Here on Moviepilot, a challenge was issued by Sparsh Bajaj to promote discussion among fellow fans for what we thought were seminal moments of film, that captivated us as well as made a big impact for everyone. The criteria is pretty straightforward.
- Best Moment
- Best Plot/Story
- Best Dialogue
- Most Intelligent Flick
- Best Movie
It’s amazing to try and narrow this list down because there is just so many great films to choose from. There can easily be 3-5 movies for each item just based on how many great films actually exist. However, here are the films that made the cut for me:
Best Moment: Ride of the Rohirrim in Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
This is probably one of the most dynamic scenes of any film I’ve seen. This exact moment is when all seemed lost for the forces of good as Gondor was completely under siege: the city was overrun, Gandalf’s staff was just broken by the Witch King, and all seemed lost. Entered the army of Rohan. King Theoden gave an epic speech that mustered his forces to willingly charge towards certain destruction. The display of both the armies of Rohan and Mordor displays how grand this battle was about to become. The music hit such a great tone, that the audience couldn’t help but cheer as it began.
Honorable Mention: Darth Vader’s reveal in The Empire Strikes Back and the first chestburster scene from Alien. When Darth Vader revealed that he was Luke Skywalker’s father that sent a shiver down my spine because it was completely unexpected. The first time the alien entered out of Kane’s stomach, I was afraid to go to sleep for days thinking the same would happen to me.
Best Plot/Story: Pan's Labyrinth
This movie perfectly blended fantasy and reality in a way that seldom has been done since then. Was this all true, or was this all in the mind of a young girl? That debate still goes on today for this film. The film did a great deal of world-building in such a short amount of time. Although many people don’t like “reading” when they watch a film, this is worth the effort because the dialogue and plot is so rich and the ending is breathtakingly brilliant.
Honorable Mention: Se7en and The Green Mile. Both are very complete films that stir emotions throughout the film. Se7en for its utter dark tone and its brilliant ending, and The Green Mile for its heartbreaking ending to such a beautiful character.
Best Dialogue: Goodfellas
Because the film relies heavily on the narrator, the dialogue telling the story is rich, but the interaction with the characters is also rich. Anytime Joe Pesci opened his mouth as Tommy DeVito, we were in for a treat. It’s no wonder he rightfully earned the Oscar that year for that role.
Honorable Mention: Anything Quinten Tarantino has ever written. He is literally a supernatural being when it comes to writing and dialogue for his characters. Also Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers when Gollum and Sméagol talk to each other within one person; not only is the dialogue perfect, but so is the acting, and by a CGI character. Andy Serkis deserves an honorary Oscar.
Most Intelligent Flick: Memento
This is a movie that requires repeat viewings just to understand it completely, for the simple fact that the entire movie is played in reverse, and you only truly realize what’s going on once you get to the ending (beginning if you will). It is sheer brilliance.
Honorable Mentions: Interstellar and Inception. Christopher Nolan knows how to bend your brain while you are at the movies. Both movies either substantial challenge you to think hard, or inform you in ways you didn’t even understand at the time.
Best Movie Overall: The Empire Strikes Back
I know it’s cliché, but this is one of the most complete movies from start to finish. The continuation of the Star Wars saga is great not only for its action, but plot twists, romance (Han and Leia were my first shipping couple as a kid and as a result “I know” is how you answer when someone says “I Love You”), betrayals, and Jedi training. This film literally built the Star Wars saga to the juggernaut that it is today. This was one of the first films that also let the audience know that the good guys don’t always win; sometimes they have to lick their wounds to fight another day.
Honorable Mentions: Aliens and Lord of The Rings: The Two Towers. These two sequels differentiated themselves from their previous film, but managed to move the characters along to their next quest, and were extremely entertaining as well.
What are your favorite moments? Will you accept the challenge?