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Another Top 10 City Destruction Scenes

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Elliot Baker Quick, duck and cover! Join down our picks for another Top 10 City Destruction Scenes in Movies. If you've seen our first list then you'll know the drill – for this list, we're looking at the massive destruction that befalls the grandest cities of the world and reduces them to mere ash. Special Thank to Our Users Brogan Rees, Andru_11B and David Passafiume for suggesting this idea on our Suggestion Tool at www.WatchMojo.comSuggest

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Another Top 10 City Destruction Scenes

Quick, duck and cover! Welcome to and today we're counting down our picks for another top 10 city destruction scenes in movies.

If you’ve seen our first list then you’ll know the drill – for this list, we’re looking at the massive destruction that befalls the grandest cities of the world and reduces them to mere ash. We’re also throwing fictional cities into the mix. If there’s an entry you think should be on here, be sure to check out our original list of the Top 10 City Destruction Scenes in Movies. Also, be warned because there will probably be some spoilers ahead.

#10: New York
“Watchmen” (2009)

This is a blow that had been building since the start of the movie, as Doctor Manhattan was unknowingly helping to build a doomsday weapon to level the landmark city. Using a special device designed to frame Doctor Manhattan - the closest thing to a living god in the Watchmen World - Ozymandias sets off a blue blast that completely bombards New York City. The build-up to this epic disaster is felt across the movie’s entire run time as Cold War fears start to affect the audience, and all for the sake of creating world peace. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease...

#9: Los Angeles
“Battle: Los Angeles” (2011)

From climactic disasters to opening scenes, it’s clear that city destruction can happen at any time. In the opening minutes of this 2011 hit, the United States army is caught in the midst of an epic war with an unknown alien species and no earthly means of getting the win. What we see is a chaotic opening image that sets up the tone and travesty that comes with the movie and certainly sticks in your mind.

#8: Rome
“The Core” (2003)

Everyone loves to watch a good old city being destroyed (at least on the big screen), but we love an older historical landmark being taken out even more. With the Earth falling in on itself, the planet experiences a series of monstrous events that take one or two famous landmarks with them, most notably the Colosseum. Standing since the year 80AD, it took the world thousands of years before it unleashed a series of terrifying lightning bolts to finish it off for good. We guess the Earth as depicted in “The Core” wasn’t a fan of gladiator movies.

#7: Tokyo
“Godzilla 1985” (1985)

Forgot about this movie, didn’t you? The history of cinema has no shortage of cities being destroyed by Godzilla, as the gigantic monster even has an explosive go at San Francisco in the 2014 reboot. In this re-edited American adaptation of the Japanese sequel to the original 1954 classic, the Japanese creature makes his force known across Tokyo once again in a tirade of epic grandeur. Titanic in his approach and the end result, Godzilla proves why he’s the king of monsters with every building he takes down, and this is all accompanied by a fantastic display of organic special effects.

#6: Laketown
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014)

Seems like Godzilla isn’t the only giant monster that seems to make a habit of destroying cities - and this Middle-earth gem is no exception. Setting his sights on the community of Esgaroth, also known as Laketown, Smaug unleashes wave after wave of fire to rain down on his helpless victims. The sweet and humble town is now set completely ablaze with more passes from the vicious dragon, engulfing the screen with an orange glow. Though we’re captivated by fear, we love this scene simply for how easy the deadly Smaug makes it look to burn cities.

#5: Cairo
“Team America: World Police” (2004)

A terrifying dragon is one thing; a terrible rescue force is another. Following a heated chase with plenty of laughs, cursing and explosions, Team America sends the terrorist attackers rocketing straight into the neck of Egypt’s most prominent landmark. The scene is hilarious as it has the triumphant majesty of the world famous rescue force completely overlap the obvious tragedy for the Egyptian people. It’s one of many disasters caused by the infamous Team America, but we’re thinking even the Sphinx itself would consider it mind blowing.

#4: Los Angeles
“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991)

One of the most emotional cases of destruction on this list comes from a blockbusting action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger - never thought you’d hear that, didja? In the most frightening dream of her life, Sarah Connor imagines how the world might come to be on Judgment Day and her tragic powerlessness to stop it from happening. In the blink of an eye, the bombs go off and Los Angeles is engulfed by towering flames and radiation from nuclear blasts. It’s a short scene but one piece of destruction that certainly made a lasting impression.

#3: New York
“Armageddon” (1998)

With a title like that, you would have to expect that at least a few cities would be destroyed on the big screen. Not satisfied with just destroying Paris, in this sci-fi disaster thriller Michael Bay takes to America, bringing the fires of heaven down on New York City – literally. Having a meteor storm strike down serves as a great taster for the devastation to come from the action-packed blockbuster. Executed at the perfect time, this early scene shows the potential fate of the world if the heroes don’t win and brings a new level of drama to the epic movie.

#2: Los Angeles & San Francisco
“San Andreas” (2015)

Sweeping across your screens now is the earthquake disaster movie that we simply cannot deny a spot on our list. What we’re shown is a tirade of impact surrounding the Californian cities as they’re engulfed by terrifying tsunamis and cataclysmic earthquakes. Caused by the shifting of the San Andreas Fault, the devastation shown gives new meaning to the term earth shattering. With Dwayne Johnson in the eye of the storm, it’s fair to say this particular rock probably felt like he was crumbling too.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

The World
“War of the Worlds” (1953; 2005)

“V for Vendetta” (2006)

Gotham City
“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)

“Superman Returns” (2006)

“Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol” (2011)

#1: London
“G.I. Joe: Retaliation” (2013)

By now you’ve probably got the taste of what makes an epic city destruction scene. In “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” the film piles on many layers of desolation and drama to create this shocking scene. By casually ordering sci-fi superweapon strike on the English capital, Cobra sends the entire city into smoking disarray within seconds, taking out numerous landmarks in the process. Of course, the scene wouldn't be complete without a ultra-supervillainy one liner from Cobra Commander himself.

Do you agree with our list? What movie city destruction scene is your favorite? For more terrifying top tens published everyday, be sure to subscribe to

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