Dec 21 2010

Five Movie Ending Twists You Had No Clue Were Coming

Published by at 9:00 am under Movies

Everyone loves a good plot twist.   Hell I loved “Luke, I am your father,” didn’t you?  But sometimes an entire movie ends up being a twist and that’s when you see some strokes of genius on the film’s part.  Rarely do we get baffled to the point that everything we’ve come to believe about a movie has been false yet at the same time all of it makes perfect sense.

Some movies throw in crap that just piss us off and make no sense for the sake of making no sense.  I’m not referring to that.  And I’m also referring to movies where I can safely say 100% of us couldn’t figure it out.

Here are my top five movies with twisted endings none of us could figure out…..

*Warning:  Spoilers Ahead

The Usual Suspects


When a daring heist goes bad, a U.S. customs officer Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) questions the weak Verbal Kint (Kevin Spacey) who reveals the legend of an elusive criminal mastermind named Keyser Soze.  Since Kujan has nothing on Kint, he ends up releasing him later realizing that his entire story was made up using words and names listed on his office wall.  We find out that Kint is in fact Soze.  No one, and I mean no one knew this ending was coming.

Primal Fear


An innocent man is convicted of crime.  Or is he innocent?  He actually has an alter ego which eventually changes his plea to insanity.   The character played by Edward Norton is a scared boy named Aaron.  It is his alter ego named Roy who committed the crime.  Roy is the psycho murder type.  We are lead to believe that Roy is the bad guy and Aaron is the innocent.  That Roy is the alter ego.  Turns out that all along it was the bad guy Roy, who concocted the character of Aaron to fool both the courts and his lawyer.  This is one of the best roles ever played by Ed Norton and is what put him on the map.

The Sixth Sense


A young boy who thinks he sees dead people gets help from a child psychologist.  Little do we know said psychologist is one of the dead people he sees.  I’m pretty sure no one could have predicted the ending of this movie.  I remember my mother telling me that she figured it out.  I’m sorry mom but there’s no way that you knew Bruce Willis’s character was dead.  There’s just no way.  And anyone out there claiming that they knew it all along is 100% wrong.

Fight Club


A mild mannered insomniac and soap salesman start a fight club that becomes destructive when Durden uses the club (Project mayhem) to vandalize the city.  Little do we know until near the end that these two individuals are the same person and we’re talking a major case of schizophrenia.   I for one didn’t see it coming and seeing the movie for a second time makes you really feel like a jackass.

The Game


For his 48th birthday a successful businessman Nicolas Van Orton receives a “game” as a gift from his brother that sends him into a series of dangerous and disturbing situations.  Is this game meant to be a trippy game or to destroy him?  It winds up being a trippy game but one that is not for the faint of heart.  The “game” actually leads to Van Orton wanting to kill himself only when he plummets he lands on an airbag to be greeted by his friends and family to celebrate his birthday.





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34 responses so far

  • Cartman86

    I saw Usual Suspects I think in 2001 or so. By that time I knew the film had a twist and I knew that Kevin Spacey was in it. He was also pretty famous by 2001, so as I was watching it I suspected him the entire time. Kind of ruined it.

  • joe

    I had the same thing with Saw. I just watched it this Halloween and I knew the whole time that the one dude (Ben from Lost) wasn’t the killer… as I knew it was Tobin Bell’s character. Was just waiting for him to show up.

  • KnowItAll

    ‘In Bruges’ didn’t have a twist ending, but it was like a perfect knot that tied up everything neatly.

    Also, ‘Oldboy’ had a kick ass Shakespearean ending I never saw coming.

    Then there’s all the horror movies that have a copy cat ending: ‘The Others’, ‘High Tension’, ‘Secret Window’, ‘Hide and Seek’, etc

  • Josh

    Sixth Sense was ruined for me before I saw it.

  • Bert

    I have to say, “Shutter Island” this year had both – a twist I expected, and a twist that I didn’t. That Scorcese…he’s still surprising people.

  • Godoyin

    My brother figured it out that Bruce Willis was a ghost mid way through the movie when we were seeing it for the first time … and he was 9 at the time and ruined the picture for all of us when ge get to the ending and he was right …

  • Guy Incognito

    I think you could make a much longer list adding Memento, Unbreakable, Psycho, Saw, 12 Monkeys, there’s lots more. I would’ve said The Prestige but I saw one of it’s twists coming, though one did still surprise me.

