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Rotten Tomatoes Users Vote 'The Joker' the Most Memorable Movie Moment of the Last 21 Years

The Dark Knight takes home the crown, with Infinity War, Sixth Sense, Up, and Moonlight following.

by | August 19, 2019 | Comments

All this year, to mark the countdown to our 21st birthday on August 18, we’ve been dropping video interviews that go behind the scenes of 21 of the most memorable movie moments of the past 21 years. We spoke to George Miller about Furiosa’s big moment in Fury Road, and Patty Jenkins about Wonder Woman’s walk into No Man’s Land; Sam Raimi explained how Tobey Maguire almost drowned kissing Kirsten Dunst, upside-down, in the rain, and Haley Joel Osment shared how his “I see dead people” moment was meant to be a big old gore fest.

After we released our final video in early August, we asked RT fans to have their say and name the single most memorable movie moment of the past 21 years. Almost 25,000 people voted and the winner – by a serious margin – was “The Joker” from The Dark Knight

The specific moment we focused on was the moment we first saw Heath Ledger as the Joker, not in the actual film, but in the pre-release marketing: it was a game-changing image release that turned the tide in fan sentiment about Ledger’s casting and gave us our first indication of how incredible, and incredibly dark, Ledger’s take on the character would be. In our video, makeup artist John Caglione Jr. and Susan Bonds, CEO of 42 Entertainment, break down how the Joker’s look was created and how they first shared it with the world.

In a sense though, Ledger’s entire performance was a “moment” – one that changed the course of what people thought possible in superhero films and one that remains the benchmark against which all movie villains are compared to this day. It was bigger than a single scene, or a single line, or a look, or a bit of action – which is why we titled the moment simply, “The Joker.” And it seems fans agreed, if the results of our poll are anything to go by.

Other movie moments made a serious impact over the years, too: Thanos’s universe-halving Snap was the second-highest vote getter, followed by “I see dead people” from The Sixth Sense, the opening sequence of Up, and the moment the Avengers assemble during the Battle of New York in 2012’s Avengers.

The full list of the 21 Most Memorable Movie Moments from the last 21 years is below, ranked by public vote. You can watch every video in the compilation above, or check out the individual videos and extended interviews with actors and filmmakers.

  1. The Joker from The Dark Knight
  2. The Snap from Avengers: Infinity War
  3. “I see dead people” from The Sixth Sense
  4. Carl and Ellie in the opening of Up
  5. Avengers assemble in New York from Marvel’s The Avengers
  6. The government lobby scene from The Matrix
  7. Gollum talks to Smeagol from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  8. “No Man’s Land” from Wonder Woman 
  9. The upside-down kiss from Spider-Man
  10. Juan teaches Chiron to swim from Moonlight
  11. “Santa, here? I know him!” from Elf
  12. Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort duel from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
  13. “Remember me?!” from Mad Max: Fury Road
  14. The chest-waxing scene from The 40-Year-Old Virgin
  15. The bridesmaids get food poisoning from Bridesmaids
  16. London is deserted from 28 Days Later… 
  17. A kiss in the rain from The Notebook
  18. Satine’s entrance from Moulin Rouge!
  19. Crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge from Selma
  20. Heather’s confessional from The Blair Witch Project
  21. “Cars don’t fly!” from Furious 7

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