Jules (2023) Movie Ending, Explained – Does Jules retain memories, or does it forget everything?

Marc Turtletaub’s latest sci-fi comedy film transcends the familiar alien genre. Written by Gavin Steckler, the storyline revolves around the independent life of Milton (portrayed by Ben Kingsley) and how an unexpected visitor from outer space leads to a deep bond with his two older neighbors. Jules (2023) presents a narrative that feels entirely plausible. The characters authentically depict the realities of growing old with dignity and goodwill. It comprises various themes beyond mortality, such as solitude, the dynamics of parent-child relationships, the yearning for love, and our responses to life’s unexpected trials, which are both timely and significant in the current times.

As we age and reach advanced years, we must choose whether to cling to the relics of the past or adapt to the changes that come with aging. Despite its low budget and lack of a marketing presence, it unquestionably stands out as one of the year’s top films. It boasts one of the most comical yet poignant scripts this year.

The casting of Kingsley, Curtain, and Harris leaves nothing to complain about, as they deliver commanding performances that depict an unadulterated rediscovery of one’s humanity. Jules has captured many hearts while creating a tear-jerker with a touch of comedy. Spoilers ahead.

Jules (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis :

Milton Robinson is a 79-year-old widower, retired, unable to drive, and experiencing limited social interaction since he lives alone. His routine revolves around walking to the Boonton city council meeting to voice concerns about the town slogan and the demand for an additional crosswalk, tending to his zinnias in the garden, and enjoying television. Meanwhile, his daughter, Denise, regularly gets in touch with him to help cover his expenses and bills.

Surprisingly, she finds a can of green beans in the bathroom cabinet. She observes that he is starting to experience memory lapses. Milton’s neighbors Sandy, an artist aiming to engage with the community, and Joyce, who closely monitors what everyone is saying and their actions, are also present at the weekly city council meetings. Milton is enjoying watching television one night when a sudden, glaring light abruptly appears in the back window, followed by a loud bang.

Milton inspects the backyard and discovers a crashed UFO in his garden. He’s taken aback to witness that the UFO is damaging his birdbath and putting his flower garden in disarray. He immediately calls 911 to complain about the damage the UFO is causing to his garden. The operator thinks he might be a prank caller, warns him of potential fines, and hangs up. He then decides to go to bed.

The following day, Milton walks into town for the council meeting. He reiterates the same two complaints and mentions that a UFO in his backyard is damaging his birdbath and destroying his zinnias. Moreover, Milton asks what the council will do about that. But they don’t answer and remain silent. Sandy is up next and shares that she intends to distribute posters facilitating connections between older and younger individuals for meaningful conversations.

She has plenty of information to share and promises to inform the council about how the project is going. Sandy approaches Milton outside after the council meeting and expresses concern about his well-being, then kindly offers to provide him a ride back home. She advises him to tread carefully when mentioning UFOs and aliens, as it might cause others to doubt him and potentially consider institutionalizing him. Joyce spots that Sandy is giving Milton a ride home.

When she drops Milton off at his house, Sandy assures him that she can drive Milton to places whenever he needs it. As they talk in the car, Joyce happens to drive by and sees Sandy’s car parked in his driveway. Once Sandy leaves, Milton decides to check on the UFO and notices the alien has crawled out and is now on his patio, lying face down and inching toward his house. The alien raises its head, makes eye contact with Milton, and promptly passes out.

Milton puts him outside the house and calls his daughter Denise hastily. Unfortunately, her voicemail box is full. Still, he leaves her a message expressing doubts about what he should do with it. When he ends and hangs up, he gives the alien a blanket to cover its body and leaves a glass of water near its hand. When the alien wakes up the next morning, it still feels weak while sitting on the ground by the back staircase, covered in a blanket.

Milton asks him to come inside where it’s warmer and more comfortable. He is unsure if the alien understands him. Therefore, he makes a wide sweeping motion with his arm, signaling the alien to come inside. Milton shows him around the house and offers different foods to discover what the alien prefers. Subsequently, Milton showcases pictures of his family. He admits that his son doesn’t call because he understands he doesn’t fulfill his role as a good father to him.

Of all the food Milton offers, the alien prefers only one item – the sliced apple, which happens to be his last one. Even though the alien has already eaten, it is still weak. Milton asks the alien to rest on the couch and watch TV since he has to head out for groceries. When Milton is at the store, he stocks ten apples and tells the sales clerk that the apples are all for the alien. The sales clerk wonders if it’s an immigrant without papers, and Milton clarifies it by saying it’s an alien from outer space.

