20 Most Perfect Scenes In Cinema History

Sublime, flawless: the signature spots in your favourite movies that grabbed you and never let go.

The Weinstein Company

It’s a rare thing, but sometimes you’re watching a movie and a particular scene hooks you. Maybe it’s the writing, the performances; maybe you’re smitten by the production design, the way it’s shot and edited. Maybe it’s just the context - how and where it sits within the film, informs the narrative. Whatever the case, there’s no improving on it. It’s… perfect.

Of course, perfection, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. It’s subjective - nothing is flawless if you’re willing to look for the smallest of holes - but that doesn’t mean that the ideal isn’t real.

Everyone reading this has such a scene in mind now: something that, at the time they watched it, elevated the film they were watching, stuck with them for hours, even days afterwards. These are twenty such movie moments, some pivotal, some transcendent, from all kind of movies over the last few decades of cinema.

Naturally, this means there will be spoilers - and an effort has been made to avoid many of the more obvious examples of ‘classic’ cinema scenes to make things more interesting.

Consider this a jumping off point, though. Why not give us your top five in the comments?


Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at desincarne.com, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.