Five Blockbuster Movies Worth Revisiting This Summer



by Shane Wilson


The summer of the big Hollywood blockbuster is upon us once again. Since at least the mid-1970s, major studios and big-name directors have been releasing their most exhilaratingly eye-popping material in these hot summer months. This year is no different, of course. This summer is seeing the release of Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion–two highly-anticipated blockbusters in wildly popular franchises. Still, sometimes it’s nice to revisit the movies that got us here.


  1. Independence Day (1996)

Independence Day (1996) directed by Roland Emmerich • Reviews, film + cast  • Letterboxd

Independence Day is probably not on everyone’s list of big movies to revisit during the summer months. Its popularity has waned in the decades since its original release, and it was not helped out by its critically-panned sequel. Still, Independence Day remains one of my all-time favorite alien flicks, and I think it still totally holds up. When Will Smith punches that alien in the face as he welcomes it to earth? Come on. And if that doesn’t do it for you, maybe one of the greatest presidential speeches in all of cinema delivered by Bill Pullman as the entire world unites to save itself against a greater threat will. This is the stuff blockbusters were made for.


  1. Top Gun (1986)

Top Gun (1986) - IMDb

It would be hard to ignore Top Gun’s place in the pantheon of summer blockbusters in any other year, but this year, it’s borderline impossible as we have finally been given the big follow-up to this flick in this summer’s Top Gun: Maverick. The sequel is performing very well at the box office, and it’s one of the few films I can remember where critics and fans alike love it. Why not go back and see where it all started? Hit the volleyball court with Maverick and Goose this summer. Take it to the Danger Zone.


  1. Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)

Star Wars (1977) - IMDb

George Lucas’s original film that birthed an empire absolutely belongs on this list. Star Wars may be the franchise that is most synonymous with summer blockbusters as each of the original trilogy films was released over the summers of 1977, 1980, and 1983. Star Wars used to own the summer months before Disney shifted the property to a holiday release schedule. Still, very few feelings can compete with the silence of that opening blue text followed by the excitement of the fanfare. Plus, with the Disney+ release of Obi-Wan Kenobi, this is as good a time as any to go back to that galaxy far away.


  1. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) Indiana Jones Raiders of the Lost ARK : Harrison Ford, Karen  Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, Ronald Lacey, Denholm Elliott,  Alfred Molina, Wolf Kahler, Anthony Higgins, Vic Tablian, Don Fellows,  William

The Indiana Jones franchise is another of those franchises that feel synonymous with “blockbuster.” Pulling inspiration from old swashbuckling adventure serials that aired on television, Indiana Jones is a ton of fun from beginning to end. In fact, if you’re revisiting Raiders this summer, you might as well watch them all. I would argue that even Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is worth a rewatch if you haven’t been there in a while. I promise it’s not as bad as you think it is. As good as the Indiana Jones franchise is, though, it is not the film that solidified Steven Spielberg as the father of all blockbuster films. That honor goes to the number one flick on our list…


  1. Jaws (1975)

Jaws (1975) - IMDb

This film, featuring an animatronic shark, is widely regarded as the film that is singularly responsible for the modern-day summer blockbuster. Its big-budget and over-the-top action provided future dabblers in the blockbuster a template to follow. Certainly, we would have gotten the rest of the movies on this list without Jaws, but Jaws demonstrated the power of big-budget action to major studios. If you’re interested in spending some time with the blockbusters of years past this summer, you absolutely must start with Jaws.