Ending of Movie Miss Sloane Discussed and Unpacked
Miss Sloane is a political crack pot thriller of the Sorkin variety with a target on the back of the second amendment... maybe? IMDB
4.7Overall Score
Reader Rating: (64 Votes)

I’m going to be 100% honest here. I just watched Miss Sloane – and I’m still a little unclear what happened. But, (and I actually do this a lot… shhhh) as I talk through a movie, it usually becomes more clear, what exactly, just happened. I’ll be honest, Miss Sloane is a complicated movie with a ton of moving parts. And I would actually go so far as to say that it isn’t actually a political movie but rather more of a heist movie. You know, one of those movies that make you go… oh. OH. uh. oh?  OhhHHHhh. nope. hrm. AHh!

You know the kind.

So all that to say, if you haven’t seen Miss Sloane yet, I’d recommend it for those of you that love political thrillers. And it’s a MUST watch if you even know who Aaron Sorkin is. Basically it follows a lobbyist as she tilts at the gun lobby windmill and does absolutely anything and everything to win. Jessica Chastain plays a woman that is out for blood by always playing her ace after the other side has played their ace, over and over again. So yeah, I actually adored this movie. But it is a mental work out to keep up with. And for me to say that? Hahahah. This movie won’t be for absolutely everyone. Boy did I enjoy it though.

See? Great movie. Definitely a must see. Hard as nails movie. Alright now though, I’d prefer to chat with those of you who have already seen it. K? So if you haven’t yet? Cease, desist. Go. Shoo.

The Internal Workings of the Movie Miss Sloane

As I said above, this thing has been constructed like a bank heist movie, not a political thriller. We have a mark. And we have a tight knit group of con-men that are working together towards their trophy. And none of this is clear ahead of time. None of it. To make matters worse, the movie starts at the end, goes to the beginning, goes deeper into the ending and the leaps backwards to the middle. So we think we know what is happening at the end, but we really don’t know anything at all.

The writer for this movie is a man by the name of Jonathan Perera. Right. TOTALLY LOVE HIM TOO?!? Nope. You have never heard of him because he’s never written anything before and comes out swinging with a half court shot out of nowhere. Like an Aaron Sorkin walk and talk 10. This kid Jonathan actually wrote Miss Sloane cold, on his own – while teaching English in Korea. (Ok, sure, he was a lawyer earlier on, which ups his success percentage from .0001% to .00015%. So there is that. And I have to say, that I have ALWAYS wanted to write a film script. Now, if only I had a story like Miss Sloane to tell! hahah. Anyway, the internal workings of this movie are more like a safe than any other movie you’ve ever seen. So when watched it the first time, I’m sure, you were caught off guard when the end rolled around. I sure was anyway.

Miss Sloane Movie High Level Plot

I normally dive really deeply on movies and the ins and outs of what happened and how they worked. But this time? I plan to just give the skeletal overarching structure of what is going on. Just enough so that when we talk through the ending in detail we have a half decent idea of what it is that I’m talking about. Cool? Great. (“NO!! DIVE DEEEP!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!?!??” whatever.) But I have read the script just because I adored the banter so very much (thankfully it was blacklisted, and was easily available. You too can find it out here.) and am already wondering how succinct I’ll be able to be. (Succinctness is not a skill I have.)

The movie kicks off with Miss Sloane in trouble. We know she’s in trouble because she is talking to her lawyer and giving us the keys to the entire movie without giving anything away: “Lobbying is about foresight. About anticipating your opponent’s moves and devising countermeasures. The winner plots one step ahead of the opposition, and plays her trump card just after they play theirs.” And quickly we learn that she is being investigated by a Senate Investigation Commission. But why?!?

Well, to understand that, we need to jump backwards in time 7 months to Sloane’s time at Cole, Kravitz and Waterman LLP. Because it is while there that she gets tipped by a firm that wants to hire her to take on the gun lobby. And it’s while there that Sloane talkes 75% of her team to leave with her to tackle the 2nd amendment. Oh not to change the country for better, but to win an argument no one has ever won before. A true David and Goliath story. Oh, and by the way, one of the team members she leaves behind? Her name is Jane. Remember her name. She’ll become important again soon enough. But before we leave our dear Jane, I wanted to include this amazing banter as proof to why I think we may have found a Sorkin Sequel (oh, he just got so nicknamed like right now.)

JANE – So a Congressman can technically get rich by sponsoring bills that screw foreign governments and wait for them to buy him off?

ELIZABETH – That’s a little too much work for a class of people who exempt themselves from insider trading laws.

JANE – You see? This is why I’m thinking about post-grad.

ELIZABETH – Jane, we go to school because it prepares us for the real world. You happen to find yourself at the sharp end of the real world at the age of twenty-nothing.

JANE – I’m not so sure I like the ‘real world.’

Cut to Peterson Wyatt, the “boutique law firm with a bi-partisan Government Affairs division” where Sloane has stolen away to with her old team from Cole, Kravitz and Waterman. But now? They are going to try and do the impossible, they are trying to get Heaton-Harris passed on the Hill. Oh and by the way, they need at least 34 members of Congress to flip in order to make it happen.

So the ducking and weaving begins. Peterson Wyatt begins advertising, canvassing, talk shows, etc. Sloane begins pushing Esme Manucharian as the face of their grass roots movement. But eventually Cole, Kravitz, and Waterman want a go at Sloane herself. And she demurs until, she finally agrees to a prime time debate between the two lobbying firms. During which debate, Sloane completely off message and starts downplaying the Constitution completely. And then, to Esme’s horror, Sloane tells the world that Esme was in the closet hiding during the most famous high school mass shooting in history. (Can’t remember the name of the high school they used, and it isn’t in the script, but it is obviously a stand in for Columbine.) A few days later, a maniac with a gun is about to kill Esme, but is killed by someone with a concealed carry. And the downward spiral starts.

