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Never Before Seen Alternate Endings That Completely Change Your Favorite Films
You already know the ending of a film can make or break the entire flick. Who wants to sit through an incredible film, only to watch a crummy ending? You may not know it, but movie endings are usually well tested before they ever reach real commercial audiences.
Alternative endings are usually scrapped because they lack broad appeal, but sometimes those endings are just as fascinating, unsettling or thought-provoking as the final versions that play in theaters. Which version is better? Check out these fascinating alternate movie endings that would have completely changed your favorite films and decide for yourself. (Tons of spoilers ahead!)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010)
In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010), Scott Pilgrim (Michael Cera) attempts to navigate romance and life woes. He dates high schooler Knives Chau (Ellen Wong) before falling for Ramona Flowers (Mary Elizabeth Winstead). The catch? Before he can date Ramona, he must kill seven of her evil exes — all of whom have supernatural abilities.
To stay true to the Scott Pilgrim novels, the film ends with Knives abandoning her pursuit of Scott and encouraging him to go after Ramona. However, the film originally ended with Scott getting back with Knives after bonding over a video game.
Get Out (2017)
Jordan Peele’s Get Out (2016) had horror fans shaken across the globe. The thriller genre applied a cinematically devastating edge to the issues of race, police and social justice. You couldn’t help but feel relieved when Chris Washington’s (Daniel Kaluuya) friend stepped out of that cop car, right?
Although the ending of the film is fairly positive, a devastating conclusion was originally in the works. The footage has the actual cops arriving after Chris escaped from his girlfriend’s family’s horrifying home. Rather than taking pity on a traumatized Chris, they arrest him for the murders of everyone inside.
The Butterfly Effect (2004)
In The Butterfly Effect (2004), Evan Treborn (Ashton Kutcher), a college student with violent migraines, finds out he has the ability to time travel. Using his journals as guides, he induces blackouts to return to the past to prevent trauma in his and his friends’ lives.
The film ends with Evan altering the past to ensure he doesn’t become long-term neighbors with his closest childhood friend, Kayleigh, in order to spare her a tragic future. In one unsettling alternate ending, Evan travels back to before his birth and strangles himself in the womb to prevent himself from causing harm in the future. Yikes!
In Rocky (1976), boxing champion Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) agrees to fight the unknown Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) after his opponent for the heavyweight championship is injured. Throughout the film, Rocky trains for the fight of his life and finds love with Adrian (Talia Shire).
Rocky pours his heart and soul into the fight, ultimately surviving 15 rounds in the ring and becoming one of the most beloved movie characters of all time. In an alternate ending, Rocky takes a bribe to throw the fight and uses the money to help Adrian open a pet shop — definitely not an ending for winning the hearts of America.
In Heathers (1988), Jason Dean (Christian Slater) shakes up his high school when he begins murdering fellow students and staging their deaths as suicides. The film centers on the Heathers, including an honorary Heather, Veronica Sawyer (Winona Ryder), who aids JD’s crime spree. The dramatic conclusion consists of JD blowing himself up on the school’s front lawn.
Later, Veronica asks Martha, a friend she abandoned for the sake of popularity, to hang out during prom. In a dark alternate ending, Martha stabs Veronica while screaming obscenities in a dramatic plot twist. The movie ends with Veronica yelling, “My name’s not Heather!”
Paranormal Activity (2007)
While expectations for Paranormal Activity (2007) were fairly low, the horror film captivated audiences worldwide. The flick comes to a boil when the possessed protagonist, Katie (Katie Featherston), leaves the bedroom and yells for her husband from downstairs — where she’s waiting to kill him.
In the film, Katie murders her husband, drags his body upstairs and chucks him at the camera. Then, she rushes at the lens herself. The alternate ending includes murder, only without the body throw. Instead, Katie approaches the camera alone. Staring at the lens, she slits her own throat with a kitchen knife. Yikes!
Fatal Attraction (1987)
The ending to Fatal Attraction (1987) was pretty intense. The film centers around Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) and the brief affair he has with editor Alex Forrest (Glenn Close). As Dan attempts to protect his family, his wife, Beth (Anne Archer), becomes aware of Dan’s affair and his crazy stalker.
