The summer blockbuster has been a tradition of Hollywood for four decades now, and given how much money it generates for the industry, it shouldn't be surprising that the practice of releasing big-budget, hugely-marketed high-concept films has expanded far beyond any conventional definition of the word "summer".
The majority of these films fall into one of several categories: good, forgettably entertaining, or terrible, but some dare to dream bigger and, with their ambition, technical craft and sheer emotional heft, manage to graduate to be something more than merely a juggernaut to print money.
At its best, the summer blockbuster can act as a dream factory, placing our most elaborate dreams on the screen for all to enjoy, and the result is often a movie which will stay with audiences their entire lives. This is what all summer tentpoles should aspire to, rather than, well, the Transformers franchise.
Naturally, whittling down the hundreds of summer blockbusters to just 20 movies is no mean feat, so don't be surprised if more than a few pf your personal treasures didn't quite make the cut, but these solid gold classics nevertheless best exemplify that giddy, child-like feeling of wonder, that adrenaline-pulsing excitement that makes going to the movies such a blast in the first place.
Without any further ado, here are the 20 greatest summer blockbusters of all time...