Alright guys, so the summer movie season is coming to a close, and we have had some AWESOME films debut this summer: Mad Max: Fury Road, Inside Out, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, Avengers: Age of Ultron and many more! Anyway, we thought it would be fun to break down our favorite summer blockbusters of ALL TIME for a nice "send-off" to summer. So, here are some Honorable Mentions: Speed, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial and Inside Out. SO LET'S GET STARTED WITH THE LIST!
A lot of people smash Star Wars: Return of the Jedi for the Ewoks. However, I personally don't find the Ewoks an issue, and what this film brings to the table is tremendous. In this movie, we see the final battle between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, an epic climax cutting back and forth from the Death Star to Endor and such. The movie also has a nice quick pace, unlike Empire, which had a much slower feel to it. Return of the Jedi is plainly fun, the definition of an awesome summer blockbuster. There are some amazing action set pieces, fantastic character work, and the best end to a series ever. I know I'm in the minority here, but I prefer Return of the Jedi to Empire Strikes Back, due to its lighter tone and fun atmosphere.
This is the most underrated Indiana Jones film. While Raiders of the Lost Ark is still by far the best, Last Crusade is still a fantastic film, mainly due to the addition of Indy's father, Henry Jones Sr., played by the awesome Sean Connery. Connery and Harrison Ford's bickering is absolutely fantastic, and adds a comedic element to this movie. This was a total return-to-form for the Indiana Jones series, after Temple of Doom was a pretty bad movie. We see the return of Sallah and Brody, the Nazis as the main antagonists, as well as a totally compelling love interest for Indy, played by Allison Doody. Her character is so unpredictable, which helps the movie a ton. Last Crusade also features awesome action sequences, like the Venice boat chase and the tank scene. Last Crusade is no Raiders, but it is still an excellent summer blockbuster.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day in many ways signifies the ultimate summer blockbuster. It has fun action, a cool sci-fi action story, and heartfelt moments. It is a movie where you can shove popcorn in your face and have an awesome time. Many will probably wonder why it is not higher on my list, considering it is by many people considered one of the greatest movies ever. I don't think it's that good, but it is still a fantastic action movie. Arnold Schwarzenegger gives a great performance as The Terminator again, Linda Hamilton does a cool job, and the T-1000 is an absolutely fantastic villain. The action scene where they try to get into Skynet is priceless, as well as Sarah Conner's jailbreak, and many more. James Cameron is one of the best action directors in the business, and he shows it with this film.
Jurassic Park is such a fantastic action blockbuster, with great visual effects, a great concepts and a fantastic story. To start, this movie is very cinematic. I saw the 3D rerelease of this movie in 2013, and seeing this film in the theater enhanced it A TON for me. It was a lot scarier than watching it at home, where I'd seen it previously. The concept of this film is also absolutely awesome, with great action sequences, and fantastic dinosaur effects that made the animals seem like real characters, which was so cool. And to talk more on the VFX, the fact is the effects in this movie are better than in Jurassic World, more than 20 years later! Not to mention, you get into the characters in this movie. The motivations in the film for every single character are apparent, which was super duper cool for a blockbuster. Steven Spielberg is one of the best directors of all time, and he took an average dino movie and made it an epic action film that will always be remembered.
The Dark Knight is one of the best Batman films ever written, as well as one of the better summer blockbusters ever released. To start, this movie is extremely enhanced by Heath Ledger's astounding portrayal of Batman's nemesis, The Joker. All of the best scenes in the film feature his character, and there's a reason for that. The movie is also so well-written, with the plot unfolding so nicely. It was interesting to see the character of Batman put into a battle of wits with a wittier person than him as the opposition. The action set pieces are all so cool, with great pacing and a realistic ending considering the circumstances. The Dark Knight made many bold choices for a comic-book summer blockbuster, and for that reason, among others, this movie is insanely respected by me and many others.
