Greatest Film Plot Twists
Film Spoilers and
Surprise Endings


Written by Tim Dirks

Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings
Title Screen
Film Title/Year and Plot Twist-Spoiler-Surprise Ending Description

The Jacket (2005)

As A Result of Jack's Time Travels From 1992 to 2007 While Wearing a Strait-Jacket, He Altered the Future; He Saved Jackie's Mother Jean From Death, and Daughter Jackie From Living a Sad Life - And He Possibly Altered How He Died (From a Fatal Wartime Head Injury to Slipping on an Icy Driveway and Only Fracturing His Skull)

Director John Maybury's sci-fi time-travel thriller was similar in plot to La Jetee (1962, Fr.) and Jacob's Ladder (1990) - a circular plot that brought the time-traveling protagonist back and forth numerous times, enough to provide knowledge that could alter the future. [Note: It was entirely possible that the protagonist had died from a traumatic and mysterious head injury - and everything that he experienced in the film afterwards was just an hallucination.]

The tagline was:


In the opening, a Persian Gulf War veteran (unidentified) in Iraq in 1991 was shot by a young Iraqi boy at close-range. The soldier spoke (in voice-over):

"I was 27 years old the first time I died. I remember there was white everywhere. There was war, and I felt alive. But, really, I was dead."

As the dead man was tagged in a medical tent, he was identified as Marine Sgt. Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) -- "Starks, Jack. Born in Vermont. Hasn't got a family listed. Naval hospital will take care of it." But then, he miraculously opened his eyes ("This soldier's alive. This man just blinked") and a Code Blue was called. He had luckily survived the bullet wound to the back of his head - importantly, he was not told specifically the circumstances of his death. As a result of his severe head injury, he suffered from "retrograde amnesia, acute psychological suppression" - and was recommended for the Bronze Star.

12 months later (in 1992), he appeared in his home-state of Vermont, where he was seen walking down a snowy road. He came upon a young girl, Jackie Price (Laura Marano), the daughter of drunken mother Jean (Kelly Lynch), whose pick-up truck was stalled by the side of the deserted road. When Jackie asked about his dog-tags from the war, he gave them to her, explaining their purpose: "In case I get lost or can't remember who I am" -- an important plot element.

Later, after Jack left them and continued to hitch-hike, he was picked up by another driver, but soon after, their car was stopped by a cop for driving too slow. Then the scene changed - the policeman was dead, Starks was wounded, and he was falsely accused of the murder of Officer Harrison (who Starks claimed was shot three times by the driver, with the cop's own gun). When questioned about everything, authorities discovered that there was no last name, no physical presence, and no residence found for Jean and Jackie - his sole recollections of the day. Believing he was suffering from Gulf War syndrome with "a damaged mind," the court found him not guilty by reason of insanity and he was committed to Alpine Grove Psychiatric Hospital - an institution for the criminally-insane.

Creepy and deranged Dr. Thomas Becker (Kris Kristofferson) was in charge of his treatment (using a previously-banned behavioral modification technique). Starks was injected with an experimental hallucinatory drug and placed in a tight body-length strait-jacket within a basement morgue drawer for lengthy periods of time, causing him to have frightening, surrealistic recollections. Dr. Becker rationalized that the drug would reset Starks' "violent proclivities - peel away some layers of hate."

The repeated use of the drug and mortuary drawer caused Jack to have visions of the future. He experienced time travel transport to the future for short periods of time, before he would flash-back and return to the past. Starks was taken 15 years into the future to the year 2007 on Christmas Eve, where he met up again, in St. Albans, Vermont, with an older, grown-up version of Jackie Price (Keira Knightley as adult) - now a dark-eyed, sickly, chain-smoking waitress employed at Baillie's Motel and Diner.

Homeless and unprepared for the cold, he was picked up and taken to her place to sleep on her couch, but she cautioned as she left to take a bath that she didn't want to get to know him: "I don't wanna meet you. I may wanna help you tonight, but I don't wanna know you, really." By chance, he happened to notice his dog-tags given to her years earlier, and a picture of the young girl with her mother. Jackie told him that her mother was now deceased:

"She passed out with a cigarette and burned to death."

As a result of her mother's death, Jackie's life had gone into decline. She was also a chain-smoker, lonely, sad and depressed, and sickly. Disbelieving him, she insisted that his recollections about meeting them, giving her his dog-tags and his claim that he was Starks were all very inaccurate -- because obviously, Starks had died:

"...Jack Starks is dead....He's dead. His body was found New Year's Day, 1993, Alpine Grove.... I don't care who or where you think you are, you're not Jack Starks."

He knew that he had only about a week until his death - a race against time. He pleaded: "Don't you remember me?" and desperately tried to have her remember their first meeting on the roadside when she was a child: "I met you and your mother, and there was no one around for miles. I couldn't have known that from a pair of dog tags you had lying around." But she screamed for him to get out.

