Some of the Loudest Movies Ever

Ever notice the sound effects editors seem to work overtime on some films? From explosions to machines to screaming to music, and all combinations of the above, have your remote handy so you can keep adjusting the volume for these blaring bad boys:

  • Die Hard: The sudden rat-at-at of machine guns. The sudden explosions of glass and concrete. The sudden outbursts of expletives from Bruce Willis. Noise-making in the service of something great. “Theo, I give you–Die Hard.”
  • Starship Troopers: The chaos, the screaming troops, the shouting, “Run! It’s a giant space bug!” Plus the crashing of the laws of physics being broken by all that noise in space.  And don’t forget the sound of the audience booing when What’s-His-Pretty won’t stop hanging up on What’s-Her-Boring and notice Diz.
  • Norma Rae: The factory noise is loud enough to make you want to call your union rep. Thank the editors there are all those moments of quiet worker oppression to give your ears a break.
  • Lethal Weapon: Don’t worry, most of the noise is the comforting sound of the buddy-cop-movie being perfected. And big, butch guns. And the well-placed cusswords of Shane Black’s fine script. We’ll never be too old for this shit.
  • Aladdin: Between the squawking of Iago, the squawking of Robin Williams, the running-around-Baghdad-in-your-harem-pants-SFX and the horn section, this one should keep the kiddies wide awake.
  • District 9: Ka-BLAM! Blow those prawns away with your big, butch guns! Ker-PLOW! Duck while they aim back with their much bigger, much butcher guns (or whatever those weapons were)! Plus, me screaming in suspense…OMG, I have no fracking idea what’s going to happen next, I love this movie! (Granted, that last probably won’t appear in your screening of the film.)
  • 5 Million Years to Earth: Oh, those Brits and their clever 60s sci-fi films. At

    Even the poster hurts my ears

    first, they lull you in with a movie so quiet, even British audiences are like, “These fellows are so repressed. Can’t they liven things up a bit?” Then, the metal object buried underneath London starts making noise–high-pitched, supernatural, metals-clashing-in-hell noise. Your nerve endings are like, “Hey, what the … ” Pretty soon, the SFX guys bring on the wind machines and the debris, the screaming, the running, the civil defense alarms designed by people who survived the London blitz. You wonder if those actors ever heard anything again.

  • Goonies: Chunk, shouting out warnings of danger, an obnoxious little Cassandra no one will listen to. Data, shouting out his fractured-English lines that no one can listen to. All 57 of the kids together, shouting who-the-heck-knows-what. And then Cyndi Lauper, loud-like-the-80s, on the soundtrack. You too can experience the joy of babysitting and not getting paid.

It’s good enough, good enough for me.

  • Next up on Devlin’s blog: Summer TV; What I’m Watching
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8 Responses to Some of the Loudest Movies Ever

  1. Michelle says:

    I’ve seen two movies on that list. Fail.


    • Chris Devlin says:

      You need to see more movies, young lady! It’s important, I swear. Or else I’ve wasted my life completely.


  2. There’s two kinds of noise. Wrong and right.

    Example: All Michael Bay movies use “wrong noise.” Not that I’ve seen any of his since “Con Air and “The Rock”, but I have seen some previews. The constant explosions in place of exposition alone are a century’s worth of “wrong noise”.

    Contrast this with the original “The Fast and The Furious” (2001). The background score fades to silence just before Vin Diesel starts his ’70 Charger. Why? A supercharged Hemi V8 is the right noise. 😈 Even those who favor other “noises” will have to admit, in this case, the director knew his audience. 😀


  3. Marne Ann says:

    I’ve seen all but one of those movies and I loved each one of them… does that make me a sick puppy? Starship Troopers was pretty dang graphic. Goonies is still an all-time fave.
    And I get sucked into the movies all the more because of the sound effects. The louder, the better 😉
    I’m glad to see you joining the blogosphere, Chris!


    • Chris Devlin says:

      Hey, thanks for the thoughts, Goddess Marne! Good to see you here. I too love some good sound effects, and there were a lot more movies I could have put on this list–like Robocop. But I had to stop myself or my blog posts would be thousands of words long and that seems a bit self-indulgent.
      Thanks for the welcome! Hope to see you around the b-sphere.


  4. I’m a huge fan of “loud” movies and I’ve seen and enjoyed every one on your list, with the sole exception of “5 Million Years To Earth” (probably because I haven’t seen very many sixties movies). And a few of those I grew up with, like the “Goonies”.

    In fact, I just went to Astoria this month and happened to be there the day before the “Goonies” museum was set to open for the 26th Anniversary (It was in the old jailhouse, you know where Jake Fratelli breaks out of by pretending to hang himself at the beginning of the film). We got to go in for free and check everything out. Ah the nostalgia.


  5. Chris Devlin says:

    Shut the front door! There’s a Goonies museum? Awe to the some! That really validates my sense that pop culture engenders its own sense of importance. Love it!
    There are some nifty 50s and 60s sci fi films around. “5 Million Years…” is one, and “The Day the Earth Caught Fire,” a weird little sepia-toned British movie about the sun going nova. (Actually, this sounds like a blog post–I’ll add it to the list.) Turner Classic Movies shows these sometimes, usually on Friday nights, and that way you get them uncut and widescreen.


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