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Top 10 Greatest Movie Lasers

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Ryan Hechler. Lasers! Who doesn’t like them? Join as we count down our picks for the top 10 greatest movie lasers. For this list, we’re only considering epic mechanical lasers and the scenes in which they are depicted on the big screen. So that means we’ll be excluding organic ones, such as those used by the mutant Cyclops from “X-Men” and Superman. These movie lasers are technically advanced and are some of the best to grace the silver screen. Special thanks to our user Watchmojyguy for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Ryan Hechler.

Top 10 Greatest Movie Lasers

Lasers! Who doesn’t like them? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 greatest movie lasers.

For this list, we’re only considering epic mechanical lasers and the scenes in which they are depicted on the big screen. So that means we’ll be excluding organic ones, such as those used by the mutant Cyclops from “X-Men” and “Superman.”

#10: It’s a One-Off
“Iron Man 2” (2010)

This scene from the second “Iron Man” flick pitted our titular superhero and War Machine against an onslaught of Hammer Drones. Our Marvel men are surrounded while bullets and energy beams are flying all around them. To level the playing field, Iron Man clears the area with a massive laser blast that decimates the entire Hammer Drone Army within seconds! While the scene is short in comparison to the film’s other action sequences, it is both visually stunning and epically awesome!

#9: Robot Laser Gun
“Short Circuit” (1986)

In this comic sci-fi flick, NOVA Laboratories built a series of deadly laser shooting robot prototypes for U.S. military use during the Cold War. However, one of these robots, which also happens to be the film’s lovable protagonist, develops free will after being zapped by lightning. Though Number 5 can use his lasers in a bind, he opts to stop his robot brothers from being used in combat. In this scene, while the robots don’t zap much more than military equipment during a demonstration, they are nonetheless impressively destructive.

#8: Laser Diamond Gun
“Congo” (1995)

In this climatic scene, the film’s expedition crew is cornered by a horde of killer grey gorillas against which bullets are ineffective. Trying to escape, Dr. Peter Elliott falls and is quickly surrounded by the mine’s primate protectors. His crewmates struggle to come up with a plan and, within seconds, Dr. Karen Ross turns her prototype communications laser into a deadly laser gun by jamming a rare blue diamond into it. The killer grey gorillas are then brutally zapped away. Guess this laser diamond gun really is “the latest thing in communication!”

#7: Gort’s Energy Ray
“The Day the Earth Stood Still” (1951)

It’s the beginning of the movie and the U.S. army has to deal with a UFO that’s landed in the middle of Washington, D.C. After the alien Klaatu steps forward to offer a gift, a soldier panics and shoots the humanoid. Responding to his master’s distressed situation, the robot Gort appears and breaks down the soldiers’ weapons with his eye lasers. While brief and not as stunning by today’s standards, these blasts were some of the earliest laser special effects in cinema history. This made this scene absolutely phenomenal in 1951 and one that still holds up today.

#6: Shrink Ray
“Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” (1989)

In this sci-fi family flick, crackpot inventor Wayne Szalinski invents a shrink ray to make objects smaller. While the inventor’s gadget fails to do what he intends it to under his guided use, his children accidentally “fix” it with a stray baseball and end up being taken down a size or two or three or…! The shrink ray’s laser effects were graphically stunning at the time of the film’s release and it has since become one of the most iconic movie gadgets of the ‘80s.

#5: Experimental Digitizing Laser
“Tron” (1982)

The special effects and computer graphics used in this 1982 cult classic were well ahead of its time. And one of “Tron”’s coolest pieces of hardware was most certainly the digitizer laser, as the gadget bridged the real world with the virtual world. Absorbing users into the virtual world one pixel at a time, the computer graphics used to achieve this laser still look fantastic today and helped make the Disney sci-fi as unforgettable as it is.

#4: Laser Watch Escape
“GoldenEye” (1995)

While Goldfinger had uncomfortably pointed a laser at James Bond in the past, it was not until “GoldenEye” that Bond was able to wield his own! In this tense scene, Bond is trapped on a train about to explode in the middle of Russia. With his partner Simonova trying to crack a computer code in the same cart, the pair only escapes after Bond uses his Q-provided laser watch to cut out an exit! While the watch is only used for a few seconds, it instantly became a classic 007 gadget thanks to this memorable moment!

#3: Laser Grid
“Resident Evil” (2002)

Many frightening things lurk beneath Raccoon City… including a fatal laser grid defense hallway! The sci-fi horror movie’s heroine, Alice, can do little more than just watch as her colleagues are sealed in the deadly Hive. One-by-one, the laser grid, controlled by the A.I. known as the Red Queen, slaughters each commando until there is a lone, agile survivor. As a computer technician scrambles to deactivate the security system’s mainframe, he is all but too late as the last commando is butchered into cubed flesh. This is a truly stomach-turning scene!

#2: Proton Packs
“Ghostbusters” (1984)

With a giant Stay Puft Mashmallow Man on the loose and New York City in imminent danger, the Ghostbusters have to think quickly! So our heroes combine their proton packs and blast the Marshmallow Man! While those epic lasers look awesome, it took the Ghostbusters’ combined effort of crossing their laser streams in front of a supernatural portal to thwart this gooey incarnation of an ancient god. And in the end, the proton packs’ lasers toasted their marshmallow target. Looks like crossing streams isn’t always such a bad idea after all.

Before we unveil our number one pic, here are some honorable mentions:
- Sharks with Frickin’ Laser Beams
“Austin Powers in Goldmember” (2002)
- Popcorn-Making Super-Laser
“Real Genius” (1985)
- Laser Cannon
“Laserblast” (1978)
- Death Blossom
“The Last Starfighter” (1984)

#1: The Death Star
“Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” (1977)

While light sabers are amazing laser swords, the Jedi weapons pale in comparison to the destructive power of the Death Star. Even after torture and imprisonment, Princess Leia refuses to give up the location of the Rebel Base. Frustrated and hoping to speed things along, Grand Moff Tarkin demonstrates to the Princess what exactly his Death Star is capable of. With Leia’s home planet of Alderaan in clear view, the Grand Moff gives the command to fire the space station’s laser cannon and within seconds, Alderaan is nothing more than galactic rubble. Now if that isn’t a powerful and memorable laser, we don’t know what is.

Do you agree with our list? What are your favorite movie laser scenes? For more excellent Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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