Cole, Kravitz, etc. decides that in order to win they will need to go after Sloane herself, and find ethics charges to bring her down. And the firm, which Sloane used to work for begins digging – lead by Jane… you know THE JANE? – through all their files looking for anything and everything to take her down with. (Please, I’m 1200 words in at this point in my “short” overview… I know I am leaving scads and scads of details out here. You would be shocked at the emails I get pointing all the erroneous details I get wrong as I desperately try to get to the point.) And sure enough, at the beginning of the movie, they were working on the Palm Oil lobby and offered a trip to a congressman in order to secure his vote. And Jane found the paperwork, with Sloane’s handwriting on it.

Cut back to the Senate Hearing we started the movie with. And now we start to see that the Senate has some pretty serious dirt on Sloane. We know that she has considered utilizing ex-NSA guys in order to track, and bug (literally) Senators to harass them into voting the right direction on the Heaton bill. We know that the Senate Hearing has this inappropriate travel approval with Sloane’s handwriting all over it. And then the committee marches in Sloane’s male prostitute… right? This is going all kinds of pear-shaped at this point. And more importantly, their 34 votes necessary to pass the bill are rapidly rapidly rapidly disappearing. Right? Elizabeth Sloane is not only going to lose this fight for the Heaton-Harris bill, she is also going to go to jail.

But at the back of our collective brains – rings the quote from the beginning of the movie… “Always play your ace after they have played theirs.” How though? What possible play could she actually have up her sleeve still? Nothing. She’s got nothing. There is no way she’s going to get Heaton passed. Right? Wrong.

Miss Sloane Ending Explained

Alright, FINALLY. I’m at the bit I’ve been wanting to talk about. All the rest has just been the framework to actually discuss this last bit coherently. As the Senate Hearing concludes its railing against Elizabeth Sloane, they offer her the opportunity to make any final comments that she may like to make. Which, would prove to be the hearing’s downfall.

Sloane opens by talking about how she broke the ethics code by how she treated her co-workers and her friends. She talks about her failures due to her desire to win. That it was her drive for success that caused he to blindly attack and do whatever she could in order to win.

And then she starts to disclose that she understood that Cole, Kravitz, and Waterman would do anything to win as well. Including tarring and feathering her in an attempt to discredit her, and dismantling their campaign to pass Heaton. And so she had certain susceptible Congressmen surveiled to see if the lobbyist team would bribe the member into convening a hearing on her. And sure enough, they did. And sure enough, ladies and gentlemen, our esteemed head of the committee Congressman Sperling was bribed into convening this exact hearing. Mayhem ensues. Simultaneously, Jane hands in her notice… “I don’t think this is hardly the time Jane.” “Uh, no, I think this is exactly the time…” The note in the envelope reads:

Page one – “A conviction lobbyist can’t only believe in her ability to win”

Page two – “For services rendered Peterson Wyatt offers you $0”

Now to understand this – remember back to the quote that Sloane gives to the head of Peterson, Wyatt as he is pitching her to come on board. Sloane says: “A conviction-lobbyist never cheats; she exposes cheaters.” Right? So page one is a reference to this idea… not only do conviction lobbyists need to believe… they need to win. They need to close the deal for the betterment of their conviction, for their moral end. Pretty simple.

But what about that second page? Remember that Jane’s firm’s name is Cole, Kravitz, and Waterman. Jane is saying, she now works for Peterson Wyatt. And not only that, but Cole, Kravitz, and Waterman were the ones that allowed them to win on the Heaton bill. It was because of their ruthlessness against Sloane that allowed Sloane to win. But you know what, although you helped us greatly… we owe you nothing for that help. Right? Does that make sense?

Miss Sloane Movie Ending to Eleven

I got all that as the movie turned off. But I didn’t understand the timeline. I didn’t get Jane thing. I didn’t understand their connection. I didn’t understand the relationship between Cole and between Peterson. But as I was writing this it clicked. And I think the best way to explain that bit of trivia I will do a high level timeline of the movie in chronological order, which will clarify a number of things pretty quickly I think.

  1. Sloane and team are working at Cole, Kravitz, and Waterman on Palm Oil or something
  2. The head of the gun lobby comes to Cole and pitches to have Sloane run their ANTI-Heaton push
  3. Sloane refuses and ridicules the head of the gun lobby
  4. The head of Cole flips out completely because he wants the business
  5. Mean time the head of Peterson, Wyatt pitches Sloane on fighting for Heaton
  6. Sloane connects the dots immediately and has an epiphany
  7. Sloane pulls Jane aside and says, I’m going to leave, you are going to stay. Jane agrees.
  8. They have the conversation in the bathroom about the Palm Oil stuff and how they are going to slick a Congressman by sending him on a trip.
  9. Jane and Sloane draft up the paperwork to send the Congressman
  10. Sloane announces to the team she is leaving, and offers to let her team come if they want
  11. Most go with Sloane, but Jane stays as they agreed
  12. Sloane starts tearing it up over at Wyatt knowing that its just chum in the water for Cole & company
  13. Sloane uses her ex-NSA team to surveil key Congress people
  14. They catch George DuPont of Cole on video bribing Congressman Sperling
  15. She reveals the tape at the hearing proving that Cole, Kravitz, and Waterman were unethical
  16. Sloane says nothing about how the trip was just done to catch Cole & company
  17. Sloane serves 4 to 6 months for unethical travel inducements instead of 5 years for perjury

So many of these details were never said within the movie itself. A few of them were in the script. But most of them were implied indirectly. But once you see them all in order it should help clear up a few of the confusing bits of this movie. At least they did for me anyway. I think I was on like number 11 as I was writing them and I was like… nice, no way. hahah. Just helps a lot to see it play out in the actual order they happened.

But What Does It Mean?

