10 Best Movies Released Over Memorial Day Weekend, According To Ranker

Top Gun: Maverick recently broke Memorial Day weekend records, pulling in more than 156 million viewers in its first weekend and subsequently becoming the biggest Tom Cruise movie opening of all time, according to Fortune. The holiday weekend is infamous for kicking off many studios’ summer blockbuster schedules, and over the years many of the all-time classic movies have started movie fans’ summers off with a bang.

The most memorable Memorial Day movies are often debated, and at Ranker, as the votes keep pouring in and entries wobble up and down, pollsters give their due on which was the best of the best.

Note: Ranking lists are live and continue to accumulate votes, so some rankings may have changed after this posting.


ten Back to the Future III (1990)

Michael J. Fox Back to the Future III

In this often underrated conclusion to the hugely popular Back to the future trilogy, Doc Brown is inadvertently transported to the Old West. Marty discovers he was murdered soon after and decides to travel further back in time to save him.

Time travel naturally ensues before Marty saves the day and returns to his native 1985. The film has a surprising heart, largely due to Mary Steenburgen’s turn as Doc’s new love. . The film shows Marty’s story of emotional maturity finally coming to fruition as he overcomes his alpha male competition streak (with an audience-pleasing cameo opponent in the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Flea as Needles).

9 Rocky III (1982)

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky Balboa and Mr. T as Clubber Lang in Rocky III

The third entry in Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky series features Hulk Hogan and Mr. T as main adversaries, Rocky III shows a famous Balboa in his main struggle with ideas and tides to finally be on top.

Related: Sylvester Stallone’s 10 Most Iconic Movie Quotes

The film manages to nail the twist by having Rocky lose his mentor Mickey (Burgess Meredith) and having to turn to his old adversary Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) for advice on overcoming Clubber Lang’s challenge. Full of typical eighties bravado and chutzpah, this film lived up to all standard holiday weekend expectations, for its money and its success.

8 Up (2009)

Car and Ellie paint a mailbox in Pixar Up

This beloved Pixar film was embraced by a generation of Disney fans who had never seen an animated film announcing the perils of old age and how a second life was always an option for those looking for such a thing.

At the top featured the story of grumpy, balloon-selling Carl who, after losing his wife (in a rather infamous and decidedly uncommon Disney montage) puts his house up in the air to float through a South American desert, only to having his retirement plans interrupted by a child stowaway and a talking dog. The film is hailed by critics and fans alike for its heartfelt depiction of love, family, and anti-ageism.

seven Shreek (2001)

shrek scene

Mike Meyers, Cameron Diaz and Eddie Murphy captured a whole generation of childhood memories with their titular voice-over work in Dreamworks Shrek movies. Determined to save his swamp home from an invasion of displaced faerie creatures, Shrek accepts Lord Farquaad’s quest to rescue Princess Fiona, who has her own secret adversity to overcome.

Related: 10 Hilarious Memes That Sum Up The Shrek Series

Full of laughs, Hollywood jokes, a wry self-deprecating appreciation of itself, some popular debuts of female representation in the genre, and a true love story for adults and children alike, Shrek is a rare entity among anime series that still stands today.

6 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Monkey Brains

fans of the IndianaJones franchise are often divided over the ultimate legacy of this second entry, though Ranker users still hold it in high regard. cursed temple was alternately acclaimed for its wildly inventive action sequences and cheeky sense of humor, but also derided for having a number of scenes deemed too intense for younger viewers, including the famous heart-removal sacrifice scene by Mola Ram.

The film also suffered from its use of problematic Asian and Indian stereotypes that were limited at the time. Still, it was hard to deny his guilty pleasures of escape, from downward spiked caves to creepy crawling insects to ridiculously unlikely plane crash raft escapes, and of course Spielberg’s future wife screaming his head off. for most of the movie.

5 Braveheart (1995)

Although its star has dimmed its shine considerably in recent years for a number of reasons, for a time Mel Gibson and his epic portrayals of fictional historical figures went unstoppable, most presciently in his portrayal of William Wallace in Brave heart.

Related: Roger Murtaugh’s 10 Best Quotes From The Lethal Weapon Series

Telling the story of 13th-century Scottish folk hero Wallace rising up against English oppression was no small feat, and Gibson delivered a compelling performance amid an array of battle backdrops. His short-lived and most quoted line from the film, “They may take our lives, but they will never take our freedom!” is still widely quoted today.

4 Star Wars Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)

The final battle of Luke and Vader

Expectations were extremely high for this final entry in the original trilogy. It had a lot to do with the incredible success and fan reactions to Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back which is generally considered the best star wars movie of all time.

Unfortunately, Return of the Jedi didn’t quite live up to its predecessor, taking a significant hit with George Lucas’ decision to include the cuddly but utterly out of place Ewoks in the narrative. Still, Jedi is very important star wars moments, not the least of which are the deaths of Yoda, Jabba, Vader, and (supposedly) the Emperor, a heart-pounding sequence from Jabba’s palace, and the final lightsaber duel between Luke and his father.

3 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Indiana Jones and her dad got tied up in The Last Crusade.

The third film from the original IndianaJones trilogy is incredibly popular with Ranker users. After the controversial reception of cursed templefans were thrilled to experience a true Blue Jones adventure still in the fountain well of Lucas and Spielberg.

Related: Top 10 Indiana Jones Stories That Should Be Adapted Into Animated Movies

Going back to familiar Nazi adversaries was a wise move, but an even wiser decision was to cast Sean Connery as Indy’s fastidious, properly fuddy-duddy dad Henry Jones Senior, who single-handedly stole the film then. that they embarked on their quest to discover the Holy Grail. With the usual treasure map tropes of adventure and scenic vistas in the Great Temple of Petra, last crusade established himself as a solid redeemer in the original IndianaJones trilogy.

2 Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)

X-Wings flying towards the Death Star in Star Wars A New Hope

Even in 1977, George Lucas figured he had a hit with his seminal space opera and somehow fought over a long-running spot to start the summer off with distributor 20th Century Fox. star wars hit the ground running, almost immediately gracing the minds of the Baby Boomer and Gen X generations with its high-flying escapades featuring a now-legendary trio of heroes.

The charming smuggler flyboy pilot, the farm boy who manages to become the wise Jedi he was destined to be, and the princess leader of the resistance have all remained iconic in pop culture. With never-before-seen special effects and the raw charisma and chemistry of its three protagonists, star wars became a tent pole for all future sci-fi cinema.

1 Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Yoda looking up in star wars

Lucas has been able to launch his empire summer after summer after the initial success of the first film, and his little marvel Empire takes the number one ranking spot. With a rabid fanbase constantly affirming its status as the best star wars movie ever, the Kershner-directed sequel hits all the right notes for the continuation of the Skywalker saga.

The introduction of Master Yoda and Lando Calrissian, the infamous Battle of Hoth Imperial Walker, and of course the multitude of timeless quotes have elevated Empire to a status rarely achieved by films of any genre, let alone science fiction.

Next: 10 Things Only Diehard Star Wars Fans Know About Obi-Wan Kenobi

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