I have to thank GCRN’s very own Kevin Thompson for inspiring me to do this list this year. I usually stay away from naming specific scenes but after his article last year (Kevin’s Article) I saw the awesome potential. Now one thing to consider is that this is based on movies that I have actually seen. There are a few big blind spots including Unbroken, Whiplash, Wild, among others. So if you feel a movie is under represented that may be why. Also for the sake of variety I tried not to repeat movies all that much. There are a select few that may have two scenes in the top 50, but I tried to refrain as much as possible.
So the question then becomes how do you rank scenes? It’s not an easy task I’ll tell you, but there were some key factors I considered. First was longing impact. Moments that I can still remember vividly for positive reasons. Second was impact while watching. Those moments that make you sit on the edge of your seat, burst out in extreme laughter, or fight to hold back tears. If a scene did that chances are it ended up on this list. Also it is important to mention this is based on the quality of the scene not the quality of the movie. Also be warned some spoilers may be coming up, and I do make note of potential spoilers in the descriptions. So with that said here we go.
50. Elevator Rap
Movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Scene: In an impromptu moment the four turtles begin beatboxing as they travel up the elevator to confront the notorious Shredder.
Why it made the list: I told you I didn’t base this on the quality of the movie. I was not a fan Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on any level, but even I can appreciate this scene. A small funny moment that reminds you that the turtles are in fact teenagers and capable of having fun.
49. Opening Strong
Movie: Dom Hemingway
Scene: In the opening shot Dom Hemingway gives a lengthy explanation about why his personal favorite appendage is so impressive.
Why it made the list: Let’s just say Dom Hemingway does not beat around the bush. From the get go it is apparent he is testosterone personified, and his ridiculousness is on full display in this opening monologue. People forget how great of a character actor Jude Law really is, and we need more moments like this where he gets to show his true talent.
48. Down the Hatch
Scene: (Spoiler for Godzilla) In an epic final blow Godzilla takes down his monstrous enemy by breathing his trademark fire down his enemy’s throat.
Why it made the list: Godzilla has been around for quite a long time. Even with advanced special effects there is only so much you can do when it comes to monsters fighting monsters, which makes this final move such a standout. In an ultimate badass stroke Godzilla rips open a pair of jaws and lets the fire burn. It’s the monster fight equivalent of dropping the mike and swaggering away.
47. Diner for Four
Movie: The One I Love
Scene: (Spoiler for The One I Love) After experimenting with their other selves Ethan and Sophie are suddenly face to face with their relationship doppelgangers. They then sit down to have one of the most awkward dinners of all time.
Why it made the list: The One I Love is such an odd little movie. It’s like the mumblecore version of the Twilight Zone, and somehow that combination oddly works. It all culminates into a dinner that puts all the oddities into on encounter. It is a head trip that just keeps getting weirder. One would think this would be the chance to give answers to what is actually occurring, but of course it only leads you to ask more questions.
46. Duel Lip Sync
Movie: The Skeleton Twins
Scene: In an attempt to bring Maggie out of her depressive slump Milo tries to converse her into joining him into a classic Starship lip sync showdown.
Why it made the list: Lip Sync’s in comedies are typically eye rolling bad. There are a few exceptions mind you, and this can be added to the list. Mostly due to the performances from Bill Hader and Kristen Wigg. They have the perfect expressions to make a moment like this work. Not to mention with a movie that is as heavy as The Skeleton Twins a light moment or two is needed to catch a breath.
45. Mom Milking
Scene: After a wild night out new mommy Kelly is in need of releasing some titular pressure. With alcohol in her system nursing is not an option leading Mac to do it the old fashioned way—by hand.
Why it made the list: Similar to lip syncs gross out moments are also a dime or dozen. They are typically easy laughs, but this one was uniquely earned. There was an actual build up to this sequence so it did not come out of nowhere. Sure it’s lowbrow humor, but lowbrow can still be good on occasion.
44. Bar Fight
Movie: The Guest
Scene: David confronts the group of guys who have been bullying Luke. This confrontation leads to many broken bones and punched faces.
Why it made the list: 2014 had a number of great fights, and I’m a sucker for a guy beating up a bunch of people. (Reason why I enjoy the Transporter series so much) When you make those people getting their behinds beat a bunch of punk teenagers you have hit my cinematic sweat spot.
43. Standup Confession
Movie: Obvious Child
Scene: (Spoiler for Obvious Child) After wrestling with some serious issues Donna reveals all while Max stands unaware in the audience.
Why it made the list: The best standup comedy goes after the uncomfortable truth about life, and even though this set was in a fictional movie about fictional characters there is a great honesty in what is being said. Jenny Slate is a big reason why as she adds the perfect amount of comedy and drama.
42. Rooftop Escape
Scene: Wanted for murder Derek finds himself the target of the police. With his new found powers he makes an escape from high atop his hotel room.
Why it made the list: Found footage horror may be the most stale genre going right now. So when a movie like Afflicted comes along it’s enjoyable to see. Afflicted has its issues but what makes this moment stand out is the use of the camera. How we go from inside a building to outside to the top of a roof in one continuous shot, and never did it feel like a special effect. I love seeing a movie use limited resources in inventive ways, and that is what happens here.
41. Jail House Mud Brawl
Movie: The Raid 2
Scene: A massive brawl breaks out in the prison yard. Chaos, punches, kicks, and a whole lot of mud make for one crazy action sequence.
Why it made the list: You’d think a scene like this would be all over the place and impossible to follow, yet that is never the case. The direction is spot on keeping you right in the middle of all the craziness. It’s brutal in all the best ways possible.