The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2009

Published 5 years ago by

screen rant top 10 movie moments 2009 The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2009

Every site you go to these days has a list of their top 10 best movies of the year. But how many time can you look at slight variations of the same lists you only semi-agree with?

Besides, ranking entire movies is a big job. After much debate on the subject, we here at Screen Rant have decided that, in the end, a year in movies is perhaps best defined by specific movie moments that are now and forever burned into our collective memory.

So, without further ado, here are our picks for those 2009 movie moments which audiences collectively remember as being unforgettably awesome, hilarious, moving, inspiring or are otherwise just plain enjoyable…

(By the way, there will be some spoilers in the items below since all the movies in this list have been out for a while.)


10. The Kidnapping Scene in Taken

taken kidnapping scene The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2009

Taken is a movie that had many standout moments. But the one scene that gets the whole thrill ride started is probably the best. Ex special forces guy Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) finally gets a phone call from his daughter Kim (Maggie Grace), who is off running around Europe, only to learn that his daughter is moments away from being abducted by some violent criminals.

The situation is certainly every parent’s worst nightmare, but Bryan Mills handles it like a seasoned pro: He calmly instructs his daughter on what to do, knowing full well that she’s going to be taken, and when the kidnappers find her cellphone, Bryan, with unwavering calm, promises them that if they do this, he’s going to find them and kill them (which, of course, he does). In that single moment the world experienced a great revelation: Liam Neeson is a bonafide action movie badass. Move over Jason Bourne.


9. Walt Kowalski’s Last Stand in Gran Torino

ClintEastwoodGranTorino The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2009

Young folks know Clint Eastwood as the accomplished director of acclaimed films like Mystic River, Million Dollar Baby, and Invictus. However, us middle-to-older folks still remember a time when Clint Eastwood was one of America’s most iconic movie badasses. Gran Torino was the first time we’d seen “Tough Eastwood” onscreen in awhile, but when the movie finally reached its violent climax, we had no doubt who would be left standing when all the guns finished blazing – or so we thought.

Walt Kowalski was as brave and heroic as any other iconic Eastwood character, but where a younger Eastwood would’ve solved his problems with violence, the older, wiser, Eastwood gave us another option to consider: Noble self-sacrifice. Walt’s last stand against a gang of neighborhood thugs was deep, harrowing, and certainly thought-provoking.


8. The Closing Credits Photo Montage of The Hangover

the hangover ending photos The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2009

For the whole runtime of The Hangover, I didn’t think it could get funnier than watching those three guys (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) wake up in a drunken stupor, only to be confronted by surreal absurdities – including a live baby and a live tiger – littered about their suite. But then, just as the end credits rolled, something funnier indeed came along.

If you made an immediate run for the lobby bathroom, you missed it all; the photograph montage of what actually went down while the boys were blacked out was both outrageous and raunchy as hell. Director Todd Phillips could have left it all to your imagination and the brief explanations we got in the film – but thank god he didn’t. Hilarious stuff.


7. The Car Bomb Scene in The Hurt Locker

the hurt locker car bomb 570x296 The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2009

There were so many scenes in The Hurt Locker that we debated, including what is arguably the best sniper battle ever filmed. However, since I’m writing this, I’m going to highlight the car bomb scene. I first saw this scene screened for a NY Comic Con panel back in February, and it left my nails chewed down to the cuticles.

The scene takes place on the day that SSgt. William James (Jeremy Renner) goes out on his first mission with his new partners in the Explosive Ordinance Device unit. The mission is to disarm a car rigged with so many bombs that SSgt. James doesn’t even bother wearing protective armor – it’s pretty much a do or die situation. The bomb site is totally exposed, the bomb itself is expertly made and death could strike at any moment. With a sharp eye for photography, editing, sound and silence, director Kathryn Bigelow makes us sweat every precious tick of the clock.


6. Rorschach Delivers a Hot Grease Facial in Watchmen

watchmen rorschach prison The Top 10 Movie Moments of 2009

The crowd is still divided about stylistic choices of the overall film, but one Watchmen moment that definitely transposed perfectly from comic book page to film screen was the prison scene in which one unlucky convict tries to step up to Rorschach (Jackie Earle Haley). Not only does Rorschach beat the guy with a lunch tray, he also tosses a vat of sizzling grease in the guy’s face!

After that came the all-time classic Rorschach line, “You all got it wrong: I’m not trapped in here with you – you’re trapped in here with me!” I’ve never seen an audience go from being horrified to applauding quite that fast.

Continue reading for the 5 best movie moments of 2009…

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  1. @Vic

    Yeah, that’s just something I have to live with… sucks so bad, though. Anyway, great list. And I’ll still be watching ZOMBIELAND. Certainly reading you guys. Will be more careful reading the comment section, though.

  2. Im still hideously annoyed that UP was released 6 months earlier in the states than in the UK! And why? Thought that kind of nonsense had stopped these days.

