50 Greatest Meta Movie Moments

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

The Meta Moment: Any of Robert Downey Jr.’s wry pieces of narration. We particularly like his attempt to bring things together at the film’s conclusion: “I saw the last Lord of the Rings , I’m not gonna have the movie end, like, seventeen times.”

Why It’s Great: The dialogue is clever-clever without being smug, thanks largely to RDJ’s hugely likeable delivery.

Funny Games (2007)

The Meta Moment: Having put her husband out of her misery with a shotgun, Ann looks to have taken charge of her destiny, only for her tormentors to rewind the scene in order to play it out how they want it to happen.

Why It’s Great:
Michael Pitt breaks the fourth wall throughout the film, gleefully admonishing the audience for pretending they aren’t watching to revel in his violence.

Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)

The Meta Moment: Ben Affleck and Matt Damon bicker on the set of Good Will Hunting 2: Hunting Season , while a disinterested Gus Van Sant counts his money. Now how do you, like them apples?

Why It’s Great: The two trash each other’s filmographies with great relish. “Hey look,” sneers Affleck, “I'm sorry I dragged you away from whatever-gay-serial-killers-who-ride-horses-and-like-to-play-golf-touchy-feely-picture you're supposed to be doing this week.”

Shaun Of The Dead (2004)

The Meta Moment: Shaun’s gang of survivors bump into a remarkably similar posse, headed-up by Simon Pegg’s Spaced co-star, Jessica Hynes.

Why It’s Great: The rival group not only mirror Sean’s gang, they’re also made up of an equivalent band of British comedy stars, including Reece Shearsmith, Martin Freeman, Matt Lucas and Tamsin Grieg.

Hot Fuzz (2006)

The Meta Moment: A glimpse inside a bargain bucket of DVDs reveals a title called Zombies Party which looks more than a little like the cover of Shaun Of The Dead .

Why It’s Great: Zombies Party was actually the title Shaun Of The Dead was released under in some territories.

Hot Shots Part Deux (1993)

The Meta Moment: Martin Sheen and Charlie Sheen pass each other, look up and simultaneously shout, “I loved you in Wall Street ”.

Why It’s Great: As well as referencing their starring roles in Wall Street , Martin Sheen is also sending up his Apocalypse Now persona.

A Cock And Bull Story (2005)

The Meta Moment: Rob Brydon does his best Steve Coogan impression, which is rather a lot like an Alan Partridge impression. “A-HA!”

Why It’s Great: Brydon and Coogan’s chemistry is as impeccable as ever, particularly Coogan’s growing irritation of Brydon’s failure to distinguish between he and Partridge.

Scream (1997)

The Meta Moment: “What’s your favourite scary movie?” enquires the unseen killer before testing Drew Barrymore’s knowledge of all things slasher. Sadly for her, her knowledge of Friday 13th lets her down, and she ends up gutted like a fish…

Why It’s Great: Wes Craven sets his postmodern stall out right from the off with a scene that’s simultaneously frightening and funny, while being utter porn for horror nerds.

Skyfall (2012)

The Meta Moment: “What were you expecting, an exploding pen?” queries Q, mockingly. “We don’t really go in for that any more.”

Why It’s Great: It’s a direct call-back to the gadget that appeared in Goldeneye , with Q sniffily speaking for both Q branch and the filmmakers.

Fight Club (1999)

The Moment: Having earlier been informed that Tyler enjoys splicing cells of pornography into mainstream movies, the film ends with a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it shot of the male member.

Why It’s Great:
It’s flagged up a mile off, but it still elicits a mischievous chuckle when it arrives.