational or romantic (declarations of love are then included in this category), if it's too emotional (like in First Blood, it goes to the 'emotional breakdown' category)
  7. Vote!

    Sylvester Stallone and Carl Weathers in Rocky (1976)

    The Final Show: either the obligatory final game in almost every Sport movie or the final number, act or song in a musical or showbiz-related movies.
  8. Vote!

    "Casablanca" Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman 1942 Warner Bros.

    The Farewell: Goodbye my lover... goodbye my friend... I'll miss you all (especially you, Scarecrow!).
  9. Vote!

    Avatar (2009)

    The Battle: This... means... war!
  10. Vote!

    Tim Robbins in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

    The Escape: Free at last!
  11. Vote!

    Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Louise Fletcher, and Peter Brocco in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)

    The Mental Breakdown: The lead character finally snaps and things can't go any worse (other mentions: A Streetcar Named Desire, A Woman Under the Influence, There Will Be Blood...)
  12. Vote!

    Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future (1985)

    The Race Against the Clock: Any action-driven and tightly-scheduled situation on which depends the entire outcome of the film (often culminates with an explosion)
  13. Vote!


    The Death: Any death that was anticipated for the most part of the film (execution, cancer, assassination in a biopic etc.)
  14. Vote!

    Al Pacino in The Godfather (1972)

    The 'Collective' Climax: Any climax that consists of a juxtaposition of events happening simultaneously, like a purge, a staple of the gangster genre (The Godfather series, Goodfellas, Casino but also Elizabeth, Star Wars III...) or Requiem for a Dream, Intolerance...
  15. Vote!

    Magnolia (1999)

    The Natural Disaster: not necessarily in a disaster movie but a climax where the action is interrupted or worsened by a sudden "natural" problem (a fire, a storm, a hurricane, a frog rain etc.) or the imminence of such event.
  16. Vote!

    Tommy Lee Jones in No Country for Old Men (2007)

    The Anti-Climax: The subversion of the trope, the film with no ending, no final battle or a deus-ex-machina, can be a source of deception but when they're well done, you savor them with a gourmet taste.

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