25 best movie explosions ever

They were only supposed to blow the bloody doors off, but that never stopped filmmakers getting carried away

Zabriskie Point (1970)

The sheer number of repeats shot from various camera angles is almost comical, but Zabriski Point’s final scene is magnificently shot and the explosive noise gives way to to the eerily calm soundtrack supplied by Pink Floyd. Lovely.

Tropic Thunder (2008)

Like the rest of Tropic Thunder, the explosion scene is massively overblown. But in satirising the nature of movie pyrotechnics, it also supplies one of Hollywood’s best firework moments. How? A 450ft line of explosive pots and over a thousand litres of petrol and diesel creating a 1.25-second blast that reached 350ft into the air. Result.

Apocalypse Now (1979)

Do you love the smell of napalm in the morning? If you answered yes, this is the movie explosion for you. If you don’t know what we’re talking about, it’s about time you booked out some armchair time with Francis Ford Coppola’s classic ‘nam movie.

Fight Club (1999)

Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter get the best seats in the house for Fight Club’s epic final scene. The rest of us get to watch some citywide smithereen action to the tuneful accompaniment of The Pixies’ Where Is My Mind? We’ll settle for it.

Return of the Jedi (1983)

The sight of Saturnic rings emitting from the valedictory explosion of a villainous space lair is sci-fi’s version of the rom-com kiss. But even today Return of the Jedi’s Death Star obliteration scene still impresses. That’ll stop Vader moaning about the heating bill.