Top 10 Live Action Movies with the Best Special Effects

List the best SFX in any live action film you have seen. Animated movies get their own list for this.

The Top Ten Live Action Movies with the Best Special Effects

1 Avatar

The most impressive thing about the effects was the way the CG characters interacted with the live action ones. The sequence between Jake and Neytiri when she sees Jake's human body for the first time is what I mean. Jake touches Neytiri's Face and Neytiri holds Jake's hand, and it looks perfectly seamless. - Extractinator04

2 Revenge of the Sith

The opening sequence. Calm flyover of a lone Star Destroyer, two fighter jets appear, then as they look down below the Star Destroyer, WAR! In a long take, you have two fighter jets winding their way through an enormous battlefield. The juxtaposition of sedate view versus intense battlefield is a reminder that Lucas is one great visual director. - Extractinator04

3 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Smaug himself. You can NOT find a better computer generated dragon than the destructive Smaug. The tales are true. - Extractinator04

4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

Remember that part where Jack Sparrow entered the harbor with his ship sinking enough to get him to step onto the dock? Know how they did that? They had a giant tank of water, put a green screen behind it, stuck a movable dock in it and kept the ship in one place. They then slowly let the water out and moved the dock away while filming, then they reversed the film. End result? Complex shot achieved by use of the simplest effect to do, ever. - Extractinator04

5 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Bootstrap is the only one of Jones' crew who is not motion capture; he is five hours' worth of makeup with CGI in closeups. The makeup is so great I always thought he was a CGI character. - Extractinator04

6 The Dark Knight Rises

The Bat is not CGI. It is an actual sized purpose built vehicle suspended in midair by wires from choppers and cranes with hydraulic controls to make it look like its maneuvering. - Extractinator04

7 The Terminator

This was a justly cheap movie for its day, with a budget of only 6.5 million dollars; which is why the producers of The Sarah Conner Chronicles managed to convince studio heads that they could make a great Terminator show on a Television series budget. This does, however, highlight Stan Winston's genius, since the T:SCC people are following his creation of the destroyed Terminator makeup. Oh, and let me not forget his astounding puppet T-1000. Thought the T-1000 was CGI? Only ten minutes of screen time the T-1000 takes up for its transformations are CGI. That is not even counting his Predator and Alien Queen designs. Stan Winston was astounding; he created the most iconic creatures and machines outside Star Wars, firing up an entire generation's imagination - and horror. And amazement. - Extractinator04

8 Terminator 2: Judgment Day

The T-1000. Twenty years later, and that liquid iron murder machine remains more impressive than ever, from the moment it heals its first wound all the way to its Shape Shifting Swan Song. Also noted for being the first time a CGI character spoke on film. - Extractinator04

This was dangerous to film, because many of the crashes were actually preformed irl. - Sop

I like the fact that there were more raw effects than cg used.

9 Doctor Strange (2016)

The effects in this movie are the most impressive I have ever seen.

Yeah, when they walk on the walls and stuff, so impressive! - darthvadern

10 Spider-Man 3

Lack of screen time aside, the Symbiote was particularly well done. They turn the symbiote into a scary tentacle. It does not bond with SpiderMan, it latches onto him. The best moment is during the bonding scene. You see the Symbiote's shadow first looking a lot like Venom's head, complete with mandible and tongue. Then it morphs into abominable fingers that grab onto Spider's arm. - Extractinator04

The Newcomers

? What Dreams May Come

The Contenders

11 Spider-Man 2

Doc's four tentacles. They had a full puppet rig for all of the close-ups, and CGI for action shots. And it. Is. OUTSTANDING. - Extractinator04

12 Transformers

The Transformer bots are Tech Porn. The sheer jaw dropping complexity of the AIs and their million moving parts makes it impossible to believe that a human being actually designed that thing. And then you realize the visual effects designers needed to invent entirely new tech to get it done, a leap that had not been made since Jurassic Park. Iron Hide's cannons alone contain more parts than any of the other automatons. - Extractinator04

13 Jurassic Park
14 Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Simply the brief sequences from the trailer were absolutely stunning. Most impressively is that all of the effects are done practically rather than the CGI approach of the prequel trilogy. Special mention to the Millennium Falcon dog fighting the TIE fighters. Another mention goes to BB-8, who is a controllable practical effect as proven at Celebration Anaheim 2015. Most of all, though, the muffin Rey makes. She puts the mixture into a bowl right in front of the audience's face, and while the audience is distracted watching her in the background the water seamlessly forms into a muffin. - Extractinator04

15 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

The appearances of Peter Cushing, who has been dead for wenty years, as Grand Moff Tarkin, and a twenty year old Carrie Fisher as a young Princess Leia, thank you, ridiculously great motion capture. they get quite uncanny, but they are nonetheless stunningly realisticlooking. If you did not know they were CG, you would not be able to tell their parts were not filmed back in 1976. The combat in general are gorgeous, all of which is down to excellent cinematography but most of which is down to ILM's fantastic effects work, as always. The Death Star's strength is given a background test in this movie, leaving behind an enormous explosion with a wave of rubble. In the words of Director Krennic, "It's beautiful." - Extractinator04

16 Valerian & the City of a Thousand Planets
17 Avengers: Age of Ultron
18 The Dark Knight
19 Inception
20 Ant-Man

The digital reverse aging of Michael Douglas to look like he did in 1989 is extremely impressive - it looks like he came off of the set of Wall Street to film a scene for a movie that would not be finished for 25 years. At the end of the film, the Quantum Realm sequence. The movie's outstanding Yellowjacket suit? It does not exist, it is completely CGI. The sheer number of people who thought it was a real costume speaks a volume of how impressive it is. The depiction of Ant Man's size changing looks crazily cool sometimes. - Extractinator04

21 Captain America: Civil War
22 Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The effects in this take it one step further than the others with an all out alien invasion and the appearance of Driller, a machine that is not only bigger than Devastator in size and piece count, but the scene in which it smashes a skyscraper towards the end took ILM's top performance computers an hour to load. Also, it took up the entire ILM render farm to be finished! - Extractinator04

23 The Golden Compass

The CG animals in this look EXACTLY, SPOT ON the same as the real ones in our world. - Extractinator04

24 Mad Max: Fury Road
25 Godzilla (2014)
26 Iron Man 3
27 Guardians of the Galaxy
28 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
29 Hollow Man
30 Interstellar
31 Wes Craven's New Nightmare
32 Furious 7
33 War for the Planet of the Apes
34 Pixels

Generally agreed to be the lone bright spot of the film. And it is easy to see why. Special mention goes to the Centipede and Pack Man sequences. - Extractinator04

35 Suicide Squad

The makeup and prosthetic work for Killer Crocodile is spectacular. It is epic for such things to look better in behind the scenes photographs than it does on camera. - Extractinator04

36 Thor: Ragnarok

Every shot of the fight between the villain and the Valkyries looks like a gorgeous fantasy painting. The whole Thor vs. Lava Dude and Dragon battle at the start. Notable is the shot when we follow the sledgehammer as it breaks flame imps in a circle around Thor. Look at the Grand Master's city. It is every Jack Kirby city distilled onto one world and it looks glorious. The 12 foot wolf being brought to life on the big screen is simultaneously breathtaking, harrowing, and astounding. - Extractinator04

37 Logan
38 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
39 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
40 Hook
41 The Thing
42 Poseidon
43 Avengers: Endgame
44 Batman Returns
45 Pearl Harbor
46 Batman Forever
BAdd New Item