20 People Discuss Opening Movie Scenes That Sold the Entire Film for Them


Depending on what kind of movie watcher you are, the opening scene can really draw you in or totally make you uninterested.

From a technical filmmaking standpoint, the opening shot of Robert Altman’s The Player is pretty amazing. It’s one shot and has been hailed by critics ever since the movie came out in 1992.

Another great opening shot that is now regarded as a classic is from 1958’s Touch of Evil, directed by Orson Welles.

Here it is if you want to take a look.

Pretty great stuff.

Let’s see what opening scenes AskReddit users said sold the movie for them.

1. One of my favorites!

“Halloween, the original 1978 version.

The entire sequence is a five-minute uncut POV shot. And then they rip the mask off, and we see that this mysterious killer in the shadows is an eight-year-old boy…”

2. That’s a great one.

“Raiders of the Lost Ark.

All the parts from opening to the point where Indie runs and meets the escape airplane.”

3. A classic.

“The Godfather.

I think the scene where Bonasera asks Don Corleone for justice sets up our perspective about the Don pretty well.

In that scene we instantly learn everything that Don Vito Corleone stood for.”

4. Great movie.

“Children of Men.

Especially if you’ve never read the book, holy cow, that was powerful.”

5. The battle.

“Gladiator (2000).

That battle was incredible – great diaologue, excellent music, human moments.”

6. Do you like scary movies?

“Scream has an incredible opening scene.

Absolutely iconic.

I think people forget how shocking, scary, and honestly, heartbreaking that opening scene is. Scary Movie and other parodies (not to mention the sequels) kind of turned the movie into a joke but the original holds up.”

7. Setting the scene.

“The Departed.

Powerful footage and commentary did such a great job of kicking it off, while giving a glimpse into what propelled Matt Damon’s character into his entry into the criminal family. Then the line “When I was your age they would say we can become cops, or criminals. Today, what I’m saying to you is this: when you’re facing a loaded gun, what’s the difference?”

Felt that was perfectly within the spirit of the entire movie, and sets the stage for what I consider to be one of the best films ever made.”

8. Amazing movie.


You never see the shark in the first attack. Just the knowledge that there’s something under the water.


9. That was solid.

“Terminator 2.

Starting with scenes of bustling every day life. Rush hour traffic, kids playing, etc. Then white flash to the same burnt out playground in a post-apocalyptic wasteland.

Sarah’s somber voiceover explaining how it happened. We see a brutal battle between man and machine. Tanks and terminators crushing human bones under metal treads and feet.

We briefly meet the steely face of the human resistance and savior of mankind right before segueing into the opening credits, finishing with an endo skull grinning through the flames.

Fuck yeah… tell me that doesn’t get you pumped right there even just reading it.”

10. One of the best.


“As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be a gangster.””

11. Terrifyingly real.

“Saving Private Ryan.

I saw that right after visiting Omaha Beach. We stayed at a small bed and breakfast quite close to the beach owned by a 80 year old French woman who told us stories about how it went down.

Amazing experience. She said the worst was the smell. It smelled of dead bodies years and years afterwards.”

12. From Francis Ford Coppola.

“Apocalypse Now has the best beginning.

The Doors’ “The End” is used so effectively it’s chilling.”

13. A brilliant actor.

“Django Unchained.

The way Christoph Waltz introduces Dr. Schultz gives me chills. He is so charismatic, and intelligent, yet deadly.

All time favorite movie, and was very surprised at how well Jamie Foxx did as well.”

14. A lot of fun.

“The first scene of Baby Driver.

I can’t believe that movie didn’t win the Oscar for sound editing. The driving scenes paired with the music were so perfect.”

15. Not f*cking around.

“The Matrix opening with Trinity was filmed with the entire original budget to convince the studio that they weren’t fucking around.”

16. An intense film.

“Many really good suggestions here, but i can’t see Drive mentioned.

After an action packed chase scene you get a cool one-shot of Gosling driving home, with the excellent ‘Night Call’ playing.

The first 10 minutes alone is a good enough reason to watch the movie!”

17. I love this one.

“Definitely The Shining.

You get the dramatic music with the lonely car driving into the mountains of nowhere. Really is an iconic beginning to a movie and definitely set the tone that where ever that car is going it’s not going be a vacation to Disneyland.”

18. Yes!

“Boogie Nights.

It’s a beautifully executed long tracking shot, and it introduces pretty much every major character in the film, finally culminating on a slo-mo zoom in on Dirk Diggler (or Eddie as he’s known at this point).

I just knew I was going to love it based on the genius of that opening shot.”

19. A modern classic, in my opinion.

“Zodiac directed by David Fincher.

No matter how much (or how little) you know about the truth behind the film the opening scene does an incredible job of capturing your attention with such a jarring, gruesome, and methodical pace.

I literally still get a chill down my spine everytime they pull into the parking lot. Not to mention the fact that it completely changed my perception of one of my favorite songs.

All around an excellent opening by Fincher.”

20. Kubrick was a genius.

“2001: A Space Odyssey.

I was born way after the film debuted but the opening is stunning even to a person who’s used to advance special effects.”

Now we want to hear from you!

What are some of your favorite opening scenes in movies?

Talk to us in the comments!