Let’s be honest, sometimes we don’t go see a movie because we yearn to see great acting. Sometimes we wanna just wanna see things blown to pieces. What kind of movie would Return of the Jedi have been if the Death Star hadn’t imploded at the end? Is there any better way to envision World War II ending than Hitler and all is soulless cronies getting annihilated in a Paris movie theater (Inglorious Basterds)? We certainly don’t think so. Here’s the carefully collated ten best explosions in film history.
10) V for Vendetta – “Remember, remember the fifth of November.” After watching Parliament burst into flames to the soaring thrum of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” we won’t soon forget.
9) Independence Day – Wanna watch buildings in every major city destroyed simultaneously? Feast your eyes upon this impressive sequence. We Americans just love watching our most famous structures go to pieces.
8) T2: Judgement Day – After the first installment of this sci-fi franchise, Sarah Conner is understandably fearful for the future of man when beset by machines. Her haunting daydream of a nuclear attack is eerily real and unapologetic. Scenes like this made the sequel worthwhile.
7) Predator – Arnold Schwarzenegger and a first-rate explosion go hand-in-hand. The climax of this continuously underrated film is a third act with a bang. All of Central America seems to go up in smoke with the haunting cackle of the alien hunter. They don’t make action films like this anymore.
6) The Hurt Locker – How can we not include a film about a bomb squad in this list?! The cinematography of Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar-winning film is truly film history. There are some solid booms in this gritty war story, but the first is the most jaw-dropping. Guy Pierce didn’t know what hit him.
5) Apocalypse Now – In a film loaded with unforgettable moments, an impressive firestorm is bound to get thrown in. The opening credits of this one are sensational, a tree-line going up in flames, The Doors’ The End, not to mention Martin Sheen actually hallucinating and cutting his hand thrown in.
4) Dr. Strangelove – Nothing is quite as patriotic as climbing aboard a nuclear missile and riding it like a bucking bronco to the surface of the Earth. And that’s just what Major Kong does in this ever-poignant satire by Kubrick.
3) Jaws – All seems lost as Quint’s boat slowly sinks into the ocean…and the great white shark is fast approaching. But with a careful shot, Sheriff Brody detonates the scuba tank in the monster’s mouth. Bang. The rest is film history.
2) The Dark Knight – One thing Christopher Nolan consistently does right in his films is creating breath-taking actual scenes, not merely CGI creations. Our eyes know the difference and the result is beyond impressive. For the destruction of Gotham General hospital, Nolan destroyed an empty Brach’s candy factory in Chicago. Of course, we will always remember the somehow endearing Joker shambling out of the hospital in a nurse disguise as all hell breaks loose.
1) Star Wars: A New Hope – Luke Skywalker’s excellent aim with some help from the force sends the Death Star into oblivion. How can a film end any better? Oh yeah, they all get medals and John Williams plays them out.