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The 30 Greatest Plot Twists in Movie History

26 June 2015 | Features, Film Lists | by Joao Vieira

best original screenplay

“Spoiler alert”. A good plot twist can turn a good movie into an excellent one, but an awesome plot twist turns a movie into part of cinema history. This list contains some of the greatest plot twists ever created for a film, while others are just awesome and audiences can’t avoid loving them.

This list tries to avoid ambiguous endings. If the directors wanted the interpretation to be left open, they deserve to be that way.

Finally, there is the idea that what the viewer didn’t totally see coming makes the entire film worth watching. From Alfred Hitchcock to M. Night Shyamalan and David Fincher, these directors are all known for twists that turned their movies into some of the most recognized of all time.

Nothing satisfies us more than seeing a story shift upside down in a blink of an eye.

This list contains spoilers.


30. Sleepaway Camp (Robert Hiltzik, 1980)

Sleepaway Camp

This is a case in which a great plot twist turns an awful movie into one that should be seen just because of the ending. Angela is a shy child sent to a summer camp. After she arrives, a number of sliced and diced bodies start appearing, courtesy of a mysterious killer.

The plot twist: Angela’s name is actually Peter and he/she is the real killer.


29. Orphan (Jaume Collet-Serra, 2009)


In this underrated movie, a young couple (played by Vera Farmiga and Peter Sarsgaard) who recently lost a child adopts a little nine-year-old from Russia named Esther, who reveals a certain inability to fit into her new family.

The plot twist: Esther is a 33-year-old named Leena Klammer with a growth disorder and mental disability who is trying to kill her new family.


28. Gone Baby Gone (Ben Affleck, 2007)


Patrick Kenzie (Casey Affleck) and Angela Gennaro (Michelle Monaghan) are detectives looking for a missing girl named Amanda. The search leads the pair through a circle of Boston’s drug dealers, including members of the police force. They end up thinking Amanda has fallen off a mountain and died.

The plot twist: Amanda is alive, safe and has been hiding in Captain Jack Doyle’s (Morgan Freeman) house the entire time.


27. Secret Window (David Koepp, 2004)

secret window

Based on a Stephen King novel, this film concerns a depressed writer, Mort Rainey (Johnny Depp), who has isolated himself for six months after he caught his wife cheating on him.

Now in the process of a divorce and struggling to come up with an idea for a new book, he is surprised by the sudden appearance of a stranger from Mississippi named John Shooter (John Turturro). The man claims that one of Rainey’s most successful novels (“Secret Window”) is in fact a plagiarism of something Shooter wrote several years ago.

As Mort digs around searching for proof that he wrote his story before John Shooter wrote his version, this mysterious man becomes more threatening and aggressive. First he kills Mort’s dog, a couple of people die, and Mort’s old house where his soon-to-be-ex-wife lives is burned down.

Along the way it is also revealed that Rainey is not only an insomniac but also suffers from schizophrenia as he talks several times with voices in his head.

The plot twist: John Shooter is actually a hallucination of Rainey’s psychosis, and the things John Shooter did were actually Mort Rainey’s actions. Also, “Shooter” actually means “shoot her” as an expression of Mort’s inner desire to kill his wife.


26. The Game (David Fincher, 1997)


Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a wealthy banker and a workaholic alienated from everyone, including his wife and brother. Suddenly, his brother Conrad (Sean Penn) appears offering him a present for his 48th birthday, which was their father’s age when he committed suicide.

The present is a ticket to a game, which Conrad promises will change Nicholas’s life. Due to a series of scary events during the course of this game, Nicholas starts to fear for his life and ends up cornered on a roof where he kills his brother.

The plot twist: The game itself is really just a game and nobody really died. It was all a big prank orchestrated by Conrad and a company named CRS to prevent Nicholas from repeating his father’s fate.


25. The Machinist (Brad Anderson, 2004)


This bleak thriller showcases Christian Bale in one of his best performances. Trevor Reznik (Christian Bale) is a factory worker who has not been sleeping for more than a year. Now, his body and mind suffer the consequences of his lack of rest (Bale lost more than 60 pounds for this role).

Trevor finds himself stalked by a guy named Ivan who sends several malicious messages to his apartment. Reznik starts to believe Ivan wants to kill him.

The plot twist: Ivan is a product of Trevor’s troubled mind and represents a feeling of guilt from a previous episode in Trevor’s life (a hit and run involving a small boy).


24. Donnie Darko (Richard Kelly, 2001)


After an airplane crashes into the bedroom of a schizophrenic high school student named Donnie Darko (Jake Gyllenhaal), a messenger of the apocalypse visits him, a life-sized rabbit named Frank who has some bad ideas.

The plot twist: The entire movie is left open to the viewer, and what’s fascinating in “Donnie Darko” is that it’s all revealed that what is experienced by the main character throughout the movie was an hallucination he had right before the airplane’s jet engine crashed into his bedroom.



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  • Terry Powell

    What, no Body Heat? That was the first Film I thought of.

