Top 20 Most Awesome Moments in Film
The wonderful thing about checking out a new, spanking film is that you don’t know what to expect. Oh sure the trailer you saw last week gives you an idea of how the muscled hero will save the day, or the sexy heroine will defeat the baddy; but every now and then a moment occurs in a film that is so magical, so fantastically awesome and captivating, so beautiful and maybe saddening that your mind gets blown halfway across the cinema screen in pure rapture. And to help illustrate this point – the Top 20 Most Awesome Moments in Film.(Not for the those who are fearful of Spoilers!)
20. Execution of John Coffey – The Green Mile
Kind of a really depressing story to get things going but what the hell! The Green Mile looks into the tragic imprisonment, and death sentence of John Coffey (Duncan) after he is found guilty of murdering two little girls. Or did he? Dubious guilt aside, something else that is revealed is that John has some pretty miraculous powers concerning healing people…and mice. Long story short, the prison guards start to appreciate the gentle and helping nature of John and in one of the most excruciatingly sad endings, must execute him nevertheless.
What makes it so awesome: Seeing the connection between prison guard Paul (Hanks) and John – particularly the dialogue when they shake hands is highly poignant.
What it made you do afterwards: I’m going to go with B: Cry. Either that or go out and buy a mouse and feed him cornbread.
19. Sergeant Elias – Platoon
Imagine you’re slap bang in the middle of the Vietnam War. Then as if the whole death thingy wasn’t enough you’ve got a troop of fellow soldiers who are borderline insane. And finally, get yourself separated from them in the jungle, wait until the helicopters start arriving to extract your Scooby-Gang of death and then bust out running across the jungle floor like a madman. That’s at least what happens in Platoon. Sergeant Elias (Dafoe) makes a break as the Vietnamese soldiers converge on the rescue helicopters and in one of the most iconic images of all time, gets taken out as he attempts to flee.
What makes it so awesome: He gets shot like a million times but encompasses the entire film as he falls to his knees, arms grasping at the sky.
What it made you do afterwards: Get a BB gun, point your little brother in any direction and re-enact the whole thing.
18. “You had me at hello.” – Jerry Maguire
Who says sports films can’t be meaningful? The person who does needs to watch Jerry Maguire. Okay in fairness the sport side is mostly Cuba Gooding Jr. strutting around drip-drying but the film has one of the most epic “relationship problem make up scenes” ever. After the stress of sports agent Jerry (Cruise) job forces the relationship between himself and wife near breaking point, he arrives back home and gives an incredible speech. Only to have this topped by his wife’s crazy simple but uniquely awesome reply. It’s been rehashed, referenced and alluded to hundreds of times since.
What makes it so awesome: Jerry gives this really heartfelt dialogue and is stopped by his wife. For a second you think it’s not enough, (like you know, normal life), and then she’s all his again. Awesome!
What it made you do afterwards: Try harder when explaining to your girlfriend why you’re late. “Somebody had to show them the money sweetheart.” To which she replies: “You had me at money.”
17. Maximus dispatches some fellow gladiators – Gladiator
It’s funny how something like decapitation can become something so gloriously entertaining. That’s at least the formula in Gladiator. After General Maximus (Crowe) is betrayed and falls into the bloody world of gladiators, he is forced to fight in the arena to survive. And boy oh boy does he know how to survive. Soon after his first match up with the whole gang, he’s stacked up by himself against some pretty mean looking fighters. Schwing-schwing-schwing and they’re all dead. (To clarify that was me mimicking the noise a sword in a movie makes, not the Wayne’s World salute three times). In a matter of seconds the opposing fighters are dead and Maximus bellows an awe inspiring line.
What makes it so awesome: He’s played the “I’m not interested in gladiating” card up until this point and then all of a sudden unleashes his prowess.
What it made you do afterwards: Every time you did something in public that was considered embarrassing, (farting on the Tube, puking outside a Subway joint), you responded with “Are you not entertained?!”
