21 Movie Twists That You Think Actually Worked
Some people like films that are Important, while others like movies with explosions. Us, we like plots (that focus on Important explosions). Y'know, stories with actual surprises. So we asked readers to tell us some of their favorite twists.
Spoilers are ahead, of course. Though, sometimes, readers don't actually describe the twist when explaining why they like it. Also, we're being pretty broad with our definition of "twist" here, so merely hearing that the following titles have twists shouldn't spoil anything for you.
"Oh to be young and exposed to Hot Fuzz again," says Gavin D. "Twists upon twists culminating in one of the greatest reveals ever put to film. When an entire movie is a school of red herrings, it's easy to miss the Great White Plot Point's formidable fin silently slicing through the water toward you."
"The Saw series was definitely dragged out way longer than necessary," says Alyssa N, "but the twist in the first one was pretty great." Ernest R. and Natosha G. recall wild audience reactions in the theater: "The entire place went to hooting and hollering when the guy stood up."
Cabin In The Woods
Douglas P says "Cabin in the Woods had me shouting, 'WHAT!?!' in the movie theater. And one of the best parts was that no one -- and I mean no one -- gave away the ending. It's a weird cultural phenomenon. If you find out someone hasn't seen the movie yet, everyone who has, will instantly stop talking about the movie and tell the person who hasn't seen it yet, to just watch it. And then they exchange some glances, smile, and stop talking about it altogether. It's crazy!!"
The Sixth Sense
"That guy in the movie," says David M. "That was Bruce Willis the entire time. Such a good twist!" More seriously, London H. tells us, "The Sixth Sense was literally perfection. You can't tell me the first time you saw that movie you weren't completely aghast at the twist. It was perfectly done too, like it could've been a terrible twist ... but it wasn't. There's a reason M. Night was once a respected director."
Stewart M. calls out the mysterious Rosebud from Citizen Kane. "Kane lived a life of success and wealth, but he spends his last moments fantasizing about the normal life he missed out on. Even if you know the ending, the twist still works!"
Unlike most twist endings, says Christopher F., Shutter Island's "was properly built up to the entire time so that it felt like a legit revelation instead of it coming out of nowhere. All the little things that felt like mistakes in filming (DiCaprio's character not being able to handle his gun proficiently) suddenly turned into 'Ooooooohhhhhh' moments after the big reveal."
Sorry To Bother You
"The end of Sorry to Bother You," says Mylene S. "The whole movie is pretty surreal, but no one is ready for that final act. It's bonkers. It works perfectly well with the story, but there's no way anyone can predict that ending. I cannot be more specific without spoiling it." We actually don't have a clip of the ending, and we're not even going to show you a trailer. This is one film you're best off going into totally blind.
Now You See Me
We've written a couple of times about how this movie's twist makes zero sense, so it's nice to hear that at least some people were able to enjoy it. Says Elizabeth W., "While in the theater, I genuinely wondered about Jack's 'death.' At first I, thought it was staged, then was slowly convinced it wasn't, to be proved right at the end. And don't even get me started on the 'No ... no ... no way!' moment with Rhodes' reveal in the jail cell at the end. Only really started figuring it out halfway through Morgan Freeman's monologue."
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Iron Man 3
Like many people, Chris C. says he didn't like the twist about the Mandarin character at first. "But there was no way to make the racist caricature from the comics work in the modern day, and though the real villain was nothing to write home about, I found the misdirection very clever and one of the most memorable moments of the MCU. 'You'll never see me coming!'"
One reader, Josh G., tells us, "Well, you cannot count any of the films if there was a BOOK first!" We're not totally sure what he means by that, and other readers were a lot more open to book adaptations. Notes Eric H., "Chuck Palahniuk thought the Fight Club movie did an excellent job with the twist, and after reading it (well after the movie), I thought so too. It was more obvious in the book; having two actors on screen made it seem much more like two separate people."
Related: 27 Facts About The 27 Club
Back To The Future
Wait, what was the twist in Back to the Future? Mike J. explains: "They set up adult Lorraine to be such a prude. Then suddenly BAM she's a teenage horndog." Huh. It's been so long since we saw the film for the first time, we don't even remember what we originally thought teen Lorraine would be like.
"The twists in Knives Out," says Emm M, "especially the big story reveal, don't cheapen the experience, and help drive the mystery while strengthening Marta's character." Lots of people have good things to say about this film. Says Anna H., "I could watch this movie over and over," and Dan H. says, "I kept thinking I knew what would happen next and was regularly fooled."
"Coherence was an insane movie twist," says Sergio K. This is another one where you're best off knowing absolutely nothing going into it, so here's an early clip, which tells you almost nothing:
Emm C. calls the reveal about Hans "honestly the first time a twist in a kids' movie has ever truly surprised me." Lex T. offers some behind-the-scenes info about this. "
Planet Of The Apes
You'd be lucky to see some of these movies without hearing of the famous twist first. Joseph L. said he liked
The Crying Game
Jen R. picks
"The twist in
"Possibly the most brutal twist ever," says David S. "Took a lot of guts to end the movie the way they did." The twist was too much for some people, however. Says Luther A., "It would've been a LOT better if not for the god awful crying scene immediately afterward."
You might have some trouble identifying what the twist was in Jurassic Park, but destroytheuniverseplz explains it for us: "We made gender-swapping mutant dinosaurs before we could really treat HIV, before we had prenatal genetic screening, had universal Healthcare in the character's home of the USA […] It's brilliant, and funny as shit." We don't know if she's being serious.
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The Usual Suspects
A couple readers, like James S., picked The Usual Suspects. Andrew W. mentions how even most of the cast didn't know the ending -- each actor had been led to believe that he was Keyser Soze. They only learned the truth at a preview screening, leading at least one of them to angrily confront the director outside.
Kyle C. nominates "Vader being Luke's father, and Lisa being his sister to a lesser extent." We agree -- that sounds like quite the twist.