  • Arnaldo Fernandez

    “Serbian film”?…..nah, just kidding 😀

  • Rui

    “Una pura formalità”

  • Dawn Valley

    No “High Tension”?

  • Carolyn Theriault

    Witness for the Prosecution ?????

    • RealBull

      “Witness For The Prosecution” (1957)
      I agree. That was one of the best twists at the end. One of the few movies that had me fooled at the end. Too bad not a lot of people know about it.

      • Luv

        What was the twist at the end? His wife set it up?

        • RealBull

          Sorry, no spoilers here. You have to watch the movie. Even a hint would spoil it.

  • Tata Adong


  • Gines Velazquez

    memento and irreversible…

  • Sahil Sachdeva

    First of all you shouldn’t reveal plot twists ever and especially in a list of greatest plot twists in movie history.

    Also in donny darko there is representation of two different timelines from the plane crash incident, so not everything was hallucinated by him.

    • What did you expect, a list about plot twists not telling you the actual plot twist? You do know why people read this article?

      • Sahil Sachdeva

        I expected a list describing those movies, not revealing spoilers

        • Scott Shill

          So, the line at the beginning stating, “This list contains spoilers.” didn’t tip you off that the list might actually contain spoilers?

          • Luv


        • Lakawak

          Guess what? The other 7 billion people on the planet don’t have to cater to YOUR entertainment viewing schedule. If you haven’t seen movies that are anywhere from 5 to SEVENTY FIVE years old, then don’t whine about having the ending spoiled.

          • Sahil Sachdeva

            I have seen them all, still for the sake of everyone else.

          • brent kaufman

            Ah, you complain, for the sake of others. Has the Vatican contacted you about being sainted yet? Silliness. No one had anything spoiled that they didn’t CHOOSE to have spoiled. So, don’t speak for others who are capable of reading the spoiler ALERT, and did read it at the beginning.

          • Lakawak

            And I repeat..the other 7 billion people don’t have to cater to ANY single person’s viewing habits.
            Shows and movies exist so fans can TALK ABOUT THEM. And no one should have to say “Oh wait…Johnny over there may have TIVOed it EIGHT YEARS AGO! We shouldn’t talk about it until we know for sure.

            I don’t care if you have seen them or not. You are still clearly under the impression that everyone should accommodate ONE person. Most of the movies on this list are several YEARS old. If someone hasn’t seen it by now, that is too bad. IT isn’t as if this article is revealing plot twists in Jurassic World, or Terminator Genisys or other movies that are still playing in theaters.

          • Jackie Jormpjomp

            Well not everyone has seen every f*cking movie made so ones they haven’t seen are new to them. A fan with a true appreciation of film would understand and respect that.

          • Lakawak

            That is fine! But don’t whine like a fu**ing little b*tch that people who HAVE seen it are talking about it YEARS later.

            My god.y cares about ANY aspect of your life. Nobody cares that you are alive or ever will. So why would you think that we would go out of our way to avoid you finding out about a movie from the last century?

            Guess what? Rosebud was a sled. The person in The Crying Game was a dude. Maggie shot Mr. Burns. And Bruce Willis was dead the entire movie of The Sixth Sense.

          • Jackie Jormpjomp

            No sweetheart, your whining. Some of us are looking out for other movie fans that have yet to see these films. But please, go ahead and just be a complete psychopath. Or put it in your manifesto and take your pill mate.

          • Mark

            * you’re

          • Luv

            Those people that you are alluring to should not be reading article about movies that they haven’t seen that warn of spoilers.

          • Luv

            Everyone else shouldn’t be reading the article. Just the people who want to know the spoiler.

          • Jackie Jormpjomp

            The irony of your idiotic statement boggles the mind. Because not everyone has the same viewing schedule is EXACTLY WHY YOU SHOULD BE A LITTLE MORE RESPECTFUL IN REGARDS TO SPOILERS. If you were any kind of film fan you would respect that.

          • Lakawak

            Like I said you worthless little c*nt…this is not a 2 month old movie we are talking about. Like your own parents. I don’t give a f*** about your life in any way. The only day you will matter to the world is he day of your suicide when you stop taking more than you give to society and start decomposing into fertilizer. So the fact that you think AQNYONE would worry about a movie that is over a decade old because you might go on the internet…my god THE INTERNET…a place for discussion…and the whole world has to tip toe around it because of you. If you don’t want to join in discussions on life…GET OFF THE INTERNET.

            You honestly should get used to this. No one will ever do anything for you. You are never going to mean anything to anyone. No one wants you around them. You will die a lonely little c*nt. Most likely via suicide when you realize that you will never know the feeling of love, sex, respect, accomplishment or happiness.

          • K.C. Fahel

            Well, THAT is a mature response. /endsarcasm

          • Jackie Jormpjomp

            Hahaha take your you whiney little girl

          • fonkeemonkee

            I am truly sorry that no one loves you. Please don’t go shoot up a movie theater.

          • Lakawak

            Plenty of people love me. You, on the other hand, already HAVE your suicide method planned out. Just your profile alone proves that.

