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Be warned! Spoilers lie ahead…

The twist ending is a tricky plot device. It can either make a movie or, in some cases, break a movie. When done right, they are often the most memorable part of a film. Here are five examples of movies that were just OK up until the twist ending , at which point they became great.

5. Shutter Island

When the world heard Martin Scorsese was making horror movie expectations were very high. The term “Hitchcockian” was thrown around a lot. The movie he turned in was about a detective (played by Leonardo Dicaprio) who is investigating the disappearance of a murderer who escaped from a mental hospital isolated on a small island and is presumed to be hiding somewhere. At the end of the movie it is revealed that Dicaprio’s character was not a detective at all but was a patient at the hospital who had covered up traumatic memories with an elaborate ruse that he lives out over and over again.

The movie was ok on its own. There were a handful of scary and suspenseful moments but you never felt the main character was in any real danger. Even when he was hanging off the edge of a cliff, you knew it would turn out ok, because he was the main character, after all. They were not simply going to kill him off. The big reveal is satisfying, sad and beautifully shot. It is what made this movie memorable.

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  • Josefine Emma LaBelle

    Lucky Number Slevin has a great twist

  • Robert Gonzalez

    Both breaking dawn and now you see me are awful movies.

  • John Smith

    You seem to be forgetting Fight Club.

  • Juan

    Breaking Dawns plot twist is cool, but I still felt cheated that no one really died. I never read the book so it’s just my own ignorance, but it would of been awesome if that was the real ending. Because until that point, there was never a point in the Twilight franchise that I felt any real fear of any of the characters lives or consequences they might face. When Carlyle’s neck gets broken, I was like “WTF?” but it was a good WTF. I finally felt that there was something at stake and they had to do all they can to limit the casualties. Once they revealed that it was all a vision, I was like, “Oh, I guess”

  • ross801

    Suicide kings has one of the best double twist ever.

  • Chris

    The surprise ending in the first Saw movie was absolutely incredible.

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