Another trip to the future added some more detail: "Jack Starks died from a wound to the head, January 1st, 1993." He also made love to Jackie before departing, as she entreated him: "Come back to me, Jack." [Did she know of his time travels?] When he visited again, Jackie and Jack located retired Dr. Becker, who told him: "We're all dead, Jack." Jack feared it would be his "last time" visiting Jackie.

On the day of his predicted death, January 1, 1993, Jack delivered a letter to Jean's house, once more meeting young Jackie. His voice-over - the contents of the letter written to Jean, Jackie's mother - described his knowledge of future events (the death of Jean due to a smoking accident) - and a warning about how to prevent future tragedy for young daughter Jackie:

I've seen life after my death, and I'm telling you this, because it's the only way to help you and your daughter have a better life of your own. Jean, you're gonna pass out one day smoking a cigarette and burn to death. Your daughter grows up living the same sad life you're living right now. And she misses you so much. Sometimes life can only really begin with the knowledge of death. That it can all end, even when you least want it to. The important thing in life is to believe that while you're alive, it's never too late. I promise you, Jean, no matter how bad things look, they look better awake than they do asleep. When you die, there's only one thing you want to happen. You wanna come back.

As he walked back into the psychiatric hospital, Jack suffered the predicted serious "blunt trauma" head injury when he accidentally slipped and cracked his head on the icy concrete driveway. At the same time, he was being rushed into the jacket and drawer, to take one more trip to the future (the year 2007), possibly his last time travel journey, to bring him to Jackie.

When he arrived, their initial meeting from 2007 was reprised. Jackie picked him up on the side of the road after noticing his bruised head with a "nasty cut." He told her: "I slipped, but I'm alive. I'm on my way to the hospital." She offered to drive him, since she worked there as a nurse. Immediately, he knew that his letter had altered the future and changed her life. Jackie was living a better life - she was driving a new VW car and looking healthier. On the drive, Jackie received a friendly phone call from her mother - who was very much alive. The screen faded to bright white as they talked in the car:

Jackie: "How you doing?"
Jack: "Better now."
Jackie (off-screen): "How much time do we have?"

Her response revealed that the link to the "previous" future of 2007 wasn't lost. The lyrics of Iggy Pop's closing rendition of We Have All the Time in the World answered her question - "It's never too late."

The Gun Shot

Sgt. Jack Starks (Adrien Brody): "I was 27 years old the first time I died."

"This man just blinked."

Committed to Psychiatric Hospital - in Strait-Jacket

Jackie Price (Keira Knightley as Adult)

Making Love to Jackie

A Time Travel Trip

Meeting Young Jackie

Jack with Jackie in Year 2007

Jacob's Ladder (1990)

Jacob Singer Died in Vietnam -- All of the Events in the Film Were His Hallucinatory Efforts to Deny His Death

Director Adrian Lyne's psychological thriller had a very misleading tagline:

The most frightening thing about Jacob Singer's nightmare is that he isn't dreaming.

In the prologue set in 1971, Vietnam vet soldier Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins) suffered a serious bayonet wound to the stomach, and was helicoptered out of the fighting zone to an army hospital.

The film led one to believe he survived, but in reality, he died in combat on an operating table (revealed in the final scene).

Singer's horrifying, hallucinatory visions of horned creatures and demons were the fantasies and dreams of a dying (or dead) man (experiencing death-bed visions) who couldn't accept his death and was unwilling to let go. Throughout the film, there were foreshadowings of his death:

  • Elsa (S. Epatha Merkerson), a palm reader, told him: "You're already dead"
  • an Evil Doctor (Davidson Thomson), during a horrific experience in hell/purgatory where Jacob was taken on a gurney into a blood-stained underworld hospital, bluntly told him that he was dead ("You've been killed. Don't you remember?")

At an erotic disco dance (to the tune of James Brown's Ma Thang (Sex Machine)) on a crowded dance floor with his temptress Latina girlfriend Jezzie (Elizabeth Pena), Jacob saw a snake-like devil with a scaly reptilian tail curled around her and then a horn abruptly ripped open her mouth.

His guardian angel/chiropractor Louis (Danny Aiello) counseled him about hell being like purgatory:

Eckhart saw Hell too. He said: The only thing that burns in Hell is the part of you that won't let go of your life. Your memories, your attachments. They burn them all away. But they're not punishing you, he said. They're freeing your soul...So the way he sees it, if you're frightened of dying and you're holding on, you'll see devils tearin' your life away. But if you've made your peace, then the devils are really angels, freein' you from the earth. It's just a matter of how you look at it, that's all. So don't worry, okay? 'K? Relax...relax. Relax.

Before accepting his own death, Jacob needed to be reconciled with the fact of the death of his young 6 year-old son Gabriel (uncredited Macauley Culkin) while he was still in Vietnam, when he remembered (or imagined) Gabe's death by an automobile when the young boy was picking up baseball cards he had dropped in the middle of the street while walking his bicycle.

