This is part of our Decade Rewind, which runs throughout November. Keep up as we look back at the best, worst, and otherwise interesting movies and shows of the 2010s.
Despite the fact that they always put their lives on the line to make bring movies to life, stunt performers rarely get the credit they deserve. Whether it’s a daredevil actor who’s willing to take life-threatening risks or the faceless stunt doubles that don’t get the credit they deserve, these performers play an integral part in the creation of movies.
Neither stunts nor their performers will be celebrated at prestigious awards ceremonies any time soon, but that doesn’t mean that they have to go unnoticed by us. This decade has treated us to plenty of great movie stunts, and now is the perfect opportunity to shine a light on the best ones.
25. Now You See Me (2013) – Underwater Scene
This isn’t the flashiest stunt on the list, but it was still very dangerous to shoot. In the scene, Isla Fisher finds herself chained up and submerged in a tank of water, and there’s nothing fake about it. According to the actor, her chains got stuck during the filming of the scene, which left her trapped underwater for three minutes. Fortunately, she was able to untangle the chains in the end, but the panic on her face is genuine.
24. The Fate of the Furious (2017) – Wrecking Ball
Miley Cyrus became a viral sensation this decade following her own performance with a wrecking ball, but hers didn’t smash through a bunch of speeding vehicles. According to the Fate of the Furious’ stunt crew, their ball weighed 32,000 lbs and moved at 40 mph, which allowed it to plow through the incoming cars with relative ease. It’s not the biggest stunt in the franchise, but it’s one of the most memorable.
23. Jackass 3D (2010) – Portable Toilet Scene
The Jackass cast rose to fame by punishing their bodies for our entertainment, but most of their stunts are cringe-inducing gags. This one is no different, but when you look past the fact that it ends with Steve-O covered in dog excrement, it’s actually a cool stunt. The scene sees him sitting in a port-a-potty, which is then thrust into the air with bungee cords. Sure, it’s gross, but it’s also hilarious.
22. Nightcrawler (2014) – Sliding Police Car
The entire car chase sequence in this thriller from Dan Gilroy is top notch, but the most impressive stunt from it features a police car colliding with another vehicle, tipping on its side, sliding across the road, and leaving a trail of sparks in its wake. On top of being a thrilling practical stunt, it’s a memorable visual image. And the best part? The stunt was a happy accident, as the filmmakers intended for the police car to spin out into another lane and out of sight.
21. Black Panther (2018) – Car Chase
Marvel movies are CGI spectacles, which tends to disguise the authentic stunt work that goes into creating many of their action set-pieces. However, the car chase scene in Black Panther — which sees T’Challa clutching to the roof of a Lexus LS 500 F-Sport and riding through Busan — features a real stunt performer risking his life. The scene contains a fair amount of CGI, but it’s well done and complements the practical elements.
20. Atomic Blonde (2017) – Balcony Jump
Charlize Theron is a badass, but when it comes to the film’s most impressive stunt, credit must also be given to her double, Monique Ganderton. The scene in question features a wide exterior shot of the stuntwoman jumping from an apartment balcony, and it looks incredible. That said, Theron also played a big part in the overall stunt’s creation by leaping from a high stage while wearing some very fashionable boots.
19. Baby Driver (2017) – Rotating Car
This scene — which follows a band of criminals making a daring getaway following a heist — boasts some of the best driving stunt work out there. Their car performs a perfect 180 turn around a truck in a tight alleyway to the tune of Jon Spencer Blues Explosion’s “Bellbottoms,” and it all looks so precise. Furthermore, the maneuver only took stuntman Jeremy Fry six takes to master.
18. Dunkirk (2017) – Spitfire Dogfights
The most exciting action in Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic takes place in the air, and most of it was achieved practically. Stunt pilots from the Royal Air Force were hired to carry out these dogfight scenes, and IMAX cameras were strapped to the wings and cockpits of the planes to capture the awe-inspiring aerial visuals. The only scenes that didn’t take place in the sky were the ones featuring Tom Hardy and Jack Lowden, as those were shot in replica Spitfire cockpits.
17. Spectre (2015) – Helicopter Scene
While the overall film received mixed reviews, most viewers will attest that Spectre’s opening scene is a thrill ride. The scene took several months to complete and was filmed in various locations, but the fight in the helicopter did see two stunt performers engage in staged combat at 30,000 feet above Mexico City. CGI was used to insert the actors into the helicopter when it starts spinning out of control, but most of the scene was achieved through practical means.