1. American Beauty (1999)
Lester Burnham: [narrating] I had always heard your entire life flashes in front of your eyes the second before you die. First of all, that one second isn't a second at all, it stretches on forever, like an ocean of time... For me, it was lying on my back at Boy Scout camp, watching falling stars... And yellow leaves, from the maple trees, that lined our street... Or my grandmother's hands, and the way her skin seemed like paper... And the first time I saw my cousin Tony's brand new Firebird... And Janie... And Janie... And... Carolyn. I guess I could be pretty pissed off about what happened to me... but it's hard to stay mad, when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once, and it's too much, my heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst... And then I remember to relax, and stop trying to hold on to it, and then it flows through me like rain and I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life... You have no idea what I'm talking about, I'm sure. But don't worry... you will someday.
Ricky Fitts: It was one of those days when it's a minute away from snowing and there's this electricity in the air, you can almost hear it. Right? And this bag was just dancing with me. Like a little kid begging me to play with it. For fifteen minutes. That's the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever. Video's a poor excuse, I know. But it helps me remember... I need to remember... Sometimes there's so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can't take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.
Ricky Fitts: I was filming this dead bird.
Angela Hayes: Why?
Ricky Fitts: Because it's beautiful.
2. A Beautiful Mind (2001)
Dr. Rosen: Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?
Hansen: So how about it, Nash? You scared?
Nash: Terrified... mortified... petrified... stupefied... by you.
Often what I feel is obligation, or guilt over wanting to leave, or rage against John, against God. But then I look at him and I force myself to see the man I married. And he becomes that man. He's transformed into someone I love. And then I'm transformed into someone who loves him. It's not all the time. But it's enough.
Nash: What truly is logic? Who decides reason? My quest has taken me to the physical, the metaphysical, the delusional, and back. I have made the most important discovery of my career - the most important discovery of my life. It is only in the mysterious equations of love that any logic or reasons can be found. I am only here tonight because of you
[looking at and speaking to Alicia]
Nash: You are the only reason I am. You are all my reasons. Thank you.
[applause from audience]
3. Forrest Gump (1994)
Forrest Gump: I am not be a perfect man Jenny, but I know what love is…
Forrest Gump: What's the matter, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: I'm dying, Forrest. Come on in, sit down over here.
Forrest Gump: Why are you dying, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: It's my time. It's just my time. Oh, now, don't you be afraid, sweetheart. Death is just a part of life. Something we're all destined to do. I didn't know it, but I was destined to beyour mama. I did the best I could.
Forrest Gump: You did good.
Mrs. Gump: Well, I happen to believe you make your own destiny. You have to do the best with what God gave you.
Forrest Gump: What's my destiny, Mama?
Mrs. Gump: You're gonna have to figure that out for yourself. Life is a box of chocolates, Forrest. You never know what you're gonna to get.
Forrest Gump: [voice over] Mama always had a way of explaining things so I could understand them.
Mrs. Gump: I will miss you, Forrest.
Forrest Gump: [voice over] She had got the cancer and died on a Tuesday. I bought her a new hat with little flowers on it.
[back on the bus bench where the elderly woman sitting next to Forrest is crying]
Forrest Gump: And that's all I have to say about that.
Forrest Gump: You died on a Saturday morning. And I had you placed here under our tree. And I had that house of your father's bulldozed to the ground. Momma always said dyin' was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn't. Little Forrest, he's doing just fine. About to start school again soon. I make his breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. I make sure he combs his hair and brushes his teeth every day. Teaching him how to play ping-pong. He's really good. We fish a lot. And every night, we read a book. He's so smart, Jenny. You'd be so proud of him. I am. He, uh, wrote a letter, and he says I can't read it. I'm not supposed to, so I'll just leave it here for you. Jenny, I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time. I miss you, Jenny. If there's anything you need, I won't be far away.
4. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Andy Dufresne: [in a letter to Red] Dear Red. If you're reading this, you've gotten out. And if you've come this far, maybe you're willing to come a little further. You remember the name of the town, don't you?