Was the movie about 2nd amendment rights? I thought it was about guns??! No, actually it wasn’t. Sure, some of the details of the debates and the arguments are brilliant (particularly the drivers license debate argument, “we need licenses to drive cars, right? Why not licenses for operating deadly weaponry?”) but that isn’t what this movie is actually about. It was a meta-discussion about the duplicitousness of D.C. The deadliness of power. And utlimately it was all about the intoxication of the drug called “winning”.

At the end, Sloane won. But she was also changed. She wasn’t normal per se. But she was changed. She truly had come to a realization that she had really screwed over Esme… almost got her killed actually. She had assumed that someone would attack herself. But not Esme. And that caused her to reconsider all the planning and the chess maneuvers she had planned. Right? She hadn’t taken the pills on her way into the courtroom, right? (I think I’m right on this point. Will double check soon enough.) She was changed. Sure, she still won the case, and did absolutely anything she had to do to win. But I am willing to bet she won’t be doing this again. No? Even if I’m wrong on this point, I do think this was a movie about the bigger problems in politics and our country. That big money does anything to get away with pretty much anything it can. And that just isn’t ok.

No? Disagree? Did I miss anything? What are your thoughts on the details of the inner-workings of how this movie unfolded? Comment below. I definitely want to hear your thoughts on this fantastic movie.

Edited by: CY

Related Posts

93 Responses

  1. Nilisha

    I just finished watching this movie and then read your article. It covers all the interesting plot twists and is to the point. I just wanted to tell you that there is one mistake I found in your article.
    When trying to explain sloane’s strategy you mention that she had a congressman surveilled, but she infact had George Dupont under surveillance.
    Hope this helps!!!!!!!

  2. Taylor Holmes

    Thank you so much! I’ll fix it soon. (Like when someone adds an hour to my day as opposed to subtracting it for daylight savings time!!!)


  3. Gail

    What is your opinion about Ford? Did he save Sloane because he was a softie, or did she anticipate this and pay him off to lie for her. ?

    What was the reason Sloane called Jane and Jane would not acknowledge the caller ?
    Was it some kind of coded message between them? I think so.

    • Taylor Holmes

      He was a total softie… he totally was into her. That was obvious from the beginning when he continued to engage in her personal life, again and again. No?


      • Amanda

        I thought he was a set up by Cole too but it back fired cos he ended up liking her. He knew where Cole was going with it so he engineered a public ‘meeting’ with her so he could answer honestly – kind of!

    • Lukas

      What if Fotd was the doctor and was trying to save her. There might be even a bigger plan to get her to jail to escape her obssession, pills addiction and insomnia. The hotel sessions might be also therapies she was taking and not sex dates. That would explain his answer during the hearing and he is probably the one waiting for her when she left the jail as they fell in love with each other but had to solve her problems first. What do you think?

      • Ela

        I agree! Absolutely, thought the same thing. That is the reason I started searching for am explanation to the final scene when she leaves jail and takes a hard look at the person waiting for her. This ia how I found this site here and read this review.. very interesting.

      • Luisa

        liked that explanation. thanks for sharing. theres something confussing about that relationship. specially when she asks for mark’s whereabouts. she shows concern when she says if hes in some kind of trouble, or so. only time she has concern in her face towards somones wellbeing.

      • ella fitzgerald

        thats a great theory except they showed an explicit sex scene and a scene where she told him know after ripping his clothes off. a better explanation is that there was a connection between them and he wanted to protect her.

    • Claire

      I think Ford said that they didn’t have a business relationship because he protects his clients anonymity and would lose clients if he talked.
      Jane answered the phone so that Liz could listen in on the meeting

      • Jasper

        Jane said wrong number… hardly any time to listen in (plus why would she know they were having a meeting on the other side of the phone)
        The call was the go-ahead cue for Jane to dig up the document later on and incite the hearing.

  4. Jim

    Sloane appeared to recognize someone picking her up after jail? Was is Esme? Ford? Her bald boss?

    • Taylor Holmes

      No no no.
      It’s the attack on Esme that wakes Elizabeth up to what she’s done and forces her to acknowledge her failures on a personal level. But no definitely not.


  5. Zoe

    Great discussion and analysis of this movie!! I thought the opposition. Team hired the guy to attackEdse and the shooter. I remember one of them saying that they ” wanted it to hurt Elizabeth” but after watching it the second time, I think
    It was random. Also , no one
    Ever mentioned Elizabeth’s/ ms Chasteins wardrobe!! Know led it out of the park!! Loved the plus blouse at the nd after all the black
    And white!

    • SG

      I just watched the movie in my 13 hour flight and Zoe you are on point about the fashion sense. She’s bad ass and looked really stylish!

      Thanks for the article Taylor, didn’t really catch about what the 5 year was and you’ve explained it.

      It’s amazing right how the movie ended. I thought it was Esme who came and picked her up because she explained to her that she can’t drive… haha and she seemed to also have forgiven her after the public apology of sort. But then, there is also a possibility of Ford.

      I love the $0 note; no wonder 2 expenses mentioned in the movie about the campaign were personally paid by her; because in the first place she was not even paid to work there.

    • Luisa

      great work wardrobe, and not overdone. i would like to dress like that.

  6. Luke

    I was confused about the length of time she served. Was it not 5 years? Did she not commit perjury? – By saying under oath that she had never used surveillance – but then was clear to everyone that she did (as that’s how she got the conversation between her old boss and the congressman)?

    • Taylor Holmes

      The sentence was for signing the contract. It was a five year sentence, but six months into the sentence her lawyer visits her and lets her know that she’ll probably be free in less than a year.

      • Jasper

        In that case, she was not found guilty for perjury? (stating she did not authorise surveillance on anyone but then revealed the clip as well as stating she put DuPont under surveillance)
        Also, when the lawyer asked at the very end, “And you neglected to tell any of your team about this [the document] because ” to which Sloane answered “5 years minimum” – what would be constituting to a perjury if she did reveal the truth?