Later that day, Denise visits the grocery store and gets wind of his strange actions through the sales clerk. That evening, Milton and the alien sit and watch TV. Milton eventually falls asleep on the sofa. When he wakes up in the morning, he notices the alien has covered him with a blanket. The alien also leaves Milton an artwork: a cartoon cat’s face. He sees the alien in the backyard diligently repairing his spacecraft. Milton expresses his appreciation for the artwork and invites the alien for breakfast, offering apple slices.

Ben Kingsley, Jane Curtin, and Harriet Sansom Harris in Jules (2023)
Ben Kingsley, Jane Curtin, and Harriet Sansom Harris in Jules (2023)

Denise arrives at Milton’s house while the alien sits on the sofa, watching TV with a plate of sliced apples. She doesn’t see the alien, as she only has a conversation with Milton from the door. She urges him to consult a professional to check his memory, as his recent behavior concerns Denise. He responds that he will take some time to think about it. At that moment, Denise receives a call from work and has to leave shortly.

Sandy calls Milton to ask if he has a printer for her to use to print her project flyers about connecting older and younger individuals. She stops by and almost passes out when she sees the alien sitting in the living room. Milton opines that the alien seems like a friendly creature from outer space and adds that it only eats apples. She tells him straightaway that he should stop telling other people about the UFO and the alien as it will bring the government’s attention.

Milton shows Sandy the artwork that the alien handed him, all containing the same drawings. As Sandy is an artist, she is enthralled by the seven identical artworks with a picture of a cartoon cat. She utters that they must protect the alien, and no one should know that the alien is at Milton’s house. Joyce then drives and spots Sandy’s car again in the driveway. The scene shifts to a government call center, where multiple agents actively listen to phone conversations and follow up quickly on any references to spaceships or alien encounters.

Officials in formal attire visit various homes, but none yield promising leads. Meanwhile, Sandy hands over a shirt to the alien the next day. She lifts her hands over its head to dress it in the shirt as if it’s a child. The alien draws another set of pictures of 7 cartoon cat faces for the second time. Sandy takes Milton to the store to buy more apples. Denise approaches him in the parking lot and questions why there are so many apples.

He reacts defensively and asserts that it’s no longer her concern, clarifying that those are for him. He disclaims that no alien inhabits his house, saying he was just joking. To her disbelief, Denise is also surprised that her father is interacting socially with his neighbor Sandy, which he usually doesn’t do. And he acts distant and pushes his daughter away to make an appointment.

The scene also shifts to Milton putting shaving cream on his face but unable to find the razor. He suddenly wipes off the shaving cream he applied and forgets that he is actually going to shave. Milton needs to accompany his daughter to see a therapist. Therefore, Sandy looks after the alien, simply sitting on the sofa and engaging in conversation. She mentions that she has a daughter in a relationship with a woman, and together, they have a child, her grandson.

She shares pictures with the alien from her phone. They were living in California at the time when her daughter came out. And Sandy told her daughter that it doesn’t matter and that it will never be a reason for her to love her any less. The mother of her daughter’s partner is not as welcoming or hospitable as they expect her to be. Sandy can’t hold back her tears as she shares how they invest all their time seeking the approval of the other mother, and they never come to visit her.

It has been three years since she last saw her daughter and grandson. On a different note, Milton is asked to take a few memory tests during his therapist appointment. He manages to pass two, but not one. She asks him if he ever misplaces things in locations where they are not supposed to be or in random spots. He attempts to make it seem like nothing and says it seldom happens.

Nonetheless, Denise shares that she finds a newspaper in their freezer, and she also sees a can of beans stored in the bathroom cabinet. He becomes riled, which overwhelms him, thinking it might be a setup, so he angrily rushes off the appointment. When he returns to the house, Sandy, Milton, and the alien eat lunch together, and there’s a sudden knock on the door.

It turns out to be Joyce. She peeks through their window and sees the alien sitting together with them at the table. Joyce pushes her way in and says she has already seen the alien and wants to meet it face-to-face. She asserts that she must be involved in this and declares that no one else can know except the three of them. Sandy thinks of naming the alien Jules, but Joyce prefers Gary. Yet, Milton doesn’t think the alien would need a name.

Jules (2023) Movie Ending, Explained:

Who killed the young man who wanted to meet Sandy?

Sandy is at her house and receives a call in response to the flyer she’s been giving away initially. The caller is a young man in his 20s who wants to connect with her. Sandy intends to promote her project about connecting with young individuals, so she invites him to come over. The next day, Joyce barges into Milton’s house, carrying a container of apple slices.

Milton says that he thinks Jules would prefer to fix the spaceship in the backyard. Despite that, Joyce stays there, and they sit in the living room. Joyce talks to Jules and shares that she was quite attractive and striking during her younger years. She used to live in New York City and also pursued a singing career before. Then, she started to do some modeling poses and sing.

