Quoth The Dean:
Good as it is, Seven misses greatness by not quite finding the right way to end. All of the pieces are in place, all of the characters are in position, and then - I think the way the story ends is too easy. Satisfying, perhaps. But not worthy of what has gone before.An interesting perspective. I agree that the setup of the ending is about perfect, and love how Doe manipulates Mills into killing him. But Ebert has a point... what if, after shooting Doe, a totally crazed Mills had then turned the gun on himself? I know these noir movies exist in a kind of alternate universe, in which life is never fair, but the movie makes a big point of more or less existing within the US legal system, and if something like this happened in real life there isn't a governor in the country who wouldn't give Mills a full pardon for his crime. His personal tragedy would of course still be devastating, but he'd be famous, easily able to afford the best counseling possible, and (when he's ready) find a new girlfriend also.
Seven's ending is certainly satisfying, as Ebert says, but after watching the brain-blastingly raw climax of The Mist, I do agree that Fincher's movie could have used even more kick at its finish.