Pacific Rim continues to prove the theory that more movies need Idris Elba. Especially in the role of a badass military leader who speaks in nothing but “cancel the apocalypse” goodness.
As Warner Bros. has unleashed its Jaegers-vs.-Kaiju battle royale, complete with one of the best prefinal showdown speeches in a long time, we take a look at 10 more of our favorite inspirational speeches.
Independence Day (1995)
Before the humans attack their alien invaders with the one-two combo of a computer virus and Randy Quaid (naturally), Bill Pullman’s President Whitmore rallies the troops with this fist-pumping speech.
“The United States government has just asked us to save the world. Anybody want to say ‘no’?” And with that, Bruce Willis’ badass oil driller inspires his fellow roughnecks to become comet-killing astronauts.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Should you ever find yourself in the cockpit of an X-wing, dodging enemy fighters while trying to slam-dunk two photons into a 5x5-meter hole in the Death Star, the only voice you’ll want to hear is Obi-Wan Kenobi’s. Specifically, his “Use the Force” mantra. Oh and if he has time, also a heads up on the whole “kissing your sister” thing.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Tom Hanks plays Captain Miller as a very private, less-is-more kind of guy to the point where all those under his charge have a betting pool going on what Miller did before the war. So after his plan to take out a Nazi radar station results in one man dead, morale suffers a body blow. His troops are on the brink so Miller tells them what they want to hear. And with that, a Pennsylvania schoolteacher – struggling to get back home under the weight of all the death on his conscience – inspires his men to continue risking their lives to save just one.
Rocky Balboa (2006)
After the antimovie that was Rocky V, Sylvester Stallone returned to the ring with his signature underdog boxer – once again facing a world that wants to put him down. But, like Rock says, life’s not about how you get hit, it’s about “how hard you can get hit” and keep going. Someone should frame this and put it in every guidance counselor’s office STAT.
If you haven’t seen this movie yet, you’re some kind of wrong person. But if you have seen what’s arguably the best sports movie in the history of ever, then you know why Gene Hackman’s Coach Dale don’t care about what’s on the scoreboard.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Writer-director Frank Darabont’s best film is creeping up on its 20th anniversary, and it still holds up remarkably well mostly due to its inspiring message of hope in the face of hopelessness. As Red (Morgan Freeman) tells Tim Robbins’ Andy, "whenever life has you low, you either get busy living or get busy dying." Guess which one Andy chooses?
Blue face paint? Check. Sword and kilt? Double check. Never let them take your “freeeedom!”? Check and mate.
Any Given Sunday (1999)
Pacino’s aging football coach encourages his players that they can either accept their current miserable circumstances, or fight their way out of them. Someone should have told him that before signing up for Godfather III, amirites?! *cymbal crash.*
Gladiator’s General Maximus taught us two things: more fights should involve tridents, and the best way to win said fights is to form a unified front. But mostly, tridents.