Jules (2023) Movie Ending, Explained
Ben Kingsley, Jane Curtin, and Harriet Sansom Harris in Jules (2023)

As this is happening, Sandy, on the other hand, isn’t able to come over as she is meeting the young man from her project. The young man is 27, while she is in her 70s. He excuses himself and tells Sandy he needs to use the bathroom. But she discovers him stealing her jewelry instead. Sandy warns him that she will call the authorities, and he starts to chase after her.

While Joyce is at Milton’s house singing and hilariously having a concert, Jules’ eyes widen as it suddenly sees Sandy’s situation in its mind. Jules witnesses her frantic escape from the young man, the violent struggle that is happening, and the young man’s hands closing around her neck. A momentary deep blue tinge washes over Jules’ skull, only to fade back to its original color. The scene then shifts to Sandy’s house, where blood is all over the place.

The authorities interrogate her about what happened again. Sandy states that the young man was on top of her, choking her, and his head just suddenly blew up. They ask if there were any changes before this occurrence. Her response is no. At this point, the realization strikes, and Jules must have been involved in some way. Sandy hastily arrives at Milton’s house and embraces Jules, saying how the alien saved her life.

Joyce then asks what the bad smell is like, wondering if it’s coming from something dead. At first, Sandy thinks it’s her as she is from a crime scene. But then they see Jules finding a dead cat. They are sure that Jules didn’t kill it as the dead cat has a tire mark on it and is flattened. Jules gives them a new cartoon cat artwork that only has six cats. They finally understand that Jules needs a total of 7 dead cats to be able to fix the ship, and they all acknowledge their willingness to help.

Are they able to discover seven dead cats and repair the ship?

Milton calls Denise, as she is a veterinarian, and he asks her what they do when the cats are dead. Do they just put them directly in a trash bin? His daughter ignores his question but is more concerned about the topic he is asking, as he doesn’t have any cats. Milton decides to hang up the phone. Sandy and Milton drive gradually around the town as they are looking for dead cats. Meanwhile, the authorities are still suspicious of what happened to the young man and how his head could possibly just blow up without any reason.

Because of that, they start to follow Sandy, assuming they will find something. In the car, Milton asks Sandy about what happened with her husband. She explains that it all began with small things like forgetting words and the inability to remember where he placed things when the symptoms of forgetting first appeared. He suddenly tells Sandy to stop because he found another dead cat.

The authorities are confused and unaware of why Sandy and Milton are digging up dead cats from the trash. They are able to find three dead cats, while Joyce finds two more dead cats. They only need one more dead cat to fix the spacecraft and be ready to fly. Milton thinks about if they can use Joyce’s 14-year-old cat, which can’t walk, is blind, and deaf. Joyce feels that it’s likely the most suitable choice after thinking about it for a while.

Jules’ head turns blue, and it softly induces sleep in the cat. After placing the seven dead cats beneath a shiny silver fabric, it morphs into an oval-shaped red gem, which Jules then incorporates into the spaceship. Jules successfully fixes and tests the spacecraft and prepares to fly. They all give the alien a parting gift so it won’t forget them. Joyce gives Jules a snow globe with a New York theme. Sandy gives Jules a sweater, and Milton gives his photo to help the alien remember what Milton looks like.

Does Jules retain memories, or does it forget everything?

Jules uses a wide sweeping motion with his arm, similar to what Milton does when he first invites the alien to come inside his house. But this time, Jules asks Milton to go with him. When Milton decides to come with him, the house phone rings, and it’s his daughter Denise expressing regret, hoping they won’t have a misunderstanding again, and she wants to spend some time with Milton. The government agents show up at his house and forcefully enter by breaking his door. At that moment, he immediately hangs up the phone. Joyce, Milton, and Sandy run into the spacecraft, and they manage to escape the agents.

As soon as the spaceship doors open, they find themselves in a place filled with enormous rocks. They realize they’re situated in a quarry near the house, and it’s been a mere few seconds. While the idea of leaping onto the ship is thrilling, Milton changes his mind and opts to remain on Earth, close to his daughter. All of them wave and say goodbye to Jules. In a couple of days, the three of them are at Milton’s place, and they all wonder if Jules will still remember them. Milton remains silent. During the evening, as Milton watches television, a sudden light is moving again across the back of the window, hinting that Jules has returned.

Read More: 30 Best Sci-Fi Movies of the 21st Century


Jules (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
The Cast of Jules (2023) Movie: Ben Kingsley, Harriet Sansom Harris, Zoë Winters, Jade Quon, Jane Curtin
Jules (2023) Movie Genre: Sci-fi/Comedy, Runtime: 1h 27m
Where to watch Jules
Ashlee Manalang

Ashlee is fervently devoted to exploring the intricacies of films in great detail. She’s also psyched about discussing economics.