These 5 awesome movies ruined by last minute changes feature breathtaking cinematography, thought-provoking stories and standout performances from actors like Christopher Walken, Thomas Jane and Leonardo DiCaprio—all of which make for exceptional films, if only for their endings. Contrived and predictable as in the cases of “Vanilla Sky” and “Shutter Island,” or just plain incomprehensible as in the case of “Oldboy,” these films prove themselves to be powerful, moving and entertaining works that, due to last minute changes in story or tone, clearly just miss their mark in their final moments.

  1. "Vanilla Sky" Considered the most confusing movie ever made, “Vanilla Sky” provides an excellent example of awesome movies ruined by last minute changes. A remake of the 1997 Spanish film “Abre Los Ojos,” the film follows Tom Cruise as David Ames, a man deformed by a horrible car crash that ultimately causes his life to spin wildly out of control. Highlighted by exceptional dialogue, an intriguing story and sweeping cinematography, the film makes a bizarre detour from the original, suddenly changing in its final moments to reveal that David is actually cryogenically frozen and the bizarre circumstances that punctuate the entire film are merely a glitch in the system preserving him.

  2. "The Mist" An exceptionally made horror film by Frank Darabont, “The Mist” was based on the novella by Stephen King and features some of the most terrifying aliens ever captured on film. An eerie story about a group of people trapped in a grocery store surrounded by a strange mist populated by nightmarish aliens, “The Mist” is brilliantly filmed and features excellent performances by Thomas Jane and Laurie Holden. A perfect example of awesome movies ruined by last minute changes, the final moments of the film find the protagonist, David Drayton, killing his son and fellow survivors in an effort to spare them from the gruesome death that would await them in the mist, only to find that the killings were in vain as the Army has moved in to control the situation.

  3. "Oldboy" An action-packed thrill ride from South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-Wook, this exhilarating film follows Oh Dae-Su, a businessman who is mysteriously abducted and held captive for fifteen years without cause. Upon his release, he seeks vengeance against his captors, tearing his way through South Korea and beating the living hell out of an entire army of thugs, falling in love with an adorable young sushi chef in the process. Beautifully shot and bursting with intense fight sequences, “Oldboy” finally reveals itself as an awesome movie ruined by last minute changes as its final moments divulge that the young girl with whom Dae-Su has fallen in love with is, in fact, his daughter. The ending is further ruined as Dae-Su has his memory erased so that he can continue to be with her.

  4. "The Funeral" An exceptionally dark and moving film chronicling a family of gangsters in 1930’s New York, “The Funeral” is a disturbing and powerful character study from “Bad Lieutenant” director Abel Ferrara. Featuring career-defining performances by Christopher Walken and Chris Penn as Ray and Chaz, two brothers seek out their younger brother’s killer on the day of his funeral. The film features a dramatic change in its final moments to reveal itself as a perfect example of awesome movies ruined by last minute changes with troubled Chaz inexplicably killing his older brother Ray, then turning the gun on himself as the movie fades to black.

  5. "Shutter Island" Without a doubt one of the best modern examples of an awesome movie ruined by last minute changes, “Shutter Island” features mesmerizing cinematography, disturbing imagery and a spellbinding story. Directed by legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese, the film follows US Marshal Teddy Daniels and his partner, Chuck Aule, as they probe the disappearance of a patient from an insane asylum located on the titular island. Featuring impeccable performances by an amazing ensemble cast including Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Michelle Williams and Jackie Earle Haley, the film features what is, essentially, a predictable climax revealing Teddy to be a patient of the asylum and his entire life to be nothing more than his delusion.

                                                                                                                                                          -Joshua Wade