The Dark Knight Rises is a movie that tons of people hate on, which I personally do not understand. In my opinion, this movie is better than The Dark Knight, with a cooler climax, awesome action, and a really cool villain in Bane. While some were underwhelmed by Bane, I really enjoyed him, despite not coming close to Heath Ledger's Joker, but we all knew he wasn't going to reach that insane level. The Dark Knight Rises also explores the aftermath of The Dark Knight extremely well, and also features strong performances from Anne Hathaway, Gary Oldman, Michael Caine and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The direction of this film is visionary as well, with the action portrayed being beautiful, and also the characters being developed in such a fantastic manner for a comic-book movie. The Dark Knight Rises is an awesome movie, and kicks off the Top 10 of my personal favorite summer blockbusters.
North By Northwest is one of the most classic action movies of all time, and one of the most classic summer blockbusters of all time. North By Northwest was directed by Alfred Hitchcock, and is one of his best films. The movie is an ultimate classic, and features some of Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint's best work. There are also some fantastic action set pieces in this movie, like the classic crop duster scene, and the epic climax where Cary Grant climbs Mount Rushmore! I'm getting excited just thinking about it. The movie is also well written, with great dialog and fantastic scenes like the auction scene or the fantastic scene at the United Nations. North By Northwest is a movie that absolutely any action fan needs to see, despite its age. This is one of Hitchcock's finer works, and one that still holds up today, with fantastic action and great writing.
The Fugitive is a non-stop action thriller that may not be as well known as blockbuster 90s films like Jurassic Park or T2, but it is just as fantastic. This movie was even nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, and won Tommy Lee Jones a Best Supporting Actor Oscar! But as for Tommy Lee Jones's character, he is seriously AWESOME! He plays the Captain of the police force trying to hunt down Harrison Ford, and he is the ultimate policeman ever. This film is also very well written, with fantastic scenes and quotes, most notably the "I don't care!" scene in the sewer towards the beginning of the film. Because Ford's character (the fugitive) is always on the run, the action is non-stop, which creates fantastic tension. The Fugitive features awesome action set pieces, great acting, cool writing and is one of the best summer blockbusters ever.
Of course, The Avengers had to make this list. This movie had the advantage of four years of epic build-up, and half a century of awesome comic books leading up to this moment. We finally had a Marvel team-up Avengers movie, but the best part was that it was AMAZING!!!!!! Loki was a fantastic villain, and he was as menacing as ever. Not to mention, the banter between the team was so unexpected and hilarious. I went into the theater to watch this movie expecting some sick action, which we got, but the movie was also funny. Joss Whedon's writing totally shined through with this movie, and he really personalized this film and made it his own. The Avengers will one day be considering a classic, that I will show my kids in 20 years and tell them that I saw it on Opening Night. This film has a special connection to me, and a whole generation of Marvel fanboys, and not to mention, it was an awesome summer blockbuster.
Super 8 is a film that has gone way under the radar, and one that I have not heard mentioned in casual conversation in a long while. However, while the general public may have totally forgotten about Super 8, I most certainly have not. Maybe it is because this film connected personally with me. I mean, the movie's about kids making movies. I'm a kid who loves to make movies. Not to mention, the film is SO well directed. JJ Abrams does a fantastic homage to Steven Spielberg's body of work, and is also a great passion project that can relate to any young filmmaker or any filmmaker in general. When you watch Super 8, you can feel the love for cinema pouring out of the screen. But why is it a great summer blockbuster? Well, the action sequences are sick. The train scene, the climax of the movie, and all of the suspense fabulously created through the film makes it a beautiful piece of art. It also features some great kid acting, because all of the teens in this movie absolutely KILLED IT! Super 8 may have gone unnoticed by many, but it is a film that I encourage you watch it RIGHT NOW, which is what makes it such a great film and a fantastic summer blockbuster.
