‘No Sudden Move’ Ending, Explained – What was in the Stolen Documents?


With its ensemble cast, No Sudden Move tells the story of a complex organized crime network in America, 1954. In Ed Solomon’s written narrative, three gangsters are hired for a three-hour job. The trio, unaware that this work could become their worst nightmare. Director Steven Soderbergh hasn’t weaved a simple Mafia tale in No Sudden Move. Instead, he mixes the storyline with the hunt for confidential documents that find its roots lurking in America’s automobile pollution crisis. In short, the film has lots of fodder to feed, and thus its intricate plot needs to be simplified for some readers.

‘No Sudden Move’ Plot Summary

Jonas (Brendan Fraser) hires gangster Curt Goynes (Don Cheadle), Ronald Russo (Benicio del Toro), and Charley (Kieran Culkin) for a three man-job. The gangsters raid the house of General Motor’s employee Matt Wertz (David Harbour). They threaten him to steal classified documents from his office.

Charley drives Matt to the office while Curt and Ronald look after Matt’s family so that Matt doesn’t try to run away or inform the police. When Matt opens the secret locker, he discovers that his boss, Mel Forbert, has taken the documents home. Matt envelops fake documents and hands them to Jonas to save his family.

Jonas figures out the truth and orders Charley to finish off Ronald, Matt, and his family. At the brink of the moment, a morally conscious Curt shoots Charley and saves the innocents. Curt and Ronald are listed for treason by two prominent mafia gangs, Aldrick Watkins and Frank Capelli. The simple babysitting job goes wrong, and the two mobsters are running for their lives.

What happened to Ronald Russo in the end?

Ronald was mingling with mafia boss, Capelli’s wife, Vanessa. Frank Capelli found out about the affair and directed his men to finish off Ronald.

To save his skin, Ronald betrayed Curt and sold him to Jonas and Capelli. However, Curt quickly outwitted them both. Curt killed Jonas, and Vanessa shot Capelli in the house.

Later, Curt directly communicated with Capelli’s employer, Hugh Naismith, and offered him the secret documents for 125,000 dollars. However, Curt got greedy and arranged a meeting with Mel Forbert’s boss, Mike Lowen (Matt Damon), and offered him the same deal.

The two crooks extracted a total amount of more than 400,000 dollars. But before the men could move out for a brighter life, Watkins abducted Curt. Ronald left Detroit with his mistress, Vanessa, who shot him in the middle of nowhere. Vanessa tried to run away with the money, but a cop stopped her and retrieved Mike Lowen’s money.

What happened to Curt Goynes in the end?

Curt was on the radar of mafia boss Aldrick Watkins. But Curt wanted to come out clean and leave the city for a promising future. In the middle of the film, Curt cracked a deal with Watkins. He promised to return Watkin’s codebook and also clear his previous debt.

At Gotham hotel, Watkins and his men saved Curt from Detective Joe Finney (Jon Hamm). Watkins dropped Curt outside the city and gave him 5K as per the deal. Curt’s debts got resolved from the money seized from Naismith. Curt left for Kansas City to live a peaceful life.

What was in the Stolen Documents?

The secret documents, kept in a safe at the General Motors office, were a blueprint for a new exhaust system. The documents were safely hidden until GM employee Matt Wertz cracked a deal with Hugh Naismith. However, in the end, Matt chickened out, and Naismith contracted Frank Capelli to steal the document from the safe.

Mike Lowen, aka Mr. Big, conveyed his cynicism regarding catalytic converters. Mike wasn’t much concerned about the pollution levels in Los Angeles or any part of the world. However, a catalytic converter would have increased automobile prices which could have hampered the industry. Thus, Mike and his Big 4s decided to keep the blueprints of the new exhaust system hidden.

Later, in 1969, A case was filed against the Big 4s, GM, Ford, Chrysler, and American Motors for collectively withholding the new science of pollution-reducing technologies. In 1975, catalytic converters became mandatory on all US-based automobiles.

‘No Sudden Move’ Ending Explained

Ronald Russo was killed, Curt Goynes left for Kansas City, and Mike Lowen got his documents and money back (with additional interest).

After killing Ronald, Vanessa tried to run away, but Finney’s policeman stopped her and recovered Mike’s money. Later Finney visited Mike and handed over the money.

Matt Wertz, who rippled the whole conflict, got nothing in the end. Matt’s last conversation with his wife, Mary, suggested that she knew about his plan all along. Whatever the case might be, Matt’s glorious ambitions drained down the lane because he wasn’t brave enough to steal the documents himself and hand them over to Naismith. In between all this chaos, mobster Curt found his escape.

No Sudden Move is a 2021 Period Crime Drama film directed by Steven Soderbergh and written by Ed Solomon.

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Shikhar Agrawal
Shikhar Agrawal
I am an Onstage Dramatist and a Screenwriter. I have been working in the Indian Film Industry for the past 12 years, writing dialogues for various films and television shows.

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