What were your favorite movie scenes of 2010?

toy-story-3Image Credit: Disney/PixarWhen I eventually look back at 2010, I’ll reflect upon the films that mattered, the films that dared to be different, and the films that made an impact on my heart and mind. But as time goes on, my impressions of many of my favorite films will inevitably be boiled down to a series of spectacular moments. For example, I revere The Silence of the Lambs, and I’ve seen it enough times to know it by heart. But there’s one scene that encapsulates my experience with those characters. You know the scene. Other times, that keystone scene isn’t so universal, and that makes it almost more special. There’s a scene in You’ve Got Mail (Yes, You’ve Got Mail!!!) where Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan finally decide to meet in-person, and when he learns that his cyberpal is actually his sworn enemy, he pretends to just bump into her and then razzes her for being stood-up. Ryan’s character ends up snapping back at him, and his body absorbs every cruel verbal dart. (“That’s my cue.”) It always breaks my heart a little bit. When I choose to think of that movie, I think of that scene.

This year, like any other, had its share of classic scenes, but there are three in particular that stood out to me:

3. Natalie Portman’s transformation into the Black Swan. I don’t know anything about ballet; it was the psychological puzzle that initially drew me to Darren Aronofsky’s movie. But when Portman’s Nina Sayers finally flips the switch and becomes the dark and sultry Black Swan, I did a mental pirouette. After nailing her routine, she stalks backstage like a dragon in heat, looking for prey. It was unnerving. It was erotic. And it was totally genius.

2. The opening scene of The Social Network reminded me how much I missed The West Wing. Jesse Eisenberg’s callous Mark Zuckerberg and his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend (Rooney Mara) talk at, over, and past each other with hyper-articulate precision. His barbs are baseball bats; her retorts are daggers. In an instant, you know exactly who these characters are and where they’re heading. He’s going to be a billionaire. She’s going to be a movie star.

1. Andy’s last ride with Woody and Buzz. Congratulations, Pixar. You finally broke us. The romantic montage from Up was just a primer for the last scene in Toy Story 3. When college-bound Andy gets down on his knees to show a shy little girl that there’s still plenty of magic in his old toys, something snapped inside every grown-up who once loved a G.I. Joe or Barbie.

Honorable mention: The Fenway Park heist in The Town; Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s wall-climbing dream fight in Inception; Mark Wahlberg meeting Eva Mendes for the first time in The Other Guys; the last conversation between Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo in Shutter Island.

What were your favorite movie moments of 2010?

Comments (166 total) Add your comment
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  • Mr. Holloway

    I realize it’s not terribly original, but my favorite has to be the Joseph Gordon-Levitt/zero-gravity fight from “Inception.”

    I also thought the animated explanation of the Deathly Hallows sequence from “Harry Potter” was gorgeous. Can’t leave out Hit Girl’s first appearance in “Kick-Ass.”

    • Mr. Holloway

      (It’s probably bad that when I clicked on that “Silence of the Lambs” link because it “encapsulates my experiences with those characters”, I expected to see the Buffalo Bill dance.)

      • Chris

        me too.

      • Ames

        I did too, even though there’s only one character in that scene.

      • Angela

        I actually thought it would be the one where Clarice tells the story about the lambs.

    • melissa

      Great choices, I loved all three of those.

    • Kim

      Those were the top two scenes that came to mind. Inception zero gravity scene with hot Joseph Gordon-Levitt and HP7 animation scene. Both awesome and original!

    • Kate

      Love that scene where she gets shot by her dad in kick-ass. That sums up the movie for me- so funny.

    • dizzy

      All three are great movie scenes!

    • Lisar

      That animated thing in Harry Potter was so cool! I want to see Tim Burton make a movie out of that.

  • MWeyer

    The wild fights of “Scott Pilgrim vs the World” pushing the limits of video game/comic come to life.

    Oh and the awesome post-credits scene of “Iron Man 2″ where you see Thor’s hammer buried in the ground.

    • Mr. Holloway

      Nice call.

      I especially enjoyed the WTF-ness of the first fight Bollywood-ish fight against Matthew Patel. Really set the tone.

    • Shotgun Samurai

      Two words… Bass Battle.

      • Victoria


    • Lunna

      YES! Scott Pilgrim vs The Vegan Bass Player!!!!

      • McNulty

        Tom Jane as the Vegan Police = Genius.

  • Amy

    There were a few good ones in “Date Night” with Steve Carrell and Tina Fey. My fave was when they were dancing together in that strip club. Hilarious!

  • Woot

    There were so many great scenes this year, but the three that were mentioned really were superb, so I have no problem with them. Definitely would throw in the animated explanations of The Deathly Hallows from Harry Potter. It was really well done.

  • Jackie

    Definitely the animation sequence from ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1′ that plays while Hermione is reading the ‘Tale of the Three Brothers’. It was just so beautifully done, and it really stuck with me!

    • StewyFan

      I agree. That was very well done.

      • dizzy

        The animation was beyond impressive. It was haunting and beautiful.

    • jordan

      I wasn’t sure what I would pick until I read this! That was excellent! They did a great job with the locket horcrux scene as well (as disturbing as it might have been lol). I was also a fan of the final Toy Story 3 scene. As for Social Network, I prefer the confrontation scene that begins with Andrew Garfield entering through the double doors. 127 Hours had a few great scenes as well: the storm scene (incredible), the.. uh… arm scene, and the scene where he sees his family and younger self. Visual effects-wise, I haven’t been as mind-blown by a movie as I was while watching Tron. Sure, it’s not the best script, but it IS the best special effects I have ever scene and expected to see in 2010 (or 2011 for that matter).

      • jordan

        **I have ever SEEN.

        Wow, guess that’s what happens when I have movie scenes on the mind…

      • Will

        That Social Network scene your referring to is definitely on my list, but I think I prefer the opening scene. I think it’s some of the best written dialogue ever.

