Since posting the first two parts of my Top 10 Movie Battles list, I have seen some battles that should most definitely make the list, therefore the list has been slightly altered to fit the new battles onto the list. To qualify for the list, the battle only had to be included in a theatrically released film, and only one place on the list for each franchise. Otherwise, the list would mostly consist of battles from The Lord of the Rings.
Note: If you have already read the previous part of this list, which I posted several months ago, skip the first four choices on my list since you have likely already read them.
At Number 10: Seven Samurai Final Battle
The final battle at the end of the Akira Kurosawa's samurai epic, Seven Samurai, is the oldest battle on the list, and it remains one of the best. Even though the battle might not have the same amount of visceral thrills as many modern battles, Seven Samurai should be recognized for its quality considering the time in which it was filmed as well as being filmed in the rain, which created a fantastic atmosphere. The three hours leading up to this battle were definitely worth the wait.
At Number 9: Battle of Gotham
At Number 8: Battle of Hogwarts
Basically, the battle of Hogwarts includes the last hour of the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which is one big epic battle of wizardry. Although the battle does not really include the duel Harry and Vordemort, the rest of the battle was huge, taking place across the entire campus of Hogwarts. Also note that this is the only picture I could find for the list, even if it is the duel between Harry and Vordemort.
At Number 7: Battle of Thermopylae
Inspired by true events of the 300 Spartans that fought the 30000 Persians and based on Frank Miller's graphic novel, Zack Sndyer's 300 had some awesome and gory battles. While the later battles in 300 are a little too over-the-top for my tastes, the first battle was freaking epic! 300 Spartans that can completely defy physics vs. a crap load of Persians, in slow-motion! The great fight choreography combined with the gravity defying special effects makes for a fun and epic battle.
At Number 6: Battle of Stirling (Bridge?)
Despite the absurd amount of historical inaccuracy, the Battle of Stirling in Braveheart is an epic battle that highlights the best epic battle scene prior to the computer-generated age. One of the most realistically brutal and bloody battles on the list, Braveheart's best fight scene of the film is incredibly impressive in terms of its scale and inspiration to fight against tyranny despite the odds. In history, there was an actual bridge at Stirling, hence the name "Battle of Stirling Bridge," however Gibson figured why have any regard for historical accuracy when you can make an inspiring and Oscar winning film.
At Number 5: Iron Men vs. Extremis
Even though some might begrudge my choosing of the epic final battle in Iron Man 3, seriously, watch the scene and tell me that it is not an epic and well filmed battle scene. The CGI for the Iron Man armors are incredibly realistic and the choreography is very impressive. The battle is unique and with all the different types of armor, there is a great variety to the action.
At Number 4: Any Battle from Thor: The Dark World
Since my list only counts one battle for each franchise, my original choice of the Frost Giant battle from the first Thor has been completely eclipsed by its sequel, The Dark World. The film was packed with so many awesome and impressively realized battles that just one from the film could not be chosen, therefore, you can take your pick of which one from the movie was the best.
At Number 3: Battle of Hoth
At Number 2: Battle of the Pelennor Fields/Battle of Helm's Deep
Although my favorite battle scene from the Lord of the Rings franchise is the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Battle of Helm's Deep is equally epic. The Lord of the Rings set the new standard for battle scenes at the time of its release and only one film has surpassed it. Peter Jackson's perfect direction combined groundbreaking special effects and full scale sets to create a battle for the ages. The choreography is perfect, and there is absolutely no use of horrid shaky-cam, overly dark lighting, or cheap jump cuts. Everything is framed perfectly and given the emotional height that a battle of its magnitude should have.
At Number 1: Avengers: Battle of New York
Does anything even come close to matching the battle between The Avengers and Loki's Chitauri army? Joss Whedon could not have filmed this battle any better, every single shot is framed with skilled, and similar to the previous film on the list, never resorts shaky-cam, overly dark lighting, or cheap jump cuts. You care about the characters and what happens, and seeing all of the characters fighting along side each other with each of their unique abilities is breathtaking. Each character has his or her moment, and the way the characters work as a team is ingenious. How can Whedon possibly top this epic battle in the Avengers sequel? Because this was cinematic perfect.
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