10. Speed — 1994
Will the bus be able to stay above 50 MPH to keep the bomb from exploding? Will Keanu Reeves be able to catch Dennis Hopper? Will Reeves and Sandra Bullock get together? This movie had us on the edge of our seats (and was a total bummer when Jeff Daniels died, of course). It had action, romance, a fast pace and a twist. How could you NOT love this Blockbuster?!
9. Die Hard — 1988
“Yippee ki-yay…” You know the rest, thanks to this spectacular piece of movie history. We couldn’t get enough of our sweaty and bloodied hero, played by Bruce Willis. Everything — from the broken glass scene (“Shoot ze glass”) to the fateful, slow-motion fall of the villain we loved to hate, played by Alan Rickman — was pure cinematic gold.
8. Men in Black — 1997
The chemistry between Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones drove this movie home. The unlikely duo saved the world from an unsuspecting roach (a.k.a. Vincent D’Onofrio) and made us laugh for nearly two hours.
7. Terminator 2: Judgment Day — 1991
It is hard to say what the best part of this beloved sequel even was: the fact that the Terminator was actually good this time around? Robert Patrick’s liquid metal body tricks? Linda Blair’s muscle-ly arms? Or the prospect that the machines would rise yet again? This film was so incredibly fulfilling and well done.
6. Jurassic Park — 1993
At the time we had never seen special effects like these. The dinosaurs all seemed so real and didn’t have any clunky moments like in other “monster” movies that we had all watched. Never mind the question the movie begged: could we actually make dinosaurs? Is this in the realm of possibility? While it’s already been 25 years and no dinosaurs have appeared on Earth, it still makes you wonder.
5. Back to the Future — 1985
This was a time-travel flick done like never before — it actually made sense. It was creative, funny, and we rooted for the McFlys all the way from the 1950s to the ’80s. And Biff was the quintessential bully that everyone is happy to see covered in manure…
4. Ghostbusters — 1984
The chemistry among the main cast is palpable in this spooky film. We love watching Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson interact as much as we love watching Rick Moranis as the Key Master and Slimer scarf down all those hot dogs. Ghostbusters is fun and energetic and everything you want in a summer movie.
3. Star Wars: Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back — 1980
Granted, we had three Star Wars movies to choose from. (No one had better even mention Episodes 1-3 for this list… and we can discuss 7-9 at another time…) But The Empire Strikes Back just seems so superior in so many ways. Aside from the fact that the special effects were superb for the time, we were excited to watch Luke Skywalker (along with Han Solo and Princess Leia) battle now as seasoned warriors. Plus, let’s not forget the devastating secret of Luke and Vader that we learn in this film.
2. Iron Man — 2008
One can argue that most of the superhero movies that have been released in recent years have been great, but there was something special about this particular one. Tony Stark is funny and sarcastic. When you add that to Robert Downey Jr.’s charm (and some epic special effects and plot twists), you have a pretty awesome blockbuster.
1. Jaws — 1975
“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Raise your hand if you don’t hear the ominous music on loop in your head when you think of this movie. This summer flick was purely terrifying, especially for those moviegoers who enjoy a day at the beach here and there. Spielberg hit the nail on the head and delivered a truly thrilling experience in this blockbuster.