  7. Annett

    Hi! I just saw the movie and I am totally fascinated by it. While I understand that what interests me the most has nothing to do with winning the bill in the movie per se is her personal backstory. I was really hoping it would be revealed in the movie in the scene where she tells Ford “she grew up lying, didn’t want to but had to, that’s why she excels at it”. I feel total compassion for this woman who must have been tortured as a child (mentally? / physically?). It takes a lot to twist and warp the mind of a child like that in order for her to have turned out this way. Not to let anybody close to you at all and to feel so very comfortable in not needing to connect deeply on a social level… I guess it doesn’t matter for the story, but it matters when it comes to her and her cold heart.
    I actually cried at the very end when she’s released from prison, because I think no one would have been there to pick her up. She’s probably all alone. And then again, how much does it take to forgive and to be forgiven?
    Yes, it was only a movie. An incredibly well done one. But the characters are so realistic. I feel for her even tho in real life I would have also stayed away from her. But what made her who she became?…

    • Taylor Holmes

      Oh yeah, totally know what you mean. Great question. She definitely was an outside the box character from a Hollywood standpoint. Roles like this (let alone for women) are extraordinarily rare. And Jessica absolutely crushed this role. Nailed it. It was so fun to watch.

      I personally was never abused, but lived in a world that forced two-faced-ness, if you know what I mean? Duplicitousness. And in this world of never saying what you mean I became very good (bad?) at always saying what I didn’t mean. “OHFANTASTICHOWGREATTOSEEYOU.” Right? And even though there was no abuse, it was an abuse by the society in general. It was a maligning of my mind through this experience. This skill though, to see what people mean, not what they say, has been enormously helpful in my career. But from a personal standpoint? Hahaha. Not the greatest. I’ve had to unlearn many of these “skills”/”traits” that I grew up with.

      Anything could have done this to her. I am sort of glad they didn’t cheapen the character by saying… well, she’s evil this way because of her momma. Or whatever. It would have been too simple. She is who she is because of a long list of complex influences I’m sure. But yeah, she was an amazing character to watch unfold.

  8. Annett

    I mean…what happened to her to make her who…I mean, how…you know what I mean.

  9. Annett

    But there’s something that ticks me off: the soundtrack of “Miss Sloane” is almost exactly the same as the one from the movie “Passengers”. Like they couldn’t think of something new? I wonder who stole from who? Oh dear… Still, both movies are very enjoyable.

  10. Michael

    Need better answers to:
    • did NRA set up guy to be killed
    • why did Sloan call Jane?
    • why did Ford lie?

    These were all left hanging. Seemed sloppy for such a good script.

    • Kevin

      I think all three were answered in the movie well.
      1- the young man is seen watching her news story. He looked anxious.
      2- the call was to trigger the file to be “miraculously found”
      3 – Ford lied because when with Sloane in the second encounter he told her he never revealed his clients, and her response was outside of this room you don’t know me. It was foreshadowing the event.

      • Luis

        here’s my interpretation of the note Jane passed….this wasn’t Jane’s note at all, it was the original note that Rodolfo Schmidt (when posting as a reporter) scribbled when he pitched Sloane to work for him. The note essentially means that for someone trying to fight for a cause (a “conviction” lobbyist) they cannot do it all by themselves. She learns this/ puts it to use by engaging Jane in her plan, and truly engaging in team work with the team she ultimately protected. She was a loner before, and did everything by herself, so yes, she changed, thanks to to the advice from Schmidt. On the back page of this note, was the comment about Schmidt’s firm paying her $ ZERO. Meaning, this wasn’t about money at all; it was about a cause; Up to that point, Sloane had won every challenge she had taken; So she didn’t NEED money; it was about changing the outcome of something she felt strongly about (more regulation on guns). That’s why he offered nothing. As for the ending when she comes out, I really have no idea who she is looking at; best guess: 1) no one; but she is changed; no longer a loner; and she’s looking out to the “future”. 2) Schmidt and her “team” are out there waiting for her and supporting her; Despite not taking any visits during her time in white collar jail, they still show up. 3) I don’t think the escort is there….that’s a side story that’s of minimal consequence imho that’s used to highlight the fact that she’s given up a personal life and family/friends to work. The “future” will be different now that she’s changed.

        My two cents! make sense? Am i off?

      • Jasper

        I agree to the note part, and would like to add: the words about Peterson Wyatt offering $0 for the services provided now also means to the gun lobby that they have fallen into Sloane’s plan and the gets nothing in return.

  11. Annett

    – Ford clearly lied, because a) he would never reveal any of his clients’ names (they talked about that) and b) he really liked her.
    – Sloane caled Jane, because they had stuff to check up on. That phonecall is also necessary for the plot to wake up Sloane.
    – They very well could have hired him, I think it’s totally possible. On the other hand the movie does sort of prove that America is armed to the teeth and people just carry guns around. So it could just have been purely accidental, but still, playing fully into the hands of the gun lobby.

    • Jerry

      Sloane called Jane because that was the “trigger” for Jane to find the smoking gun to use against her and force the Senate Hearing. Sloane had already put the tail on DuPont, because she knew that as soon as they got the evidence to go after her, DuPont would reach out to a Senator to call the hearing.

      No one hired the gunman to go after Esme or the hero, after it happened, everyone on that side was claiming that “Christmas came early” and the momentum won’t last long. Not one person or group claimed to have orchestrated it.

      Bloomington High School was the high school where the shooting happened.

      Forde did not reveal his part with Sloane, because he wasn’t being compelled to. What I mean was, he was sworn in and asked about it, but he wasn’t on trial for it. So, he did her a favor and kept it a secret. There is definitely more to that relationship than meets the eye.

      She didn’t lie when she said she never surveilled a Congressman. She surveilled George DuPont. It was George DuPont that went to see a Congressman. So that Congressman did end up getting surveilled, but the original surveillance was for a non-Congressman George DuPont. So she didn’t have to lie, because of the phrasing of the question.