Jacob also had a secret rendezvous with 'hippie chemist' Michael Newman (Matt Craven) who told him that his battalion had been secretly given a dose in their C-rations of an experimental psycho-reactive drug (code-named 'ladder'), to counteract the effects of combat-induced post-traumatic stress, by causing soldiers to become more aggressive in combat. Its negative side effects were intense hallucinations and in some instances, soldiers would attack and kill each other. It was hinted that Jacob's war injury was from 'friendly fire.'

Although there may have been a government conspiracy, Jacob's hallucinations upon his return to NYC were not caused by the drug, or battle stress, but because he wasn't freeing his soul.

In the next-to-final scene (in his old apartment bathed in golden light), Jacob finally accepted his own death. In the climax, Jacob spotted his dead son Gabe, who was playing with a red music box (playing "Sonny Boy") on the stairs - the boy looked up and greeted him with: "Hi Dad!" As they hugged, Gabe reassured his father: "It's OK" - followed by Gabe telling him: "Come on, let's go up" - meaning their ascension up the staircase into the golden light.

Jacob's death on an operating table in Vietnam was then revealed, as an army doctor stated:

"He's gone. He looks kind of peaceful... He put up a hell of a fight, though."

The final screen stated the alleged combat use of an hallucinogen called 3-quinuclidinyl benzilate:

"It was reported that the hallucinogenic drug BZ was used in experiments on soldiers during the Vietnam war. The Pentagon denied the story."

Vietnam Vet Jacob Singer (Tim Robbins)

Jezzie (Elizabeth Pena)


Louis (Danny Aiello)

6 year-old son Gabriel (Macauley Culkin) - Hit by Automobile

Jacob Accepting His Death

Dead Son Gabe On Stairs With Red Music Box

Up the Staircase "Ladder" Into the Golden Light

Jacob's Death on Operating Table

Jagged Edge (1985)

Although Declared Innocent, Jack Forrester Was Guilty of Double Homicide; Forrester Was Killed in the Film's Conclusion by His Own Defense Lawyer Teddy Barnes

The surprise, contrived twist ending of this early Joe Eszterhas-penned courtroom thriller with many surprises finally revealed the truth -- that accused suspect and newspaper magnate Jack Forrester (Jeff Bridges) was guilty of a double homicide the entire time (in the opening sequence, he killed his San Francisco wife-wealthy socialite/heiress Page Forrester (Maria Mayenzet) and the house maid in their remote beach house), although he was found innocent. He had inflicted a head wound upon himself, to detract suspicion. Jack's motive, argued by prosecutor Thomas Krasny (Peter Coyote), was to inherit his wife's entire SF Times publishing empire fortune.

He was engaged in an unprofessional affair with divorced, retired criminal law attorney Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close), a divorced mother with two children. When she made the startling discovery in a closet of his damning 1942 Corona typewriter (with a unique typeface including elevated 't's', that were found in all of the anonymous letters), she told Forrester. As a result, the killer attempted to eliminate her.

In the nail-biting conclusion, she heard the breaking of glass at a back door, and prepared herself for an attack in her upstairs bedroom late at night. The intruder was dressed with a ski mask and black leather clothing and was carrying a prominent murder weapon - a jagged edged or serrated hunting knife. When he approached the bed, and removed rope from his pocket to create a noose, she implored: "I need to see your face, Jack." As she added, "I could have loved you...", he grabbed at her, and she responded by shooting him several times with a concealed gun. As he staggered and fell to the floor, she shot two more times.

When the dead, dark figure on the floor was unmasked by detective Sam Ransom (Robert Loggia), it was revealed that it was Jack who was the attacker. A tear came to Teddy's eye. Ransom delivered the film's last line to her to reassure her: "F--k him, he was trash." The last image, before the credits, was a close-up of the jagged edged knife in the killer's hand.

The Unmasked Killer: "F--k him, he was trash."

Questions about the twisting and unpredictable plot included:

  • "Was he guilty or innocent?"
  • "Were Jack and his wife on the verge of breaking up over their mutual infidelities?"
  • "Was Jack in love with Teddy or just using her?"

Teddy Barnes (Glenn Close)

Awaiting the Killer and Shooting Him

Close-Up of Jagged Edged Knife

Kill Bill, Vol. 1 (2003)
Kill Bill, Vol. 2 (2004)

The Bride (Beatrix Kiddo) Vengefully Killed Her Boss/Lover Bill, and Fled With Their Daughter B.B. To Live Happily Ever After

Writer/director Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked, very violent action and grindhouse film (a revenge fantasy), contained numerous pop cultural references and stylized violence - it was another cinematic homage to the genres he loved most: kung-fu and martial arts (chopsocky) films, crime dramas, Japanese anime, B-movies, blaxploitation, Hong Kong action films, samurai sword epics and 'spaghetti' westerns.

