10 of the best movie plot twist endings

Some of the most memorable moments in all of cinema are twists. Nothing quite compares to sitting through a movie, only for a surprise plot development to catch the audience off guard. From family reappraisals to murderous revelations, these are the moments that make audiences demand a second viewing. There are more than a few twists in movie history, and today we’re looking at ten of the best movie twist endings of all time.

Major spoilers for every upcoming movie

10. Fight Club

Fight Club has one of the best plot endings ever

One of the biggest pop culture hits of the 90s was fighting club, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk. The film gained popularity for several reasons. The acting talents of Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are on full display, and the anti-consumerism message resonated with many. However, one of the most important reasons was the end of the film. Throughout the duration of the film, The Narrator crosses the film without any real identity of his own. He even attends various meetings under a different pseudonym each time. His life changes when he meets Tyler Durden. Near the end of the film, it is revealed that Tyler Durden and the narrator are one. All the while, Brad Pitt was just a figment of Edward Norton’s imagination. It’s easily one of the most iconic and best plot twists in the film.

9. The Sixth Sense

Dr. Malcom speaks with Cole

Another iconic hit of the 90s was The sixth sense from director M. Night Shyamalan. The popular Bruce Willis film follows Dr. Malcom Crowe, a psychologist who takes on a young boy as a client. The boy, Cole, claims to be able to see dead people. Malcolm quickly learns that there is more to the boy’s claims than meets the eye. Eventually, Malcolm learns the tragic truth. This movie twist ends with the fact that Dr. Malcom Crowe has been dead all this time. At the start of the film, Crowe is shot by a household invader. He is shown to have survived the attack, or so he thinks. Malcolm died that day and he wandered the world of the living, believing he was still alive.


Psycho has a scary ending

Alfred Hitchcock’s chilling classic is known as one of the best horror films of all time and was one of the first slashers. The film follows a woman, Lila Crane, investigating the disappearance of her sister. She is taken to the Bates Motel, a dilapidated motel run by Norman Bates and his mother. Lila soon assumes that her sister was murdered and Mrs. Bates is the culprit. Norman seems desperate to protect his mother, and Lila is determined to find out the truth. She does, and it’s a lot worse than she thought. One of the best plot twists in the film, this one reveals that Norman Bates had murdered his mother years before. In Norman’s mind, his mother is still alive. He dresses like her and commits murders in her name. When it comes to Norman, however, his mother is the real killer.

7. The Empire Strikes Back

Darth Vader reveals the truth in one of the most famous plot twists

Although this plot twist was essentially common knowledge at this point, in 1980 it shocked audiences. The first one star wars The film sees Luke Skywalker eager to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Jedi. He soon meets Obi-Wan, a friend of his father. He also learns that the menacing Darth Vader is the man who killed his father. The Empire Strikes Back sees Luke finally come face to face with the man who took so much from him. After a fierce duel, Vader tells Luke exactly what happened. Darth Vader didn’t kill Luke’s father; he was Luke’s father. This legendary revelation helped cement the star wars saga as emblematic.

6. The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects main cast in a police line-up

The usual suspects is a crime thriller that earned acclaim and earned disgraced actor Kevin Spacey his first Oscar. The film follows Verbal Kint (Spacey) as he makes his statement about a heist gone wrong and an incident in which he was one of the only survivors. Kint and a group of thieves are under the leadership of the mysterious Keyser Soze. The detective listening to the story reveals to Kint that Dean Keaton, a trusted man from Verbal, was Soze the whole time. The detective learns too late, however, that Kint was the real mastermind. What really makes this one of the best plot twists in the film is that he then reveals that he had used various objects in the room to fabricate the story. Verbal Kint, aka Keyser Soze, walked out of the station a free man. Verbal also went so far as to fake a physical handicap.

5. Saw

Dr. Gordan before Saw's twist ending is revealed

At this point, the Seen The franchise is known for its twist in each film. Yet this first film still manages to surprise unsuspecting viewers. Two men wake up chained in a dirty bathroom with a corpse between them. They quickly learn that they are the latest victims of serial killer Jigsaw’s insane game. Just when it looks like they have hope of escaping, the corpse rises up, having been alive the entire time. If that wasn’t shocking enough, the man is Jigsaw himself. This reveal, mixed with the legendary music, makes this twist ever so shocking.

4. Planet of the Apes

Taylor finds the remains of the Statue of Liberty

Another well-known twisted ending is the final scene from the original Planet of the Apes. The film sees astronaut George Taylor as his crew crash lands on a strange planet. Taylor learns that the planet is inhabited by intelligent talking monkeys and that they are the most important species. Humans are held captive and are mute, much like the animals on Taylor’s Earth. When he sets out to investigate where he really is, the truth is almost too much to bear. Taylor stumbles upon the remains of the Statue of Liberty. Taylor did not land on another planet; he was on Earth from the beginning. The final shot shows Taylor falling to her knees in agony.

3. Shutter Island

shutter island has a memorable ending

The Martin Scorsese movie shutter island is still discussed in detail to this day. Leonardo Dicaprio plays Teddy, a U.S. Marshal, investigating a mental hospital with his partner. Teddy soon learns that something sinister is happening on the island, and the race is on to find out what. It turns out that Teddy isn’t actually a real person, at least not as he knows himself. His real name is Andrew, and he’s mentally ill in the hospital. His “partner” is actually his doctor. He believes that if he lets Andrew act on his delusions, he’ll get them out of his system. The shocking revelation that changes the whole movie upon repeated viewings.

2. Orphan

Orphan has a shocking ending

Orphan sees a couple adopt a young girl named Esther. Everything seems to be going well until unexplained disasters start happening. They fear that all the signs point to their newly adopted child. Unfortunately for them, they are right. Luckily for the audience, this isn’t the only plot twist. Esther is not a child at all. Esther is actually a 33-year-old woman. Thanks to a growth disorder, she manages to pass herself off as a child while she commits horrific and disgusting crimes.

1. Overnight camp

angela in the shocking ending of Sleepaway Camp

Too much, Friday 13 is the perfect summer camp horror movie. For others, it’s overnight camp. This is largely due to the twist’s unnerving ending. The film follows Angela Baker, a young girl traumatized after the death of her brother Peter. She attends a summer camp with her cousin to try to come out of her shell. Things go awry quickly when gruesome murders start happening. The film’s twist ending reveals that Angela is the culprit. If that wasn’t shocking enough, it gets even crazier. Turns out Peter Baker didn’t die all those years ago; Angela did. The young girl who was in the whole movie was actually Peter in drag, who over the years had taken on the identity of his late sister.

Andrea G. Henderson