IMDb Polls

Poll: Tense Movie Moments

Alfred Hitchcock once explained perfectly the difference between surprise and suspense. When a bomb under a table goes off, that's surprise. When we know the bomb is under the table but not when it will go off, that is suspense.

For these moments in film, we found ourselves in a state of sheer tense and anticipation, as we relentlessly bit our nails nervous of what may ensue. The culmination of the event was overshadowed by its uneasy build up to it. There are quite a few, so this list has been narrowed down mostly by having some of our users here at IMDb pick their favorites.

Which of these memorably tense moments in a film had you holding your breath the most?

After voting, you may discuss the poll here.

Make Your Choice

  1. Vote!

    Jaws (1975)

    Shark attack out on the beach - suggested by pere-25366
  2. Vote!

    No Country for Old Men (2007)

    The coin flip - suggested by pere-25366
  3. Vote!

    The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

    Night vision with Bill - suggested by pere-25366
  4. Vote!

    Goodfellas (1990)

    Funny how? - suggested by pere-25366
  5. Vote!

    The Hurt Locker (2008)

    "There's too many locks" - suggested by pere-25366
  6. Vote!

    Jurassic Park (1993)

    Stuck with some reptile friends in the kitchen - suggested by pere-25366
  7. Vote!

    Diabolique (1955)

    Christina's heart attack - suggested by ElMaruecan82
  8. Vote!

    Army of Shadows (1969)

    How to deal with a traitor (strangulation) - suggested by ElMaruecan82
  9. Vote!

    Speed (1994)

    High speed bus in traffic - suggested by pere-25366
  10. Vote!

    Se7en (1995)

    "What's in the box?" suggested by pere-25366
  11. Vote!

    Argo (2012)

    The airport escape - suggested by pere-25366
  12. Vote!

    Carrie (1976)

    The prom prank - suggested by pere-25366
  13. Vote!

    Alien (1979)

    Ripley's stowaway (and final alien encounter) - suggested by pere-25366
  14. Vote!

    Casino Royale (2006)

    Moment when Vesper Lynd (Eva Green), who was kidnapped, is tied up and lying on the road as Bond is barreling towards her in his Aston Martin - suggested by expectmiracles
  15. Vote!

    The Magnificent Seven (1960)

    When Adams (Yul Brynner) and Tanner (Steve McQueen) drive the hearse coach up the main road of town to the cemetery where hostile townspeople are waiting for them - suggested by expectmiracles
  16. Vote!

    Rear Window (1954)

    Lisa inspecting the apartment of Thorwald while Jeff is on the lookout for his arrival - suggested by pere-25366
  17. Vote!

    Misery (1990)

    The attempted breakout before Annie returns - suggested by pere-25366
  18. Vote!

    The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

    Meet and greet - suggested by pere-25366
  19. Vote!

    Notorious (1946)

    Delving and Ms. Huberman are sneaking around looking for clues in the basement wine cellar all the while her husband could be coming downstairs - suggested by ur32931141
  20. Vote!

    Out of Time (2003)

    An uneasy ladder climb - suggested by pere-25366
  21. Vote!

    The Deer Hunter (1978)

    Russian roulette - suggested by pere-25366
  22. Vote!

    Inglourious Basterds (2009)

    The introductory interrogation - suggested by pere-25366

    The bar scene with Lt. Hicox - suggested by pere-25366

  23. Vote!

    Psycho (1960)

    The shower scene - suggested by pere-25366

    The car sinking - suggested by pere-25366

  24. Vote!

    The Dark Knight (2008)

    "I want you to do it, I want you to do it, c'mon hit me!" - suggested by pere-25366

    Blowing up the cruise ships - suggested by pere-25366

  25. Vote!

    The Shining (1980)

    Jack goes full bananas - suggested by pere-25366
  26. Vote!

    Phone Booth (2002)

    Most scenes between Stu and The Caller - suggested by pere-25366
  27. Vote!

    The Ten Commandments (1956)

    The parting of the Red Sea by Moses so his people can make safe passage across the sea and the subsequent catching up of Rameses to the fleeing crowd of people with his army of chariots - suggested by expectmiracles
  28. Vote!

    Buried (2010)

    The final scene - suggested by pere-25366
  29. Vote!

    Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (2011)

    Climbing the Burj Khalifa - suggested by pere-25366
  30. Vote!

    Rosemary's Baby (1968)

    It's time, Dr. Sapirstein needs to take Rosemary's baby - suggested by expectmiracles
  31. Vote!

    Ben-Hur (1959)

    A chariot race... with a Greek chariot! - suggested by expectmiracles
  32. Vote!

    Tin Cup (1996)

    It all comes down to the 18th hole - suggested by expectmiracles
  33. Vote!

    Thelma & Louise (1991)

    When trapped by the authorities, Thelma and Louise make the most cliff hanging decision of their lives - suggested by expectmiracles
  34. Vote!

    Bullitt (1968)

    Lt. Frank Bullitt's pursuit in his Ford Mustang vs. the hitmen in a Dodge Charger flying through the streets of San Francisco - suggested by expectmiracles
  35. Vote!

    Hellfighters (1968)

    Capping oil well rig fires while under fire from guerrillas - suggested by expectmiracles

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