Every year since Kevflix has been alive, I’ve made a list of my favorite scenes/movie moments of that year. This is always my favorite list to make as it allows me to highlight some truly great moments in filmmaking, acting, and story-telling. I couldn’t count down the best movies of the decade without making a best scenes/moments of the decade, so here we are.
When making my list for the best scenes or movie moments of the 2010s, I focused on one key thing for what would make the list: emotion. What scenes brought the most emotion out of me? What was the scene that had me the most excited or the moment that nearly brought tears to my eyes? Which moment defined what cinema was in 2010s and which one changed it forever? After much deliberation, I have come up with these ten scenes/moments. These are the moments that no matter when I watch them, they make me feel like I did the first time I saw them and always bring out some sort of emotion in me.. Here are my picks for the best movie moments/scenes of the 2010s.
You’ve been warned. But if you haven’t seen these movies by now, you’re missing out on some great cinema.
10. THE DEATH OF HAN SOLO – STAR WARS: EPISODE VII – THE FORCE AWAKENS
- JJ Abrams’ The Force Awakens was a perfect reintroduction to the Star Wars franchise. It introduced new fans to a legendary franchise and brought old fans back to franchise they once loved. But when Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is killed by his son Ben (Adam Driver), a.k.a Kylo Ren, it was Abrams sending a message. This was the start of a change. This was Abrams showing us that the Star Wars we knew was gone and that this was the dawn of a new story and new characters. It was a daring, shocking, powerful scene that still crushes my heart every time I watch it.
9. “COOL GIRL” – GONE GIRL
- “Nick loved a girl I was pretending to be. “Cool girl”. Men always use that, don’t they? As their defining compliment: “She’s a cool girl”.
Most movies will give you the twist at the ending. David Fincher and Gillian Flynn give you twists in the middle of the movie. In this dark mystery thriller about Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) who’s wife goes missing and he becomes the prime suspect and has a spotlight shined on him in a media circus, Fincher and Flynn throw us for a loop right when we think we know where this movie is going. Rather than find out what happened to the man’s wife at the end of the movie, we find out in the middle and what a twist it is. We see as Nick’s wife Amy (Oscar nominee Rosamund Pike) is cruising down the highway in a beaten up car. From there is a beautiful combination of stellar filmmaking and writing. Flynns’ writing is electric, as Amy gives us a play-by-play of her plan, how’s she’s feeling, and why she’s doing what she’s doing. Fincher’s direction is sensational and works perfectly with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ score and Kirk Baxter’s editing. Gone Girl is one of Fincher’s finest films and this is one Fincher’s finest moments as a director.
8. “SINGLE-TAKE” BOXING FIGHT – CREED
- I didn’t know what to expect going into Ryan Coogler’s Creed. Having loved Coogler’s debut film, Fruitvale Station, and being a big fan of the Rocky franchise, I thought I would enjoy the film. But it was this scene, in which Coogler does a “single-take” boxing fight showing us the first round and part of the second round until Adonis (Michael B. Jordan) wins by knockout, that I knew this movie was on a whole other level. The smooth movement of the camera, the physicality and swagger and Michael B. Jordan, and the building score make this one of the best boxing fights I’ve ever seen on film. Creed was my favorite movie of 2015 and it was Coogler’s directorial touch that elevated its greatness.
7. “LET IT GO” – FROZEN
- I have a niece who is three-years-old who is obsessed with Frozen. Whenever I see her, chances are she will be watching Frozen and singing along to it, most passionately to “Let It Go”, in which she sings and mimics everything Elsa is doing in this scene. This is six years after Frozen came out and it just shows how powerful the movie and its key set-piece are. “Let It Go” is the princess anthem of the millennium. It’s an empowering, catchy song that every little child and their parent knows the words to coupled with some beautiful animation. This is a song and movie that will continue to be popular and loved for years to come.
6. H.A.L.O JUMP – MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT
- If there is one thing we learned about Tom Cruise this decade it is that he is a madman. Though one of our greatest movie stars and a spectacular, awards-caliber actor, Cruise took the 2010’s to show just how insane of a man he is and how far he is willing to push himself, namely in the Mission: Impossible franchise. Cruise climbing The Burj Khalifa in Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol almost snagged this spot, but Cruise’s H.A.L.O (High Altitude Low Open) jump in Fallout is an extraordinary stunt and feat of filmmaking. Jumping out of a plane at 30,000 feet and opening his parachute at under 3,000 feet is an insane stunt done by top military men and apparently Tom Cruise. How director Christopher McQuarrie shot the scene by having a cameraman follow Cruise as he falls through the air, giving us a front row view of how crazy this fall is, is nothing short of extraordinary, especially seeing it on IMAX. This was peak stunt work this decade and peak Cruise.
