Famous Movies with Shocking Plot Twists

What makes a good movie?

A gripping plot is a good factor, but when it’s predictable, tendency is, it won’t leave a lasting impression. A plot twist is defined as an often shocking change of where the movie is expected to be going. Filmmakers use it as a device to pique audience interest, something that would leave them talking about it even after the film has ended.

Numerous filmmakers are known for creating the best plot twists. Among them is M. Night Shymalan, who takes after Alfred Hitchcock—the man behind the most mind-bending stories in cinematic history.

ExploreTalent brings you the list of the most famous movies with their equally shocking plot twists. Be warned, these contain spoilers.

1. Psycho, 1960

Director: Alfred Hitchcock


Alfred Hitchcock wasn’t the named the Master of Suspense for nothing. His most famous work had to be the movie Psycho, which featured the iconic maniac Norman Bates and was set in one of the most memorable fictional structures in movies—The Bates Hotel.

The plot twist: the movie’s plot twist was something audiences definitely did not see coming. First off, Norman’s mother was not involved in the murder of the protagonist Marion Crane during that iconic shower scene. Instead, it was Norman all along, disguised as his mother whom he murdered several years ago.

2. The Orphan, 2008

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra


The Orphan has to be one of the best psychological thriller films in history. It revolves around a young couple who adopted a mysterious girl named Esther. Esther proves to be a problematic child who can’t fit in with her family and has several run-ins with her adoptive mother played by The Conjuring actress Vera Farmiga.

The plot twist: Esther really wasn’t who she seemed. First off, she was a murderer and if that’s not shocking enough for you, then the second thing about Esther was that she was not really a little girl—but a grown woman with a growth disorder.

3. Secret Window, 2004

Director: David Koepp


Based on the novella Secret Window, Secret Garden by Stephen King, this movie adaptation follows Mort Rainey (played by Johnny Depp) as he fights off writer’s block and a bitter divorce by going to a remote cabin in the woods. Rainey is unexpectedly visited by a mysterious man named Shooter who accuses him of plagiarizing his story.

The plot twist: Shooter wasn’t real. In fact, he was just a figment made up by Rainey due to his dissociative identity disorder. The name “Shooter” was derived from the words “Shoot Her,” pertaining to Rainey’s desire to murder his wife.

A good thing to note here is that the movie’s ending veered away from the original novel. The novel ended with Rainey being killed by his estranged wife after he tried to attack her. Later, she found out that Shooter was in fact real, and that Rainey was so absorbed in his novel that his character was brought to life. That sounds even more terrifying, right?

4. Shutter Island, 2010

Director: Martin Scorsese


Martin Scorsese has always been a brilliant filmmaker, and Shutter Island is one of his most iconic works to date. He teamed with Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays U.S. Marshal Edward “Teddy” Daniels who travels to a criminally insane facility to investigate the disappearance of inmate named Rachel Solando, who was incarcerated for murdering her children.

The plot twist: Teddy Daniels was actually an anagram for Andrew Laeddis, a patient in the facility who murdered his wife, Dolores Chanal (another anagram for the name Rachel Solando). Daniels then realized that he had been a subject of an experiment all this time.

5. The Sixth Sense, 1999

Director: M. Night Shymalan


Shymalan’s name has long been synonymous to plot twists, and Sixth Sense wasn’t any different. This horror movie gave birth to the iconic phrase “I see dead people.”

Cole was a young boy who confided about his secret ability to see the dead to a friendly but troubled psychologist named Malcolm Crowe (played by actors Haley Joel Osment and Mel Gibson, respectively). Even if Crowe was dealing with problems himself, he still offered a hand in helping Crowe deal with his powers.

The plot twist: it wasn’t just Cole that was being saved in the story. As the movie came to a close, it was revealed that Crowe was a lost soul himself, which explained why Cole could see him in the first place.

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The Most Expensive TV Shows Ever

Big-budget films attract a lot of people to cinemas, but while the biggest hits cost several hundred dollars to make, they don’t really hold a candle to the amount of money production companies fork over for their TV shows, especially the longer-running ones.

Cast salaries, elaborate costume designs, detailed sets, special effects, exotic shooting locations, and even extensive post-production requirements add up to the expenses. Here are some of the biggest-budget shows on TV, ranked for their budget per episode:

ER, $13 million

One of the longest-running TV shows to date, ER was aired on NBC from 1994 to 2009 and starring A-list actor George Clooney. The American medical drama follows the life of doctors in the emergency room at the fictional County General Hospital in Chicago. The show started with a $1.9 million budget per episode. However, in 2000, it ballooned up to $13 million because NBC had to fork over $10 million per episode to Warner Bros. Television for the rights to continue airing the show for its 2000–2001 season.

