10 Movie Titles Whose Meanings Change After Watching, According … – Screen Rant

Sometimes, the best movie titles are those that can be understood completely differently after the truth of the story has been revealed.
Recently, Captain America 4 director Julius Onah explained the movie's title after fans were confused about what it meant for the character – proving just how important a good title is. Given the reaction from MCU fans, the title is undoubtedly one of the most important features of any movie, as it offers the audience a brief insight into the story that is going to be told.
As always, Reddit fans have conflicting opinions about exactly what makes a movie title stand out, but most can agree that the best titles are those that change meaning after watching the film. Whether it offers a hidden detail about the story or simply reveals itself as a well-disguised double entendre, these kinds of movie titles never fail to entertain audiences.
Andrew Dominik's modern Western might not have the most welcoming title, but it certainly seems to have a fairly explicit meaning at first glance. It practically acts as the movie's synopsis, though the film's complex narrative doesn't quite match the objective tone of its title.
Dominik's film actually has a lot to say about the morality of its two central characters, and the blunt tone of the title represents the one-track mindset that he attempts to abolish via his thoughtful story. Reddit user nodisintegrationz notes this, claiming that the title "gives the viewer a slanted perspective going in."
Arrival definitely seems like a suitable title for a movie about aliens landing on planet Earth, but one Reddit user believes that it actually harbors a double meaning that isn't immediately obvious. Whilst most would assume that the 'arrival' refers to the aliens, they suggest that the title refers to the film's skewed portrayal of linear time.
They claim that "[the aliens'] perspective on time" is non-linear, meaning that they never actually arrived on Earth but have always been there. It's a complex idea, but it certainly cements Arrival's status as one of the most confusing sci-fi movies out there.
People would be forgiven for thinking that A Boy and his Dog was an upbeat story about the friendship between a child and his pet, but Justus McQueen's black comedy is actually much darker and less optimistic than its fairytale title suggests. Not only that, but the film actually sees the boy and his dog separated for the majority of the runtime.
A Redditor mentioned that "A Boy And His Dog sounded like a really nice movie, but it was set in a post apocalypse future." The film's title is a classic example of misdirection that's impossible to spot unless viewers are familiar with the film's story. It purposefully forces the audience to expect something different, which makes the film's dramatic impact much more memorable.
Martin Scorsese's classic gangster drama Mean Streets was one of the director's first projects, but it remains one of his most thematically interesting. The title immediately misleads audiences to believe that the film will be about the crime and violence of gangster life, but after watching the movie, the title could easily be read ironically.
Reddit user jbartlettcoys believes that Mean Streets is a "fascinating title and I'd argue reframes the subject of the movie," as it personifies the streets themselves as the reason that the two protagonists' lives have become so damaged. It's a perfect example of Scorsese's subversive writing, giving the film a completely unexpected tone.
The true meaning behind Love and Thunder was a hot topic of debate among MCU fans before the film's release, with most assuming that it simply referred to the key themes of the story. However, after watching the movie, it becomes clear that "Love" and "Thunder" are actually names for Gorr's daughter and Thor himself.
Gorr was one of the best-introduced villains in MCU history, though many fans thought that his character arc eventually fell flat. He plays a hugely important role in the film, but as Redditor branwafr notes, the double meaning behind the title "reframes" his daughter as the real focus of the story.
It's hard to understand why a film about the wartime oppression of Jewish people would ever include the word 'beautiful,' but the genius screenwriting of Benigni's Life Is Beautiful actually has a lot to say about the importance of positivity and optimism in the face of suffering.
Reddit user garrisontweed cites "Life Is Beautiful" as one of the best examples of a movie title that changes after understanding the film. The title mirrors the optimistic (if untrue) ideology that the central characters adopt in this heartbreaking tragicomedy, especially as Guido attempts to shield his son from the devastating atrocities to retain his human spirit.
The concept behind John Krasinski's A Quiet Place is an overwhelmingly simple one, but that doesn't stop him from subverting expectations and manipulating the limits of his own worldbuilding at every turn. After watching how the film's characters manage to use sound and noises to regain control of their lives, the film's title can easily be read as ironic.
The movie's final scene sees the protagonists using sound to their advantage in order to defeat the aliens, overcoming the concept of the 'quiet place' in a way that "fundamentally shifts the focus" of the narrative, according to one Reddit user. It's this subversion of expectations that makes A Quiet Place one of the best horror movies of the modern era.
There are two distinct interpretations for the title of Gus Van Sant's iconic drama Good Will Hunting, each depending on how the audience interprets the film's meaning. At first glance, it appears to refer to protagonist Will Hunting's strive to be good, but Reddit user nowhereman136 suggests that it means something else.
"[Hunting] is looking for the will to do something with his life, instead of wandering aimlessly," they write, suggesting that the film's title actually refers to his hunt for goodwill. This interpretation may be difficult to spot before watching the film, but once people are familiar with Hunting's journey, it seems like a perfectly suitable title.
Like Rocketman, many musical biopics are simply named after the most famous song from the artist they depict – for proof, look no further than Bohemian Rhapsody and Respect. Even the best Oscar-winning musical biopics ever made often fall victim to bland and lazy titles that capitalize on the success of their subject.
However, Rocketman actually has a totally different meaning that only becomes clear after witnessing the rollercoaster journey of Elton John's life. One Redditor sums it up perfectly by writing: "[The title] also describes a man going very high, very fast, until he self-destructs."
Christopher Nolan's films have always been famous for their plot twists and narrative surprises, but with The Prestige, the answer was actually in front of the audience all along. The title might initially seem like a comment on the rivalry between the film's two protagonists, but upon closer inspection, it actually refers to the structure of the story itself.
In the film's first scene, Nolan defines the 'prestige' as the end of a magic trick, when the misdirection falls away, and the truth is revealed. Coincidentally, this is exactly how the film is structured, where the final-act revelation that Redditor thespianomaly believes puts a complete spin on the very phrase "The Prestige."
NEXT: 10 Worst Title Drops In Movies, According To Reddit
At Screenrant, Jack is a Lists Writer with a focus on the newest trends in film and television. Elsewhere, you can find his thoughts on the latest movies at his various outlets: linktr.ee/jwalters204


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