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The Outfit (2022 Film) Ending Explained

The ending of The Outfit reveals Leonard’s elaborate scheme to manipulate the gangsters and secure his and Mable’s safety. Leonard’s past as a gang member and his meticulous planning come to light, showcasing his cunning and determination.

The Outfit, a 2022 crime drama, takes viewers on a thrilling journey through 1950s Chicago. Directed by Graham Moore, the film centers on Leonard Burling, an English tailor whose shop becomes a hub for gangster activities. As the story unfolds, Leonard’s dark past and hidden motives emerge, leading to a gripping and thought-provoking conclusion.

Leonard’s Hidden Past

Leonard Burling, a Savile Row-trained cutter, relocates to Chicago after World War II. He runs a tiny tailor shop that serves as a front for the Boyle crime family. The Boyles use Leonard’s shop to drop off and pick up messages and money, making it a crucial part of their operations. Leonard appears uninterested in the gangsters’ business, focusing on his craft and creating bespoke suits with meticulous care.

The plot thickens when Richie Boyle, the son of the crime family’s head, and his associate Francis bring a tape that could incriminate the entire operation. The tape, containing evidence of the Boyles’ criminal activities, becomes central to the drama. As the night progresses, Leonard finds himself entangled in a web of deceit, manipulation, and violence.

In the film’s climax, Leonard reveals that the infamous “Outfit” was never involved in the night’s events. The messages and the tape were all part of Leonard’s elaborate scheme to manipulate the gangsters. Leonard discloses that he has been recording the night’s events and plans to use the tape to incriminate the remaining Boyles and the LaFontaines, another crime family involved in the plot. He urges Mable, his assistant, to hand the tape to her FBI contact and leave town with the money they have accumulated.

The Final Confrontation

As Leonard prepares to burn down his shop to erase any evidence, Francis, who had been incapacitated earlier, regains consciousness and attacks Leonard. Despite being wounded, Leonard manages to defend himself by using his shears to fatally wound Francis. This confrontation underscores Leonard’s resourcefulness and determination to survive, even when faced with imminent danger.

A significant moment in the ending is Leonard showing Francis his old gang member tattoos, revealing that he was once involved in a life of crime similar to the Boyles. This revelation adds depth to Leonard’s character, explaining his motivations and his desire to break free from the cycle of violence that has plagued his life. The tattoos symbolize Leonard’s past and his struggle to reform, ultimately leading to his decision to take drastic measures to protect himself and Mable.

Themes and Interpretations

The Circle of Violence

One of the central themes of The Outfit is the cycle of violence. Leonard’s actions throughout the film are driven by his desire to end this cycle and prevent others from suffering the same fate as his family. His meticulous planning and manipulation of the gangsters highlight his determination to break free from the violent world he once inhabited.

Deception and Manipulation

The film’s narrative is built on layers of deception and manipulation. Leonard’s calm and composed demeanor masks his true intentions, and his ability to outwit the gangsters is a testament to his cunning and intelligence. The ending reveals that Leonard has been orchestrating events from the beginning, turning the tables on those who sought to control him.

The Quest for Freedom

Leonard’s journey is also a quest for freedom. By the end of the film, he has not only outbrighted the gangsters but also taken steps to ensure his and Mable’s safety. The burning of his shop symbolizes a fresh start, free from the shadows of his past. However, the film leaves open the question of whether true freedom is possible for someone who has been so deeply entangled in a world of crime and violence.


The Outfit is a masterclass in suspense and psychological storytelling. Its ending, while open to interpretation, leaves a lasting impression on viewers. The film’s exploration of reality, deception, and the human psyche is both captivating and unsettling. Leonard Burling’s transformation from a seemingly passive tailor to a cunning strategist underscores the film’s themes of survival, redemption, and the quest for freedom.

The film’s conclusion challenges our perceptions of reality and leaves us questioning the nature of control and freedom. Whether you interpret the ending as a triumph of the human spirit or a tragic realization of the futility of escape, one thing is certain: The Outfit is a film that will continue to haunt and intrigue audiences for years to come.


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