          • fonkeemonkee

            You seem to have an unhealthy obsession with suicide, which is a side-effect of depression, which is a side effect of no one loving you.

          • luvprue1

            Which is why people have to police themselves, and not read any article that warn of spoilers.

          • Luv


        • Luv

          The synopsis describ the movie, this is a artcle about plot twist, so you know the “Plot Twist” will be revealed.

        • Well, then it would be a boring list.

      • Luv

        So true. If people don’t want to know, then they wouldn’t read it. It’s just that simple.

  • marcel

    El Cuerpo comes to my mind everytime.

  • Ted Wolf

    The Third Man, although the twist happens in the middle of the movie.

  • Luis Turizo Zapata

    What about “The best offer” by Giuseppe Tornator?

    • Dhanil

      Such a wonderful movie

  • Susan F

    Silly idea of a list. Many classic films have plot twists. Some really trashy films are listed. Please see Lone Star, John Sayles masterpiece has some story twist at the end. Most of the films this author names horror films and bad ones too. No taste is more like it.

  • Gary Hart

    Field of Dreams got me the first time I saw it. I thought the whole story was about Ray and Shoeless Joe. I cried for hours when Ray’s Dad showed up. I lost my Dad when I was 17, I never saw that twist coming. I watch it every Father’s Day and I like to think my Dad is watching it with me.

    • Leann Morris

      That was a good one and it very hard not to get a lump in the throat when you realize who that field was REALLY built for

  • Remy Gabel

    Lists like this are tough to read. I want to know what movies have great twists, but are not sure I want to read about it.

  • charlyaz

    “The Life of David Gale”, “Abre los Ojos” (or the american version, “Vanilla Sky), “Mr Nobody”, “Umbreakable”…

    • mákos

      Thumbs up for Abre los Ojos! It has an excellent music too.

  • Julio Alvarez

    You forgot The Number 23… That’s a huge plot twist..

    • fonkeemonkee

      Yeah, but that movie was shit.

      • Luv

        It wasn’t that bad.

        • Eye of The Dark Lord Sauron

          It was awful

  • Matthew Hewitt

    I personally think the twist in ‘The Village’ is one of the worst in cinema history and I’ve never encountered anyone before who’s rated it either. It wanders from being an interesting and atmospheric Brothers Grimm type-movie into Scooby Doo territory.

    • alstyle

      The worst and most improbable twist in movie history.

    • brent kaufman

      In the very first minute of the film the ending is given away when, at the meal, one of the men has a modern blazer with cheap gold buttons on the wrist, shown in a close-up.

      • Luv

        I didn’t notice that. Now when I rewatch it I will look for it

  • Pugsydoodle

    “The Usual Suspects” hands down! The Skywalker – Dart Vader reveal doesn’t even touch Spacey”s, “and like that…he’s gone.”

  • Michael Van Sise

    There are other theories about Fight Club, like Tyler not being the only hallucination. Marla isn’t real either, she has no reflection. She is the feminine side of his personality. All of the major characters are just different personalities coming and going and fighting for control of Jack’s mind.

  • Chuck Finley

    Sorry, but how did the “The Sting” miss this list? And, was anyone truly surprised by “I am your Father Luke” ?

    • Matt Moore

      At the time, yes.

    • MyTwoCents…

      You’re right. The Sting should be at the top of the list. Empire Strike Back should be nowhere near it.

  • Lisa Jenkins


  • TheRealDecoco

    You forgot Denzel Washington in that demon movie where the demon in Denzels voice was the narrator the entire time

    • Pj Emm

      I agree. That was good.

    • Reel School

      Fallen. Great flick.

    • Brian Daniel

      Tiiiiiiime, is on my side. yes it is!

    • Jacob Schenk

      What about Book of Eli, I love the twist in that movie. I had no idea, looking back I felt stupid that I didn’t realize it. It was so well done.

      • Jeff Gavin

        My sister and brother-in-law still don’t believe he was blind. I spent a half-hour arguing and going back through the movie.

      • Jacob Lyon Goddard

        I couldn’t tell if the film makers were stupid, they expected the audience to be stupid, or if the main character was a con-artist.
        A braille Bible is 21 volumes long.

  • Jim Dornan

    How could they possibly leave out Psycho?

    • Larissa

      Errr … they didn’t? It’s #6 …

      • Jim Dornan

        Oops, my bad. Thanks.

    • Assaf DarkMatter

      They didn’t

  • EstherSUE

    Rosebud was also the name Hearst gave to his mistress’s clitoris. Welles hated Hearst, thus, the reference.

  • vrbb

    donny darko wasn’t a hallucination

    • Gerardo Medina Pérez

      It could be, it’s one possible explanation

      • RobSolf

        Why would he have a hallucination? And how would he know about the plane engine in his hallucination before he was hit with it? It doesn’t make any sense, even in a movie that doesn’t make alot of sense.

