June 20, 2024


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The 15 Best Monologues Performed In Movies

7 min read

“You sly dog! You got me monologuing.”

Monologues have become a rare feature in modern cinema, but when they do show up, they can become one of the best moments in an entire film.

Columbia Pictures/20th Century Studios / Via YouTube

These monologues have been remembered fondly thanks to the performances of their actors and the impact they had on the film and its audience. So sit tight as we take a look at the 15 best.


“You Have to See It for Yourself” – The Matrix

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Without explaining what the Matrix is, Morpheus describes how it is everywhere and that it is holding Neo prisoner, making him and the audience more anxious to learn the truth. But Morpheus then presents him with the iconic blue and red pills, giving him the choice to walk away and enjoy his life or to see exactly what the Matrix is.


“Hold Your Ground!” – The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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When Aragorn and his army reach the Black Gate of Mordor, the Gondorian King gives a rousing speech as they stand against Sauron’s legions. Even when the odds are against them, and it seems like they will never achieve true peace, Aragorn knows how to rally his troops and inspire hope in us all.


The Cool Girl – Gone Girl

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As we see Amy Dunne forge a new life for herself after faking her death, in a voiceover, she talks about how men like her husband, Nick, just want a “cool girl” who looks pretty, likes everything they like, and doesn’t complain. Though she says she pretended to be the “cool girl” for her husband, she got fed up with him when he cheated with another “cool girl,” driving her to pursue revenge.


“A Very Particular Set of Skills” – Taken

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This moment singlehandedly revived Liam Neeson’s career. After his daughter is taken by kidnappers, Bryan Mills hears one of them listening to him on the phone. Neeson then delivers this legendary monologue as he threatens to hunt down and kill this man if he doesn’t let his daughter go. Of course, the kidnapper refuses, giving us the film that made Neeson an action star.


“I Believe in America” – The Godfather

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These were the first words we heard in Francis Ford Coppola’s magnum opus. In this scene, Bonasera tearfully explains that his daughter was brutally beaten by two men who tried to take advantage of her, and both perpetrators had their prison sentences suspended thanks to their wealthy families. Seeing how the American justice system has failed him, Bonasera states that this is why he came to Don Corleone, setting the stage for one of the greatest, if not the greatest, films of all time.


“There’s No Bathroom for Me Here” – Hidden Figures

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When an angry Harrison confronts Katherine about her long “breaks,” she emotionally states that there isn’t a bathroom she is allowed to use for half a mile, forcing her to walk all the way there. With this revelation, Katherine makes an unforgettable stand against the unfair treatment she is forced to endure as a Black woman, convincing Harrison to end bathroom segregation at the research center.


“You Can’t Handle the Truth” – A Few Good Men

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During the climax of this acclaimed legal drama, Tom Cruise’s Kaffee demands the truth out of Jack Nicholson’s Colonel Jessup. In a classic strongman’s argument, Jessup claims that he has to do the things that others don’t have the guts to do to protect his country and that his people secretly need him to do so. But after all that boasting, Jessup loses himself and admits he ordered the “code red.” I guess even he couldn’t handle the truth.


“You Look Like a Rube” – The Silence of the Lambs

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When Clarice interrogates the serial killer Hannibal Lecter, the latter mocks the young detective by calling her a country bumpkin, insulting her and her West Virginian heritage. Lecter invokes every Southern stereotype he can think of and shoves them right in her face to make her suffer, and Anthony Hopkins’ haunting performance heightens the power of this frighteningly sadistic doctor.


“I’ve Seen Horrors” – Apocalypse Now

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Having spent days with the unsound Colonel Kurtz, Willard listens as he shares his Machiavellian ideas while recalling the haunting incident that inspired him so. Bathed in shadow, Kurtz argues that he must use horror as a weapon to win the war after witnessing the brutality of his enemies, showing how far he has strayed from his humanity.


“Ezekiel 25:17” – Pulp Fiction

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Though this wasn’t the first time Jules recited the Bible in this film, this moment arguably carried the most impact. After repeating this verse to Ringo, Jules deadpan admits that he didn’t know what it meant before, but he has now realized that he wasn’t the righteous man he imagined himself to be. And after sharing that with him, Jules lowers his gun and lets him go free, showing how far he’s come on his path to redemption.


“Why So Serious?” – The Dark Knight

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When the Joker holds a knife to Gambol’s mouth, the killer clown tells him how he got his scars in the chilling scene. The details of Joker’s story are frightening enough, but Heath Ledger delivers a terrifying performance that has forever carved this scene into the minds of audiences everywhere.


“I’m the Police!” – Training Day

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This scene alone earned Denzel his Oscar. After Jake chases Alonzo onto the street, the latter tries to bribe anyone watching them into killing Jake. But when he sees that they have all grown tired of him, Alonzo threatens to put everyone around him in prison with a memorable flaunt of his power. Even when the entire world is against him, Alonzo still believes that he is invincible, showing how much his power has gone to his head.


“The USS Indianapolis” – Jaws

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This moment stood out from the rest of Steven Spielberg’s horror adventure. In the middle of the hunt for the great white, Quint recounts his time on the ill-fated USS Indianapolis, which sunk from a torpedo attack while delivering parts for the A-bomb. He tells of how many of his comrades were eaten by sharks while they were stuck at sea, and the gruesome details are utterly horrifying. Robert Shaw’s drunken monologue has since been Spielberg’s favorite scene, and it is even more frightening than any of the scares found in this timeless classic.


“You Talkin’ to Me?” – Taxi Driver

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How many times have you heard this one? When Travis Bickle practices drawing his handgun, he pretends he’s being stared down and delivers this iconic monologue. What makes this moment more amazing is how it was completely ad-libbed by Robert de Niro.


“Like Tears in Rain” – Blade Runner

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After the replicant Roy saves Deckard’s life, he sits downs in the rain and waits for his life to run out. As he does, he recalls all his wondrous experiences throughout his short life, but he laments how they will all be “lost in time,” making for the saddest death scene in all of cinema.

Do you agree with this list? Were there any other memorable movie monologues that I missed? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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