Top 10 Movie Opening Credits

Script written by Craig Butler. Give credit where credit is due – and some movie credit sequences are long overdue for recognition. For this list, we’ve chosen opening credits that do an exemplary job of setting the mood or are iconic and memorable. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 opening movie credits. Special thanks to our users Mike Nugent, Emie de la Cruz, Aldo Arancegui Arias, Daniel N, pizzapete, Phil Nugget, Mathias Skillestaf, Nana Amuah, Carlo Ray Lopez, Kayje Nogue, Ronak HD and Moviemaster219 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Craig Butler.

Give credit where credit is due – and some movie credit sequences are long overdue for recognition. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 opening movie credits.

For this list, we’ve chosen opening credits that do an exemplary job of setting the mood or are iconic and memorable.

#10: “Toy Story” (1995)

“Toy Story” works its magic by concentrating on what our toys do when we’re not around. The heart of the movie, though, is the love between a child and his playthings – no matter how roughly they may be handled. The opening creditssets that up beautifully, aided by Randy Newman’s irresistible “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

#9: “The Shining” (1980)

The opening seconds might look like a travelogue, but “The Shining”’s destination isn’t a vacation: it’s hell. And the omniscient overhead camerawork and ominous soundtrack soon cue the viewer to the fact that the people in the car we’re following are in for trouble. Even the ice blue creditsrolling up the screen come across as somehow threatening. Director Michael Haneke was so struck by this credit sequence, he paid homage to it in his film “Funny Games.”

#8: “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (2011)

Director David Fincher puts a distinctive touch on the credits for his films, with “Se7en” being a notable example. But this is especially true for “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” Sporting a stunning black-on-black look, the credits unfold to Trent Reznor and Karen O’s propulsive version of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song.” The disturbing, mysterious images are tightly edited into a montage that is unforgettable.

#7: “Zombieland” (2009)

Comedy doesn’t get much blacker or bloodier than in “Zombieland,” and the opening credits gloriously capture that fact. Metallica’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls” sets the heavy metal mood, while image after image of over-the-top zombie attacks set the tone for the wild ride that is to come. Unique credits for a unique movie.

#6: “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” (1966)

The credits to “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” would be classic if only for Ennio Morricone’s theme song. From the moment that ocarina starts up, the song sets a mood of loneliness, sorrow and foreboding. Meanwhile, Iginio Lardani’s blood red and sickly green credits, with their silhouetted animation and grainy photos, match the music’s mood perfectly.

#5: “The Pink Panther” (1963)

The DePatie-Freleng animated title sequence for “The Pink Panther” was such a hit, it created an immensely successful series of cartoons. Backed by Henry Mancini’s sly, sinuous and sophisticated music, the sequence is both witty and lowbrow, and lets the audience know that this is one mystery in which comedy will trump investigative technique.

#4: “Lord of War” (2005)

The incredible opening credits of “Lord of War” show the life of a single bullet, from its creation to its ultimate use: to kill a child in a nameless war-torn country. Told entirely from a bullet’s eye view and set to Buffalo Springfield’s immortal “For What It’s Worth,” the credits prep the viewer for a film about the illegal arms trade.

#3: “Watchmen” (2009)

In five minutes, the credits for “Watchmen” manage to encapsulate some five decades of history – both in the real world and in the world inhabited by the superheroes of the series. The faded hues of nostalgia give way to crisper tones along the way, painting a world that is changing in big ways – ways that spell change for the titular heroes as well.

#2: “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977)

Dude, can it get more iconic than the opening of “Star Wars"? With both John Williams’ monumental theme music and the “a long time ago, in a galaxy far far away” message, this is the most famous text crawl in the world. The viewer suddenly feels as if he is in the middle of every exciting adventure book he ever read as a kid – and the thrill ride begins.

Before we unveil our top pick, we’re going to list a few honorable mentions:
- “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (1975)
- “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me” (1999)
- “Pulp Fiction” (1994)
- “Vertigo” (1958)
- “Superbad” (2007)

#1: “James Bond” franchise (1962-)

The James Bond films have, hands down, the best opening credits in film history. “Goldfinger” and “Casino Royale” may be the most iconic among them, but they all have the same surefire ingredients: an epic theme song, luscious women, and awesome design. It sounds simple, but the results are electrifying, sexy and thrilling – and totally extraordinary.

Do you agree with our picks? What other opening credits should we have considered for this list? For more enthralling top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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