The Blockbuster Is Back, They Say

Ah, summer. Slower days and later nights. And, when it gets hot, inordinately long hours in movie theaters catching those big-budget flicks we call summer blockbusters. At Common Good, we’re just like you and we have favorites. Here they are.

Jaws (1975)

While I wasn’t old enough (or brave enough) to watch the film when it was originally released, Jaws deserves a shout out for pioneering the summer blockbuster genre. Jaws also served as the launch pad for Steven Spielberg’s meteoric rise to become one of cinema’s most influential directors. Without Jaws there may have never been an E.T. (1982), Schindler’s List (1993), or any of the countless films brought to us by those Mr. Spielberg mentored. 

— Tara Bowers, Director of Projects at Made to Flourish

Men in Black (1997)

My favorite summer blockbusters would probably be Men in Black and Independence Day (1996). Each movie has incredible action, the dialogue is amazing — and who doesn’t love Will Smith? 

— Bryana Jones, Executive Assistant at Made to Flourish

Inside Out (2015)

Honestly, I’m tied for two! I still vividly remember watching Inside Out (2015) at the River Cinema in my hometown in Minnesota. It was released the summer after I graduated high school and all of my friends happened to be busy so I went to see it by myself. The combination of the two things made the themes of transition and the deep emotion stirred by change (even as hyper-specific as a move from Minnesota) feel so close to home. It’s still one of my favorite movies.

My other favorite is Toy Story 4 (2019). It was released the summer after I graduated college and happened to still be at the drive-in movie theater when the friend group reconvened for one of many post-graduation summer weddings. We loaded up 3 cars and braved a not-as-warm-as-it-should-have-been summer evening. In the post-college graduation haze, to watch a story and a friendship that began before I was born end with the two characters saying goodbye for maybe (probably) ever — it was another moment where the themes of the movie and those of my life lay a bit too close together for dry eyes.

— Bethany Van Eps, Church Engagement Coordinator at Made to Flourish

The Goonies (1985)

I was 8 when it hit movie theaters. As a kid in the Dominican Republic, my family didn’t have a regular rhythm of watching “summer blockbuster” movies on the big screen. I believe I saw the Goonies the year after it was released, on cable TV. When I think about the Goonies I first think about the HBO animation — that gave me goosebumps every time — because it meant that an amazing movie was coming up next. I also think about the sweetness of sitting with my family in the living room, going through, what I thought, were very scary scenes together. I am very sure it gave me some nightmares, but that didn’t stop me from watching it on repeat at every opportunity.

— Eric Rivier Jimenez, Executive Editor for Common Good

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011)

There’s not much that can top the cinematic experience of watching the last installment of Harry Potter in theaters. The emotions, the build-up, the cheers, the tears. It was a fun (and historic) one to be part of.

Also, I cannot WAIT for Greta Gerwig’s Barbie this summer. I don’t go to the movies super often, but I trust Greta and I’m down to wear some pink, so I’m buying tickets ahead of time if that tells you anything. 

— Paige Wiley, Associate Director of Engagement at Made to Flourish

Top Gun (1986)

Top Gun — and the sequel, too, Top Gun: Maverick (2022). 

— Steve Harvey, Executive Assistant to Tom Nelson at Made to Flourish

Babe (1995)

While I can’t remember much of the movie, I do remember the line, “That’ll do, pig. That’ll do.” I still quote it to myself when I’ve done a “just good enough” job at something.

— Rebekah Jones, VP of Development for Made to Flourish

Scroll to Top