12 Most Predictable Movie Twists of All Time

12 Most Predictable Movie Twists of All Time
Image credit: globallookpress, Legion-Media, InterCom

Spoilers ahead! You've been warned.

1. "The Village" (2004)

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Let's start with a film by the king of predictable twists, M. Night Shyamalan. "The Village" unravels as a gripping tale of an isolated 19th-century community terrorized by mysterious creatures. Until the climax reveals – shocker! – that the elders were fooling the youngsters all along, and the 'creatures' were fabricated to keep the young ones from venturing into the modern world. Yes, that's right, they're living in the present-day.

While critics appreciated Shyamalan's storytelling, with Rotten Tomatoes giving it a 43% rating, audiences felt the twist was a stretch. The cast, including Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard, did a commendable job, but even their stellar performances couldn't save this foreseeable plot twist.

2. "The Life of David Gale" (2003)

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This film could've been a strong commentary on the death penalty. Instead, it turned into a 'guess what' game that audiences figured out half-way through. It involves David Gale (Kevin Spacey), a death penalty opponent, who is on death row for murdering a fellow activist. However, the twist is that the activist (Laura Linney) and Gale staged her death to prove a point about wrongful executions. Ironically, the film got a death sentence from critics, with a 19% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, mainly due to its painfully predictable twist.

3. "Planet of the Apes" (2001)

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You'd think a remake would at least try to avoid being predictable, but Tim Burton's take on "Planet of the Apes" proved otherwise. The twist at the end, with Mark Wahlberg's character landing on an Earth ruled by apes, was more laughable than shocking. It lacked the impact of the original 1968 version, where the discovery of a ruined Statue of Liberty revealed Earth's fate. Despite the film earning a lackluster 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, it did garner a makeup Oscar nomination.

4. "The Da Vinci Code" (2006)

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Next up is the much-anticipated adaptation of Dan Brown's best-seller, "The Da Vinci Code." The twist, revealing that Sir Leigh Teabing (Ian McKellen) is the real mastermind behind the murder mystery, was as predictable as your average Sudoku puzzle. The film, despite grossing over $758 million worldwide and starring the ever-charming Tom Hanks, only scored 26% on Rotten Tomatoes, with the twist being one of the main criticisms. Even Sir Ian's suave performance couldn't inject surprise into this plot turn.

5. "Now You See Me" (2013)

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While "Now You See Me" was a fun magician heist movie, the twist revealing that FBI agent Dylan Rhodes (Mark Ruffalo) was the mastermind behind the magician team's antics, felt like a rabbit pulled out of an overused hat. Critics were divided, leading to a 50% Rotten Tomatoes score, with some appreciating the spectacle, but many seeing through the illusion. Despite the lukewarm reception, Ruffalo's reveal was one of the key moments leading to a sequel, proving that a predictable twist isn't always a deal-breaker.

6. "Safe Haven" (2013)

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This Nicholas Sparks adaptation was a romantic drama with a ghostly twist that was easier to spot than a lighthouse on a clear night. The kind neighbor, Jo (Cobie Smulders), who helps the protagonist Katie (Julianne Hough) settle into her new life, turns out to be the ghost of Katie's new boyfriend's dead wife. Yes, you read that right.

Despite a 12% score on Rotten Tomatoes and an audience who saw the twist coming from a mile away, the film was a commercial success, showing that predictability doesn't necessarily deter loyal Sparks' fanbase.

7. "Signs" (2002)

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We return to M. Night Shyamalan's repertoire with "Signs." Here's a spoiler – it's not about road signs. Starring Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix as brothers facing an alien invasion, the film's twist was as subtle as an alien crop circle in your backyard. The extraterrestrial invaders, with all their interstellar traveling capabilities, are allergic to... water. Yes, the thing that covers 70% of our planet is their Achilles' heel. While the film was a commercial success and has a 74% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the audience couldn't help but guess the twist.

8. "Frozen" (2013)

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Disney's "Frozen" took the world by a snowstorm with its catchy tunes and lovable characters. However, the twist that Prince Hans of the Southern Isles, who was set to marry Anna, turns out to be a villain was as predictable as Olaf's love for summer. Despite this, the film melted hearts worldwide, earning two Oscars and an astonishing 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. It just goes to show, even if the audience sees it coming, a well-told story is still worth its weight in snowflakes. Writers, take notes already.

9. "Remember Me" (2010)

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"Remember Me" attempted a twist that was more tasteless than shocking. Robert Pattinson's character, Tyler, who spends the entire film dealing with his relationship issues and family drama, dies in the 9/11 attacks. It was a last-minute addition that felt shoehorned in for shock value, and many in the audience saw it coming as soon as the date was mentioned. The film holds a 27% Rotten Tomatoes rating, and the twist remains a controversial topic among critics and viewers alike.

10. "The Sixth Sense" (1999)

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Surely, you didn't think we'd have a list of predictable twists without this gem, right? "The Sixth Sense," another Shyamalan classic, delivered a twist that everyone and their dog have either guessed or heard about by now. Bruce Willis's character, Dr. Malcolm Crowe, is dead. In fairness, at the time, the twist was a jaw-dropper, but it's become so iconic that it's practically a part of pop culture now. The film was a massive success, garnering six Oscar nominations and a 86% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

11. "The Forgotten" (2004)

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"The Forgotten" stars Julianne Moore as a grieving mother told that she's imagining her dead son. The twist? She's not crazy; there are aliens (yes, again) manipulating her memory. Despite Moore's strong performance, the plot twist was easy to predict and left audiences feeling cheated, contributing to a 32% Rotten Tomatoes rating. It seems the film has lived up to its title in the annals of memorable cinematic twists.

12. "Passengers" (2016)

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Closing our list is the sci-fi film "Passengers," starring Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. The twist is that Pratt's character, Jim, deliberately wakes Lawrence's Aurora from hibernation, effectively dooming her to die with him on the spaceship. It's a plot turn you could see coming like a supernova in deep space. Yet, despite mixed reviews and a 30% Rotten Tomatoes rating, the film earned two Oscar nominations for its impressive production design and score.