Andy Dufresne: I could use a good man to help me get my project on wheels. I'll keep an eye out for you and the chessboard ready. Remember, Red, hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend. Andy.
Andy Dufresne: Get busy living, or get busy dying.
Andy Dufresne: Red. If you ever get out of here, do me a favor.
Red: Sure, Andy. Anything.
Andy Dufresne: There's a big hayfield up near Buxton. You know where Buxton is?
Red: Well, there's... there's a lot of hayfields up there.
Andy Dufresne: One in particular. It's got a long rock wall with a big oak tree at the north end. It's like something out of a Robert Frost poem. It's where I asked my wife to marry me. We went there for a picnic and made love under that oak and I asked and she said yes. Promise me, Red. If you ever get out... find that spot. At the base of that wall, you'll find a rock that has no earthly business in a Maine hayfield. Piece of black, volcanic glass. There's something buried under it I want you to have.
Red: What, Andy? What's buried under there?
Andy Dufresne: [turns to walk away] You'll have to pry it up... to see.
Andy Dufresne: You know what the Mexicans say about the Pacific?
Andy Dufresne: They say it has no memory. That's where I want to live the rest of my life. A warm place with no memory.
[Warden Norton finds the bible in his safe after Andy escapes and finds the message Andy left for him]
Andy Dufresne: Dear Warden, You were right. Salvation lay within
[Norton flips through a couple of pages to find the outline of the rock hammer that was hidden in the Book of Exodus within the Bible, and then drops it on the floor in shock]
5. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
Benjamin Button: [Voice over; letter to his daughter] For what it's worth: it's never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There's no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you're proud of. If you find that you're not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.
Benjamin Button: Some people, were born to sit by a river. Some get struck by lightning. Some have an ear for music. Some are artists. Some swim. Some know buttons. Some know Shakespeare. Some are mothers. And some people, dance.
Daisy: Would you still love me if I were old and saggy?
Benjamin Button: Would you still love ME if I were young and had acne? When I'm afraid of what's under the stairs? Or if I end up wetting the bed?
Ngunda Oti: You'll see little man, plenty of times you be alone. You different like us, it's gonna be that way. But I tell you a little secret I find out. We know we alone. Fat people, skinny people, tall people, white people... they just as alone as us... but they scared shitless.
6. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Christopher Gardner: Hey. Don't ever let somebody tell you... You can't do something. Not even me. All right?
Christopher: All right.
Christopher Gardner: You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period.
Christopher Gardner: It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?
Christopher Gardner: I met my father for the first time when I was 28 years old. I made up my mind that when I had children, my children were going to know who their father was.
7. Fight Club (1999)
Tyler Durden: Man, I see in fight club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squandering. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War's a spiritual war... our Great Depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
Tyler Durden: Fuck damnation, man! Fuck redemption! We are God's unwanted children? So be it!
Narrator: OK. Give me some water!
Tyler Durden: Listen, you can run water over your hand and make it worse or...
Tyler Durden: look at me... or you can use vinegar and neutralize the burn.
Narrator: Please let me have it... *Please*!
Tyler Durden: First you have to give up, first you have to *know*... not fear... *know*... that someday you're gonna die.
Tyler Durden: Welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: you do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: you DO NOT talk about Fight Club! Third rule of Fight Club: someone yells "stop!", goes limp, taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule: only two guys to a fight. Fifth rule: one fight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule: No shirts, no shoes. Seventh rule: fights will go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule: if this is your first time at Fight Club, you have to fight.
8. Into the Wild (2007)
Christopher McCandless: I read somewhere... how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong... but to feel strong.
Christopher McCandless: Two years he walks the earth. No phone, no pool, no pets, no cigarettes. Ultimate freedom. An extremist. An aesthetic voyager whose home is the road. Escaped from Atlanta. Thou shalt not return, 'cause "the West is the best." And now after two rambling years comes the final and greatest adventure. The climactic battle to kill the false being within and victoriously conclude the spiritual pilgrimage. Ten days and nights of freight trains and hitchhiking bring him to the Great White North. No longer to be poisoned by civilization he flees, and walks alone upon the land to become lost in the wild. - Alexander Supertramp May 1992
9. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012)
Charlie: Why do nice people choose the wrong people to date?
