“I’m Thinking of Ending Things” Movie Review

Katelyn Wescott

Charlie Kaufman’s most recent film, I’m Thinking of Ending Things has caused a lot of discussion on social media, leaving many viewers questioning every minute of the film. Is the movie worth the confusion, or should watchers choose something more fun and light-hearted instead?


Adapted from Iain Reid’s 2016 novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, the Netflix Original follows a narrator and her current boyfriend Jake, played by Jessie Buckley and Jesse Plemons, on their way to visit Jake’s parents for the first time. But, the audience soon comes to realize  that the narrator is “thinking of ending things.”  What this means is not completely definite to the viewer, is she thinking of a breakup? Suicide?  The audience must watch until the end of the film to find the answer.

Once the couple arrives at Jake’s parents farmhouse home, things only get stranger. The viewer finds themselves in what feels like a disorienting inbetween of reality and a dream. The parents host a very uncomfortable dinner, followed by a surreal sequence of events. The movie ends off with the couple at a local highschool,where the audience finally gets an answer to the question of what has been causing these confusing and daunting moments. 

Once the viewer understands the ending the rest of the movie becomes much more clear and they start to pick up on the well crafted references Kaufman wove into the film. Many might not have noticed the references to the numerous films and books such as, A Beautiful Mind or Woman Under the Influence, that have correlation to the film, which is one of the things I appreciated most about the film. Once  the viewer understood what was actually going on, they could  point out the details and references Kaufman added in to foreshadow this realization. 


But is the ending worth the confusion? It all depends on preference. If you’re someone who really enjoys unexpected plot twists, unsettling and daunting movies, or enjoys more abstract films that are thought provoking, then this is the right movie for you. It will have you questioning what is real and what is fake, but once you understand what is truly going on, these confusing moments from the beginning of the film will start to fall into place like pieces of a puzzle. The fact that Kaufman did everything on purpose, no matter how confusing it may have seemed at first is what makes the film so excellent. Overall, if psychological  thrillers are one of your favorite genres, this is definitely a movie that you should check out.