Spoiler Alert! The 50 Best Movie Twists

14. Sammy Jenkis' story is really Leonard Shelby's.

Movie: Memento (2000)
Writer: Jonathan Nolan (original short story), Christopher Nolan (screenplay)

The popular reputation of Christopher Nolan's magnificent breakthrough film, Memento, is that it's the movie that's sequenced inreverse order—a hook that's worthy of attention and praise, no doubt. But the psychological thriller, about a man named Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce), whose post-attack mental disability (he suffers from repeated amnesiac attacks that render new memories impossible to obtain) makes the task of finding his wife's killer all the more difficult, is also home to a dynamite end-game reveal.

Throughout the film, the backwards story is repeatedly interrupted by paranoid black-and-white scenes set in Leonard's cluttered hotel room; little do we know, though, that the B&W moments are actually presented in chronologically accurate order, a fact that Nolan divulges just as he drops dime on Leonard's having indirectly killed his wife by forgetting to give her an insulin shot. And that his confidante/shady cop Teddy (Joe Pantoliano) knew the truth all along, though he was unable to prevent Leonard from making the whole find-her-killers bit up and make himself believe that the innocent Teddy, who Lenny eventually shoots in the head, murdered her.

Confused? Just be thankful that we didn't write all of that backwards.

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