Top 10 Most Surprising Movie Endings17 comments

Posted on 24 Aug 2009 at 9:17pm

Many leading movies have surprise endings. And audiences love that. The surprise ending can be tough to get right and sometimes overdone but it can be impossible to keep the secret once it’s out. Here are 10 movies that got it right – their surprises really were just that.

10. The Crying Game

the crying game

The big surprise in this movie does not happen in the end but half way through. The movie has a stunning end which was talked of as a spoiler for a long time. The film was about an IRA member (Stephen Rea) whose relationship with a woman (Jaye Davidson) takes the most unexpected turn.

9. Brazil

brazil movie 1

A troubled technocrat, Sam Lowry works in a futuristic society that is inefficient. He dreams of the time when he can spend the days with the woman of his dreams away from overpowering bureaucracy and technology. In the film Lowry meets Jill Layton, the woman of his dreams. Meanwhile, he is charged by the bureaucracy for being involved in some terrorist bombings, and both his and Jill’s lives are endangered.

8. The Sting

the sting

When a mob boss kills a mutual friend, two con men try to take revenge by pulling off the big con on the mob boss. The story has several last minute alterations and unexpected twists. The young con man is Johnny Hooker who is taught by Luther. One day they pull one of their con jobs without knowing that the man they conned is the courier for a numbers runner. The boss, Doyle Lonigan, sees it as a personal attack and orders the people involved to be terminated. From here the film proceeds to have a surprising twist in the end.

7. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

star wars episode v - the empire strikes back

The story of Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia and the others is not over with the destruction of the Death Star – it moves forward in THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK. Imperial forces have made the Rebels to hide themselves in Hoth, the Ice World. However they cannot escape the wrath of Darth Vader for a long time as he devastates the Rebel base. Luke flees to Dagobah to begin Jedi Knight training with Yoda, while Han Solo, Chewbacca, Princess Leia and C-3PO run the blockade of Imperial Star Destroyers in the Millennium Falcon.

6. Identity


In this film, the first two-thirds of its showtime is spent laying the pieces of a horror movie puzzle which then moves into an ambitious and brilliant psychological murder mystery with maximum plot twists which can confuse even the best mystery movie enthusiast. Identity can also be called a mature and sleek murder mystery and not a cheap horror film.

5. Psycho


This is not a gory film exactly and contains just three big shocks. The rest of the film is devoted to setting suspense, setting scenes and playing with our minds. But those three shocks are enough to leave our heads spinning because of the thrill and excitement – Hitchcock sees to that nicely.

4. Beneath the planet of the Apes

beneath the planet of apes

This one is a continuation of the first film of its kind. Another space ship crashes in the forbidden area on the planet. The ship is manned by Brent (James Franciscus) and the captain Maddox (Tod Andrews) both of whom die in the crash. Nova (Linda Harrison), Taylor’s mate shows them the ape city. In the forbidden zone something dangerous is going on and the apes want to invade by being proactive. The intelligent humans mutated by radiation long ago turn to be the enemy.

3. Fight Club

fight club

This film based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk is a contemporary play giving warnings regarding the decay of society. The unnamed protagonist is Edward Norton who starts attending meetings and support groups to keep himself occupied. Though he is not suffering from any problems, he finds solace in the groups. This is destroyed after his meeting with Marla (Helena Bonham Carter). He finds that his life is changed once again, by a chance meeting with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), whose no-nonsense style of communication appeals to our narrator. Pitt and Norton make a superb duo, and the film has some comic moments and a surprising end.

2. Usual Suspects

usual suspects

This film opens with a catastrophe in a shipyard and we can see the interrogation of a handicapped and a sad faced survivor Verbal Kint ( Spacey) and things that led to the killings. We will be tantalized with questions such as what really happened in the shipyard, whether Verbal is telling the truth to the investigating lawman or protecting someone and finally who is Keyser Soze throughout the film.

1. The Sixth Sense

the sixth sense

Masterfully directed and amazingly well written and acted, “The Sixth Sense” will move, captivate, and scare you. The surprise end of the movie will leave your head spinning.This is one movie which will leave a lasting impression on your mind. Haley Joel Osment starts seeing dead people and his therapist, Bruce Willis, too many times. The true shocker comes with the twist at the end of M. Night Shyamalan’s best film.


All these aforesaid movies have really unexpected ends and twists and are a list of must see films for all movie enthusiasts.

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  1. Neil

    Where is Citizen Kane?!? Or Now Way Out?

  2. What is the point of this article unless you’re going to tell us what the endings are?!

  3. chris

    Wait…..beneath the plantet of the apes, but not the original? Is it possible that the author of this list hasn’t seen the original? I assumed it was going to be number 1 on the list if they were even bothering to include the sequel. Maybe that’s the point – that this list also has a surprise ending, since it doesn’t include the original.

  4. sucks

    sixth sense SUCKS! when it came out i was told it is so amazing and has the biggest twist at the end.
    well guess what?! i guessed the twist right off the bat! willis is a ghost
    ooooooooooooooh so twisty!
    didnt even neeed to see the piece of crap to know it sucked.
    yes i did watch it years after and it blows even more than i thought it would.
    worst twist EVER!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Sammich

    This is a terrible list. I’m not knocking the movies picked, I just find the presentation to be lacking so much that there was almost no point. You’re trying to sell people on twist endings… by providing a brief plot synopsis for everything up to the twist? You some how managed to assemble a list with no relevance to itself. I’m not saying you should spoil the twist, but at least get into the reason for the twist, or some indication of why the twist makes the movie worth watching.

  6. Jaye

    Jacob’s Ladder gets my vote. Sure left me with my mouth hanging open.

  7. jules

    The first planet of the apes movie had a bigger shock to its ending than the sequel.

    And if you’re gonna post something about twisted endings, you should write about it not a brief synposis of the movie.

  8. Terry

    The biggest difference between the Sixth Sense and Fight Club is that after I caught the punchline, I actually -wanted- to watch Fight Club again.

  9. RCTrucker7

    How do you write an article called “Top 10 Most Surprising Movie Endings” and then not actually write about, describe, or show any actual endings of those movies?

  10. Dirty Steve

    This list reminds me of my favorite joke. It has THE BEST punchline! Ready?

    Why did the chicken cross the road?


  11. adam23

    the point of not revealing the endings is so that film fans (which this article is aimed at) can watch them and still enjoy the surprise endings. thanks, i am glad that the ends have not been revealed. i have seen most on the list but there are a few there that i will get to watch now.