#Movies & TV

8 Movies With The Greatest Surprise Endings Of All Time

by Jennifer Lafferty

8 Movies With The Greatest Surprise Endings Of All Time
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These eight popular movies had endings that we really didn’t see coming. As much as these films differed, they were definitely all unpredictable.



It’s one thing for a film to have twists and turns, but occassionally there are movies that end in a way that’s so unpredictable the audience wonders what just happened. Some of these imaginative developments are so shocking, they give us goosebumps. Other times we’re baffled and perplexed by the off-the-wall endings. Whether the movies are good or not, at least the filmmakers got one thing right—the element of surprise.


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Primal Fear


In this 1996 mystery drama, a timid young man, Aaron (Edward Norton), is accused of murdering a high ranking priest. Norton’s amazing performance (and the complex storyline itself) helped to deflect suspicion that Aaron, who is diagnosed with a multiple personality disorder, is really guilty of the crime. While sympathizing with this troubled altar boy and watching the multi-layered story unravel, it’s easy to overlook the possibility that Aaron could be a brilliant sociopath playing everyone, including his savvy lawyer (Richard Gere).

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Secret Window


Anyone looking for twists and turns can’t go wrong with a Stephen King story like this 2004 thriller based on King’s story by the same name, starring Johnny Depp and John Turturro. Depp plays Mort Rainey, a writer being harassed by a sinister man, accusing him of plagiarism. But nothing that happens to Rainey is as chilling as the revelation of the stalker’s true identity.

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Gone Girl


At the beginning of this riveting 2014 psychological thriller about the highly publicized search for missing Amy (Rosamund Pike), it is all but impossible to guess who the real villain is. After we find out Amy’s husband Nick (Ben Affleck) has a dark side, we are so busy trying to decide if he is the culprit, that when the truth comes out it takes a while to fully process.

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Citizen Kane


It’s not just creepy thrillers with unexpected endings. The classic 1941 Orson Welles melodrama Citizen Kane, which was inspired by the life of publishing magnet William Randolph Hearst, kept the audience in suspense. Finding out the true meaning of “Rusebud” definitely surprised and disappointed a few.

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The Village


M. Night Shyamalan is one of the few writer/directors who could give us something this clever and wildly imaginative. While it’s common for suspense films to reveal that some fundamental aspect isn’t what it appears to be, in this flick about strange happenings in a 19th century village, basically nothing is as it appears. In a sense, it could be considered an alternate universe story, up until the end.

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Fight Club


This 1999 hit film starring Edward Norton as an insomniac office worker who starts an underground fight club and with his anti-establishment friend, played by Brad Pitt, isn’t the easiest movie to follow. But the dramatic ending, which involves exploding buildings, alter-egos and a botched suicide attempt, may be the most shocking part of all.

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The Sixth Sense


One of the ways filmmakers like M. Night Shyamalan can play with our minds is letting us in on something bizarre, only to find that the weirdest aspect of the film is yet to come. Who would’ve predicted the truth about child psychologist Dr. Malcolm Crowe ( Bruce Willis) in this 1999 mystery could be creepier than his patient’s (Haley Joel Osment) ability to “see dead people”?

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Planet of the Apes


It’s difficult enough to wrap your head around the idea of a planet where humans are ruled by talking apes, but when we finally get used to the concept, the ending really throws us for a loop. The scene when astronaut George Taylor (Charlton Heston) discovers the remains of the Statue of Liberty in the original 1968 film is not only shocking, but one of the most memorable moments in cinematic history.