Christopher Nolan is a visionary director known for his grand and unexpected twists, great action sequences, and immensely complex stories. However, not all of the twists in his movies come completely out of nowhere.
With Nolan’s latest film, Oppenheimer, by the way, one has to touch on some of his past movies and their twists to see where this feature will fit in with everything else. While the predictable storylines certainly don’t spoil the quality of his movies, it’s always good to look back and recognize what shocked audiences revealed and exactly what those didn’t.
Bruce Finds Peace – The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The dark knight rises is the final installment in Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy in which Bruce Wayne is introduced to Catwoman while trying to stop Bane, a terrorist who will do anything to bring Batman out of the shadows and fight. That being said, the ending lacked action and it was relatively predictable.
The film begins with Bruce Wayne already on an eight-year hiatus from vigilante duty. It’s clear that he doesn’t want to continue protecting Gotham because he wants to find his own happiness and move on from his past traumas. Therefore, the ending of the film with him finally fleeing while faking his death is the only practical ending of the trilogy.
The main character asked Neil to work for him – Tenet (2020)
There’s a lot about Principle it makes no sense, and it greatly affects how the various twists affect viewers. The sci-fi thriller follows an agent who must work for time to stop World War III, but when his mission doesn’t quite add up, he makes some rather startling discoveries regarding why he was chosen to accomplish this mission.
This movie is so disorienting at times that the twists and turns lose some of their effectiveness, but it still manages to tell a compelling story. However, the protagonist finding out that he’s hired Neil is something anyone who’s seen the trailer can easily predict once they start watching the movie. The good news is that some of PrincipleThe biggest plot twists are harder to predict.
Mal died because she thought she was still dreaming – Inception (2010)
Creation is one of the best sci-fi psychological dramas of the 2010s because it made viewers question how they view reality. It follows Cobb, a thief who has mastered technology to enter people’s dreams so he can extract information from them when they are most vulnerable. In the film, it is revealed that Cobb is jaded because his wife killed herself thinking she was no longer in reality.
This discovery wasn’t something that warranted a gasp or anything. Because he was so careful with his new recruit in the film, it was predictable that something related to his dream of traveling would lead to his wife’s tragic death. Overall, it didn’t have the intended effect on audiences that other elements of the film had.
Ducard is Ra’s Al Ghul – Batman Begins (2005)
batman begins is the first film in Nolan’s Batman trilogy, which follows the difficult childhood and adulthood that lead Bruce Wayne to become an incredible fighter and vigilante. In the film, Wayne believes his teacher is helping him get rid of the evil in the world, but he finds out in the end that he is actually Ra’s al Ghul and wants to destroy Gotham.
Anyone familiar with the Batman comics knows that the League of Shadows is bad news from the start of the movie. Not to mention, with the intense and ruthless training Wayne received from his teacher, it was relatively easy for even a layman to foreshadow him becoming the movie’s villain.
Dormer kills Eckhart with the killer as the only witness – Insomnia (2002)
Insomnia follows experienced detective Dormer as he travels to an Alaskan town to solve the murder of a teenage girl. When he struggles to find conclusive evidence to convict his prime suspect, Walter Finch, the detective’s instability gets the better of him. The plot twist comes when Dormer kills his partner, Eckhart, right in front of Finch.
Insomnia is a great movie and while that plot is great, it’s not hard to guess what the movie is up to. Dormer’s mental state continues to deteriorate, at times making him seem more deadly than Finch. Not to mention, since Dormer is played by Al Pacino, Scarface himself, it’s pretty straightforward to piece this plot together with just the cast list and trailer.
Leonard and Sammy Switch – Memento (2000)
by Nolan Memento has one of the most memorable opening shots of the 2000s. It follows Leonard, a man with incurable memory loss who uses the clues he left behind to figure out what’s going on in his life and what what happened in his past. This forgetfulness gives way to many surprising moments and great twists in the film, however, the main twist is given by a specific short scene.
In this scene, Leonard tells Sammy’s story while a scene of Sammy sitting in a mental health facility overlaps with him talking. At one point, someone walks past Sammy’s door, and for a brief moment Leonard is sitting there, not him. While it takes a keen eye to spot this detail that makes the final twist predictable, it’s definitely something someone can notice when first viewing the film.
The Twin Discovery – The Prestige (2006)
One of the most talked about plot twists in all of Christopher Nolan’s films is the discovery that Borden’s trick works because he and his twin can pull it off together. Prestige follows Borden and his rival, Angier, who figures out how to clone himself to pull off the same trick.
This whole movie is a work of art, but, with the number of subtle clues about PrestigeThroughout the feature, most viewers can predict the final reveal with relative ease. From the anecdote with the little songbirds to the separate lives lived by the Borden brothers, the truth was in front of everyone’s eyes all the time. For this reason, it’s often considered Christopher Nolan’s most predictable plot twist.
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