The film ends with Beth shooting Alex in self-defense in her bathroom. However, the original ending consisted of Alex killing herself and framing Dan for her murder. When the script was rewritten, Close was furious, believing that committing suicide to ruin Dan’s life was more like her character (and psychologists agreed).
Titanic (1997) is a love story set in a terrible place, namely aboard a ship doomed to sink. As debutante Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) falls in love with third-class passenger Jack Dawson, the two become entangled in a romance that is doomed to die with the Titanic.
The film ends on an emotional note with Rose dropping the coveted Heart of the Ocean necklace into the sea as she stares out at the waves that swallowed her love. The original ending included a lengthy speech about the pricelessness of life, ending with Rose hurling the necklace into the sea. Not as touching.
Alien (1979) tops the charts of alien flicks. The film features a group of astronauts attempting to kill an alien that has infiltrated their ship, Nostromo . Weaver’s character, Ellen Ripley, eventually escapes the Nostromo in a pod, unaware that the alien has hopped aboard.
In the theatrical conclusion, Ripley overpowers and blasts the alien into space, remaining on course for Earth. However, director Ridley Scott envisioned a more disturbing ending for the film. He wanted the alien to kill Ripley and mimic her voice to communicate with the space station that she was returning.
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
In Little Shop of Horrors (1986), overzealous Seymour (Rick Moranis) decides to take on the responsibility of a massive, people-eating plant that he names Audrey II (after his gorgeous crush). Throughout the movie-musical, Seymour attempts to win the love of Audrey (Ellen Greene) while feeding Audrey II flesh, blood and people.
At the film’s end, Seymour finds out that Audrey II is an alien lifeform and kills her with electricity. The original ending had Audrey II consuming Seymour alive. After his death, mini-Audrey II’s were distributed across the world, but test audiences found this ending grotesque.
Interstellar (2014) is full of striking visuals and has a killer score and tons of emotional moments as Cooper (Matthew McConaughey) tries to save planet Earth from climate change. After traveling through wormholes, Cooper is able to communicate with his daughter on Earth and send her his data.
At the end of the film, Cooper miraculously survives the collapse of a fifth-dimensional tesseract. He sets off into the multi-dimensional landscape of outer space, hoping to reach his now-elderly daughter on Earth. A profound alternate ending called for the tesseract to collapse around Cooper, sending his data back to Earth while killing him.
The Shining (1980)
Who could forget the iconic final shot of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980)? The thriller ends when Danny escapes to safety with his mother, Wendy (Shelley Duvall), and Jack freezes to death in the maze. The final shot focuses on Jack’s smiling face featured in a photograph in the hotel — taken in 1921. Spooky.
The original ending packed a less powerful punch. Two additional minutes were devoted to a hospital scene where audiences were assured that Danny and Wendy had, in fact, survived The Overlook. Kubrick realized the scene lessened the impact of the closing and scrapped it.
Stephen King’s 1408 (2007) is one of the best book-to-screen adaptations. In the film, author Mike Enslin (John Cusack) hunkers down in a paranormal hotel room (#1408) in a notoriously haunted hotel. Despite warnings from staffers not to rent the room, Mike insists, hoping to debunk the tales of the room’s ghostly activity.
Of course, the room is haunted, and at the end, a desperate Mike burns the room to the ground. He is saved by firefighters and reunited with his wife. However, in an alternate version, Mike tragically burns in the room and joins his deceased daughter in the afterlife.
The Lion King (1994)
The Lion King (1994) is based on William Shakespeare’s beloved tragedy Hamlet — only with lions instead of people. In the movie, Simba loses his father because of his scheming uncle, runs away with a warthog and a meerkat for several years and then returns to reclaim his kingdom with Nala at his side.
