Top 20 Most Rewatched Scenes in Thriller Movies

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Top 20 Most Rewatched Scenes in Thriller Movies

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
These are the scenes that never fail to thrill us! For this list, we'll be going over the scenes from thriller movies fans return to multiple times. Our countdown includes "Joker", "Taken", "Drive", “The Silence of the Lambs”, "Taxi Driver", and more!
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Top 20 Most Rewatched Scenes in Thriller Movies


These scenes always thrill us! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 20 most rewatched scenes in thriller movies.

For this list, we’ll be going over the scenes from thriller movies fans return to multiple times. Since thrillers are a pretty broad genre, expect to see everything from action-thrillers to crime-thrillers. Also, there will be spoilers ahead!

#20: Live With Murray

“Joker” (2019)
Yes, it’s a thriller! Although the story of Arthur Fleck’s tragic journey to becoming the Joker has plenty of scenes audiences return to, from his memetic dance on the stairs to his final triumph during the clown riot, Arthur’s appearance on late night TV takes the cake. Invited onto Murray Franklin’s show, Arthur dresses in his clown makeup, which has become a charged symbol in the wake of his murders on the subway, which he also admits to. He goes on to rail against society’s treatment of him due to his mental illness before eventually shooting and killing Murray on live TV. Brutal, tense, and unforgettable, this scene epitomizes everything the movie is about.

#19: Hallway Fight

“Oldboy” (2003)
A dark and violent Korean psychological thriller, “Oldboy” follows a man, Oh Dae-su, who is imprisoned for 15 years for reasons he doesn’t understand. Driven to discover his captor’s identity and get revenge, Dae-su investigates his former prison, but is attacked by thugs as he departs in a long hallway. Facing them with only a hammer, Dae-su manages to fight them all off, as well as a group in a nearby elevator. Shot almost completely in a single tracking shot from the side, this famous hallway fight has inspired many similar action scenes, but there’s no surpassing its haunting music or gritty and realistic choreography.

#18: Had It

“Snakes on a Plane” (2006)
A movie that lives up the absurd premise of its title, “Snakes on a Plane” sees FBI agent Neville Flynn forced to protect a witness aboard a plane en route to Los Angeles. Easy, yes? Not if the plane has been loaded with deadly snakes meant to kill the witness (and everyone else on board). The movie is gloriously over-the-top from its snake attacks to the music video during its credits. However, the crowning moment that everyone returns to is when Flynn expresses his dissatisfaction with the serpentine situation using actor Samuel L. Jackson’s typical choice in profanity.

#17: Courtroom Scene

“Law Abiding Citizen” (2009)
When his wife and daughter’s murderer is given a light sentence, Clyde Shelton finds the killer after his release and brutally executes him. In court, Shelton represents himself and manages to successfully convince the judge that he should be granted bail. He then turns around and blasts the judge for doing so, calling out both her and the courts at large for allowing an accused killer back on the street based on supposed precedents. The scene strikes a chord with anyone frustrated with the U.S. legal system and Butler’s confrontational performance is mesmerizing every time.

#16: Particular Set of Skills

“Taken” (2009)
Bryan Mills may seem like the typical overprotective dad when his daughter wants to go to Paris for a trip, but as a former CIA operative he can be a bit suspicious. He’s proven right too, when a group of armed men abduct first his daughter’s friend and then her. Bryan is on the phone with her when it happens and is forced to ask her to describe her attackers as best she can. The moment that keeps viewers coming back, though, occurs when Bryan tells one of her abductors that because of his “particular set of skills,” he’ll be coming for them – and he’ll kill them. [insert threat here] So badass! The guy on the phone may wish Bryan luck – but he doesn’t need luck. “I told you I would find you.”

#15: Cool Girl

“Gone Girl” (2014)
Amy Dunne is the missing wife of Nick Dunne, a guy whose callous attitude and infidelity makes him look guilty as heck of her murder. However, we eventually see that Amy has a pattern of manipulative behavior and is still alive, having framed Nick for her murder to get back at him for cheating on her. Although her psychological issues and crimes certainly don’t make her a relatable villain, her monologue delivered over her steps to frame Nick is irresistible. Her attempts to change for him strikes a chord with many women who have jumped through similarly unfair hoops to please their partner.

