The 10 Most Captivating Opening Scenes in Movies

Great movies often begin with a captivating introduction that invites the audience into its world. Introductions can shed light on a back story or just plunge straight into the action. Sometimes they achieve both in tandem but most of all, they set the tone of the story to come! These opening scenes in movies are some of the most visually engaging we’ve ever seen.

10. There Will Be Blood

With barely any dialogue, the opening scene establishes the dangers of oil drilling and shows the audience everything they’ll need to know about the intensity of Daniel Plainview.

9. Watchmen

Set to “The Times They Are a-Changin’” by Bob Dylan, the beginning of Watchmen presents an alternate universe where superheroes are a reality and how their historical events differ from ours.

8. Saving Private Ryan

The opening of Saving Private Ryan is one of the most brutal depictions of the Normandy landings and provides a glimpse into the unthinkable bloodbath of war.

7. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

What better way to explain the world sundering nature of the One Ring than Galadriel’s pristine narration and an epic flashback battle for the freedom of Middle Earth?

6. The Godfather

The film begins with Don Corleone listening to a plea for justice and shows how the Godfather handles matters with morals and respect. Fun fact: The cat in Vito’s lap was a stray found in the Paramount lot and was not originally in the script.

5. Inglorious Bastards

Is the unnerving tension Christoph Waltz brings to this scene matched only by his brilliant charisma? That’s a bingo!

4. The Matrix

Beyond the fact that Trinity kicks major butt, the opening scene of The Matrix is shrouded in questions. Who are the men in sunglasses? How did they leap across buildings? How did Trinity get away?

3. Raiders of the Lost Ark

Harrison Ford, booby traps, and forbidden treasure do a memorable opener make! Note a young Alfred Molina who will go on to play Dr. Otto Octavius in Spider-Man 2.

2. Up

A story in itself, the opening scene of Up is a roller coaster of emotional feels. Honestly, who can blame Carl for being so grumpy after losing Ellie?

1. The Dark Knight

The opening bank robbery of The Dark Knight is pure genius. It perfectly captures the Joker’s aptitude for evil plots, disregard for expendable henchmen, and unsettling state of mind.