Martin Scorsese’s 10 Best Movie Climaxes

Before their last collaboration Killer of the Flower Moonwas even released, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio have scheduled their next movie. The bet is a harrowing survival story about the aftermath of a shipwreck. Scorsese will direct, DiCaprio will star and both will produce.

Scorsese’s films aren’t very action-packed, but that doesn’t mean their climax sequences aren’t gripping. Out of Goodfellas‘paranoid helicopter chase too taxi driver‘s Brothel Shootout culminates many of Scorsese’s films in breathtaking finales.


10 common streets

Scorsese’s first of many crime films, common streets, is a series of vignettes about mafia life in Little Italy, coupled with guilty mobster Charlie’s turbulent relationship with his ruthless younger friend Johnny Boy. At the end of the film, Charlie and Johnny Boy decide to leave the neighborhood.

They flee Little Italy in a borrowed car and appear to emerge from the woods – and then some gangland rivals pull up beside them and gun them down in cold blood. That sombre climax sequence established the thesis Scorsese has continued to build on in a string of subsequent gangster films over the decades since: crime doesn’t pay.

9 Criminal Organizations of New York

Scorsese’s Genesis Of America, Criminal Organizations of New York, culminating in a huge combat sequence. The rival gangs go to war at the same time as civil unrest breaks out. Union Army troops are deployed to bring the rioters under control.

The beauty of this action-packed mega-spectacle is that it’s told through the intimate lens of Amsterdam Vallon, who confronts Bill the Butcher about his father’s death.

8th casino

Set in Animals’ House of the Rising Sun, Ace Rothstein’s gambling empire collapses in the culminating montage of casino. The FBI closes the casino, the bosses are arrested and the gangsters are driven out of town.

In the film’s most heartbreaking sequence, Nicky’s brother is beaten to a pulp in a cornfield before his eyes and the two are buried alive in a shallow grave.

7 Cape Fear

Scorsese’s remake of Hitchcock Cape Fear lands on a houseboat in the river of the same name. Attorney Sam Bowden and his family flee to the houseboat after being targeted by a newly released Max Cady, the sadistic killer Sam has put behind bars.

A thunderstorm sets the perfect mood for the finale as Cady confronts the family on the boat and they desperately fight back. When Sam finally defeats Cady, Robert De Niro gnaws at the disturbing death scene as he drowns in the river while speaking in tongues and singing a hymn.

6 The Wolf of Wall Street

Scorsese is known for the needle drops on his soundtracks. The director has often used a punk rock cover of a traditional classic to portray the hammer of justice falling on his criminal anti-heroes.

At the end of Goodfellas‘Sid Vicious’ cover of ‘My Way’ is about Henry’s mundane suburban life as a federal witness. in the The Wolf of Wall Street, the Lemonheads cover of Mrs. Robinson” is about the FBI’s raid on the Stratton Oakmont offices.

5 The king of comedy

One of Scorsese’s most underrated films, The king of comedy, is a spot on satire of the fame machine. Rupert Pupkin wants to skip the line and become a popular comedian without working hard. In the third act, he resorts to kidnapping a beloved late-night host and hijacking his show.

At the film’s climax, Rupert performs an aerial standup set, kills the live studio audience and gets to enjoy his 15 minutes before being sent to jail.

4 The departed

Based on the Hong Kong crime thriller Infernal Affairs, The departed is Scorsese’s first film with a real storyline. The cat-and-mouse hunt between an undercover detective and a corrupt cop with mafia connections reaches an action-packed climax in the final act.

At the end of The departed, everyone kills everyone. After a tense rooftop confrontation between Costigan and Sullivan, Trooper Brown points a gun at Costigan. In quick succession, Costigan and Brown are killed by Trooper Barrigan, Barrigan is killed by Sullivan, and Sullivan is killed by Dignam. The audience’s patience is rewarded with a string of kills.

3 Goodfellas

Probably Scorsese’s Magnum Opus, Goodfellas, leaps across the map in its non-linear narrative of the life story of the gangster-turned-whistle-blower Henry Hill. But the climax sequence devotes a large chunk of runtime to a single day of Henry running around town trying to sell firearms on the black market while also organizing a family dinner while worrying that he’s being followed by a police helicopter.

Scorsese uses a variety of cinematic tricks to capture Henry’s disheveled, paranoid mindset, from constantly changing the song on the soundtrack to a frenzy of rapid-fire cuts.

2 shutter Island

The climax in Scorsese’s adaptation of shutter Island has one of the most effective rug-pull twists in psychological thriller history. Teddy Daniels goes down to the lighthouse where he fears his missing partner has been kidnapped and eventually uncovers the truth.

Scorsese keeps audiences guessing throughout the film, and as it turns out, the truth is far more terrifying than anything they could have imagined. Plot twists in explanatory monologue form don’t always work, though shutter Island‘s twisted monologue works wonders in the hands of the great Ben Kingsley.

1 taxi driver

He finally puts his vigilante crusade into action in Travis Bickle’s desaturated, blood-soaked finale taxi driver. He shoots sports in front of his brothel, then goes in and starts gunning down unsuspecting clients. what sets taxi driver set apart from other dark vigilante thrillers of the 1970s is its sobering realism.

The culminating gunfight isn’t the kind of triumphant bloodshed of the invincible Paul Kersey; Travis takes more shots than he lands, and Iris doesn’t praise him as her knight in shining armor—she’s scared.

NEXT: Every Quentin Tarantino Movie Highlight, Ranked

Read  Apple Music Classical's best feature is lost on Apple's headphones

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button