12 Greatest Red Herring Movie Endings

That damn spinning top doesn't mean squat.

Inception Leonardo DiCaprio
Warner Bros.

A red herring is, of course, a classic narrative device intended to distract the audience away from a more important truth, and while it can often end up feeling rather lazy or cheap in the wrong hands, when it works, it really works.

In the case of these 12 movies, each served up one or two tantalising plot threads which, in fact, turned out to be nothing more than a mere smoke-screen.

They were part of an ingenious act of misdirection on the part of the filmmaker, to lead audiences towards a specific trope, idea or narrative thread, only to snap back in act three and reveal a wholly different end-game.

While these duplicitous reveals maybe left you a little frustrated the first time you saw them, repeat viewings make it clear just how damn ingenious they actually are, and how incredibly difficult it is to pull off such a deviously clever feat of mass audience manipulation...

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Stay at home dad who spends as much time teaching his kids the merits of Martin Scorsese as possible (against the missus' wishes). General video game, TV and film nut. Occasional sports fan. Full time loon.