Incredible Introductions: 12 Movies That Kick Off with Unforgettable Opening Scenes

A movie's hook can make or break its success because that determines whether viewers will keep watching or turn off the TV. A user on a popular online forum asked movie buffs to suggest the movies with the best opening scenes. People flooded the comments with their opinions.

1. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan Matt Damon
Image Credit: DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures.

Saving Private Ryan is a famous war movie about a captain and his team who sneak into enemy territory during World War II to locate the missing Private Ryan. The movie begins with soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy, showing viewers that this film will be harrowing and tear-jerking throughout.

2. Inglourius Basterds (2009)

Inglourius Basterds Daniel Brühl
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Also set in World War II, Inglourious Basterds is about a group of rebels who band together to brutally take down Nazis one by one. The story unfolds when an SS officer shows up at the home of a dairy farmer in the French countryside with a suspicion that the farmer is hiding Jews in his home.

3. The Dark Knight (2008)

The Dark Knight Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

Wealthy businessman Bruce Wayne has a secret: he also goes by the name of Batman, an undercover hero who busts crime in a sleek custom uniform. The Dark Knight begins with a suspenseful bank heist with twists and turns viewers never expected.

4. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

This classic Indiana Jones film follows the adventurous archeologist as he attempts to foil the Nazis' plot to steal a powerful relic. The film begins with a bang when Jones and his guide venture into a booby-trapped cave. “It sets the tone for the film. It has more than one twist and is just generally entertaining,” writes one fan.

5. The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Anthony Ray Parker
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

The Matrix takes place in a dystopian society where aliens harvest human energy for themselves, forcing them to live out there lives without knowing they're trapped in a simulated reality known as the Matrix. The Matrix begins shrouded in mystery when a woman with incredible fighting skills wards off a team of police on a mission to find The One.

6. Up (2009)

Up Edward Asner, Bob Peterson, Jordan Nagai
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

Up‘s opening scene has an entire Wikipedia page dedicated to it because it is so famous among fans of this Pixar film about a young boy and an older man who go on an adventure to discover a secret oasis. The movie begins with the backstory of the older man as he grew up with the love of his life by his side.

7. Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver Ansel Elgort
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

When an orphan works as a criminal mastermind's getaway driver, he never intends to stick to that career path for long. This action-packed film doesn't start slow when the driver drops three criminals off at a bank to commit a clever heist.

8. La La Land (2016)

La La Land Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

Two performers hoping to make a name for themselves in Los Angeles meet and fall in love in this romantic and heart-wrenching flick. The movie begins when a group of people stuck in traffic exit their cars and start singing a musical number.

9. Raising Arizona (1987)

Raising Arizona Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

When a former police officer and a retired thief fall in love and can't conceive a child together, they decide to abduct a child instead. The opening scene is a montage that captures the couple's unlikely romance as the thief gets arrested repeatedly, and between jail stints, he flirts with his soon-to-be lover.

10. The Way of the Gun (2000)

The Way of the Gun Ryan Phillippe
Image Credit: Artisan Entertainment.

The Way of the Gun is about two men who rely on a life of crime to keep things afloat and take their crimes up a notch when they abduct a pregnant woman and hold her for ransom. The film opens with a fight scene in the parking lot of a busy club that begins with verbal harassment and turns into a brutal fistfight.

11. Pacific Rim (2013)

Pacific Rim Charlie Hunnam
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures.

In a universe where intelligent creatures with a dastardly agenda emerged from the sea, humans must keep them at bay with the help of fighter robots called Jaegers. The opening sequence tells the harrowing backstory of the war against the terrifying monsters.

12. WALL-E (2008)

WALL-E Ben Burtt
Image Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.
In a futuristic universe, humans leave Earth for a new life in outer space after destroying the planet, leaving behind robots to clean up the waste in their wake. The film begins by giving us a terrifying image of the decimated Earth as a small robot works in isolation to stack trash cubes in a seemingly hopeless project.
What other films have opening scenes that reel you in within the first five minutes?
This thread inspired this post.
This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.