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10 Motion pictures With Main Plot Twists You Will not See Coming: ‘Saltburn’, ‘Shutter Island’ and Extra

10 Motion pictures With Main Plot Twists You Will not See Coming: ‘Saltburn’, ‘Shutter Island’ and Extra

What makes a thriller film excellent? Well, it is all about the art of storytelling, especially when audiences are caught off guard at any certain point of the journey. A well-executed movie plot twist has the power to engage, shock and elevate a film from a mere work of entertainment to a memorable masterpiece.

Throughout the years, writers and filmmakers have innovatively curated methods to consistently engage audiences. Directors like Christopher Nolan, M. Night Shyamalan and Jordan Peele have mastered the art of dropping twists and unexpected revelations, leaving an indelible mark on cinematic history. Whether the big reveal occurs midway through the film or leaves audiences in jaw-dropping disbelief in the final scene, these mind-blowing films are dubbed as the epitome of storytelling mastery.

From gripping thrillers and psychological dramas to exceptionally dark comedies, we have curated a compilation of Hollywood’s most unforgettable films with major plot twists. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)

If you crave an ending that defies expectations and keeps you guessing, scroll through the list of best film plot twists of all time.

10 movies with major plot twists that will keep you guessing till the end

Inception (2010)

Movies With Major Plot Twists
Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Synopsis: Inception tells the tale of Dom Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio), who works as an extractor of information by entering the dreams of his targets. Accused of being involved in his wife’s death, he is desperate to redeem himself. Fortunately, Cobb is presented with a challenging opportunity — to perform ‘inception’, aka plant an idea into someone’s mind.

He assembles a team to carry out the challenging task for a powerful businessman named Saito (Ken Watanabe) and the target is Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy), heir to a vast energy conglomerate. To accomplish the inception, the team must navigate multiple layers of dreams within dreams, each with its own set of rules and challenges.

Plot twist: Cobb’s personal struggles, particularly his guilt and grief over the death of his wife Mal become central to the story. It is revealed sometimes in the film that she still appears as a projection within Cobb’s subconscious, creating obstacles and jeopardising the mission. Here onwards, viewers are left guessing throughout the runtime about which scenes are real and which are a dream.

Fight Club (1999)

Movies With Major Plot Twists
Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 8.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Directed by: David Fincher

Synopsis: Fight Club follows the story of an unnamed narrator (Edward Norton), a white-collar worker suffering from insomnia and dissatisfaction with his mundane life. He attends support groups in an attempt to cure his insomnia. On a business trip, he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman with disrespect for modern society. The two form an underground fight club, known as Project Mayhem as a form of male bonding and rebellion against societal norms.

Plot twist: In the film, the plot twist occurs when it is revealed that Tyler Durden is a figment of the narrator’s imagination. The narrator and Tyler are two personalities within the same person, and the fight club, as well as Project Mayhem, are hallucinations of the narrator’s inner struggles and desires.

Parasite (2019)

Movies With Major Plot Twists
Image credit: IMDb

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

IMDb rating: 8.5/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

Synopsis: Parasite is a dark comedy thriller that reflects on social class disparity and family dynamics. The Kim family, struggling with unemployment and poverty, comes up with a plan to infiltrate the wealthy Park family’s household. One by one, each member of the Kim family manipulates their way into working for the Park family, they enjoy their newfound prosperity, taking advantage of the Parks’ trust.

Plot twist: When the Kim family discover a hidden underground bunker in the Park family’s mansion, they realise the previous housekeeper has been hiding her husband in there for years and leeching off the mansion’s resources. This twist not only adds a layer of suspense and horror but also turns the film into a commentary on the disparity existing within different classes of society.

Shutter Island (2010)

Movies With Major Plot Twists
Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

Directed by: Martin Scorsese

Synopsis: Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) travel to Shutter Island, a remote mental institution for the criminally insane, to investigate the disappearance of Rachel Solando, a prisoner convicted of murdering her three children. As the trio investigates, Teddy begins to experience disturbing dreams and memories related to his time as a soldier in World War 2 and the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp.

Plot twist: At the end of the film, it is revealed that Teddy is Andrew Laeddis, a patient at the institution. The entire investigation, the missing prisoner and the conspiracy were elaborate role-playing scenarios set up by the staff and Dr. Cawley, as a form of therapy to help Teddy confront the truth about his past.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

Movies With Major Plot Twists
Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 8.2/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

Directed by: M. Night Shyamalan

Synopsis: In The Sixth Sense, Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis), a child psychologist undertakes the treatment of a young boy named Cole (Haley Joel Osment), who can see and communicate with deceased people. Crowe persuades Cole to assist these spirits. In return, Cole aids Malcolm in repairing his relationship with his estranged wife.

