News

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

Best Actress Lionsgate streaming PlayStation TNT Paramount Pictures Prime Video witnail Cannes action-comedy dceu Certified Fresh monster movies Best Actor scorecard TLC psycho latino HFPA screen actors guild jamie lee curtis dark Hallmark Christmas movies twilight Fall TV Disney Channel critic resources war cats GIFs SXSW E! FX Teen National Geographic WGN GoT robots venice RT21 classics Netflix Christmas movies Heroines Film theme song scary movies Discovery Channel japan TCA 2017 art house cars Comedy popular stoner stop motion james bond Broadway based on movie Cartoon Network sitcom docudrama The Purge elevated horror Star Wars Tokyo Olympics Alien films Spring TV E3 South by Southwest Film Festival NBC Columbia Pictures book ghosts 73rd Emmy Awards 24 frames Vudu TBS cancelled TV shows halloween tv talk stand-up comedy rt labs critics edition series TIFF Esquire nbcuniversal Rom-Com Academy Awards romantic comedy Britbox Mary poppins comic Starz YouTube football DC Universe 45 TruTV 4/20 Pop TV social media obi wan Ellie Kemper slashers Best and Worst canceled TV shows summer TV preview The Walt Disney Company Comic-Con@Home 2021 child's play marvel comics TCA Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt NBA comic book movies Reality SDCC Television Academy Women's History Month worst movies spanish pirates of the caribbean Walt Disney Pictures news teaser 93rd Oscars fast and furious LGBT Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Funimation Classic Film Oscars quibi batman mockumentary Calendar thriller singing competition live action marvel cinematic universe Martial Arts adenture heist movie comic book movie a nightmare on elm street know your critic Shondaland superhero Sundance Now Fantasy Grammys FX on Hulu gangster 79th Golden Globes Awards south america dc scene in color hispanic heritage month Paramount Network travel Marvel Studios australia movie Marvel Television hispanic crossover FXX Mary Tyler Moore Spectrum Originals franchise DGA Rock police drama Tumblr Star Trek Election olympics leaderboard trophy Set visit Apple Amazon Prime saw 2020 The Witch video obituary jurassic park independent high school Box Office Peacock Nickelodeon Horror Western Emmys Black Mirror sag awards BBC One GLAAD Comics on TV political drama emmy awards composers Endgame MTV green book Sundance TV TV One natural history Sundance spider-man Logo adventure Baby Yoda Video Games toronto razzies FOX Acorn TV true crime lord of the rings revenge biopic die hard rt labs PBS 20th Century Fox Infographic History Thanksgiving Lifetime Stephen King godzilla Song of Ice and Fire 007 MCU dramedy ID new york directors Instagram Live Anna Paquin worst Elton John space binge miniseries Family Musicals Fox Searchlight MGM 1990s HBO USA Network President Valentine's Day satire CBS All Access discovery basketball rotten movies we love Pop Best Picture CNN cults laika Pet Sematary Trailer concert universal monsters historical drama hist cancelled Superheroes superman SundanceTV renewed TV shows dragons spy thriller chucky American Society of Cinematographers Trivia black See It Skip It 2021 finale psychological thriller hidden camera young adult Mystery Tarantino Pirates Binge Guide BBC America diversity Countdown Podcast free movies cinemax IFC Shudder Hulu mission: impossible anthology LGBTQ breaking bad Disney spain Ovation El Rey Music transformers Ghostbusters DirecTV blaxploitation Lifetime Christmas movies festivals Marvel adaptation spider-verse legend ABC Holiday Food Network HBO Max best docuseries Polls and Games OWN cops DC Comics Tubi 2018 CW Seed dexter BET disaster slasher medical drama comiccon award winner doctor who telelvision A&E streamig justice league APB TV Showtime New York Comic Con 2015 festival MSNBC zombies Winter TV spanish language Neflix zombie richard e. Grant BBC Animation First Reviews what to watch trailers scary asian-american blockbuster comic books golden globe awards Bravo Schedule french critics Quiz Emmy Nominations crime drama Captain marvel Biopics rt archives comics Musical Red Carpet Avengers christmas movies Legendary hollywood Winners Universal Pictures The CW game of thrones supernatural Reality Competition women X-Men unscripted mutant feel good Masterpiece cancelled television new star wars movies talk show Crunchyroll 71st Emmy Awards streaming movies 72 Emmy Awards vampires Opinion politics crime suspense Summer Super Bowl Comic Book Image Comics name the review Exclusive Video Sony Pictures Paramount Plus crime thriller A24 foreign HBO Go Extras harry potter ITV serial killer debate mcc science fiction TV movies AMC Turner spinoff Toys interviews Pride Month golden globes TV Land all-time Apple TV+ Netflix Universal cancelled TV series RT History broadcast TCA Awards summer preview facebook halloween tv king arthur strong female leads NYCC OneApp prank fresh new zealand Nat Geo sopranos deadpool ABC Signature Awards Tour Brie Larson Hear Us Out IFC Films TV renewals documentaries Television Critics Association Comedy Central Black History Month reviews ViacomCBS Creative Arts Emmys The Arrangement summer TV period drama BAFTA 2016 comedies remakes TCM VICE Rocky Trophy Talk Travel Channel USA Drama Marathons dreamworks First Look 21st Century Fox YouTube Premium cartoon dogs Arrowverse Warner Bros. Pixar 2017 San Diego Comic-Con werewolf Interview Lucasfilm rom-coms Epix SXSW 2022 indie Disney streaming service kong canceled Tomatazos Oscar Amazon black comedy 99% Rocketman DC streaming service Amazon Studios live event Crackle target 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Apple TV Plus Hallmark animated AMC Plus aliens Film Festival YA indiana jones criterion nature boxing children's TV vs. game show parents Holidays Disney+ Disney Plus book adaptation Focus Features Fox News mob Spike sports Syfy Paramount The Walking Dead Christmas Wes Anderson genre YouTube Red CBS VH1 screenings Tags: Comedy Mindy Kaling royal family Premiere Dates Chernobyl romance VOD Adult Swim Year in Review nfl casting BET Awards king kong Photos sequels aapi Disney Plus japanese ESPN CMT Dark Horse Comics archives PaleyFest ABC Family posters ratings Mary Poppins Returns zero dark thirty kaiju Pacific Islander Nominations Freeform cooking IMDb TV Country Hollywood Foreign Press Association wonder woman 94th Oscars The Academy versus joker Sneak Peek boxoffice biography 90s italian anime kids Action Character Guide Cosplay TCA Winter 2020 Amazon Prime Video WarnerMedia movies documentary rotten Awards Watching Series 2019 Writers Guild of America Kids & Family video on demand Sci-Fi Turner Classic Movies international Fargo television sequel Best Director reboot toy story technology Mudbound Superheroe blockbusters