There’s nothing better than a film that leaves you thinking about it long after seeing it due to an unexpected twist during the movie’s climax. Although a majority of the plot twists we see nowadays are cliche at best, there are a few movies out there that have managed to completely blindside us. Some twists serve as the final piece of a puzzle that has been building through the entire film while others seem to come out of nowhere, making us want to view a movie multiple times in an attempt to pick up the clues that might help us figure out the surprise ending before it unfolds. At the end of the day, the greatest twists are those that get people talking, and that’s exactly what the following films have managed to do with their endings. So without further ado, here are the 10 best twist endings in movies! Keep in mind, these are in no particular order.
*NOTE: HEAVY SPOILERS AHEAD*
1. The Mist (2007)
A freak storm unleashes a species of bloodthirsty creatures on a small town, where a small band of citizens hole up in a supermarket and fight for their lives.
The Twist: About to become dinner for the enormous monsters, David Drayton (Thomas Jane) decides to shoot his fellow survivors, his son included, before they meet a more gruesome demise. Moments later, the army shows up to rescue them. Bad timing?
2. The Usual Suspects (1995)
A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begins when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup.
The Twist: Verbal (Kevin Spacey), the one telling the story to the detective at the station, is actually the infamous Keyser Soze. He’s been making up the story as he goes along, using items and names he sees around the detective’s office.
3. Memento (2000)
A man by the name of Leonard creates a strange system to help him remember things; so he can hunt for the murderer of his wife without his short-term memory loss being an obstacle.
The Twist: Leonard (Guy Pearce) is the one who murdered his wife. His memory loss is simply a result of him suppressing the knowledge of his actions.
4. The Sixth Sense (1999)
A boy who communicates with spirits that don’t know they’re dead seeks the help of a disheartened child psychologist.
The Twist: Dr. Malcolm Crowe, the psychologist the boy has been talking to throughout the movie, is actually dead.
5. Saw (2004)
With a dead body lying between them, two men wake up in the secure lair of a serial killer who’s been nicknamed “Jigsaw.” The men must follow various rules and objectives if they wish to survive and win the deadly game set for them.
The Twist: The body lying between the two men throughout the movie is that of the film’s serial killer Jigsaw (Tobin Bell). What’s more? We learn he isn’t really dead when he climbs to his feet during the movie’s climax.
6. Fight Club (1999)
An insomniac office worker (Edward Norton) looking for a way to change his life crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker by the name of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and they form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more…
The Twist: Edward Norton’s character has a split personality – Tyler Durden. Yep, the two primary characters in the film are the same guy. This is one of the absolute best twist endings in any motion picture.
7. Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke.
The Twist: Darth Vader turns out to be Luke Skywalker’s father.
8. Planet of the Apes (1968)
An astronaut crew crash lands on a planet in the distant future where intelligent talking apes are the dominant species, and humans are the oppressed and enslaved.
The Twist: The crew didn’t really crash land on another planet. They’ve been on Earth the entire time…it’s just been overrun by apes.
9. Psycho (1960)
A Phoenix secretary steals $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run and checks into a remote motel run by a young man, Norman Bates, under the domination of his mother.
The Twist: Norman Bates’ mother has been dead the entire time. Norman is merely a ‘psycho’ who keeps his mom’s corpse in a room while he wears a wig and does all the slicing and dicing.
10. No Way Out (1987)
Tom Farrell (Kevin Costner) is a navy officer who gets posted at the Pentagon and is to report to the Secretary of Defense, David Brice. He starts an affair with Susan Atwell not knowing that she is Brice’s mistress. When Susan is found dead, Tom is assigned to the case of finding the killer who is believed to be a KGB mole! Tom soon becomes a suspect when a Polaroid negative of him was found at Susan’s place. He now has only a few hours to find the killer before the computer regenerates the photo.
The Twist: Kevin Costner is the Russian mole that he himself has spent the entire movie investigating.