Best-Reviewed Summer Blockbusters by Year Since 1975

by | August 2, 2016 | Comments

When it comes to big summer movies, the opinions of critics and audiences are always out of sync. Right? Not so fast. Using our weighted formula, we at Rotten Tomatoes decided to spotlight the best-reviewed wide releases from each summer since 1975 — the year Jaws kicked off the blockbuster era — and it turns out that many of the big winners with the pundits have become perennial favorites with regular moviegoers as well.

1970s | 1980s | 1990s | 2000s | 2010s


Jaws (1975)

Adjusted Score: 107.134%
Critics Consensus: Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.
Synopsis: Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, Steven Spielberg's 1975 shark saga set the standard for the New Hollywood popcorn blockbuster... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

Adjusted Score: 94.046%
Critics Consensus: Recreating the essence of his iconic Man With No Name in a post-Civil War Western, director Clint Eastwood delivered the first of his great revisionist works of the genre.
Synopsis: Clint Eastwood's fifth film as a director and eighth Western as a star (ninth if you count Paint Your Wagon),... [More]
Directed By: Clint Eastwood

Adjusted Score: 105.22%
Critics Consensus: A legendarily expansive and ambitious start to the sci-fi saga, George Lucas opened our eyes to the possibilities of blockbuster filmmaking and things have never been the same.
Synopsis: Nineteen years after the formation of the Empire, Luke Skywalker is thrust into the struggle of the Rebel Alliance when... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

Adjusted Score: 95.086%
Critics Consensus: The talents of director John Landis and Saturday Night Live's irrepressible John Belushi conspired to create a rambunctious, subversive college comedy that continues to resonate.
Synopsis: Director John Landis put himself on the map with this low-budget, fabulously successful comedy, which made a then-astounding 62 million... [More]
Directed By: John Landis


Alien (1979)

Adjusted Score: 108.461%
Critics Consensus: A modern classic, Alien blends science fiction, horror and bleak poetry into a seamless whole.
Synopsis: "In space, no one can hear you scream." A close encounter of the third kind becomes a Jaws-style nightmare when... [More]
Directed By: Ridley Scott

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 Next

Tag Cloud

travel Sundance 2015 Character Guide TruTV OWN Apple TV+ Sony Pictures dramedy Anna Paquin mutant LGBT First Look FOX Emmys Lionsgate American Society of Cinematographers Pet Sematary anthology BBC America Hulu 2018 cars GoT Awards south america Adult Swim Travel Channel Teen comic Amazon Prime HBO Pixar Lifetime Winter TV Disney Plus CMT Nickelodeon Comedy Central History game of thrones robots crossover Arrowverse Funimation Trivia APB doctor who Baby Yoda YouTube Premium Oscars Set visit GIFs Disney+ Disney Plus Mystery Tubi free movies TV spider-man composers Reality Competition casting Countdown Reality Star Wars WarnerMedia festivals video Comics on TV Esquire slashers crime drama Chernobyl DC Comics ABC Family Food Network Lifetime Christmas movies Amazon Studios Interview YA sitcom science fiction E! adventure Avengers Biopics Extras reboot political drama Hallmark Christmas movies Year in Review Mary poppins Elton John Certified Fresh Holiday Rom-Com E3 revenge boxoffice Crunchyroll NBC Star Trek Apple TV Plus Rock Pride Month First Reviews theme song San Diego Comic-Con Fox News documentary Marvel Studios Brie Larson Nat Geo Amazon hist 2019 ITV RT History Cartoon Network disaster latino Pirates Election The Arrangement Superheroes psychological thriller comics Kids & Family Film foreign TCM SDCC Valentine's Day crime hispanic Winners Pop Ovation Netflix Logo VICE Best and Worst Black History Month Emmy Nominations dceu 007 71st Emmy Awards Infographic Quiz DirecTV aliens finale A24 Red Carpet Disney name the review nature cancelled TV shows cancelled OneApp 24 frames Drama Country social media Disney streaming service tv talk Ellie Kemper TBS TNT NYCC ESPN Binge Guide independent DGA sag awards Sneak Peek Cosplay IFC Films psycho versus TV Land Warner Bros. werewolf Stephen King cartoon New York Comic Con Trailer Universal Rocky kids cancelled television SundanceTV blaxploitation Apple 45 cinemax BET Black Mirror BBC universal monsters MSNBC RT21 Disney Channel Trophy Talk Endgame Walt Disney Pictures zero dark thirty supernatural blockbuster quibi USA Network historical drama Awards Tour indie The Purge elevated horror screenings Spring TV cancelled TV series transformers technology halloween docudrama adaptation Calendar AMC Podcast Turner Classic Movies FX The Witch Freeform FX on Hulu IFC El Rey Classic Film justice league what to watch Superheroe Starz Netflix Christmas movies breaking bad TIFF Women's History Month TCA Winter 2020 Animation Comic Book Watching Series Television Academy space dogs Turner Hallmark biography Marathons Premiere Dates Opinion green book Peacock award winner Sci-Fi Epix Sundance Now Holidays strong female leads spanish language true crime MCU canceled TV shows book war FXX talk show rotten movies we love PaleyFest period drama thriller Ghostbusters Discovery Channel Spectrum Originals natural history politics Family Dark Horse Comics stand-up comedy Box Office Mudbound screen actors guild directors Musical Tarantino medical drama CW Seed serial killer YouTube Red Grammys Toys Showtime mockumentary 2016 Cannes 2017 Amazon Prime Video Paramount Network Creative Arts Emmys spinoff movie Video Games 2020 canceled YouTube diversity Academy Awards romantic comedy HBO Max Captain marvel TCA Summer Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Syfy The CW CBS PBS Shudder game show crime thriller CBS All Access children's TV Martial Arts sequel Vudu Writers Guild of America USA WGN Western unscripted movies cops Mindy Kaling dc series spain batman television richard e. Grant President discovery Fantasy facebook jamie lee curtis cooking Masterpiece CNN 20th Century Fox spy thriller streaming Nominations See It Skip It National Geographic Musicals comiccon joker golden globes romance Polls and Games Horror Britbox renewed TV shows X-Men MTV Paramount harry potter Crackle Thanksgiving Acorn TV Tumblr TCA 2017 Christmas Fall TV franchise A&E sports toy story Super Bowl 21st Century Fox The Walking Dead DC streaming service SXSW based on movie Sundance TV witnail GLAAD Film Festival animated anime singing competition TV renewals police drama dragons Photos teaser Marvel ratings reviews Comedy Music VH1 Song of Ice and Fire Schedule Marvel Television Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Shondaland Columbia Pictures zombie cults Mary Poppins Returns Bravo Spike Mary Tyler Moore LGBTQ Lucasfilm Tomatazos vampires christmas movies miniseries TLC binge Heroines Pop TV DC Universe cats Action Rocketman ghosts scary movies zombies ABC