Bill: Are we talking about anyone specific?
Bill: We accept the love we think we deserve.
Charlie: Can we make them know they deserve more?
Bill: We can try.
Charlie: I don't know if I will have the time to write any more letters because I might be too busy trying to participate. So if this does end up being the last letter I just want you to know that I was in a bad place before I started high school and you helped me. Even if you didn't know what I was talking about or know someone who's gone through it, you made me not feel alone. Because I know there are people who say all these things don't happen. And there are people who forget what it's like to be 16 when they turn 17. I know these will all be stories someday. And our pictures will become old photographs. We'll all become somebody's mom or dad. But right now these moments are not stories. This is happening. I am here and I am looking at her. And she is so beautiful. I can see it. This one moment when you know you're not a sad story. You are alive, and you stand up and see the lights on the buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And you're listening to that song and that drive with the people you love most in this world. And in this moment I swear, we are infinite.
10. Memento (2000)
Leonard Shelby: I have to believe in a world outside my own mind. I have to believe that my actions still have meaning, even if I can't remember them. I have to believe that when my eyes are closed, the world's still there. Do I believe the world's still there? Is it still out there?... Yeah. We all need mirrors to remind ourselves who we are. I'm no different.
Leonard Shelby: If we can't make memories, we can't heal.
Natalie: What's the last thing that you do remember?
Leonard Shelby: My wife...
Natalie: That's sweet.
Leonard Shelby: ...dying.
Leonard Shelby: I don't even know how long she's been gone. It's like I've woken up in bed and she's not here... because she's gone to the bathroom or something. But somehow, I know she's never gonna come back to bed. If I could just... reach over and touch... her side of the bed, I would know that it was cold, but I can't. I know I can't have her back... but I don't want to wake up in the morning, thinking she's still here. I lie here not knowing... how long I've been alone. So how... how can I heal? How am I supposed to heal if I can't... feel time?
11. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Frankie Dunn: It wasn't fault. I was wrong to say that.
Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: You damn right. I found you a fighter. You made her the best fighter she could be.
Frankie Dunn: I killed her.
Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: Don't say that. Maggie walked through that door with nothing buts guts. No chance in the world of being what she needed to be. It was because of you that she was fighting the championship of the world. You did that. People die everyday, Frankie - mopping floors, washing dishes and you know what their last thought is? I never got my shot. Because of you Maggie got her shot. If she dies today you know what her last thought would be? I think I did all right.
Maggie Fitzgerald: She's tough, I can't go inside, I can't get close enough to hit her.
Frankie Dunn: You know why that is?
Maggie Fitzgerald: Why?
Frankie Dunn: Cause she's a better fighter than you are, that's why. She's younger, she's stronger, and she's more experienced. Now, what are you gonna do about it?
Maggie Fitzgerald: [Next round starts. Maggie knocks her out in few seconds]
Eddie Scrap-Iron Dupris: All fighters are pig-headed some way or another: some part of them always thinks they know better than you about something. Truth is: even if they're wrong, even if that one thing is going to be the ruin of them, if you can beat that last bit out of them... they ain't fighters at all.
12. Boys Don't Cry (1999)
Brandon: "Dear Lana, By the time you read this I'll be back home in Lincoln. I'm scared of what's ahead, but when I think of you I know I'll be able to go on. You were right, Memphis isn't that far off. I'll be taking that trip down the highway before too long. I'll be waiting for you. Love always and forever, Brandon."
Lana: Shut up, that's your business. I don't care if you are half monkey or half ape, I'm gettin' you out of here!
Nicole: You don't seem like you're from here.
Brandon: Where does it seem like I'm from?
Nicole: Someplace... beautiful.
[John and Tom have pulled Brandon's pants down to show Lana that her boyfriend is biologically female, but Lana refuses to acknowledge it]
Lana: Leave him alone!
John Lotter: HIM?
