Cinema’s Best Elevator Scenes

The Matrix | WarnerBros

Elevators aren’t just a form of transportation. Many poignant movie scenes have taken place in elevators, with everything from fights to character development. Here are a few of our favorites:

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

This is the first scene that the Russo brothers shot in the Marvel cinematic universe, and it turns out, it’s a pivotal moment in the movie. “It was a very important scene to us, emotionally, metaphorically for a lot of reasons we felt like the style of fighting in the elevator was what was going to make this movie distinctive,” Joe Russo said in an interview with GQ. “I think that elevator sequence not only represents mistrust and subversion, but it also represents a change in Cap forever…he’ll never be the same character again when he comes out of that elevator.”

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

It would be hard to forget the Wonka-vator, the glass elevator in Willy Wonka’s factory that breaks through the ceiling and soars over the town. It’s in this elevator that Charlie learns that he has inherited the chocolate factory. The elevator is so important to the story that the book sequel is called “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator.”

Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean's Eleven

Danny Ocean’s plan to steal $150 million from a casino wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t involve rappelling down an elevator shaft filled with lasers, would it? While the feat certainly looked real onscreen, in reality, the actors were only a few feet off the ground and the elevator shaft was created with visual effects.

You’ve Got Mail

Getting stuck in an elevator may be the best thing that’s ever happened to you. This certainly was the case for Joe Fox, who realizes that what he has accomplished in life may not be exactly what he wants. This scene also busts some misconceptions the passengers have about how elevators work.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Rey and Kylo Ren have a conversation that will affect the trajectory of both characters’ paths for the rest of the trilogy. And it happens in an elevator in space. Whether you’re rooting for Kylo Ren (or Ben, as Rey refers to him in this scene) to join the good side or are on #TeamReylo, this moment is critical for the two characters.

The Matrix

In this scene, Neo provides the ultimate escape by shooting an elevator cable, propelling him and Trinity away from the elevator that contains a detonated bomb. While the fire shooting through the lobby in the scene was actually real, the elevator door was added in post-production.

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