Friends, $10 million

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Why would a show that takes place mainly in a coffee shop and two apartments—with no need for special effects—cost so much to make? Thanks to its popularity, the six main cast members of the series that ran from 1994–2004 rallied together for fair pay and demanded to get paid $1 million per episode during their later seasons.

What’s amazing, however, is that more than ten years after its final episode aired, Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry, and David Schwimmer are still rolling in dough due to the show’s syndication.

Marco Polo, $9 million

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The Netflix series aired in 2014, and like any other high-budget period drama, it required a lot of money to make due to the exotic filming locations, large casts, elaborate costumes, and detailed sets. It’s unclear how popular the show is, but it must have gotten a lot of viewers—Netflix renewed it for a second season, which is set to be released in June 2016.

Rome, $9 million

Airing in 2005–2007, the HBO series had its producers wanting to ensure accurate depictions of Rome during the roman times, which led them to shell out a lot of money. The show was well received by critics and viewers; however, they just couldn’t keep up with the amount needed to run it—its budget became its downfall.

Camelot, $7 million

Not a lot of people even heard of the show, but the single season it ran on the Starz network in 2011 was enough to make it on the list of most expensive shows in television. The $7 million budget was pretty steep for a show that didn’t really click, though, so it got cancelled right after its first season finished. It probably didn’t help that it premiered roughly around the same time as HBO’s Game of Thrones either.

Game of Thrones, $6 million

Speaking of, HBO’s show costs $1 million less to produce than Camelot, but it definitely has a lot more people tuning in. The huge budget is, as always, due to set and costume design, but it’s also because of their filming locations—the show is filmed in a studio, as well as on-location in Croatia, Iceland, Malta, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Spain, Scotland, and the United States. Oh, and if you haven’t caught the latest episode yet, here’s a tip: prepare some tissues.

Boardwalk Empire, $5 million

This show is no exception to the massive budgets HBO has for its shows. The pilot cost $18 million, but fortunately, that wasn’t the price they had to pay for every episode during its five-season run. It’s still no joke, though. Each episode costs $5 million to tell the story of Nucky Thompson, a bootlegger and part politician, part gangster, and ruler of Atlantic City.

But what about other well-received shows that gained a lot of audiences during their run? Among the expensive shows to make include Lost and Fringe, which cost $4 million per episode, Breaking Bad for $3.5 million per episode, and The Walking Dead for $2.75 million per episode.

The last one was a bit surprising, considering the popularity of the show, but the simplistic filming locations cut them a lot of slack—they film mostly in woods and abandoned buildings in Atlanta, Georgia, anyway.


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Movies That Could Have Turned Out Differently

It takes years for a script to turn into a movie—sometimes, it could sit there for decades before a studio picks it up. Then it could take a few years in pre-production before it finally gets produced. Even then, there’s no assurance that it will make it to the big screen.

There are too many decisions involved in making a movie that there are a few million scenarios that could change the whole thing. For all you know, they could have put The Lord of the Rings in space because Peter Jackson wanted a more modern take on the classic. What about an Asian Harry Potter or an all-female Sherlock ensemble?

These movies are popular, but as it turned out, they may actually have turned out different, for better or for worse. What if the original versions made the final cut, would you love them as much?

Pretty Woman, 1990

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The Cinderella story of Pretty Woman is one of the favorite rom-coms in Hollywood. After all, you can’t help but have your heart go to the hooker.

However, Pretty Woman was not supposed to be as endearing as it was. When Julia Roberts described the film, she said that it was “A really dark and depressing, horrible, terrible story about two horrible people and my character was this drug addict, a bad-tempered, foulmouthed, ill-humored, poorly educated hooker who had this week-long experience with a foulmouthed, ill-tempered, bad-humored, very wealthy, handsome but horrible man and it was just a grisly, ugly story about these two people.”

Pretty Woman isn’t even its original title. According to the scriptwriter JF Lawton, it was supposed to be called 3,000, which is based on the price it costs to hire a sex worker for a week.

There’s not even a romantic tale to go back to! In the original story, Ed wasn’t supposed to fall in love with Vivian. In fact, he just left and she ended back on the script.

But why the change of heart? Touchstone Films, which belonged to Disney, bought the rights for $17 million, and after the original ending showed strong disapproval from audiences, expectedly, a change should be made.

