Screen Rant’s Best Shared Movie Moments

Published 5 years ago by

Theater Audience Moment Screen Rants Best Shared Movie Moments

Christopher Nolan’s Inception has been the topic of discussion for over three weeks now. Many are talking about the torturous ending that left audience members gasping and trying to retrace their steps. In hindsight of that awesome moment, I’ve rounded up the troops here at Screen Rant and asked each writer to describe their favorite shared audience movie theater moment.

[This Next Part Contains Inception Ending SPOILERS]

I’ve never experienced a shared moment in the movie theater quite like that last frame of Inception. The entire film captured everybody’s attention, keeping them on the edge of their seats eager for more. The last few minutes gave Inception its emotional core, after an extended action set piece that put most other summer films to shame.

However, when that top started spinning with subtle shakes and shimmers, everybody went dead silent. Mind you, this happened at all five showings I’ve attended – it wasn’t just the midnight crowd all hopped up on adrenaline and caffeine. As that spinning top made its last effort to stay firm, the screen cut to black and Christopher Nolan prompted worldwide gasps and moans.

[End of Inception Ending SPOILERS]


Inception2 Screen Rants Best Shared Movie Moments

Some of my Screen Rant colleagues share other favorite moments of mine, but one that didn’t make the list was the silence during The Dark Knight‘s truck flip. That was my favorite shared moment until Inception took the cake and chucked it against the window. The ending to Inception was a truly great shared audience moment.

Now, let’s get to my fellow Screen Rant writers’ favorite shared movie moments – Just one note, some of these recollections are going to contain SPOILERS, albeit for movies that have been out for awhile…

Vic Holtreman – Owner/Editor-in-Chief

Raiders of the Lost Ark gun vs. sword Screen Rants Best Shared Movie Moments

“One of the best audience moments I remember experiencing is also one of my earliest: The ‘sword vs. gun’ scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Yes, I’m old enough to have seen it when it was originally released in theaters. Not only that, but I watched it on opening night, not having any idea what it was about or what I was in for.

Actually, during that screening, the movie was FILLED with one “best audience moment” after another, but the sword vs. gun scene had to be the standout one (doubly so, in retrospect, because it was improvised by Harrison Ford after growing tired of so many takes of “whip vs sword”). When Indy gave that über-confident swordsman a weary look and just reached for his gun and shot the guy, the audience went nuts.

To this day that screening of Raiders remains one of the best movie viewing experiences of my entire life, and was key to sparking my lifelong love of movies.”

Kofi Outlaw – Senior Editor

The Ring Screen Rants Best Shared Movie Moments

“One of the best audience moments I’ve ever had was during the climatic scene in Gore Verbinski’s American remake of the J-horror classic, The Ring.

When The Ring came out in 2002, American audiences were just being introduced to “J-horror,” Japan’s unique sub-genre of hauntingly creepy ghost story movies. The Ring made a star of Naomi Watts, who played a journalist who encounters a haunted video tape that houses a vengeful ghost girl named Samara, who kills anyone who dares watch the tape one week after viewing it.

The Ring had a not-so-subtle theme woven into its subtext about the disproportionate role media and television play in our society. That message was hammered home by a bone-chilling third act twist that sent theater audiences everywhere into frenzies of terror.

I happened to be at the Pittsburgh Waterfront Loews Theater at the time, and made the mistake of going to see The Ring by myself. The theater was a packed house, and my only neighbor happened to be a girl who was about my age. When it was ultimately revealed how Samara was slaughtering her victims, I’m not ashamed to say I was cringing – cringing right into my neighbor’s shoulder as she buried her face in my chest, adding her voice to the chorus of screams that filled the theater.

Say whatever you want about it, The Ring was a horror movie that made strangers embrace one another in fear and moviegoers everywhere scream at the top of their lungs. That’s pretty impressive.”

Robert Keyes – Editor

deep blue sea Screen Rants Best Shared Movie Moments

“Definitely not one of the best movies I’ve seen, but providing one of the best audience moments was Renny Harlin’s Deep Blue Sea.

With its tagline “Bigger. Smarter. Faster. Meaner.” referencing to movie’s villains, giant sharks, Deep Blue Sea was a slightly over-the-top sci-thriller that came out back in 1999. Its cast included Thomas Jane, Saffron Burros LL Cool J, Michael Rapapart, Stellan Skarsgård and who we thought was the star of the movie, Samuel L. Jackson.

We were wrong.

