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Best/worst plot twists (spoilers galore alert!)

Brian63

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Feel free to apply this to books, TV, movies, anything.

Recently I saw Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise. Cameron Crowe directed, who also had directed Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Titanic, and Avatar. Some of those I had seen and were great, others I had not seen but were very popular. But I went into Vanilla Sky with high expectations. It seemed somewhat about a man trying to find his purpose in life, especially after some physical tragedy, and partly involving a murder mystery angle as well. It also had some nice romance. Only in the ~10 minutes do they reveal what has been really going on the entire time, and it is something you never in the world would have thought of guessing. It was not an entertaining conclusion in the slightest either, just a big "Are you fucking kidding me?" letdown. Avoid that movie.

Fight Club on the other hand was a great one. I thought it would be a mediocre flick about an underground fight club, but it turned out to be soooooo much more than that. It makes you rethink about how the things we own end up owning us instead, how people can find out how to unleash their true selves, what an unstable society looks like, etc. When it is revealed the narrator had actually invented the personality of Tyler Durden, that was simply stunning. It was one of those movies that everybody in the world should see, even if they end up disliking it (same as the unfunny comedy "Idiocracy" which instead was a horror flick that is becoming reality).
 

Jimmy Higgins

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I'd bring up a few, but perhaps the worst thing that can be done is revealing a movie has a twist at all.

I will say True Detectives - Season One contains a swerve (not as much a twist) which was absurdly great.
 

ideologyhunter

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The last five minutes of Presumed Innocent (1990) still knock me out, all these years later. Although the movie just isn't that classic, when you get to the end, it is so justified and satisfying. And Bonnie Bedelia was fully up to the challenge -- she knocks it into the stratosphere. Normally, I'm tired of spoiler virgins, who raise a fuss when you tell plot details, but in this case, should there be anyone who doesn't know the novel or the film, go check out Presumed Innocent for yourself.
 

Tharmas

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I have to go with "Body Heat[" (1981), a remake of, or inspired by, the classic "Double Indemnity," but with an additional twist.

For comedy, there's always Chaucer's "Miller's Tale," from The Canterbury Tales.
 

Shadowy Man

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Feel free to apply this to books, TV, movies, anything.

Recently I saw Vanilla Sky with Tom Cruise. Cameron Crowe directed, who also had directed Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous, Titanic, and Avatar. Some of those I had seen and were great, others I had not seen but were very popular. But I went into Vanilla Sky with high expectations. It seemed somewhat about a man trying to find his purpose in life, especially after some physical tragedy, and partly involving a murder mystery angle as well. It also had some nice romance. Only in the ~10 minutes do they reveal what has been really going on the entire time, and it is something you never in the world would have thought of guessing. It was not an entertaining conclusion in the slightest either, just a big "Are you fucking kidding me?" letdown. Avoid that movie.

Vanilla Sky was a remake of a Spanish language film. Although I’ve seen it, I don’t recall whether it was significantly different or better.

Fight Club on the other hand was a great one. I thought it would be a mediocre flick about an underground fight club, but it turned out to be soooooo much more than that. It makes you rethink about how the things we own end up owning us instead, how people can find out how to unleash their true selves, what an unstable society looks like, etc. When it is revealed the narrator had actually invented the personality of Tyler Durden, that was simply stunning. It was one of those movies that everybody in the world should see, even if they end up disliking it (same as the unfunny comedy "Idiocracy" which instead was a horror flick that is becoming reality).

And the best thing about Fight Club was that it was not marketed to give that away. I knew I wanted to see it just because of the actors so I really had no idea what it would be about when going in. The best way to see a movie like that.
 

Jayjay

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Recent failure of a plot twist: Netflix's Jupiter's Legacy. Not only could you see it coming a mile off, but it didn't make a lick of sense when it actually happened. That's a hard combination to pull off.
 

Shadowy Man

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The Color of Night, with Bruce Willis, has a terrible plot twist that is seen half way through the movie and the real mystery of the movie is wondering if that really is indeed the obvious plot twist. Then you get to the reveal and go "oh, I guess it was".
 

TSwizzle

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I was actually surprised at the end of Sixth Sense. Was the plot twist obvious? I didn't see it coming at all but others have told me they saw it 20 minutes in.
 

ZiprHead

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Invisible Man (2020) Some great twists in the end.
 

Mediancat

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"Is this because I'm a lesbian?"

-- the end of Elisabeth Rohm's tenure on Law & Order, and almost literally the last thing she says. A twist just for shock value.

Rob
 

jab

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"The Story of an Hour" a short story by Kate Chopin, a double twist ending.
The ending of the series finale of Blake's 7 was surprising, and good, I thought.
Good little twist at end of Some Like it Hot.
A lot of readers have disliked the ending of The Mill on the Floss; but I think it is brilliant; George Eliot lulls us into a sense of complacency by making the only character who sees the situation leading up to the ending clearly a rather simple-minded, silly woman whose warnings the men--and women--in her community ignore partly because she's a woman. Her simple-mindedness however allows her to hold on to a basic, scary truth about the community's locale.
 
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