    • Peter

      Ooo, yes! That’s my pick!

    • Tia

      For me it’s the Sixth Sense when Bruce Willis’ character realizes he is dead. He drops his wedding ring as he is going up the stairs. (chills!!!)

    • Cristin


  • StewyFan

    1. The train wreck in Inception.
    2. In The Town where the bank robbers roll up and start getting out of the car in front of a completely unaware and up his own a$$ cop.
    3. The Cherry Bomb performance in The Runaways.
    4. The incinerator scene in TS3. I cried so hard.
    5. Natalie Portman in just about EVERY scene in the Black Swan.

    • StewyFan

      And I completely forgot the passing of Dobby in HPDH.

      • Kris

        YES! I was a mess during that scene!

      • Stan

        And what a place to cut the book into two movies!

      • dizzy

        That was so sad! Poor Dobby…

  • Cameron Yarde Jnr

    The zero gravity fight in Inception really does stick out this year.

    • Liz

      I agree. You can complain about plot/acting/directing whatever when it comes to Inception but you have to admit that fight scene was just beautiful to watch.

  • Kristin

    I haven’t seen Toy Story 3, but I have to agree with the rest of your list! Good choices. (And yes, I really miss The West Wing too. The writing was some of the best.)

    • fireflyfan

      most definitely kristin, I miss aaron sorkin! bring us a new show with people running down hallways shouting abbreviations! Best show in years

  • Peter

    Portman and Kunis. Black Swan Fa sho.

  • CCam

    The dinner scene in The Kids are All Right when Annette Bening sings “Blue” by Joni Mitchell.

    • CCam

      And my less refined selection – Slapshot Regatta in She’s Outta My League.

    • Sebastian

      I just saw the movie The Kids are All Right today. Great acting. It´s going to be Natalie vs. Annette at the Oscars!

  • Katie

    1. Natalie Portman doing the pirouettes as the black swan. I did ballet for years growing up and this was pure genius!
    2. The camera pulling away from the Twin Tower building at the end of Remember Me, and it finally clicks as to what is going to happen
    3. When they pull up to the cop in The Town and he just turns his head
    4. Zero Gravity in Inception
    5. In Killers when the mom pours the whole bottle of Grey Goose into her ceasar mix

    • StewyFan

      #2 … ahhh yes. I bawled like a baby. Such a touching moment in the film.

  • Wendy

    1. The floating lantern scene in Tangled was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen…and for ONCE I did not feel cheated for paying for 3-D!
    2. Toy Story 3 during the incinerator scene…the hand holding just killed me.
    3. Inception – The rotating fight scene.

    • Wendy

      Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – the way they told the story of the 3 Brothers in animation was so incredible I forgot I was watching HP.

    • Elizabeth

      There are too many in Toy Story 3, but I agree with the scene w/Andy delivering his toys to their new home and the incinerator. (Ken & Barbie – AHHH!! and I still flinch everytime Jessie hits the wall in the Butterfly room.)

      • tj

        She was in the caterpillar room.

    • Meloukesm

      Yes! I loved the lanterns scene in Tangled. It was classic Disney, so beautiful.

    • Michelle

      #2. OMG…that’s when the tears started for me…and they didn’t stop until long after the movie was over.

    • ObiHave

      I was going to mention the Lantern scene as well.

    • steph

      totally agree with the lantern scene from Tangled. Gave me goosebumps.

      I also really loved the scene in How To Train your Dragon where Toothless & Hiccup bond for the first time. 5 minutes with no dialogue, and amazing scoring to go with it. Perfect.

  • Rebekah

    I agree 100% with your choice from Toy Story 3. I also loved the final scenes of The King’s Speech and 127 Hours.

    • graeme

      Yup, the climax of The King’s Speech was beautiful with the images of people around England, and Geoffrey Rush silently directing a symphony.

      And yeah, the incenerator scene in Toy Story 3.

      And, the moment after Moore/Ruffalo kiss in “The Kids Are All Right” and she awkwardly says “I’ll be right back!”. Hilarious.

      • Gazzer

        You think the Ruffalo/Moore kiss is funny you should have seen the Electric Avenue segmant in Jackass 3D when Johnny Knoxville and Wee Man sent the boys through an obstacle course involving stun guns and cattle prods.

  • Jessica

    The zero-gravity fight scene with JGL in Inception is my favorite from 2010. Hands down. I can never tear my eyes away when I watch it. I also agree with your list though. I haven’t seen Black Swan yet, but the last scene in Toy Story had me fighting tears and the first scene in The Social Network had me hooked as soon as they started speaking. Amazing! There were definitely some memorable scenes this year :)

  • LM

    1) Andy’s final playtime with his toys from “Toy Story 3.” Good grief, that brilliant scene tore me up, but in the best way.
    2) Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s zero-gravity fight in “Inception.” I never tire of watching the pure, jaw-dropping awesomeness of that sequence – especially since there was no CG trickery involved, they were climbing those walls for real!
    3) Colin Firth’s final speech to his people in “The King’s Speech” – the perfect mixture of brilliantly heartfelt acting, suspense, drama, and uplifting triumph.
    4) Hiccup’s first flight on Toothless in “How to Train Your Dragon”. An incredibly exhilarating, roller-coaster sequence that mops the floor with the similar sequence in “Avatar.”
    5) The ending rescue sequence of “127 Hours”. By the time James Franco finally sees the hikers in the distance, I was ready to jump out of my seat and run to him myself!

    • Kate

      I definitely second the first flight scene in Dragon- brilliant scene- brilliant film.

    • dizzy

      That last scene from Toy Story 3 had me in tears as well. One of my favorites of all time.

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