There’s nothing movie fans love more a twist you never see coming, and usually, the more surprising a story, the better. But even eagle-eyed fans paying attention to the smallest detail can be surprised at just how many hints, clues, or prophetic statements passed them by. These hints will definitely have you re-watching some of your favorite films – even if you can’t believe you didn’t catch these clues on the first time around.
Be warned: there are plenty of SPOILERS ahead in Screen Rant’s 10 Amazing Movie Clues You Totally Missed.
It’s usually hard to find any meaning in the opening credits of a James Bond adventure, since they’re famous for being more abstract and stylish than most of the movies that follow. But Skyfall planted one major hint in its title sequence. The movie became famous for its somber tone, including an ending that saw Judi Dench’s “M” killed in action and replaced by Ralph Fiennes. It shocked audiences, but not the people paying close attention at the start, with the actress’s name displayed over a headstone in the opening credits.
The film’s physics-defying, brain-bending ending might have turned off some audiences, but even if Interstellar‘s ending was confusing, it was a shocking twist. After a former astronaut and his daughter are drawn to a secret NASA base by a mysterious “ghost,” he winds up saving mankind, using a black hole (and some gravity) to become the ghost that sent him on the mission in the first place. It was a truly impossible time loop to predict… until you remember the very first line of dialogue in the entire movie, when Murph tells her father: “I thought you were the ghost.”
Every fan of The Matrix remembers the first time Neo (Keanu Reeves) is interrogated by unknown agents, long before they had ever grasped what the Matrix, or the artificial programs were. For the rest of the movie, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) seems determined to prove that the former hacker isn’t really ‘The One,’ the man who will lead humanity to victory against the Machines. But he was given a serious hint: take a closer look at Neo’s file, and right below the “SECRET” stamp, you’ll notice the number one, circled. That’s why you always read the fine print.
Transformers: Dark of The Moon
When Optimus Prime and his Autobots discover that a fellow Transformer crash landed on the moon in the 1960s, they eventually learn that the stranded Autobot is ‘Sentinel Prime,’ the leader of the aliens whom Optimus replaced. The hero is voiced by actor Leonard Nimoy, best known as “Mr. Spock” from the original Star Trek. The movie’s twist comes when Sentinel betrays the Autobots, siding with the Decepticons to bring their home planet, Cybertron, to Earth – destroying humanity in the process. Seeing Spock turn pure evil and try to take over the world only got him and Megatron killed. But if viewers wanted to save themselves some time, they could’ve just paid close attention to Wheelie’s remarks when watching an old Trek episode in the first few minutes: “this is the one where Spock goes nuts.”
The Dark Knight Rises
We’ve already explained one reason audiences should’ve predicted the twist of The Dark Knight Rises, but fans only had to keep their eyes on the fire, and the twist was practically obvious. For starters, fire is mentioned symbolically by Bane (Tom Hardy) and his followers, just like Ra’s al Ghul (Liam Neeson) in Batman Begins (equating the League of Shadows to a “purging fire”). It proved the villains shared the same mission, but there were even more hints that Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) was really the Ra’s’ daughter Talia. No fan will forget Ra’s’ final words – “have you finally learned to do what is necessary?” – so they should have instantly caught Miranda using the same phrase when rescued by Bruce. Ra’s even described the League’s job as “restoring the balance” – years later, that was exactly what Miranda Tate claimed she was after the first time she spoke with Bruce Wayne.
There’s no shortage of theories surrounding Inception, but forget the question of whether or not Cobb’s top stopped spinning in the final shot – what if the entire movie was one of his dreams? For starters, Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) explains that people never recall how a dream started – you simply begin in the middle. The movie begins that exact same way, beginning at the end, then skipping back to another heist. We later learn a dreaming mind clings to certain numbers: like the train that took Cobb and his wife out of limbo marked 3502, the team’s taxi numbered 2053, and Cobb’s wife’s hotel suicide even committed in Room 3502. To top it off, Saito (Ken Watanabe) dreams of living in a house built on a cliff. The dream should only be his, but when Cobb is reunited with his children, they let him know that they’re also “building a house on a cliff!”
James Cameron’s 3D epic Avatar is about as science fiction and fantasy as blockbusters can get, but the characters can’t seem to help offering clues about what lies in their future. When Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) explains that outsiders aren’t allowed to get close to the planet’s Tree of Souls, she claims that she “would die to get samples.” She tempts fate again when challenging Colonel Quaritch (Stephen Lang) to shoot her. The wish comes true not long after, leaving her mortally wounded. When she’s taken to the Tree for a last ditch effort to save her life, she and the audience realize she got her wish after all, with her even observing that “I should take samples.”
As classic and timeless a story of good vs. evil as Star Wars may be, the films really only offer one side of the story. The ancient Jedi prophecy of ‘The Chosen One’ who would destroy the Sith, for instance, was coming from the Sith’s greatest enemies. In the Star Wars canon, the prophecy originally only claimed that the Chosen One would “bring balance to the Force.” Any fan of history or fantasy knows that prophecies are never just what they seem. If viewers took a second to ask what “balance” actually meant – not what the Jedi hoping to destroy the Sith interpreted it as – then Anakin’s story is tragic… but exactly what was promised. He did terrible things, but technically did balance the force: leaving two Jedi to serve the light side, and two Sith lords to serve the Dark. It only seems fair.
Star Trek Into Darkness
Fans of classic Star Trek can still debate the secrecy surrounding the updated version of Khan for Star Trek Into Darkness, but the most staggering reveal for casual audiences was the USS Vengeance, a massive attack ship that made the Enterprise look like a toy. But the secret was actually spoiled in the first act. Admiral Marcus may have kept the ship’s construction under wraps, but the long line of spaceship models in his office includes almost every iconic ship from the Trek TV show and films, ending with the Vengeance (clearly the villain’s favorite, going by his loving stare). Can you even call it a “reveal” when it’s shoved in the audience’s face?
The Matrix Reloaded
Becoming ‘The One’ is a short victory, since The Matrix Reloaded delivered its own twist ending showing nothing was what it seemed. When Neo finally finished his quest and met ‘The Architect,’ he learned he wasn’t the savior of mankind, just one in a long line of ‘Ones,’ all doomed to repeat the same cycle of Man/Machine war. It sent fans reeling, but probably shouldn’t have – since it was explicitly stated by the Merovingian a full 45 minutes earlier in the movie: “your predecessors had much more respect.” The storm of bullets that immediately followed made it hard to grasp what was just revealed, but even Neo didn’t catch it, so don’t feel too bad.
Those are the coolest clues, hints, or teases we could find in our favorite films, but which ones did we miss? Be sure to name them in the comments, and remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this one!