In the film, Scar is killed by his followers (the hyenas) after betraying them. Simba’s and Nala’s cub is presented to the kingdom, restarting the circle of life. In the original ending, the former circle ended with Scar falling into the flames of the fire and burning to death.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) follows the adventures of a stranded alien in suburban California and his new friend, a child named Elliott (Henry Thomas). When E.T. becomes sick on Earth, Elliott must help him return to his ship to go home.
The final scene consists of E.T. saying his goodbyes to Elliott before walking on to his ship and jetting off into space in an array of colors. The original concept for the conclusion would have provided more closure for Elliott by showing scenes of him playing with friends and adapting to life after E.T.
A Quiet Place (2018)
The haunting premise of John Krasinski’s A Quiet Place (2018) took audiences by storm. The film follows parents Lee and Evelyn Abbott (John Krasinski and Emily Blunt) as they try to protect their children, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe) from noise-hungry creatures who hunt their prey using sound.
Throughout the film, the Abbotts employ creative tactics to survive. After Lee sacrifices himself, Evelyn successfully lures, shoots and kills one monster, bringing an end to their terror. Krasinski originally wanted a more gruesome, less happy ending, but he, fortunately, saved that for his mind.
I Am Legend (2007)
In I Am Legend (2007), esteemed scientist Robert Neville (Will Smith) is attempting to find a cure for an infection that has turned humans into killer mutants. Using his plague-resistant blood as a baseline for his research, Neville also searches for fellow survivors.
In the end, he passes his cure off to two survivors and blows himself up to kill a batch of invading mutants. One proposed ending had Neville realize the mutants view him as the monster and are really civil creatures desiring peace. The thought-provoking ending didn’t make the cut.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
The refreshing humor, quirky characters, stellar soundtrack and epic cast make Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) a universal hit. At the end of the film, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) and the Guardians are successful in saving the universe, and the gang montages to “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.”
In the final scene, Quill opens a gift from his mother — a new mixtape of her favorite songs. Director James Gunn admits that he cut out Quill’s grandfather to keep the ending happy. The original conclusion showed that Quill’s grandfather was still waiting for him to come home.
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
In National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), the Griswolds head across the country to spend a fun-filled day at Walley World. Unfortunately, when they arrive — after a disaster-filled car trip — the park is closed for repairs. At the end, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) holds the Walley World security guard at BB gunpoint and demands he open the rides.
They all — including the guard — end up having a blast. In the original script, Clark tracks down the address of Ron Walley himself and holds him at gunpoint, demanding he open the park for his family. Way too dark for a comedy, right?
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Return of the Jedi’s jolly conclusion included the explosion of the Death Star, the rebels celebrating with the Ewoks and Luke receiving spiritual visits from his former mentors. Many fans felt the uplifting ending too starkly contrasted with the former films in the trilogy.
Maybe unhappy fans would have preferred Lucas’ original conclusion that included Han Solo (Harrison Ford) dying at the end of the film. This would have led Leia to become an independent leader and left Luke to deal with his traumas alone. Although Ford was thrilled to play out the tragic ending, Lucas decided to go with an optimistic ending.
Pretty Woman (1990)
In this Cinderella story, hooker Vivian Ward (Julia Roberts) captures the attention of Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) on one of his business trips. After hiring her for the weekend, Edward starts to develop a real connection with Vivian, ultimately cultivating a romance that runs far deeper than either of them expected.
This wasn’t the narrative in the original script. At the end of the original draft, Vivian simply receives payment for her services and ends up back on the streets doing drugs, while Edward remains a lonely businessman. Love couldn’t save either of them.
Dawn of the Dead (1978)
Dawn of the Dead is an OG zombie apocalypse film set in Pennsylvania. A group of ragtag citizens attempts to survive and fight the undead (and a biker gang) from inside a local shopping mall.
At the film’s end, the two protagonists, Francine (Gaylen Ross) and Peter (Ken Foree), flee the infested mall in a partially fueled helicopter. It was actually far more optimistic than one of the alternate endings, which called for a desperate Francine and Peter to take their own lives rather than succumb to the zombie hoard.
