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Top 10 opening scenes of all time, arranged


The opening scene of any movie is an important aspect that will let you know if you are in good hands or not. It’s up to the filmmaker to grab you from the start so you know you’re about to experience a well-made movie. There are many ways to perform an opening scene, depending on the genre. You can make it exciting and action-packed from the start, or you can use dialogue to establish your characters from the beginning. There are several ways to open a movie, but no matter what, it is essential that the opening scene captivates the audience.

Aaron Sorkin showed us in The Social Network, that you can create an opening scene strictly through dialogue. It takes a good writer to make dialogue as exciting as action, but Sorkin does it with ease. Movies like The lion king and west side story use music and footage to get the audience’s attention, while a horror movie may show a murder or some other violence to kick off the movie. No matter what genre, a good filmmaker will know how to start a film so that the audience knows that they are about to be on a satisfying film journey. Here are the best opening movie scenes, arranged.

10 Row


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Film District

Nicolas Winding Refn’s thrilling crime drama, Row, start the film on the right note with an epic car chase. We meet our main character known as The Driver (Ryan Gosling) who is quietly waiting for two thieves who have just carried out a robbery. The clock ticks, and when they arrive, The Manager escapes the scene of the crime while avoiding the police with his masterful driving. It’s an adrenaline-pumping scene that perfectly captures the tone and main character of the film.

Related: Best Ryan Gosling Movies, Sorted

9 The lion king


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Walt Disney Pictures

Disney’s The lion king opens in an epic way as we soar through the African land and behold the many creatures of the animal kingdom. It’s a vibrant, colorful scene featuring some of the best Disney animation of all times. At the same time, “Circle Of Life” is a brilliant song that creates feelings of excitement. We meet the king of the jungle, Mufasa, and his son Simba are shown to the animal kingdom just before we see the opening title card.

Related: Disney’s New Death on the Nile trailer does not try to hide Armie Hammer

8 The Dark Knight


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Warner Bros. Pictures

Christopher Nolan is a master of his art, and created one of the best opening scenes of any superhero movie The Dark Knight. The robbery, carried out by a gang of men in clown masks, is captivating and exciting. During the robbery, many of the characters discuss their mysterious boss named Joker, which creates an amazing build-up for the movie’s villain. Towards the end we learn that Joker is one of the men who is the robber and we are shown the brilliance of the criminal mastermind.


7 The Matrix


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Warner Bros.

The opening scene of The Matrix is iconic and showed us some of the coolest tricks ever on screen. Trinity (Carrie-Ann Moss) is on the run from the police, but we find out that she can actually brave gravity as she runs against walls and jumps from building to building. The stunt choreography is brilliant and intense, and the whole scene sets the tone of the movie perfectly.

Related: Hugo Weaving is considered to return as agent Smith in The Matrix Resurrections

6 There will be blood


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Paramount Vantage

The opening scene of Paul Thomas Anderson’s There will be blood is a perfect example of how to set up a character. What’s even more astonishing is that Anderson is drafting Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) without dialogue. We watch Painview hit oil but get injured while doing so, forcing him to crawl miles through the desert to fetch his money. It perfectly shows you how ruthless Plainview is and that he will do whatever it takes to succeed.


5 infamous hybrid


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The Weinstein Company

Quentin Tarantino’s Epic WWII Movie infamous hybrid gives us a good example of using dialogue to set up a movie and establish an antagonist. The scene is mostly the dialogue between Hans Landa (Christoph Waltz) and Perrier LaPadite (Denis Menochet) while Landa interrogates him about a missing Jewish family. We soon find out that the family is under LaPadite’s floorboards that create pure tension. Landa is a terrifying character who is brilliant with interrogation. It’s a solid, well – played scene and some of the best dialogue ever written.

4 The Social Network


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Sony Pictures Released

Aaron Sorkin has once again proved that he is a master of dialogue with the screenplay for The Social Network. The film kicks off with Mark (Jesse Eisenberg) and Erica (Rooney Mara) drinking a few beers in a Harvard bar. The scene increases in intensity as the conversation continues, which shows us that a good writer can create an exciting scene with just two characters talking. The performances of the two actors are off the top shelves and the conflict written in the scene keeps you on the edge of your seat.


3 The godfather


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Paramount Pictures

The opening of The godfather shows us a man who desperately asks Don Corleone (Marlon Brando) for help on the day of Corleone’s daughter’s wedding. It’s an iconic scene featuring one of Brando’s best performances of all time. The use of light and shadow creates a beautiful sequence and the dialogue is so iconic that many of the rules are still quoted to this day. This is the perfect introduction to Don Corleone and the story of The godfather.

Related: The Marlon Brando Collection DVD Review

2 Kake


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Universal pictures

Steven Spielberg has an opening scene in Kake which scared several people to swim in the sea. The scene follows a doomed young woman and her boyfriend as they get ready to jump into the sea on a summer night. Only the young woman climbs in and she is attacked by a great white shark. Although we do not see the shark, the music and its screams, while being eaten alive, make it one of the most terrifying opening scenes of all time.


1 Saving Private Ryan


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DreamWorks Print
The opening scene of Saving Private Ryan is quite possibly the most realistic depiction of a war battle in film history. We watch as U.S. troops storm Omaha Beach during the Normandy invasion leading to a bloody battle that can sometimes be hard to see. The sound and violent images of war programs are intense and make you feel like you are watching the actual battle. Spielberg completely recreated the battle and gave us the most iconic opening scene in film history.


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