        • Max

          Yeah, Donnie Darko wasn’t a hallucination, when the plane turbine fell off time went back a month to the beginning of October (when the movie begins and since Donnie was no longer restless and sleepwalking he was in his bed for the turbine to fall on him.

  • bang45

    the sixth sense—-a murder of crows—basic instinct—12 monkeys—gone girl–identity—case 39

  • Deanne Muir

    Not a bad article but it was really hard to read because of all the grammatical errors. I got a feeling that English isn’t the writer’s first language. And also, why on earth would you read this article if you didn’t want to know the plot twists? I just skipped over the movies I wanted to see but haven’t yet.

    • Lê Gia Long

      Forget the flaws man

  • David Alexander Harrison

    Re. Donnie Darko, you say “The entire movie is left open to the viewer,” but then state that “it’s all revealed that what is experienced by the main character throughout the movie was an hallucination he had right before the airplane’s jet engine crashed into his bedroom”; but that’s not the point at all. While it is possible it was all just an hallucination, and it’s never outright stated that it’s not, it’s left open for the viewer to believe that it all really did happen in a timeline that Donnie himself aborted in order to save Gretchen by sending the jet engine back through time to kill himself. The fact that the (disappointing) sequel S. Darko also apparently involves time-travel lends even greater credence to that interpretation.

    • Max

      S. Darko was made by a different director and Richard Kelly (director of Donnie Darko) said he didn’t have anything to do with it; however, I agree with your opinions on Donnie Darko, it didn’t seem like a hallucination to me the few times I have seen it so I’m going to have to rewatch it soon.

    • Sarah K

      It was time travel, watch the directors cut.

      • David Alexander Harrison

        This article refers to the cinematic cut. As I said, it is heavily implied that it’s time travel even in that cut.

  • samrp

    “Identity” !!!

    • Luv

      I loved identity plot twist.

      • Adam Baum

        how about Frailty. That had an awesome plot twist too. Loved Identity as well.

        • Marcia Smith

          Yes I agree, Frailty = awesome!

  • Pj Emm

    Vieira is just plain WRONG about Jacob’s Ladder. The main character was a soldier dying in an Army triage unit in Vietnam. He CONSTRUCTED the future where his son had died and his life was going to Hell. We are even told this by Aiello’s character.

    Now, I have to take everything else this so-called “film critic” has said. What a stupid waste.

    • Assaf DarkMatter

      Wait…that’s exactly what Vieira said, did you even read his spoiler?

      • Pj Emm

        I did, Assaf; perhaps you missed where he wrote:

        “The plot twist: Jacob was dying the entire time and he was on his deathbed. The flashbacks had him recalling key moments of his life in a dying hallucination.”

        The point is that there were NO key moments of his life; no marriage, no kid, no girlfriend or life as a postal worker. It was ALL a hallucination, much like what occurred in The Last Temptation of Christ, where the Devil appears whilst Jesus is on the cross, and shows him a life he might have had, were he not the Messiah. The connection here is that, apart from the dying, everything else was a hallucination/manipulation, up to and including Aiello’s trying, angelically, to have Robbins’ character choose to let go of his fear and die.

        • Matt Moore

          That is exactly what he is saying. It probably could have been better worded, but I knew what he meant. Quit jumping at the chance to correct someone and trying to look smart. You ended up doing the opposite.

          • Pj Emm

            Physician, heal thyself.

  • Lakawak

    What the hell? No one suspects Jason has come back from the dead in the original Friday the 13th.

  • Glenn Veteranyi

    No way out should be there as well….

    • Mekt_Ranzz

      “The Big Clock” (1948) on which it is based is pretty good too, but it doesn’t have much of a twist ending.

  • Israel

    I would have added Scream to that list. On top of you not knowing who was he killer they were actually two.

  • Tom Reilly

    The end of Citizen Kane is NOT a twist, it’s just a (horrible) reveal of an untold fact! Also, the end of Saw is not only NOT a twist, but from a story point of view, it doesn’t make any sense as to why he would need to be lying in the bathroom the whole time!!!

  • brent kaufman

    If this author plans on making his living as a professional word smith, he should be absolutely ashamed of himself for not knowing the language he uses to make his living. Regardless of what this author’s first language is, he should at least learn the concept of “PROOF READING” before printing it.

    If as I began to think, and someone else has suggested, this is not the author’s first language, keep in mind that it is the readers’ first language, so he should have respect for his audience and either get an English speaking friend or hire a proofreader.

    The list is fine. Of course it is. It’s a freaking list, not the great American novel. Even still, have some respect for your audience.

  • K.C. Fahel

    SO glad that “Les Diaboliques” made the cut! I remember when I first saw it, the movie actually had a disclaimer, asking the audience to PLEASE not give the twist ending away!

  • RealBull

    How about “A Beautiful Mind”? That was a good one.

  • Allister Cooper

    Regarding the Crying Game, I knew that she was actually…not what she was. The arms were a dead giveaway. No woman I’ve seen has arms like those. I thought, ‘Those can’t be a woman’s arms, no way.’ And I wasn’t mistaken. Interesting movie, but the hit-woman was the best character, and yep, she’s the one on the poster.

