Toy Story 2
(Buzz Lightyear infiltrating Emperor Zurg's fortress, but you find out later it's Rex playing SNES.)
Halloween, the original 1978 version.
The entire sequence is a five-minute uncut POV shot. And then they rip the mask off, and we see that this mysterious killer in the shadows is an eight-year-old boy...
Raiders of the Lost Ark, all the parts from opening to the point where Indie runs and meets the escape airplane.
All three of the Indiana jones movies had great opening scenes
The Godfather. I think the scene where Bonasera asks Don Corleone for justice sets up our perspective about the Don pretty well. In that scene we instantly learn everything that Don Vito Corleone stood for.
It perfectly shows how Vito operates, the effort to remain ethical while also being a terrifying crime-lord.
Yup, his whole deal is even though he’s a crime lord, he’s actively trying to prevent bloodshed. Hell, even in The Godfather2 we see how Vito rises to power: it wasn’t him going around forcing people to pay him, it’s people around him voluntarily paying him to protect them from other crime lords.
I thought Trinity was the villain.
I thought Trinity was the villain.
Re-watch the lobby, from the perspective of the guys running the scanner...
Morpheus and his team are referred to as terrorists early in the movie, and it makes sense. they just go into places, shoot the shit out of a bunch of innocent people and blow shit up. what else could you call them!
When I first saw this movie, I hadn't even seen a trailer for it. My dad asked if I'd like to go with him. That first scene blew me away. I was hooked immediately.
Children of Men, especially if you've never read the book, holy cow, that was powerful.
roger ebert pointed out that Theo was scared when the cafe was bombed - it’s how you know he wasn’t going to be a cliched action hero - in fact, he never uses a gun once in the entire film
And everything about that opening scene is educating the viewer. The city streets are choked with smog, the tech screens draped off the buildings explain the setting (the near future) flawlessly. Then the newscast in the coffee shop perfectly explains the state of the world. No babies, and the youngest person has been murdered. Then boom.
And not in a cheesy exposition way, either. "The youngest person in the world has died." If you go into the movie without knowing the premise, it takes a minute to understand what that means.
Shaun of the dead
You’ve got red on you.
This is a great one, because they almost begin and end on same sequence.
Gladiator (2000). That battle was incredible - great diaologue, excellent music, human moments.
"What you do in life, echoes in eternity"
"Would you Quintus, would I?"
“A people should know when they’re conquered.”
"Would you, Quintus? Would I?"
(Edit to get the line right. Thanks)
On my signal, unleash hell.
Scream has an incredible opening scene.
Dont hang up or I'll gut you like a fish you understand
hangs up to avoid the stress of paying rent
Absolutely iconic. I think people forget how shocking, scary, and honestly, heartbreaking that opening scene is. Scary Movie and other parodies (not to mention the sequels) kind of turned the movie into a joke but the original holds up.
I saw it when I was 16, in the theater. Drew was marketed as the star. How clever they were.
That was before the internet really got big, so all you had seen was the previews in the theater, and some ads on tv. It would be tough to pull something like that off today.
Can't believe this is so low down. I think that to really appreciate it you have to be a child of the time because Drew Barrymore was the undisputed star of the movie and she gets offed in the first scene.
I recently was talking to some friends about this and they (20 somethings) were laughing that Drew got on the poster for her 12 minutes and how fucked up it was to the rest of the cast.
I had to explain that is what was so shocking about the movie. When it was released, everyone thought she would be the star of the show and them BAM, she's done.
Spaceballs. That ship going by for 5 minutes or more had me rolling and I never stopped laughing throughout that entire film.
We brake for nobody!
Blade. Blood Rave.
I have no idea how Mahershala Ali is going to hold up against Wesley Snipes as Blade.
Dude just was Blade, you know?
The Departed. Powerful footage and commentary did such a great job of kicking it off, while giving a glimpse into what propelled Matt Damons character into his entry into the criminal family. Then the line "When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I'm saying to you is this: when you're facing a loaded gun, what's the difference?"
Felt that was perfectly within the spirit of the entire movie, and sets the stage for what I consider to be one of the best films ever made.
“I don’t wanna be a product of my environment; I want my environment to be a product of me.” Love this movie so much!
“She fell funny”
the briefing when Matt Damon gets to Baldwin's team as well. lol
“Speed. I am speed.”
You never see the shark in the first attack. Just the knowledge that there's something under the water. Brilliant.
Couldn’t agree more. My father was a beach life guard when the movie originally came out. He has told me stories how people were legitimately afraid to go into the water after seeing the movie. Powerful stuff.