  3. I agree with DrSam (what, who said that?). I blogged about this a few months back (shameless plug not included) and it is truly annoying and somewhat stupid that in this day and age of information travelling around the world much much faster than it did even 15 years ago, movies sometimes take months to come out.

    And Disney literally has no excuse, their foreign distributor is owned by them whereas some other smaller studios (and sometimes even big ones) will go to other studios to handle foreign distribution and thus things won’t always line up (big film of last year The Dark Knight came out a week later here than in the US).

    With Up it was really annoying. 6 Months should have been avoidable and yet they still delayed it, for what reason I don’t know, but man was I irritated.

  4. I’m not trying to bash or destroy other people’s opinions, but, I watched some of “UP” during the holidays over at relatives, and the film looked like a video game. I’m amazed how many adults are into this kind of film…

  5. my Top 10 Movies of 2009

    post a comment, and let us know what YOU think.

  6. I only missed the Hurt Locker from this list – and can’t find anything to disagree with (other than quibble with the order). Excellent list.

  7. @790

    Well, I can’t speak for everyone else, but for me, I feel my achievements and my current status qualifies me as a responsible adult, so I don’t need to “prove my adult-ness” by not shaving to show I have facial hair, watching only rated R movies, playing only rated Mature games, and whatever else that someone with a lower self esteem might feel like they NEED to do in order to feel more grown up. I love movies with rated R level violence, but I love a funny entertaining animated movie with loveable characters as well. I like exploding someone’s head in a shooter with a .50 M107 sniper rifle, but I also love running around as Mario collecting coins and stomping on my enemies.

    But anyway, like I said, can’t speak for why other people like animated movies, but that’s why I can watch a “childish” movie and not feel self-conscious about my age or maturity level.

  8. I didnt love UP to be honest, it was a nice little movie but it wasnt up to the standard I have come to expect from Pixar.
    Think of Monsters Inc, Toy Story, The Incridibles, Cars. I enjoyed Up but it never made me laugh.

  9. @ Ken J

    “I like exploding someone’s head in a shooter with a .50 M107 sniper rifle”

    WOW!! That goes a long way to prove your adult-ness!!LOL

    You’re whole statement was one big oxymoron!!LOL!! But what do I know I am just an adult..I like most of the CGI “kids” movies and am not a fan of “adult” games with exploding heads..

  10. I think you picked some great moments – well done.

    Of course everyone has moments that won’t be on this list, but I’m so thrilled that you picked Gran Torino. That was one of my favorite films of the decade, and it was lovely to see Eastwood be a bad-ass…who does a self-sacrifice.

    I think Steve Carell’s waxing in 40 Year Old Virgin might be one… ;-)

    I for one was weeping at the beginning of Up, and agree that montage was beautiful. Nice to know it wasn’t just me. lol

  11. I did not care for Gran Torino at all, I’d much rather he had just been Dirty Harry retired, I find all of Eastwoods directing to be very stale.

    As an actor I used to like him.

  12. @ greenknight333

    I think you misinterpreted what Ken J was meaning in his comment. All that was mentioned as “adult” activities in Ken J’s comments are not actually adult activities but rather a statement of what most of the USA population would see as what an adult would find entertaining. He was trying to say that it shouldnt matter what you enjoy as entertainment, its what ideas, thoughts, opinions, maturity, and life you lead outside of those activities. You see what i’m sayin’?

  13. Um, yah greenknight, I was intentionally including both extremes of the spectrum in every entertainment medium I made an example of… But I’m sure you’re just joking since any adult would have better reading comprehension skills than that…

    I almost forgot how funny you were, anyone else notice the satirical humor he provided by pretending to try to “insult” what I said by calling it an “oxymoron” when I obviously INTENTIONALLY tried to mention opposites?? Man, that was freakin genius dude. You make Monty Python proud. :-P

  14. I agree with most of these! But for my .02, The “D” In EOD, from The Hurt Locker, stands for Disposal, not device.

  15. @Mr ken j says, “I feel my achievements and my current status qualifies me as a responsible adult,”
    Yeah well I totally disagree,I know people that are super rich and there just as retarded as Local Nebraska hillbilly trash.
    Ken your perception of adulthood experience based on your ability to own a house and keep a job is hilarious, and only confirms your a joke,,,

    Try living past 43 if you can! Lol. :-)

    @LAW, I’m sure there’s some other bloggers you can glom onto if you try!

  16. @790,

    I think you need help. I never once said anything about Ken J being superior or greenknight being inferior in my comment, nor did I insult any individuals here. All I was trying to accomplish was to point out the misinterpretation that greenknight had made. At least now I understand that you would be the incorrect choice for somebody to seek for advice on maturity.

