10 Amazing Scenes That Almost Saved These Movies

Nobody intentionally sets out to make a bad movie, but it invariably does happen from time to time. Whether it’s a poor script, sloppy direction, or hammy performances, if all a film’s elements aren’t working together in unison, something can get derailed and things turn out for the worst.
But even the most terrible movies were made by professional directors, some of whom even have a gem or two on their resumé. This means that even if the final product is awful, there can still be a moment or two of greatness that makes us wonder why the entire movie couldn’t be of similar quality. We know films are subjective, but here are 10 Amazing Scenes in Terrible Movies.
Superman Returns (2006)
Leaving the X-Men franchise to bring Superman back to the big screen, director Bryan Singer was looking to craft a love letter to the Richard Donner films he grew up watching. Though the film has a lot of promise and received positive reviews from some critics, it was not exactly a shining moment for the character. Fans took issue with the lack of action and depiction of Superman, which made the movie come off as a dull exercise that struggled to hold our attention. But for one set piece, that wasn’t a problem.
Attack of the Clones (2002)
The problems of the Star Wars prequels have been well-documented by now, but even they have their merits. George Lucas showed he still had what it took to create a compelling character moment in Attack of the Clones, when Anakin Skywalker travels back to Tatooine so he can rescue his mother Shmi. Speeding to the Tusken Raider camp where she is being held captive, Anakin watches in horror as his mom dies in his arms – setting off a chain reaction that would lead the young Jedi to Darth Vader.
The scene in question was dark and haunting, a gut-punch that spoke to our basic fears that made Anakin sympathetic. It also had serious implications for Anakin’s motivations later on in the trilogy. The scene firmly established that the premonitions he has of his loved ones suffering could come true, setting up his arc and eventual turn in Revenge of the Sith. Even more impressive was Hayden Christensen’s performance, as he conveyed so much emotion and inner-turmoil in the brief sequence. His career may have come to a screeching halt after these movies, but he showed he had the capabilities of pulling off strong, mostly dialogue-free moments.
X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)
The film that’s accused of derailing one of the most important modern superhero movie franchises, The Last Stand doesn’t offer much to recommend to moviegoers. However, its first moments rank among the finest in the whole series. As his wings start to grow back, a child Angel frantically locks himself in the bathroom so he can cut his wings off. Terrified of what might happen to him if his family finds out the truth, Angels worst fears are realized when his father discovers him and says, “Oh God. Not you.”
Die Another Day (2002)
With its extravagant special effects and ridiculous (even for Bond) gadgets like an invisible car, Die Another Day brought Pierce Brosnan’s tenure as 007 and the franchise itself to an end. The film was so poorly-received that EON Productions decided a hard reboot led by Daniel Craig was the best way to revive it, but Die Another Day still contributed one of the standout moments in the series’ 50+ year history. No matter how you feel about the movie, it’s hard to argue against the fencing sequence.
Pitting Bond against Graves in a high-stakes sword fight, the scene is remarkable on many levels. Of particular note is that the battle was done practically, meaning it gave Die Another Day a grittiness the rest of the movie largely lacked. It was fun to watch the actors duel against each other, as they tired and got bloodied up as it went on. The scene felt real and gave the proceedings a true sense of danger. Well-choreographed and serving up the right amount of tension, the fencing bit gave Brosnan’s final mission something we’d all remember fondly.
The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
When compared to its groundbreaking predecessor, the first Matrix sequel wasn’t quite as revolutionary. Deemed too heady and philosophical for its own right, it sent the blossoming franchise down a dark road that only got worse when Revolutions opened a few months later. The substance of the followups may have been underwhelming for some, but the Wachowskis proved they were still masters of action. No matter which way you look at it, the freeway chase is one of those special movie moments that demanded to be seen on the largest of screens.