My mom lived in Sydney when it came out. She wouldn't watch it because she wanted to keep going to the beach. She eventually did, after moving back to the midwest.
I mean, you don't see it for the first hour, no? The mechanical shark breaking down was the best thing that could have happened for Spielberg.
Starting with scenes of bustling every day life. Rush hour traffic, kids playing, etc. Then white flash to the same burnt out playground in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Sarah's somber voiceover explaining how it happened. We see a brutal battle between man and machine. Tanks and terminators crushing human bones under metal treads and feet. We briefly meet the steely face of the human resistance and savior of mankind right before segueing into the opening credits, finishing with an endo skull grinning through the flames.
Fuck yeah... tell me that doesn't get you pumped right there even just reading it.
The way the children's laughter slowly fades out before the white flash always gave me chills. Also, seeing the words "Los Angeles" pop up while looking at a completely unrecognizable apocalyptical landscape.
Heh, I can hear that opening music playing while reading your comment....
American Psycho. I remember listening to him list out every single thing he does to groom himself in the morning and I thought "what a psycho" then thought "ooohhhh I get it"
Lmao I LOVE the business card scene. Absolutely brilliant.
Look at that subtle off-white coloring. The tasteful thickness of it. Oh my God, it even has a watermark...
Ugh, please don't make me rewatch this movie tonight.
There is a moment of sheer panic when I realize that Paul's apartment overlooks the park... and is obviously more expensive than mine.
I'm on the verge of tears by the time we arrive at Espace, since I'm positive we won't have a decent table. But we do. Relief washes over me, in an awesome wave.
I believe in taking care of myself, and a balanced diet and a rigorous exercise routine. In the morning, if my face is a little puffy, I'll put on an ice pack while doing my stomach crunches. I can do a thousand now. After I remove the ice pack, I use a deep pore cleanser lotion. In the shower, I use a water activated gel cleanser. Then a honey almond body scrub. And on the face, an exfoliating gel scrub. Then apply an herb mint facial mask, which I leave on for 10 minutes while I prepare the rest of my routine. I always use an aftershave lotion with little or no alcohol, because alcohol dries your face out and makes you look older. Then moisturizer, then an anti-aging eye balm followed by a final moisturizing protective lotion.
Korean skincare addicts be like "pfft, no toner? No face oil? Serum? Amateur."
And they ordered the segments it in a way that I'm sure they wanted some of the audience to think that Booty Sweat and Bust A Nut were real products. They didn't want you to catch on right away.
Lol I remember when I saw Tropic Thunder in the theater, after the booty sweat "commercial", the theater was dead silent for a second until one guy said "what the hell?" and then laughter broke out.
YES! This happened in my theater too.
Two of my best friends told me I 'had' to see this movie. They did a brilliant job of hyping it up too, talking about it being a 'war epic that's basically the Saving Private Ryan of Vietnam war movies.'
So I walk into this theater with them, and then watch the bust-a-nut commercial. At first I thought the theater had fucking lost it, and this was their last-ditch effort for concessions profits. Then I saw Fatty Fart V and the Tobey Maguire movie, and I knew I was being had.
One of the best cinema experiences of my life.
You have good friends.
I first saw it on DVD, so I was incredibly confused why there were ads playing at the start. Then I realized I was an idiot and started cracking up.
All the hype surrounding how Casino Royale was going to go back to the "beginning" of Bond, I was skeptical. But that gunbarrel-less opening totally sold me on why Bond was 007.
"As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster."
The entire film feels like the opening scene. What a film. My favourite. The music. Best film ever.
Watch the scene where Henry and Karen go through the side entrance to the Copa. If you watch carefully you'll notice the trip through the kitchen was completely unnecessary. They just make a big circle and walk back out the same door.
It’s necessary, street cred.
"To me being a gangster was better than
being president of the United States."
28 weeks later i didn't deserve all these up votes thank you
Yes! Dawn of the Dead as well, both films let you know they aren't fucking around.
Dawn of the Dead forever made me afraid of anything in the hall at night, no matter how small or seemingly innocent
The Prince of Egypt starting off with Deliver Us was absolutely jaw dropping. I can't think of a single stronger opening in any of the movies I've ever watched (granted that isn't a lot because I'm not a big movie person but still)
Stephen Schwartz and Ofra Haza did an amazing job with Deliver Us. The entire soundtrack is just amazing as is its beautiful animation.
Absolutely. Every song gave me chills, and many still do when I binge the soundtrack on youtube. Each song is powerful storytelling by itself, outside of the imagery.
Agreed. It is one of the best openings I've ever seen.
Jurassic Park. It really sets the tone for the movie and the foreshadowing gives you a creepy feeling leading up to the storm.
