One of the best ways to convey emotion in movies is by just letting it all out in a good, guttural, no holds barred yell. We’re not talking about a plain scream; we’re talking about using vocals way above talking level to voice out something, anything for that matter. There are so many yelling scenes throughout cinematic history that belong to this list, but we’ve compiled some of what we believe are the most memorable and most iconic.
Here in no particular order are 20 of the greatest yelling scenes in movie history.
1. Castaway (2000) – Sorry Wilson
We’ll start it off lightly with one of the most recognizable movies of our time. Castaway will always be one of our favorite Tom Hanks movies. The personified volleyball, Wilson, was popularized in this movie, and it eventually became a true icon. Tom Hanks did an excellent job of turning the inanimate object into his only best friend in the wild, and it broke our hearts when their parting scene came. Even though Hanks only had a couple of words in this script, one of which is “Wilson” over and over again, we felt his pain with the way he was yelling and aching to save his ball friend. Another great yelling scene in this movie is when Hanks’ character screams in delight as he’s made fire on his own using only what nature provided.
2. The Professional (1994) – Everyone
In our opinion, Gary Oldman has always been one of the most underrated actors of our time. He can play the good guy well, and of course, he’s probably the best bad guy out there. This one particularly short clip from the movie, The Professional, is enough to show you how downright scary and scary good Oldman can really be as an actor. All it takes is one word, “Everyone,” for Oldman to shake us up and realize what characters Leon and Mathilda are really dealing with in the movie. There are other yelling scenes in the movie, but this scene is so short yet so powerful; it’s just amazing what kind of emotion can be delivered even with just one word.
3. Braveheart (1995) – Freedom
Everyone knows this scene. It’s that one where Mel Gibson is riding a horse, getting his people all amped up and ready for battle—all while wearing a kilt. He gives an impressive speech. William Wallace may have inspired all those men to fight all by yelling an entire speech about what to do with freedom and why it’s worth dying for. But for us, it was the iconic yelled line, “…that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!” in the end that gets us every single time. The line has been used and reused in various forms since then, but Mel Gibson’s delivery is still the best. Later on in the movie, Gibson’s character Wallace yells, “Freedom!” again, only this time, it’s as he lay to die.
4. 300 (2006) – This is Sparta
This cinematic achievement was such a revolution back when it was released in 2006. It was raw and powerful and featured so many shirtless men that we were fairly shocked it was actually a decent film. It helped that Gerard Butler played the lead, King Leonidas, and it’s a much more fitting role for him than all of his romantic comedies combined. As the Persian did not expect his fate, neither did we. But we knew the exchange was leading up to something climactic, and it ended up being one of the most reused lines in cinema history. As the Persian declares it all to be madness, King Leonidas questions his thoughts. “Madness?” he asks before he yells the best line of the movie. “This is Sparta!” Indeed it was, and the kick of death was more than we could ever ask for in this scene.
5. A Few Good Men (1992) – You Can’t Handle the Truth
This is probably one of the best dialogues from any of the 90s movies. First off, there’s no argument that two of the bests in the industry are facing each other in this yell off: Tom Cruise as Lt. Kaffee and Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessep. The build up is timed just right, as the two went back and forth several times arguing his own case. They’re both smug, both arrogant, and they’re both convinced their own convictions are right. When Kaffee finally yells, “I want the truth,” Col. Jessep threw him a bomb that was probably truer than anything. “You can’t handle the truth,” Jessep yells back. It’s become an iconic line that still finds use to this day more than 20 years since we first heard it.
6. Anchorman (2004) – Loud Noises
Comedies have their good share of yelling too, except the yelling is hilarious instead of intimidating or scary. In this scene, we’ve got some of the funniest in comedy altogether: Will Ferrell as the infamous Ron Burgundy, Paul Rudd as Brian Fantana, David Koechner as Champ Kind, and Steve Carrell as Brick Tamland. They’re actually all yelling in this scene about female anchor Veronica Corningstone as played by Christina Applegate. The best part, however, is when Steve Carrell takes his turn screaming. First he yells that he doesn’t know what they’re all yelling about. Then later on, he just yells some random words that are just plain old funny. “Loud noises!” He yells; just so he can yell something. It’s classic comedy and it works.
7. There will be Blood (2007) – I Drink Your Milkshake
Daniel Day Lewis, a superb actor that’s truly one of a kind, gave the performance of his life with this movie. This scene is particularly uncomfortable because we knew it was coming at some point in the film after all the build up. We knew that Lewis’ character Daniel Plainview was just waiting to blow up on Eli Sunday as impressively played by Paul Dano. The way Lewis screamed something as simple as “drainage” rattled us to the core, and the famous line, “I drink your milkshake,” will truly be unforgettable. He ends it all by throwing Eli across the floor of his bowling room, as he screams in all of his frustration.
