Movies & TV Shows

10 Best Summer Blockbusters Of All Time (According To Letterboxd)

The latest entry in the Jurassic World trilogy, Jurassic World Dominion, failed to live up to the high standard set by the film that birthed the franchise, Jurassic Park. The sci-fi movie became an instant classic when it was first released in 1993 and is still considered a genre-defining moment in cinematic history.


This is why it’s not surprising that it’s included in the most mentioned films by Letterboxd users when it comes to the best summer blockbusters. These big-budget and high-production value crowd pleasers showcase Hollywood’s ability to draw and entertain thousands of viewers around the world. These movies almost always go on to become rewatchable classics that can still be enjoyed today.

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The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Available to stream on Disney+.

Set three years after the events of Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back is a fan-favorite chapter of the Skywalker Saga that follows the battle between the antagonistic Galactic Empire, led by the Emperor, and the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker trains in the use of the Force before facing the villainous Darth Vader.

The blockbuster is often considered the best in the franchise, thanks to the introduction of iconic characters like Yoda, gripping events like Han Solo’s time in carbonite, and, of course, the jaw-dropping plot twist that Vader is Luke’s father.

Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Another great example of a sequel that ended up becoming more successful than the original, Terminator 2: Judgment Day follows the story of a reprogrammed T-800 Terminator. He’s sent back in time by the resistance to stop the T-1000 sent back by Skynet, whose purpose is to eliminate a young boy named John Connor, who’s destined to be the leader of the future rebels.

The action-packed film is known for its riveting chase sequences and groundbreaking effects never seen before its premiere. Its story is also memorable thanks to the friendship that develops between John and his protector, who learns a thing or two about what it means to be human.

Inception (2010)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

The award-winning sci-fi action film Inception needs no introduction, as the mind-bending masterpiece is a blockbuster that’s recognizable even for those who are not fans of the genre. It’s centered on a group of extractors tasked with the impossible mission of implanting an idea into a competitor’s son’s mind. Their leader, Dom Cobb, isn’t truthful about how his past could potentially influence their plans.

With its complex plot, impressive set design, and stellar performances, the film has gone down in cinematic history as a genre-defining work. It holds up incredibly well and is still worth watching or revisiting today.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Often cited alongside the best action movies of the decade, Mad Max: Fury Road takes place in a dystopian future where food and gasoline are scarce. In the middle of its arid deserts is a settlement led by the oppressive cult leader Immortan Joe, whom Max Rockatansky and Imperator Furiosa hope to successfully escape from.

The renowned film has striking visuals to go with its gripping car chases, which will have viewers rooting for the main characters. The franchise is still going strong to this day, with a highly anticipated prequel, Furiosa, set to come out in 2024.

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

Available to rent on Apple TV.

The fearless archeologist Indiana Jones goes on an epic adventure in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Alongside his courageous love interest Marion Ravenwood, the characters race against antagonists seeking the lost relic for their own evil intentions. What follows is a perilous journey full of traps and surprises that the protagonist has to conquer.

The exhilarating film is full of twists and turns that reveal more about the characters and their intentions. It becomes more about the exciting journey and less about the relic itself as fans fall in love with Jones and Marion.

Back To The Future (1985)

Available to rent on Apple TV.

The cult classic film Back to the Future birthed a successful franchise and inspired countless books, video games, documentaries, and even theme park rides. The sci-fi movie follows the misadventures of Marty McFly, who accidentally finds himself in 1955 thanks to his scientist friend Emmett “Doc” Brown’s invention.

Marty’s wacky tale is equal parts humorous and riveting, as the stakes become higher than ever when he realized he may have just endangered his own existence. While its sequels don’t really live up to the original, the first movie is at least worth checking out for those who have never seen the blockbuster.

Star Wars (1977)

Available to stream on Disney+.

The sci-fi film that started the commercially successful franchise, Star Wars, introduced characters like Luke, Han, and Leia. The movie revolves around the efforts of fighters from the Rebel Alliance to destroy a deadly new weapon by the Empire, the Death Star.

The critically-acclaimed film became a cultural phenomenon when it was first released, attracting thousands of fans who would go on to watch the premieres of its successful sequels. It signaled the beginning of what is still considered a popular film series that’s going strong to this day.

Jaws (1975)

Available to rent on Apple TV.

Set in the summer resort town of Amity Island, Jaws depicts the chaos that ensues after a series of killings linked to a great white shark. The authorities foolishly don’t want to close down the beaches for fear of a loss in revenue, much to the disappointment of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter.

The film is often considered the prototypical summer blockbuster, thanks to its heavy reliance on marketing and advertisement to draw crowds to cinemas upon its premiere. It began the trend of using one sellable concept to create a straightforward but entertaining flick with a high production value.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Available to stream on Hulu.

Still considered by some as the best DC superhero movie, The Dark Knight is centered on the shaky alliance between the anti-hero Batman, police lieutenant James Gordon, and district attorney Harvey Dent. The trio wants to combat crime in Gotham City, but their efforts are undermined by the villainous Joker, who pushes the characters to their limits.

The dark and gritty film is an interesting character study that questions the concept of a superhero. It doesn’t shy away from disturbing scenarios that make it feel more like a crime film than an action flick, making it a true standout in the genre.

Jurassic Park (1993)

Available to stream on HBO Max.

Jurassic Park takes place in the fictional Isla Nublar where businessman John Hammond and a group of scientists have managed to bring extinct species of dinosaurs back to life. When things go terribly wrong on the island, Hammond and his visitors – ​​mathematician Ian Malcolm, paleontologist Alan Grant, and paleobotanist Ellie Sattler – struggle to get out alive.

Known for its groundbreaking visual effects, the film introduced audiences to realistic dinosaurs that made the danger to its characters feel real. Despite marked improvements in CGI and visuals for its prequels, none have ever met the high standard the original movie set.

NEXT: 10 Best New Movies To Watch On HBO Max This Month

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