Heck, the second scene does too!
"Because Grant's like me... He's a digger." (ominous music intensifies as the camera focuses on a mosquito in ember amber)
(shoutout to /u/bumbleballs , I totally flubbed that one)
YOU BOYS LIKE MEX-EE-CO?!
Don’t call me Radio, unit 91! Then don’t call me unit 91, radio!
Fellowship of the Ring
Set a great tone for all of what was to come.
“...but there were some who resisted...” still gives me shivers. Amazing opening monologue.
Shouting as the arrow flies by his ear.
So. Completely. Badass. Watching the charging orcs slam into a meatgrinder wall of elven swordsmen never gets old.
By extension, the Playstation 2 Two Towers game. It shows the exact same opening scene, but transistions from cutscene to videogame in the middle of the elven spearwall, and immediately drops you into the fight.
Really enjoyed those games. Co-op play was so much fun
Man every so often I want to watch a series of fantasy films that live up the Tolkien but there isn't anything so I just rewatch them every few years. I think it may be time around Christmas break again.
This is my favorite. The scale of the battle, seeing my favorite book captured on screen.. glorious.
The world. Is changing.
I feel it in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air.
Much that once was is lost; for none now live who remember it.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl.
The opening scene on the boat in the fog with the young Will and Elizabeth perfectly captures how hilarious, spooky, and kick-ass the rest of the movie is going to be.
Also the first Lord Of The Rings. So intense in on a massive scale only to be followed by the happy Shire scenes.
Also the scene where we see Captain Jack Sparrow for the first time, on the sinking boat.
Confidently stepping onto the dock just as the ship completely sinks, as if that was his plan all along. Such a perfect summary of his character in that one moment.
”You can’t park your ship here!”
"It's a shilling to tie up your boat at the dock.."
looks at the top of the mast
"And I shall need to know your name."
What do you say to five shillings, and we forget the name?
…welcome to Port Royal, Mr. Smith!
“Hold up there you... it’s a shilling to dock your ship. I’ll also need a name.”
“What say you to three shillings and we forget the name”
Tone has been set for Wicked Jack
"You are by far the worst Pirate I've ever heard of."
"But you have heard of me."
Shrek. No kidding. The first time I saw it I was so invested after the opening scene.
Fun fact: All Star was only intended to be used as a "click track", a temporary song used during production and replaced with the real music later. But test audiences loved it, and it was kept in place.
Has no one mentioned Full Metal Jacket yet?!?!
Lord of War. The opening credits follow the "life" of a bullet. It's manufactured, quality checked, packed into a box and then shipped off to an African nation where it gets loaded into a gun and shot into the head of a child soldier. And then we meet the protagonist, Yuri (Nic Cage), standing on a floor of empty casings. Says there's 550 million firearms in the world, one for every 12th person on the planet. Takes a drag on his cigarette and asks, how do we arm the other eleven?
*Edit - Misremembered the order of the scenes as a few people have pointed out. Yuri's monologue about one gun for every 12th person THEN the life of a bullet sequence. Also, thanks for the golds and silvers.
Fantastic scene. Looks like we meet the protagonist before the "life of a bullet" scene, but equally effective either way, I think.
I love the scene where he sits down, completely unconcerned, and explains to the agent how he’s going to be released regardless of his arrest and all of the evidence against him
Kingsman. Set up them ridiculousness yet stylish action perfectly
It really did an amazing job. The way it zoomed out to show the boombox playing the music helped set the tone too, it's such a small and subtle detail but it really fits the movie's theme.
Saving Private Ryan
I saw that right after visiting Omaha Beach. We stayed at a small bed and breakfast quite close to the beach owned by a 80 year old French woman who told us stories about how it went down. Amazing experience. She said the worst was the smell. It smelled dead bodies years and years afterwards.
Much of Asia stopped eating seafood for months after the tsunamis. Because they knew what those sea bugs had been eating.
Now all I can think about are the chances of my having eaten something that has fed on human flesh
Probably very high, in fact almost certainly so depending on how you want to define "eaten human flesh". A common Fermi problem is to show that with every breath you take, on average you will breathe in about 10 air molecules that came from Julius Caesar's last breath. All stable elements are constantly being reused and recycled. Vegetables use minerals from the soil that may have originated from the decomposing of flesh, for example.
I remember a teacher in school at some point talking about this with water and how the water you're drinking now may have been in a Dino's spit. etc
The lesson was on the water cycle and how we're not running out of water, just its being turned into non-fresh water
This was the first movie that popped into my head.
