It's no secret that a plot twist can make or break a movie. Just ask M. Night Shyamalan, a filmmaker who has simultaneously created some of the best (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable) and worst (The Happening, Glass) plot twists in modern cinema.
For the most part, plot twists have often been best reserved to the horror genre, when one last rug-pull acts as a final, terrifying gut-punch to the audience. But as is the case with these movies, a plot twist doesn't always have to be relegated to horror; they can appear in period dramas, psychological thrillers, noir crime classics and sci-fi brainteasers.
Each of the following films did the impossible and left their audiences reeling from the sudden development playing out on screen. From a sick twist in an otherwise cut-and-dry murder case or a final act of horrific revenge against an enemy, all of these movies packed one hell of a punch with their big reveals, and many of them are still talked about intensely to this day.
Not all movies can pull off a truly great plot twist, but these 10 non-horror pictures made them work without fault. Beware, though: Major spoilers follow.
10. I Know Who You Are - The Machinist (2004)
The Machinist is best known for Christian Bale's insane dedication to the role of paranoid insomniac Trevor Reznik, and less remembered for its gripping plot and deliciously dark final twist.
After an accident at work attributed to his declining mental state and increasing paranoia, Trevor spends the film obsessed with tracking down Ivan (John Sharian), a co-worker everyone tells him doesn't actually exist. Even his moments of peace with waitress Marie (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon) aren't enough to save him from this madness.
With the mystery of Ivan and Trevor's past firing on all cylinders, the end of The Machinist reveals that Trevor has repressed his guilt over killing a young boy in a hit-and-run accident a year earlier, and that Marie, her son, and Ivan are all figments of his imagination, created to help him bury his guilt.
In the end, Trevor turns himself into the police, and for the first time since the accident lies down to get some well-needed rest, finally at peace with his conscience.