The film's main plot was revenge of an assassinatrix (or hit-woman) named the "Bride" (Uma Thurman) (aka Black Mamba), after her presumed 'death' on her El Paso, Texas "dress rehearsal" wedding day. She had been attacked in the chapel by four members of the DiVAS (the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad) - an elite group that she used to belong to, led by her unseen boss Bill (David Carradine).

In the film's opening sequence, set right after the massacre in the chapel, Bill wiped the Bride's bloody face with his monogrammed handkerchief, as he told her:

"Now, Kiddo, I'd like to believe that you're aware enough even now to know that there's nothing sadistic in my actions. Well, maybe towards those other jokers, but not you. No Kiddo, at this moment, this is me at my most masochistic."

As he cocked his pistol, she replied: "Bill, it's your baby," but he put a bullet into her head anyway. It appeared that everyone, including her unborn child, were murdered as well as members of the bridal party.

However, the Bride survived the attack although she was comatose for four years (when she awoke from her coma, she cried out, "My baby, my baby!"). She created a Death Hit List of five that she would target: the four DiVAS, and finally Bill.

In the conclusion of the film, the Bride tracked Bill to the Mexican countryside, to a hotel hacienda where she met for the first time with her 4 year-old child, named B.B. (Perla Haney-Jardine). B.B. obviously loved her father, who had told her that Mommy was asleep, but that one day she'd wake up and come back to her (B.B. confirmed this: "I waited a long time for you to wake up, Mommy"). They all played at being a family for awhile and Bill made a sandwich for the girl.

When Bill shot the Bride with truth serum, she was interrogated by him. It was revealed that the Bride (aka Arlene Machiavelli - the fake name on her marriage certificate) was Bill's former lover. He had become disturbed by her secret pregnancy, her move to El Paso, and her planned wedding to Tommy Plympton (Christopher Allen Nelson), a used record store dealer in El Paso.

The Bride, real-named Beatrix Kiddo, tried to escape the assassination-business (and Bill's Deadly Vipers) when she found out she was pregnant (she wanted to keep the baby a secret so that Bill wouldn't claim it):

"She deserved to be born with a clean slate. But with you, she would have been born into a world she shouldn't have. I had to choose. I chose her."

When the Bride disappeared and settled in El Paso, Texas, Bill became jealously enraged - he ordered her assassination and also pulled the trigger on her head, and then unbeknownst to her, cut out her unborn child (in utero) and lovingly raised the daughter himself. [The last line of Vol. 1 provided this hint from Bill: "Is she aware her daughter is still alive?"]

Beatrix ultimately sought revenge against the estranged Bill, claiming that she had "unfinished business with him." To kill him, she used "the five point palm-exploding heart technique" taught to her by martial arts master Pai Mei (Gordon Liu), and he died after taking five steps on his back lawn.

Then, she departed with B.B., and the next morning, felt conflicting emotions (both grief and laughter) over the death of Bill, as she lay on a motel bathroom floor while hugging a stuffed animal ("Thank you, Thank you"). She then hugged her child as they watched Saturday morning cartoons in the adjoining bedroom together ("THE LIONESS HAS REJOINED HER CUB AND ALL IS RIGHT IN THE JUNGLE").

'Killing" of The Bride (Beatrix Kiddo) - Massacre in Chapel

The Bride Seeking Revenge on Bill (David Carradine)

Disabling Bill: "The Five Point Palm-Exploding Heart Technique"

Hugging Stuffed Animal

The Bride With Daughter B.B.

Kill List (2011, UK)

Ex-Military Hit-Man Jay Was Being Groomed and "Reconstructed" by Pagan Cult Members as Their New Leader, By Having to Go Through an Initiation; He Proved Himself by Committing a Series of Brutal Contract Kills (Where the Victims All Strangely Thanked Him), and Then Unwittingly Also Killed His Own Son and Wife Before Being Crowned the Cult Leader

Co-scripter and director Ben Wheatley's low-budget, weird psychological, folk-horror film concluded with an unexpected, shocking sequence. Much of the film was tied together by the image of a strange pagan symbol (the film's motif - it bookended the film), described as a triangular-shaped, pointed teepee in the crosshairs of a gun. It appeared throughout the film as markings - on the back of a mirror, on a file folder, and other locales. The film's thematic content was partially similar to Race With the Devil (1975), and indirectly related to The Wicker Man (1973). The film's tagline forecast violence:


Two ex-soldiers, after a disastrous, botched hit-job mission in Kiev, were pressured into again becoming contract killers due to being cash-strapped:

  • Jay (Neil Maskell), a semi-psychotic, paranoid and mentally unhinged individual (with PTSD), an alienated outsider suffering from the traumatic effects of war
  • Gal (Michael Smiley), with dark-haired girlfriend Fiona (Emma Fryer) - employed in "human resources" terminating workers (!)

