Scenes bring out emotions, and sometimes they elicit the purest of bodily sensations.
That pins and needles feeling, both literally and figuratively manifesting its way through your body and mind.
What brings out the most visceral of reactions is different for everyone. For me, looking at the list I conjured up, a lot come from character defining moments punctuated by great acting, or an unbelievable “spot”; a sequence that just blew all expectations out of the water.
Here are 10 of my personal favorites, with plenty of other honorable mentions that just didn’t make the cut. There will most likely be a list of another 10 coming out in a day in the future.
“My Name is Maximus…”
Director: Ridley Scott
Staring: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
Writing Credits: David Franzoni, John Logan, William Nicholson
Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Costume Design, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects
Gladiator: One of, if not my all-time favorite movie. This meeting between Maximus and Commodus was the original Taken “I have a particular set of skills.” Laying out the plan, laying out the motive, and setting the tone for the remainder of the movie.
Les Misérables (2012)
“I Dreamed A Dream”
Director: Tom Hooper
Staring: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried (and many more…)
Writing Credits: William Nicholson, Alain Boublil, Claude-Michel Schönberg, Herbry Kretzmer, Victor Hugo
Oscars: Best Supporting Actress, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Mixing
Les Misérables is so good and I don’t care what anyone says. I love this movie, and the play is even better.
This performance by Anne Hathaway as Fantine won her Best Supporting Actress at the The Academy Awards and RIGHTFULLY SO. Carrying the emotion of the song throughout the entire thing and bringing it to a condescending whisper at the end is just *chef’s kiss*.
The “Own My Own” song by Samantha Barks as Éponine is also super emotional; it can be on a list like this and may be in future renditions.
A Star Is Born (2018)
Director: Bradley Cooper
Staring: Lady Gaga, Bradley Cooper, Sam Elliot
Writing Credits: Eli Roth, Bradley Cooper, Will Fetters, Moss Hard, John Gregory Dunne, Joan Didion, Frank Pierson, William A. Wellman, Robert Carson
Oscars: Best Original Song
Let’s stick with the music theme.
Much like “I Dreamed A Dream”, this moment is SHIVERS…only on a happy note. Lady Gaga absolutely murders it both from the acting and the vocal sense. Of the past couple years, this is my most watched Youtube clip.
The Great Dictator (1940)
“You The People Have The Power”
Director: Charles Chaplin
Staring: Charles Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jack Oakie
Writing Credits: Charles Chaplin
This whole list could be speeches. There will be another one on this list. This one here performed by Charles Chaplin is like a full orchestral concert in less than four minutes. By the end, it’s enough to make you run through a brick wall.
Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens (2015)
Rise of Rey
Director: J.J. Abrams
Staring: Daisey Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac
Writing Credits: Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams, Michael Arndt, George Lucas
This may be the best scene of the news Star Wars trilogy. Not the most beautiful or well acted, but just pure emotions this is honestly among the best anything Star Wars can offer.
Also there is no denying what this meant to have a female hero have the unbelievable climatic moment.
The Final Sequence
Director: Damien Chazella
Staring: Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons
Writing Credits: Damien Chazella
Oscars: Best Film Edit, Best Sound Mixing, Best Supporting Actor
I have praised Whiplash a lot on this blog, and I am going to do so again here.
The battle between Fletcher and Andrew is constantly overflowing throughout the story, and here the tizzy comes to a boil in beautiful ways. Director Damien Chazella creates beauty in their disdain. It’s perfect. I exclaimed my love for it in an earlier blog post recapping my favorite movies of the 2010s.
Director: Gavin O’Connor
Staring: Kurt Russell, Patricia Clarkson, Nathan West
Writing Credits: Eric Guggenheim
From an unhealthy coaching relationship…to one everyone simply has to love. Kurt Russell plays Herb Brooks in Miracle and delivers an uncommonly simple yet perfect speech. No rah rah from the players after…just Brooks walking out after he knows he just killed a speech. Best unsung part is the assistant coach just smirking going “oh hell yes.”
Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Staring: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
Writing Credits: Uhhh…a lot of people (14 credited on IMDB)
Alright Marvel fans, even I can’y deny this. It is blockbuster perfection encapsulated into two words. I don’t know how many times Chris Evans practiced saying that line, but it is iconic and he absolutely nailed it.
The Baba Yaga
Director: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch
Staring: Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist
Writing Credits: Derek Kolstad
Sometimes exposition is boring. Sometimes, it is surprising.
The speech Viggo Tarasov (Michael Nyqvist) gives is legendary in terms of action-movie speeches for me, and inter-weaving it with Wick literally digging his past up is *chefs kiss*.
It’s hard to get goosebumps in an action movie, one strictly meant to tickle the Adrenalin buttons, but John Wick does so for me.
Expect another list of goosebump scenes coming soon! What are some of your favorite epic scenes?