  • glenister_m

    I found Seven to be a terribly predictable movie. Watching it the first time, with someone who had already seen it, I stated “There’s the killer!” when Spacey first takes photos of Morgan and Brad, and they asked if I had seen it before. I also guessed the ending since I thought Brad’s character was pretty stupid, not putting his wife under protective custody when he knew that Spacey knew where he lived.

    For good plot twists, how about ‘Sleuth’, ‘Deathtrap’, or ‘House of Long Shadows’.

    • Laurette MissChaos LaLiberte

      The identity of the killer wasn’t the twist, it was how the fulfillment of the series of murders was orchestrated by the killer that was the twist

  • Jackie Jormpjomp

    No Way Out, Shining, Night of the Living Dead (like a punch to the gut that shocking end twist), Malice (the plot twists threatened credibility more than once but they were very amusing and you have to admire a movie that tricks the audience about what the mystery actually even is), The Game, but for different reasons pointed pointed out on the list (the very last shot…is the game even over?), DEAD AGAIN(!) such an awesome twist, Blow Out (the main character’s solution to his film long dilemma is messed up and heartbreaking), North by Northwest, Maltese Falcon, Laura (and it’s kind of remake Sharky’s Machine) flips the script about a main character’s fate half way through, Dead of Winter, Forbidden Planet (the grand daddy of the good guy is the bad guy but doesn’t know it twists), Slueth (the whole movie), Deathtrap (completely yanks the rug out twice in the first 30 minutes or so), GAMBIT(!) another of the greatest movie twists in history, Dressed to Kill to name a few more worthy entries.

    • Luv

      I love the plot twist in malice because I didn’t see it coming

    • MyTwoCents…

      Interesting you mention Blow Out since it’s a remake of Blow Up with a retooling of the same twist. Kinda like Vertigo being remade as Body Double.

  • Stoner Ninja

    The twist reveal of “The Prestige” is incorrect. Bale’s character did not have a twin brother. He used the machine to make one clone, then used that single clone for all his illusions, as opposed to Jackman’s character creating and killing multiple clones.

    • Melloweiss Sagre

      he did has a twin brother. Coz that’s what he and his wife is fighting about .sometimes he loves her , sometimes not. because Bale switch with his twin brother to perform magic.

    • Eric Schultz

      Bale had his twin and was doing his transforming man act well before he supposedly went to visit Tesla. His twin was with him when he did the bullet catch.

    • Mark

      Wrong. Watch it again.

  • Joey Faust

    What about Scream!! I thought that was a good one!!!

  • Bokfan Saffer

    Kaizer Soze is actually the name of the sauce in the bottle on the table in one of the scenes. Translated from german it means Kaizer’s Sauce. Dont tell me you missed it.

    • Unkle Amon

      Nice one but it was Keyser.

  • Jesse Ashby

    Shutter Island and The Secret Window were not good movies with plot twists. You know ten minutes into each film that they were the “other person”. Also, when I was in sixth grade I read “Running Out of Time” (which came out in 1996), which is almost exactly the movie The Village. M. Night Shayamalan probably thought no-one would notice a movie based on an idea stolen from a book read by 12 year old girls.

  • Jamie Pinson

    Please look up one of the sites explaining the Donnie Darko movie to you. It was not a hallucination and it’s nowhere near as simple as that. You have yet to understand or enjoy the true genius of that movie. It has to do with time travel, alternate universes and our prime universe which is about to be destroyed, not hallucinations. Try this site for a good explanation on the movie and then rewatch it.

    • RobSolf

      IMO, it was accidental genius, as the director’s cut removes almost everything that was great about it.

      • Max

        I haven’t seen the director’s cut but Donnie Darko is one of my favorite movies and this Halloween I’m going to watch the director’s cut.

      • MyTwoCents…

        I hate Donnie Darko ever since I saw the director’s cut. Way to shit the bed, Kelly.

        • RobSolf

          It was terrible. Even simply adding the sound FX in places like the Jet engine removal scene. By removing the music and having all the mundane machine noise, it ruins the dreamy WTF feel of the original scene.

          Just one of many examples.

          • MyTwoCents…

            It seems like one of those films that was successful due to some good decisions being made in the editing suite. After seeing that horrific mess that is Southland Tales I realised Richard Kelly is a hack who started to believe he was a genius after Donnie Darko was universally praised.

          • RobSolf

            You very well could be right.

            At first, I thought he’d tried to go “Lynchian”, and/or maybe just have respect for his audience to come to whatever conclusion they chose. And then he opened the website that tried to fill in all the blanks. Still, I thought it was just a guy eager to drop hints about his concepts; maybe even a little defensive about character motivation. No big deal.

            But the DC version and its commentary blew it for me. So much of what made the movie feel so surreal turned out to be due to a budget shortfall. The Tech theme sucked out alot of the emotion.

            I wish I’d never seen the DC version. Ignorance truly is bliss.

