Slow motion. It adds tension. It adds drama. And, heck, more than anything, it just looks cool. Numerous action films have used slow-mo to showcase action, and transcendent hit The Matrix made it super cool again.
Sci-fi films have taken the effect and run with it in recent years, to nauseating effect at times. But when it's done right, you can't beat a good slow-mo punch, bullet or zombie-kill.
So in honor of the opening of Dredd, which wowed us with its own slow-mo action clip during the lead-up to its release this week, we've put together 16 of the coolest clips to get you pumped for a trip to Mega-City One this weekend:
Enjoy, and since these are all in slow-mo ... it could take a while.
This brutal scene, one of the first shown from the Dredd reboot opening this weekend, got us amped to see all the damage that will be wrought in Mega-City One.
This sci-fi classic used slow-mo for a few dramatic shots, and none were more dramatic than Deckard's shot that sends a replicant crashing through a window in slow-mo.
2001: A Space Odyssey
A true sci-fi classic, 2001 used slow-mo for perfect dramatic effect in several scenes, most notably the monkey's bone toss, which represents everything from evolution to aggression and our eventual quest for space exploration.
This comic-book based tale slavishly used slow-mo to show off its graphic, stylized battles. Beloved by fans, the slow-mo effects made a good movie into a truly great one.
Resident Evil: Afterlife
The Resident Evil franchise has typically taken advantage of some slow-mo shots to play up the Umbrella agent/zombie killing action, and this atmospheric scene below showcases the effect at its best.
A love-it-or-hate-it John Travolta action flick (probably best known for showing Halle Berry topless), Swordfish also featured this epic panoramic explosion scene.
The opening to Watchmen was arguably one of the best scenes, where it used dramatic slow-mo to get viewers up to speed on how the dark, superheroic world that Alan Moore created differs from ours.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Based on the comic book of the same name, this videogame-y fan favorite used slow-mo to showcase some of the quirky effects and slapstick-style fight scenes. Check out a great slow-mo girl fight below.
Christopher Nolan's mind freak Inception used slow-mo to add to the surrealism of being in a dream world, as showcased on this explosion scene that delves into the premise.
Robert Downey, Jr.'s take on Sherlock Holmes was a lot more hands-on than previous incarnations of the sly detective. In Guy Ritchie's adaptation, Holmes is a kick ass boxer, and uses his well-honed mind to slow down the fight.
The franchise that made slow-mo cool again, The Matrix features a ton of awesome slow-mo scenes. A ton. One of the coolest? Where Neo learns to dodge bullets.
One of the best zombie comedies since Shaun of the Dead, Zombieland went for slow-mo for its unique opening, which added a unique look to the usual zombie attacks.
This comic-based action flick took The Matrix-style of bullet time to the next level, showing off wrap-around bullets and everything else to make slow-mo cool again. This scene has become a fan favorite, where Wesley (James McAvoy) smacks a coworker with his keyboard.
This one falls a little more on the artistic side, showing off how slow-mo can be used in the opening scene to this fantasy adventure flick.
The concept of a Spidey-sense is well-suited to slow-motion, and Sam Raimi did a great job with it in his first Spider-Man film to show exactly how those powers work.
This low-rated, but action-packed, Jet Li action flick showed off a slightly-cheesy use of slow-mo, and was a pretty obvious rip-off of The Matrix at the time. But, man, the effects are still super fun.