Top 10 Movie Plot Twists That Came Out of Nowhere
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Top 10 Movie Plot Twists That Came Out of Nowhere

VOICE OVER: John Hastings WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp
Nobody saw these plot twists coming! For this list, we'll be looking at various plot twists that appeared when we least expected them. Our countdown includes "From Dusk till Dawn", "Hancock", “Crazy, Stupid, Love”, and more!

Top 10 Movie Plot Twists That Came Out of Nowhere

Wait, this movie actually has a plot twist? Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 movie plot twists that came out of nowhere.

For this list, we’ll be looking at various plot twists that appeared when we least expected them. That means the twist has to be so outlandishly unbelievable that we would have never guessed it, or it happened in a movie we would have never expected to have a plot twist.

#10: Mary Is Also a Superhero

“Hancock” (2008)
“Hancock” primarily concerns Will Smith’s John Hancock, a superhero who is actually hated by the general public due to his reckless abandon, drunken behavior, and wanton acts of destruction. Charlize Theron plays Mary Embrey, the wife of a public relations consultant. That’s all we’re led to believe - until Hancock kisses Mary and she launches him through the house, revealing that she, too, is a superhero. But that’s not all! We also learn that Mary and Hancock are three thousand years old, that they’ve been married, and that immortals slowly lose their powers and immortality once they’ve been paired together. It’s a lot to process for what we thought was a simple superhero comedy!

#9: Julia Roberts

“Ocean’s Twelve” (2004)
“Ocean’s Eleven” kept things simple, with Julia Roberts playing Danny’s ex-wife, Tess Ocean. And then things get borderline metaphysical in the sequel. As it turns out, Roberts already exists in this universe. So here we have a woman who looks and sounds exactly like Julia Roberts. The movie proceeds to launch into what is perhaps the most meta joke in the history of film, as Tess poses as Julia Roberts as part of a con. To make it even funnier, Tess makes for a terrible Julia Roberts - so much so that Bruce Willis, who knows Roberts, realizes that something is up and humorously pokes holes in the plan - like putting Tess on the phone with the real Julia Roberts. Does anyone else’s head hurt?

#8: Sam Is a Clone

“Moon” (2009)
Sam Rockwell plays Sam Bell, an employee of Lunar Industries. The company mines helium-3 from the soil of the Moon to send back to Earth as a fuel source. Most of the base is automated, so Sam is the only person on the Moon, and his three-year contract is about to expire. But following a crash of his lunar rover, Sam learns that he is actually a clone of the original Sam Bell. One of many, in fact. Each clone has a three-year life cycle, and when one clone dies, another is activated - complete with implanted memories of Sam’s expecting wife. In reality, Sam’s wife is long dead and his child is fifteen years old. The revelation is equal parts mindblowing and heartbreaking.

#7: Basically Anything Involving the Creature

“Splice” (2009)
We’ll say it - “Splice” is one weird and disturbing film. Genetic engineers Clive and Elsa wish to splice animal and human DNA to create a humanimal hybrid. The initial twist reveals that the human DNA came from Elsa, not an anonymous donor. And then it snowballs into the absolutely ludicrous. The creature has sex with Clive after overpowering it with pheromones and later turns into a male, where it proceeds to assault Elsa. Elsa decides to keep the unwanted baby after being offered a juicy sum of money. Oedipus would have a field day with this movie. It’s supposed to be provocative, but the only thing it provokes is the regurgitation of our previous meal.

#6: That Final Shot

“Pain and Glory” (2019)
“Pain and Glory” is a rumination on life itself. Antonio Banderas plays aging film director Salvador Mallo, who reflects on his life and what it’s taught him in the midst of a creative dry spell. The final shot of the movie shows a young Salvador admiring some fireworks while his anxious mother worries about their precarious situation - and then we find that these are actually actors on a movie set. Salvador is actually using his childhood memories to film a new movie and overcome his creative crisis. These aren’t flashbacks - they’re scenes from a movie. Not only is it a shocking twist, but it’s a wonderful rumination on the craft and potential healing process of filmmaking.

#5: The Entire Movie Is a Video Game

“Serenity” (2019)
“Serenity” was largely lambasted when it was released in the winter of 2019, with most of the criticism aimed at its ridiculous plot twist. Matthew McConaughey plays Baker Dill, a tour boat captain who is hired by his ex-wife to kill her new, abusive husband. It’s actually a pretty decent and intriguing set-up. But it’s negated when we learn that the events of the movie actually take place inside a video game and that Dill is actually a Marine who died in 2006. Dill’s son Patrick uses the game as an outlet wherein he makes his deceased father murder his abusive stepfather. But wait, it gets better! Patrick decides to forgo the creative outlet and simply murders his stepfather in real life. It’s truly bizarre stuff.

#4: Vampires!?

“From Dusk till Dawn” (1996)
Trailers tend to spoil even the greatest surprises. This movie opens as a regular crime caper, as bank robbers Seth and Richie make their way into Mexico. They eventually arrive at a strip club in the desert, where a heated bar fight reveals the horrifying truth - the bar patrons are actually vampires. From there, this crime drama quickly turns into a pulpy vampire flick reminiscent of grindhouse B-movies. Without the trailer giving the game way, this sudden plot twist would have come as a shocking surprise. Even though the trailer blunted the impact, it still stands as one of the most outlandish and unforeseen plot twists in movie history. But how much more powerful it would have been without the trailer having spoiled it..

#3: “Fight Club” 2.0

“Tully” (2018)
The second Charlize Theron movie to appear on this list is “Tully,” a comedy-drama about an overwhelmed mother named Marlo. Feeling exhausted and fed up, Marlo hires a night nanny named Tully to help with the children. Marlo, Tully, and Marlo’s husband Drew get along famously, and everything seems headed for domestic bliss. However, we later learn that “Tully” is actually Marlo’s maiden name and that the night nanny was always a figment of her sleep-deprived imagination. Marlo imagined Tully as a younger, idealized version of herself as a means to cope with parental stress. It’s essentially just the twist from “Fight Club,” only it's for the purposes of domestic aid rather than, you know, causing anarchy and blowing up buildings.

#2: The Reunion Was Just a Book

“Atonement” (2007)
“Atonement” is a war drama starring James McAvoy and Keira Knightley as Robbie and Cecilia, two young people who have a crush on each other in pre-World War II England. However, Cecilia’s sister Briony gets in the way and has Robbie falsely imprisoned. Once war breaks out, Robbie is sent to the frontlines as penance and Cecilia works as a nurse. They eventually reunite and attempt to have Briony overturn her testimony. We later learn that this reunion never took place - the whole scene was imagined by Briony for her autobiographical novel “Atonement.” In real life, both Robbie and Cecilia died in the war before they could be reunited, and Briony is writing the novel as an old woman to rid herself of the guilt.

#1: Hannah & Cal Are Related

“Crazy, Stupid, Love” (2011)
This may be the only romantic comedy in history with a mind-blowing plot twist that throws the rest of the story into utter chaos. And it works wonderfully. The movie concerns Cal, a bland, boring man who gets help from the suave and sophisticated Jacob after getting divorced. Jacob is a ladies’ man who sleeps with countless women, and he has his eyes on Emma Stone’s Hannah. The two get together and Jacob goes to meet Hannah’s parents - only to discover that Cal is her father. Not only does this result in one of the funniest fight scenes in movie history, but it serves as a major moment for character growth in both Cal and Jacob. It’s certainly shocking and unexpected, but it’s also utterly hilarious.