5. DARTH VADER FINALE – ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY
- Rouge One was a first in the Star Wars franchise. This was the first side-story the franchise had ever done. It steered away from the Skywalker story and focused on a new set of characters, plots, and stories. Though Rogue One was about the group of soldiers who retrieved the plans to the Death Star, which would then be used by Rebels in A New Hope, we had no idea what to expect in this film, and while the film was very entertaining and unique from other Star Wars films, nothing could have prepared us for the Darth Vader finale. This is the greatest Darth Vader scene ever (yes, including “I am your father) as it showed Vader at the height of his powers, mowing down puny soldiers with his lightsaber and force powers. This ended Rouge One on a high note that nobody expected.
4. NO MAN’S LAND – WONDER WOMAN
- Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman came at just the right time for the DCEU. After Batman v. Superman and Suicide Squad disappointed critics and audiences alike, nobody knew what Warner Bros. and the DCEU were going to do. But Wonder Woman came along and saved it. Up until this scene, we only saw glimpses of what Diana (Gal Gadot) could do. She was still learning this new world she was in and was trying to understand how and why the war was the way it was. This was the first time we saw Wonder Woman. Not Diana, Wonder Woman. The shield wielding, head-banded hero who only wants to do good and save the world. This scene got every emotion in me going. It is inspiring, exciting, beautifully crafted, and awe-inspiring. This is the greatest superhero intro scene ever and it’s not even close. This was the birth of a hero. This was the birth of an icon.
3. “CARAVAN” FINALE – WHIPLASH
- Damien Chazelle’s sophomore film is a war film in the music room. A no-holds-barred look at being pushed to the limit for perfection. This all comes to a head in the film’s finale, where Andrew (Miles Teller) gets embarrassed by his former teacher Fletcher (Oscar winner JK Simmons) on stage at a performance. But rather than leave the concert, Andrew comes back on stage and changes the set and starts to perform “Caravan”. But it’s after the song where Andrew really shines, as he riffs for nearly five-minutes, giving the performance of his life full of blood, sweat, anger, and passion as Andrew shows Fletcher that he is the best. But this finale brings up the big question of how far is too far? Is Andrew giving Fletcher a giant middle finger or has he become the obsessive monster Fletcher was grooming him to be? Highlighted by expert editing and mad-house performances by Teller and Simmons, this is a heart-racing scene and one of the best finales of the decade.
2. “SHALLOW” – A STAR IS BORN
- The performance of “Shallow” in Bradley Cooper’s A Star is Born was the most overwhelming movie experience I had in 2018 and one of the most overwhelming experiences I have ever had in a movie. A scene of pure power, love, and emotions that had my eyes almost in tears. The dizzying, almost dream-like first act of the film comes to a head in this scene, as Jackson (Bradley Cooper) invites Ally (Lady Gaga) up on stage to sing a song they briefly wrote together the night before. Ally owns it, and sings her heart, much like Jackson knew she would. Perfectly shot and edited, with Gaga belting her heart out and Cooper presenting a confidence and swagger while being in a state of bliss as he falls in love with Ally and watches her become a star. The song is Oscar-worthy, but its Cooper’s direction and Gaga’s stunning voice that make “Shallow” an iconic cinematic moment this decade.
1. “AVENGERS! ASSEMBLE!” – AVENGERS: ENDGAME
- The 2010’s belonged to comic book movies and cinematic universes and nobody did it better than the Marvel Cinematic Universe. After twenty-three movies (twenty-one released in the 2010’s) the MCU came to an epic finale with Avengers: Endgame and what a finale it was. Everything that was the MCU was on the screen at the final battle of Endgame, a scene that is not only the definition of awesome, but is epic on every scale. When all hope seems lost for Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the remaining Avengers and it looks like Thanos’ army will take over the planet, we hear the static of Falcon’s (Anthony Mackie) voice in Captain America’s ear, followed by the appearance of T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) coming from a Doctor Strange portal. It is then an onslaught of everyone from the MCU appearing on screen, both those who disappeared in the snap from the previous movie and those who survived, all culminating in an attack on Thanos and his army with Captain America commanding, “AVENGERS! ASSEMBLE!”. Alan Silvestri’s epic score takes over and we watch as eleven years and over twenty movies come together on the screen at the same time. You can’t help but get emotional watching this. We have grown with the MCU and The Avengers and all of these characters and seeing them all on screen at the same time fighting for their lives and the galaxy is something we had been waiting for for over a decade. This moment symbolizes so much of what cinema has become while also being the as big as anything that has ever been on the big screen, which is why it is the best movie moment of the decade.
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