The 20 Best Movies With Plot Twists You'll Never See Coming

No spoilers here (except, obviously, for there being a twist).

best movie plot twists
(Image credit: Gone Girl)

There's nothing like a good surprise to totally throw you for a loop at the end (or in the middle) of a really good movie. (opens in new tab) Whether it makes a thriller even more thrilling or a classic that much more surprising, we love a plot twist. Here are 14 films with major plot twists that you'll think about for days afterwards. No spoilers, we promise! (Except, you know, that there's a twist.)


Starring: Cho Yeo-jeong, Park So-dam, Choi Woo-shik, Jeong Ji-so, Kang-Ho Song

Parasite swept the Oscars the year it came out, even though many Americans hadn't seen it yet. But now that it's on Hulu, no excuses! We won't be saving the surprise for long...

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Gone Girl

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Emily Ratajkowski

The Gone Girl twist is probably the most talked-about twist in modern film history. And, boy, is it well-earned.

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The Village

Starring: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Jesse Eisenberg, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt

There ain't no twist like an M. Night Shyamalan twist.

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Shutter Island

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Ben Kingsley, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams, Max von Sydow

Let's be honest, Leo's got range. If you're not sure you can make it through a horror movie to get to the massive twist at the end, do it for him.

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Get Out

Starring: Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Lakeith Stanfield, Bradley Whitford, Catherine Keener

An instant horror classic, director Jordan Peele delivered an incisive social commentary that kept us guessing the entire film.

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Ex Machina

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Alicia Vikander, Sonoya Mizuno, Corey Johnson

Honestly, this cast is killer. Forget the twist (even though it's a good one), we just love to see Oscar Isaac busting out some moves on the dance floor.

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The Sixth Sense

Starring: Haley Joel Osment, Bruce Willis, Toni Collette, Donnie Wahlberg, Olivia Williams

"I see dead people." If you think that iconic line is creepy, wait until you get to the twist (and if nobody's ruined it for you yet—run, don't walk).

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Citizen Kane

Starring: Orson Welles, Ruth Warrick, Joseph Cotten, Agnes Moorhead, Everett Sloane

No spoilers, but "Rosebud" is definitely the OG movie plot twist.

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Gone, Baby, Gone

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Ed Harris, Casey Affleck, Michelle Monaghan, Amy Ryan

Ben Affleck's Boston-based directorial debut throws us for a loop when two P.I.s dig into a kidnapping case.

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Starring: Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, Joe Pantoliano, Mark Boone Junior, Stephen Tobolowsky

It's not hard to suspect a plot twist when a movie's main character has short-term memory loss. It's even more likely when Christopher Nolan is directing the film.

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Starring: Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker, Michael Stuhlbarg, Tzi Ma

Aliens cause a mega time warp during first contact in this award-winning sci-fi film.

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Fight Club

Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto

The first rule of Fight Club is....don't talk about the plot twist at the end of Fight Club.

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The Empire Strikes Back

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

So maybe it's not a huge surprise now, but "I am your father" was a HUGE twist back when this Star Wars film premiered in 1980

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Starring: Keira Knightley, James McAvoy, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch

We didn't think Atonement could break our heart any more, but the plot twist ending found a way. At least we have baby Saoirse Ronan to make things better.

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Starring: Lupita Nyong'o, Winston Duke, Shahidi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker

Peele's second thriller cemented his place as king of the final, shocking reveal. We can't wait to see what he comes up with for his upcoming film, Nope.

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Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Rene Victor, Jaime Camil

This sweet Pixar film about the Mexican holiday Día de los Muertos has an end reveal that left audiences of all ages sobbing.

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Planet of the Apes

Starring: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Maurice Evans, James Whitmore, Linda Harrison

The twist at the end of this sci-fi classic has been referenced hundreds of times (including remakes) but the 1968 original film is still a fun ride.

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Knives Out

Starring: Ana de Ármas, Christopher Plummer, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, LaKeith Stanfield

There are so many twists in Rian Johnson's family murder caper that everyone who thought they figured it out was fooled.

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The Prestige

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Scarlett Johansson, Rebecca Hall, Michael Caine, Piper Perabo

In this tale of two dueling magicians, all their secrets are revealed.

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Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, John McIntire

Stanley Kubrick's film may be famous for its shower scene, but the final twist is even bigger.

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Cecilia Nowell is a freelance reporter covering gender, reproductive health, and the Americas. Her writing has been published in Elle, Teen Vogue, The Washington Post’s The Lily, and The Nation.