What makes a movie scene great?
Is it the performances? The set pieces or visuals? The dialogue? The narrative importance? Or is it something deeper, like the symbolism or subtle character development at play?
Whatever the case, there are some scenes that just stay with us, and they can be found in everything from sweeping fantasy epics, quiet character studies, clever biopics and wondrously over-the-top action flicks. No genre is out of bound, and since watching movies is such a personal and subjective experience, there's no limit on what can be counted as a truly perfect scene.
With that in mind, the following list will act as just a small collection of some of the best movie scenes on offer, each one transcending their respective films and begging to be watched on repeat.
From childhood classics to recent superhero epics, and timeless thrillers to crime dramas, here are 20 movie scenes that are completely, 100% flawless.
This article will contain some spoilers.
20. You Complete Me - The Dark Knight (2008)
One of the most pivotal moments in Christopher Nolan's superhero masterpiece The Dark Knight comes around the halfway mark, where Joker (Heath Ledger) has been apprehended by Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and sent in for interrogation regarding the disappearance of Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).
Whilst being questioned, Joker is blindsided by Batman (Christian Bale), who tries to get the villain to talk before learning Joker's plan is much larger than anyone thought.
In a twisted stroke of evil genius, Joker admits he's kidnapped both Harvey and Rachel Dawes (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and that Batman will only be able to save one of them before they're killed.
In many ways, the scene is symbolic of the entire film, pitting Batman against his most cunning and sinister adversary whilst having the Joker outsmart him at every turn.
Throw in the acting power of Heath Ledger and Hans Zimmer's spine-tingling score for good measure, and what you have is a scene that transcends not just Nolan's film, but the entire Dark Knight trilogy.