When the group of scientists working away on their isolated research facility, experimenting on shark brains to find a cure of Alzheimer’s disease, quickly became highly-desired food for the big nasty sharks, Samuel J. Jackon’s character gave a touching speech to inspire confidence in the survivors. Before he could finish his moment of leadership and wisdom, a monstrous shark jumped through the tank behind him and pulled him into the deep blue sea.

The packed audience I watched the film with immediatelely let out cries of shock and awe, combined with laughter and was one of the few times up until that moment that moviegoers were shown something completely unexpected in a movie starring such a high-calibre actor. The only reaction more extreme was the overacted responses of the characters on screen.”

Ben Kendrick – Editor

Star Trek 2009  Screen Rants Best Shared Movie Moments

“J.J. Abrams’ foray into the Star Trek franchise could have been an absolute disaster. Instead, Trekkies and non-Trekkies alike were treated to one of the most entertaining films of 2009.

While the film featured a number of crowd-pleasing moments, none of them compared to the climactic scene when Spock (Zachary Quinto) pilots Ambassador Spock’s vessel directly into a collision course with Nero’s ship, the Narada. Realizing that Spock intends to destroy the Narada by dispersing the red matter into the heart of the Romulan vessel, Nero (Eric Bana) unloads a barrage of missile fire toward Spock’s ship.

J.J. Abrams keeps the frame wide, so the audience can see the empty space around the two ships. Michael Giacchino’s score punctuates the seconds that pass as the massive assault of weapon-fire speeds towards Spock’s dwarfed vessel. The camera cuts to Nero’s excited face, ready to watch his nemesis destroyed before his own eyes – until another Romulan shouts, “Captain, I’ve picked up another ship!

The music soars, and the Enterprise drops out of warp, guns blazing, cutting down each and every one of the incoming missiles – clearing the way for Spock. It wasn’t the last thrilling moment of the film, but it was certainly the most exciting – and it definitely had my sold-out IMAX crowd bouncing in their seats.”

Continue to the rest of Screen Rant staff’s best shared movie moments…

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  1. vkatnyte, yeah I’ve said it before I think Speilberg directed the first 20 min of Star Trek 2009,,,
    That wasn’t JJ! For reals???? Come on??

    The rest of the film was a tween twrek misadventure.

  2. Nowhereman yeah I grew up in CM, that was my Tatooine,,,



  3. The first Iron Man movie, when he gets the Mark I armor’s arm stuck in the wall, and the terrorist tries to shoot him in the head, and the bullet bounces back.

  4. Two stood out a LOT before INCEPTION, which took the top:

    -When Legolas killed that last Oliphant in RETURN OF THE KING and slid down its trunk as it fell.

    -In IRON MAN 2, when Natalie/Natasha did… shoot, SOMETHING and Happy Hogan ended up on the ground and in a grip hold. The collective gasp and subsequent roar of laughter was simply awesome.

    An honorable mention goes to, heck, nearly EVERY moment in DRAG ME TO HELL.

  5. My most memorable shared movie moments:

    The ending to “Seven”: As the credits started rolling people got up and walked out… not a single word. Dead silence. Even in the parking lot only a few people said anything. It was a sureal experience.

    Stephen Kings “The Mist”: When the bible-thumping lady meets her demise the whole crowd erupted into applause.

    The first time I saw the trailer for “Snakes on a Plane” there was about 5 seconds of complete silence followed by half the audience bursting into laughter and the other half groaning. Suprisingly good movie.

  6. I gotta say, I visit this site every day since January when I discovered it, and I’ve never posted a comment but this article is by far my favorite one since I got obsessed with this site so I’m gonna pop my Screen Rant cherry to share my favorite moment.

    I have many great shared movie moments, but my favorite of all time was when I went to see Attack of the Clones on its midnight opening in Puerto Rico. I was 12 years old, my father is a Star Wars freak and i grew up watching the original trilogy constantly so I was familiar with everything Star Wars related. The entire theater was packed, people dressed as Jedi, Sith and carrying lightsabers where all around, I went with my green lightsaber in honor of Qui-Gon Jinn, my favorite character of Episode I.
    People were clapping and cheering during the entire film, but the one moment when everybody went absolutely NUTS was when Dooku challenged Yoda. Everybody went silent at first but when that magical scene where Yoda drops his stick and takes out his lightsaber happened the theater just exploded and started waving my little green lightsaber as the duel ensued.
    Just a perfect day at the movies…

    • lol, I remember cheers and laughter back when I saw Attack of the Cloes as well.

      I thought it was bad movie, but that was a fun moment for the audience!