  • http://www.rankography.com Tonto

    Great lists of Big Plot Twists. I love these types of movies and I am a big fan of all 5 on your list.

    This is actually a very fun category at Rankography and several members have ranked it with the Best Movies with Big Plot Twists. Check out all the lists because you can discover a lot of other movies too watch in this category.

  • http://www.fivedaily.info Uncoolaidman

    I wish a better job had been done with I am Legend. If it followed the book a bit more closely, it could have had a very good twist ending. You see Will Smith as the hero the entire film, when really he is the monster to this new species.

    All the five on your list are deserving, I think you should maybe try a list of movies that wanted to have a twist ending but everyone saw coming. For example, the Prestige, a great movie but it would have been hard to not recognize the bearded assistant as Christian Bale.

  • http://hbcupride.deco-printing.com hbcupride.deco-printing.com

    Psyco had a twist ending?

  • beckett929

    Personally, the twist in The Machinist where Christian Bale realized he was the killer was pretty awesome.

  • thegreatfatsby

    As the knowitall above said, Oldboy had one of the most horrifying plot twists ever. Seriously messed up shit.

    I figured it out very near the end, just before it was revealed, but

  • thegreatfatsby

    It was still a nasty surprise and would make any father almost sick.

  • C

    I find it funny that you wrote (almost) this same list, two years ago… and it’s one of the “More Unreal Posts” linked directly under the article.

  • Safe

    “No. I am your father.” Not “Luke, I am your father”.

  • alejo699

    Insulting your readers by claiming “there’s just no way” they could have figured out Sixth Sense isn’t really wise. The information was all there, and I can tell you exactly when I figured it out: When Bruce and the kid crashed the wake and no one even noticed him.
    You can tell me I’m 100% wrong, but all it says is that you believe you’re smarter than anyone else who saw the movie.

  • EJ

    My wife claims she figured out The Sixth Sense as well. I call shenanigans on her. Afterall, she also hated Fight Club. Hey, why did I marry this chick?!?

  • Rip

    Se7en have a nice twist ending to… I loved the David Fincher movies… I have saw all the movies on the list. I putt the Memento to (Epic Movie).

  • Orion

    I predicted “Fight Club” about halfway through. But I’d previously seen “Secret Window” and probably a handful of other Multiple-personality twist movies, so I can’t chalk it up to complete ingenuity on my part.

  • George

    Well, you’re 100% wrong that I’m 100% wrong about the Sixth Sense.

    I was working at a small movie theater at the time, and since we were somewhat slow on opening night, I went inside to watch the first twenty minutes or so. Between Willis being shot and the “I see dead people” quote on all the previews, I figured that was what was going to be revealed (I thought it would be much earlier) and said as much to a friend before returning to the lobby. That theater still has intermission, so at the intermission my friend came out and told me that hadn’t happened. I was bummed, but figured I’d watch it that Sunday and be pleasantly surprised. Then, when the movie ended my friend came out and told me I had been right all along.

  • Stacy

    Million Dollar Baby would be on my list. No way I saw that ending coming from a boxing movie.

  • Michael

    Once everyone started saying that “The Sixth Sense” had a twist, I watched it and figured out what it was within the first half of the movie (Hint: Bruce Willis never changes his clothes, implying that he can’t change his clothes, implying that he’s a ghost). Also, it’s based on an episode of “Are You Afraid of the Dark” on Nickelodeon, so if you’ve seen that episode, you would find the plot device kind of familiar…

    “Fight Club” threw me for a loop (awesome surprise there). Hollywood agrees with me, apparently, because now it’s done so often that I can spot it a mile away, and I am not impressed anymore (“The Machinist” and “Secret Window” to name a couple).

    How was “The Game” ending a twist? This movie had one of the most rambling, retarded plots I’ve ever seen. If Michael Douglas’s character had in fact died I would have been genuinely surprised. Nothing in the movie evokes an epiphany or even a realistic reaction from the characters. The real twist is that people still think this turkey is a good movie, let alone worth remembering.

    Some other notable twists:
    The Empire Strikes Back (Vader is Luke’s father)
    Any Harry Potter movie
    The Dark Knight (The bad guy kind-of wins)
    Batman Forever (They actually let Joel Schumacher make another one)
    Lady in the Water (M. Night Shyamalan still has a career)
    Se7en (The bad guy actually wins)
    Back to the Future (Marty McFly is actually NOT his own grandfather, unlike every other time travel show in existence)

  • bronsonman

    You seem to have confused schizophrenia with multiple personality disorder in regards to fight club. schizophrenics do not have multiple personalities.

