50 Greatest Bourne Movie Moments

Mission Failed

The Moment: Treadstone underling Zorn addresses Conklin with two fateful words relating to the attempted assassination of Wombosi: “Mission failed”.

Bourne Cool: It’s a scene that gives us our first look inside Treadstone, while Chris Cooper’s unreadable expression sets the shadowy tone perfectly. At this stage, the audience has no clue as to what the mission was, but they’re well aware that its failure will have serious consequences…

Hidden Past?

The Moment: A romantic history between Nicky and Jason is hinted at in Ultimatum , when Parsons comments that “it was difficult for me with you”. Were they lovers at one point? It would certainly go some way towards explaining her willingness to help him in the third film.

Bourne Cool: Bourne’s relationship with Nicky is left pleasantly ambiguous, although if they did have a past, she might have been tempted to bring it up when he puts a gun to her head in part two!

Demon Drink

The Moment: During his time in Moscow, Bourne tips his hat to the local custom by turning a bottle of vodka into a lethal weapon. However, he doesn’t smash it over anyone’s head – he simply spits a mouthful into a policeman’s eye. Probably just as painful.

Bourne Cool: Not only does he do the above, but he then proceeds to pour vodka onto one of his wounds… in the middle of a car chase! Now that’s badass.

Drone Takedown

The Moment: Aaron Cross takes down one of the bomber drones with a well-aimed shot from his rifle. As he dismantles his kit, he doesn’t even bother to look round when the drone explodes in the hills behind him. That’s confidence for you.

Bourne Cool: The scene is complemented by the reaction in Byer’s operation room. “He’s probably got a rifle” remarks his number two to the general bemusement of the room. “It’s a high-powered rifle” adds Byer, through gritted teeth.

Burning The Midnight Oil

The Moment: With Supremacy heading towards its one remaining loose end, the action switches to a nightclub in Moscow, where Kirill is enjoying some well-earned time off. That is until his boss gives him a bell, and the hitman is forced to stumble out into what turns out to be broad daylight!

Bourne Cool: It’s only a small moment, but there’s something so unexpected about the daylight reveal that really tickles us. it’s also nice to get an insight into how a hitman spends his down-time.


The Moment: Bourne is tailing Desh who in turn is tailing a target. Bourne spies his man drop a holdall under a nearby car, and surmising it must contain some kind of explosive, motions for Desh’s target to stop his vehicle. Sadly for him, Bourne hasn’t noticed the scooter Desh was riding, parked right next to the target’s car. Kaboom!

Bourne Cool: It’s a great piece of misdirection, particularly as the audience is also convinced the bomb is in the bag. Bourne doesn’t make many slip-ups, but he makes one here.

Only Friend

The Moment: Marie rejects Bourne’s suggestion that she wait outside his Paris apartment, claiming that he would probably just forget about her. “How could I forget about you?” he replies. “You’re the only person I know.”

Bourne Cool: The tentative relationship between Bourne and Marie is one of the first film’s primary delights, and this is a beguilingly sweet moment before all the real mayhem begins.

Berlin Hit

The Moment: The Bourne Supremacy kicks off with a thoroughly disorientating action sequence in which a pair of CIA agents are killed during a mission in Berlin, a sequence of events that puts Jason Bourne squarely in the frame for the duo’s murder.

Bourne Cool: Paul Greengrass announces his arrival to the franchise in style, bewildering audiences with this early sequence in which it isn’t always clear what exactly is going on. That, of course, is the whole point in the exercise…

From On High

The Moment: Cross goes scuttling across the rooftops of Manila, making sure to keep an ear out for Dr. Shearing below. Eventually he finds her cornered by a pair of police officers in a narrow alley, so does the sensible thing and jumps down several stories to take them out. All in a day’s work…

Bourne Cool: Cross is bordering on fully-blown superheroics here, but manages to bring some levity to proceedings by cracking Shearing a half-smile that seems to say, “yeah, that was pretty awesome, wasn’t it?”

The Boss

The Moment: Bourne confronts Conklin at gunpoint, only for the older man to go on the offensive, revealing just how lethal a killer Bourne once was and reprimanding him for failing the mission that left him face down in the ocean with a back full of bullets.

Bourne Cool: You’re expecting Conklin to beg and plead for his life, but the aggression with which he reveals his former relationship with Bourne takes the audience aback. Its a nice subversion of our expectations.

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