Plot twist: It turns out that Dr Malcolm has been dead throughout the entire movie. The film cleverly leads the audience to believe that Crowe is interacting with the living, including his wife, and trying to help Cole. However, in a shocking revelation, it becomes clear that Crowe himself is one of the ghosts Cole sees.

Gone Girl (2014)

Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 8.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Directed by: David Fincher

Synopsis: Gone Girl is a psychological thriller revolving around the tumultuous marriage of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) and Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike). On their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy mysteriously disappears, and the media frenzy ensues. As the investigation unfolds, suspicions fall on Nick, and the public becomes increasingly convinced of his guilt.

Plot twist: Amy orchestrates her disappearance to frame Nick for her murder. In a carefully calculated plan, she leaves clues and stages crime scenes to make it appear as though Nick was responsible for her death. The diary entries were fabricated, and Amy’s public image as the victim of a troubled marriage was meticulously crafted to manipulate public perception.

Get Out (2017)

Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 7.8/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Directed by: Jordan Peele

Synopsis: Chris Washington (Daniel Kaluuya), a young African American man discovers disturbing truths when he visits the family of his Caucasian girlfriend, Rose Armitage (Allison Williams). As he spends time with Rose’s family and their friends, he begins to notice weird behaviour and encounters strange occurrences. As the weekend progresses, Chris becomes increasingly uneasy, discovering that other African Americans in the neighbourhood are acting strange.

Plot twist: Here, the plot twist is the true intentions of the Armitage family and their associates. It is revealed that the Armitages have been hypnotising and transplanting the consciousness of older white individuals into the bodies of younger, healthy African Americans. The goal is to achieve a form of immortality by transferring their minds into the bodies of the black victims, who are chosen for their physical attributes.

See Also

American Psycho (2000)

Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 7.6/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

Directed by: Mary Harron

Synopsis: Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) is a successful and wealthy investment banker in the ’80s. On the surface, he appears to be living the American Dream, with a high-paying job, a luxurious apartment and a glamorous social life. However, beneath the facade of success, he is a psychopath with a preference for brutal and sadistic violence.

Plot twist: At one point in the film, Patrick openly admits all his crimes to his lawyer. However, when he confronts the lawyer later, the latter has no idea about the confessions. As the film concludes, viewers are led to believe that all the murders were a product of his imagination.

Hereditary (2018)

Movies With Major Plot Twists
Image credit: IMDb

IMDb rating: 7.3/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

Directed by: Ari Aster

Synopsis: Hereditary follows the Graham family, particularly Annie (Toni Collette), after the death of her secretive and emotionally distant mother. As the family copes with grief, strange and terrifying events unfold, revealing a dark family history. Annie discovers her mother’s involvement in a cult that worships a demonic entity.

Plot twist: When the true nature of the family’s curse is revealed, it is disclosed that Annie’s mother, Ellen had entered into a pact with a demonic entity named Paimon. Through a series of disturbing rituals and manipulations, Paimon seeks a male host for ultimate power.

Saltburn (2023)

Image credit: Amazon Prime Video

IMDb rating: 7.1/10

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Synopsis: Oliver Quick (Barry Keoghan), a student on a scholarship from Prescot, faces challenges fitting into the University of Oxford due to his unfamiliarity with upper-class etiquette. He forms a friendship with Felix Catton (Jacob Elordi), a wealthy and well-liked student who empathises with Oliver’s accounts of his parents’ struggles with substance abuse and mental health. Overwhelmed by grief after his father’s unexpected death, Felix invites Oliver to spend the summer at his family estate, Saltburn.

Plot twist: Oliver had a strategic scheme all along to steal the vast wealth of the Catton family, and he executed it with great success. To accomplish this, he causes Felix’s death by luring him to drink the poisoned champagne and also supplies Venetia with a razor, who takes her own life while having an emotional breakdown.

(Hero and feature image credit: Courtesy IMDb/Saltburn and Shutter Island)

This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

– Which is the best thriller movie with a plot twist?
Shutter Island, Inception, Hereditary and American Psycho are some of the best thriller movies with a plot twist.

– Which is the best thriller movie with a plot twist on Netflix?
Shutter Island, Hereditary, Get Out and Gone Girl are some of the best thriller movies with a plot twist available to stream on Netflix.

– Which is the best-rated plot twist movie on IMDb?
Inception is the best-rated plot twist movie on IMDb with a rating of 8.8/10.



Source: Prestige Online

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