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The Best Big Screen Moments Of 2023

Over the past 12 months, audiences were treated to some of the best movies in recent memory, career-defining breakout performances, and unforgettable big-screen moments we won’t soon forget.

As part of our partnership with AMC Theatres, where you can purchase tickets to movies like Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom and Wonka, we’re going to look back on the year that was and break down the best big-screen moments of 2023. Here are a baker’s dozen of impressive scenes that we can’t help but celebrate. 

This list contains spoilers from the 2023 movies featured, so read on with caution!

Rocket pressing play on his Zume to start "The Dog Days Are Over" in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Disney/Marvel)</span>

The Dog Days Are Over (Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 3)

James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 could have very well been the most emotional superhero movie of the year with its multiple scenes of heartbreak, joy, and everything in between. Rocket (Bradley Cooper) listening to Radiohead’s “Creep” in the opening minutes, the various flashbacks, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) dealing with his issues, and the “one last ride” feel of the movie were all superb.

The most cathartic of those moments was the final dance scene set to Florence + The Machine’s “The Dog Days Are Over,” which felt like a celebration of friendship, family, life, and a franchise we’ve followed for the past decade.

Margot Robbie in Barbie

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Warner Bros.)</span>

Barbie Becomes Human (Barbie)

Heading into Greta Gerwig’s Barbie, we had a feeling this was going to be something special, but what we got was not only that, it was also mesmerizing and something iconic, especially during the ending. 

In the final moments, after meeting her creator, Ruth Handler (Rhea Perlman), Barbie (Margot Robbie) becomes human and is immediately flooded with raw emotion. The combination of Billie Eilish’s “What Was I Made For?’ and scenes of mothers, daughters, good times, bad times, and everything in between, created an unforgettable and incredibly emotional moment.

Spider-Heroes in therapists office in Across The Spider-Verse

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Sony Animation)</span>

Escaping The Spider-Society (Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse)

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was one of the most exhilarating and refreshing comic book movies in quite some time and gave us one terrific moment after another. The action sequence that stands above the rest is the one where Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) has to fight his way through the Spider-Society headquarters and escape back to his universe. The visuals, the intense action, the drama, and all of those random versions of Spider-Man, including Spider-Rex, all work together to create a moment that feels like a massive splash page in the middle of a comic book. 

Cillian Murphy as Oppeheimer looking at atomic bomb explosion

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Universal)</span>

The Trinity Test (Oppenheimer)

The Trinity Test explosion in Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer is one of those moments you just had to see on the biggest screen possible in 2023. Massive in scope and scale, this achievement in filmmaking and storytelling was the stuff of wonder and something we’ll surely be talking about for years to come.

The lead-up to the explosion, the blinding flash of light, and the anticipation for the thundering shockwave to push through the vast landscape worked in concert to create something real, powerful, and raw.

Keanu Reeves in John Wick: Chapter 4

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Lionsgate)</span>

The Stairs Sequence (John Wick: Chapter 4)

John Wick: Chapter 4 was one hell of a thrill ride and featured one bonkers action sequence after another. When you thought Keanu Reeves’ titular assassin surviving the Osaka Continental raid couldn’t be topped, there was the rave scene, which was followed by the Arc de Triomphe spectacle. But that wasn’t all…

The Sacré Coeur Stairs fight, which is essentially two long fights with a brief reprieve in the middle, was one of those set pieces that had us on the edge of our seats, especially within the context of the story. Brutal, quick-paced, grueling, and at times, hilarious, this had it all.

Flerkittens in The Marvels

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Marvel Studios)</span>

‘Memory’ (The Marvels)

We saw a lot of silly and awesome moments in comic book movies in 2023, and one of the best was the “Memory” sequence in The Marvels. Set to Barba Streisand’s famous song from the Cats musical, this incredible scene depicts a litter of Flerkittens devouring anyone and everyone in their way aboard the S.A.B.E.R. spaceship, and is something to be seen. It’s one of those Marvel moments that’s so silly and off-the-wall you just can’t help but appreciate it, even long after the scene passes and we go back to the rest of the movie.

Godzilla Minus One.

