8 "Great" Movies You Actually Only Remember For The Plot Twist

8. Shutter Island (2010)

Paramount Pictures

What People Remember About The Movie: "Well, it starts off on a boat, doesn't it? Then they meet Ben Kingsley, who's the bad guy. Or the good guy, I don't recall. Then some seriously weird stuff happens in the middle and it turns out Leo is actually a patient at the mental hospital."

There's no denying that Shutter Island is a well-made film, because Martin Scorsese rarely delivers anything else. The problem is that, unlike Scorsese's best pictures, this adaptation lacks both punch and depth and relies squarely on its shocking ending to leave audiences feeling stunned and awed.

You remember bits and pieces of Shutter Island, of course, like the boat scene at the beginning and the ending in the lighthouse; trying to map out the story or track the narrative of the film is more difficult, though. Much of the film is played as a red herring, so watching Leo racing around the island trying to solve the central mystery doesn't wind up being all that memorable because it doesn't mean anything.

The dark, murky aesthetic doesn't help matters, either - it makes differentiating the events of the movie near impossible. Alas, you come away with Shutter Island's big reveal lingering in your mind... and not much else.


Sam Hill is an ardent cinephile and has been writing about film professionally since 2008. He harbours a particular fondness for western and sci-fi movies.