16. “Yippee-ki-yay, mother******.” – Die Hard
Bruce Willis is probably best known throughout the world for the Die Hard series. It’s somewhat responsible for giving him the image of the perpetual hardcore cop, which he’s kept for his entire career. And that’s awesome, because it suits him. But the first Die Hard also put forward the most used line when thinking about this particular cop. “Yippee-ki-yay, mother******” is a phrase I hear constantly when anything to do with violence or fixing something via physical labour. The beauty of it is two-fold; it’s too corny to work in anything other than a Bruce Willis film; and its just too darn catchy to forget. Naturally it’s also only used in the film’s most awesome scenes, placing it firmly as golden.
What makes it so awesome: John “Throw-anything-at-me-and-I-won’t-die” McClane says it.
What it made you do afterwards: Have a snarky response to when your teachers punished you.
15. “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy…” – Notting Hill
Before you begin puking from the soppy nature of the quote, may I remind you this list comprises moments that tugged the heartstrings as well. BAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRFFFFFFFFFF. Now that that’s done, Notting Hill starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts was the story of what happens when a normal everyday chap meets and falls in love with a movie star. Emma Watson if you’re reading this, let’s make it happen. The movie was genuinely funny, heartwarming and this particular scene, when Julia Roberts is trying to win him back over, was endearing enough to make you sit up and pay real attention.
What makes it so awesome: In the end that’s all we really are. Young children standing in front of each other asking one another for love.
What it made you do afterwards: Made you believe that even you, could some day fall in love with a film star. Oh Emma.
14. Jaws appears – Jaws
Take a look at that picture. Those keen-eyed eagles among you will realize it’s not the most realistic looking shark. But remember, Jaws was a film from back in the day. And when this bad boy popped out of the water to nibble at some chum, my brain just about crawled back into the recess of my soul in fear. Just the absolute nonchalance at which this thing appears makes it so damn scary and awesome.
What makes it so awesome: The whole film is basically leading up to this point, you haven’t spotted the beast yet and then bam, it’s right there.
What it made you do afterwards: Swim in pools, not the ocean.
13. Training Montage – Rocky
Rocky is the ultimate underdog story where the knocked around guy stands up and gets counted. Sylvester Stallone stars as the title character and becomes a boxing sensation after one of the most memorable and epic training montages ever. The rest of the film, indeed the franchise, pales in comparison to the effect this particular sequence has on people. From guzzling down raw eggs, to the iconic “running up the steps and fist pumping”, it reminds everyone of what can be done if you set your mind to it.
What makes it so awesome: Montages are usually fantastic as they track a characters improvement, something we are looking for. This one is special just because while probably not the first of its kind, it’s the most iconic.
What it made you do afterwards: Get up in the morning and take a run, aiming for the title. And air punching every time you reach the top of a stairwell.
12. The spinning top “never” falls – Inception
This one was a toss up between three of Nolan’s films. The awesome ending of The Prestige, the awesome “ending” of Memento and the supremely ridiculously awesome ending of Inception. I went for the last one simply because it encompasses the groovy style of Nolan completely. After having accomplished the incredible feat of planting an idea in someone’s mind Cobb (DiCaprio) finally returns home to his children. To make sure he isn’t dreaming, he spins his “totem” on the table, but is distracted by his kids rushing to see him. As the heartfelt scene unfolds, we have our focus drawn to the top, and at this point start freaking the hell out because if that top doesn’t fall we know we are going to rush out and kill somebody. We never find out really if it falls, which is the awesome point really.
What makes it so awesome: Nolan gives us, (yes us), the choice in deciding whether we want to think that it did fall or not. Plus it links into the whole idea of the film that you can be “kicked” from a dream, the movie, before you reach the desired end.
What it made you do afterwards: Make a totem. Watch Inception five times.
11. “Forest Spirit! We give you back your head!” – Princess Mononoke
Okay, Princess Mononoke is not a film everyone will have seen or even heard of. Possibly Miyazaki’s finest film, it documents the plight of a young prince and his journey to find the Forest Spirit to help lift a curse that has fallen on him. On the way he meets a young girl raised by wolves and together they must stop the war between Man and nature. Beyond the fact that it is epically beautiful, it is so poetic at its core. One of the antagonists, the female leader of “Iron Town”, eventually claims the head of the spirit for payment to keep mining but the young prince, Ashitaka, returns it in an epic sequence.
