The Unforgivable
The Unforgivable (Image Credit: Netflix)

The Unforgivable Ending Explained, and Review: Who Killed Sheriff Mac in The Unforgivable?

Last Updated on December 12, 2021 by Joydeep Ghosh

Recently released, The Unforgivable is a melancholy drama movie that follows Ruth Slater, played by Sandra Bullock, who is trying to put her life together after spending twenty years in prison.

It is, however, easier said than done as the prejudiced society is not willing to forgive a cop killer easily. Ruth desperately searches for whatever is left of her family (her sister, who was separated from her when she was arrested).

Here is the plot and review of The Unforgivable, along with its ending explained (Spoilers Included).

The Plot of The Unforgivable

In the opening scene of The Unforgivable, we see Ruth getting released from prison after 20 years. It so happens that her sentence was reduced, and she was released earlier on account of good behaviour.

Her payroll officer drops her at a halfway house with the advice to move on. However, Ruth can’t just bury her past even if she wants to because society would not let her do so.

The Unforgivable
The Unforgivable (Image Credit: Netflix)

Ruth has a daunting task ahead of her to find a job, which is not easy as her reputation as a cop killer precedes wherever she goes. She also has to find her sister, Catherine, who was five years old when Ruth went to prison.

During flashbacks, we find that a Sheriff named Mac was shot dead when he tried to evict the sisters from their house after their parents’ death.

Ruth visits her old family house and finds that a lawyer, along with his wife, is its present owner.

As the court has restrained her from reaching out to her sister, she meets the lawyer, John Ingram, played by Vincent D’Onofrio, and asks for his help to find her sister.

However, his wife, Liz, is skeptical of Ruth and even tells John that Ruth came out of prison unscathed because she is white. If their son had committed this crime, he would have been then and there.

The Unforgivable
The Unforgivable (Image Credit: Netflix)

Ruth tracks down Catherine’s adoptive parents. However, they are unwilling to let Ruth meet Catherine. Their daughter, Emily, overhears their conversation and tries to dig further.

She finds the emotional letters that Ruth had written to Catherine from prison. After reading the letters, Emily is moved and gets in touch with Ruth and tells her about Catherine.

However, they are being watched by Steve and Keith, the sons of Sheriff Mac, who wish to avenge their father’s death.

The Unforgivable Ending Explained

Emily tells Ruth that Catherine is playing at a recital. Ruth goes to John to seek his help, but Liz, his wife, played by Viola Davis, confronts her instead.

While they are arguing, Ruth gets a call that her sister has been kidnapped and is given an address to reach at. Ruth and Liz rush there, and Ruth goes in, while Liz goes to inform the authorities.

The Unforgivable
The Unforgivable (Image Credit: Netflix)

Ruth finds that Steve has kidnapped Emily, mistaking her for Ruth’s sister. Ruth tries to calm him while Liz calls the cops. Along with Catherine, Emily’s family comes to pick her up, and we see Ruth and Catherine’s eyes meet.

In the closing scenes of The Unforgivable, we see Catherine walking over to Ruth and hugging her without any exchange of words.

What Had Really Happened At The Time of Sheriff Mac’s Killing in The Unforgivable?

From the flashback scenes in The Unforgivable, we find that 20 years earlier, Ruth’s parents had passed away, and Ruth was left all alone to care for her five-year-old sister.

When the authorities came over to evict them from their family home, Ruth barricaded herself and Catherine inside the house and armed herself with a gun for their safety.

The Unforgivable
The Unforgivable (Image Credit: Netflix)

When Sheriff Mac tried to enter from the back door, Catherine accidentally picked up the gun and shot Mac fatally.

The overprotective sister as she was, Ruth took the blame for this killing on herself and went to prison for the crime she had not committed.

Ruth did this to save Catherine from the trauma of being called a murderer all her life.

It is not clear in the movie how much of it all Catherine remembers presently, but Catherine’s going forward and hugging Ruth goes on to prove that sisterhood prevails.

The Unforgivable Review: Should we watch it or skip it?

The Unforgivable, the thriller drama film, was released on Netflix on December 10, 2021, after its limited release on November 24, 2021, around the United States of America.

The Unforgivable is a heart touching movie about giving everyone a second chance and teaching everyone to be kind to others.

The Unforgivable
The Unforgivable (Image Credit: Netflix)

However, this 104-minute movie seems a tad too long and fails to deliver either the thrill or the drama to keep the viewers on their edge. The screenplay is overstrained and lacks the crispiness of a thriller movie.

All said, The Unforgivable is worth a watch for Sandra Bullock’s award-worthy power-packed performance.

She makes the viewers identify with her plight. She is “The Unforgivable,” and she has not even committed the crime she is being ostracized for. Playing a protective matriarch to her sibling, she has done complete justice to her role.

The Unforgivable
The Unforgivable Review: Should we watch it or skip it? 
The Unforgivable is worth a watch for Sandra Bullock's award-worthy power-packed performance. She makes the viewers identify with her plight. She is "The Unforgivable," and she has not even committed the crime she is being ostracized for. Playing a protective matriarch to her sibling, she has done complete justice to her role. However, the film seemed too dragged in some places, because of which it didn't provide much thrill or drama to keep everyone on edge. But all in all, it is good for a one time watch.
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