The 50 most special effects of all time

We rank the most awe-inducing moments of our dreams and nightmares

In a way, cinema itself is the ultimate special effect: another world trapped onscreen for us to peer into. As the very first viewers of movies learned, shock and awe would always be a part of the experience. A massive revolution in digital technology has occurred within our lifetimes; Hollywood has reinvented itself, for good and ill, as a delivery device for fantasy and wonderment. So let's take a trip along the definitive moments—the instants when jaws hung open and we gasped at something that had never been seen. And if you've been knocked out by a title that didn't make our list, please let us know.
 

50-41

40-31

30-21

 
20-11

10-1

First published on 23 Aug 2011. Updated on 14 May 2012.

By David Fear, Joshua Rothkopf and Keith Uhlich   |  
 

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