13. Black Swan (2010)
Thomas Leroy: Nina, what did you do?
Nina: I felt it. Perfect. I was perfect.
Nina: I came to ask for the part.
Thomas Leroy: The truth is when I look at you all I see is the white swan. Yes you're beautiful, fearful, and fragile. Ideal casting. But the black swan? It's a hard fucking job to dance both.
Nina: I can dance the black swan, too.
Thomas Leroy: Really? In four years every time you dance I see you obsessed getting each and every move perfectly right but I never see you lose yourself. Ever! All that discipline for what?
Nina: [whispers] I just want to be perfect.
Thomas Leroy: What?
Nina: I want to be perfect.
Thomas Leroy: [scoffs] Perfection is not just about control. It's also about letting go. Surprise yourself so you can surprise the audience. Transcendence! Very few have it in them.
Nina: I think I do have it in me.
Thomas Leroy: You could be brilliant, but you're a coward.
Nina: I'm sorry.
Thomas Leroy: [yelling] Now stop saying that! That's exactly what I'm talking about. Stop being so fucking weak!
Thomas Leroy: We all know the story. Virginal girl, pure and sweet, trapped in the body of a swan. She desires freedom but only true love can break the spell. Her wish is nearly granted in the form of a prince, but before he can declare his love her lustful twin, the black swan, tricks and seduces him. Devastated the white swan leaps of a cliff killing herself and, in death, finds freedom.
14. The Dark Knight (2008)
Harvey Dent: You either die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
The Joker: You wanna know how I got these scars? My father, was a drinker, and a fiend. And one night, he goes off crazier than usual. Mommy gets the kitchen knife to defend herself. He doesn't like that. Not. One. Bit. So, me watching, he takes the knife to her, laughing while he does it. He turns to me and says, "Why so serious?" Comes at me with the knife. "WHY SO SERIOUS?" He sticks the blade in my mouth... "Let's put a smile on that face." And...
[glancing at thug]
The Joker: Why so serious?
The Joker: I just did what I do best. I took your little plan and I turned it on itself. Look what I did to this city with a few drums of gas and a couple of bullets. Hmmm? You know... You know what I've noticed? Nobody panics when things go "according to plan." Even if the plan is horrifying! If, tomorrow, I tell the press that, like, a gang banger will get shot, or a truckload of soldiers will be blown up, nobody panics, because it's all "part of the plan". But when I say that one little old mayor will die, well then everyone loses their minds!
[Joker hands Two-Face a gun and points it at himself]
The Joker: Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!
Batman: Then why do you want to kill me?
The Joker: [giggling] I don't, I don't want to kill you! What would I do without you? Go back to ripping off mob dealers? No, no, NO! No. You... you... complete me.
Batman: You're garbage who kills for money.
The Joker: Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.
Harvey Dent: Your men. Your plan.
The Joker: Do I really look like a guy with a plan? You know what I am? I'm a dog chasing cars. I wouldn't know what to do with one if I caught it! You know, I just... *do* things.
15. Inception (2010)
Cobb: What do you want?
Saito: Inception. Is it possible?
Arthur: Of course not.
Saito: If you can steal an idea, why can't you plant one there instead?
Arthur: Okay, this is me, planting an idea in your mind. I say: don't think about elephants. What are you thinking about?
Arthur: Right, but it's not your idea. The dreamer can always remember the genesis of the idea. True inspiration is impossible to fake.
Cobb: No, it's not.
Cobb: They say we only use a fraction of our brain's true potential. Now that's when we're awake. When we're asleep, we can do almost anything.
Mal: Do you know what it is to be a lover? Half of a whole?
Cobb: You're waiting for a train. A train that'll take you far away. You know where you hope this train will take you. But you can't know for sure. Yet it doesn't matter. Now, tell me why?
Mal: Because you'll be together!
Cobb: You create the world of the dream. We bring the subject into that dream and fill it with their subconscious.
Ariadne: How could I ever acquire enough detail to make them think that it's reality?
Cobb: Well, dreams, they feel real while we're in them right? Its only when we wake up then we realize that something was actually strange.