The Best Jaw-Dropping Plot Twists in Cinema

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Published November 7, 2021
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Leonardo DiCaprio stars in "Shutter Island" as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, while Mark Ruffalo plays his partner, Chuck Aule. Photo courtesy of Phoenix Pictures

If done correctly, a plot twist makes a good script a great one, turning a writer’s work from clever to genius.

The best plot twists are the ones that leave viewers completely blindsided by its reveal, making them want to go back and watch the movie again to try and spot the clues.

Without spoilers, so you can enjoy for yourself, here are some movies with the best plot twists:

1. “Saw” (2004, Available on Hulu)

In "Saw," oncologist Lawrence Gordon, played by Cary Elwes, fights for his life as he and a stranger try to solve active serial killer Jigsaw&squot;s puzzle. Photo courtesy Twisted Pictures

In “Saw,” oncologist Lawrence Gordon, played by Cary Elwes, fights for his life as he and a stranger try to solve active serial killer Jigsaw’s puzzle.
Photo courtesy Twisted Pictures

From the vision of director and creator, James Wan, comes the first and best installment in the “Saw” franchise.

Lawrence Gordon, played by Cary Elwes, and Adam Stanheight, played by Leigh Whannell, awaken in a horrifically dirty bathroom, chained to pipes on each side of the room. Without a single memory of how they got there and a dead man laying on the floor between them, the two strangers have to come together and find a way to escape a serial killer’s trap before it’s too late.

2. “The Village” (2004, Available on Hulu)

Ivy Walker, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is met with one of the creatures that live outside in "The Village." Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

Ivy Walker, played by Bryce Dallas Howard, is met with one of the creatures that lives outside in “The Village.”
Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

Bryce Dallas Howard and Joaquin Phoenix shine in the lead roles of Ivy Walker and Lucius Hunt in one of director M. Night Shyamalan’s greatest movies, “The Village.”

It tells the story of a remote village in the 19th century surrounded by terrifying monsters that keep the people isolated within their community. Conflict arises when a villager falls ill and a mission is put in place to leave the boundaries and venture outside to find her help.

3. “The Prestige” (2006, Available on Hulu)

Hugh Jackman stars as Robert Angier, a magician trying to master teleportation, in "The Prestige." Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

Hugh Jackman stars as Robert Angier, a magician trying to master teleportation, in “The Prestige.”
Photo courtesy of Touchstone Pictures

With a dynamite cast of Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, David Bowie and Scarlett Johansson, “The Prestige” tells the tale of a feud between two magicians in England during the late 1800s.

The rivalry begins when one of them is successfully able to perform the impossible: teleportation. The fight to be the best magician known to man brings them to the brink of losing it all.

4. “Now You See Me” (2013, Available on Hulu)

Jesse Eisenberg plays the leading man, Atlas, of the Four Horseman, a group of vigilante magicians, in "Now You See Me." Photo Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Jesse Eisenberg plays the leading man, J. Daniel Atlas, of the Four Horseman, a group of vigilante magicians, in “Now You See Me.”
Photo Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

While on the topic of magician mystery movies, “Now You See Me” is a wildly fun crime-thriller.

An anonymous leader brings together four magicians, led by the illusionist J. Daniel Atlas, played by Jesse Eisenburg, to form the ultimate team, the Four Horsemen. Their mission is to steal the money from the wealthy and corrupt and redistribute it to people in need. Their obstacle, FBI Agent Dylan Rhodes, played by Mark Ruffalo, is right behind them, watching their every move.

5. “The Others” (2001, Available on Amazon Prime Video)

Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), begin to experience the supernatural in their new home. Photo courtesy of Cruise/Wagner Productions

Grace Stewart (Nicole Kidman) and her two children, Anne (Alakina Mann) and Nicholas (James Bentley), begin to experience the supernatural in their new home.
Photo courtesy of Cruise/Wagner Productions

Nicole Kidman stars as Grace Stewart, a mother caring for her children as she longs for her missing husband in the midst of World War II. As Grace watches over Anne, played by Alakina Mann, and Nicholas, played by James Bentley, who have a rare disease that leaves them unable to go in sunlight, they begin to experience paranormal activities within their new home.

Director Alejandro Amenábar’s highly-praised film comes from the adaption of “The Turn of the Screw,” an 1898 horror novella by Henry James.

6. “Shutter Island” (2010, Available on Netflix)

Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) investigate the disappearance of a murderer from a hospital for the criminally insane in "Shutter Island." Photo courtesy of Phoenix Pictures

Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) investigate the disappearance of a murderer from a hospital for the criminally insane in “Shutter Island.”
Photo courtesy of Phoenix Pictures

Martin Scorsese is known for directing “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the famous movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, but the pair brings something vastly different in “Shutter Island.”

This very dark thriller, set in the 1950s, stars DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo as U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and partner Chuck Aule, respectively. They set off to Ashecliffe Hospital on Shutter Island to investigate the disappearance of a woman who was guilty of drowning her three children.

7. “American Psycho” (2000, Available on Hulu)

Christian Bale plays a gruesome serial killer and investment banker, Patrick Batemen, in "American Psycho." Photo courtesy of Lions Gate Films

Christian Bale plays a gruesome serial killer and investment banker, Patrick Bateman, in “American Psycho.”
Photo courtesy of Lionsgate Films

Set in the 1980s,American Psycho” follows an all-American, charming investment banker, Patrick Bateman, who is played by Christian Bale. Unbeknownst to those around him, he is a rage-filled monster who lives a double life as a serial killer.

Bale’s film is considered a cult classic and has gained praise on movie critic websites such as Rotten Tomatoes, which says, “American Psycho still finds its own blend of horror and humor, thanks in part to a fittingly creepy performance.”

Get ready to experience confusion, disarray and maximal entertainment all at once as you enjoy these films.

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