The unemployed Jay lived in a suburban area of England, married and in a turbulent relationship with his younger blonde Ukranian wife, Shel (Swedish actress MyAnna Buring), and their 10 year-old son Sam (Harry Simpson). During a chaotic dinner party scene (that foreshadowed future violence), Jay was set up to accept a 'job' from his old Army buddy Gal to engage in a series of three contract killings for a blond-haired Client (Struan Rodger) - the contract was executed with a paper signed in blood - a blood oath and deal with the devil?

The hits were advertised with three large, B/W pretentious titles:

THE PRIEST (Gareth Tunley) - a pedophile?, murdered with a bullet to the head
THE LIBRARIAN (Mark Kempner) - a collector of files, snuff movies and images (and also a pedophile?), who was brutally bludgeoned in the head with a hammer
THE MP (James Nickerson) - a member of Parliament

Jay's Murder of Cult Leader - was he the M.P.?

[Note: Oddly enough, the victims thanked Jay as he killed them - they were honored to be sacrificed by him. Eventually, it was revealed that the victims belonged to a mysterious ritualistic pagan cult. The Librarian's files and folders, never fully seen, were possibly research into the Kiev disaster, and provided some evidence that Jay's background might have been investigated while being considered to be the cult's new leader.]

When they were surveying the mansion of the third contract-hit (the M.P.) in the woods, Gal and Jay heard drumming noises and watched a group of men and women marching through the forest area with fire torches. Some were naked and some wore black robes. Many had masks made out of straw. One of the females (wearing a blue dress) stood on a tree-stump stool beneath a tent-like gallows structure (similar to the film's motif) - she then placed a noose around her neck, and hung herself to death, as the members around her applauded her mortal sacrifice. Jay opened fire on the cult, and shot the leader of the ceremony (the M.P.?) in the heart, who voluntarily offered himself (with arms outstretched) to be killed.

After Gal's disemboweling by members of the cult (and his mercy-killing by Jay), "Kill List" ended (in a dialogue-less scene) with a return to a circle of figures (some with straw or wicker masks) in the darkness of the woods. A nude woman had a crown of thorns pulled down as a blindfold over her bleeding eyes, as she stood next to a naked man.

Jay was stripped to the waist and forced to fight to the death against a masked "Hunchback" opponent. [Note: This scene was foreshadowed earlier when Jay fought against Shel and Sam in the garden with toy swords.] After succeeding in stabbing his opponent to death with a knife, Jay uncovered the figure's white sheet and discovered the Hunchback was his wife Shel with Sam strapped to her back. She laughed (ironically and mockingly), with blood dripping out of her mouth, as she died. [Note: Was Shel also one of the cult members who was 'happy' and pleased to be killed by Jay?] The various cultists, including Fiona, a Doctor, and his Client, applauded the stunned, remorse-less and emotionally-dead Jay, and he was rewarded with a crown by the Client. He had been chosen as the new leader for the death-worshipping cult after proving his worth - and possibly would perform the nude couple's wedding ceremony?

Jay vs. Hunchback in Circle of Pagan Cultists
One of the Cultists
Cult Participants - Part of a Bizarre Wedding Ritual?
The Crippled Hunchback (With Straw Mask)
Jay (With Straw Mask)
Jay Stabbing "The Hunchback"
Jay Crowned by the Cultists as Their New Leader
The Dying Hunchback
(Sam Dead - Strapped onto Shel's back)

Strange Symbol - The Symbol of the Pagan Cult

(l to r) Picture of Gal and Jay

Jay (Neil Maskell)

Shel (MyAnna Buring)

Gal (Michael Smiley)

Gal's Girlfriend Fiona (Emma Fryer)

The Cultists Marching Through Woods With Torches

Female's Sacrificial Hanging During Ceremony

Removing Masks:

The Client - One of the Cult Members

Fiona - One of the Cult Members

Killing Me Softly (2002)

Alice's Suspicious New Husband Adam Raped His Sister Deborah When They Were Children; Deborah Was Vengefully Killing All of Adam's Lovers; Alice Killed Deborah, Then Divorced Adam

Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige's English-language film debut was this steamy, erotic thriller of sordid, obsessive, and dangerous attraction, told in flashback. It was similar in plot to Alfred Hitchcock's psychological thriller Suspicion (1941) about a newly-wed wife - suspicious that her husband might be a rapist and killer.

Blue-eyed blonde and Indiana-bred Alice Loudon (Heather Graham), with "virtually no family and very few friends," had been living and working in London for a year and a half in a "comfortable" and "safe" relationship with boyfriend-engineer Jake (Jason Hughes). She was a well-paid designer of CD-ROMs and websites for corporate clients. After being love-struck by the sight of a handsome, seductive and brooding stranger on the street, she accompanied him and they made passionate love at the residence of his sister Deborah (Natascha McElhone).