8. Revolutionary Road (2008) – Shell of a Woman
When we found out that Leonardo di Caprio and Kate Winslet were making another movie together, we didn’t expect that it would be anything like Revolutionary Road. We were hoping they’d continue with their lost love from Titanic, but boy, we were so wrong. This scene is almost uncomfortable to watch because it’s so good. Mind you, they’re both yelling fairly well at each other in this scene. It’s more than just a typical husband and wife fight; it’s drama at its best. Winslet screamed her heart out in unbelievable angst when Leo touched her in consolation in the first parts of the clip. The rest of it, though, is Leo at his finest, pretty much yelling at Winslet for being a hollow shell of a woman. That face made us all believe.
9. Scent of a Woman (1992) – The Speech
Everyone looked so young in this film. Chris O’Donnell was just a boy then, and Al Pacino, well, he was really at his prime. We’ve seen Al Pacino yell in many movies, and he really does it well. But there’s more to this scene than just the yelling; it’s the delivery of the message, the speech that this movie is so well known for. It’s Al Pacino doing what he does best, which is command an entire room without so much more than just his voice and emotion. When he yells, “I’m not finished,” we realize that we were in for something substantial in the movie and out of it. The scene became as iconic as the film itself. He gives the speech of a lifetime, showing us exactly what leaders should be made of. The round of applause in the end is well deserved.
10. Mystic River (2003) – Is that my Daughter?
Sean Penn is another great yeller; he owes it to the fact that he’s one of the best actors of our generation. This scene is a powerful one, and we owe it to the acting of some movie giants apart from Penn: Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne, and Kevin Chapman. It’s a disturbing scene as Bacon’s detective character Sean Devine examines the body of a dead young girl. We see Kevin Chapman and Sean Penn run up to the scene as characters Val Savage and Jimmy Markum respectively. They’re both enraged and full of emotion, and as Sean Penn starts screaming, “Is that my daughter in there,” we can’t help but feel this enormous rock on our throat quickly manifest as tears. We feel his character’s sorrow, and it’s a great testament to Penn’s ability as an actor.
11. Empire Records (1995) – Corey and Gina Meltdown
Young Renée Zellweger and Liv Tyler showed us what pent up youthful rage should look like. These two go at it verbally initially, attacking each other in the most feminine of ways, screaming and yelling and revealing each other’s secrets out into the open. Zellweger’s character Gina yells, “Diet pills? Diet pills! O what a surprise. I can study all night if I was chowing down speed too.” She throws pills at Corey, as Corey picks up her pills from the floor. Gina continues to yell things at Corey, and when she says, “It’s always about her,” we thought that it was all over. Next thing we know, Tyler’s character Corey yells, “It’s not gonna be fine! Nothing’s ever fine!” She then proceeds to trash the place, rock and roll style, going on a completely crazed rampage, and it takes four men to take her down. Way to go!
12. Never Let Me Go (2010) – Tommy’s Breakdown
The movie adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s novel is possibly one of the most emotional films of our time. The story is immense and ahead of its time, and actors Andrew Garfield, Carey Mulligan, and Keira Knightley gave us some of the best performances. In particular, Garfield’s acting in this scene is the definition of emotion in movies. His character Tommy and Mulligan’s character Kathy had just been denied a deferral in this dystopian love story, which ultimately means that their love is doomed. We feel their frustration in the silence, but Tommy can’t hold it in any longer. He lets it all out in a grueling scream that reminds us what heartbreak truly sounds like.
13. Kindergarten Cop (1990) – Shut Up
Who would’ve ever thought that Arnold Schwarzenegger would end up in this list? After all, we like to remember him as an actor playing roles not as a kindergarten substitute teacher but rather as a monotonous, world-saving terminator that’s probably incapable of yelling. Picture him yelling out, “Hasta la vista, baby.” You can’t because it’s impossible. In this scene from Kindergarten Cop, we see a side of Arnold that we’d never seen before. The comedy is in the fact that we can’t ever picture him as a teacher, and the way he handles the children is pretty funny. He bites off more than he can chew in this scene and literally lets it all out in a scream when he can’t take any more. “Shut up,” is all he yells, but his face and his voice commands all the silence in a room full of kindergarteners. The little ones are shocked, of course, and we are momentarily entertained.