          • MyTwoCents…

            You watched it! You can’t unwatch it!
            I think Kelly falls into that category/generation of filmmakers that think storytelling and exposition are the same thing. The Wachowskis are a prime example. And don’t get me started on Prometheus…

  • Carol Berry Nellis

    Had the wrong movie listed for Gone Baby Gone… Sheesh, get it right.

  • Dan

    Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Not that Judge Doom was the killer, we all knew that, but that Judge Doom was a toon and Eddie’s brothers killer.

  • jwujwu

    How about the twist at the end of The Mist? It is terrifying…

  • buddychrist

    Uh… Charlton Heston is now Charles? I loved the twist in The Skeleton Key – an underrated movie IMO. And for those who didn’t read the books the twist in the Harry Potter series when a certain character turned out to be not what they thought was a shock.

  • Ioana Stroia

    the next bigest plot twist ever: jon snow is a targaryen and the promised prince

  • Joan Lue

    Oh yes Witness for the Prosecution is one of the great ones. They are all so convincing no one sees it coming!

  • skeekie

    Correction about Jacob’s Ladder….it wasn’t a flashback he was on his deathbed in Vietnam and in the few minutes before he died his mind conjured an entire life after the war…it is a version of a story called “Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” which was also made into a Twilight Zone episode

  • Jeremy Vengevine Grimes

    Okay The Village was awful. Get it off the list

  • Syed Iftekhar Ashar

    Two thousand maniacs

  • El ZoRRo

    This list fails utterly in refusing to recognize Lucky Number Slevin. To me, it was the all time jaw dropper, but I wouldn’t have felt the need to comment if it were anywhere on this list.

  • KennethL

    The got Donnie Darko completely wrong. The entire movie takes place in an unstable alternate universe that is in the process of collapsing. Ho do i know? They pretty much say that in the director’s cut. The crazy old physics lady turns out to be not crazy after all.

    • Sarah K

      Thank you! Thought I was the only one to disagree. They need to go watch the director’s cut and read the movie book.

  • Michael Van Sise

    Fight Club goes even deeper, some things are a lot more subtle. Helena Bonham’s character is not real either, she has no reflection in mirrors. Marla and Tyler are personalities fighting for control of Jack’s mind. The masculine and feminine sides of his mind. There is even more weirdness here:

    • Eric Schultz

      What’s even weirder is that some genius in marketing at Avery Labels put Tyler Durden’s name and address on the packaging.

  • TheOct8pus

    THANK YOU for putting The Empire Strikes Back here….most of us know the twist because we haven’t been living under a rock for the past 30 years. However, there’s a whole generation of kids who don’t know this twist, and who should enjoy the movie like we did back in the 80’s…..too bad George Lucas ruined the surprise by creating 3 terrible prequels, that not only spoil one of the greatest twists in modern cinema, they also spoil other parts of the original movies.

  • TheOct8pus

    Another lesser-known, but equally good film with an amazing twist at the end is “Faults”. If you have Netflix, check it out.

  • HLLH

    The Skin I Live In?

  • Raman Kumar

    Dead Silence ……

  • Michael James Roy Wood

    You missed the point of Donnie Darko…
    The twist is that God exists. And time travel exists. The problem with time travel is that it allows for god’s plan (fate) to fail. Like a plane crashing into a town in the past. And preventing the pilot flying the plane. The paradox destroys gods plan and the universe with it. Donnie was chosen by God to correct it. So all the stuff he does is to ensure that certain things happen. You only find this out if you watch the extended cut AND read the philosophy of time travel. I think that’s the book in the film (?). But its an added extra on the dvd. It’s not open ended, just hard to understand.

    • Sarah K

      You can get most of that in the theater cut but directors and book does help. They had a Web site for a while too. It was pretty cool.

    • Trag’Deí Pfeeniks

      Dude only the turbine crashes in the past.

    • MyTwoCents…

      Watch out, you’re straying in Southland Tales territory there…

  • TeoTheGreek13

    12 Monkeys?

  • AlekT

    While sixth sense is ONE of my favourites, the other is sadly missing from this list. Predestination.

  • Trevor Anthony Thornicroft

    The person moaning about this article ruining films makes me laugh. The article is specifically about PLOT TWISTS!! The only way this person wouldn’t realise it contains spoilers is if he didn’t read the title at the top. In case anyone stumbles onto this article who feel like this person, the title’s in huge letters. Anyone who doesn’t want the storylines of any of these films ruined for them, will choose not to read on. Simple as. It’s called self control.

  • Jeff Gavin

    This is the 3rd or 4th list like this that I’ve seen that doesn’t mention Frailty, starring Mathew McConaughey and Bill Paxton. That movie had a double twist.

  • Randy Bradford

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but in Primal Fear I thought the twist wasn’t that Ed Norton’s character didn’t have multiple personalities, it’s that he DID but the “original” personality wasn’t the one everyone thought it was.