After a heated romance and lots of fierce love-making with the stranger - revealed as celebrity mountain climber Adam Tallis (Joseph Fiennes), she married him, and on their honeymoon, she experienced bondage and his fetish for erotic asphyxiation with a silk scarf. Soon after, she began receiving mysterious hang-up phone calls and numerous anonymous typed letters, warning her about Adam: "USE YOUR HEAD, ALICE - WHAT DO YOU REALLY KNOW ABOUT HIM?" and a second more troubling one: "IT WAS A MISTAKE TO MARRY HIM."

The Guardian's Magazine reporter, Joanna Noble (Yasmin Bannerman), who had written an article praising Adam as a hero, received a similar note: "What you wrote made me SICK - Your BIG HERO, Adam Tallis, RAPED ME - 20.10.1989. Why don't you Try reporting the TRUTH!"

Adam's character and his past were again called into question. Suspicious, distrustful and inquisitive of her husband's potentially-violent and secretive past life, Alice began an intensive inquiry into Adam's ex-girlfriends and relationships, and found some disturbing facts and similarities - an alleged rape (unreported) of Michelle Stowe (Rebecca Palmer), and a missing female named Adele Blanchard (who had also had her picture taken in the nude next to a stone statue of an angel in the church graveyard).

When Alice confessed her fears and suspicions to Adam after he had tied her up on their kitchen table, he asserted to her: "I have nothing to hide, Alice." At the police station, her charges of "domestic violence" brought against him were unsubstantiated, lacking evidence. Alice suspected that Adam had killed his lover Francoise Collette while climbing a few years earlier, making it look like an accident, when he learned that she was cheating on him and was planning to leave him. And she also thought that Adam had killed Adele for threatening to abandon him. Deborah advised Alice to not suffer the same fate: "Leave him, Alice. I know him."

The film's tense and exciting climax occurred in a snowy graveyard, near the angel stone statue, close to the St. Edmund's Church where Adam and Alice were married. Digging in the earth, Adele's buried corpse was discovered, with a telltale necklace similar to the one Deborah had given Alice.

As it turned out, Adam was NOT guilty of any of the charges related to Adele or Francoise. As Deborah fought against Alice, she confessed the motivation for committing all of the murders - a combination of protective jealousy, incestual desire, and revenge against her brother Adam's lovers, after he had raped her in the graveyard when they were kids:

Who do you think gave him his first piece of silk? He was just 15! I'm talking about f--king, Alice. That's right. We f--ked right here. Adam is mine! He's mine!

Adam arrived and fought off his sister, who grabbed a shovel to strike him in the head. With a flare gun, Alice shot Deborah in the stomach and killed her, and she died looking into her brother's eyes.

An ending voice-over summary by Alice reflected back:

And that's how it ended. Yet not a day goes by without at least one thought about the passion. Maybe I was so blinded by it that I missed all the clues to his past.

It was presumed that she had divorced Adam, and saw him only once more two years later as they wordlessly passed each other on escalators at the airport. She slightly wondered what would have happened if they had remained together - would their passion have continued?:

I don't know. Maybe a flatlander like me can't live at that altitude. Maybe it never would have been possible to sustain what we had. Maybe. Well, that's what I tell myself.

Adam Tallis (Joseph Fiennes) with Alice Loudon (Heather Graham)

Alice and Adam's Sister Deborah (Natascha McElhone)

Similar Picture of Adam's Ex-Girlfriend Adele

Deborah Killed with Flare Gun

Deborah Looking into Adam's Eyes as She Died

Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

Lily Opened the "Great Whatsit" Box and Detonated Nuclear Material at a Beach House

This late film noir was based on a Mickey Spillane novel of the same name. This independent film featured cheap and sleazy, contemptible, fascistic private investigator/vigilante Mike Hammer (Ralph Meeker) whose trademarks were brutish violence, the end-justifies-the-means philosophy and speed. The tough, ruthless cop's selfish, solitary pursuit of the white-hot object in a mysterious 'Pandora's box' led to nuclear catastrophe and annihilation during the explosive ending at a Malibu beach cottage - although there was no explicit mention of the words bomb, atomic, or thermo-nuclear in the nihilistic film.

In the famous apocalyptic ending, waif-like femme fatale Lily/Gabrielle Carver (Gaby Rodgers) opened the film's doomsday McGuffin -- the "Great Whatsit" -- a leather-strapped, metal-lined Pandora's Box stolen from a government science lab. It was filled with nuclear material (loosely identified with "Manhattan project. Los Alamos. Trinity").

In a blinding white-hot light, she was incinerated and the beach-house she was in burst into flames with a powerful nuclear explosion.

Whether detective Mike Hammer and his assistant Velda (Maxine Cooper) survived or not was not entirely clear when the film abruptly ended.

In the film's restored version, they staggered onto the beach after escaping from the burning house and hugged each other in the surf.

