The Most Underrated Movie Scenes That Deserve Much More Recognition

These 11 movie scenes deserve far more recognition.

By Rick Gonzales | Published

So many things go into making a movie memorable. It can be wonderfully rich characters, colorful locations, or even amazing scenes. Even films that might not be as memorable as others can have their positive moments. Some of these moments come in the form of underrated movie scenes. Scenes that, at the time, were effective but pushed to the back burner for one reason or another.

We have found some of these movie scenes that deserve much more recognition. They come from some amazing films filled with wonderful moments, which is why these underrated movie scenes should be talked about in higher regard.

11. The Royal Tenenbaums – Funeral

Wes Anderson has a very unique way of telling his stories. Most are off-kilter visually which plays well with his sense of dialogue. His original script for The Royal Tenenbaums got him nominated for an Academy Award. As with most of his films, particular scenes stand out.

One scene, in particular, deserves more credit than has been given. This occurs as the Tenenbaums are driving the “funeral procession” through the streets of New York City. Anderson showcases his wonderful eye for the city and the eccentricity of his characters.

10. Atonement – Library

The scene, which Keira Knightley has called “the best sex scene I’ve done onscreen,” deserves more recognition. Not for the sex, but for the emotion and longing that was put into the performance of the scene.

Knightley gave full credit to director Joe Wright, who she says choreographed the scene “within an inch of his life.” The final result is proof positive that the “Library Sex Scene” should be in the conversation as one deserving of more recognition.

9. Silver Linings Playbook – Final Dance

Silver Linings Playbook stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as two people with mental disorders who meet, eventually helping each other through their collective struggles. One of the more underrated scenes that deserve more recognition is their “Final Dance” scene.

In it, Cooper and Lawrence perform in a dance competition that is heartfelt and shows how they are ready to work in tandem to put their troubles behind them. It is a great uplifting moment.

8. Before Sunrise – Balcony

Before Sunrise is a wonderfully romantic film starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy that is the first film in Richard Linklater’s Before trilogy. The film follows Jesse (Hawke) and Celine (Delpy) who meet on a Eurail train and decide to get off in Vienna for the night to spend time together.

One scene that deserves more recognition is when the two engage in a captivating and very intimate conversation in the “Balcony” scene. Here, they explore life, love, and connections.

7. Mulholland Drive – Diner

Mulholland Drive is without a doubt a David Lynch film in every way, shape, and form. He both wrote and directed the stylistic mystery that follows an aspiring actress, Betty (Naomi Watts) who befriends an amnesic woman (Laura Harring). One of the key set pieces in the film is Winkie’s Diner and it is one “Diner Scene” in particular that deserves more recognition. This comes between Dan (Patrick Fischier) and Herb (Michael Cooke) as Dan is relaying a nightmare he had. It is a brilliant piece of acting, mainly by Fischier, though Cooke’s expressions as the scene plays out are just as key to the moment.

6. Enter the Dragon – Mirrors

Enter the Dragon is the most of all Bruce Lee’s films, one that showcased his tremendous physique and martial arts style. While the fight scenes are what makes the film special, it is the lead-up to the final fight that should get more recognition.

In the “Mirror Scene,” Lee’s character, Lee, is chasing down Han, the crime lord with an artificial left hand. When Lee finally finds him, it is in a hall of mirrors that is immediately confusing, but brilliantly shot. The visuals are stunning as Lee once again is able to showcase his martial arts prowess.

5. Blade Runner – Tears in the Rain

Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner could be considered a movie before its time. It was the stamp that Rutger Hauer put on the film that deserves even more praise than what it has received.

Hauer plays replicant Roy Batty who, after being chased down by Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard, delivers the brilliant “Tears in Rain” monologue. Critics have called it “the most moving death soliloquy in cinematic history,” but after seeing it, you might agree – it deserves more.

4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Confession

We all know Jim Carrey to be a comedian of epic proportions. So, when he chooses to do a dramatic film, it can throw fans for a loop. Believe it or not, he actually is a very fine actor and he proved as much in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

One scene in particular, one that deserves more recognition, is the “Paperwork Confession” scene. Here, Carrey’s Joel Barrish is having his memories erased after his breakup with his girlfriend. But as these memories are being removed, he is trying desperately to hold onto the precious ones. It is an emotional and poignant scene.

3. The Crying Game – The Reveal

When The Crying Game’s “reveal scene” was first unveiled, it was a true shock to all who experienced the film. Yes, it was talked about for quite some time. Still, it feels like it is one of the more underrated scenes in cinematic history, especially given the time the film came out (1992).

If you haven’t seen the film, we won’t ruin it, but needless to say, the scene deserves more recognition for the build-up to it as well as the performance throughout it. Shocking and thought-provoking, it is a scene that surely challenged expectations as it explored themes of identity and acceptance.

2. Pulp Fiction – Foot Massage

Quentin Tarantino found a very unorthodox way of telling his 1994 gem of a film, Pulp Fiction. The narrative Tarantino puts together is presented out of order with three interrelated stories all combing as one. With so many standout scenes in the film, you wouldn’t think a specific scene would need any more recognition than the film has already received.

One scene, the “Foot Massage” conversation, is carried out between Vincent Vega (John Travolta) and Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) and is seemingly innocuous. But it truly shows the relationship between two hitmen who live a very violent life but are living in the moment. Tarantino’s signature dialogue is on display as is the amazing chemistry between the actors.

1. Jaws- Quint’s Monologue

Steven Spielberg’s thrilling masterpiece, Jaws, is filled with memorable scenes. From the very first shark attack to the last where Quint becomes the final menu item for the terrifying great white shark.

One scene, though, needs to be talked about more, much more. It happens right after Quint and Hooper finish comparing their battle scars and we are hit with “Quint’s monologue”.

Robert Shaw plays Quint and is masterfully chilling as he recounts his experience after the USS Indianapolis gets sunk by Japanese torpedoes. The sinking was hell enough to deal with, but for him, staying afloat for three days while sharks picked off soldiers one by one was a different kind of hell altogether. It is by far the most dramatically powerful scene in the film and one that deserves much more attention.