Movies with multiple plot twists
June 9, 2008 5:31 PM   Subscribe

Tell me thriller/mystery movies have lots of plot twists, like in "The Game." Spoilers inside as examples.

I don't mean end-of-movie-twists specifically-- but my favorite movies in the thriller genre have "Switches" (not sure of the proper term), where the audience becomes convinced of one thing, then convinced of a different thing. Obviously the degree of being "convinced" will apply to different individuals, but a particularly good one was "The Game," where the movie's plot made a reasonable "case" for it being serious/being a game at several different points. A less successful example was "The Village," where after we learn that the creatures are fake, there's a sequence in the forest where the movie implies (through voiceover and camera angles) that a *real* creature is stalking Bryce, until it turns out it was a person after all. I can't for the life of me think of other movies with these "switches" in them (other than single Twist Ending switches, like 6th Sense).

posted by ®@ to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:38 PM on June 9, 2008 [2 favorites]

The Spanish Prisoner has numerous plot twists of the sort your describe.
posted by justkevin at 5:40 PM on June 9, 2008

The Machinist, A History Of Violence.
posted by Diskeater at 5:40 PM on June 9, 2008

posted by moxiedoll at 5:42 PM on June 9, 2008

Muholland Drive...
posted by johngoren at 5:43 PM on June 9, 2008

The Sting, The Usual Suspects, LA Confidential, The Prestige, The Illusionist, Intermission, (and if you like the artsy drama) The Fountain

Those are all personal favorites. Now I'm off to my netflix queue to see if I can remember any more
posted by ibfrog at 5:43 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Oh! I was going to say Blue Velvet but anything by David Lynch fits your bill
posted by ibfrog at 5:44 PM on June 9, 2008

Wild Things, if you like your twists of the soapy trashy variety....
posted by Lucinda at 5:46 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Mamet is pretty good at this. 2nding Spanish Prisoner, and adding House of Games, Spartan, and Heist.

I would also add The Prestige.
posted by lilnemo at 5:46 PM on June 9, 2008

The original Sleuth.
posted by idb at 5:52 PM on June 9, 2008

Nueve Reinas or the American version Criminal (in English). IMDB has lists of movies based on keywords that you might want to look at, "long con", "surprise ending" e.g.

I'm assuming from your example of "The Village" that I needn't mention "The Sixth Sense."
posted by HE Amb. T. S. L. DuVal at 5:58 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Total Recall
posted by Khalad at 6:09 PM on June 9, 2008

The Usual Suspects
Primal Fear
Final Analysis
Dead Again
Secret Window
Angel Heart (I haven't seen this in almost 20 years, but I remember being freaked out by it, and seen to remember a plot twist...I was however very young then.)
posted by illek at 6:14 PM on June 9, 2008

'Shallow Grave' is a really excellent twist thriller. It's the first film made by Danny Boyle and Andrew McDonald (who later made 'Trainspotting,' '28 Days Later,' 'Sunshine' and some others) and it's Hitchcockian in the best sense of the word. I couldn't recommend it more highly for what you are looking for.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:24 PM on June 9, 2008

seconding Sleuth. The new one is good too.
posted by daboo at 6:28 PM on June 9, 2008

Identity. Hat Maui, Speaking of Hitchcock, there's Rear Window. It has you going back and forth, was it him, or wasn't it?
posted by gauchodaspampas at 6:33 PM on June 9, 2008

Red Rock West
posted by salvia at 6:48 PM on June 9, 2008

You could work your way down this list. I'd say about 80% of those have what you're looking for (and the other 20% are just plain good movies)
posted by gwint at 6:57 PM on June 9, 2008




Almost anything directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot
posted by cinemafiend at 8:04 PM on June 9, 2008

Layer Cake

The Conversation
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:34 PM on June 9, 2008

Jacob's Ladder, to an extent?
posted by greatgefilte at 9:02 PM on June 9, 2008

Ne le dis à Personne (Tell No One).
posted by Beardman at 9:54 PM on June 9, 2008 [1 favorite]

Arlington Road.
posted by btkuhn at 10:14 PM on June 9, 2008

posted by RavinDave at 2:57 AM on June 10, 2008

Big Deal in Dodge City - (Or A Big Hand For The Little Lady if you're in the US)
posted by Jofus at 3:39 AM on June 10, 2008

Brick (2005). Closer (2004).
posted by paulsc at 5:55 AM on June 10, 2008

Every good movie I thought of has already been mentioned, leaving me only with Entrapment. It's not awful, but it's no classic.
posted by Kattullus at 5:59 AM on June 10, 2008

Nine Queens is a great example. You'll never guess the ending.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:55 AM on June 10, 2008

Fight Club
posted by and for no one at 9:21 AM on June 10, 2008

Seconding "Green for Danger" and "The Conversation."


"Double Indemnity"
"The Maltese Falcon"
"Lady in the Lake"
"Everybody Wins"
posted by grumblebee at 10:00 AM on June 10, 2008

Someone already mentioned Heist, but I feel it's necessary to mention that in that movie, the twists start to get really annoying after a while, especially since it's effectively the same gag over and over and over again.
posted by Deathalicious at 12:48 PM on June 10, 2008

Suicide Kings
posted by headless at 1:06 PM on June 10, 2008

oh yeah, and Jackie Brown
posted by headless at 1:07 PM on June 10, 2008

Gone Baby Gone. I liked this one because the plot twists never feel gimmicky or contrived. The plot turns itself on its head several times, but it feels more like legitimate misreading of particular characters motivations rather than the writer throwing in plots twists for the sake of shock value.
posted by The Gooch at 9:53 PM on June 10, 2008

Would it be naiive to say Hitchcock?
Like, if you're into the suspense/thriller genre at all i'd expect you've already seen these, but Rear Window and Vertigo both have the "long con" you're looking for.
posted by The Esteemed Doctor Bunsen Honeydew at 1:51 AM on June 11, 2008

Hot Fuzz, the end-of-movie-twists start halfway
posted by Akeem at 6:10 AM on June 11, 2008

posted by cashman at 10:57 AM on June 11, 2008

Interesting timing...
posted by illek at 3:09 PM on June 12, 2008

Thirding The Prestige -- I finished watching it a few hours ago and it's exactly what you're looking for. Twistiest plot I've encountered in awhile, along with some very interesting philosophical and metaphysical questions.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:25 PM on June 12, 2008

Zero Effect.
Run Lola Run.
posted by Caviar at 8:10 AM on June 13, 2008

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