This decision was clearly for the best. Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert said in his review that despite a more realistic approach could have been made, the end of the film—with the limousine, fire escape, and flowers—may be awkward, but it felt good and gave audiences a happy feel by the end of the film.

Zootopia, 2016

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Judy Hopps stars as the optimistic bunny who leaves the countryside to chase her dream of being a cop in the city, despite being told that her place in society is to be a farmer—like her parents.

However, she meets Nick, a cynical fox who relies on small frauds to make ends meet. They may have learned a lot from each other, but the story actually started pretty differently.

It wasn’t until midway through development that director Bryan Howard realized what’s not clicking. He shared, “We’re telling a story about bias, and when you have the Nick character starting the movie, through his eyes the city was already broken. He didn’t like Zootopia.”

So they made a huge flip to the story, making Judy the character that needs to be taught about the ways of the city, and she and Nick started to educate each other. “When we flipped that, it was a major flip, but it worked so much better,” Howard said.

Toy Story, 1995

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You’d never think of the toys being anything but friends, but how would you feel about Woody being a jerk in the original concept?

At the panel at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Pixar’s chief creative officer, John Lasseter, revealed that Woody was actually a jerk, but Disney hated that version, so the team had to trim the story into the version that we now know and love.

Why Disney and Pixar—experts of childhood storytelling—could ever think of such an approach to their films, but if you consider how much their films resonate with children as well as adults, well, you’re going to realize that there is something to learn from their rather adult approach to storytelling.

Iron Man 2, 2010

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Director Jon Favreau always wanted Robert Downey Jr. to be Tony Stark a.k.a. Iron Man, but Scarlett Johansson was not exactly his first choice for Black Widow. In fact, he wanted it to be British actress Emily Blunt.

Unfortunately for Favreau, Blunt still has contractual obligations as she was set to star in Gulliver’s Travels the same year that Iron Man 2 was supposed to be released.

Not only did she have to pass on the role of Natasha Romanoff, she was also supposed to play Agent Carter, but that didn’t come through either.

Blunt did express her disappointment for not being able to do the parts, though. She said, “It was never the right time, really, and it just didn’t work out scheduling-wise with those two. It’s always a difficult thing to talk about, because it’s not fair to the actresses who ended up playing them, you know? It just wasn’t the right time.”

There is no question as to whether or not she can nail the role because if her acting in the recent film Sicario is any indication, she can do an action film too. At this point, however, it’s difficult to dissociate ScarJo with the role of Black Widow, so clearly, Emily Blunt is made for other things.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi (1983)

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Boba Fett was supposed to be a bigger character in Return of the Jedi as he was supposed to be the main villain. The way the film was set up, Boba Fett was supposed to be the one to take Han Solo away, which explains why it was frustrating the way his time in the galaxy came to an end.

But why did Fett’s storyline get scratched? Craig Miller, the first official fans relations officer for LucasFilms, said, “When George decided not to make a third trilogy, he completely jettisoned that story line, which is why in the first ten minutes, Boba Fett gets bumped into and falls into the mouth of a giant monster. So he took what was planned for the third trilogy, which was the confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader, and the battle with the Emperor, and that got squished down from three movies to one movie. And that became the plot of Jedi.”

Imagine how many more Star Wars films we would have gotten to watch if it all came as planned.


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Children in Horror Films That Can Scare the Pants Off You

Horror stories have used several plot devices to give terror to a lot of people. Whether it’s the plot or imagery or even sounds, they sure add more terror factor to the overall film.

There are a lot of ways to terrify people, but it seems that the worst of it comes when children are put front and center of horror movies. Here are some of the most terrifying children in film history:

Lily from Mama (2013)

There is nothing malicious or evil about the little girl, but after an accident that left her and her sister in the woods, she became attached to a malevolent spirit like a child is attached to its mother. It was all that she knew, and watching a child nearly die because of choices that others think are extremely creepy, well, that’s something that can legitimately creep someone out.

Isaac from Children of the Corn (1984)

The demon-worshipping preacher’s son in the movie was under the influence of a deity who preached messages of worship, as well as praises and sacrifices about said deity over and over again. However, despite the horror of the film, Isaac is a representation of the horrors of group think and spiritual dictatorship that happens to the world at this day and age. And for younger children, the treatment of Isaac’s character is similar to how adults today would preach the word of their god—which makes him a lot scarier than ever.

