14 Movies With Surprising Plot Twists You Never Saw Coming

Movie trailers are often a bit deceiving — and you later discover the film is actually nothing like the preview promised. Someone on a popular online forum asked, “Is there a movie that was marketed misleadingly to hide a plot twist?” Here are 14 responses from movie fans, but be warned, there are definitely some spoilers!

1. Drive (2011)

Image Credit: FilmDistrict.

Some people said Drive‘s marketing was very misleading. One movie fan summed it up perfectly, explaining, “Imagine going to a movie expecting a brainless action flick and instead seeing one of the best movies ever made and then getting upset about it.”

2. About Time (2013)

about time
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Many said that About Time was marketed as a rom-com but the movie was something entirely different. It wasn't a silly time travel film at all, but rather it was about a father and son's relationship.

3. Seven (1995)

Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

The problem most people have with Seven is how well the villain of the film is hidden. Kevin Spacey didn't appear in the trailer or the movie poster, and his name was even absent from the opening credits sequence. His name appears first in the end credits, however.

4. Million Dollar Baby (2004)

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Most moviegoers thought Million Dollar Baby was just going to be another inspirational underdog story. So when the big twist in the story comes, viewers feel blindsided. What was supposed to be just another sports movie shifts to a look at the heartbreaking reality of the weight of end-of-life care. 

5. Jarhead (2005)

Image from the movie Jarhead
Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Much like the Marines at the center of the film, movie fans were expecting more action in Jarhead than they ended up seeing. Many moviegoers were left disappointed, but others still loved the film.

6. Scream (1996)

Image Credit: Dimension Films.

If you weren't around when the original Scream came out, it might surprise you to find out that Drew Barrymore is in the film. Fans who remember the movie's marketing campaign felt cheated at the time. Barrymore's face was literally the poster for the movie in the early advertising days. Her character, however, was an early casualty in the movie.

7. Suicide Squad (2016)

Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Several people agreed that Suicide Squad had amazing trailers but didn't deliver the awesome. For starters, the trailers made Joker out to be a way bigger role than he ended up being. The Suicide Squad (2021) was way better. See that one instead. 

8. Barbarian (2022)

Barbarian Is an Intense and Shocking Thriller
Image Credit: 20th Century Studios.

The thing about Barbarian is that no one really knows what it's supposed to be about. It was marketed as a cautionary tale of trusting strangers but was a really bizarre movie. If you decide to watch this one, brace yourself around the second act: that's when the whiplash will hit. 

9. Marley and Me (2008)

Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Several dog lovers wished they had checked doesthedogdie.com before they saw Marley & Me. One person who watched the movie said, “This movie singlehandedly ruined dog movies for me.”  

10. Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

People who read the book Bridge to Terabithia didn't have to watch the movie to call out the misleading marketing campaign. This is no classic fantasy, there is no real magical kingdom. 

11. Kangaroo Jack (2003)

Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Animated kangaroos rapping and wearing hoodies made many assume Kangaroo Jack was a family-friendly film. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The kangaroos are just one dream sequence in a mafia-centric comedic thriller.

12. Gone Girl (2014)

Gone Girl
Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

While so many people have complained about twists on this list, Gone Girl is a rare moment of praise. “Gone Girl had to sell the entire film in its first 45 minutes not to spoil the twist,” one person explained. Another fan said they were glad they went into the movie knowing nothing about it. 

13. Arrival (2016)

arrival 2016
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Grieving the death of her daughter in the opening scene, movie watchers are made to believe we are in the now. But really, we are in the future. The story in Arrival isn't told linearly, making it an unexpected plot twist.

14. The Sixth Sense (1999)

the sixth sense movie
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

The unexpected plot twist in The Sixth Sense is now famous. This was unforeseen in the trailers, of course, which left moviegoers absolutely stunned.

Source: Reddit.