30. First Performance
Movie: We Are the Best!
Scene: (Spoilers for We Are the Best!) After practicing for their gig forever the girls finally get a chance to perform. Turns out the practice does not make perfect and the band is rejected by the crowd right from the beginning.
Why it made the list: In most coming of age movies the scene where outcast kids get their moment to shine ends on a positive note. The people who judged them harshly are proven to be wrong. That doesn’t happen here. Instead a freaking riot breaks out to try and stop them from performing, yet they keep playing because it is not about what others want. It is just about having fun, and being who you are.
29. Combative Dinner
Scene: During the midst of war Don Collier and Norman Elision take a break to have a quiet dinner in the apartment of two German women. When the rest of the crew of the Fury join in things get even more complicated.
Why it made the list: This was one of the most talked about moments of the entire year. Often someone’s feelings towards this scene dictated how they felt about the entire movie. What worked for me was the tension was on this seesaw flow from beginning to end. Every time it appeared things have settled something would occur to raise tension even further. It was both uncomfortable to witness but engrossing to watch.
28. British Talk Show Host
Movie: The Trip to Italy
Scene: Rob Brydon plays the part of make believe talk show host as he grills Steve Coogan on his place among current British comedic royalty.
Why it made the list: In The Trip the standout moment for most was the dueling Michael Cane impressions. A funny moment for sure, but while this scene may not be the viral sensation of the last film I think it is even better. It is a better reflection of these characters and all their crazy eccentricities on life, and shows how obsessive they are about their careers and reputations.
27. Spinning Tank
Movie: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Scene: During Koba’s assault on the human compound he gains control of a tank for a short while. The turret of the tank begins to rapidly spin giving us a 360% perspective of all the chaos.
Why it made the list: If I was to do a list of just my favorite shots of the year this would easily be in the top five. This shot does not add a great deal to the plot, nor does it tell you a lot about the characters. It is just simply fun to watch, like a merry-go-round ride from hell with death and destruction as far as the eye can see.
26. One Last Performance
Movie: The Congress
Scene: Robin Wright has agreed to sell her likeness to the movie studios. Doing so means she’ll be set for life but never able to act again. In order for the likeness to be captured for the future she must go through each emotion so it can be recorded.
Why it made the list: In the context of the plot there are elements of this scene that don’t fully work. However, when you isolated it to this specific scene there is a beauty to what is being said. Robin Wright makes her last performance one of her best as she walks through a number of distinct emotions.
25. Opening the Underground World
Scene: In the opening of Borgman we see a priest and a few other members of the church hunting Bormang in his makeshift underground hut. Leading Borgman to flee, but along the way warn other underground dwellers of the danger.
Why it made the list: I went into Borgman knowing absolutely nothing about it, but from the start it had my attention. You don’t fully understand what is exactly taking place and honestly by the end of the movie there are still a lot of questions. If any movie ever deserved a prequel it is this one. I want to see more of this crazy underground world.
24. Beach Invasion
Movie: Edge of Tomorrow
Scene: Humanity begins their all-out assault on the alien forces. What they thought would be a surprise attack turns into a complete disaster.
Why it made the list: We were going to see elements of this scene playout on a number of occasions so it had to be good…and it was. A pure adrenaline ride in its fullest form. It has everything you want in a entertaining summer blockbuster.
23. Getting Accommodated
Movie: Starred Up
Scene: Eric Love goes through the process of entering jail. From the full body examination to finally being shown his cell. When he enters he begins preparation for his life in prison. Showing us he clearly knows what he is in for.
Why it made the list: There is that classic idea that it is better to show than tell. With literally no words spoken we find out so much about the character of Eric. It starts off like so many other prison moments have, but once it enters the cell that’s when things change. Right away we know we are dealing with a seasoned prison veteran despite his young age.
Movie: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Scene: (Spoiler for The Amazing Spider-Man 2) In the midst of Spider-Man and Green Goblin’s fight Gwen begins to fall from high atop the broken clock tower. Spider-Man attempts to catch her before she reaches the ground, but the force is too strong causing her neck to break.
Why it made the list: The moment pretty much everyone saw coming, but it doesn’t mean it still didn’t work. My many, many issues of Amazing Spider-Man 2 aside this scene still got me. The one element that still stays in my mind is the off-putting sound of Gwen hitting the ground. Even thinking about it now sends shivers throughout my body.
21. The Price of Relativity
Scene: (Spoiler for Interstellar) After spending an unexpected amount of time on a planet that had a gravity so strong hours on it were years on Earth Cooper sits down to watch decades of his family’s messages. He watches helplessly as the children he once knew age to full grown adults.
Why it made the list: How could this moment not hit you in your emotional core. The idea of missing out on your children’s lives in one quick instant is devastating, and Matthew Mcconaughey sells every bit of that emotion. I can’t not think of a scene this year that evoked more empathy than this one.