Rhoda from The Bad Seed (1956)

When 5 Seconds of Summer sang about good girls being bad girls that don’t get caught, they may have watched a movie far from their time and saw Rhoda in the film. Ill-tempered, violent, manipulative, and deceiving, Rhoda knows how to play the strengths and weaknesses of the people around her. She also showed a lot of vulnerability, which reminded audiences about how young she was. She was wicked, and she was wicked throughout the film. She may be murderous—literally—but she’s still the perfect daughter, after all.

Gage from Pet Sematary (1989)

This movie should be the reminder that parents are not supposed to take their kids traipsing in places that could damage them for life. Before his father took him to a cemetery for pets, Gage was a good kid. However, demonic forces took over his soul and animated him into a killer who associates knife with “playing.” Despite the fact that he’s being compelled to murder people joyfully, he still seems to have a connection with his parents, which makes him scary.

Danny from Salem’s Lot (1979)

Danny is a little vampire boy who is controlled by the will of his master. Despite being evil, he is still childlike and cute. The window iconic window scene also sticks in people’s minds—and gave a new definition of bogeymen knocking on windowpanes to people who think that they are safe in their own homes.

Eli from Let the Right One In (2008)

Easily one of the best vampire movies that emerged in the past twenty years (no, Twilight should not count as such, it was a travesty) the story is about complexities of adolescent friendship, love, and interaction, all the while tackling concepts like bullying and romance.

Eli is terrifying because she needs to consume blood and makes the victims want to offer it to her. She may not be evil, but her existence requires her to do evil things—and morality is some sort of an issue, after all, he sees blood-drinking as something normal—like how humans kill and eat animals. It’s a matter of survival.

Emily from The Exorcism of Emily Rose (2005)

Jennifer Carpenter’s portrayal of this demon-afflicted teenager became an icon in horror films. In the story, the family embraces exorcism to help their child’s mysterious illness. Their religious background allowed for them to do so, and Emily, like the rest of her family, submits to it until her death. She eventually even became somewhat of a martyr—and that’s the happy take on the ending. Speaking in tongues, twisting her limbs, and eating spiders and insects off walls, Emily Rose is the nightmare we all wish to wake up from, especially considering how we know how that the story is based on a real person.

Sometimes, truth is scarier than fiction, eh?

Which other children do you think should make it in this list? And no, Joffrey Baratheon is a character from a television series, so he does not have a place on this list. He may top another, though.

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Films That Bring Waves of Nostalgia for Viewers

Many people are nostalgic for a time that they don’t even know. While there is no specific word for such a feeling, it’s a common experience. In fact, the notion of wanting to experience a certain period in time is apparent on people’s need to relive it over and over again. From decade-themed parties to 50s diners and period dramas, people’s curiosity for a time that they’ve never been have been evident.

Here are a few films that depict exactly that feeling.

Midnight in Paris (2011)

One of Woody Allen’s most memorable films these recent years, the film is about a Gil, a successful Hollywood writer who feels unfulfilled and unsatisfied by his life. He feels nostalgia for a time that he’s never been in – the 1920s, or as he calls it, the “golden age.”

While in Paris, he is transported back to the 1920s and meets his writing icons, including Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Fitzgerald, and even Pablo Picasso.

In the film, Allen was able criticize the needs of people to escape their present by being nostalgic of the past. The charming story, however, may even encourage the audience to reaffirm such feelings of nostalgia.

The Artist (2011)

Unlike Midnight in Paris, Michel Hazanavicius’s movie does not romanticize the past; nevertheless, audiences will romanticize it in their own way instead.

The film centers around George Valentin, a star during the era of silent movies, and his position was usurped by young actress Peppy, who was his protégé. The movie perfectly captures what silent films are all about in the 20th century and is even shot in black and white with a 4:3 screen ratio.

The Artist is a love letter to the Hollywood heydays of silent films and lack of special effects. The unexpected success it found in the box office tells us that a lot of people have nostalgia for this particular time in Hollywood. Its glamour seems like something many want to remember.

Sense and Sensibility (1995)

Period dramas are becoming more and more popular these days, but Jane Austen’s classics seem to find their way in films every decade. In fact, many of her books seem to have been adapted often, but few managed to get as much attention as Ang Lee’s take on Sense and Sensibility.

If you’re familiar with the story, it shows how love and status combine in nineteenth-century Britain. Three sisters and their mother found themselves suddenly impoverished by the rules of inheritance, which gives importance to men over women.

Unlike Midnight in Paris, which romanticizes nostalgia, and The Artist, which showed struggle, this film illustrates the complexity that few experience today—the idyllic country life.

