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: 106.023%
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: 98.796%
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: 105.141%
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: 95.727%
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: 107.773%
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

MSNBC AMC political drama discovery Infographic Red Carpet PBS Tumblr crime 24 frames Kids & Family TruTV TCA 2017 travel USA Network composers CBS Comedy Central TLC cops Sundance talk show Premiere Dates San Diego Comic-Con Mindy Kaling spy thriller crossover FX GoT TV Land Fox News Apple Amazon BBC historical drama Reality Best and Worst Trivia TV History Winners Christmas Comedy what to watch Cosplay psycho anime Oscars Comics on TV SXSW MTV Martial Arts YouTube Red LGBTQ HBO Summer 2015 Nat Geo Syfy YouTube Premium PaleyFest Rocky Extras zombies Pirates crime drama Awards Tour Mystery 45 DC streaming service President cults Election Schedule ESPN Character Guide Pop cooking ABC Awards Nominations Tomatazos politics 20th Century Fox Bravo comiccon Pixar jamie lee curtis Chilling Adventures of Sabrina SDCC Masterpiece DC Universe cinemax National Geographic OWN Calendar Paramount Network Quiz Paramount Photos 2016 CBS All Access Set visit Certified Fresh Comic Book Music binge Podcast Shondaland Spike festivals Action war Ghostbusters The Arrangement justice league Crackle Watching Series Country SundanceTV Marvel Countdown Sneak Peek thriller Netflix Food Network CNN Columbia Pictures science fiction medical drama Creative Arts Emmys Interview boxoffice Britbox Thanksgiving X-Men docudrama television Logo social media robots Polls and Games Animation Lucasfilm ratings Shudder biography aliens TNT ITV APB TCA Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Horror Box Office Ellie Kemper zombie transformers Valentine's Day Biopics Ovation NYCC Holidays CMT harry potter mutant Sony Pictures Disney Channel 007 Starz comic Dark Horse Comics USA Trophy Talk FOX serial killer Grammys Toys TIFF TCM Marathons police drama Fantasy IFC First Look sitcom vampires Epix Spring TV Sci-Fi based on movie dramedy unscripted Star Trek IFC Films Universal singing competition doctor who period drama Nickelodeon dceu Disney Mary Tyler Moore Acorn TV WGN adventure Opinion crime thriller romance GLAAD VICE Rom-Com sports Freeform diversity Emmys Esquire BET CW Seed Fall TV Winter TV Superheroes golden globes NBC E3 Walt Disney Pictures DirecTV Song of Ice and Fire cats Hulu Showtime Sundance Now hist The CW Musicals supernatural Western DC Comics Writers Guild of America Superheroe Drama ABC Family American Society of Cinematographers Adult Swim technology Lionsgate A&E Reality Competition Warner Bros. GIFs E! 2017 BBC America Cartoon Network Rock blaxploitation Teen VH1 finale Lifetime FXX Trailer dc streaming Video Games El Rey 21st Century Fox RT History YA Musical TBS New York Comic Con Super Bowl Star Wars Year in Review See It Skip It