Passengers (2008) is a movie about a counselor who is dispatched to help the surviving members of a plane crash cope with the tragedy. Anne Hathaway plays a counselor (Claire) who loses her patients to a coverup. In the movie ending, there is a plot twist that changes the entire movie.
Claire sits at her front porch. The pilot (Arkin) tries to convince her that there is no conspiracy. The plane crash supposedly killed every passenger. Claire refuses to believe the truth.
Arkin admits his divorce, fatigue and stress interfered with saving the plane from crashing. Arkin blames himself for failing to be in the cockpit at the time the plane loses control. He tells Claire to look at the passenger list to confirm everyone on the plane died.
This is the moment the twist ending reveals that Claire is dead. Claire's name is featured on the passenger list. We go into the events preceding the plane crash.
Every group member Claire assumes she counseled are passengers on the plane. Eric is a passenger sitting next to her in the plane. The two have a good chat.
Arkin is socializing with a few of the female flight attendants. Without any warning whatsoever, the wing catches fire and sends the plane in free fall. Claire is frightened. Eric calms Claire down. He tells her he will be at her side. Claire imagines her life together with Eric, a life that could've been something.
The plane crashes and kills every passenger. The Passengers twist ending establishes that Claire is never alive in the movie. She is a ghost who needs resolution to realize she is dead. The last job she holds prior to her death is a counselor.
Claire's aunt and teacher guide her to Heaven. In the final moments, Claire's sister enters her apartment. On a night, Claire writes a touching message, saying she loved her and she meant everything. In most of the movie, Claire wants to reconnect with the sister since they had a fight.
The Passengers twist ending begins with the ghost revelation on the front porch. We see the inside cabin prior to the plane crashing. Most moviegoers assumed the movie plot revolved around a conspiracy. Claire is a ghost trying to connect the dots.
In the movie ending, the plot twist explains the reason Claire is unable to contact her sister and the motivation behind her deceased teacher and aunt are disguised as her boss and neighbor, respectively. The twist ending engages the moviegoer like The Sixth Sense. The final revelation conveys that Claire is a ghost the entire movie and the surviving passengers are actually deceased as well.
The Passengers twist ending is executed quite well to explain the movie plot. We realize no passengers survived in the plane crash, so the remaining ghosts were stuck between the afterlife and the physical world. Family members showed up to take the group members to Heaven. Claire is the last to learn the fate of the passengers, including herself. She never realized she was a passenger on the plane.
Great movie with a twist ending!