#14: Opening Robbery

“Drive” (2011)
“Drive” follows an unnamed stunt driver turned getaway driver, whose involvement with his neighbor leads him to his most dangerous job yet. However, before all that comes the opening sequence of the film, which shows the Driver executing a job. The Driver may be fast, but he also drives smart. He listens in to both the police and a local basketball game, which he cleverly uses to evade their notice; eventually slipping into the crowd when the game concludes. Moody and exhilarating throughout, this getaway drive is one of the all-time greats.

#13: Dam Dive

“The Fugitive” (1993)
Dr. Richard Kimble is wrongfully convicted of his wife’s murder. A prison breakout attempt by his fellow inmates on his transport bus allows Kimble to escape and pursue his wife’s killer. However, Kimble is being hunted himself by federal marshals, led by the determined Samuel Gerard. When Gerard pursues Kimble down a storm drain, the good doctor proclaims his innocence repeatedly, although Gerard doesn’t care either way, since that’s not his job. Kimble then escapes by leaping off of a massive dam. It’s a fantastic scene in a thrilling movie that’s been imitated and referenced quite often, though the original is still one that fans return to repeatedly.

#12: Coffee Shop Talk

“Heat” (1995)
As much as many of us revisit the shootout scene in this crime thriller, there’s a much more low key scene that gets even more love. The main drive of the film is the game of cat and mouse between thief Neil McCauley and police Lieutenant Vincent Hanna. Amidst Vincent’s attempts to catch Neil, the former invites the latter to a coffee shop for a chat. The pair has a cordial, if loaded conversation about their respective professions and personal lives, discovering that both are driven to do what they do because they’re too good at it to do anything else. The scene is brilliantly written and is delivered by two of the titans of acting, both at the top of their game.

#11: To Live as a Monster

“Shutter Island” (2010)
Marshal Teddy Daniels arrives on the eponymous island to investigate a missing patient in a mental hospital. He also intends to get answers about Andrew Laeddis, who has similarly gone missing and who killed Teddy’s wife. However, it’s eventually revealed that Teddy is Andrew, and that the whole investigation has been a ruse to help him regain his memory and overcome his delusions. In the final scene, Andrew treats his “partner,” actually one of his doctors, as if he still believes he’s Tedd, leading to them ordering a lobotomy on him. However, his question to his friend suggests that he is sane and can’t live with what he’s done. The slightly ambiguous nature of the scene, and Leonardo DiCaprio’s subtle performance make it very rewatchable.

#10: Tyler’s Identity

“Fight Club” (1999)
The unnamed protagonist of “Fight Club” is just drifting through life, barely able to sleep due to insomnia – that is, until he meets Tyler Durden. The charismatic man changes the way the protagonist sees life, while also forming the titular organization of underground fight clubs. However, the protagonist begins to notice odd behavior among their followers, and not just their increasingly terroristic activities – they seem to think he’s Tyler. He eventually puts together that Tyler is another personality that emerges during the rare times he sleeps. The scene of his discovery calls back on all the hints foreshadowed earlier in the film, which lends to its rewatchability.

#9: Interrogation

“Basic Instinct” (1992)
You all know why this is here, but we’ll explain anyway. Catherine Tramell is a novelist under investigation for the murder of a retired rock star she was dating, due to the crime’s similarity to a killing in one of her books. Her interrogation scene is famous or infamous for a number of reasons. Catherine’s unconcerned, sexualized posture and attitude are pretty unforgettable, but the fact that she blatantly exposes herself while crossing and uncrossing her legs has led many to revisit the scene.

#8: The Verbal Reveal

“The Usual Suspects” (1995)
And like that: [blowing sound] it’s here! Somehow this moment keeps cropping up on our lists, and it’s no wonder – it’s just that popular and memorable. “The Usual Suspects” is told primarily through the recounting of Verbal Kint, a crippled criminal whose immunity deal includes disclosing the events surrounding his deceased gang’s work for a mastermind named Keyser Soze. Yet, in the final scene, the lead detective notices that details of Verbal’s story were taken from words in his office, and a sketch comes in revealing that Verbal is actually Keyser Soze. Everything comes together to send the movie out on an unforgettable note that we always enjoy reliving.