Dazed and Confused (1993)

Richard Linklater is known for the Ethan HawkeJulie Delpy-starred trilogy Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight. However, while these are beautifully done, his iconic film is actually made a few years before Sunrise. Dazed and Confused may be a typical coming-of-age story about teens in Texas during the 1970s, but because it is based on the director’s own experiences, it was presented in such a way that it looks a lot different from teenage-targeted films of today.

Following a group of students during the last days of their school year, it featured the starting point of cast members who ultimately became part of Hollywood’s finest: Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, Adam Goldberg, Matthew Mcconaughey, and Rory Cochrane.

A throwback to the ’70s, this is a time of non-conformism and introducing a new rock subculture. Rumor has it that the 29-period songs, ranging from Aerosmith to ZZ Top, took up a sixth of the film’s entire budget, which could be proof of the dedication that the entire crew has for the film.

Russian Ark (2002)

This film is known to be done in one single take—specifically, done in an hour and a half worth of single take. What makes this film impressive is that there were around 2,000 actors and extras who all hit their marks and picked up their cues, with only two errors in its entirety.

Filmed entirely in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Aleksandr Sokurov’s artistry is apparent. The film is an artist’s view of culture, heritage, and tradition—all of which should be properly preserved. It is sentimental of Russia’s imperial past but stays silent for its inglorious communist days. It also carries with it a message of pride and sadness for the end of the nation’s glory days.

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Eerie Horror Films That Will Keep Your Hair Standing on End

Horror films like Child’s Play, Paranormal Activity, and Mama rely on eerie music and several jump scares—which makes them scary but not in a way that you can’t sleep at night thinking about it.

Then there are eerie films—films that sneak up on you, all the while filling you with a sense of dread and horror crawling under your skin. Unlike typical horror films that are full of screaming and almost-forgettable supporting characters (you have to admit the killers are the best things about them) these eerie films have characters that you might actually care about, and their stories effectively give you goosebumps, even years later.

That being said, here are eerie films that will have you checking under your bed before you go to sleep.

Freaks (1932)

Carnival show workers with unusual abilities can effectively creep anyone out with their mere presence. While this may be a reflection of judgment on a relatively normal person’s part, the creepy factor can be attributed to the movie aptly named Freaks, which has a mixed cast of normal actors and real carnival sideshow workers.

It needs to be seen to be believed, and there is no forgetting the scene where the freaks initiated the “normal” ones into their ranks—the repeated chant calling “one of us” has endured in different forms over the past 80 years.

The Haunting (1963)

Considered as the best “haunted house” film by many, The Haunting is based on a novel by Shirley Jackson. Despite the title, director Robert Wise never actually showed a ghost in the film, but it has a lot of subtle touches that actually make it more creepy—like the wallpaper that close up, shows a jumble of pained faces, and the pounding down the hall, to name a few.

Just to be clear though, the original film is a lot better than the 1999 remake—that was just awful.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

This film opened a new genre called “found footage” and has since then been an icon in pop culture. It unsettled audiences, which is exactly what eerie films are supposed to do. The final moments in the film raised more than a few hairs from the audience, and ultimately, the treatment of the story influenced many other works such as Paranormal Activity and Grave Encounters.

Inside (2007)

Despite taking place on Christmas Eve, there is no holiday cheer in this film. It also touches on stranger danger, and it’s not even the kind that kids worry about.

A pregnant widow spends the night alone in her dark house and finds herself in the company of a mysterious stranger whose questionable motivation keeps audiences at the edge of their seats. The backstory of the film then unfolds and turned the story from creepy to terrifying before you realize what’s going on.

House of the Devil (2009)

This film could have fallen between parody or camp horror, but thankfully, director Ti West’s treatment of it made it more of the eerie type of story.

A college coed was lured to a huge house in the country to be a sitter for a married couple. However, she soon realized that she’s been swindled when she wasn’t actually going to have to look after a baby—but after the couple’s elderly mother. However, due to the amount of cash they offered her, she decided to stay for the job anyway.

Homage to the ’80s, the twists of this film are surprisingly effective horror.

Under the Skin (2013)

An adaptation of a novel by Michel Faber, it is surprising how this film is not more popular considering that the lead was played by Avengers actress Scarlett Johansson.

Maybe because people don’t really recognize her in this film, but as an alien in human skin. She looks practically unrecognizable—or maybe that’s just because of the black hair. Anyway, Johannson plays the alien driving around in a truck and offering random people a ride. While it seems pretty safe, she is actually looking for people to send back to her home planet!

The film is hypnotic and strange, but it is recommended that you read the book before taking a stab at the film—many seemed to think that it was boring.

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Friendship Movies for Bonding Nights with Your BFFs

CS Lewis once said, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art. It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things which give value to survival.”

