The ending of Night Moves came a little abrupt to me. After killing Dena somewhat "accidentally" Josh ends up somewhere in California and casually applies for a job at an outdoor shop, apparently trying to go under the radar. However, when he's about to fill the application form at the clerk's desk, he looks into a ceiling mirror which shows the shop area with a few customers and that's where the film ends.

I don't quite know what to make of this ending. I could get behind Josh's future being left deliberately vague and that might be somewhat fitting to the rest of the film's unagitated yet ominous atmosphere, but at the same time him looking into that mirror made me wonder if anything significant happened there. Did he actually see something in that mirror (did he maybe even imagine Dena)? Are we the audience supposed to see something there too?

Even after the second watch I'm still not sure what to make of the ending or if I maybe even missed something significant. Or maybe it's just the abruptness and plainness of the ending that confuses me. Can anyone shed a little more light on how the very ending of the film figures into the rest of the story and what it could be trying to tell us or even just what exactly happened there?

  • reddit.com/r/TrueFilm/comments/43kmak/…
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 11:13
  • Haven't seen the movie, but to me, the mirror sounds like a nod at his intention to lie low - working somewhere that has such a mirror (for spotting shoplifters, one assumes) also allows him to keep an eye out for police or other suspicious characters who might be closing in on him at his new place of employment.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Mar 26, 2019 at 13:48

5 Answers 5


The ending of this was really f*cking with me last night and I finally think I've come up with some conclusions. Although, I do think the director intended to leave us in the dark so that we can speculate....and it worked! haha

Here are my thoughts:

  1. Prior to walking into the camping store to apply for the job, he disassembled his phone and scattered it around the parking lot. Then, as he's filling out the application, he looks into the mirror and sees two shoppers that are both using their cell phones. Maybe he realizes that there's no way he can fit into a society that requires your identity to be so open to the public and is so heavily dependent on technology.

  2. I THINK THIS ONE IS THE WINNER! Earlier in the movie, before they blew up the damn and they're sitting in that guy's trailer talking about the revolution, Joey says "this has got to make people think, right? We're killing off all of the salmon so people can listen to their iPods every second of the day".

Then, fast forward to the end, he looks up and sees two people in the mirror's reflection, one texting and the other talking on the phone. Maybe the realization was, that he just killed two people, committed an act of terrorism, and is now a fugitive on the run for life, yet, no one paid any attention to his act of terrorism like he thought, people just went on about their daily lives, talking on their cell phones and listening to their iPods. In other words, he killed two people and ruined his life for nothing.

  • Some really interesting thoughts indeed. Welcome to the site.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Commented Jul 13, 2019 at 15:42

In the movie, it shows the part right after the dam where Josh talks to the family that he is staying with and as they talk they get to the part to the missing camper. The Father says that it's the beginning of a murderer and to me, the ending meant that he becomes a murderer and now is looking for his next victim after all that happened.


Maybe it’s more obvious to me because I used to manage stores but I’m surprised nobody mentioned that as he was filling out the application he hesitated as his pen hovered over phone number. What someone else said above is true here: he can’t fit into a world with no phone. He’s basically a nobody now. No big commercial company is going to hire someone without a phone number.

There’s also a line earlier where he says something like enjoy the electricity to charge your cell phone while all the salmon go extinct. So he’s seeing people on their phones not caring about what he did with the added nod to that line. They are enjoying their cell phones while the salmon go extinct because nobody even noticed what he did outside of the small area he originally was living in.


I believe Coach ryan hit the bullseye.. I also believe he realized after seeing the people on the cell phones everything was done to no avail. But remember though I kinda feel like he already came to that conclusion when his boss said they need to blow up 12 dam's to really make an impact. But ending the way it did for me is senseless unless later down the line you intend to make a sequel. I don't think it's fair to leave unanswered questions for viewers to debate after investing time & attention into a storyline you've created.

  • 2
    Welcome to Movies.SE! This feels more like a comment than an answer; please be aware that this is not a typical discussion forum, and answers should stay focused on anwsering the question rather than responding to other answers or commenting on a film's quality. Please take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site.
    – F1Krazy
    Commented Jul 14, 2019 at 9:11

I believe the ending shows he cannot fill out an employment application because he's wanted, and then realizes that the cell phones and iPods are technology that blowing up a dam isn't going to affect. Also after looking into the mirror he knows he can be traced by the technology he was trying to do away with.

The stare and not starting to fill out the app to me says he's lost, and completely screwed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .