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Top 10 Summer Blockbusters of All Time

Story by John Morgan, sports editor

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Tickets switch hands through the windows of the booth. Popcorn and cokes get rushed into the theater. Explosions and car chases flicker on the large movie canvas.

Summer movie season is one of the most exciting times of the year as huge action blockbusters roll onto the big screens all across the world. Hollywood typically flourishes as large corporations reel in billions of dollars in entertainment value.

2018 is set to be another stellar year for summer films, and that got the ball rolling on the question of what is the best summer movie of all time. After tough deliberation, I narrowed it down to a solid top ten list that I think should be on everyone’s binge radar for the summer.

Warning: To make this list, the film must have come out between May 1 and Labor Day. Sorry, Infinity War.

Honorable Mention: Back to the Future (1985), Wonder Woman (2017), Toy Story 3 (2010)

  1. Independence Day (1996)

Bill Pullman’s anthemic speech is one of the most commonly recited movie monologues in cinema history. This seminole science fiction thriller had it all. Jeff Goldblum and Will Smith established themselves as commendable personalities for the future decade, while supporting performances from Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid and other actors also help to drive the film. No matter how patriotic we are, we will always celebrate our Independence Day.

  1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

You will see Steven Spielberg’s name appear a lot on this list as he knows the formula to concoct a feature summer film. Known as a classic tale of friendship, this film is the fourth-highest-grossing movie ever in the United States. As the group of kids ride their bikes across the sun, John Williams, another name that will pop up often, presents a score that still to this day brings tears to people’s eyes. That is enough to give it a spot on this list.

  1. Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

This might just be the best sequel of all time. If you didn’t already like Luke Skywalker, hate Darth Vader and fall in love with R2-D2, this movie would solidify the franchise as a force to be reckoned with. John Williams, again, solidified himself as a bona fide music composer. This movie also revealed one of the most shocking plot twists in cinematic history highlighted by four words – “I am your father!”

  1. Die Hard (1988)

John McClane jumping off the roof of an exploding building is one of the most iconic movie scenes of all time. While I can’t repeat his classic catchphrase, Bruce Willis delivered a great performance proving that you don’t need shoes to be a hero – or defeat Alan Rickman. Plenty of other action films have attempted to copy the formula of this movie, but none have quite lived up to the general awe of this one. I personally believe this film to be the best Christmas movie of all time.

  1. The Avengers (2012)

The MCU has had its fair share of summer success in recent years, but prior to Avengers: Infinity War, it was the original team-up of these heroes that took the cake. Anywhere you looked in this movie, there was a familiar face. You had Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, the Hulk, Black Widow, Nick Fury, Loki, and plenty more superb characters as the list goes on and on. For what this movie spawned in the future, this film can be looked at as a cinematic marvel.

  1. Jaws (1975)

This film is actually what coined the term “summer blockbuster.” It also jump started the career of one of the most decorated directors of all time in Steven Spielberg. You can probably guess by now who wrote the score for this film as this was one of William’s earliest successes. This horror thriller made a lot of people flock to the box office instead of getting eaten by sharks.

  1. Ghostbusters (1984)

This just proves that great ideas are made on Saturday Night Live. Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd made sure audiences knew exactly who to call with a ghost problem in this fun summer film. This film made me laugh, think and cry all in two hours. In my opinion, that is what a great movie should do. An action comedy deserved a spot on this list, and this movie fits the bill perfectly.

  1. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Another Spielberg-Williams team-up created an action hero to be reckoned with. Harrison Ford is known as Indiana Jones almost as much as he is known as Harrison Ford. The plot of this film drives down the path of numerous twists and turns that places film enthusiasts on the edge of their seats. Much like the rolling boulder at the beginning of the movie, the action only gets better as the film progresses.

  1. Jurassic Park (1993)

When dinosaurs ruled the summer. This film acted as another evolution in filmmaking that would pioneer many changes for the future of Hollywood. The loaded cast dares to survive against these now extinct creatures in an epic story founded on the idea about what happens when a billionaire gets a crazy. Yet another Spielberg-Williams pairing panned out to be a grand success.

  1. Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Put the rest of this cinematic universe aside for a second, and just look at this masterpiece. This might be one of the most perfect films in movie history. It has countless recitable quotes, memorable action and one of the most amazing scores ever by, drumroll please, John Williams. This movie acted as a gateway in special effects for many films even today. It has transcended generations and cemented its place in universal lore forever.

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