This article contains references to murder and substance misuse
The release of David Leitch’s Bullet Train in August 2022 was highly anticipated and, within the first three minutes, it cemented itself as a memorable flick in cinematic history. The fast-paced action thriller gripped fans from the beginning as it exploded onto screens with a shocking revelation of a child in a hospital bed before employing neon lights to introduce each character.
Bullet Train impressed fans quickly and encouraged fans to settle into what they knew was going to be an awesome action movie, sparking Redditors to create a comprehensive list of other first-class movie openings that secured their place in cinematic history.
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Based on the biographical book by Nicholas Pileggi, Goodfellas follows Henry Hill as he goes from a young and petty criminal to a sophisticated gangster alongside his friends Jimmy and Tommy.
Henry shocks fans in the first three minutes when he makes his criminal life seem like a casual choice he has wanted from an early age in the iconic line, “as far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster”. This single line alongside the freeze-frame and jazz music that accompanies it, tells its audience that they should prepare to hear blunt stories about blood and guts, encouraging one Redditor to list it as a “perfect movie”.
Baby Driver (2017)
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Baby Driver is a heist movie that got viewers’ hearts racing. Starring Ansel Elgort as a getaway driver, this fast-paced flick documents his final mission which seems an easy task until the gang of criminals run into trouble.
The film’s initial close-up of the Subaru’s tire, as well as, what the audience already knows from the movie’s description hints at the film’s affinity with speed, essentially warning its viewers to buckle up. The enigmatic relationship shared between Baby and his passengers alongside his ability to get lost in his music, manipulates how viewers see him before he showcases his talent, resulting in the movie being a success, with brentsopel5 labeling “the opening [as] the best part.”
Romeo + Juliet (1996)
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Baz Luhrmann’s take on William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet has been labeled one of the best as it places a modern twist on the classic tale of rivaling families through haunting music and stunning visuals.
Its opening hooked viewers like PooleyX, who claimed they watched the “entire opening sequence without blinking” as it was littered with jump cuts that essentially tell the plot before the movie even begins whilst sticking to the dramatic scenes of Shakespeare through its operatic sound. By setting it in a more modern era and tweaking it to more contemporary issues, Lurhmann managed to make the “play” relatable and easy to understand.
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Trainspotting tells the story of Renton as he navigates his way through a life of crime while also trying to overcome his issues with addiction. The movie is a harrowing story based on the 1993 novel by Irvine Welsh and employs black comedy to deal with a series of important topics.
Labeled a cult classic, the start of the film sends viewers and Renton into flight and fight mode as a low camera angle captures his trainers as they pick up pace in a busy town center, already sparking questions from viewers. Trainspotting‘s opening monologue signified what a poignant movie it was going to be, with one Redditor stating how it “suggested it was going to do much more than entertain,” setting viewers up for an awesome viewing experience.
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
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Inglourious Basterds displays Quentin Tarantino’s take on producing a war film. The movie replaces the popular fast-paced start by taking a slow-burn approach that settles its viewers into a story that reveals the reasoning behind the film’s promised action-packed plot.
The beginning of Inglourious Basterds is also dialogue heavy and offers a sophisticated yet suspenseful opening that hints at its complexities, resulting in Rhino12791 sharing that they “still get chills” even today.
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Tenet is a standalone movie that had the potential to be a huge franchise due to its intricate plot and complex storyline (which garnered a large following). This science fiction flick sees a CIA agent, known as the Protagonist, defy time as he embarks on a task that could result in the world being saved from destruction.
Tenet invites viewers to an Opera before quickly replacing the open space with a claustrophobic setting. The sound of a symphony is disrupted by a gunshot that marks the deliverance of one of the slickest action scenes in cinema, as recognized by one Redditor, who stated how “the instant action of tenet is so freaking good.”
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Zombieland is one film that has firmly engrained itself into fans’ heads, with its hilarious characters (proving that the horror genre can join forces with comedy to create a seriously funny apocalypse movie). The film imagines a world that has come under attack by zombies and accompanies a group of unlikely strangers as they attempt to survive.
Zombieland positions its audience in the center of the action through a handheld camera as it delivers the quickest jump scare ever seen. The use of direct speech already breaks the fourth wall and makes the viewer feel immersed as it delivers a hilarious checklist of how to survive between gory scenes, bridging the gap between comedy and horror, which yourstruly19 remembers seeing and thinking “they were gonna love this.”
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Sicario attracted a lot of attention in 2015 for not only having a female lead but having huge amounts of suspense that caused many fans to need a lie down after watching. The movie follows FBI agent Kate Macer as she goes on her most dangerous mission yet, leaving her with dark memories as she delves into a drug cartel.
Denis Villeneuve places viewers into a false sense of security by opening the movie in a barren housing estate in Arizona, but that is soon disrupted by the quiet footsteps of the FBI, employing a beating track in an attempt to mirror the audience’s heartbeat. Sicario is rammed with impressive action and ends its opening scene with the most disturbing revelation that andruby suggested “gets [its viewers] sucked in.”
The Dark Knight (2008)
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The Dark Knight is one of the best movies of all time, with many fans praising its opening scene that set the tone for the rest of its runtime. Inspired by the comics, the action-adventure film tells the battle between Gotham’s underworld and those that seek to save it, with the ongoing rift between the Joker and Batman being a central point.
The Dark Knight begins with a zoomed-in shot of a man holding a mask which already points to chaos, mirrored in the opening soundtrack of rapid and low beats. The fast-paced flick makes full use of stunts in the first couple of minutes through a series of impressive overhead shots and special effects before the final shocking reveal that saw fans like Eh-Eh-Ronn title its opening scene as “the gold standard.”
Pulp Fiction (1994)
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Pulp Fiction is considered one of Quentin Tarantino’s best pieces of work as it connects a group of unlikely strangers who all have some relation to the criminal world.
The ’90s flick slowly develops on screens before exploding into action as Quentin Tarantino manipulates his audience into believing they are watching an ordinary couple, with the camera even paying close attention to Honey Bunny’s manners towards their server. Her behavior is soon contrasted with a set of expletives as she aims a gun creating a conversation-worthy opening scene, leading to SkinnyPete4 stating that “no movie announces itself better than Pulp Fiction.“