12 Epic Movie Scenes

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Photo Credit: Manuele Sangalli

When I was in Vancouver a few weekends ago for a friend’s wedding, the groom and I started chatting about movies (cause we’re both nerds) and he mentioned that he and a bunch of his friends often get together and show 5-15 minute clips of their favorite scenes from their favorite films.

I think that’s the coolest idea ever, and am dumbfounded that I never thought of that myself.

If girls can have their stupid tupperware and Avon parties, why can’t us guys have parties where we watch stuff explode and give one another high fives?

Speaking personally, outside of lifting heavy things, watching movies is my second passion and something that’s always been a part of my life since a young kid.

I still remember the afternoon seeing Return of the Jedi for the first time when I was seven years old and thinking to myself, “Wow.  Just wow.”  And I’m pretty sure that was the official start of me not thinking girls were “icky.”  I can thank Leia in a bikini for that one.

And, you know, the space stuff was cool too.

Anyways, it got me thinking: what scene(s) would I pick if given the same opportunity to showcase my movie going prowess?

It’s a tough call, and this is by no means an exhaustive list, but off the top of my head here are twelve selections.


Also, just a fair warning:  most of the clips below aren’t safe for work.  So, unless you have the coolest boss ever, you might want to put on some head phones.

The Pub Scene from Inglorious Basterds

I’m a Quentin Tarantino guy through and through, and I could have just as easily made this entire list clips from all of his various movies – Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction, Jackie Brown, Kill Bill (vol I and II), Death Proof, and  Inglorious Basterds.

Anyone who says they don’t like or care for Tarantino movies:

1. Probably sucks at life.

2. Hate movies in general.

Seriously, how can anyone say something like that with a straight face?

At a time when Hollywood is releasing heaping piles of crap like 21-Jump Street, Battleship, or any other example you can think of referencing cheesy 80’s tv shows and board games, at least Tarantino writes his own stuff and comes up with original content.

Which is why I also like guys like Paul Thomas Anderson, Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Darren Aronofsky, and Woody Allen.  They rarely (if ever) regurgitate old material.  An exception could be made with regards to Nolan and the Batman franchise, but at least he had the gonads to do it right and stay true to the material, which is a far cry from the previous Batman films.

Anyways, I’m getting off track.  Where was I again?

Oh yeah: Tarantino.

Picking a favorite scene out of his body work is like picking your favorite Victoria Secret model – a daunting task to say the least.  But if I HAD to pick one, I’d pick the “Pub” scene from Inglorious Basterds.

I LOVE listening to good dialogue, and this scene is quintessential Tarantino, using a steady crescendo – highlighted by a brilliant performance by Michael Fassbender – culminating into one of the best “OMG…..this is freakin awesome” shoot outs of all time.

The clip below isn’t even the full scene (from start to finish), but it’s the best one I could find that had decent quality.

“How Am I So Funny” Scene from GoodFellas

Hands down, without question, there’s been no one movie I’ve watched more than GoodFellas.

I’m pretty sure I could quote the entire movie without batting an eye, and it’s one of those movies that, no matter how many times I’ve watched it, if I happen to come across it on television, I’m going to put the remote control down and watch it again.

This scene gets me every time, and as a funny aside:  my mom didn’t take too kindly when, at 13, I attempted to reenact it at the dinner table.  Sorry Mom!

“Rudy Gets Into the Game” Scene – Rudy

I can think of two other cases where I weeped like a teenage girl at a Justin Bieber concert.

– When Old Yeller got rabies and had to be taken out back to get shot.

– When Rose told Jack she’d never let go.  Whatever.  Don’t judge me.

This scene from Rudy probably takes the cake, though. And don’t play it off like you don’t get teary eyed every time you watch it you son of a bitch.

The Last Fifteen (or so) Minutes of Seven

Or what I like to call – “hooooooooooolllllllyyyyyyyy shit.  Did that just happen?”

I don’t think any one movie has ever made my brain melt as much as this one did.

I saw this in the theater – TWICE – when it first came out.  And the final 10-15 minutes still ranks up there as arguably one of the more intense, WTF is going to happen, I swear to god I’m going to pee my pants, oh my god, oh my god……..what’s in the box.  WHAT’S IN THE BOX???????????” moments I’ve ever watched.

Though, to be honest, pretty much ANY scene where Gwenyth Paltrow dies is cool in my book.  Sooooooo, yeah, I just gave away the ending.  Sorry.

