On this list, we look back at the best individual scenes from movies throughout the year that stood out among the rest. These moments don’t necessarily depend on the quality of the film as a whole, but are able to instead stick out and be the scenes that we will remember moving into years ahead. We
Before moving into the list, SPOILER ALERT for movies you have not seen, as this list will go into detail about why these scenes are so terrific, and some moments may be pivotal parts from that movie.
Honorable Mentions: Home coming to the war from “Dunkirk”, Emily’s voicemail from “The Big Sick”, the elevator conversation in “The Meyerowitz Stories”, the fire in “The Florida Project”, Hulk vs. Thor in “Thor: Ragnarok”, Xavier and the new Wolverine in “Logan”, the song and dance in “The Shape of Water”, and McAvoy’s acting showcase moment in “Split”.
10.) Mirror – “I, Tonya”
Of all the terrific moments in this wonderful film, the moment where Margot Robbie stares into the camera while applying makeup right before her Olympic debut is a moment that shook me to my core. Robbie should secure an Oscar nom on this minute of beauty alone, as she is able to show so much conflict and raw emotion in a very small sliver of time. The figure skating sequences are tremendous, but this mirror shot is something I will not forget.
9.) No Man’s Land – “Wonder Woman”
When DC needed a spark, Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot delivered, and this film’s energy and badassery comes to a peak in this moment where Wonder Woman walks out by herself, takes on all the German artillery, and shifts the battle out of a standstill. The moment showed just how powerful her character is, while also putting on display how much Wonder Woman cares about every single human she can possibly save.
8.) Out of Words – “War for the Planet of the Apes”
The perfect end to one of the best trilogies ever put to film, one moment between Caesar and Woody Harrelson’s character stands out as the highlight. After Harrelson is infected with the inability to speak, he begs for death from his greatest enemy, and this moment between the two shows how dynamic each of the characters are, and how terrific each of their performances work with the rest of the movie. This scene is heartbreaking and gorgeously crafted, and showed once again how to make a villain more than just a one-dimensional man in power.
7.) Casino Fight – “Blade Runner 2049”
Of the many, many fantastic moments throughout Denis Villeneuve’s 164-minute masterpiece, the fight between Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford while a glitch Elvis Presley hologram plays is the one scene that sticks out. This action scene is inventive, unique, and gorgeously shot, and it allows Ford and Gosling to create more of a dynamic that had not yet been set up. I could have picked Joi in the rain, the flashback, or the finale, but this fight is my personal favorite in a film full of hundreds of remarkable moments.
6.) Sunken Place – “Get Out”
Jordan Peele’s directorial debut was an absolute sensation, and the first time we get transported to the sunken place still remains drilled into my mind. Daniel Kaluuya shows just how terrific he is as an actor in this scene, and the shot of Kaluuya falling remains my favorite shot of the entire year. There’s a reason the sunken place became such a popular moment this year, and it is because the scene is one full of emotion and tension.
5.) Waxing – “Raw”
“Raw” is a lot of things, but absolutely revolting is one thing that this French film specializes in, and this waxing scene is exactly that. “Raw” is often gorgeous in the weirdest of ways, and the movie is truly a brilliantly thrilling horror flick, but I get unrealistically uncomfortable every single time I watch this scene, but that is because of how expertly-handled it is. Garance Marillier performs the hell out of this scene, and I have never been more invested in a character’s finger in my entire life. Watch this scene at your own risk, but there are not many scenes that have ever been as well-crafted and absolutely fucking brutal to watch than this one.
4.) Opening – “Baby Driver”
Edgar Wright could not have started out this movie with more flair, as the first six minutes of his car-chase epic is the most fun scene all year. Ansel Elgort absolutely kills it as Baby, the music is a blast, and the driving sequences are thrilling, exhilarating, and stunningly shot. The film doesn’t slow down much from here, but Wright made sure to capture my heart only six minutes into the movie, and it totally worked.
3.) Snoke – “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Screw the mixed opinions, “The Last Jedi” is a fantastically original edition to the franchise, and Adam Driver’s Kylo Ren is much of the reason why. Kylo is the most developed villain the franchise has ever seen, and Driver’s performance as the angsty villain is exceptional, and he makes Snoke’s death oh so satisfying. I loved how Rian Johnson showed Snoke’s true power and amazing capabilities, but then immediately shows how Kylo can manipulate and overcome anyone and anything in his path, including his leader. The death is amazing, the fight afterward is gorgeous, and the way Johnson adds stakes and character arcs to this moment shows just how strong he is as a director.
2.) Stuhlbarg Monologue – “Call Me by Your Name”
Michael Stuhlbarg is a great actor, and, while he gives a great performance in this movie, the vast majority of his dialogue comes in the form of a monologue in the final minutes of the film, and wow is it powerful. The more Stuhlbarg talks to Elio about sexuality, love, and growing up, the more impactful and enthralling it gets until it finally reaches a point that is bold and beautiful. This movie takes tons of risks, and Stuhlbarg’s character is no exception, and you feel the raw emotion and the realness in every single word he says during this dialogue.
1.) Pie – “A Ghost Story”
When I look back at 2017 as a whole, the pie scene in “A Ghost Story” will be the first scene I think about every single time. This five-minute scene of Rooney Mara slowly falling into an emotional collapse while brutally eating a pie is strange at first, much like this entire film, but the longer it holds on Mara, the more I became completely overwhelmed by the beauty and the emotion in such a simplistic moment. This scene is so much more than just eating pie, which sounds weird to say, but it is without a doubt the most remarkable, and my favorite, moment of the year.
What movie moment was your favorite in 2017? Comment below with your thoughts.