Perhaps it is this perfect encapsulation of the term that many people find friendship something worthy for art. Whether it’s poetry or literature, or even movies and TV shows, the importance of friendship is not lost among humans.

Being one of those unnecessary things that give value to our lives, friendship is often illustrated in different forms, and here are some friendship movies that are worth watching over popcorn and drinks with your closest and best friends.

Stand by Me (1986)

This is one of the non-horror Stephen King adaptations and is considered one of the best films about friendship ever made. The story is told through a series of flashbacks of writer Gordie Lachance, who recalls adventures from childhood, particularly during a time when he and his friends went on a trip and saw a dead body.

Four boys, all different from each other, are driven by their curiosity, and the trip was an excuse for them to talk about their dreams for the future. Full of pop-culture references, anecdotes, and nostalgia, this is made for friendship that lasted into adulthood.

Thelma and Louise (1991)

There are few friendships that are as epic as Thelma’s and Louise’s—the ultimate bonding movie for female friends. Centered around the lives of a waitress and a housewife, who, after killing a rapist, took off across the USA to experience freedom like they never have before, all the while being chased by a policeman.

The movie touches delicate subjects like liberalism and rape, and even though there are disasters surrounding their epic adventure, they got to taste what life should really be about—and it’s intoxicating.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

This movie is not only great because of the story, but the story behind it as well. Real-life BFFs Ben Affleck and Matt Damon wrote the script while in college and had been trying to get it produced for years.

Centered on Will Hunting, the story is about the gifted boy who took a job as a janitor at MIT. He gets into a fight and had to attend therapy sessions and Math sessions when he assaulted a police officer. With the help of a professor and an unconventional psychiatrist, he was faced of the task of reevaluating his life and his relationships. Good Will Hunting is a great film about growing up and opening your eyes to the world.

Superbad (2007)

It’s easy to dismiss Superbad as just another teen comedy, but besides its fresh set of jokes and comedies, the story about two high-school seniors who are about to be separated due to the looming college days is the sentiment of friendship that lasted all their life.

As their last attempt at being cool, they see a party as their last chance of becoming popular, and like any other hormonally charged teen, they wanted this as the opportunity to finally lose their virginity.

Despite the comedy, however, Superbad is actually a touching film about friendship and growing up—and one that is relatable for best friends who, for the first time, will have to step out of their comfort zones and go their different paths in college.

Grumpy Old Men (1993)

If high-school seniors think that they have lifelong friendships, this one is proof that there are those that can grow until they are seniors—senior citizens, that is.

Despite being in a feud for years, two former childhood friends and next-door neighbors remain friends despite the fact that they resent each other because of the affections of a woman—because most stories are made better with love triangles.

This comedy is full of pranks and name-calling, misfortunes, and romantic attempts, and because they are basically old men fighting over women, their fights are endearing all the same. Plus, the iconic dynamic duo of John Lemmon and Walter Matthau made this movie one of pure gold.

The list is long—after all, lots can be said about friendship, but whether you are boys and girls, young gents and young ladies, men and women, or seniors looking back on your heydays, which among these stories relate most to you and your best friend?

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Murder Mystery Movies You Should Not Miss

Detective stories are among the most popular and entertaining genres in literature. Whether you are watching the gory news bit, reading an Agatha Christie or Sidney Sheldon novel, or watching a detective show like Law & Order and CSI, this genre is a form of art that the public usually laps up – after all, blood and gore always makes for a good story.

Mystery movies have also taken a slightly different approach on the genre, putting forth their own version of storytelling with vastly different settings and crimes, keeping fans excited over what happens next.

While critics seem to look down on the genre as something that carries little weight, relying mostly on suspense and excitements, many directors and writers were able to approach the genre with meaningful stories that can raise questions and profound thoughts. The list is among the best crime stories that you should not miss out on.

Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993)

Directed by Woody Allen

The classic murder mystery combines a traditional detective film format with a bit of Allen’s neurotic humor. Acting alongside his frequent muse and co-star Diane Keaton, they took on the lead roles of the central couple Larry and Carol Lipton. When one of their neighbors died of heart attack, Carol started to suspect that it was murder, commited by the husband. To prove her theory, she went on to tail him – and the investigation gave way to more characters, including doppelgangers. Motives surface and the case became as complicated as any murder mystery would be.

“Manhattan Murder Mystery” is a well-crafted dark comedy with zany characters, making it as entertaining as crime comedy can be.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Who would have thought that a cartoon character will have his place in murder mystery stories? With a combination of live action and animation, this comedy spoof of a classic detective story and a thrilling crime mystery shows a world populated by both people and animated characters.

