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3 Most Iconic Window-Shattering Scenes in Movies

We’ve all seen it—an action film hero bursting through a glass window to escape an explosion. This film trope makes for an excellent visual, and there’s no doubt that movie-going audiences have come to adore and expect this crucial moment in action films.

The examples of this dangerous display in TV and film are too plentiful to list. So, if you want to quickly brush up on your movie trivia, read through this list of the three most iconic window-shattering scenes in movies!

The Matrix
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss (Actors)

The Matrix (1999)

If any movie exemplifies the trope of environment-breaking effects in action films, 1999’s The Matrix probably takes the digital cake. This movie’s iconic window break scene appears as Trinity (Carrie-Anne Moss), one of the film’s rebellious main characters, works to escape the agents pursuing her.

After chasing her across rooftops, Trinity takes a daring dive through an old apartment window. Cooly as ever, she rolls through the shattered glass and down a flight of stairs, only to ready herself to continue the firefight immediately after.

Realistic? Maybe not, but this glass-shattering scene certainly sets viewers up to expect the best from Trinity going forward.

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Die Hard (4K UHD)
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia (Actors)

Die Hard (1988)

Broken glass is almost an antagonist of its own throughout Die Hard. Forcing our barefoot hero to walk, crawl, and navigate through shattered glass is enough to make our skin crawl upon every rewatch.

However, this film makes the most of the film industry’s movie magic when it comes to glass in one of its shoot-out scenes. Just as Sergeant Al Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) leaves a seemingly false alarm at Nakatomi Tower, John McClane (Bruce Willis) uses his quick thinking to get the officer’s attention.

One bad guy’s body, thousands of glass shards, and one damaged patrol car later, and McClane has Powell’s attention.

All that work leads to the film’s iconic line, “Welcome to the party, pal!”

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Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  • Amazon Prime Video (Video on Demand)
  • Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern (Actors)

Home Alone 2 (1992)

In this surprising sequel, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) continues his rampage of vigilantism away from home. This time, he encounters a pair of familiar crooks, Harry Lime (Joe Pesci) and Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern), in New York.

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The special effects come into play when Kevin catches the crooks red-handed in Duncan’s Toy Chest. He sets off the store’s alarm by tossing a brick (bearing a note for the store’s owner) right at the pair!

The floor-to-ceiling window shatters, adding an extra glisten to the festive display.

We encourage you not to try any of these window-breaking stunts at home. However, if you ever find yourself with a menacing Macaulay Culkin primed and ready to toss bricks through your windows, we just hope you know how to choose your window replacements.

After all, broken windows aren’t just a thing of Hollywood—every homeowner can face this predicament, even if the events leading to the shattered window aren’t as thrilling.

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If you’re looking for an action-packed night, consider watching these films! Each option on this list offers a very different mood, but they all share a common thread: having the most iconic window-shattering scenes in film!

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