20 Most Satisfying Movie Moments

the shawshank redemption

Movies have the power to enchant us, move us, amuse us, and scare the hell out of us - the reason we're all attracted to the cinema as an artistic medium ultimately comes down to the fact that it allows us to feel such a wide spectrum of emotions. But one could argue that the most appealing emotion associated with the experience is one of pure satisfaction, though we're not necessarily talking about a film's overall ability to make us feel entirely satisfied when we walk out the theatre (i.e "I'm glad I went to see that"). No: we're talking about those individual moments which occur within the films themselves - moments which allow us to feel a sense of complete, unbridled satisfaction. Those moments where you find yourself staring at the screen in awe after a long, perilous journey, or at the point where a bad guy finally gets his comeuppance after inflicting so much pain upon the hero, or - perhaps best of all - when something just feels satisfying on a primal level. To write too much about what we mean probably isn't the best way to explain it: join us, then, as we look back at some of cinema's most satisfying moments - those imbued with the power to cause an entire audience to stand up in their seats and cheer in union whenever they occur. Opinions differ, of course, and there are thousands of instances of a "satisfying moment" scattered throughout cinema history, but here are some of the best for your consideration. We hope that these picks... well, satisfy you.

20. The Braces Come Off - Forrest Gump (1994)

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Forrest Gump had us feeling all emotional before the movie even properly began, given the sweet friendship between our eponymous hero and his one true love, Jenny, who we learn is being abused by her father. Not to mention the fact that Forrest is forced to wear metal braces on his legs thanks to a rare spinal condition, and that he's frequently the target of bullying as a result. Still, it's worth sitting through all of that heartache, given the immensely satisfying moment where Forrest breaks free of his chains and realises his running potential. "Run, Forrest, run!" (sorry).


Adrian Smith was born in Singapore City and moved to London when he was five. He writes for the internet full-time, and occasionally makes travel documentaries (the last one was about Moscow). He has a cat called Louis.