The 12 Best Opening Scenes in Movie History

The opening scenes of a movie set the tone for the rest of the film. Some of the best opening sequences contain the crucial elements that hook viewers from the very beginning.

Here are twelve films that we believe have some of the greatest opening scenes.

1. Baby Driver (2017)

Baby Driver (2017)
Image Credit: TriStar Pictures.

Baby Driver starts with a bang, literally! The exhilarating opening car chase, set to the beat of the song “Bellbottoms,” immediately establishes the film’s unique and adrenaline-fueled style. Edgar Wright’s seamless synchronization of action and music makes this scene one of the best car chases ever seen. 

2. Blade (1998)

Blade (1998)
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

Blade starts with an intense and eerie sequence, immersing the audience in vampires and dark secrets. As a couple attends a secret rave party, the tension builds, and the viewers sense something is wrong. The moment the music begins and the sprinklers reveal the chilling reality of the situation, one knows they are in for an action-packed vampire hunt.

3. Back to the Future (1985)

Back to the Future (1985)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

With its masterful opening scene, this film wastes no time capturing the viewer’s imagination. From the moment the clocks start ticking, Rube Goldberg’s machines come to life, and Doc Brown’s eccentricities are on full display, the audience knows they are in for a wild ride. The stolen plutonium and the concept of time travel are introduced with a perfect blend of humor and excitement. 

4. Casino Royale (2006)

Photo Credit: United Artists Corporation and Columbia Pictures

Daniel Craig’s debut as James Bond in the film sets the tone for a new era of 2007 films with a gripping and intense opening scene. Shot in gritty black and white, the sequence seamlessly transitions from a tense chat to a heart-pounding fight scene. 

5. The Sound of Music (1965)

The Sound of Music (1965)
Image Credit: 20th Century-Fox.

The beautiful aerial photography, accompanied by ambient sounds, takes one on a breathtaking journey over clouds, snowy mountains, and the picturesque Austrian countryside. The soaring melody of the song further enhances the experience. 

6. Gladiator (2000)

Gladiator (2000)
Image Credit: DreamWorks Pictures.

“What we do in life echoes in eternity.” Gladiator begins its epic tale of vengeance and honor with these profound words. The film’s opening scene, set on a battlefield, immediately establishes the story’s grand scale and emotional depth. 

7. Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park (1993)
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

This film wastes no time giving viewers a glimpse of the wonders and dangers of the prehistoric world it created. The opening scene, with its tragic incident involving a poor worker and a dinosaur, sets the stage for the chaos that will unfold later. As the fail-safes prove inadequate, foreshadowing the calamity, the audience is filled with both awe and dread for the adventure ahead. 

8. The Lion King (1994)

The Lion King (1994)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

The breathtaking sunrise over the African savannah, combined with the iconic chant of “NAAAAA,” announces the arrival of The Lion King in the most majestic way possible. This opening scene encapsulates the film’s themes of destiny, responsibility, and the circle of life, and it remains etched in the memories of viewers of all ages.

9. Supertroopers (2001)

Supertroopers (2001)
Image Credit: Searchlight Pictures.

In a hilariously quirky manner, Supertroopers introduces one to the shenanigans of a group of misfit state troopers. This playful and absurd opening sets the tone for the offbeat comedy that follows, promising a wild ride.

10. WALL-E (2008)

WALL-E (2008)
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

WALL-E captivates its audience with a stunning opening sequence without dialogue for the first twenty minutes. Instead, it uses alluring visuals and a musical number to convey the loneliness of the last remaining robot. 

11. Lord of War (2005)

Lord of War (2005)
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

The opening of this film immediately establishes the gritty and morally complex world in which the movie unfolds. It begins with a trail of a bullet’s journey, leading the viewers to a crate full of bullets in Africa. As the crate is opened, the stage is set for the kind of movie it will be.

However, when one thinks they have an idea, the film takes a shocking turn when an unarmed child is tragically shot with one of those bullets. 

12. Goodfellas (1990)

Goodfellas (1990)
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

“All I ever wanted to do was be a gangster.” With these iconic words, Goodfellas immediately draws one into organized crime and the mob lifestyle. The opening line, delivered by the film’s protagonist, Henry Hill, sets the stage for a thrilling and captivating journey into the dark underbelly of the mafia. 

Read More From Us – 17 Movies With Zero Expectations That Blew Us Away

The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


Never judge a book by its cover. You can say the same about movies.

Some of our favorite films are the ones we went into with no expectations. Despite this, they blew us away from start to finish.

17 Movies With Zero Expectations That Blew Us Away

Read More From Us – Classic 80s Movies Better Than Anything Released Today

Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

The 80s was an incredible time for film. From award-winning cinema to hilarious comedies and everything in between, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

Thankfully, many of these 80s movies still hold up today. I regularly find myself watching these beloved 80s movies more often than modern cinema.

Classic 80s Movies Better Than Anything Released Today

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