Earlier this week Indiewire‘s David Ehrlich posted a survey piece titled “The Best Movie Plot Twists of All Time.” Various critics had passed along their favorites, etc.

Allow me to start my own conversation about same, and to begin by noting that far too many screenwriters are convinced that third-act twists are essential components for a strong commercial script. What they’ve become, in fact, is a kind of pestilence. The third-act switcheroos on the parts of Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke‘s characters in Solo (i.e., “You thought I was an ally but I’m not”) are but one example. That bullshit twist in Adrift is another.

People also need to understand the difference between a twist and a striking third-act plot development. Revealing that the young Charles Foster Kane‘s sled was called “Rosebud” is not a twist — it’s simply a revelation. Ditto Kevin Spacey telling Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman that he visited Pitt’s wife, Tracy, and cut off her head and then sent it special delivery in a box. That’s not a twist — that’s a stunning macabre occurence.

The coolest, most satisfying, top-ten twists in own moviegoing experience, and in this order: 1. M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Sixth Sense; 2. George Roy Hill‘s The Sting; 3. Bryan Singer‘s The Usual Suspects; 4. Gregory Hoblit‘s Primal Fear; 5. Irvin Kershner‘s The Empire Strikes Back. 5. Franklin Schaffner‘s Planet of the Apes; 6. Alfred Hitchcock‘s Psycho; 7. Alejandro Amenabar‘s The Others; 8. Alan Parker‘s Angel Heart; 9. John Ford‘s The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance. 10. Neil Jordan‘s The Crying Game.

Cheap, rabbit-pull twists that didn’t feel earned or particularly satisfying: Roger Donaldson‘s No Way Out; 2. David Fincher‘s Gone Girl; 3. David Fincher‘s The Game; 4. Christopher Nolan‘s The Prestige; 5. Martin Scorsese‘s Shutter Island. Others?