#7: Hannibal Escapes

“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)
For as much as this seminal thriller focuses on trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling’s pursuit of serial killer Buffalo Bill, the biggest draw is easily her pseudo mentor and cannibal psychiatrist, Hannibal Lecter. While their first interaction together is also frequently revisited, we’d argue that Hannibal’s escape from custody brings fans back more often. In the scene, Hannibal conceals a small nail in his hand and uses it to pick his handcuffs when the guards enter his cell to bring him dinner (second dinner, actually). His brutal assault of the two men, including biting one of their faces, is sharply contrasted by the soothing classical music playing in the background. The whole scene really captures the appeal of character – cultured exterior masking a savage within.

#6: A Bigger Boat

“Jaws” (1975)
The shark that stalks around Amity Island is an elusive creature, first appearing as a fin in the water, with only glimpses of it to go on for the hunters that set out in pursuit of it. When the beast finally does show itself, it’s a moment to remember! Brody lays down chum and is startled by the appearance of the massive man-eating fish, prompting a comment on the necessity of acquiring a larger vessel. Strangely, for how famous and revisited the scene is, people still get Brody’s iconic quote wrong…

#5: Lucky

“Dirty Harry” (1971)
The quintessential anti hero cop, “Dirty” Harry Callahan is a homicide detective who plays by his own rules…at least, when the law gets in the way of what he thinks is right. One of Harry's most famous moments is also one of his most rewatched. While on his lunch break, a bank is robbed down the street from the restaurant he’s eating at. Harry proceeds to gun down the fleeing robbers, causing quite a bit of mayhem, before confronting the remaining criminal, who is reaching for his shotgun. Harry delivers his famous line about forgetting how many bullets remain in his powerful handgun, before inquiring if the punk feels lucky. Although Harry repeats this quote several times, the impact of the first time remains.

#4: Coin Toss

“No Country for Old Men” (2007)
A bleak crime thriller, “No Country for Old Men” chronicles the relentless pursuit of hitman Anton Chigurh after a stolen case of money. The remorseless killer murders plenty of people during the film, but the most nerve wracking and rewatchable scene occurs when Chigurh chats with an elderly gas station attendant. The poor man’s attempts at small talk are rebuffed and mocked by Chigurh, and even his transparent attempt to close the store is picked apart. Eventually, Chigurh asks him to call a coin toss, which he uses several times to decide whether to kill someone or not. The tension and Javier Bardem’s magnetic and terrifying performance keep us coming back to this scene. Friend-o.

#3: Plane Chase

“North by Northwest” (1959)
Alfred Hitchcock has directed some of the finest thriller scenes ever. While we considered the bell tower scene in “Vertigo,” this won out. Pursued by mysterious spies, Roger Thornhill is determined to find out why they’re interested in the man they believe he is. To that end, he travels to a bus stop in the middle of nowhere, a spot where Kaplan was supposedly meant to meet someone. However, instead of a spy, he is instead pursued by a nearby crop duster plane which nearly mows him down in an iconic action set piece. While its influence can be felt in other similar man vs. aerial vehicle scenes, the original is still a masterpiece that people watch time and again.

#2: What’s in the Box?

“SE7EN” (1995)
This thriller follows two detectives, Somerset and Mills, on the trail of a mysterious serial killer who themes his kills around the 7 deadly sins. The murderer, only known as John Doe, is one step ahead, even after he turns himself in. Directing the detectives out to a remote location, Doe has Somerset open a box delivered to the same place. Somerset opens it and is horrified, warning Mills to drop his weapon. Doe reveals to Mills that he killed the detective’s pregnant wife and mailed her head there, hoping to goad Mills into killing him to complete all 7 sins with wrath, which Mills does. Tense, tragic, and altogether shocking, this is a scene that’s been studied for years – just like Doe wanted.

#1: Talkin’ to Me

“Taxi Driver” (1976)
One of director Martin Scorsese’s most celebrated movies, “Taxi Driver” is the story of Travis Bickle, a disenfranchised taxi driver who gradually becomes more unhinged as the film goes on. Paranoid and disgusted at the crime he sees during his job, Travis buys several guns, ostensibly for protection. After obtaining them though, he practices drawing them in front of the mirror, attempting to appear tough in a hypothetical encounter. DeNiro’s swaggering performance and his iconic line, “You talkin’ to me?” have been frequently referenced throughout pop culture, to the point where even if you haven’t seen this scene, you’ve seen this scene. And the people who have seen it, have seen it more than once!
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