What makes it so awesome: As Ashitaka holds his wolf princess close to return the head, the curse that covers his body spreads rapidly over himself and her – and yet he still wants peace. Awesome!
What is made you do afterwards: Ride a red elk and get some wolf friends to prowl the forests with.
10. Darth Maul’s lightsaber – Star Wars Episode I: Phantom Menace
The newest Star Wars trilogy didn’t live up to the previous films. I think we can all agree on that. However, there was a moment in the Phantom Menace that really hit close at the epic and immersing scope that the galaxy far far away has to offer. Obi-Wan (McGregor) and his master Qui-gon Jinn (Neeson) are busy running through a hanger when the doors open. Dan dannnnnn. The mysterious Sith seen earlier in the film is standing waiting for them. Each draws their lightsaber, and then Maul just takes it up a notch. He calmly stretches out his saber, (so not what your dirty mind is thinking), and it lights up into a light…staff. After that I wasn’t interested in anything else but thinking of the endless possibilities. A lightbaton for the police, a hosesaber for the firebrigade and a harpoonsaber to kill Jabba the Hut.
What makes it so awesome: As if a lightsaber wasn’t cool enough on its own.
What it made you do afterwards: Cry. Weep for the weapon that never shall be
9. Magic Trick – The Dark Knight
Cringe. That was my first response at seeing this “trick” happen. The next was, “Oh my God I want to see that again!” The Joker (Ledger) has just laughed his way on screen in The Dark Knight, disrupting the mobster’s meeting after stealing their money. Calmly he steps toward the table, rams a pencil into the soft cover and waits for one of the mobsters to try and grab him. In a move so epically simple and pivotal, it really does just tell you everything about the Joker, he smashes the pawn’s head into the pencil – finishing with a flourish and a “ta-da”. The sheer brutal nature of the kill and the calm afterwards cements the image in your head. Like nothing but a pencil to the brain could do really.
What makes it so awesome: He kills a dude…with a pencil. Read that statement again.
What it made you do afterwards: Take care when getting things from the supply cupboard.
8. Kaizer Soze – The Usual Suspects
Bryan Singer takes a large slice of the awesome cake for his heist film The Usual Suspects. After a truck containing weapons is robbed, the police gather together some criminal folk for a line up down at the precinct. A dangerous move putting ambitious crooks in the same room together. Soon enough they are employed by the mysterious Kaizer Soze to do a job. Kevin Spacey plays the narrator in the story and retells the tale as its happened to the police inspector grilling him at the end. And then you get kicked, punched and overall kung fu’d in the brain when the soft spoken man turns out to be the criminal mind behind the whole thing.
What makes it so awesome: “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled, was convincing the world he never existed. And like that…he’s gone.” So good!
What it made you do afterwards: Lie your way out of any situation using the objects and pictures around you.
7. Opening Monologue – A Clockwork Orange
A Clockwork Orange is controversial to say the least. When it was released, Kubrick’s film was blasted by governments and such for its ultra-violence and the depiction of Alex (McDowell) and his “droogs”. What the film is though in the end, is iconic cinema. The opening sequence and monologue in particular. Never has anything been quite so unnerving before the first minute of a film has finished. It’s both disturbing, gripping and intriguing.
What makes it so awesome: The fact that it’s pretty much been referenced a thousand times in video games to television shows says just how cool it is.
What it made you do afterwards: Drink milk. Lots of delicious milk. And contemplate the deliciousness of Beethoven.
6. Seeing the Veggiesaurus for the first time – Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park had its moments. Yes it did have one of the most annoying characters of all time – but it was magical down to the tiniest detail. But most of all, and the scene that stands out, is when we get to see our first living breathing dinosaur. After being convinced into coming to the park, Dr. Grant (Neill) and the rest of the gang are on their way to the visitor centre. On the way they stop to behold an almighty sight. Dr. Grant’s own amazement is only equalled by our own as we sit, or cower as I did, watching this giant beast scoffing on some tasty tree. It is absolutely spellbinding and given the relatively uncommon occurrence of CG in films at that point, something unrivalled and a lot of people definitely rubbed their eyes to make sure they weren’t imagining what was happening.
What makes it so awesome: It’s a frikking dinosaur.
What it made you do afterwards: Tread a little lighter through kitchens.