      My 2 cents. I thought it was an excellent movie as well. It reminded me of another great movie. If you all loved this one, you should see (if you haven’t already), Spy Game with Robert Redford and Basic with John Travolta. John Travolta doesn’t have the reputation as an actor that Redford or Chastain have but the movie was very good, with a lot of plot twists and turns with a reveal at the end that was surprising.

  12. Annett

    Rats….I confused Jane with another character… Totally agree with Jerry. I first thought it was part of the plan they hatched, but that would have meant “5 years minimum” for Jane, which Sloane clearly didn’t want to happen.

  13. Jasper

    I still am stuck in a small puddle… why is it by not saying the Indo journey was arranged to catch CTW LLP that Sloane could aviod the perjury? If she had said it, which statement in her previous hearing sessions would it contradict?

    • Jasper

      I meant CK&W not CTW… but anyways I got this figured out.
      What a great movie.
      Shame she wasn’t even nominated – most probably because of the NRA.

      • Eileen

        Right – because the NRA has made great inroads with the Academy of Arts and Sciences . Come on !

  14. Timothy

    a great summary and helpful comments. Helped me to understand it better.

    I’m still left curious with one last thing when Elizabeth said “5 years minimum” as to the filing of the form. Does this mean she actually served 5 years before coming out of cell ?

    I’ve seen comments above stating that the lawyer visited to tell her she would get alleviated 6 months instead serving 5 years. But from what I’ve seen (rolling back and forth the scene of their conversation), I felt like he was more of mentioning that the hearing of Sperlin & Dupont would last 4 ~ 6 months? Or was it her reduced serving?

    Can someone have this one last piece of puzzle settled ? Why does her utterance of “5 years minimum” has any relationship with the form filled out on Elizabeth’s own?

    • Jasper

      She was seen filling up the form before handing it to Jane – deliberately leaving a “bone” behind for the gun lobby to incite the hearing. Franklin said it was against the ethics rules – Liz said she was not concerned and the aim is to get the right people to sign it.
      Liz said in the hearing she didn’t have any role in arranging funding for the trip (clever phrasing), thus while she was guilty of violating the senate ethics rules, she did not perjure herself (which would mean 5 years minimum).

    • Jessica

      I think she was protecting her friend(s). If they knew it was and she had left it behind on purpose they may be tempted to lie for her and perjure themselves resulting in 5 years. No one knew but her but knew Jane would figure it out.

      • Jasper

        Oh nice that actually makes more sense. Thanks a lot for the insight!

      • Becky

        That was the impression I got too, Jessica! Sloane was protecting her team!!! ((so she DID have feelings after all)) REMEMBER what she said…she’d be like GRANITE! I TOTALLY LOVED THIS MOVIE!!! I choose to believe someone met her when she left the correctional facility. I replayed that end scene so many times…trying to read Sloane’s face…what a fabulous acting job by CHASTAIN! Great supporting cast too!!! Very satisfying movie (both times!)

    • Lesley

      Thank you for the insight. I thought when she uttered ‘5 years minimum’ to her lawyer at the end, it was in reference to the earlier part in the movie where after he coached her to plead the 5th and she is goaded into making comments, he yells at her “does she know that perjury carries a 5 year minimum, and to go home and look at the ceiling.” When she references the 5 year minimum at the end, she’s saying I knew exactly what I was doing all along and and I knew exactly what the risks were.

  15. Philip

    Loved the movie and thought a sequel would be in order with most of the first cast. Would begin with who picked Sloane up when she was released after 14 to 16 months incarcerated. Then relating what happened to all of those others involved in the first episode. Finally, another mysterious adventure involving Sloane with another win leading to another sequel. Jessica Chastain’s performance was brilliant. She should have received the Academy Award for best actress.

  16. mark jonson

    When elizabeth gives that subtle, knowing yet supprised look right in the very last scene? I am guessing it was in reference to someone who picked her up from Jail but who do you think it was?

  17. jane

    I would definitely watch a sequel to this movie. Jessica was fantastic.

    Thank you for this article and to everyone who commented. The movie left me with the feeling I was a breath away from catching something subtle that had happened. Now I have it. :). Very much like Spy Games

  18. Wil Robinson

    So I have to watch this movie again. I watched it on a flight and had to shut it off 1/2 hour before it ended. I watched the ending when I got home. I need to watch the entire movie again.

    The only parts that I’m still confused about are Ford and who she looked at when she got out of jail. So, is it possible that the one time she had sex with him that she didn’t pay him? Again, I’ll have to watch it again. Also, so they could have been therapy sessions and not sex? It seemed obvious it was sex, but then again, nothing in this movie was obvious. I was really impressed with all the performances. I love a movie you can watch a few times and still find new details. Thanks for this wrap up of the ending. Awesome job.

  19. Eileen

    IMHO, you are reading a lot into it. No indication she did not pay him. It was sex – not therapy . If it was therapy some agency would not be sending new men without her knowledge . And I do not think this is Pretty Woman in reverse – no enduring love story . Ford obviously liked her and operates from his own code but I think the one picking her up is her former boss at the non- profit.

  20. Lisa

    I feel this may be a dumb Q but I still don’t understand why sloane is in jail. In a movie in which it seems so easy for sloane to outplay the other, I don’t know what she’s in jail for? It seems the charges would drop given the corruption of the senate guy.

    • Jasper

      She was clearly in breach of Senate Ethics rules (the traveling document), which led her to be jailed. Sperling being corrupt DOES NOT HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH her wrongdoings, no matter the intention(s).
      The whole smart thing was how she planned way ahead and planted a document behind before moving to Peterson Wyatt. It must be something clearly illegal for the gun lobby and Cole Kravitz & Waterman to fall into her trap and incite the hearing.

      • Taylor Holmes

        What Jasper said (touché sir).