“How You Like Dem Apples” Scene – Good Will Hunting

Given I’ve lived in Boston for the past six years, it goes without saying that I HAD to include this scene on my list.  Awesome.

The Final Scene in The Usual Suspects

I should have put this above Seven, because NO movie has ever had a better ending than this one.

For those who’ve never seen it:

1.  Shame on you.

2.  You’re officially banned from this site until you walk down to your local video store and rent it or queue that badboy on Netflix.

Get it done.

I’m not going to include the clip here because I don’t want to spoil anything, but suffice it to say, it’s pretty freakin epic.

“Now F**k Off and Die” Scene – Closer

This is not an easy film to watch, and much of that is a testament to the diabolical bastard that Clive Owen plays.

Side Note:  he won the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for this role, as did Natalie Portman for her role in this film.

Relationships aren’t always about butterfly kisses and rainbows, and I think what I love most about this scene is that it showcases EXACLY that.  It’s primal and “real,” and is just brilliantly acted by both Clive Owen and Julia Roberts.

A close second would be the scene between Clive Owen’s character and Natalie’s character (Alice) as she strips for him in the nightclub.  Rumor has it that the director, Mike Nichols, shot a take of Portman topless, but then chose to not use it and destroyed the only copy.

Rumor has it that 99% of the male population thinks Nichols is an a-hole for doing such a thing.

Anyways, this is a pretty graphic and dirty scene. Note:  DEFINITELY NSFW.

Trinity Escapes – The Matrix

I picked this not necessarily because it was the best fight scene ever, but because up until that point, nothing (NOTHING!!) compared to it.

The Wachowski brothers’ seminal masterpiece literally changed the way movies are made, and prompted dozens upon dozens of posers to copy their vision.

I throw this scene under the same umbrella as when Darth Vader told Luke he was his father or when we watched the first victim (the female swimmer) in Jaws bite the big or when Jack Nicholson chopped through the door with an ax in The Shining or when Halle Berry showed her boobies in Swordfish…….

……movie moments we’ll never forget.

Opening Scene – Boogie Nights

Fun facts:  This is probably my favorite movie of all time, and I actually took my (then) 15 year old brother to go see this when it first came out back in 1997, which basically makes me the coolest brother ever.

Arguably one the best tracking shots (no breaks in camera work) in movie history.

As soon as we see the words “Boogie Nights” get thrown into your face in bright neon lights, you know it’s going to be quite the ride.  (<—-completely aware that that sounds a lot like a cheesy porno description.  HA!).

Wilson Floats Away – Cast Away

Yet another tear jerker (that is, assuming you have a soul); this scene gets me every time. How Tom Hanks was able to pull off such an emotional scene with a freakin volley ball is beyond me, and is something that only proves he’s a once in a generation actor.

Star Wars vs. Lord of the Rings – Clerks 2


It’s funny because it’s true.

“Bikers vs. Mobsters Bar Fight” Scene – A Bronx Tale

The only way this scene could have been more badass is if it also had ninja’s vs. pirates.

The part where Sunny locks the door, turns around, and says, “Now you’s can’t leave” is so freaking badass I can’t even stand it.

Do you have any favorites of your own?  Share them below in the comments section!


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  • Mike A.

    When Facebook posts turn into epic blogs. Well done sir.

  • Andy Reuter

    Decent list.  Great post!  Blues Brothers – Car chase scene is one of my favs that is off of your list and the baptism scene from Godfather.

    • TonyGentilcore

      Decent list? Decent list? Pffft, whatever. It’s an EPIC list (didn’t you see the title of the post????). Okay, just kidding..

      Speaking of car chase scenes – and not to come across as an overly obsessed Tarantino fan – but the one at the ending of Death Proof is pretty sick. I’d argue it’s better than Ronin.

  • Jarrod

    I love the list, but you have to include Shawshank Redemption!
    This is one of my favorite scenes:


    • TonyGentilcore

      Yet another “glue movie.” Glue movie = any movie that no matter how many times you’ve seen it, you STILL watch it whenever you come across it on tv.

      Shawshank is probably in my top 5, easy. Never met anyone who DIDN’T like that movie.

  • D-money

    Bikers v. Mobsters= Next Ultimate Warrior season?

  • j.b.

    Love the ‘apples scene.’
    mine would have to include this:

    • TonyGentilcore

      Crap, I couldn’t view the clip JB!

      • j.b.

        double crap.. search “tea house scene hard boiled.” you will not be disappointed.

