Now that the year has come to a close, we can look back at the best scenes we had this year. Due to various circumstances, there’s a lot of movies that I have yet to watch, so I’m sure this is a list that I’ll keep updating as I watch more films made this year. Be warned that there are possible spoilers for the following films: American Ultra, Spectre, Jurassic World, It Follows, Ex-Machina, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part Two, Paper Towns, The Peanuts Movie, Kingsman: The Secret Service, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, The Walk, Bridge of Spies, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Inside Out and Mad Max: Fury Road
15. American Ultra – The supermarket fight.
The action scenes were an underrated aspect of this movie. Many were imaginatively choreographed, shot and edited. Making a creative use of space, reflection, props and lighting that leaves one hoping Nima Nourizadeh gets to do more action in the future. Credit also goes to screenwriter Max Landis for coming up with some very creative action scenes. This climactic fight is the highlight for everyone.
14. Spectre – The opening.
Featuring an astonishing “oner” and mixing danger and humor, this sequence belongs in the Best Bond Openings Hall of Fame. Also credit must be given to them for showing that Mexico City or Mexico itself isn’t all old, dirty buildings. Mendes and his crew give great use to this location.
13. Jurassic World – Everyone vs. the I-Rex.
Even if you saw it coming, you can’t deny you wanted it to happen. It’s the most fun moment of the film, perfectly balancing how much we care for the dinosaurs and for the humans in the situation as well. Trevorrow shoots the scene in such a way that he lets it play out before our eyes. You manage to believe it all and it gets you cheering.
12. It Follows – Date gone wrong.
A perfectly creepy sequence. We’re right in Jay’s shoes as she becomes aware that she’s in a situation far more sinister and unexplainable than she could have expected. Director David Robert Mitchell shoots it in such a way that amplifies the sense of dread. Just like Jay we can’t look away from the situation.
11. Ex-Machina – The dance.
Unexpected, funny, even creepy. It offers the audience an opportunity to relax in a film with a rather somber tone. It’s a perfect highlight of everyone who worked in the film, behind and in front of the camera.
10. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 – The execution.
It’s always good to see characters we hate get what they deserve. This is the principle on which the scene is based on, but what I most loved about it was how it was a turn for Katniss. She’s tired of violence, but once she sees that it could resurface under new President Alma Coin, that’s her only choice of action. The lesser of evils.
9. Paper Towns – The Pokémon song.
If you were a kid in the late 90s, chances are you laughed out loud at this scene.
8. The Peanuts Movie – Anything with the Red Baron.
This is where the choice of 3D animation felt most justified and wonderfully used. These were some of the best moments in the original Peanuts cartoons and they’re also the best in this movie. Even when they’re just purely fantasy sequences, we always care enough to look forward to seeing Snoopy battle against the Red Baron again.
7. Kingsman: The Secret Service – The Church Scene.
In a film filled with great sequences and scenes, this is probably its most memorable for its brutality and cinematography. It’s a very scary moment in the film, where Matthew Vaughn rises to the occasion; he monumentally raising the film’s stakes without losing a sense of dark humor. Big kudos to Colin Firth for exceeding his level of badassery here, and shame on the censors in countries where they decided to mutilate this scene to appease them.
6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – Fake movies.
Any moment in which they’re brought up, the movie lights up considerably. Anyone who loves movies and catches the references surely loved these way-too-brief scenes.
5. The Walk – The Walk itself.
This is what the movie kept leading into, so you knew it was going to happen but both characters and filmmakers outdid themselves in making it awe-inspiring and frightening at the same time. Even watched on 2D, the sequence is absolutely dizzying.
4. Bridge of Spies – The airplane attack.
Spielberg puts us right in the pilot’s seat. He perfectly communicates the scene using nothing but visuals to paint the character and stakes. What’s worse is that we know that even if the pilot makes it out alive, he’s still screwed. It’s a great sequence and one of the movie’s best turns. A big shout-out to the Coen Brothers and Matt Charman for writing such a great moment.
3. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – The bridge scene.
A tender moment that becomes quickly horrifying, this is probably the best scene in a film filled with great scenes. Everyone involved created a moment that perfectly mixes the drama between Han Solo and Kylo Ren, using the setting and visuals to match the state of the characters’ minds as the First Order catches up to them.
2. Inside Out – The ending.
It’s a moment that brings the movie’s powerful message that not all can be joy, but that sad moments can become our greatest victories. Character,Props, blocking, and production design form a perfect scene.
1. Mad Max: Fury Road – The first chase.
In a movie packed with great action set-pieces and imaginative visuals, this was tough to pick but it’s here where the action has the most perfect sense of rising action and a fantastic use of color that burns the images in your head.