Lily (Gaby Rodgers) Opening the "Great Whatsit" Box

The Beach-House Explosion

Klute (1971)

The Abusive Serial Killer was Peter Cable, Who When Discovered Jumped Suicidally (or Was Thrown) From a Building

This suspenseful thriller and character study told about a New York City call-girl and aspiring actress named Bree Daniel(s), played by Best Actress-winning Jane Fonda. [Confusingly, Klute was the name of the small-town Pennsylvania police officer, not the name of the main female character.] The cynical and troubled Bree was suspected of being involved after the six-month disappearance of a Tuscarora, Pennsylvania company executive Tom Gruneman (Robert Milli). An obscene letter addressed to her was found in Gruneman's office - meaning that Gruneman could have been one of Bree's abusive clients (or johns).

The Pennsylvania research firm's top executive was Peter Cable (Charles Cioffi), who (with Gruneman's wife) hired family friend John Klute (Donald Sutherland) to investigate the missing persons case involving his colleague.

The 'homicidal' killer was suspected of sending obscene letters (Bree had received six or seven similar obscene letters "written by a very disturbed man"), making anonymous phone calls, stalking and abusing prostitutes, and was possibly involved in the suicidal deaths of two prostitutes (the second corpse belonged to Arlyn Page (Dorothy Tristan)). Although Bree admitted to receiving letters (and calls), she could not recognize or remember Gruneman when shown a photograph.

In a tense concluding scene, Cable played an audiotape for Bree of his murder of the second prostitute, Arlyn Page. He was heard calmly promising the hooker: "Why don't you lie down on the bed and make yourself comfortable...Nothing's going to happen...Just put your head down. You have such lovely long blonde hair. Turn your head." Then, screams were heard as he strangled and killed her. Bree bowed her head, and silently cried.

He had clearly admitted that he was the abusive client of the two dead prostitutes - both of whom he had killed to cover his own tracks. Cable had then framed Gruneman (who was also probably killed). By comparing typewriters, the obscene letters were traced to Cable.

[Note: Gruneman witnessed Cable attacking one of the prostitutes and accidentally killing her. Cable then feared that Gruneman would someday use that knowledge against him: "It was the revulsion and the contempt that I saw on his face and the certainty that sooner or later he would use it against me within the company." That's why Cable planted the obscene letter in Gruneman's office to frame him.]

After playing the tape and turning off the recording, the sick, psychopathic killer, suddenly attacked Bree. In the suspenseful ending, Bree was saved by Klute from a lethal attack by Cable. Having been found out, Cable (seen only in silhouette) appeared to jump suicidally from the building to his death (or he might have been thrown from the window by Klute?).

The film concluded with Bree moving out of her NYC apartment and returning to Pennsylvania with Klute, with whom she had become romantically involved. She expressed fears to her therapist (in voice-over), however, that settled domestic life with him in Tuscarora, with a man so different than she was, might not work:

"I know enough about myself to know that whatever lies in store for me it's not gonna be setting up housekeeping with somebody in Tuscarora, and darning socks and doing all that... I'd go out of my mind..."

She also received a phone call from her female therapist, and further explained: "Well, I'm leaving town right now and I don't expect to be back..." The film ended as she left her empty apartment, with her continued voice-over to her therapist, casting doubt on her future life with Klute as a couple:

"I have no idea what's gonna happen. I just, I can't stay in this city, you know? Maybe I'll come back. You'll probably see me next week."

Bree (Jane Fonda) Listening to Cable's Audiotape of the Killing of Prostitute Arlyn Page

Sudden Attack on Bree, and Death of Peter Cable (Charles Cioffi)

Final Scene in Bree's Empty NYC Apartment with Klute, Speaking to Her Therapist on Phone

Knowing (2009)

Premonitions of Disasters and the Destruction of the Earth in the Year 2009 Were Forecast 50 Years Earlier; A Solar Flare Incinerated Earth, as Two Children (Caleb and Abby) Were Whisked Away in an 'Alien' Spaceship by Strange "Whisper People" To Begin Life Anew on an Alien Planet

Alex Proyas' sci-fi action disaster thriller was set up with the opening of a 50 year-old elementary school time capsule with letters written by Lexington, Massachusetts schoolchildren in 1959. The letter of sad, slightly disturbed schoolgirl Lucinda Embry (Lara Robinson) was selected by one of the school children:

  • Caleb (Chandler Canterbury), the precocious son of recent widower, MIT astrophysics professor John Koestler (Nicolas Cage).

The piece of paper had seemingly random numbers scrawled on it, and although Koestler believed in the randomness of the universe, he deciphered the numbers as meaningful and logical. He believed that a series of numbers in the letter, such as 911012996, referred, like Nostradamus, to "every major global disaster for the last 50 years in perfect sequence":

  • the World Trade Center disaster
  • the Lockerbie terrorist jet bombing on 12/21/88 when 270 died
  • the 168 people who died in the Oklahoma City bombing on 4/19/95
  • other plane crashes
  • car pileups
  • natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina or the South Asian tsunami, etc.

