Nothing beats a movie with a mind-blowing plot twist. I don’t know about you, but the moment a plot twist is revealed that completely alters my understanding of a movie, I feel shocked, betrayed, indignant, and duped. Most of all, though, I develop an overwhelming desire to watch the movie all over again, knowing the truth behind the plot twist, and when I do, I notice details and fit together pieces I never had before. The Sixth Sense is an example of a movie with such a plot twist, and it was perhaps the first of its kind I ever saw. Over ten years later, people are still talking about the real meaning behind, “I see dead people.” Here is a list of 7 other movies that left me slack-jawed in my seat once the plot twist was revealed.
Hide and Seek (2005): Robert DeNiro plays a father who moves with his young daughter (Dakota Fanning) to a secluded rural home after her mother’s death. While there, strange happenings begin to occur that could only be attributed to the disturbed child… or could they? The plot twist in this movie leaves you shocked when the real culprit is revealed.
Mulholland Drive (2001): In this creative but little-known David Lynch film, an aspiring young actress (Naomi Watts) visits Hollywood and meets a woman with a mystery she vows to solve. However, the real mystery is the truth behind this young actress’ circumstances. The plot twist in this movie leaves you differentiating between fantasy and reality, even after the credits have rolled.
Fight Club (1999): Based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk, this cultural phenomenon of a film explores the relationship between Edward Norton’s and Brad Pitt’s characters. The plot twist revealed by the eventual mention of Edward Norton’s character’s name will require you to watch the movie again… and again.
Memento (2000): This Christopher Nolan psychological thriller is a mystery from the beginning. Leonard Shelby (Guy Pierce) struggles to piece together the truth behind his wife’s murder, hindered by a form of amnesia that renders him unable to store new memories. The plot twist comes into play when he discovers the identity of her murderer.
A Beautiful Mind (2001): Winner of four Academy Awards, this Ron Howard film illustrates the life of Nobel Prize-winning mathematician John Nash (Russell Crowe). The film draws you into the idiosyncrasies of Nash’s life, and the developing relationship with his future wife (Jennifer Connelly). It is rare that a biographical film could include a plot twist, but once the reality of Nash’s “beautiful mind” is uncovered, the story takes on a brand new light.
The Prestige (2006): Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of Christopher Priest’s novel of the same name depicts a rivalry between two turn-of-the-century magicians (Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale) that rises to epic proportions. The double plot twist at the end of this film reveals the truth behind each magician’s signature illusion. This is the only movie I can ever recall watching again from beginning to end immediately after seeing it for the first time.
Identity (2003): John Cusack and Amanda Peet play only some of the colorful characters in this psychological thriller. The movie depicts two stories: one of a mentally ill criminal who is about to receive the death penalty, and one of a group of strangers who find themselves stranded at an old motel during a storm. It is when the connection between the characters and the plots are revealed that the pieces of the mystery begin to fall into place.
I strongly recommend each of these movies if you enjoy the fun of being duped, the exhilaration of solving a puzzle, or the challenge of figuring out the plot twist ahead of time!