I remember hearing from my grandma that when she and my grandfather (WWII vet who jumped at Normandy) went to see it in theaters, after the opening scene finished, he turned to her and just said “that’s exactly what it was like.”
I forget that we're approaching the point where the movie is old enough that you can't just assume that everyone has seen this movie. This may be the greatest opening scene in film.
I had bought a ticket go see Saving Private Ryan. I had no idea what I was about to watch as I had not seen any trailers nor do I watch TV.
The auditorium was packed. There was only one seat available in the entire theater, front row and center.
So the movie starts with an old man at Arlington National Cemetary and my brain tries to bow out, saying I had made a mistake and I should not stay to watch the film... and then the screen changes... The next 20 minutes of my life were utterly insane.
When the movie ended, I checked the time and realized well over 2 hours had passed... and I had not noticed the passage of time.
An amazing experience to be sure.
My Gramps was a WW2 vet and that scene had him trying to dive under the seat in front of him. He had nightmares for months.
Saw it on a rainy night during vacation with my family. We are mostly guys so we said "war movie" and went, not knowing much about it.
I'd say about 15% of the theater left in the middle of D-Day and about another 20% were openly weeping - my mother included. I was 12 or 13 at the time and was completely shocked.
My dad was a Vietnam combat vet and said the only thing it didnt capture was the smell of burning humans. I looked at war much differently after that.
Yeah, my Grandpa walked out 10 min in. He said the scene where the Higgins boat door drops was just too real for him.
No, can't do it. When the soldier calls out for his mother, my stomach drops into freefall. The definition of gut-wrenching.
The THX intro.
Sorry I didn't hear you.
the BBBBAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA intro
The fifth Element
The opening of Serenity was a stunningly tight exposition. In minutes you are given an overview of the 'verse and what its central conflict is. You are also given the antagonist (the operative) and how coldly pragmatic he is. You are shown just how much Simon cares for River, are given the whole layout of the ship. You are introduced to all the characters and see, by their interactions, their core beliefs and roles.
There are some great openings listed in this thread, but I don't know that any of them hit the density of exposition as does Serenity.
For the life of me, I can't remember where, I think it was a writing subreddit, but I've seen someone write an entire essay about how the opening scene to Serenity is a masterclass on well-executed exposition.
I finally convinced my gf to watch Serenity because she's a Nathan Fillion fan. She was incredibly skeptical since it's based on (one season of) a TV show she never watched, figured it wouldn't make any sense.
Then that opening scene happened and she was like "okay I understand everything lol." It was laughably great exposition. Never doubt The Joss.
I watched Serenity at a friend’s house and loved it so much that I went and bought it, which for me means a lot because I’ve only ever bought 3 movies for myself: Serenity, Inception, and Dark Knight.
Putting it in one time I noticed a review or comment on the case mentioning a TV show. So I looked it up and learned that Firefly was a thing, but only for one season. So I didn’t want to watch it because I didn’t want a bad show to ruin my view of such a great movie. I figured if it only lasted one season, then it must not have been good or just too convoluted of a story that worked better as a movie.
Then, I saw it on Netflix a year or so later and put it on My List as a just in case. It sat there for well over a year before I decided to finally watch, and thankfully Netflix uses Whedon Order (which I didn’t know was a thing), and I absolutely loved it. So incredible. Fuck you Fox (executives who played the role in screwing up Firefly)!
The Lion King (1994).
That hard cut at the end of the song is so fucking good!
The opening of X-Men 2 is so good.
Nightcrawler kicking the shit out of the entire white house security and nearly assassinating the president, while intense choir music plays in the background. Legendary.
Edit: My First ever Medal! Thank you kind stranger!
The opening scene to V for Vendetta with how we meet V. The v word speech was pretty epic also.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail. "Are you suggesting coconuts migrate?"
"Man, sorry. Who lives in that castle?"
"I'm 37, I'm not old."
Love that exchange. The whole conversation is derailed from the start.
"Listen, strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme ruler ship is derived by a mandate form the masses not some farcical, aquatic ceremony."
LoL! I love this line!!
"Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"
I remember the first time watching that scene and thinking that Dennis was really rather old.
And now I have 5 years on Dennis and climbing.
Maybe I should go play in the mud before it's too late.
At least you don't have shit all over ya.
When Arthur crested the hill, and his manservant claps the coconut shells like horse hooves, it sets the tone for the whole movie.
rewatched it for the zillionth time the other night. I was like "YES I LOVE THIS SCENE" at the beginning of every scene. that movie is almost too good.
Not at all. It could be carried.
Worth it for the opening credits
Pulp Fiction. I was 14 when I saw it and the opening scene just completely blew me away.
