Nowadays, if a movie doesn’t capture your attention in the first ten minutes, there’s very little chance you’ll even want to finish watching the movie. With that said, here’s our compiled list of the 10 Best First 10 Minutes:
10. Scream – Scream was the talk of the town back in 1996. It was one of the first movies I can remember that had a really good plot, that kept things secret the entire film. People respected the movie so much, no one talked about who the killer was, and implored you to see the film yourself. (Either that, or I was just too young back then to know enough people to talk to.)
The opening of the film captures your attention, and serves a higher purpose. We’re introduced to your killer, and learn about the things he does to lure taunt the victims before killing them. And to boot, who kills Drew Barrymore in a movie? A leading actress killed off in the first ten minutes makes Scream capture your attention.
Dawn of The Dead
9. Dawn of the Dead (Remake) – Zombies attacking humans at the very beginning of any movie can definitely capture your attention. A creepy little girl zombie only adds to the awesomesness of the first ten minutes of the Dawn of the Dead remake.
Sarah Polley driving through her abandoned neighborhood while things explode, and zombies chase her car. Her newly zombified boyfriend trying to break through the bathroom door to eat her is purely awesome.
Some contend that the remake fails compared to the original, but that doesn’t take away how awesome the opening ten minutse to the remake is.
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
8. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark- Few movies capture you from the get-go like Raiders. The first (and some say the best) film in the Indiana Jones series got your attention in a big way.
People love movies where the hero has to think of ways to escape danger, and in the opening ten minutes of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark our hero definitely does that.
In addition to having to find a way to steal the little golden idol from the temple, our hero then gets attacked by bad guys, flees from them, kicks a lot of butt, and escapes onto a waiting water plane, where he’s confronted with the pilot’s pet snake. Which he’s petrified of.
The opening of the movie introduces us to a hero that has stayed with us, through 27 years. (Though some would argue that the last Indiana Jones movie doesn’t count. I’m one of them.)
7. Heat – There’s some debate about this one, since the actual kick-ass part doesn’t happen until minute 12, but the planning, plotting, and set-up getting to the part where they rob the armored car only adds to the build up.
The movie itself is indisputably awesome. There’s no argument there. Whether or not the actual action happens in the first ten minutes is debatable.
As far as I’m concerned (up until recently), any movie with both De Niro and Pacino is absolutely worth seeing. Having an awesome opening sequence certainly helps their cause, too.
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
6. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith – Argued by many as just unnecessary, and an abomination to the Star Wars franchise. Say what you will, the opening scene, comprised mostly of CGI, is pretty impressive.
The fighters zipping in and out of destroyers, lasers flying, Jedis fighting. That’s pretty bad-ass.
The movie has some pretty great fighting scenes in it. The battle with the Sith himself is pretty amazing.
While everyone agrees that there’s some good parts to the film, it’s pretty well known that the movie itself is pretty crap, and totally not necessary as part of the Star Wars franchise.
5. Reservoir Dogs – Few movies have been able to capture the interest of the viewing in the first ten minutes without explosions, gun fire, or car chases.
Reservoir Dogs has one of, if not the, best opening conversations in movie history. The argument about tipping is notorious in many circles of friends, and often quoted (and of course, misquoted).
I think this scene is so powerful, because the conversation they have is something an every day person can relate to. While there’s a larger agenda behind the scene (introducing us to the characters, and their plan), the conversation about tipping is what steals the show.
4. The Matrix – Trinity kicks the hell out of a whole bunch of people. Levitating. Running up walls. Diving through windows. What more could you ask for?
Hacking the hacker, telling him to follow the white rabbit.
While many still don’t “get” The Matrix, there’s no denying the the opening scene with Trinity is bad-ass, and well deserves to be on this list.
We’ll just pretend that the two sequels don’t actually exist, and they were a figment of someone’s imagination.
3. Star Wars – The original Star Wars, for many, is the best there is. The beginning, the middle, the end. It’s the total package.
The first time you see Darth Vader on screen has to the be the highlight in any young child’s movie going life.
The opening credits rolling across the screen, telling of a tale that we’ll come to know and love over our lifetimes.
Then the words hit: Star Wars. And you’re captivated for the next two hours and one minute of your life. Every last second of the entire movie is well planned out.
For 1977, you’d never know that the destroyer that flies overhead was really only two feet long, and the entire opening scene was shot with miniatures.
2. X2 – While I may not be the biggest X-men fan franchise, there’s no denying that the opening sequence of X2 is awesome.
Nightcrawler making his way through the White House, moving at the speed of light, kicking the ass of anyone that gets in his way? Pure awesome.
The CGI used in conjunction with real action is the perfect combination with reality, and not-quite-reality.
If you’ve never seen X2, which you probably haven’t, you should definitely check it out. The opening sequence last just over nine minutes, and keeps you glued to the set the entire time.
Saving Private Ryan
1. Saving Private Ryan – It would be impossible to create a list of the ten best opening ten minutes of movies, and not include Saving Private Ryan.
The scene is so real, that men who were actually on that beach, in that war, couldn’t watch the movie, because it brought back memories that were too painful.
Bullets flying, heads being ripped open, blood pouring out, men screaming, people dying. And having it all seem authentic. It feels like you’re watching archive footage, and not a movie.
Saving Private Ryan is the epitome of what an opening scene in an action movie should be.
That concludes our list. Did we miss something? Have a difference of opinion? Let your voice be heard in the comments.
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