    • Nando,

      Nice to hear from you. :)


  7. My best movie experience was during Watchmen. It was during the midnight showing and the audience was already pretty riled up from all the memorable scene’s from the movie and everyone is on their seats. But the real audience stopping moment was when Rorschach was in prison and he threw out that most fantastic line “Of course, you must protect Veidt’s new Utopia. One more body amongst foundations makes little difference. Well, what are you waiting for? Do it…DO IT!” And then he died, the gasps in the theater and the surprised “WHATS!” and the nodding from the parts in the audience who knew it was going to happen, but still didn’t want it to.

    • i had a similar experience while seeing watchmen involving rorschach, though it was a differnet scene, the prison cafteria scene “you guys fail to understand something, i’m not locked up in here with you, youre locked up in here with me” there were a few people, including myself that said that line as he spoke it, the crowd went completly ballistic, it was great.

  8. Two of my favorite shared movie moments ironically both happened a few years back at TIFF: the first was during Zack and Miri Make a Porno and the other was during Burn After Reading.

    If you’ve seen either of these movies, you should already know which scenes I’m talking about. Seeing Brad Pitt get shot point-blank in the face by George Clooney in Burn was shocking, hilarious and awesome. And there was something really funny about a red-carpet audience screaming in laughter when Jeff Anderson got a face-full of sh*t in Porno. Awesome.

    • Funny… when you said Burn After Reading, I thought it would be a scene involving the special chair Clooney’s character built :-)

  9. this is a great topic.
    i agree compleatly with the ring. that was a movie that you needed your fellow audiance mates to be with you or the fear would have been overwhelming. the three that i remember are
    the 6th sense. M. night shamalanananananananaa may be one more movie shy of being a total failure but his early films are amazing. when bruce willis and the audience figure out he is in fact dead at the end of that movie everyone was dumbfounded.
    12 monkeys had its fair share of moments however for me it was after the end credits roled a guy stood up at the back of the room and just yelled “what the F#@K” everyone just started laughing at once. it was golden and couldnt have been more fitting.
    Avatar in 3d for me is my all time movie moment. that very first scene of Sully eye ball and the water droplets i remember a wave of amazement swept over the audiance. everyone felt it at the same moment. “WOW”
    this topic is so great because to me this is what makes films so magical. a film can unite an entire room of people and force them to gasp, cry, shreek, yell, laugh, or cringe. the experince is shared and everyone in that room for that time feels it.

    • I feel the same way about Avatar. Unless you saw the movie in 3-D in theaters you can’t even imagine the wonder that encompassed the audiences around the world.

  10. My greatest audience moment(s) would have to be during Avatar. The scene where Kelutral (the giant tree) is shot down and burned you could just feel the intense emotion in the room. This happened not only once but all 8 times I went to see it, aside from the one teenage boy that laughed just to be a dick. (the kind of kid that goes ZOMG tits, it’s horribly annoying)

  11. If you look up at that header photo that’s me up in the top right in the blue football jersey matching sweatbands arms up in the air, screaming like a mental patient!!!

    I think that was taken back when Speed Racer came out. Lol,,,

    • What were you doing at a 3D screening, 790?!

  12. was that movie the nail in the coffin for the warchowskis, i think i butchered their name lol

  13. Star Wars is my favorite film series hands-down. I’ll never change my mind about the genius of Star Wars that I’ve loved since 5 years old. The prequels were the biggest hypes in my life. I grin when I think of seeing all the new characters in fast-food resturants and Wal-Marts. But I weep when I think of the evening of May 15th, 2005. I was 10 years old. My little brother and I had just finished watching the Cartoon Network microseries “Star Wars: Clone Wars” back-to-back. We, our dad and our next door neighbors (all huge Wars fans who thought we’d outranked eachother)were on the way to the midnight showing of ‘Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith’. We were at the thater by 8:00, which meant four hours of waiting. We were standing in the longest line we’d ever seen, participating in lightsaber fights and talking with fans we’d never even met about our expectations. My brother was in tears by 11:00 by the long wait. I was ready to explode. Then, the lights dimmed, the screen was black, then that familiar “dundun-dundun-duuuuuuudundun. . .” The audience (me especially) burst into cheers and tears. Then the screen read, “A long time ago, in a galxy far, far away. . .”, the title showed, more cheers and then two-and-a-half hours of silence till we broke the sound barrier at the end. That’s the fondest memory I have of Star Wars and movies to date. Everytime I watch that movie, I sit through the credits with nostalgia in my head, weeping for my past.