  • Chris

    agree with the list but I must say this could be a top 5 on this list and could possibly be the best intro to a movie I have ever seen.  Hype Williams did an amazing job with the lighting and the music sets the scene perfectly


    • TonyGentilcore

      Oh man, that entire scene just takes me back to my college days.

  • sandiegopete

    Killer selections; you’re right, it would be easy to do a similar list of QT movies alone…THANKS for making my day when I really should be working

    • TonyGentilcore

      Trust me, I had to fight EVERY urge not to make it a QT highlight reel. Glad you enjoyed the post!

  • Ben Bruno

    Awesome post! Good Fellas and Rudy are two of my top 5 movies of all time and I love those scenes. My favorite movie scene ever is the ending of Last of the Mohicans. So badass, with awesome music.


    • TonyGentilcore

      The director, Michael Mann, is definitely a master when it comes to setting up shots. His bank robbery scene in Heat ranks right up there too!

  • 6 minutes

    Excellent list. Some people may enjoy this: 


    Vision Quest – Its not the 6 minutes………….

    • TonyGentilcore

      HOLY SHIT……..I was totally going to include a Vision Quest scene, but didn’t want to date myself. You, sir, just earned 10 awesome points.

  • Matt H

    The ending of A Few Good Men

  • Barath

    Someone should tell Tom Hanks to maintain a neutral spine when looking for Wilson. Such excessive rounding won’t do for videos embedded on this site…….

  • Donovan

    i have a few! the interrogation scene by batman on the joker in “the dark knight”, the ending scene where molly (demi moore) sees sam (patrick swayze) in “ghost”, the milkshake scene in “there will be blood” (DDL was great in gangs of new york too!), the heist scene in “ocean’s eleven” and the ending/fighting scene between the two brothers in “warrior”, and the whole of american beauty. i just can’t pick anything out of the latter and say it is the best scene!

  • Awesome list T…I’ve gotta see A Bronx Tale now.  I would have to include the “negotiation and coursing” scene in Snatch.  “She’s mighty partial to the periwinkle blue”.

    • TonyGentilcore

      You HAVE to watch A Bronx Tale. Arguably in the Top 5 for gangster movies, easy.

      Also, LOVE (the movie) Snatch. NIce pick

  • Al

    How could you miss….
    “Alright gentlemen, that’ll be all.”

    Get choked every time I see that!

    Then there’s
    “I swear to god!”
    “SWEAR TO ME!!!!”

  • Bryan

    Nice post Tony! Have you seen requiem for a dream? I haven’t seen it in a while but pretty powerful movie

    • TonyGentilcore

      Fantastic film. One of the more disturbing films ever made IMO>

  • Alonso H
  • Great list but I have a few of my own.  Jurassic Park scene where the T-Rex destroys the car, the end scene of the The Never Ending Story where Bastian is flying Falcor.  Rocky’s speech at the end of Rocky 4 that ended the cold war.  Gunn fight scene in Desperado where Cheech gets shot in the eye.  The scene in Childs Play when Chucky first is shown coming to life (still give me nightmares).  The final fight scene in the Last Dragon.

  • Rob Hoffman

    I’m partial to Tarantino’s “True Romance” scene between Walkin and Hopper:


    Also on my list would be Steve Buscemi and Cheech Marin’s first Bar scene in Desperado, Either the “Vegas Baby! Vegas!!” scene or Mikey’s Answering machine relationship scene from Swingers, and the kidnapping scene from “Taken” (Liam Neeson does have a particular set of skills after all).

    The Bikers vs. Mobsters scene is CLUTCH though!!! Well done!!

  • Joaquin

    21 JUMP STREET WAS THE BOMB. great list. 

  • jeroenra

    The swordfight at the end of Rob Roy.

  • Brad
  • Domenic

    Apocalypto escape scene.


    Now this what action movies should be like, not all this Marvel BS.

  • Domenic

    love that bronx tale scene, great line!

  • Steven

    Please, the best scene ever is in the Godfather when Michael talks about
    killing Sollozzo & McCluskey. 

    Michael Corleone to Sonny: “It’s not personal, Sonny. It’s strictly business”. Brilliant !

    • TonyGentilcore

      Well, in my defense, I never said they were THE BEST scenes ever, just epic….;o)

      But yes, the Godfather scene is right up there.

  • Ljtremblay

    Great list. Definetively missing a Godfather scene tho.

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