        I would also add that from a Hollywood Morality requirements standpoint, anyone that does good, but does it illegally still has to pay. We would have all stared at the screen slack jawed if she had gotten off. It would have rung as hollow. Now, as an oceans eleven movie, conning her way out of that last legal bind would have been epic. But this particular movie was striving for realism, and so we, the judging audience required at least some stay in jail… even if it was shortened by good behavior.

        If that makes sense at all. Man I loved this movie.

      • Jasper

        Same here Taylor.
        Cinemas in London showed it from mid-May to mid-June, and I watched a total of 6 times (no kidding). It is such a great movie you get more details and insight every time you re-watch it

  21. Bonnie

    I’m wondering what Sloane meant when she was explaining herself (not being normal) to Peterson, and stated that she had to “lie” all of her life. Any thoughts/hints about her upbringing?

  22. Nino

    When I saw the movie I thought she went to jail because she perjured herself when she said that she never spied on anyone and later she revealed that she ineed had been spying the senator.
    About the look miss Sloane and Esme exchanged in the end I thought it was the moment that Esme understood that Sloane was capable of putting people’s life in danger just so she could win but she wouldn’t spare herself when a sacrifice was needed so I guess Esme gave that “water under the bridge” look.
    (Sorry for my English, not my mother tongue)

  23. Brittany

    One thing you got wrong. Sloane’s quote to Schmidt was, “Conviction lobbyists must only believe in their ability to win.” What Schmidt wrote on the paper was, “A conviction lobbyist can’t only believe in her ability to win.” And on the other side he wrote, “For services rendered to Peterson Wyatt $0” – this was his offer to her for her to come to his side. What he was saying is that Sloane can’t just want to win for the sake of winning. She must believe in the cause. He didn’t pay her a dime to work for his cause. And the note in Jane’s resignation envelope was the exact same note Schimdt gave Sloane. Basically she’s saying they did this for the good of the cause, unlike them that does everything for power and money.

    • Jasper

      Cant agree more, but I also believe that the “$0” note on the other side of the paper also meant that the gun lobby made a move that was predicted by Sloane and thus helped them achieve victory, and for that the lobby was offered $0.

  24. Mark

    What is she referring to when she tells Schmidt that she
    ( wished it were different) but she had to tell lies her whole life

    • Jasper

      She told Forde “I grew up lying. I didn’t want to. I had to. That’s why I excel at it.” It is a back story we will probably never get to know unless a sequel/prequel gets filmed & released.

  25. Bridget

    Hi sorry I’m confused as to why Sloane’s trump card lead to her winning the bill? I know it showed the other side and the senator as unethical but I don’t see how that allows Sloanes side to get back the 30 something senate votes they lost???

    This is the only part of the movie that bugged me and I’d love if someone could explain it thanks!!!

  26. Catherine Lynch

    I was mesmorized by this movie. At first I thought Sloan was overacting and hard to take as a believable character. But since the premise of the story was so intriguing, I stayed with it and discovered there was a reason for Sloan’s overpowering personality. He mind must have been going a hundred miles a second, and looking at every contingency all the while she was trying to deal with the day to day issues and get the job done. That poor woman could never sleep. She couldn’t stop if she was to hold it all together and get her desired results. What an incredible mind, a true force!
    I truly enjoyed this movie and I know it will haunt me for days.
    But I loved Sloan’s character! You may say she’s changed. I believe that another layer of her incredible mind has awakened. I would love to see what she will do next. Think what she can accomplish!

  27. RocketSMS

    One item not on your list was that Sloane sent Jane a coded message. She called and said, “I’m surprised that you answered the call.” Jane says, “Wrong number!” At which point she runs into the files and finds the esoteric proof that she improperly colluded on the travel and started the hearing in motion. Now they needed to find someone who would push the hearing, which made them vulnerable to the taping.

    I agree with the observation that the note in the envelope was the original note that Sloane received Rudolpho.

    I am in the camp that Sloane spots Forde as the person picking her up, hence the surprise. It’s a variation on the theme of the look that Sloane had when Forde refused to admit she was a client. It’s something she didn’t predict.

    Unfortunately, the box office results were too low to warrant a sequel. I blame the marketing on the movie though as it was pulled before word of mouth could have an effect.

    • Jasper

      No, Jane did NOT run into the room and retrieve the file right after the call. The call took place after everyone else in P. Wyatt left, late at night. Jane was in some sort of meeting when she picked up. She got the message, but it would be too stupid for her to go and get the file immediately. On the other hand, Sloane knew there was no turning back after ending the call, and had a short meltdown before picking up her pills.
      Next day at work Jane pretended to be checking on where her colleagues got to, then said that the Nutella tax was the last thing Sloane worked on, which led her to the file with Sloane’s handwriting.

  28. Gschroed

    A little late to the party, but what an awesome movie!! So much has been said already, but I just wanted to add this. I liked the way it turned out that in the cutthroat world of DC, and specifically lobbists, they portrayed Ford, the male escort as someone who made a choice of high morals. Not a huge moment in the movie…. just liked that they did that.

    As far as who was outside the prison…. my gut feeling is, sadly, no one. I definitely don’t think it was Ford. I would have been super disappointed if that was the way it was written. Too sappy and cliche for such a sophisticated script.

    • Jasper

      Wished there would be someone, but when you reach the scene after the movie you would feel that there wouldn’t be anyone waiting for her.

  29. Franz Steiner

    Maybe a silly question: If Ford would answer “Yes I have been payed from Miss Sloane to have sex with her”, he would also say “I know this is prostitution, and I know this is prohibited by law”. I don’t know the exact word for this, but would he implicate oneself?

  30. Dan Belen

    Great article! Thanks for the recap and thoughts. I found this article because I was curious about the very final scene outside the prison. On the one hand, there could be no one, Sloane is all alone and this is the result of her drive to overwork and win at all costs. Could also be a small reference back to the conversation with Esme about driving and her not having a license. Btw—her reason for not having a license is she wasn’t good at it. So she only commits to things, which she knows she can succeed at and win?

