This was a hell of a decade for film. Superhero movies had a stranglehold on the box office, A24 corned the market on low budget cinema, Blumhouse made horror great again, moviegoers finally embraced foreign film (kinda) and critically acclaimed movies were being shot on cellphones. The age of the mega-blockbuster brought with it many pros and cons (Disney and their competitors essentially destroyed moderately budgeted films but independent filmmakers were given the opportunity to direct big movies, which in turn, afforded them the chance to make whatever project they wanted. Jojo Rabbit never would’ve existed without Thor Ragnarok for example) and highs and lows (so much fan service (yay!) and so much fan service (boo!).
It was a time where streaming services provided a wealth of new content (some of it great, some not so great), physical media started releasing every movie ever (right before it dies at the hands of digital) and a new generation of actors was getting ready to replace the movie stars of old. It was a controversial decade but at the end of the day, all that matters is that it provided a ton of great movie moments. This list was a collaborative effort to determine which movie moment was the best of the decade.
This is the 50 Greatest Movie Moments of the 2010s.
40. The Bike Chase | The Adventures of Tintin (2011)
Since the dawn of the new millennium, there’s been lengthy discussions on if the Steven Spielberg of the eighties and early-nineties still exists. While the director is nowadays known for his biopics over family-friendly adventure, there is one recent film from his oeuvre that shows that Spielberg still knows how to deliver. No, it’s not Ready Player One. I’m talking about the sorely underrated The Adventures of Tintin.
The motion-capture epic is filled with action, adventure, comedy, and intensity. No scene perfectly encapsulates that more than “The Bike Chase”. As the chase heats up, so does the destruction, and soon you’re watching Tintin, Haddock, and Snowy dodge obstacles as they attempt to retrieve three pieces of parchment containing the clues to a lost treasure. It’s the highlight of the film, and one that justifies Spielberg still knows how to captivate an audience. Now if only him and Peter Jackson would get to work on the sequel. (Marmaduke Karlston)
39. There’s a Storm Coming | Take Shelter (2011)
For 117 of the full 120 minute runtime, Take Shelter is a showcase for the magnetic Michael Shannon and his capacity to grab hold of our collective breath with understated tension and the delicate undercurrent of disruption. He’s a clenched fist slowly growing tighter as he grapples with his “vision”. A white-knuckled, honorably quiet man caring for his family and rural life. But in these lone three minutes, we get the payoff. Pushed to his emotional limits, literally and figuratively, he snaps at a small town gathering. But it is precisely within the context of the other 117 minutes that this moment stands out. In these three minutes, we see a full-range of emotion unlocked and on full, unfiltered display–but it feels earned, never overstaying its welcome. The impact is lasting because of its brevity and because we’ve quietly carried this load with him throughout. Michael Shannon is a rare breed, and this entire performance is testament to such. (Mitch Roush)
38. X-Force Sky Dive | Deadpool 2 (2018)
Some of the best scenes in superhero and action movies is recruiting a team of badass individuals to accomplish singular cause. Introducing all the different characters and unique abilities that they bring to the table that makes them special. The mighty leadership of one to be able to pull together a motley crew of individuals together and accomplish an impossible task. The excitement, joy, and pride Wade Wilson was feeling was palpable right up till the moment they were all hilariously and unceremoniously killed by the ultimate villain…a heavy wind…RIP X-Force. (Vincent Kane)
37. The Funeral | Thunder Road (2018)
If you are looking for a humorously awkward scene that is extremely hard to watch while you scratch your head at what the hell is going on, then look no further. The opening 12 minutes of Thunder Road is one of the best scenes ever filmed or acted and I will fight you about it if you don’t agree.