14. Titanic (1997) – King of the World
Leonardo di Caprio finds his way on our list a second time, and this time it’s with his biggest movie to this date, Titanic. Leo can probably have a few movies to this list, but we can’t do that for the sake of variety, but we’ve always known him to be a good yeller. In this scene from Titanic, however, he’s not yelling out of anger or frustration or rage. He’s actually quite enjoying himself, and we find him yelling out his utmost joy in finding himself in one of the most prestigious ships at the time. The famous line, “I’m the king of the world,” will forever be associated with the picture of Leo’s character Jack standing on the railings of the Titanic’s stern, with arms stretched out to embrace the entire world. It’s one of the film’s most iconic scenes, second only to Jack and Rose (Kate Winslet, again), doing the same thing but this time, Rose is saying, “I’m flying Jack!” Oh Titanic.
15. Jerry Maguire (1996) – Show Me the Money
This film has produced many famous lines, and for that matter, many famous memes. “You had me at hello,” is one. “You complete me,” is another. Then there’s the cheesier, “I love him for the man he wants to be. I love him for the man he almost is.” That’s nice. But the best line comes from a series of yelling between Tom Cruise’s title character Jerry and his athlete client, Rod Tidwell as played by Cuba Gooding Jr. The line? “Show me the money!” It’s said over and over again, starting off in normal voice until it heightens into a crazed moment that literally makes everyone stop in his or her tracks to look. “Show me the money!” That’s what this scene is about.
16. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings (2001) – You Shall Not Pass
It’s amazing what a few words strung together can conjure up. This scene solidified Gandalf, played by the great Ian McKellen, as the best wizard there could ever be both in literature and in film. The culmination of the scene is everything that leads up to it, all the struggles and sacrifices the characters had to endure. At the scene’s end, it’s ultimately Gandalf that makes the biggest sacrifice. His monologue is extraordinary, proving to us all his power and his bravery against evil. When he yells his famous line, “You shall not pass,” we are sure the group is then safe. The next events shock us to this day, and we still find ourselves screaming, “Gandalf!” just as Frodo does each time.
17. Wedding Crashers (2005) – Meatloaf
Will Ferrell is a funny guy; everyone knows this. He’s even funnier when he’s yelling. And he makes the biggest impacts even with the smallest roles. In the movie, Wedding Crashers, Ferrell plays the uncredited role of Chazz Reinhold, and his scene is probably one of the movie’s best. The scene is classic: middle-aged man is still living with his mom, making her do everything for him. But Ferrell’s timing and delivery is what makes the scene special. He yells, “Hey Ma, can we get some meatloaf?” It’s so simple, but Ferrell is so natural at it that it just makes the scene completely and utterly hilarious. More yelling for meatloaf pursues after this, and the whole scene just becomes comedy classic altogether.
18. Hidden Figures (2016) – Bathroom Scene
We knew Taraji P. Henson was talented, but we didn’t know she could carry it like she did in this scene. Taraji’s character Katherine G. Johnson is quite the genius when it comes to math that she silences even the smartest brains in NASA. In this scene where Kevin Costner’s character Al Harrison questions her whereabouts for so many minutes out of each day, Johnson gives it all to him and the rest of the white men in the office. She tells them what it’s like to be her in such a place, and we’re all dumbstruck by her poise amidst the yelling she’s doing. She has so much control and respect for herself that even in her low point, she manages to tell the truth with such dignity and grace. Way to go Taraji and Katherine!
19. Happy Gilmore (1996) – Happy goes Crazy
Adam Sandler has done a fair share of yelling throughout his entire career. He still does it to this day whether he’s playing comedy or drama. It’s what he’s good at, and it’s what we find funny about the guy. In this scene from one of Sandler’s best films, we find Happy having difficulty putting the ball into the hole. That can be frustrating for anyone, but for Happy, it’s just the right way of putting his anger into overdrive. He freaks out over it all, and the result is something that we expect completely but we still find hilarious. It’s Sandler just being himself, we think, and it’s awesome.
20. Brothers (2015) – Shoot Me
This dark, dark tale is something that we can probably only watch once or twice in our lives. The way actor Tobey Maguire portrayed this scene is completely disturbing, and whether it’s an exaggeration of the effects of being at war really causes in people, we really don’t want to know. It’s scary, and all the yelling in it doesn’t help at all. Here we see Capt. Sam Cahill completely loses it, and we’re literally scared for everyone in the scene because Tobey Maguire’s otherwise innocent looking face is the face of monstrosity and craziness in this scene. It’s haunting. It’s effective. It’s one of the best yelling we’ve seen in films ever.