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Toho)</span>

Godzilla Attacks Ginza (Godzilla Minus One)

Godzilla Minus One was one of the best movies of the year, partially due to the kaiju film’s various large-scale and destructive action sequences, including the attack on Tokyo’s Ginza district. The way the classic Godzilla theme comes in just as the gigantic sea monster begins destroying roads, buildings, and subway cars creates a heightened sense of urgency and desperate tone.

Tom Cruise looking off cliff on a motorcycle in Mission: Impossible 7 trailer

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Paramount)</span>

The Motorcycle Jump (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One)

Going into Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, we knew that at some point Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) would drive a motorcycle off a cliff and then parachute onto a runaway train. And while the sequence was hyped up even before the first trailer dropped, watching it in IMAX was like seeing it for the first time.

Sure, it has been fun revisiting this moment at home, but nothing will ever compare to the deafening silence and pure spectacle of this instant classic moment.

Joaquin Phoenix in Napoleon

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Apple TV+)</span>

The Ice Battle (Napoleon)

When Ridley Scott directs a historical drama, you know you’re going to get at least one or two great action sequences, and his 2023 biopic, Napoleon, did just that and then some. The best is the highly publicized “Ice Battle,” a.k.a. the Battle of Austerlitz, where Napoleon (Joaquin Phoenix) sets a trap for the Austrian and Russian armies over a frozen lake.

Watching the cannon balls break up the ice and open up massive holes that suck in the emperor’s enemies is epic, to say the very least.

Jenna Ortega in Scream VI

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)</span>

Bodega Attack (Scream VI)

Scream VI gave audiences one of the most thrilling horror experiences of the year as well as another great addition to the iconic slasher franchise. And while the movie was a fun watch with twists and turns, the instantly iconic bodega attack sequence was one of the most exciting moments in the entire series. It’s chaotic, frightening, brutal, and intense. The crashing and thrashing of Ghostface trying to kill Sam (Melissa Barrera), Tara (Jenna Ortega), and everyone else in his way is the stuff of nightmares. 

Harrison Ford and Phoebe Waller-Bridge in Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Disney)</span>

Indy Goes Back In Time (Indiana Jones And The Dial Of Destiny)

The first four movies in the franchise featured wild third acts, and it was no different for Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny when Harrison Ford’s experienced archeologist/adventurer travels back in time to 212 BC to witness the Siege of Syracuse. It was wild and bonkers, but it was very much on-brand. Indy meeting Archimedes and contemplating staying behind before being taken back to 1969 was quite an experience.

Bowser (Jack Black) playing the piano and singing the "Peaches" song in The Super Mario Bros. Movie

<span class="credit">(Image credit: Universal Pictures)</span>

Bowser’s Peaches Song (The Super Mario Bros. Movie)

The Super Mario Bros. Movie was one of the biggest films of the year, but all everyone wants to talk about is the “Peaches” power ballad by Jack Black’s Bowser, and for good reason. This song slaps. Like, it’s an undeniable hit that even topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart after the movie’s release.  The scene, which is both amazing and absurd, adds so much dimension to Mario’s Peach-obsessed nemesis while also looking awesome. Who doesn’t like a random music number in a video game adaptation? 

Taylor Swift in the Eras concert film

<span class="credit">(Image credit: AMC Theatres/Taylor Swift)</span>

Intro To The Reputation Era (Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour Film)

In 2023, Taylor Swift was named the Time Person of the Year, was at the center of one of the biggest celebrity dating stories in a long time, broke all kinds of records with her Eras stadium tour, and released a concert film based on said tour. It was T. Swift’s year and we were just living in it.

Luckily we did because we got to experience the phenomenal “Reputation” intro during Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour concert film before the uber-successful musician performed a powerful rendition of “…Ready for It?” The animated snake wrapping itself around the stage at the start was the perfect way to shift the mood and kick off the Reputation era segment of the show. Add that to the screaming Swifties, Swift’s performance, and her Rep-themed costume, and it was all something to behold.

It was a great year to take in these unforgettable big-screen moments in 2023. Though the year is almost over, it’s not too late to buy tickets at AMC Theatres for the remaining movies coming out in December. And don’t forget to check out AMC Scene for the latest on those releases and some of the most anticipated 2024 movies. 

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