    • Eric Schultz

      No, it was as they stated. Gere’s character catches him in a mistake, an inconsistency between the personalities, and that is when Norton starts clapping as he confirms the meek personality was fake. He had already been tried and aquitted so it didn’t matter at anymore.

  • Khadijah Jadimom Brinson

    identity ????????

  • mike hayes

    The Mist???????

  • Samuel Guterman

    Fight Club? Shutter Island? The Usual Suspects?

  • QR YoungAdultMinistry

    Ummm…. No. Donnie Darko was actually a creative re-make of the Last Temptation of Christ (if you remember, LTOC was the other movie playing in the theater when they go to the movies). They make that pretty clear in the deleted scenes as well. Donnie is the Christ character. He gets to see what would happen if he were NOT to die, how this would affect all the people he cares about, and so he willingly lays down his life for others,

    • Trag’Deí Pfeeniks

      No he doesn’t kill the rabbit guy so he never wakes up and dies in the original but he leaves the destroyed town with the girl universe as the paradox rips it apart

  • Christina Karen

    I disagree with the plot twist in The Prestige…Borden used Teslas machine only once producing his clone while Angier cloned himself over and over again..

    • jithindurden

      You still don’t get Borden never used Teslas machine he was trying to trick Angier into a dead end because he thought that machine would never really work like that , they were twins all along their whole life they kept it a secret for the trick , watch the movie again there are clues all over the movie besides it was explained in the movie

      • MyTwoCents…

        Yeah they were pretty clear on the twins thing in the flashback/reveals at the end. To me the clever thing about Borden’s part of the story was that they were practically screaming the answer at the audience with the wife and the knot and Cutter insisting Borden was using a double but we just didn’t want to see it. Very nice sleight of hand.

        • jithindurden

          Especially when the wife kills herself she’s screaming about knowing his secret that clearly indicates what it actually is, but we still didn’t want to see it, that’s the brilliance of the movie

  • Olivia Cossette

    How about the one in Frozen?
    “Oh, Anna. If only there was someone out there who loved you.”

  • Bobby Calloway

    Loved the plot twist of The Skeleton Key, that one floored me. Atonement has a good one too.

  • Rodrigo Racchumi

    I think “Dogville” should be there, just my opinion:)

  • ars15_29

    Donnie Darko is not hallucinating before he died, it’s a story about time travel. The Plot Twist is when the rabbit is not an alien or mystical guidance, but a man who killed by Donnie Darko if he didn’t manage to survive the accident.

    • Trag’Deí Pfeeniks

      But he killed him first causing a paradox

  • Will Wuorinen

    “The Village”? I watched it with a group of people. We had it figured out in the first reel.

  • could someone elaborate a bit more on “Jacob’s Ladder?” What was Jacob dying of?

    • Unkle Amon

      He was already dead. Died in Vietnam, spent entire, “new” life in a LSD flash.

  • Unkle Amon

    Nice list but Seven should be rated higher.

  • Maximus Decimus

    O.k a small correction in shutter island well according to my view since scorsese gave us an open ending , i believe teddy is a Marshall sent to expose the hospital but brainwashed all the way down , the ice pick shown at the ending & sheenan making a ‘ teddy ‘ reference are the reasons i believe this ending & I don’t even care what scorsese himself said later about it .

    • Cygnifier

      Think of the twist of Dr. Caligari — this was an important context for Scorsese in making Shutter Island. It is in many ways a remake of that silent film.

      • Maximus Decimus

        Dr.caligari ending is more complex than shutter island it leaves you with nothing , but Scorsese left way too many holes intentionally to sell it high , so i will definitely buy the ending with teddy being sane all the time .

    • Trag’Deí Pfeeniks

      Read the book. The story is told by the doctor playing his partner who escapes the island with the nurse pretending to be the missing girl. He he exclaims how he was sorry for what he did to the main character. Also the main character was sent by a US Senate there undercover. They was drugging his cigarettes also.

  • Zach

    Lol the twist from The Machinist sucked. It was revealed halfway through and then spent the whole second half pretending it didn’t reveal the twist only to reveal it a second time at the end and be all like “woahhh.”

  • Cygnifier

    Uh, what about the original plot twist movie: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)????? I’d add the short film An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge too– viewers are brought back to reality with a jerk.

  • Nithin M Sivan

    Mulholland drive,Vertigo

  • Indira Iman

    It’s a crime to missed the legend: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”. Imo it’s far superior than Psycho.

  • Luvita

    How about “Comic 8”, indonesian movie, that have good twist ending.

    How about “Drishyam”, india movie, that also have nice twist ending.

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  • Billy Joe Delong

    the robin william’s movie what dreams may come should be included as well.if you haven’t seen it it’s worth the time.don’t want to ruin it for anyone

    • K.C. Fahel

      “What Dreams May Come” is one of the very few Robin Williams movies that I’ve seen… that I never wish to see again. I found it soul-crushing.

  • Shawn Balboni

    How about The Gift? I thought that movie had quite a few goood twists, and the ending…well, it was brilliant

  • Trag’Deí Pfeeniks

    Since they put something inspired by it. How about ‘to serve humans’. Plus snowpiercer

    • Mark

      Do you mean ‘To Serve Man’ (the ‘Twilight Zone’ episode)?