  14. Speed Racer was a great film! One of my favorites that year.

    Have you seen it Antman?

    • i indeed have 790…im just not a matthew fox fan at all lol, somethning aboutthat guy just screams out at me and gnaws at my jugular for some reason, over all i did like it though. just wish it was a bigger hit for the brothers.

  15. Its funny both Speed Racer and Knight & Day made around the same bank, but Speed Racer gets mocked while K&D is seen as a decent comeback for Cruise.

    Yeah I was looking forward to a sequel I heard that the Brothers had one ready to go. Owell life goes on. I’m not going to cry about it like some Star Wars fans I know. :-)

  16. whats the knight and day total US box office take so far? im not a fan of cruises either lol Top Gun was the only movie i could handle him in, and i was living in el centro at the time it was filmed, he came on the base i was staying at, m mom met him, and she was taller than he was it was funny lol. which ment i was also taller than him at the time. anyway, she said he was a wait vic allows no profanity LOL.

  17. Alright I don’t want to derail this thread anymore then I have… ;-)

    I’ll answer you Anthony on the open discussion thread.

  18. i think this is a good topic fds

    somin like this happend at the crazies(2010)at the scene near the start when the guy lights his own house on fire the whole audience jumped when she looks through the keyhole n hes starin back at her and then when the cops show up n he says he didnt notice the fire cause he was busy cuttin the grass every1 started laughin

  19. Ok I know its kindda obvious but we can not forget bout the ending of Saw,I know almost everyone have grown tired of the franhise but when jigsaw stood up in the first saw, everyone was in Awe, nobody expected it, and it was one of the best OMFG moments ever

    • i actually Saw that coming from the begining, but it was still a GREAT movie

  20. Good one Sebastian, I was waiting to see if anyone would bring up the SAW ending. The first SAW was pretty good and had a good cast.
    Unfortunately I didn’t see SAW in theaters and read about the ending before watching the dvd. Kinda ruined the moment but still a good one. ;-)

    • my old GF at the time was terrified of that movie, and when i told her that the body wasnt dead she shrugged it off lol, then punched me at the end of the movie hahah

  21. Anthony
    LMAO! Wow……anyways, i havent seen THAT many movies at the movies,i started going in 2007 and up because there were no movie theaters here at that time(with the exception of the harry potter films ive seen all in theaters but 1 and 2) and now that i work there pshhhh i try to see them all lol!

  22. Hey Ricky, I like your enthusiasm. If you can’t rise up and one day run the theater you work for I suggest you think about opening up the 2nd theater in your town,,, ;-)

    • yeah i second that, i’ll be your projectionist LOL

  23. I remember my older sister taking me to see Backdraft when it was released in 1991. While the amazing effects wowed the audience, it was that moment on the boat where it all comes together and we’re forced to accept the idea that the arsonist is actually Kurt Russell that completely hushed the theater. It was a great scene and he & William Baldwin played it to perfection and set the tone for an intense climax. Almost twenty years later, it still holds up.

    An excellent topic and thread, by the way.

  24. Many audience moments over the years but the one that stands out more than any is 500 people all shouting out the words “GHOSTBUSTERS” in complete unison.
    The familiar opening score when Superman Returns started is another, you could just sense the hairs in everyone’s neck rising.

  25. Old guy here the head falling out of the bottom of the sunken boat in JAWS.

  26. SPOILER* here for the new ateam movie when they try to fly the tank and hit tha old man on the water n his wife kinda sniggers at him the whole cinema burst in to laughter

  27. 790,Daniel F,and Anthony
    Thanks guys,u are the MAIN reason i comment here as much as i do:)

    • hahaha thank YOU ricky, its good to have a young guy here offering his insights.

  28. the final scene of “Carrie”. It was so good that I ran into someeone who had never seen the movie before. Big linebacker type dude. I told him that was the scariest movie that I had ever seen and I guaranteed that it would make him jump. He bet me $10. After the mom dies, I lean over to him and asked was he scared, and he said “no”. I found out later that he had been sitting on pins and needles for the entire movie. I said, “well, I guess I lost the bet”. He relaxed.
    When Carrie’s hand came out of the ground, he jumped out of his seat and threw his arms around me. When he saw that he done, he actually was pissed and said that i tricked him and wasnt’ going to pay.
    I said that’s OK, it was worth losing the money to tell that story, which is what I’ve been doing for over 20 years.

    • What a welcher. I would’ve told him a big bruiser like him welching on a bet like that, when it was clear that he was lying to save the money threatened something worth more than his ten lousy dollars, “his honor.”