This film concludes the Harry Potter franchise, which has so much emotion and action. The task to wrap up a series this huge was nearly impossible. However, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 not only accomplished finishing a great franchise, but also David Yates and the whole Harry Potter crew made a totally awesome film that I have seen countless times since it originally debuted. Harry Potter is the best book series of all time, and one of the better movie series of all time. The cool part about this franchise was that you grew with the characters from 2001, when Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone debuted in theaters. This movie finished the story so beautifully, and also so emotionally. Every character's story wrapped up so fantastically, and is one of the best summer blockbusters ever.
Raiders of the Lost Ark is an ultimate classic summer blockbuster, and one that still holds up today. This film is some of Steven Spielberg's finer work, as it pays homage to the 1950s and 60s action cereals but also tells a really cool story with awesome characters and a great plot. Of course, the standout character is Indiana Jones. Through this film, we were introduced to one of the greatest movie characters ever, and after seeing this movie,we all just wanted to see more Indy adventures. Not to mention, the action is priceless. The boulder scene, the Truck chase, the Well of Soul and the opening of the Ark are just a few examples of well-shot and well-directed action sequences that build suspense so beautifully. The best part is that you care about the characters in the action, unlike some recent Michael Bay stuff where there's just explosions, when there's explosions here, it means something. Also, Karen Allen plays Indy's love interest in this film, and they have SUCH fantastic chemistry. It really adds to the overall film, that the romance scenes don't feel forced (cough cough Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom), but feel real. Overall, Raiders is an outstanding movie, and 100% is one of the greatest summer blockbusters EVER.
Yippee Ki Yay! Die Hard is an absolutely fantastic action film, and showcases some of the greatest action sequences ever. Another fantastic unique thing about this movie is that it takes place in one building for the entire film. Because our hero and our villains are enclosed in such a small space, there is no down time in this movie. It is action scene after action scene after action scene for two hours, and the best part is that all of the action is totally kick-ass! Not to mention, the villain in this movie, Hans Gruber, is one of the best antagonists of all time in movies period. Alan Rickman does such a fantastic job playing Hans Gruber, his performance is so well done. His dialog scenes with Bruce Willis in this movie are tension-filled and fantastic. My favorite scene in the movie, a dialog scene where Willis and Rickman just talk, shows the chemistry that these two have on screen. Die Hard has everything a great blockbuster should: cool action, a fantastic villain and a relatable hero, which is why it is one of the greatest summer blockbuster films, and one of the greatest action movies of all time.
Star Wars is an ultimate classic. When you talk about best action films, Star Wars is in the mix. When you talk about best sci-fi films, Star Wars is in the mix. When you talk about best FILMS, Star Wars is in the mix. So, it feels only right to include it on this list. Not to mention, this film, Jaws and Dr. No absolutely revolutionized the summer blockbuster, as these were all movies that people lined up around street blocks to see on opening day. I mean, Star Wars is a religion. For a reason. It has the best villain ever: Darth Vader. The best movie mentor ever: Obi-Wan Kenobi. The coolest guy ever: Han Solo. The most relatable hero ever: Luke Skywalker. Not to mention, besides the characters and brilliant writing, the action is top-notch. The final scene when the Rebels try to destroy the Death Star is an absolutely great action scene and one of the greatest movie climaxes of all time. Star Wars is totally amazing, and 100% deserves a spot on this list.
Jaws is a masterpiece film. Because of this movie, people were afraid to go into the ocean. This is not only a fantastically well-made film, but it also gave the entire world a phobia! That is how much this movie has made a mark on the world. This movie was one of the first films that had people lining up around blocks to just see it. This movie also features many amazing attributes, including an outstanding score by John Williams, and fantastic scenes, like the opening of the film. The opening scene told us what we were in for: an extremely well-made film that will scare us and one that we will watch for ages and ages. Jaws is a total and utter masterpiece, especially considering the circumstances under which it was made. There is nothing not to love about Jaws, which is why it is the greatest summer blockbuster ever.
So, what did you think of this list? Do you agree with my picks? Comment below and let us know your thoughts! Thanks, and make sure to check out the rest of our articles here at Thebuzzaboutmovies.com!