Jim Cummings plays an officer who ends up giving an improvised eulogy at his mom’s funeral. We witness him bounce from one coherent thought to something incoherent while thanking people for showing up and then giving an interpretative dance to his mom’s favorite song without the music actually playing. He tries his best to hold it together in front of friends and family and it is one of the most awkward watches I have ever experienced, however, it is a must-watch. (Vincent Kane)
36. The Club Shootout | John Wick (2014)
John Wick was a surprise hit in 2014 and the scene is one of the reasons for its success. Keanu had been beaten up, had his car stolen and his dog killed and he had finally found the jerks hiding out at the Red Circle Club. Mr. Wick stealthily makes his way through bodyguard after bodyguard till finding his target. He misses his opportunity and begins to chase until we get to one of the coolest and most heart-pounding action sequences of all time.
As Iosef runs away from the Baba Yaga, the action spills into another part of the club with some thumping techno music that plays perfectly to the MMA style gun shoot out. John Wick dispatches goon after goon with his “gun-fu” by tying up a number of them in a variety of moves before ending them with a headshot. The entire scene is about seven minutes long and you instantly want to re-watch it the moment it ends. (Vincent Kane)
35. Freeway Musical | La La Land (2016)
On a hot summer day in the middle of an entrance ramp merging onto a congested Los Angeles freeway, commuters begin to climb out of the cars to sing and dance, leading to an incredible six-minute opening musical sequence delivered in what appears to be one smooth, uncut shot. Colorful and upbeat with some stunning choreography, Another Day of Sun immediately sets the tone for the fantastical journey the audience is about to take with two people who fall in love in L.A. while trying to pursue their dreams. (Romona Comet)
34. The Church Massacre | Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
Similar to “The Bike Chase” from Tintin, any fan will admit that “The Church Massacre” is the highlight —and most talked about moment— of Kingsman. Colin Firth absolutely delivers in this scene that sees Kingsman agent Harry Hart subjected to an experiment by the film’s villain Valentine that block’s the brains inhibitors. Having had enough of listening to one angry church member, Harry blasts a shot into her head as the music ramps and the killing spree begins. It’s violent. It’s bloody. It’s hilarious. It’s perfect. Taron Egerton may have been the star, but in this moment Firth stole the whole damn show. (Marmaduke Karlston)
33. The DMV | Zootopia (2016)
Zootpotia is one of the best-animated films of the decade with perhaps one best scenes that feels like an SNL sketch. (You know back when the show was funny). As an adult, you have probably felt Judy Hopps’ pain and frustration which is why it is so hilarious as the DMV workers are sloths and move at a, well, sloths’ pace.
Judy needs to crack the case in a short amount of time and as she turns to her next lead, her investigation grinds to a hysterical halt. The slow speaking, slow-reacting, slow typing, slow joke-telling should have you rolling with each watch getting better and better. Easily one of the funniest scenes of the decade. (Vincent Kane)
32. Time in a Bottle | X-Men: Days of Futures Past (2014)
One of the more difficult superpowers to realize on film is super speed. Yes, you can show a lightning-fast person just zipping from place to place, but that doesn’t have a lot of panache or substance. So, one of the best ways to showcase this blazing type of speed on the big screen is to actually slow it down a bit. Add the classic Jim Croce song “Time in a Bottle” while throwing in some hilarity with a fan-favorite scene-stealing character, and you have one of the most well-liked scenes of superhero movies.
Some may argue the same scene for Apocalypse is better and I am fine with that. I definitely like “Sweet Dreams” way more as a song, but this one came out of nowhere and gave much-needed character development to what could have been just a stock character. Quicksilver would race into our hearts with this scene being what most were talking about once the credits rolled. (Vincent Kane)
31. The Road Trip | Lady Bird (2017)
Right from the start, the opening road trip of Lady Bird shows how much of a struggle the mother-daughter relationship is between Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan. While it starts out pleasant with them sharing some tears after listening to John Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath. Ultimately it ends in an argument over Lady Bird’s future and ends with Lady Bird exiting the moving car. If that doesn’t hook you in, something is wrong with you. (King Alvarez)
50-41 | 30-21
What do you think of the selection so far? What are some of your favorite movie moments from the decade? Maybe they will show up further on the list!