He then figured out that the numbers were in exact sequence by date, body count (2,996 died on 9/11), and then GPS positional coordinates (latitude and longitude). The recent death of his wife Allison by smoke inhalation in a Phoenix hotel room while on a business trip was included on the list - an additional hint that his own son Caleb had been chosen by Lucinda to receive the prophecies.

In fact, Caleb was met a few times by silent, bleached-blonde, Nordic individuals in dark coats, "whisper people" (who also spoke to Lucinda through telepathy). They handed him a smooth black rock (a sign of the aliens' presence whenever seen in the film) - and he was allowed to envision a future event as a dream: a woodland wildfire consuming stampeding deer and moose.

There were three more deadly events about to happen in the near future, and John was an eye-witness to each of them, the first of which was a realistically-fiery commercial plane crash near Boston's Logan Airport as John was driving on a clogged freeway. 81 died, due to an increase in electromagnetic radiation that fouled controls - according to reports.

He also foretold a Worth and Lafayette St. (Manhattan) subway train derailment crash-collision that he again participated in.

During his inquiries, Koestler met up with Lucinda's daughter, a single mother named Diana Wayland (Rose Byrne) who had a daughter named Abby (also Lara Robinson). Caleb and young Abby instantly became friends, although Diane at first rebuffed Koestler, but then met up with him again and admitted that her mother Lucinda had always warned her that she would die on October 19th (the last listed event).

Together, they drove to Lucinda's abandoned mobile home trailer in the woods where her mother had died of a drug overdose (in 1988), and guessed (and found evidence) that the final numbers: 10190933 were actually EE="everyone else" written backwards, signifying that there would be no survivors in the final catastrophe on October 19, 2009.

[Because Lucinda was rushed when writing the letter as a schoolchild, she didn't complete it, and had left off a few final coordinate numbers - including the death of her daughter Diane and the entire world. John discovered that the final set of numbers, scratched by Lucinda's fingernails on the inside of a closet door in the school, were the coordinates of Lucinda's house - it was the only safe place to go.]

Outside the mobile home in the film's ending, John was told by his son and Abby (who was also experiencing whispers) that the mysterious black-suited figures who had been following both of them thoughout the film ("the whisper people") had been trying to protect Caleb and Abby, and that the two children had been chosen to leave Earth (each with a rabbit) to start over on another planet, but Caleb's father was told that he could not join them because he couldn't hear their whispers:

But we have to go with them. They won't hurt us....They've been protecting us all along, Dad. They sent a message ahead of them to prepare the way, and now they've come for us...They've chosen us so we can start over. So everything can start over...He's saying only the chosen must go, those who heard the call.

The "whisper people" were revealed as four luminescent creatures with wing-like wisps of light emanating from them. After a heartfelt goodbye with his son, and the aliens' departure in a massive spaceship shaped like Ezekiel's Wheel (from a Biblical drawing of Ezekiel's "chariot vision"), Koestler traveled back to New York City to reunite with his estranged religious father Reverend Koestler (Alan Hopgood), and with his mother and sister Grace (Nadia Townsend), before the solar flare incinerated all life on the planet.

A view from space showed that more than one spaceship took off from Earth. The last event was cataclysmic and apocalyptic - a disaster of worldwide proportions due to a massive, unstoppable solar flare (energy bursts that destroyed the Earth's ozone layer) that consumed the NYC skyline and Times Square (and soon the entire Earth), prefaced by chaos in the city's streets.

The final shot of the film was of the two Boston surburban kids, Caleb and Abby, in pure white robes, running through a field of alien filament grass toward a beautiful, white crystalline tree - a tree of life in Eden?

The reveal of the "whisper people" and the final scene on the alien planet (with spaceships landing) was controversial among viewers and critics for its religious implications, and the fact that the movie never clearly stated whether or not the "whisper people" were meant to be aliens, celestial angels, or some representation of both. These questions and confusions probably contributed to the film's cool reception.

John Koestler (Nicolas Cage)

Plane Crash

"Everyone Else"

"Whisper People"

Koestler Reunited With Family Before Solar Flare

Abby and Caleb Chosen to Leave Earth - and in Eden?

Greatest Movie Plot Twists, Spoilers and Surprise Endings

(alphabetical by film title)
Intro | A1 | A2 | B1 | B2 | B3 | B4 | B5 | C1 | C2 | C3 | D1 | D2 | D3 | E1 | E2 | F1 | F2 | G | H1 | H2 | H3 | I | J-K | L1 | L2
M1 | M2 | M3 | M4 | M5 | N | O | P1 | P2 | Q-R1 | R2 | S1 | S2 | S3 | S4 | S5 | S6 | T1 | T2 | T3 | U-V | W1 | W2 | W3 | X-Z

Previous Page Next Page