50 Of The Best Plot Twist Movies
Naturally, there’s a whole variety of plot devices and storytelling tools applied to movies. Some develop their stories as slowly as drying paint, others try to find some middle ground, and the third category just throws everything right at you from the very first moment. But there’s one more type of movie when talking about these kinds of traits - a movie that delivers either one or a couple of sequential plot twists so juicy, you find yourself in a stupor with disbelief and anticipation. Oh yes, we’re talking about plot twist movies, and these bad boys in our list mark all the boxes to be called the ‘best’ in this category.
The best part about these thrilling movies is that the plot twist is never expected, calculated, or anticipated. Well, it wouldn’t be a plot twist if it was anything but that, right? And movies that truly deliver such shockers are worth their weight in gold for the adrenaline rush they give us and the memorable stories we all like to replay in our heads long after the movie has ended. Wondering which movies made it into our list? From such instant classics as The Sixth Sense to Saw (yes, Saw), there are plenty of movies that are able to give you both the thrills and the illusion of reality being unreal. But that’s exactly how we like it!
So, scroll on down below to check out our submissions of the best plot twist movies to date. They are just a bit further down and once you are there, give the coolest movie your vote!
The Sixth Sense
1999 | 1 hour 47 minutes | Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring Bruce Willis, Haley Joel Osment, Toni Collette
1999's The Sixth Sense is the fourth movie by the director M. Night Shyamalan and the one that truly cemented his title as the maker of the most chilling psychological thrillers known for their unique visual style. Okay, so since you've probably already seen this movie and all the other pages give away this detail in their descriptions of The Sixth Sense, we'll tell you this - Bruce Willis is actually the one who's dead. Although you might not suspect it or believe it unless you see this movie for yourself. Yes, there's Haley Joel Osment being unimaginably cute and innocent, and yes, there's Willis showing his broad acting range, but most importantly, there's an amazing plot twist right at the end that's so brutal it'll leave you shaken.
1999 | 2 hours 19 minutes | David Fincher
Starring Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter
As the rule states, we should be keeping mum about David Fincher's 1999 Fight Club, but after all, it's been well over a decade since its release, so let's say that the limitation period is over. Based on a 1996 novel of the same name by Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club stars Hollywood's heartthrob Brad Pitt, the man of many talents Edward Norton, and Tim Burton's muse Helena Bonham Carter. Here Norton is a white-collar office worker and a very discontented one at that. Getting more bored by the minute, he forms a fight club with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). But is Tyler really here, and was he really the mastermind behind the upcoming revolt? Well, those questions can only be answered by you after watching or reading Fight Club.
1995 | 2 hours 7 minutes | Directed by David Fincher
Starring Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey
Se7en is a neo-noir psychological crime thriller film that tells the story of rookie detective David Mills, who's paired with the retiring William Somerset to track down a serial killer using the seven deadly sins as his killing motif. It's a shocking, unbearably suspenseful movie that is as gothic as the Notre Dame cathedral. Se7en offers a very dark ride from the beginning right until the end, and we wish we'd never seen this movie so we could watch it again without knowing how it ends!
The Usual Suspects
1995 | 1 hour 46 minutes | Directed by Bryan Singer
Starring Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Chazz Palminteri
The Usual Suspects is a crime mystery thriller retelling a story of a brutal shoot-out on a boat. The story begins with five criminals meeting for the first time at a police lineup, and the events leading to the gun battle itself are basically a never-ending plot twist. If you think that labeling a movie 'a masterpiece' or an 'instant classic' is just a commercial trick, then give The Usual Suspects a chance to convince you otherwise. It is, indeed, one well-balanced movie with zero shortcomings in any department.
2001 | 1 hour 44 minutes | Directed by Alejandro Amenabar
Starring Nicole Kidman, Christopher Eccleston, Fionnula Flanagan
We’ve had thrilling movies, shocking ones, and now it's time for one with a plain cruel plot twist right at the end. And though Nicole Kidman isn't an actress usually associated with horror, she does such a convincing job in The Others that it keeps our hair raised for days. No jump scares here, but terrifying suspense and a looming, malevolent something always close by.
1996 | 2 hours 9 minutes | Directed by Gregory Hoblit
Starring Richard Gere, Laura Linney, Edward Norton
Primal Fear is a crime drama and a mystery thriller all at once - a lovely combo! It goes like this - a young man who's an altar boy is accused of the brutal murder of an Archbishop. A hot-shot Chicago lawyer takes his case pro bono, convinced that the boy is innocent. However, the truth is hidden under layers and layers of lies and conspiracies, and the ending of it might be as far away from the initial guesses as the moon itself. A chilling story with probably one of the most unexpected plot twists ever.
1960 | 1 hour 49 minutes Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Starring Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles
Psycho is a psychological horror-thriller produced and directed by the one and only Alfred Hitchcock. The story here goes like this - on-the-run embezzler Marion Crane stays at a motel run by the shy Norman Bates. Lo and behold, Marion disappears. Now, those close to her hire a private investigator to get to the root of her disappearance, and boy, oh boy, are they in for a surprise! Now, hear me out - some of you shy away from these older movies led by faulty thinking they might be subpar in quality or story, but think of them as the living history of cinema. And if you do finally decide to watch Psycho, don't be surprised if you love it from the first minute.
2006 | 2 hours 10 minutes | Directed by Christopher Nolan
Starring Christian Bale, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson
The Prestige is a 2006 mystery thriller film by Christopher Nolan based on the book of the same name by Christopher Priest. It follows two rival stage magicians at the end of the 19th century in London. You know, the time when magicians were truly the height of entertainment. As showmanship requires, they both try to one-up each other with their illusions, and you all know how that ends - very fatally. The whole movie is an illusion within an illusion, set to confuse you and to make you question reality. Did Christopher Nolan succeed once again to eff with your mind? Watch the movie, and you'll know. Or you won't know anything at all. You'll see.
2004 | 1 hour 43 minutes | Directed by James Wan
Starring Cary Elwes, Leigh Wannell, Danny Glover
Saw is, as you well know it, a truly terrifying and gory horror mystery thriller that goes like this - two strangers awaken in a room without any recollection of getting there, and sure enough, they're now pawns in a very cruel game set by a serial killer. And if that just isn't enough to raise the hair on your arms, Saw also delivers some very high-quality plot twists that seem so real and unreal at the same time; it is just too spooky. So, if you're up for something really spicy, give Saw a try.
Planet Of The Apes (1968)
2001 | 1 hour 59 minutes | Directed by Tim Burton
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Helena Bonham Carter, Tim Roth
Planet Of The Apes is an action sci-fi thriller, but bear in mind that it is the vision of the director Tim Burton, so do expect it to be dark, gloomy, and dark once again. Set in the very near future, in 2029, to be exact, the events here go like this - an Air Force astronaut crash lands on an unknown planet where evolved, talking apes are the overlords of primal humans. Spooky, right? Well, just wait for THE plot twist! While it is mostly nothing like the original 1968 movie, that doesn't mean that this version of Planet of The Apes isn't spectacular, breathtaking, and deliciously intense.
A Beautiful Mind
Jacob's Ladder (1990)
Gone Baby Gone
Friday The 13th
V For Vendetta
Now You See Me
The Boy In The Striped Pajamas
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind
The Crying Game
The Final Destination (2009)
Crazy, Stupid, Love
Note: this post originally had 100 images. It’s been shortened to the top 50 images based on user votes.