Movies that start in the middle or end of the story.

So I just finished watching (for the first time) The Life of David Gale. Good movie. It starts interestingly, too: It basically starts by showing the ending first, making you wonder why Kate Winslet is running as fast as she can, but before it reveals why, only then does it go back, starting at the beginning and show you the lead up to that.
What other movies do this? Either showing the middle/ending first and then showing the beginning or even movies that start out in the middle and offer no backstory at all, explaining how things got to the current circumstances as the movie progresses. I’m sure there are tons of them, but I can’t think of any right off the top of my head.

ETA: Duh, how could I forget Fight Club, my favorite movie?


I think that “Go” would qualify, although it shows the same events from multiple points-of-view, all intermixed together.

I really thought it was enjoyable, for what it was…

Inception begins at the end.

Recently “The Jerk” starring Steve Martin was shown locally at a venue for various old flicks and certain independents.

It starts toward the end, with Martin on the streets and despondent, in spite of a long development toward success. One would think it a “tragic” film, except for the obvious light farcical overtones. (After all, it is a Steve Martin movie.)

But there is an unexpected twist to the denouement, and something of the traditional “happy ending” ensues.

- Jack

Pulp Fiction. The Terminator Series?

The Quite American. I know the remake, with Michael Caine, starts at the end, but not sure if the original did.

Hard to beat Sunset Boulevard in that regard.

But it’s fairly common. The Social Network springs to mind this evening, for some reason.

Megamind is a recent example.

**Annie Hall **-- the first line is “I broke up with Annie today.”

The TV show The Increasingly Bad Decisions of Todd Margaret

The Comic starts with the main character’s funeral.

**Kind Hearts and Coronets

Citizen Kane**

Run Lola Run

Breakfast of Champions

Grave of the Fireflies – starts with the main character dead. Most of the story is about before his death.

Millennium Actress – starts with a scene from a movie at the end of the protagonist’s career (she’s in a spaceship about to go into space, in the 1960s or 1970s), then moves about 30 years forward in time to an interview with her long after her film career has ended; only then does the film move to the start of the story, when she was a teenage schoolgirl before becoming an actress, in the 1930s.

I just watched Witlast night, and it does this. Starts out in the middle of chemotherapy, then jumps back and forth (and twixt, actually) and it makes its way to death. Fascinating film.

Recall Marian King in Psycho. You assume she is the main character, and then, poke, poke, poke, she is dead and the movie is about Norman, Norman Bates.

(and kind of his mother too)

The Star Wars saga starts with chapter IV.

Two biopics: **Lawrence of Arabia **and Gandhi. Both start with their deaths and then go back to when they were younger.

Also, The Usual Suspects.

Secretary starts by showing Maggie Gyllenhaal dressed for office work and wearing a wrist spread bar as she goes about her secretary duties. It then goes back to explain how that came about, and then past that to what happens after.

If I’m not mistaken, this technique is called in medias res. The Wikipedia article dates it back to the Iliad.

Any Given Sunday is a great example – it throws you right into the middle of a football game at the start and doesn’t really let up all the way through.