    But actually I do think there is someone there to pick her up at the prison. My hunch is it’s Forde, but could be Esme. I appreciate that they didn’t cut to a smug-looking Forde leaning against the car and end with everyone smiling. I think Forde likes Sloane more than just a client and gets her on a deeper level. She keeps her distance, strictly business, so as not to jeopardize her plans or status. She can’t let him in. But now that she has committed career suicide, there is space and a chance for personal pursuits. She doesn’t have to feel alone and he seems persistent.

  31. Nic

    Hi, I understood it was the lawyer Daniel who visited her in prison explained that her sentence would likely be reduced by 4-5 months and that he would see her when she got out. I enjoyed it greatly as a film. Her passionate speech regarding the bill implied strongly that Congress was corrupt and that its members should vote on behalf of the voters it represents. This should have put sufficient pressure to regain the votes loss and win the bill. Her lather comments ensured press coverage as will as bringing down her enemies.

    • Jasper

      Well basically by exposing the corruption she brought the opposite campaign down for sure (and that was the ultimate goal – she didn’t go down this route just the shame people did she 😉 )

  32. Toni

    Just watched this movie and thought I missed who was waiting for her…but seems I didn’t.. loved it, well played, great actors and the analysis here!! Bravo

  33. Max

    Great film and interesting discussion everyone.
    There are a few possibilities as to who was waiting for her.

    Forde is one. Sloane has tears in her eyes as he finishes testifing – a look of “ I may Have midjudged you” – He is an escort, he could have been bribed to bury her further. forde Too has probably had a tough life – his comment about family life, when Sloane says “ I wish I had had a normal life” He replies “ normal is
    over rated”
    2. Her lawyer Daniel – he realised that to win and get the bill passed she has sacrificed her career and to win planned her own downfall on a very public and humiliating scale.
    When Sloane turns down the Gun lobby leader she does it because she believes in the cause – she says as much to her old boss – she has conviction that passing the the Heaton bill is the right thing to do. Her old boss replies – that she will work to support the Gun Lobby or her job in his firm is over. She has really no choice. She could continue working in her old firm and continue to kill herself physically – lack of sleep , drug addiction etc – but now another layer would be added – kill herself mentally- complete surrender of all moral principles, psychologically killing her self – as she says in prison, “suicide by career”.
    So she plans her last career move to have the Heaton bill passed knowing that could lead to Career suicide if the opposition forced her to sacfrice everything and play her trump card.

    Her doctor would applaud her action, she says as much in prison – she has saved her life and more importantly her “ soul”

    If Daniel would be waiting for her, it would be as a friend who admires her.

    3. Schmidt her new boss could have been waiting for her too – he calls her a “piece of work” after the Esme incident then is further stunned that she has not shared with him her plans of swaying voters and getting funds from women’s groups. As he puts it , he is not the enemy.

    In the senate hearing final scene he realises the enormity of what she has done. He has a look of wonder. Why did she do it? She planned this all along- she told no one, not even me!

    At the beginning of the film, after leaving the fund raiser, When he invites her to join his firm he hands her a note with his offer. We do not see the note on screen, but she says after reading it “ I don’t know whether I should be insulted or flattered” because it says – for services rendered fee is $0. They were not paying her a salary and to win, she has sacrificed her career. Schmidt has a look on his face which says – wow! I don’t really know you at all!!
    But realizing that she does not trust him, how would that be the starting point for a relationship? What would be his reasoning to be there – he certainly looked intrigued and puzzled by her. He probably tried to visit many times but she refused visitors – perhaps that’s why she looks surprised at the end of the film if it was him waiting there.

    This note with the salary offer if$0, is in fact the same note that Jane gives the team leader when she says she is resigning and pursuing Post grad career.

    Schmidt may be the one waiting.

    4. Esme could be the person. She has not forgiven Elizabeth Sloane for revealing her past. In the make up room Esme realises how devious and ruthless Elizabeth is in her planning –

    at the Chicago airport when Elizabeth arrives to talk to her after the attempted murder, Esme says “you know for a moment I thought you set it up”. Meaning that she does not trust Sloane and even thinks she is ruthless enough to have someone killed.

    In the senate hearing Esme realises that Sloane is not only willing to sacrifice others to win but also to sacrifice herself – “career suicude” carefully planned complete with a prison sentence and public humiliation and character asassination.

    Esme and Sloane exchange glances but I don’t think Esme has forgiven Sloane – yet. You see as Esme put it -“ I was almost killed”. Her whole future life has been destroyed. Esme knows that now being publicly recognizable she could targeted by another fanatic at any time, plus suffer from flash backs etc PTSD – I dont think it’s Esme.

    5. Jane – she was Sloane’s PA for 2 Years – they have a bond, a good working relationship and real trust between them. So much so that Jane agrees to work under cover for Sloane and is instrumental in the whole success of the bill being passed. Jane has certain moral standards and questions the morality of the decisions the firm makes and dreams of a career in Academia which dies not pay bills! She is one who probably alerts Sloane that her old firm know about the move on Florida thus getting Sloane to have her team followed to find out who is the leak. Without Jane the documents would not have been “uncovered” at the critical leading to the senate hearing causing Sloane’s imprisonment but the arrest of her old boss and the succsessful passing of the Heaton bill. They both have conviction in the bill.

    I think if there is one person waiting for her it would be Jane, but on a romantic note Schmidt or Forde

    Let’s ask the script writer!!!!

    • Taylor Holmes

      Max, dude.
      You need to write for me. The pay is zero, and everyone will make fun of whatever you write. But on the upside, its a crap ton of work. So there’s that! hahaha. Seriously, find that screenplay author, isn’t he in Asia somewhere? I think I mentioned it? I never read my own writing. Just too difficult to bear. hahaha. But good luck, because Madden isn’t on Twitter, I just checked. And unless you have a pro account on IMDB, (did I mention the pay is zero?) and I don’t, getting his email address will be nigh on impossible. BUT! If you do! IF YOU DO! I would DEFINITELY publish your conversation with him. For sure. 100%. hahahah.