Pretty in Pink (1986)
In John Hughes’ Pretty in Pink (1986), wallflower student Andie Walsh (Molly Ringwald) is stunned when popular Blane McDonagh (Andrew McCarthy) asks her out. As she falls head over heels and leaves her nerdy best friend Duckie (Jon Cryer) behind, she faces the challenges of dating the socially elite.
At the end of the film, Andie must choose between Duckie or Blane, and she ultimately ditches Duckie in the friend zone — breaking his young heart. The original ending had Andie choosing Duckie, which would have pleased many fans who thought he should get his chance with the girl of his dreams.
In Orphan , Kate (Vera Farmiga) and John (Peter Sarsgaard) decide to adopt a child after losing an unborn baby. After adopting an orphan named Esther, the couple discovers she is actually a middle-aged woman with hypopituitarism, giving her a youthful appearance.
Once Esther is found out, she attempts to slaughter the family. A bitter fight with Kate leads to Esther drowning in a freezing lake. In an alternate ending, Kate and her kids flee the house before Esther can kill them, and Esther tricks the police into believing she’s an innocent little girl who needs help.
In the 1995 mystery Seven , Detective William Somerset (Morgan Freeman) and David Mills (Brad Pitt) are on the hunt for a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who chooses his victims based on the seven deadly sins. David’s wife, Tracy, (Gwyneth Paltrow) becomes an unlikely target.
At the end of the movie, the killer puts Tracy’s head in a cardboard box for the detectives to unpack. After realizing the killer murdered Tracy, David shoots him — just as the killer wanted him to do. The studio found this conclusion atrocious and pushed for an alternate ending with a family dog in the box instead.
My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
In My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997), Julianne (Julia Roberts) attempts to wreck the wedding of her childhood best buddy, Michael (Dermot Mulroney) after she realizes she’s in love with him. She spends the movie trying (and failing) to put a stop to his wedding.
In the end, she fails and dances with her gay friend, George (Rupert Everett), at the reception. This ending was only written after test audiences complained about the original conclusion. The original cast a glimmer of hope on Julianne’s future by pairing her with an attractive wedding guest for the dance — but the audience wanted her to suffer.
The Birds (1963)
In The Birds (1963), Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) pursues Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) by gifting him two lovebirds. Ironically, San Francisco is soon swarmed by a hoard of vicious birds. The citizens try to survive the terrifying attacks, unsure what caused them.
At the end of the original flick, a swarm of birds breaks into Melanie’s house and mortally wounds her. Mitch insists they take her to the hospital, but to reach help, they must drive through a terrifying landscape filled with birds. An alternate final shot showed the Golden Gate Bridge completely covered in birds.
Donnie Darko (2001)
In Donnie Darko (2001), teenager Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal) is greeted in his quasi-dreamscape by a massive, demonic rabbit who claims the world is ending in 28 days. The oddball film follows Donnie’s 28-day descent into madness.
In the end, he wakes up in his room on October 2nd (the day the film began) and gets crushed by a jet engine. This film is dark, with or without an alternative ending. Could it have been darker? Absolutely. An original cut showed Donnie getting impaled by a piece of the plane in an unnecessarily graphic scene.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
In The Princess Diaries (2001), San Francisco high schooler Mia Thermopolis (Anne Hathaway) finds out that she is heir to the throne of Genovia. Her grandmother, Queen Clarisse Renaldi (Julie Andrews), attempts to turn the geeky American girl into princess material.
This film’s final theatrical ending is a pretty sweet story. It ended with Mia agreeing to become a princess. However, when director Garry Marshall watched the film with his five-year-old granddaughter, she was disappointed that she didn’t get to see Mia’s castle. Marshall talked to Disney and got them to add the castle into the final film in an alternate ending.
Clue (1985) was meant to mirror the board game of the same name: multiple possibilities for killers, weapons, crime scenes and motives. As a result, the filmmakers filmed and released multiple endings with different killers and victims defining each conclusion.
Originally, audiences weren’t sure what ending they would be seeing when they went to the theater. There were three possibilities for solving the crime at the end of each version of the film. Fortunately, theaters began to clarify which ending (A, B, or C) they would be showing in order to save their audiences some money.