    790 says: “Yeah well I totally disagree,I know people that are super rich and there just as retarded as Local Nebraska hillbilly trash.”
    – Way to go for the complete display of your immature mind with that observation. Nice spelling by the way :)
    And again you lack maturity Bbecause only an immature boy would feel that status and achievements pertain to money or wealth and nothing else.
    How about putting others before ones self? Is that not a spiritual achievement worthy of mature status??? Hmmmm……
    790, we can still be friends….just dont attack people you dont know. Thanks pumpkin.
    OH! And I really dont want to squable so any come-back comment will be ignored. Only children fight over such trivial things.

  17. @LAW, GK333 and I both have a long history dealing with KenJ. Your new here and obviously didn’t know that. Sorry for hostile attitude in my comment. Every now and then Ken provokes me and its usually after I’ve had a few beers. I’m usually more reserved. Lol.
    Also just general fyi to everyone, I don’t care if I misspell any words. I try my best but this isn’t a resume or a test. My spell check is so 2008! It thinks obama means obey. Its weird but I didn’t see any reason to correct that one. 8-)
    I rest my case,,,

  18. @790

    Sounds good to me. Nice to meet you!

  19. LOL, the person lecturing someone on being an adult is blaming his outbursts on beer. WOW, the irony astounds me. Reality is definitely more interesting than fiction because I couldn’t have thought that one up myself… :-D

    It’s funny you try so hard though, but sorry to break it to you, but there’s absolutely no way you can ever insult me no matter how hard you try, but you can keep trying, it’s all pretty entertaining, I’m sure not just for me. lol

    And are you seriously telling me that you’re past 43 and you still haven’t learned proper grammar? I mean, come on…

  20. WOW. I guess there has been something between the two of you. Im surprised I’ve never seen it in the whole year I have been visiting the site. I have only recently started to read the comments so that could explain it.

    Well I’ll make sure not to get between the 2 of you.

    @Ken J. Its nice to meet you dude!

  21. @Law

    Hey man. I actually don’t even know what’s up. I just post my opinions here, and 790 would randomly say something he thinks is witty or smart or insulting, or something, but it always ends up being none of those… BUT look on the bright side, most of the time it provides me and some others a chuckle, so it’s not all lost…

    But don’t even worry about it, if I don’t sweat it, you shouldn’t either, just post your opinions here and don’t think about what person A or person B will think or if whomever will be insulted, etc. etc. Just express your opinions freely, that’s the cool thing about this site. :-)

    If someone as a problem with you, don’t even worry about it unless you actually value their opinion, which shouldn’t be anyone on the internet that you’ve never met…

    And what took you so long to start commenting man?? You were a “lurker” for a whole year?? Commenting is fun, especially here. Not so much in the other movie sites… There are a lot of cool people here, basically all of the writers for the site are cool, most of the “regulars” are cool, just watch out for DrSamBeckett and John “Kahless” Taylor, those two are trouble makers… :-P (joking of course…)

  22. @Law

    Oh, but don’t take what I’m saying as anything negative about 790 or anyone else here, he’s actually a really cool dude, but he just doesn’t like me for some reason, lol. And sorry for laughing, but sometimes it’s funny, no insult intended… If there’s one thing you’ll find out about me is that I like to exercise my sense of humor a lot, lol. To some people’s dismay unfortunately, lol.

  23. @DrSamBeckett

    You know, I just now noticed what you said about Gran Torino… You and I… we are not cool anymore… *evil eye* lol.

    I loved Gran Torino, I watched it again with some friends and I think I laughed harder the second time around! :-P

  24. As you can see Law Ken likes to deflect negative comments and then spin them into a reverse psychological rant that usually results into a downward spiral of hate and destitute… All the while he gets off on the whole thing.
    I think its some kind of bizarre Eastern blogger insult defence mechanism, but yes he’s truly a piece of work.

    Hey Kenny, how’s my grammar tonight?
    Law these comments and horrible sentence structure, should provoke a spiteful comeback from the KenJ, but perhaps it will read into my plan (bad grammar and all) and not respond?


  25. Why are you trying so hard to win the heart and mind of Law?? LOL, this is pretty funny… :-D

  26. @ken J

    sorry about the Gran Torino comment, I just didn’t like it much at all.

    Eastwood has done better work in my opinion.

    And are you warning new talkbackers about me? Ha!

  27. @ LAW

    it’s great commenting on here, it can get heated sometimes, but unlike other sites it never gets Nast or personal.

  28. Hahaha. Yeah this place seems to be a lot of fun. And far as I can tell, most of the people here are cool dudes just like Kenj said. This is gonna be fun.

    On the subject of Gran Torino; I’ve never seen the movie. I own it on dvd and still haven’t seen. I have just never been interested in anything recent of Mr. Eastwood’s.

  29. @Law

    I haven’t really liked Eastwood’s recent movies either, but surprisingly I really liked Gran Torino, it’s mainly his character, how he’s like this old fart but he’s like the ultimate bad ass in the movie, lol.

    Anyway, watch it and let us know what you think. :-)


    LOL, I’m just goofing with you man, as much as I liked Gran Torino, you have every right to dislike it. It’s not like you said something bad about Terminator 2, then I’ll have to hunt you down… ;-)