Bob Haskins is private eye Eddie Valiant who despises toons because his brother was killed by one. Hired to investigate marriage infidelity between cartoon star Roger Rabbit and his wife, Jessica Rabbit, the case quickly became more complicated—a murder and a malicious conspiracy unearthed.

The combination of goofy cartoon characters with mature themes and references made the movie a hit for both kids and adults, and if Roger and Jessica Rabbit are not big enough stars to make you want to watch, there are also cameo appearances from other familiar characters as well, including Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, and Betty Boop.

Zodiac (2007)

Directed by David Fincher

This is the faithful adaptation of the real-life Zodiac murders. Despite being a real story (and the only one on the list), Zodiac does not take away the mystery of the film. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as Robert Graysmith, the political cartoonist for the San Francisco Chronicles who tried to decode the killer’s messages with the help of a crime reporter, played by Robert Downey Jr. The pair then follows a trail of ongoing murders and switch their attention to different suspects without getting any closer to solving the mystery.

Because of the fact that it was based on real events, the film provides the audiences that more in-depth understanding of the murders—this films is a portrayal of one of the greatest mysteries in history.

Chinatown (1974)

Directed by Roman Polanski

Considered as Polanski’s masterpiece, the film stars Jack Nicholson as private detective Jake Gittes, hired to follow a water engineer during the Water Wars in early twentieth-century California. Although he was hired to investigate a possible affair, the water engineer was found in a reservoir, dead. Suspecting foul play, Jake then delves deeper in the murder, eventually tangling himself in a web of corruption, murder, and horror from Los Angeles’s most powerful citizens.

The plot is dark, portraying the mystery to unfold in a way that shows crime and corruption on a larger level. The connections have made Jake distrustful, creating an unsettling atmosphere in the regal estates of Los Angeles.

Which among these movies do you think will make it to your bucket list of crime-murder-mysteries to watch—a Woody Allen production, a hybrid live action/ animation, a real-life-story-turned-movie, or a psychological thriller that will give you goosebumps?

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ExploreTalent Movies: Strong Performances in Lesser-Appreciated Films

Blockbuster sales don’t always indicate the level of awesomeness of a movie. Instead, it reflects on their marketing and advertising teams, who made trailers and posters seem so interesting, people are drawn to them, only to complain later on that the film wasn’t really that good—it was the hype that drew them to theaters.

Then there are films that are amazing in so many ways but did not have the budget to spend on publicity, which is why their performances, although award-winning, don’t get the recognition they deserve.

Here are a few American movies from this century that have been grossly underappreciated—and you should go ahead and watch them.

Solitary Man (2009)

Simple, mature, and character oriented, Solitary Man stars Michael Douglas and is about an aging womanizer who learns that he may have serious heart problems. His life collapses under his feet as consequences of his bad decisions seem to have caught up with him all at once.

It is weird that this film is not too popular. Alongside Douglas is Danny DeVito, and this is the first time they were together in the film in two decades. The last time they shared screen time was in 1989 in War of the Roses, which is another amazing film to see.

The Pledge (2001)

This is Sean Penn’s third directorial effort, and it stars Jack Nicholson as a retired detective who is still haunted by the unsolved murder of a young girl, due to the promise he made to the mother—that he will bring the child’s killer to justice.

Nicholson’s performance is amazing, but instead of showing a lot of charisma, he is drenched in humility, dropping his million-dollar persona to become a haunted everyday man who lost the influence he used to have. This film poses not just as a suspense thriller but as an examination of aging and obsession of a haunted past—as many are poised to have at a certain point in time.

Jeff Who Lives at Home (2012)

The heartfelt comedy about a thirty-something stoner living in his mother’s basement stars Jason Segal and Susan Sarandon. Jeff (Segal) is a wonderfully likable but emotionally stunted man who literally just spends his time waiting for a sign so that he can finally figure out which direction in life he should go.

The sign he gets, in the form of a wrong number, takes him to a series of adventures and chance encounters, including reconnecting with his estranged older brother (played by Ed Helms). Segal’s performance is endearing and sensitive, and the film would still tug on the heartstrings of a wider audience.

The Singing Detective (2003)

It’s hard to imagine Robert Downey being someone other than Iron Man these days, but in this film, he took off his genius-billionaire-playboy-philanthropist persona and instead gave a raw and angry performance about a man who is rotting in his own hell.

