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VOICE OVER: Tom Aglio WRITTEN BY: Andy Hammersmith
These monologues have our attention! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we're counting down our picks for the most intense, sinister, and/or convincing speeches in movie history. Our countdown includes “You Can't Handle the Truth” from "A Few Good Men", Ezekiel 25:17 from "Pulp Fiction", Baseball Bat from "The Shining", Scars from "The Dark Knight", “Always Be Closing” from “Glengarry Glen Ross”, and more!

#10: King Kong

“Training Day” (2001)

By the end of this cop drama, the newcomer Jake finally stands up to his corrupt superior. Detective Alonzo Harris watches his younger partner leave and the other witnesses ignore him. This culminates in a hate-fueled rant against everybody nearby, practically securing Denzel Washington’s Oscar. Harris’ speech involves a slew of threats to the locals that’s both menacing and entertaining. Despite his somewhat colorful language, the character ultimately fails to maintain his power. Memorably, the speech includes its famous use of the iconic movie monster. Washington’s performance manages to be both ominous and engrossing, captivating the listener through to the monologue’s end.

#9: Baseball Bat

“The Shining” (1980)

When Jack Torrance finally loses it in “The Shining,” he delivers this speech to his wife Wendy. It’s a disturbing sequence that reaches a boiling point for the main character. Frightening the audience, Torrance slowly heads for Wendy and starts threatening her life. Jack Nicholson’s manic performance keeps you on edge, never letting you off the hook throughout this speech. You can’t help but worry for the anti-hero’s wife as she grips a baseball bat for protection. This shocking moment allows Nicholson to unravel his tightly-coiled emotions, and he plays it for all it’s worth. If the actors weren’t so compelling, we’d be hiding our faces in fear throughout this monologue.

#8: V’s Address

“V for Vendetta” (2005)

Following the bombing of the Old Bailey, the mysterious V interrupts a broadcast to explain his actions. The masked figure speaks out in favor of truth and against the corruption of the government. Utilizing a calm voice, the character’s convincing argument infuriates officials and inspires ordinary citizens. Hugo Weaving’s performance invokes all the emotions of a populace that doesn’t want to live in fear anymore. The monologue is dangerous, mischievous, and meant to galvanize a group of oppressed people. Along with threatening those in charge, the speech sends a strong message that carries through to the movie’s memorable finale.

#7: “You Can’t Handle the Truth”

“A Few Good Men” (1992)

In the climax of this drama, Colonel Jessep finally takes the witness stand. Tom Cruise’s Daniel Kaffee keeps the officer on the stand to finish his questioning. This allows Jack Nicholson to deliver an award-worthy performance as he fights back. His famous line is just one part of this monologue, with his defensive rebuttal going down as a courtroom classic. The actor dishes out the prickly speech without even having to stand up. His character is at a low point, but makes one last attempt at justification by revealing how ruthless he can be. It’s an earth-shattering revelation that sounds incredibly powerful as delivered by Nicholson.

#6: Fear

“Gangs of New York” (2002)

It’s hard to determine which of Daniel Day-Lewis’ many outstanding roles represents his best work. Some people might argue Bill the Butcher, while others would mention the milkshake fan Daniel Plainview. His brilliant speech here from “Gangs of New York” rivals any of his other character’s greatest moments. William Cutting speaks to Amsterdam about fear, in the process perfectly summing up his own evil philosophy. He runs through his violent methods in such a matter-of-fact way, almost as if he’s reading a bedtime story. Full of contradictions, Cutting speaks about honor and respect while also frightening the audience. It’s a chilling monologue that well demonstrates Day-Lewis’ superb acting abilities.

#5: Landa’s Tactics

“Inglourious Basterds” (2009)

In the opening of this film, Colonel Hans Landa interrogates a French farmer. He enters the home with a charming demeanor before revealing his hateful ideology. Explaining his search tactics, Landa’s provocative dialogue sets up a troubling comparison involving rats. The awful words spill out from actor Christoph Waltz with such ease that you’re shocked by every syllable. It’s yet another great evil monologue from Tarantino, besting other memorable examples like Calvin’s in “Django Unchained.” All of this builds to the villain finding out the truth, setting up a moment that’s both violent and unforgettable. Waltz’s performance imbues the ongoing threats with an undeniable energy, making this speech one reason that he won the Oscar.

#4: “Always Be Closing”

“Glengarry Glen Ross” (1992)

Near the start of the “Glengarry Glen Ross,” the main cast receives an unexpected version of the usual motivational speech. Alec Baldwin’s character Blake gets their attention by giving them an ultimatum. He insults them, threatens their jobs, and forces them to get greedy. Pitting the salesmen against each other, the character doesn’t care about offending anybody. Baldwin steals the film with one scene as this wild monologue lets him fly off the handle. With a number of quotable lines, the essence of the entire movie is boiled down into this entertaining rant.

#3: Taking Down Clarice

“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Clarice Starling’s first encounter with Dr. Hannibal Lecter goes about as well as anybody would have expected. After asking him for help, the FBI agent endures the wrath of the prisoner’s intelligence. The latter attacks his interviewer in a brutal speech that doesn’t skimp on details. This includes getting personal about her humble background, clearly offending her by the end. Anthony Hopkins’ snarling performance doesn’t let up as he disappears into the role. In an intense close-up, the serial killer does everything he can to push Starling away. It’s both riveting and frightening to watch.

#2: Scars

“The Dark Knight” (2008)

The Joker is up to all kinds of tricks in “The Dark Knight.” He also loves to monologue, with this one being one of his calling cards. The villain tells it multiple times in the movie, but this particular version feels like the distillation of his disturbing psyche. Heath Ledger doesn’t hold back as he shares this awful tale about his character’s scars. This evil criminal sucks the air out of the room as he confronts Rachel with a knife. While it might be the best speech from this antagonist, the gripping scene with Harvey Dent in the hospital gives it a run for its money. Few superhero films are this scary or genuinely intimidating.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Barnes Makes His Presence Known, “Platoon” (1986)
The Angry Sergeant Provokes His Squad After Killing His Rival

Ghost Story, “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003)
Barbossa Frightens Elizabeth with a Horrifying Tale of Undead Pirates

Greed, “Wall Street” (1987)
Gordon Gekko Reveals His Immoral & Immortal Words About Business

Veidt’s Plan, “Watchmen” (2009)
This Supervillain Defies Stereotypes by Revealing His Evil Plan After Going Through with It

Humanity, “The Matrix” (1999)
Agent Smith Doesn’t Hold Back His Thoughts on the Human Race

#1: Ezekiel 25:17

“Pulp Fiction” (1994)

In this iconic scene from “Pulp Fiction,” Jules Winnfield stares Brett down and unleashes a tirade for the ages. This includes a biblical speech that gives Samuel L. Jackson one of his finest moments on screen. The actor’s angry tone keeps you on the edge of your seat, with all of it leading to a dramatic execution. Tarantino’s dialogue has arguably never been better. It’s an unlikely way to threaten someone, but it’s utterly compelling coming out of Jackson’s mouth. The tension is palpable as the verbose hitman gives a monologue you’ll never forget.

Did we forget another threatening movie monologue? Let us know in the comments below.