Gunfights are some of Hollywood’s most favorite scenes to shoot (pun intended). They can bring an end to a villain or introduce conflict into the story without having to rely on needless dialogue and boring exposition.
However, there are a few fictional gunfights in movies that stand apart from the rest. These shootouts have become so memorable, that other movies have referenced or even copied them outright.
Today, you’re going to look at five of some of the most iconic gunfights in fiction based on their awesomeness.
- The Matrix: Lobby Gunfight
This fight doesn’t need an introduction. Neo somersaulting between pillars while laying waste to hordes of soldiers draws a “Hell yeah!” out of all of us, and his ability to literally dodge bullets is just icing on the cake.
Every viewer knew something was about to go down the moment he pulled open his jacket to reveal the arsenal of weapons within.
Fun fact: Did you know that the entire scene was made without any CGI? The explosions and gunfire were all done with practical effects.
- The Boondock Saints: Hotel Shootout
Two wisecracking Irishmen with a grudge are always going to add a bit of excitement to the mix, but give them rope and anything is possible—even falling through the ceiling and accidentally starting a gunfight with a group of Russian mobsters.
In that scene, the slow spin of the brothers was almost comical as they emptied their matching Beretta 92FS with 9mm ammo on the unsuspecting Russians, but the iconic prayer—and the pause as they cocked their guns—was nothing short of incredible.
- Terminator 2: Minigun vs. Cops
In the famous “Do No Harm” scene, the Terminator is given orders to not hurt humans. He follows these orders to a tee in an all-out gunfight where no one gets hurt.
Hard to believe, and completely impossible in reality, but that’s the beauty of fiction—even the impossible is possible.
He pulls it off by targeting the cars instead of the humans, performing pinpoint shots with his minigun and firing thousands of rounds without hitting a single human.
- The Alamo: Remember It
John Wayne took part in so many gunfights that it’s hard to choose just one, but the Alamo is one of the most iconic of all time.
Although the Texan defenders would not be victorious that day, no one can deny the intensity of the gunfight or how fiercely the defenders fought to keep the Mexican Army away from the walls of the Alamo. They were too outnumbered to win but put up an unforgettable battle anyway.
While the movie was based on the actual battle during the Mexican-American War, its historical accuracy does have a few holes of fiction in it, which is why the Alamo is on this list.
- Tombstone: Gunfight at the OK Corral
Tombstone brings the legend of the OK Corral to the silver screen, and Val Kilmer was stunning as Doc Holliday, one of the lawmen in the shootout where 30 bullets were fired within about 30 seconds.
They were up against the Cowboys, a gang of outlaws terrorizing the town of Tombstone.
The scene was epic in its portrayal of western shootouts, starting with a tense standoff, climaxing into chaos, then ending with a bang. Literally.
Agree With This List?
These are just some of the best gunfights in movies. There are many more movies to watch and more shootouts to witness. And while every list is subjective, you can’t deny to impact these five have on pop culture.
What are your top five iconic gunfights?