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8 Mystery Movies with Delightfully Shocking Plot Twists

Expect the unexpected.

fracture mystery movies with shocking plot twists
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  • Photo Credit: New Line Cinema

Some people say that a mystery is only as good as its plot twist. Whether you believe that or not, we can at least say that a good plot twist always keeps us coming back for more! From ultimate classics to postmodern hits, some films take our expectations and shatter them to bits. Here are 8 mystery movies with some of the best plot twists of all time.

Primal Fear

This film from 1996 is a gripping legal mystery thriller, based on the novel of the same name by William Diehl. After the brutal murder of a Catholic archbishop, successful Chicago lawyer Martin Vail (Richard Gere) offers pro bono representation to the meek altar boy, Aaron Stampler (Edward Norton) charged with the crime. As the trial moves along, Vail soon finds the truth to be far more complicated than he could have ever imagined.

Gone Girl

Adapted from Gillian Flynn's book of the same name, this 2014 film follows Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) in the wake of his wife, Amy's (Rosamund Pike) disappearance. As suspicious circumstances begin to mount, the case gains heavy media traction.  Nick's attitude in the public eye casts him as the prime suspect—but is there something far more sinister than a missing woman at play?


While even those who haven't seen this 1960 classic from the great Alfred Hitchcock may already know the plot twist, it's still an incredible movie to experience! After embezzling a large sum of money from work, Phoenix secretary Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) flees to a rundown motel. The motel proprietor is the shy Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins), beholden to his domineering mother. As things take a deadly turn, Det. Milton Arbogast (Martin Balsam) and Marion's sister, Lila (Vera Miles), get tangled up in the strange establishment.

Knives Out

Acclaimed crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead of apparent suicide. However, someone else seems to think otherwise, anonymously hiring brilliant southern detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) to investigate. As Blanc looks into the eccentric and difficult family, he enlists the help of Harlan's private nurse, Marta Cabrera (Ana de Armas), who vomits every time she tells a lie.


This outstanding legal thriller from 2007 employs impressive legal gymnastics in its wild twists and turns. After shooting his wife for having an affair, Ted Crawford (Anthony Hopkins) decides to represent himself during trial. Assistant D.A. Willy Beachum (Ryan Gosling) expects a simple open and shut case, but Crawford's antics send him on a desperate crusade for justice.

The Game

This mind-bending mystery thriller from 1997 will leave you questioning reality. Nicholas Van Orton (Michael Douglas) is a brilliant investment banker whose life is turned upside down when his brother, Conrad (Sean Penn) gives him a peculiar birthday gift. The gift is a certificate to play a mysterious came, run by a business called the Consumer Recreation Services. As the game starts to affect is life in increasingly destructive ways, Nicholas is unable to unravel the threads of the baffling conspiracy.

Shutter Island

Based on the novel of the same name by Dennis Lehane, this 2010 mystery thriller is a captivating watch. US Marshals Teddy Daniels (Leonardo DiCaprio) and Chuck Aule (Mark Ruffalo) arrive at an asylum on an isolated island to look into the disappearance of a patient. However, the more that Daniels looks into the patients and the facility, the more terrifying the investigation becomes.


This Christopher Nolan neo-noir mystery from 2000 is a masterpiece of non-linear storytelling. Leonard Shelby (Guy Pearce) suffers from short-term memory loss, but remains determined to find the man who killed his wife. Utilizing an elaborate system of Polaroids, notes, and tattoos, he leaves himself a trail of clues to follow whenever he forgets.