15 Best Movie Monologues of All Time

After reading Jimmy’s recent post about the legendary scene from ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’, it got me thinking, what are the best movie monologues of all time? You know those inspirational, pivotal, or just clever scenes where one character does whatever it takes to prove a point. These movie monologues are the moments that us movie lovers practice at home in front of the mirror. The things we wish we’d have said when confronted by that asshole at work. The creative insights that would make us the life of the party.

Well, I wanted to make this a top ten list, but that was impossible. So I give you the 15 best movie monologues of all time. Beware, some of these clips are NSFW and THERE MAY BE SOME SPOILERS IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE MOVIES.

15. “The Watch”

Christopher Walken – ‘Pulp Fiction’ (1994)

Written only like Tarantino could write. Delivered like only Walken could deliver. This scene is a classic, as Walken explains to a young Bruce Willis the dedication it took to deliver this family heirloom watch.

14. “I Drink Your Milkshake”

Daniel Day-Lewis – ‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007)

Daniel had to make this list, and although he had a great monologue in ‘Gangs of New York’, this one was clearly his best. I give you the epic scene containing milkshakes, straws, oil, bowling and blood. (The same things I use to throw a party)

13. “You Can’t Handle the Truth”

Jack Nicholson – ‘A Few Good Men’ (1992)

This is one scene that needs no teeing up. It is a line that has been repeated obnoxiously by everyone, whenever someone asks for the truth. This is Jack at his best, acting crazy, delivering one of the great movie monologues of all time.

12. “Greed Is Good”

Michael Douglas – ‘Wall Street’ (1987)

If only Gordon Gekko was real and around nowadays to put bureaucracy in its place, maybe it could help straighten out this economy. It is a little bit sad this character was created by Oliver Stone as a satire of 1980’s businessmen.

11. “Gossip”

Philip Seymour Hoffman – ‘Doubt’  (2008)

An awesome metaphorical sermon about the power of gossip by. Its like he’s talking directly to Meryl Streep’s character even with a church full of people.  The late great Philip Seymour Hoffman, in one of his best movie monologues.

10. “Out Of Order”

Al Pacino- ‘Scent Of A Woman’ (1992)

This movie is filled with great scenes, thanks to Lt. Col. Frank Slade. He delivers an awesome performance that boils over with this passionate speech to the Baird School. This is a 3-minute scene, Pacino only blinks once.

9. ”My Boy’s Wicked Smaat (Boston for Smart)”

Matt Damon – ‘Good Will Hunting’ (1997)

There were two great monologues from this film. Robin Williams delivered an awesome speech about the differences between experiencing life and knowledge. However, this one is better. I dare you to tell me you never dreamed about verbally and mentally abusing someone like in this scene. That’s what I thought.


8. ”They’ll Never Take Our Freedom”

Mel Gibson – ‘Braveheart’ (1995) 

Forget about Mel Gibson’s recent films and his crazy personal life. This is how I want to remember him, in his prime. This battle cry could make my 84-year-old grandfather mount a horse and ride to battle. You may have heard this speech once or twice.

7. ”Today We Celebrate Our Independence Day”

Bill Pullman –‘Independence Day’ (1996)

As cheesy as this film might have been at times, it’s still great entertainment. This was the best scene of the bunch and what the president would look like if he were a fighter pilot.

6. ”The Greatest Trick The Devil Ever Pulled…”

Kevin Spacey – ‘Usual Suspects’ (1995)

“Keaton always said: ‘I don’t believe in God, but I’m afraid of him.’ Well I believe in God, and the only thing that scares me is Keyser Soze.”  Woof…

5. “Inch By Inch”

Al Pacino – ‘Any Given Sunday’ (1999)

I’m a sports guy, and this is the greatest locker room speech in movie history. Al Pacino gives us goose bumps as he does what so many have failed to do: deliver a memorable athletic speech. So often these speeches seem fake and forced, but Pacino is as authentic as it gets.  This whole list could just be a list of Al Pacino’s best movie monologues, but this is definitely one of his finest.

4. “Coffee Is For Closers”

Alec Baldwin – ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ (1992)

As Jimmy so greatly summarized last week, this is one of the great scenes of all time. It is even more powerful because this is all of Baldwin’s screen time in the movie. Baldwin’s brass balls don’t beat around the bush in this highly offensive depiction of the sales world.

3. “Clark Kent”

David Carradine – ‘Kill Bill Vol. 2’ (2004)

This one isn’t motivational or inspirational, it’s just badass. This is the coolest, deepest analysis of super heroes and their alter egos of all time. This is the idea that you wish you thought of. The crazy thing is, it actually makes sense if you think about it. Where does Tarantino come up with this stuff?

2. ”U.S.S. Indianapolis”

Robert Shaw- ‘Jaws’ (1975)

One of the most chilling scenes in movie history and its all hangs on Robert Shaw’s incredible delivery. He tells this entire story practically in one take. Shaw’s story of surviving in open water after the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis would make a marine biologist afraid to swim. Just take a look at Dreyfuss’ face once he’s finished.

1. ”A Virus”

Hugo Weaving – ‘The Matrix’ (1999)

This scene is awesome. Leave it to a computer program in ‘The Matrix’ to accuse the human race of being a virus. This scene is the capstone of an unbelievably intricate and complex film. The sad part is, it’s hard to disagree with him.

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5 comments

  1. Great monologue countdown. It is hard to say which ones are better but i think it is very well ordered. Great idea for a countdown.

    • Thanks for checking us out Samwise – Wayner nailed the countdown. Another little known monologue to check out is Edward Norton in “The 25th Hour” – very cool!

  2. Shizue Leigh Hicks

    There are two movie monologues that always leave me thinking and smiling about them long after I’ve watched them for the umpteenth time.

    1) Ewan McGregor’s lament, “It’s shite being Scottish.” (Trainspotting)

    2) Orson Welles, “You know what the fellow said – in Italy, for thirty years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance. In Switzerland, they had brotherly love, they had five hundred years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.” (The Third Man)

    • Thanks Shizue – those are both great additions to the list! I love that Orson Welles one in particular.

      Thanks for reading!

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