  34. Brad

    It’s funny when you think you’re the only one that didn’t get it. I literally have the movie paused right before her speech at the hearing again. I googled.. why did Ms Sloane go to jail and low and behold. Now I get it but…1 thibg occurred to me duribg the film that wasbt touched on that makes me wonder again…is it just me. Wasn’t McGill a plant? Right before the shooting the Gun dude said he wanted her career. Too outlandish? Plus McGill was a ham for the cameras too. Hmm

  35. Katie B

    Um, super late to the party having only just watched this film and loved it. Also, grateful of the post-mortem here. So many idea threads, I think I’ll have to watch it again.

    Am I the only person that reads her look, on leaving prison, as ‘what the fuck am I going to do now? I don’t think anyone is waiting for her and the point is that her whole focus has shifted and she will need to reinvent herself.

  36. Michele

    First, I want to say Taylor Holmes, wow. Your writing is amazing. Do you write for a publication or webpage I should be reading? I love the comments here as well-such thought provoking questions and intelligent conversation. I just watched the movie (love Jessica Chastain) and I really had to keep my brain on and pay attention- so much happening! Jessica (we are on a first name basis now apparently) can do no wrong lately- have you seen “Molly’s Game”? She was incredible in that movie and with an equally exquisite wardrobe. =)

  37. geo

    it is obviously about the 2017 Corp tax cuts too !!
    all the sneaky bastards seeking their way to give wealthy more wealth and starving the treasury for money used for domestic programs.. while pitching the bill as helping the midfle Class… while in reality few of the middle class benefit …

  38. Jonathan Ramos

    I watched this movie in theatres and on Amazon prime and the original ending was altered. If you noticed that at the end the screen freezes on Sloane and then the credits rolled well in theaters the scene cuts over to Ford waiting for her by his car. When I first saw it I was a bit disappointed and felt that it was unnecessary. The reason I found this site was because I wanted to find out if anyone else had noticed. Having Ford at the end introduced a love story that was not necessary and by removing the last scene it minimized the romance with Ford and left the ending to personal interpretation. Has anyone seen the movie in theaters?

  39. Joel

    After reading all the comments, I feel like an idiot. Not really, because I understood all the twists and turns. What I didn’t understand is why she threw her life and career away for the cause. I was really expecting some type of “back in the day” victim of a gun crime story similar to the Esme story, but nothing. Other than “winning” what was her motivation?

  40. Jane

    Reply to Claire (January 2018): Liz wasn’t listening in on the meeting — there wasn’t enough time. It was Jane’s signal to go and get the planted paper.

  41. Andrew

    I just watched the film – absolutely brilliant! I realise the story is over, but I would love to see the character of Miss Sloane back in another film. She was just amazing – very powerful character and I’d be surprised if Hollywood would let lie for long?

  42. Shelley

    Just watched this today. Great comments explaining so many of the missing pieces that I was noodling over. The comment made in the jail visit about never telling anyone at her office and her reply was “five years” – my mind immediately thought of conspiracy charges and also keeping her colleagues free of culpability due to their lack of knowledge.

  43. Rossignol des bois

    Hi everyone. Thanks for your comments. I really enjoyed reading them and watching this movie.
    Very often, one can find mistakes of “logic” in this kind of scenarii but I didnt’ find any in this one. I watched only once. Excuse my english, I am french.
    I give you my opinion, it’s just mine. But I find it funny to share our point of view.
    As far as I am concerned, I think miss sloane is not evil at all. I think she witnessed a important crime when she was a kid, maybe including mafia . They probably killed her familly. And that is the reason why, she is strongly against guns. She had probably been in a witness protection program as a kid and that’s why she had to lie all the time, and she has learned to think in advance what her opponent will do, and that’s also why she has sleeping problems, is taking benzodiazepine, and is not good with relationships She knew that if she had friends or a lover, she may have to go away in the minute to escape and she may suffer from it.
    In a good scenario, writers avoid usseless character. The escort boy is here to show that she has no personnal life, but also to get her few confidence :” shehad to lie all the time “….
    I think Miss sloane is a lot more intelligent that everyone thinks and I am sure she had payed someone to protect Esme (the guy who killed the other). And she didn’t tell much to her team to protect them from commiting illegal acts (perjury…) . She has planed most of what happened.

    I also think that she grew up angry agaisnt NRA and guns sellers and she did all what she did to get revenge. I think she became a lobbyist in that purpose to limit guns sells and she did’nt mind at all going to jail at the end, because she had finnally done “her job”.
    I think she has a strong problem with having friends but she was getting along well with Jane. Moreover at the end, they are looking at each other with Esme in a strange way. I think Esme understood all this and forgave her. Bu anyone or noone can be waiting for her after she served her sentence in jail.
    I think that is the best part in this scenario, nothing is really told about Miss Sloane, who she is and why, you have to find out by yourself and that’s the most funny part of it.
    And at the end, I also think that the NRA can be one of the reason the movie didn’t work that well.
    one shouldn’t be that naïve unless one needs to. But you have to know it’s incredible what one can find if one scratches just a little bit.

  44. Markella

    Heyy, just saw this movie an clicked on this article because I am curious with what happened with miss Sloane and Ford…I would really want a clear ending (with them falling in love )

  45. cheryn

    i just saw this movie, cant come out of it. so much inside it. i need people to suggest movies like this with lot of information packed . along with it lots of takeaways.

    my doubts in the movie why sloane says to jane, that “if socrates didnt write anything, how anyone would have come to know about him. i need a meeting” this is right before she is supposed to have secret plan with jane. What does this sentence signify???


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.