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Last Seen Alive Reviews
And just like that, Gerard Butler’s back to making B and C movies?
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4 | Dec 28, 2022
We’re left waiting for a movie that grabs our attention in its first fifteen minutes to take us someplace…anyplace. It never does.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Dec 27, 2022
An extremely generic kidnapping thriller that plays like a really lousy episode of “Ozark.”
Full Review | Oct 12, 2022
This is the kind of poor man’s thriller that already doesn’t have a very high bar to clear yet still manages to disappoint based on limited imagination or limited means.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10 | Oct 7, 2022
[Brian Goodman] isn't willing to plant his feet on the ground and lets his imagination fly high with some graphic, very graphic, violence scenes. [Full review in Spanish]
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Oct 6, 2022
Kind of a good time for the wrong reasons.
Full Review | Original Score: D- | Oct 5, 2022
It has a tired premise like those used frequently in unimaginative thrillers.
Full Review | Original Score: C+ | Sep 10, 2022
Frustratingly generic thriller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Jul 7, 2022
Sometimes 'serviceable' is good enough.
Full Review | Original Score: 2 stars | Jun 19, 2022
Caught in two minds as to whether it wants to be a psychological thriller or an action-adventure, Brian Goodman's film never manages to get its story straight.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5 | Jun 15, 2022
Cliches and contrivances sap away most of the suspense in this derivative B-movie vigilante thriller that squanders some reliably intense Gerard Butler confrontations.
Full Review | Jun 8, 2022
Creative risks aren't taken here, with Butler basically asked to be the hero yet again, trying to convey confusion in a movie that doesn't trust the audience to appreciate such a disorienting journey.
Full Review | Original Score: D | Jun 3, 2022
The American actor Ethan Embry is a highlight as Knuckles, a childhood friend of Lisa’s who Will thinks knows more than he is admitting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | May 31, 2022
Last Seen Alive is as generic as it gets and should serve as a warning to anyone looking to cash in without effort with one of cinema’s most overdone plots.
Full Review | May 31, 2022
The low-flying standard of the direction by Brian Goodman can best be summed up by the golden moment when a tracking camera shot pauses to focus on a cannister that has FLAMMABLE emblazoned on it. Take a wild guess what happens soon after.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5 | May 19, 2022
- Cast & crew
- User reviews
Last Seen Alive
Will's soon-to-be ex-wife mysteriously vanishes at a gas station. He delves into the town's criminal underbelly while running from the authorities in a race against time to find her. Will's soon-to-be ex-wife mysteriously vanishes at a gas station. He delves into the town's criminal underbelly while running from the authorities in a race against time to find her. Will's soon-to-be ex-wife mysteriously vanishes at a gas station. He delves into the town's criminal underbelly while running from the authorities in a race against time to find her.
- Brian Goodman
- Marc Frydman
- Gerard Butler
- Jaimie Alexander
- Russell Hornsby
- 328 User reviews
- 56 Critic reviews
- See more at IMDbPro
- Detective Paterson
- Barry Adams
- Deputy Anderson
- Assistant Deputy
- Patrol Officer
- Ghost Worker
- Hazmat Officer
- (as David Steven Perez)
- (as Robin Inez Fletcher)
- Gas Station Employee
- All cast & crew
- Production, box office & more at IMDbPro
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Did you know
- Trivia Gerard Butler posted on his Instagram page on October 5, 2022: "I'll let you in on a little secret. I took this movie on as a fun challenge/experiment. I improvised the whole movie. I was only ever shown the first ten pages and even they were thrown away once we were on set. We shot the movie in 8 days. I was drawn to the idea of how it would feel stepping into scene after scene having no idea what was gonna be thrown at me. I've never taken on anything like that and it was both challenging and exhilarating. You can't help but be in the moment. Obviously there were certain parts where I would have to be guided in a general direction but mostly it was flying by the seat of my pants. Amazing work by the rest of the cast having to play off me given I had no idea what was about to come out of my mouth. And to our director Brian Goodman-love you brother."
- Goofs At the end of the movie at the parents house you can see the camera man crew in the reflection of the window. You can clearly see how the cameraman rushes off not to be seen.
- Connections Featured in OWV Updates: Multimedia Update (16/07/2023) + The First Poster from OWV Cinema (2023)
- Soundtracks Back At One Performed by Brian McKnight Written by Brian McKnight Published by Universal Polygram Int. Publishing, Inc. Courtesy of Motown Records under license from Universal Music Enterprises
User reviews 328
- May 20, 2022
- How long is Last Seen Alive? Powered by Alexa
- June 3, 2022 (United States)
- United States
- Nhân Chứng Sống Cuối Cùng
- Savannah, Georgia, USA
- Voltage Pictures
- Perfection Hunter Productions
- See more company credits at IMDbPro
- Runtime 1 hour 35 minutes
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Last seen alive, common sense media reviewers.
Potboiler action-thriller has swearing, violence, drugs.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Caring for loved ones. Being brave and persistent.
Will and Lisa have marital difficulties, but Will
Some gender and ethnic diversity among the main an
Character manhandled, bloody injuries. Physical th
A married couple discusses one partner's infidelit
Language used includes "s--t," "motherf----r," mul
Will works in real estate -- some discussion of ea
Characters mass produce methamphetamine to be deal
Parents need to know that Last Seen Alive is an action thriller with strong language, some bloody violence, and drugs. Real estate developer Will Spann (Gerard Butler) is trying to save his marriage when his wife, Lisa (Jaimie Alexander), suddenly disappears. The movie hinges on suspense and certain…
Caring for loved ones. Being brave and persistent. Overcoming adversity.
Positive Role Models
Will and Lisa have marital difficulties, but Will remains committed to their relationship. Will cares for his wife and literally fights to get her back under difficult circumstances. Lisa is unhappy in her marriage and there is reference to her having had an affair. She tries to communicate her feelings to Will, but often without success. A police officer uses excessive force to try and get information from suspects.
Some gender and ethnic diversity among the main and supporting cast. Character's discuss Will's mental health and temperament in light of his marriage troubles and then sudden disappearance of his wife.
Did we miss something on diversity? Suggest an update.
Violence & Scariness
Character manhandled, bloody injuries. Physical threats of violence. Reference to death and murder. Fighting with punches, kicks, and blunt instruments. Character bound and restrained with heavy duty tape. Warning shots fired from a pistol. Reference to getting shot. Character beaten unconscious. Characters threatened at gunpoint, shot, and killed. Bloody wounds but no gore. Explosion and property damage.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
A married couple discusses one partner's infidelity. Character shown in underwear.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.
Language used includes "s--t," "motherf----r," multiple uses of "f---ing," and "f--k."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.
Products & Purchases
Will works in real estate -- some discussion of earning lots of money and taking out large life-insurance policies. Also owing people money. Characters manufacture and deal drugs to enrich themselves. Character tries to extort money in exchange for information.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Characters mass produce methamphetamine to be dealt. Character smokes unidentified substance from a pipe.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Last Seen Alive is an action thriller with strong language, some bloody violence, and drugs. Real estate developer Will Spann ( Gerard Butler ) is trying to save his marriage when his wife, Lisa ( Jaimie Alexander ), suddenly disappears. The movie hinges on suspense and certain characters not being honest with Will and Detective Roy Patterson ( Russell Hornsby ), who each carry out their own investigations into Lisa's possible abduction. Violence features occasionally, as Will resorts to desperate means. The most extreme cases include gun violence, shootings, and death, with some bloody injuries but no gore. Detective Patterson also uses force when dealing with violent criminals who are reluctant to talk to him. Swearing is constant, with multiple variations of "f--k" used throughout. Various characters are motivated by money -- Will's wealth plays a factor in his efforts to find his wife. Drugs are also dealt and manufactured at scale in some scenes, while there is also some drug use, including a character smoking an unidentified substance from a pipe. There is some discussion of Lisa's infidelities and a man is also seen in just his underwear. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails .
Where to Watch
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- Parents say (1)
Based on 1 parent review
If you like sitting in the edge of your seat~ this is a great movie!
What's the story.
LAST SEEN ALIVE follows real estate developer Will Spann ( Gerard Butler ) in the aftermath of the mysterious disappearance of his wife, Lisa ( Jaimie Alexander ), at a gas station.
Is It Any Good?
Caught in two minds as to whether it wants to be a psychological thriller or an action-adventure, Brian Goodman 's film never manages to get its story straight. Saving its Taken -like revenge rampage for the closing stages, Last Seen Alive still can't manage to create a sense of intrigue about any of its characters. Central to this is Butler's Will, who manages to be equal parts real estate developer, vigilante warrior, and super sleuth -- basically whatever the convoluted plot needs him to be in order to move things forward.
The flashback scenes of marital strife try to give us some indication of what sort of person Will is. But these are never linked to his life or work well enough for them to carry any weight. Likewise, the bad guys pretty much appear out of nowhere toward the end, half-borrowed from the first season of True Detective with their shotguns and rural meth lab. Butler does his best to sell the drama and the trauma of Will's situation. But he looks much more comfortable playing men whose missions make more sense, be it defending Sparta ( 300 ) or saving the President's skin in the Has Fallen series. Will's wife isn't the only thing missing in Last Seen Alive : it also needed a dose of originality, other than its bizarre suggestion that couples who survive kidnappings together, stay together.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the violence in Last Seen Alive . What impact did it have? What consequences were there? Does exposure to violent media desensitize kids to violence?
Discuss the strong language used. Did it seem necessary or excessive? What did it contribute to the movie?
How were drugs depicted in the movie? Were they glamorized? Were there consequences? Why does that matter?
Discuss Will and Lisa's relationship problems. How did these affect the way they talked to one another? How did the movie's use of flashbacks reveal more about them?
Did the movie remind you of any others you've seen?
- In theaters : June 3, 2022
- On DVD or streaming : August 9, 2022
- Cast : Gerard Butler , Jaimie Alexander , Russell Hornsby
- Director : Brian Goodman
- Inclusion Information : Black actors
- Studio : Vertical Entertainment
- Genre : Thriller
- Run time : 95 minutes
- MPAA rating : R
- MPAA explanation : pervasive language, violence and some drug material
- Last updated : February 17, 2023
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REVIEW: “Last Seen Alive” (2022)
Will and Lisa Spann are going through a tough patch. Their marriage is on the rocks, and Lisa has asked for some time apart so she can sort things out and clear her head. Will wants to forgive and move on (there are hints of infidelity), but Lisa needs some space. So he’s driving her to her parents home where she plans on staying a few weeks until she can figure out what to do next. With only a few miles left, Will stops at a convenient store for gas. And so begins “Last Seen Alive”, the new(ish) yet not-so-new action thriller starring Gerard Butler.
Directed by Brian Goodman from a screenplay by Marc Frydman, “Last Seen Alive” is a case of a genuinely interesting setup that goes nowhere. And while it’s essentially an action thriller, the action is scarce and the thrills are nonexistent. So we’re left waiting for a movie that grabs our attention in its first fifteen minutes to take us someplace…anyplace. It never does. It never develops or maintains any tension. It can’t make the characters worth our investment. And the stakes never feel as high as they should.
At the convenient store, Lisa (Jaimie Alexander) goes inside while Will (Butler) fills up their tank. After waiting a bit he goes in to check on her but can’t find her anywhere. He checks the bathrooms, asks the unhelpful clerk (Michael Irby), and even make circles outside the building asking motorists and truckers if anyone has seen her. Convinced something is terribly wrong, he calls the police. Detective Paterson (Russell Hornsby) eventually responds and begins one of the most perfunctory and scattershot investigations ever put on screen.
Of course we predictably run through the whole ‘ Will as a suspect ’ angle. And with this being a Gerard Butler movie, you kinda know at some point he’s going to take matters into his own hands. But as Will’s actions and reactions get more bizarre (unintentionally, mind you), it gets harder and harder to buy into him or the story. And no amount of super-seriousness from Butler can change that. Meanwhile Hornsby (who’s a really good actor) is handcuffed by an aggressively generic cop character – a carbon copy of the kind we’ve seen in countless movies through the years.
While nobody seems to be phoning it in, no one is able to bring any energy to “Last Seen Alive” (which is something it desperately needs). It turns out to be one of those maddening movies where people routinely do dumb things, don’t ask the obvious questions, and seem completely oblivious to common sense. And with no compelling characters or exciting action to pick up the slack, the movie sits stuck in neutral and basically squanders a promising start. “Last Seen Alive” is now streaming on VOD and Netflix.
VERDICT – 2 STARS
8 thoughts on “ review: “last seen alive” (2022) ”.
Honestly, if it wasn’t for Gerard Butler, this movie never would’ve gotten any attention, and rightfully so. To me, this was Break/Down lite. Butler is so much better than this.
He seems stuck in these mediocre to all-out bad ‘action thrillers’. Every once in a while one will be pretty good (I liked “Greenland”). But most are pretty blah.
Oh no, not another goddamn SHUT-UP BUTT-WAD film. Fuck that Irish cunt and his essence of mediocrity.
What Gerard Butler’s next movie needs a fight scene in KFC.
It comes out in a few weeks so we shall see. 🙂
Excellent review. It started off intense and with promise then went off the rails. Sometimes unlikeable characters can win me over but I really hoped the worst for both of them.
It does start off well and I had hopes. But it squandered them pretty quick. Such a bummer.
How can the film.a movie in Georgia and say they are in New Hampshire. The boat was registered in GA There Palms in the woods And Spanish Moss in the trees
Either film it in New England or just change the story to be from Georgia.
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What is Witty Watching
Coming soon what is witty thinking, as seen in ottawa life magazine, coming soon conversations with keith, what is witty watching.
Synopsis : Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife mysteriously vanishes at a gas station. He delves into the town’s criminal underbelly while running from the authorities in a race against time to find her. Director : Brian Goodman Stars : Gerard Butler, Jaimie Alexander, Russell Hornsby
The man in the trilogy of ‘Fallen’ movies, Olympus Has Fallen, London Has Fallen, and Angel Has Fallen, wants to remind people that he’s an action star. Not entirely sure the reminder is necessary: Geostorm , Greenland , and his last movie, Plane ?
Now Gerard Butler is in the action thriller Last Seen Alive . You’re an action star; we get it. Maybe he is just trying to distance himself from P.S. I Love You , but that was an enjoyable film, so that shouldn’t be the case.
Regardless of why there is a plethora of action films from Butler, we are here for it.
In Last Seen Alive, we meet Will and Lisa Spann (Butler and Jaimie Alexander), a married couple on the verge of taking a break. While driving to Lisa’s parent’s house, they stop at a gas station/truck stop. As Will fills the tank, Lisa goes inside to use the bathroom. Will is consumed with his thoughts: how did they get to this point, and how can they get back on track? Well, slow down Will, you have bigger problems—Lisa has gone missing.
Will becomes very worried, as one would. What could have happened to her? After searching the truck stop, he heads to her parent’s house and finds she isn’t there. Knowing of the problems her daughter and son-in-law are having, the parents become worried and suspicious. Did Will do something to her? Will reaches out to local law enforcement, and the investigator on the case (Russell Hornsby) is also wary of Will.
You might be hit with a wave of nostalgia as this film is reminiscent of a classic called The Vanishing , a thriller that starred Kiefer Sutherland, Jeff Bridges, and Sandra Bullock. While similarities can be drawn between the two films, there are differences.
Butler does a great job of conveying his anguish over his missing wife. His character is filled with fear and regret as we go on this journey with him. The payoff is good but not great, as Last Seen Alive falters a little in the third act, but the build-up is strong.
There are some good action scenes, but Butler truly carries this film. It is a good option on the never-ending list of titles to scroll through on streaming services.
It’s not the best or even his best movie, but it’s a good thriller that’s worth watching.
Where can you find Witty?
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