The film: Planet of the Apes
The twist: The apes took over in the past! Somehow!
The original 1968 Planet of the Apes featured one of the all-time great final plot twists (courtesy of the master, screenwriter and Twilight Zone creator Rod Serling): the reveal of a discarded Statue of Liberty on a beach, indicating that the faraway planet where apes evolved from man was, in fact, our own Earth in the future. For Tim Burton’s turgid, ill-conceived, poorly executed 2001 sequel, rehashing that ending simply wouldn’t do, since the original film’s countless sequels and cultural ubiquity would make the shock factor impossible. So when astronaut Leo Davidson (Mark Wahlberg) crash lands in present-day Washington, DC, he discovers that the Lincoln Memorial is now a tribute to General Thade (Tim Roth), the ape he’d just battled in the future. Meaning… Thade traveled back as well, earlier in time? Or it wasn’t the past? Or it was or wasn’t earth? Or what? It wasn’t just audiences who were left scratching their heads; co-star Roth said of the film’s conclusion, “I cannot explain that ending. I have seen it twice and I don’t understand anything.”