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

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

spider-man RT History deadpool rotten Starz sequel Holidays Acorn TV Video Games DC Universe TBS international concert Musicals cinemax new york space facebook james bond cancelled TV series psycho spy thriller DC Comics BBC Musical lord of the rings japanese CMT hidden camera biopic DirecTV Warner Bros. Comics on TV Broadway child's play Pirates Tubi best crime indiana jones mockumentary E3 casting 93rd Oscars ABC Ovation The CW Trivia Awards spanish language Exclusive Video APB Netflix Christmas movies reboot Logo tv talk IFC Films GIFs canceled TV shows 4/20 TCA Awards ViacomCBS Superheroes Fall TV crime thriller Cartoon Network aliens spanish sequels what to watch Box Office Election 24 frames Music Biopics zombies period drama Comedy Central all-time kaiju TNT comics french nfl critics superhero First Look Turner Classic Movies television serial killer BBC America Lionsgate Anna Paquin social media classics Tarantino biography Lifetime Christmas movies New York Comic Con rt labs critics edition cops Nickelodeon fresh The Witch miniseries 2016 Mary Tyler Moore Image Comics halloween tv PBS 1990s Freeform X-Men SDCC Action First Reviews slashers Holiday adaptation Star Trek historical drama Calendar MTV streaming WGN Red Carpet disaster Countdown toronto dceu Baby Yoda TCM 2017 Fox News based on movie sitcom ITV Turner archives Disney Plus Certified Fresh The Walking Dead Creative Arts Emmys 2019 Marvel Television 99% Winners Tumblr 21st Century Fox Fantasy Disney Channel hispanic twilight Legendary HBO Go toy story doctor who rom-coms rotten movies we love Amazon Studios independent PlayStation video saw obituary docuseries The Academy 90s festivals stop motion Valentine's Day feel good Bravo The Walt Disney Company Elton John 73rd Emmy Awards binge Comedy TV renewals Summer versus olympics Crunchyroll Amazon Prime Video Nat Geo elevated horror Song of Ice and Fire BAFTA Vudu docudrama cats comic universal monsters Awards Tour teaser TV south america ID Hallmark Podcast game of thrones Country GoT LGBTQ mutant game show Western Shudder Sci-Fi reviews Stephen King sports franchise 2015 Paramount Network cancelled AMC Cosplay Star Wars comic books children's TV green book adenture criterion gangster Super Bowl political drama king arthur Chernobyl golden globe awards VOD Trailer latino FXX romance boxoffice 007 Masterpiece TLC mission: impossible IFC quibi robots batman Shondaland Peacock FOX Heroines australia technology BET Awards remakes Spectrum Originals Marvel war Travel Channel Best and Worst TV movies Polls and Games Pixar marvel comics Wes Anderson TCA Winter 2020 royal family TruTV documentary Apple worst movies Pop legend National Geographic sag awards MSNBC YouTube Character Guide animated Emmy Nominations HBO Max American Society of Cinematographers Pop TV blaxploitation telelvision dexter Martial Arts YouTube Red MCU Crackle witnail VICE Fox Searchlight 72 Emmy Awards book Walt Disney Pictures Disney Lucasfilm zero dark thirty movie Brie Larson Watching Series wonder woman Winter TV Lifetime a nightmare on elm street vampires dogs Television Academy Alien TCA 2017 young adult Hallmark Christmas movies satire Amazon directors anime talk show Rocketman dramedy unscripted venice theme song Superheroe transformers Captain marvel news know your critic Interview Esquire Infographic breaking bad live action Set visit politics monster movies suspense The Purge documentaries laika OWN slasher The Arrangement El Rey zombie films LGBT Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt A24 Reality Competition dark diversity President Rom-Com GLAAD Quiz romantic comedy 45 Premiere Dates SundanceTV Arrowverse Animation Nominations posters mcc debate SXSW cults Mudbound action-comedy Amazon Prime medical drama Kids & Family San Diego Comic-Con Sony Pictures true crime Family richard e. Grant BET YouTube Premium halloween fast and furious justice league streaming movies Rocky Reality Black Mirror hispanic heritage month CNN Year in Review supernatural VH1 police drama scene in color Teen canceled psychological thriller Horror crime drama Drama Writers Guild of America worst aapi NBC Mary poppins stoner BBC One anthology cars science fiction Food Network Adult Swim Black History Month History finale movies godzilla Showtime black blockbusters YA PaleyFest Sneak Peek razzies spain natural history Britbox TV Land NYCC ABC Signature jurassic park ratings Opinion CBS Syfy Sundance thriller Chilling Adventures of Sabrina basketball Discovery Channel singing competition Tokyo Olympics target king kong Avengers 71st Emmy Awards Spring TV Schedule Sundance Now cancelled television critic resources TV One DGA scary movies FX Academy Awards Grammys FX on Hulu revenge Endgame composers Hulu Marvel Studios comiccon Television Critics Association Disney streaming service Trophy Talk ESPN TIFF Comic Book boxing 2020 indie Tomatazos Apple TV Plus parents Oscars foreign prank CW Seed kong book adaptation spinoff comic book movies Comic-Con@Home 2021 women WarnerMedia Epix blockbuster rt archives kids See It Skip It Emmys new star wars movies Ellie Kemper Christmas Mindy Kaling series ghosts Universal Sundance TV dc Thanksgiving comic book movie dragons Dark Horse Comics Paramount adventure Paramount Plus Columbia Pictures football golden globes Film video on demand CBS All Access name the review DC streaming service TCA Photos Pacific Islander italian award winner superman jamie lee curtis HBO Marathons joker 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards trailers werewolf Spike stand-up comedy Extras popular festival nature marvel cinematic universe Rock NBA Women's History Month 2021 christmas movies USA emmy awards Cannes Hear Us Out Funimation Mary Poppins Returns RT21 Toys die hard ABC Family comedies E! Classic Film 20th Century Fox strong female leads cooking hist new zealand OneApp renewed TV shows discovery scorecard heist movie screenings Pride Month crossover Ghostbusters travel Film Festival nbcuniversal rt labs Disney+ Disney Plus asian-american high school A&E 2018 japan USA Network hollywood cancelled TV shows Binge Guide chucky harry potter Mystery free movies Netflix pirates of the caribbean Apple TV+ screen actors guild cartoon Pet Sematary