Fans buzzed Black Panther: Wakanda Forever since the trailer dropped. In it, the Kingdom of Wakanda is under siege and it’s up to the new rulers to protect their land in the aftermath of King T’Challa’s death. However, audiences were teased with the appearance of a potential new Black Panther towards the end of the clip. It’s an example of a great movie plot that totally makes sense, but other movie twists actually do their heroes a disservice.
A well-timed plot can take a movie from good to great. The public forgot that Bruce Willis was shot at the start of The Sixth Sense (1999), which makes the revelation that he died during the entire film all the more shocking. But other movies aren’t quite as sharp, and sometimes the big reveal even undermines the credibility of the protagonist.
Shutter Island (2010)
In many ways, shutter island is a great movie. It’s a mystery thriller with several twists that will keep audiences guessing until the very end. Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, tasked with solving the case of a missing inmate from an insane asylum.
The twist occurs when viewers learn that Teddy is actually an inmate himself, and his doctor (played by Mark Ruffalo) concocted the elaborate ruse as a way to end Teddy’s fantasies once and for all. The audience is led to believe that Teddy is the hero, but once his views are discredited, the rest of the film drags on to a truly disturbing ending.
The Usual Suspects (1995)
The most memorable thing about The usual suspects is the twist. Kevin Spacey plays Roger “Verbal” Kint, the sole survivor of an explosion in the harbor resulting from a heist gone wrong. As Kint explains to Agent Dave Kujan (Chazz Palminteri) that the mastermind behind the scheme is a drug lord named Keyser Söze, he pulls clues and details from the agent’s own office to fill in the gaps.
Once it is revealed that Kint was Keyser Soze the whole time, Kujan’s credibility is called into question. A skilled policeman with a keen eye for detail didn’t even realize that a criminal mastermind was in front of him the whole time. both loved and hated, The usual suspects is still one of the best movies on Amazon Prime, 27 years after its debut.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
The Shawshank Redemption is arguably one of the best films of all time. Some even consider it better than Stephen King’s original book. Tim Robbins plays Andy Dufresne, a banker who murders his wife and her lover. He is presumed innocent and spends a good part of the film bonding with Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) in prison and rebuilding his reputation.
In the end, it is revealed that Andy planned his escape the whole time by digging a tunnel in his cell hidden by a poster of Rita Hayworth. This undermines his claims of innocence and reveals him to be a lying con artist. Moreover, he withdraws laundered money and avoids escaping Zihuatanejo. It’s an iconic plot twist, but Andy’s redemption feels undeserved.
Return of the Jedi (1983)
Return of the Jedi is a very divisive film. It is generally considered the weakest film of the original star wars trilogy, but the nonstop action, the appearance of the Ewoks, and the redemption scene near the end make it one of the most memorable.
Fans couldn’t help but feel warm and confused inside when they learned that Darth Vader had in fact saved Luke from the Emperor’s wrath. The problem is that Vader’s redemption comes a little too late. It is only after Luke loses his hand, his friends are captured, and the second Death Star is fully operational that Vader changes his mind. If the father-son bond was still there all the time, why didn’t either side try harder to avert disaster?
Fight Club (1999)
Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, fight club follows Edward Norton as the Narrator, a dissatisfied office worker who attends support groups where men struggle to cope with the boredom of everyday life. The Narrator soon falls under the spell of Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman who encourages him to abandon a world filled with consumerism. Surprisingly, fight club was considered a box office bomb upon its debut.
The narrator becomes unreliable when the audience learns that he and Durden are actually the same person. The narrator has dissociative identity disorder and has created Durden in his mind as a coping mechanism. Everything in the movie could have been made up and in the end, viewers are left with more questions than answers.
Palm Springs (2020)
Andy Samberg stars as Nyles, a wedding guest who gets sucked into a mysterious cave in the middle of the Palm Springs desert. Realizing he is now stuck in a time loop, Nyles is forced to live the same day over and over again. One day, Nyles accidentally brings his love, Sarah (Cristin Miloti), into the loop and she ends up being the one to find the solution.
Palm Springs is a great summer movie, but the ending felt lackluster to some viewers. Sarah finds the solution through physics, using trial and error with a goat as bait. It is mentioned several times that Nyles got stuck in the time loop for a very long time, so the idea that he hadn’t tried this method himself seemed unrealistic.
The Incredibles 2 (2018)
In The Incredibles 2, Tech entrepreneur Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk) and his sister Evelyn (Catherine Keener) offer to help the Parr family restore public faith in superheroes. The siblings concoct superhero missions that will be filmed. Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) is chosen to find Screenslaver, a supervillain who tries to hypnotize and enslave the population.
Unsurprisingly, it was revealed that Screenslaver is actually a paid actor and Evelyn Deavor is the real villain behind the moniker. For superheroes who are constantly scrutinized by the public, the Parr family was very naive in trusting a few new characters right away. With so much attention already on them, they should have been more careful about only trusting people they know.
M.Night Shyamalan’s Panels still stands as a masterpiece of psychological horror. Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) is a former priest investigating mysterious crop circles left in his fields. When the aliens actually show up at the end of the film, the viewer is disturbed enough. Even after 20 years, Panels contains creepy scenes that still keep fans awake at night.
The twist is that water is lethal to aliens. It’s meant to be a metaphor for Graham cleaning himself up from his tragic past and moving on, but as a priest and rancher, it’s alarming that he didn’t think of it sooner. There’s a moment earlier in the movie where Graham’s acquaintance Ray Reddy (Shyamalan) even suspects that aliens are afraid of water, but Graham doesn’t realize it.
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
Steve Carell stars as Carl Weaver, a middle-aged man who suddenly finds himself single when his wife reveals she’s having an affair. Carl goes to the bar to pick up women and gets help from a ladies’ man named Jacob (Ryan Gosling). Jacob was recently rejected by Hannah, but the two later reconnect.
In the end, Hannah is actually Carl’s daughter. Knowing how Jacob treats women, Carl is appalled that the two are in a relationship. However, Carl has been playing the same game since his wife left, so it’s hypocritical of him to think less about Jacob. Carl looks for love in the wrong place but loses his credibility with his family for shaming his daughter for doing the same.
The Power of the Dog (2021)
by Jane Campion The power of the dog follows ranchers Phil Burbank (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his brother George (Jesse Plemmons) as they navigate the rugged Montana landscape. When George falls in love with a widow named Rose (Kirsten Dunst), Phil belittles Rose, her son Peter (Kodi Smit McPhee), and George for most of the film.
As Phil and Peter begin to bond, Phil contracts a fatal disease and dies. It is revealed that Peter intentionally put diseased cowhide on Phil’s hand, causing an infection. Peter was fed up with Phil’s bullying and led him to believe the two might actually be friends before stabbing him in the back. Peter’s credibility as the decent young man Rose thinks he is is destroyed, and the viewer ends up sympathizing with Phil instead.
NEXT: 10 Romantic Movies With A Tragic Twist That Will Break Your Heart