  • http://www.filmmatty.blogspot.com/category_archives/ Matt Vanacore

    Nicely packaged list. Kudos! The twist ending in The Usual Suspects was memorably brilliant — not being predisposed to much of the film’s premise prior to watching it completely enhanced my enjoyment of the final act. The montage scene in the detective’s office was masterful.
    The twist ending in Primal Fear is the stuff of Hollywood legend. Norton – one of my favorite actors – swept Hollywood by storm and set abuzz the insider community by beating out thousands of hopeful actors for the coveted role of Aaron. Not only is Norton’s accent spot on, but the physical machinations of his character’s ultimate ‘turn’ effuse goosebumps.
    I’m not going to unveil any spoilers but check out the new Ryan Reynolds flick, Buried — it’ll knock your socks off!

  • Celia

    I hate to burst your bubble…..But I DID figure it out at the beginning..as soon as the kid said I see dead people….so buddy…your ARE wrong…there are those out there who are a little more perceptive than you are you f ucking piece of garbage. You deserve to die and die in the most painful way, decapitation would make you a better person or a knife thru your stupid temple. I am kidding…but maybe you figured that out……or..maybe I’m not…..

  • shane

    Totally called Sixth Sense twist. Here’s why: if you know film language you can deduce it. When I watched it in the theaters, of course in 1999 you had no idea a twist was coming UNLESS you saw TV spots claiming there was a twist ending and if you read your local newspaper review of the film.

    I had. So at 16, I knew a twist was coming. How did I know? Go back to the midpoint where Haley Joel tells Bruce Willis he can see dead people. What shot does the film linger on when he then starts to talk about how people don’t know that they’re dead? That’s right, you’re on Bruce Willis the entire time for that shot. Because – in filmmaking terms – you’re telling the audience right there. It doesn’t take a genius to quickly go through your mind back to the beginning of the movie when that character was fucking shot and left for dead.

    Remember how that scene just fades to black? Yeah, no resolution to what happened after he was shot…nor does he mention the bullet wound at all for the duration of the film. So…at the halfway point I put two and two together.

    Suck on that, writer. Figured it out in the theater. Booyah.

  • MurderBot

    I have to echo Michaels bafflement at the praise that ‘The Game’ still seems to recieve.

    The whole convoluted mess of a plot could and should have been utterly derailed by chance a dozen times over. And don’t try gimme that “Oh but he took a personality test so they knew exactly how he’d react to everything, yeh!” Bullshit!

    I went to see that thinking; Fincher,Douglas, Penn … awesome, what could go wrong! Boy was that a kick! I guess that was a twist ending of sorts after all.

  • Naraka82

    A great list of movies! I feel that The Book of Eli deserves an honorable mention. Never saw that coming!

  • analclown

    The Crying Game.

    ps: you dorks stop whining about who said what or who did or didn’t figure out plots or twists and so on and so forth.

    get a life.

  • C

    Sorry dude I figured out the Sixth Sense about 20 minutes into the film. I whispered to my wife that I knew “the secret” but I didn’t spoil it. I did not know ahead of time, but was 100 percent correct. (This is very odd for me I’m normally very, very clueless when it comes to snap endings, even on TV shows.)

  • Joe

    I figured out the Sixth Sense when they’re off to the little girl’s wake. Because apparently a successful child psychologist and an unattended minor are taking a BUS across town. Bruce Willis doesn’t have enough money to take his CAR? Oh wait, he can’t drive because he’s dead.

    Seriously, that’s what tipped me off.

  • Davo

    wow everyone is so smart on this website.

  • http://aviewfromtheid.blogspot.com/ bob etier

    The first time I saw “Usual Suspects” I had Soze pegged early in the film, and the filmmakers dropped it right in our laps. Remember the only witness being interrogated in the hospital? Somewhere in that scene he starts yelling Kaiser Soze! Kaiser Soze! and the scene shifts to Verbal Kint. At that point I knew Verbal was our man. Nevertheless, I didn’t want to believe it because it was too easy. I figured it was a trick.

    The other four suckered me in though.

    • charlie

      Try mindhunters.

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