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Top 10 Movie Twists

There's nothing like watching a movie that pulls a fast one and questions everything you had taken for granted, while defying expectations. Join WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our top 10 favorite movie twists. Just to be clear, these are the twists that dramatically changed the film’s direction and tone, and affected how we all saw the film upon a second viewing. This means that we’ll be spoiling any and all of the films you haven’t seen yet. So, you have been warned.
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Top 10 Movie Twists


Woah, didn’t see that one coming. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down our top 10 favorite movie twists.

Just to be clear, these are the twists that dramatically changed the film’s direction and tone, and affected how we all saw the film upon a second viewing. This means that we’ll be spoiling any and all of the films you haven’t seen yet. So, you have been warned.

#10 - “Soylent Green” (1973)


Kicking off our list is the twist from this dystopian sci-fi flick about poverty and over population. Here, the unfortunate masses of earth survive on new colored food rations, the latest and most popular of which is called “Soylent Green”. An investigation into the murder at the Soylent Corporation leads Charlton Heston to uncover the horrible truth- that the green wafer crackers are actually made out of people! Cue the tormented cry!

#9 - “Memento” (2000)


This movie infamously plays in reverse, so this is actually a twist beginning if you want to get technical. Here, Guy Pearce plays a man who’s unable to create new memories and is on the hunt for the man who raped and murdered his wife, as seen in his final memory. As it turns out, he keeps the clues or momentos he leaves for himself vague on purpose and hides hard evidence from himself so he can continue his search, seeing as he is actually responsible for his wife’s death and his only purpose in life is to now endlessly chase invented killers who are really innocent.

#8 - “The Crying Game” (1992)


In this flick, a guilt-ridden IRA terrorist falls for the girlfriend of the British soldier he helped kidnap before befriending, and ultimately felt responsible for killing. Though it seemed like it would delve into a straightforward, if not so honest romance, things took a decidedly hard turn. Namely, “she” was actually a “he”. Think audiences were shocked? Just watch Fergus’ reaction. Don’t laugh, you’d probably throw up too…

#7 - “Primal Fear” (1996)


In this thriller, Richard Gere plays a hotshot lawyer out to defend Ed Norton, who plays Aaron, an alter boy charged with murder. Discovering that Norton has a split personality that causes him to black out and become a heartless killer, Gere gets him off the hook by pleading insanity. The kicker is that Aaron actually does remember what happens when he “blacks out” and that his innocent side is completely fabricated. Hey, at least you won the case though right Dick?

#6 - “Fight Club” (1999)


Eddie just can’t keep his personalities in check. Here, Norton plays the narrator, a troubled man with a laundry list of problems who befriends Brad Pitt’s seemingly carefree Tyler Durden. Before long, the extra curricular activities the two engage in soon begin to blossom into all out domestic terrorism. As things start to spiral out of control, Norton tries to stop the movement but as it turns out, he can’t stop…himself. That’s right, he IS Tyler and is powerless to control this delusional and charismatic part of his personality. Well, almost powerless.

#5 - “The Usual Suspects” (1995)


In this flick, the police are out to discover the identity of the mastermind behind a heist. Their lead witness is Verbal Kint, a cripple playing by Kevin Spacey. As it turned out, he played the role of the unreliable narrator, spinning a story about a mythical Keyser Soze. He thus makes himself out to be an innocent and gets away scot free, and the police learn just a minute too late he was Soze the entire time!

#4 - “The Sixth Sense” (1999)


This is the supernatural thriller that made M. Night Shyamalan synonymous twist endings. Here, Bruce Willis was introduced as a child therapist who had been shot by a suicidal ex-patient, only to recover and find his life and marriage in ruin. His salvation was a little boy who sees ghosts. In reality, thank to sneaky shooting, it turned out that Willis was dead all along. Repeat viewings reveal that all the clues we needed were hiding in plain sight.

#3 - “Psycho” (1960)


This Hitchock masterpiece centers around a mild mannered, if somewhat awkward motel owner named Norman. Harboring some rather serious mommy issues, he is forced to cover up for the murders apparently committed by his mother. Cue everyone’s surprise when her withered remains are discovered in his cellar, and the realization that he had developed, you’ll never guess, a split personality and had been her along. Wow, he’s seriously got that vocal impression down pat!

#2 - “Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)


If there’s a single reason that this is considered the greatest sci-fi sequel of all time, it’s this one. After the original film, fans had been smitten with Luke’s desire to become a Jedi like his father, a great space pilot and friend of Obi Wan Kenobi. However, it turned out that old Ben had been dealing in metaphors and Luke’s mortal enemy was really his daddy along. It was such a shock that everyone, including Luke were left in disbelief for years…

#1 - “Planet of the Apes” (1968)


Okay, you knew this one was coming! Taking the top spot on our list is the movie twist that most people know about today, whether or not they’ve seen the film. However, upon release the revelation was simply devastating! Namely, that the planet populated by talking apes was not some distant backwards planetoid, but Earth of the far future following a cataclysmic nuclear war. Of course, it wouldn’t be such a memorable twist without Charleton Heston driving it home!

Agree with our list? Which movie twist left caught you by surprise, and left your jaw dropped to the floor? For more thrilling top 10s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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