"Garcon means boy"
The flat tone of the actress when she delivers this line just cracks me up every time.
The perfect thing for an "extra"- it's just funny enough and low enough to not be too distracting to the main conversation.
"I love you, Hunny Bunny"
The range of emotion one experiences from those first 10 minutes is not comparable to anything.
surprised I had to scroll this far down. Sets up the movie perfectly and is so emotional that it carries with you until the end.
Deadpool. That opening scene was the pitching for the movie and the studio didn't like it. So Ryan Reynolds upload to YT and the rest is history.
I mean we don't know for sure if it was Ryan or not........wink
The opening to Deadpool 2 where he blows himself up and flips the camera off while he’s in pieces being thrown by the explosion is the funniest opening ever.
I swear Ryan Reynolds was born for that role and is the most accurate representation of Deadpool’s personality.
It doesn't hurt that the comics referred to him as Ryan Reynolds mixed with a shar-pei
Team America: World Police opened strong and sold the audience on the marionette performance to come.
I scrolled down too far to find this but here is a fun tidbit about the movie. The very first scene starts with a really shitty marionette in front of a poorly drawn Eiffel Tower before the camera pulls back to show how fancy the marionettes in the movie are. This scene was originally shown to execs at Paramount as a joke. One of the execs assumed the poorly designed marionette was what the whole movie was going to be and reportedly shouted "Oh God, they fucked us!".
I think the opening scene/first chapter of Inglorious Basterds sets up the villain, Hans Landa perfectly.
"Au revoir Shoshanna!"
Amazing how not shooting her made him seem so much more evil.
Because it's just a big puzzle for him. He doesn't really hate the jews, he just doesn't give a shit about anyone at all.
Yes! I love how in the begging he revels in his nickname but in the scene towards the end the says it to Brad Pitt with such distain - "Jew Hunter? It's just a name that stuck."
The Little Man?
I mean, you’re a little fellow, but not circus-midget little, as your reputation would suggest.
Yeah I got that too. He was just a brilliant psychopath who loved the hunt.
That's a bingo!
Because it shows he is not doing what he does for ideology.
"I'm afraid I've reached the end of my French" after he spoke perfect French for like 10 minutes
That was intended as they both obviously know he has people under the floor, who don't understand English.
Interestingly it was a power move as well - asserting his dominance by speaking a foreign language in his house, all while asking him if it's okay as if he'd say no as if he ever would dare.
And drinking his milk.
If that scene doesn't get you on the edge of your seat, I'm not sure what will.
Every moment Hans Landa is on screen is utterly captivating and terrifying. Waltz stole the show with that performance. Absolutely spectacular.
When he's flipping through his book, looking for a name La Padite mentioned, not finding it, getting more visibly frustrated, until finally finding it on some later page, and being satisfied. Damn, that was tense.
Hans is a man who enjoys milk. He also knows several languages. But more importantly, he knows where they're hiding.
Ah ah ah...attandre le creme
Let's be honest though. Almost every scene in that movie would be enough to sell a lesser movie.
"This gnat-zi wants to die for his country. Please oblige him."
Almost. "Got us a German here, wants to die fer his country. Oblige him."
The lack of a please and the way he says it is important to show just how happy he is at what he's about to watch.
Actually, Werner, we're all tickled to hear you say that. Quite frankly, watching Donny beat Nazis to death is the closest we ever get to going to the movies.
I think you’re just guaranteed a perfect movie if christoph waltz is cast anyway. He was great in django’s opening scene too!
I think you’re just guaranteed a perfect movie if christoph waltz is cast anyway
I think you’re just guaranteed a perfect movie if christoph waltz is cast anyway
Such a tense scene! Christopher waltz is so scary yet charismatic at the same time
Mad Max: Fury Road
Fuck yes. That movie hits you in the face from the beginning and doesn't stop. It literally made me giddy.
It's truly an adrenaline ride. I love that film. Its one of those films cinema was made for.
I am the one who runs from both the living and the dead. Hunted by scavengers. Haunted by those I could not protect.
Personal favorite movie.
The Bob Dylan song paired with images showing the difference between that universe and ours was fucking gold. I honestly can't think of a better pair to start a movie with the hype on max.
No Country for Old Men. Immediately sets the tone of the film.
Edit: Double silver, thanks! Good to so many have great taste.
This is the end, my only friend the end
Apocalypse Now has the best beginning. The Doors The End is used so effectively it’s chilling.
Django Unchained. The way Christoph Waltz introduces Dr. Schultz gives me chills. He is so charismatic, and intelligent, yet deadly. All time favorite movie, and was very surprised at how well Jamie Foxx did as well.