What makes a great opening sequence? Modern Hollywood thinks an opener needs to be grabby and startling, lest the audience lose interest. Critics tend to like openers that show off the director's prowess, though not every movie with a flashy opening can live up to the promise of the first few minutes. (Case in point: Brian De Palma's "Snake Eyes" and "Bonfire of the Vanities," both of which are all downhill after their brilliant tracking-shot first scenes.)
So let's agree that an opening should be memorable, should give a sense or at least a hint of what's to come, and should effectively tell a satisfying shorter story while leaving viewers wanting more. In other words, it should work quickly to immerse us in the world of the movie.
It's a measure of the "Up" opener's effectiveness that we placed it high on the list below of the 40 greatest movie opening sequences of all time. Read on and see if you agree with our choices, or if there are some missing that you would have included.
So much for the prologue. Here, now, comes the main event.