      • Trag’Deí Pfeeniks


  • Jimmy

    Your article is full of grammar and spelling mistakes, but other than that I really enjoyed it!

  • shark

    I thought for sure the robin Williams movie “dead again” would be here.

  • Chuck Hobbs

    Jacob’s Ladder’s twist is a little more than a deathbed vision. It is about the main character being given the choice to fight for his life or give up. While he lies dying in Vietnam, his guardian angel (the chiropractor) is giving him glimpses of what his life will be if he holds on and survives. In the end, he chooses not to live that life.

  • Cássia Sousa

    Mulholland Drive.

  • Liz Avalos

    I think “The skin I live in” with Antonio Banderas should be included. I mean, I had no idea SPOILER ALERT the woman he kept locked up was actually the guy that had raped his daughter a while back and that he had performed surgery to turn him into a woman. And what about Black Swan? you knew since the beginning Nina had a problem, but we didn’t know she actually killed herself at the end when they make you think she killed Lily. And of course, a Beautiful Mind should be here too. Sorry about the spoilers btw

    OH, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, talking about major plot twist, can somone explain to me what the fuck happens at the end of The Shinning? I mean, was Jack already dead? Was he a ghost? How come there’s a photo of the Overlook Hotel back in 1921 with Jack Torrence there?

  • Gabriel Ferreira

    Nine Queens, by Fabián Bielinsky, and the Academy Awards winning The Secret in their Eyes, by Juan José Campanella.

  • Davide Capodaglio

    How about Blade Runner. Epic twist and very finely executed.

  • VChild

    No Way Out.

  • TJ

    Explanation of Donnie Dario is completely wrong. None of it was a hallucination. It was all real. That’s why other people remembered the things that happened after Donnie died.

  • Samantha Sones

    hide and seek

    • Mark

      Which one? There are 5 movies with that title in the last 10 years alone.

  • Amy

    Sixth sense should be number 1. Throughout the movie I had no clue,he was a ghost.until the end of course.

  • Benigno Moon

    what about Witness for the Prosecution? I watched it today, and I wasn’t expecting that plot twist at the end, when everything seemed to have ended

  • MasonP

    Somebody else fell for the two commentary tracks on Memento and believes there is a definite ending. There isn’t. It’s ambiguous. Every place Chris Nolan has stated one solution, he appeared elsewhere and said the exact opposite. Amusing how many people don’t grasp the whole point of the movie.

  • GechPech

    Arlington was great too.

  • Nikos Ikonomidis

    The ninth gate, perhaps.

  • Maciek

    Have you ever seen The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari??? Without this movie this list is pointless.

  • Abhishek Mondal

    Starwar is not a twist, it is a joke. The best twist is still The Usual Suspects

  • Allister Cooper

    Regarding Crying Game, I could tell right away; the arms. I saw those arms and I thought, Those can’t be a woman’s arms. No way. I wasn’t that surprised.

  • fantail31

    ‘Dont Look Now’ is a glaring omission. Donald Sutherland chasing what he thinks is the ghost of his dead daughter through the streets of Venice but it turns out to be an evil murdering dwarf in a red raincoat!

  • Carl Edgar Consiglio

    The twist in shutter island is so subtle it’s a twist after what most ppl acknowledge as the twist. Secret Window sucked.

  • Aristo crazY

    100% agree with No 1.

  • MyTwoCents…

    No “Vertigo” on this list? Seriously? Possibly the greatest twist in any movie ever.
    How about the reveal of the killer at the end of “Profundo Rosso/Deep Red”?
    The reveal at the end of “Marebito” was pretty memorable too.
    Personally I believe The Village has no business being anywhere near this list. It was a mediocre movie that relied on an extremely obvious twist that, once you pick it 10 minutes into the movie, makes the rest of the movie a very tedious experience.

  • MyTwoCents…


  • Leann Morris

    The Village was SHIT!! That plot twist was so damn dumb and left open a lot of continuity problems. You didn’t mention The Wicker man, The Vanishing, and Don’t Look Now they had great “shocker” endings. On a sillier note Pirates of the Carribean had a good plot twist too

  • Mart8787

    Not happy with the Donnie Darko explanation as all the events are meant to take place in an alternate reality, one in which Donnie, the only person aware of the difference, is able to use superpowers which allowed him to flood the school, burn down Patrick Swayzes house and a myriad of other things. The whole point of the ending is he decides to die so the world can carry on, and actually the philosophy of time travel revolves around the choices time travellers are confronted with. Essentially, Donnie becomes a time traveller and when events reconnect he makes a conscious decision not to be part of it. Which is why he laughs, its not a hallucination, he was able to see the truth behind the world.

  • Abhishek

    The list is only for American films. There are lot of european films which could be included here like The body, Loft, The invisigble guest and many more.

  • sudip joshy

    Now you see me

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