5. Jenny and Forest are reunited – Forrest Gump
“Run Forrest, run!” is possibly the most used line in sports. And rightfully so as it epitomizes somebody giving it their all to win the race, or whatever sport they’re playing – except bowls because well, nobody runs really. Forrest Gump details the life, and the many influences it has on the world, of the title character. But mostly its a love story about Forrest (Hanks) and his Jenny (Wright). They move in and out of each other’s lives a number of times but no reunion is sweeter than this one. Yes yes it’s all mushy and such but the scene is incredibly beautiful and puts tears in your eyes really. “And then, she was there.” Cue the waterworks.
What makes it so awesome: You, along with Forrest, have been waiting for Jenny for so long and just like that, she appears out of nowhere.
What it made you do afterwards: Want to play ping-pong and shrimp fishing.
4. The ending “fight” – Fight Club
Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. Tyler and…the Narrator. Norton’s name is never revealed to be honest, which quite possibly has something to do with the fact that they’re the same people in Fight Club. Now beyond that being awesome as it is, especially the way it’s shown, the ending ranks as one of the best in cinema. Having just discovered this truth, and the plans to blow up the building, Norton tries to fight off “himself” in the parking garage. From the snippets in the CCTV system, to Pitt’s general disposition to his alter ego – the fight is hilarious and plunges your mind into the realm of Project Mayhem.
What makes it so awesome: “My eyes are wide open…” Bang – Norton shoots himself in the face. You have got to have mega courage to do that.
What it made you do afterwards: Meet up with your friends, take your shirts off, beat each other – and discuss capitalism.
3. Lobby Shoot-out – The Matrix
Okay this is a no brainer really. The Matrix burst onto screens before the turn of the millennium and showed off a story that was both captivating and visually gorgeous. All of which culminates in the greatest shoot out ever shown in a movie. After Morpheus (Fishburne) is captured, Neo (Reeves) and Trinity (Moss) bust into the Agent’s headquarters to break him out. And by bust I mean they pretty much use every conceivable firearm in the history of the universe as they assault the lobby. Neo moves smoothly along, switching from uzi to M16 mid-cartwheel, dispatching guards while Trinity scuttles about picking off the rest. So well done and oh so awesome.
What makes it so awesome: Audiences had never quite seen anything like it and it was just a long sequence of mind bogglingly great angles.
What it made you do afterwards: Walk around in long black coats saying: “There is no spoon.”
2. “Red” and Hope – Shawshank Redemption
Picture a film, or story, where almost everything goes against you. You go to jail for something you didn’t do, you get beaten and abused, mistreated by the warden and the one person who can prove your innocence gets shot. Yip, that’s Shawshank Redemption. But what it also is, is one of the finest films of all time. Andy (Robbins) is a young banker who goes to jail for a crime he doesn’t commit, and while inside becomes the warden’s financial pet. After seeing his hopes of release die, literally, he decides he’s had just about enough. The awesome moment that stands out here is when friend Red (Freeman) and Andy are reunited. Hope is the key message of the film and Red finally finds himself believing in it as he journeys to find his pal, during which some of the most memorable dialogue is ever spoken.
What makes it so awesome: “I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.”
What it made you do afterwards: See the true value of hope. And posters.
1. Simba’s Roar – The Lion King
Ah yes. The number one most awesome moment in film is none other than Simba roaring at the end of The Lion King. Think back, and you younger folk out there listen close, to a time when Disney films were the only thing that could truly capture the imagination. After the death,(sob), of his father and king Mufasa, Simba runs away for fear of being blamed and grows up outside his former kingdom. After years, and as the kingdom has been ravished by his uncle Scar and his cronies, Simba returns and fights to restore the land into balance. Once the battle is done…well words can’t do the scene justice so have a look and when you get the icy tingle down your spine and goosebumps spread along your body – you’ll remember how awesome this moment was and why it is still the best:
Sweet baby velociraptor that’s awesome! Now how can you not get all warm and fuzzy from that clip? I mean, Darth Vader asking you to remember and then a lion roaring his ass off!
And that concludes the Top 20 Most Awesome Moments in Film! If you have any comment or any moments you think were left out, don’t hesitate to share with the world below!