A good plot twist, the kind that leaves people's jaws on the floor for hours and has you talking about it for days to come, is a special kind of thrill. Many TV shows—Game of Thrones immediately comes to mind—have mastered the art of the sudden death or bombshell revelation that changes the entire structure of the plot. But the device has been a hallmark of movies present throughout pretty much all of cinematic history, and a truly good twist is the kind you never forget.
Plot twists tend to work best for the horror or thriller genres, not just because the plots, already full of deceit and disbelief, are naturally more inclined to include narrative shifts and dramatic turns. These can be especially great for these genres primarily because a good plot twist can be the ultimate shock, effectively creating an extra layer for an audience that already signed up to be surprised.
But any twist must be earned; the worst kiss of death for any screenplay is a predictable, cheap plot twist. Just think of the ridiculous, clearly manufactured storylines in a classic soap opera and you’ll get an idea of what a bad ending looks like. It’s infinitely more satisfying for the audience to watch every last one of their expectations crash against a brick wall, but that brick wall must have been meticulously constructed via great writing scene by scene. In reality, the task of naming the 25 best movie twists is an exercise in identifying some of the best screenplay writing: a writer who can set up the appropriate amount of tension and expectation and then finally shatter everything in a satisfying way is a writer who knows what they’re doing.
So, with that said, enjoy this carefully curated list of 25 of the best movies with a twist. Please keep in mind that everything that follows involves MAJOR spoilers for the films involved, so keep scrolling at your own caution.