Downy is an unlikable, misogynistic hospital-ridden writer who confused one of his stories for reality. Funny, disturbing, and moving, The Singing Detective is an unforgettable film that you need to watch.

Numb (2007)

Matthew Perry may be hilarious in Friends, but he proved his acting prowess when he delivered a moving performance as a neurotic Hollywood screenwriter who is struggling though a unique mental disorder known as depersonalization disorder. Perry’s character had to go through a series of trials and errors with psychiatrists and experimenting with medication, only to find that nobody knows what they are doing, and every possible solution is nothing more than just educated guesses.

This character study is a telling satire in the psychiatric field, yet Perry did not get the recognition he deserved for the role.

Detachment (2011)

Adrien Brody stars as the emotionally stunted substitute teacher who is able to avoid personal attachments by drifting from one temporary job to another. The character is fascinating, a person who cares too much and has to hide from the world because despite wanting to help everyone, he secretly believes everyone is beyond help.

Brody’s performance is effortless, but powerful, and he was able to portray both the likability of the character and the hidden pain he hides. It is a question why the film is not more popular as it boasts of a stellar cast including Christina Hendricks, Bryan Cranston, and Lucy Liu.

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Beauty Tips from the Most Timeless Beauties in Hollywood

Show business is filled with beautiful women—from actresses, singers, and models, your list could go on for a mile and you still won’t cover half of the gorgeous people who can hog the limelight.

While these women too shall age with time, there are a few classic beauties who, even in death, are still remembered as icons of beauty. While we can never become them, they do have their own tried-and-tested beauty tips that we can learn from. Here are some of them:

Marilyn Monroe

The sex icon knows exactly how to look to drive men crazy, perfecting that sultry pout. To achieve her look, Marilyn Monroe used to ask her makeup artist to use five different shades of lip gloss and lipstick. She goes for darker reds on the outside, getting lighter toward the center to create dimension for the photographs—and you thought it was au naturel, didn’t you?

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn is a World War II survivor and humanitarian, but for all the good she did, she is remembered by most as the quintessential Hollywood beauty and fashion icon. Not that they’re wrong to think that, she is still considered as one of the most beautiful women in the world today. Her Bambi eyes is one of the things that people notice most about her, and to achieve such a look, she used to separate each of her lashes with a pin to further emphasize her peepers.

Elizabeth Taylor

Elizabeth Taylor embodies one of her most famous roles on a daily basis. Like Cleopatra, she would shave her face to remove baby hairs and shed a layer of skin cells. Don’t think this is too weird, though, it is technically exfoliation, so it gives her complexion a fresh, youthful glow.

Grace Kelly

Kim Kardashian may be the master of countouring, but the concept is not new. Grace Kelly used different shades of blush to emphasize her cheekbones. The technique may be different nowadays, but it was still this actress-turned-princess who started it. This means that we have her to thank for contouring, not Kim K.

Vivien Leigh

Kylie Jenner has been slammed repeatedly about her lips, but you have to admit it looked fuller now than it did a few years ago. The 18-year-old is not the only person in the world to have such insecurities, though. Even Vivien Leigh, who is noted for her role as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind and named as one of the most beautiful actresses  in her day, had the same insecurity about herself. In fact, she didn’t like her thin bottom lip, so she outlined it heavily to make it look significantly fuller in photos.

Bette Davis

Bette Davis has always been noted by her eyes—so much so that songs have even been written about it! To keep her eyes popping and lovely to look at, she applies cucumbers and petroleum jelly to her eyes to reduce dark circles and puffiness.

Greta Garbo

Bette Davis isn’t the only one who uses petroleum jelly for her eyes, although Greta Garbo has a different use for it. To make her eyes pop, she puts petroleum jelly under a dark eye shadow. Her eyes are also lined with a mix of jelly and charcoal to further emphasize its shape.

Ingrid Bergman

A natural beauty, Ingrid Bergman preferred to keep her makeup light and kept a natural look to her. However, she does think her forehead is too small, so she shaves a centimeter off it to make it appear larger.

Carole Lombard

Today’s women could just have surgery when they don’t like their noses, but Carole Lombard, after being in a car accident that left her nose crooked, decided that the best way to remedy it would be to draw a thin, white line on it to make it appear straighter in front of the camera.

Rita Hayworth

But what about tips to keep hair pretty, you ask? Rita Hayworth’s tip is pretty much classic – apply oil to hair for 15 minutes, then rinse it out with water and lemon juice. It’s a simple, effective trick that would keep your hair looking shiny all the time!

Which of these classic Hollywood beauties’ tips will you add to your own beauty routine?

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