Have you ever felt like you’ve been sucker-punched by the ending of a movie? Like you were watching it, enjoying it, and then — BOOM! — out of nowhere comes a huge plot twist that leaves your jaw hanging open or a pit in your stomach? Those of you who saw The Sixth Sense when it first came out in theaters (and therefore weren’t spoiled) know what I’m talking about.
I’ll admit that my heart can’t handle very many of those types of films each year. But that’s not saying I still wouldn’t recommend some of the movies that have totally shattered me. The 5 below are all excellent, but just prepare yourself mentally for a rough ride.
Only the Brave – This one is new to the Box, stars Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Jeff Bridges and Jennifer Connelly, and tells the true story of an elite band of firefighters in Arizona. You’ll marvel at how they approach deadly blazes that threaten entire communities, and will be devastated by a turn of events that no one saw coming.
Atonement – James McAvoy, Keira Knightley and Saoirse Ronan star in this adaptation of Ian McEwan’s best-selling novel of the same name. It follows a young girl (Ronan, who earned a Best Supporting Actress nod for her performance) whose jealousy over the relationship between her sister (Knightley) and one of their groundskeepers (McAvoy) leads to disastrous consequences.
Million Dollar Baby – Clint Eastwood stars and directs this Best Picture winner about a scrappy amateur boxer (Hilary Swank) who wants Eastwood’s character to train her and help her become a professional. But after tragedy strikes, the bond they’ve built is tested in ways neither could’ve imagined.
The Wrestler – Mickey Rourke’s “comeback movie” was exactly that, as he went on to earn a Best Actor nomination for totally becoming Randy “The Ram” Robinson, a washed-up professional wrestler who’s offered one last chance at stardom — but at a horrible price.
Memento – You can trace director Christopher Nolan’s love of nonlinear storylines back to Memento, his second feature film. The story moves both forward and backward as a man (Guy Pearce) desperately tries to piece his life back together and find his wife’s killer based on clues he’s left for himself in the form of Polaroid pictures and tattoos. A truly creative film with a shocking twist ending.
Has a movie ever left you completely shattered? Tell us about it in the comments!