Sharper Ending Explained – how does Tom steal back his inheritance?

By Marc Miller
Published: February 18, 2023 (Last updated: March 8, 2023)

We discuss the ending of the 2023 Apple TV+ film Sharper which will contain spoilers.

Tom is a young bookstore owner, an idealist who has hit a rough patch since the death of his mother. He meets an attractive woman, Sandra, at his bookstore. She is looking for a book for her professor, Their Eyes Are Watching God, as she is getting her Ph.D. in literature.

There is an immediate spark between them. It seems to have awoken Tom from his slumber. Yet, when it’s time to pay, Sandra has no money. And you know what they say about getting someone to trust is to ask for a favor, not give one, then you are on to something. Tom pays for the book, and she shows up the next day with the money. This starts a whirlwind romance between them until her crazy brother shows up. He owes drug dealers money, $350,000. Tom has money from his wealthy father and gives Sandra the money.

Unfortunately for Tom, the next day, Sandra disappears.

The timeline flashes backward, even though this is not made clear in the scenes where Sandra is asked by a parole officer (her usual one is out sick) to meet her at some dive bar. Yes, Sandra is a heroin user and spent time in prison for selling. A strange meeting place, right? She is shaking down Sandra and the rest of the prisoners on her payroll. Max notices this; he is sitting at the bar. (He has seen her do it all day). He buys her off with a little bit of money and a Rolex to let Sandra go. However, the watch was fake, so when the shakedown artist gave him money to make up the difference, Max conned her.

Read: Sharper Review

Max takes Sandra under his wing to teach her how to be a con artist. He runs Sandra through not how to repeat lies but to believe them. Max even ran a con on a married business person. Max shows up when she gets him to his room, pretending to be her jilted lover. Sandra receives the cheating guy to leave the hotel room while she calms him down, and they take what they can get. However, not before they kiss in the bedroom.

Sharper Ending Explained

Max shows up in a swanky New York City penthouse owned by his mother, Madeline, and her new husband, Richard. He is a billionaire worth over 9 billion in assets. What is the con? He has a friend pretending to be a police officer and arresting him for attempting to buy drugs. You may find it odd that the officer would bring Max up as a common courtesy. So does Madeline, who sniffs out Max’s plan. She slaps her son and tells him to leave.

What is Madeline and Max’s Secret?

Madeline and Max’s secret is that they are lovers, not mother and son! How do we know this? A few scenes later, we see Madeline confront Max in a different apartment, kissing him. Max meets Richard at his office. We then learn his son, Tom (yes, that very one), had some money recently stolen from him. Richard offers Max a job for $60,000 a month to travel around on the company’s dime (and out of Richard’s home). Max counters and wants a year’s pay upfront. Richard fills him with a duffel bag of green cabbage, and he leaves, meeting Madeline at that local dive bar, celebrating their score. However, Madeline calls Max the next day to tell him that she is staying with Richard and he can keep the money. She also calls the cops on him at his apartment. Max escapes out the back.

How does Madeline inherit Richard’s fortune?

Richard dies, and Madeline inherits 99% of the estate and is made a trustee of the foundation’s charity. Tom is made head of the charity.

He is upset, but Madeline asks him to stay in the apartment. Tom hires his father’s investigative team to find Sandra and what happened to the money. Madeline knows that Max hired Sandra to steal Tom’s money. She tries her best to persuade him to drop it, but they find Sandra and then have her detox in Madeline’s penthouse. She admits she had help in the confidence game. Of course, when she enters the room, Sandra is holding up; they come clean because they both know Max and who each other is. Sandra will leave only if Madeline arranges a meeting with Max. They meet in an empty parking lot near a bridge in the background.

When they do, Sandra pushes and yells at him for leaving her. Then, Tom shows up with his private investigators and proves to Tom all three were part of the con to steal his inheritance. Tom confronts Madeline, screaming, and steals a gun from his hired supporters. Before he pulls the trigger, Sandra knocks the gun away. Madeline picks it up, and Tom confronts her, drawing the weapon toward his chest. As they yell at each other, the gun goes off, and Tom falls backward and dies on the concrete. To convince the henchman it was an accident, Madeline will transfer the entire amount to Tom’s charitable foundation.

How does Tom steal back his inheritance? 

Tom steals back his inheritance by running a con game on Madeline, tricking her into transferring the money to Tom’s charity! Here is how. All three are made to leave New York and board a plane when Sandra goes to the bathroom before taking off. Madeline tells Max that she still controls the money because she is a trustee on the charitable board. That’s when she notices that Tom’s blood on her shirt is not blood. It was a con game, and Tom arranged it with Sandra. The supporters were also conmen. Now, Tom is in charge of the 9 billion dollar estate. He pays out his team at the bookstore, and Sandra asks Tom to dinner.

What did you think of the ending of the Apple TV+ movie Sharper? Comment below.

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