As I was munching on tons of Matzah this past Passover, my eating fest was rudely interrupted when on a tip from one of the guests, the police showed up to the hotel I was staying at with a bomb threat on the building. Those who were made aware of the bomb threat immediately evacuated and headed outside as the Police searched the building. As I sat there outside with my awesome girlfriend Zahava Goldofsky and her very cool family (Uncle Ronnie, Aliza and Ari Kalton, Duvidel and the rest of the family), I began thinking of the best Bomb movies ever. These are films that in some way shape or form revolve around a bomb. More than likely these bomb films involve terrorist, whether foreign or domestic. What makes these films so good is the amazing suspense that is built up surrounding the bombs and their forthcoming explosions. Is there anything more dramatic than those final minutes of a movie when you know the bomb is ticking and the fate of the characters and sometimes the world hangs in the balance? I don’t, and that is why I have for you the top 15 Bomb movies of all time.
15. Déjà Vu (2006)
The film sounds fantastic. Tony Scott directs this thriller about an ATF agent who travels back in time to save a woman from being murdered while attempting to stop a bomb from going off. Though the film didn’t receive amazing reviews, I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it didn’t hurt that the film also starred Denzel Washington and Jim Caviezel. The film is definitely intense and provides some of those ticking time moments we all love.
14. Face Off (1997)
One of my all time favorite movies, Face off earns a place on the list but was not rated higher since its bomb story line ends half way through the film. Cage/Travolta play Casper Troy, one of if not my all time favorite villain ever. Troy is a sick and diabolical criminal who deals with anything from drugs to terrorists and the first half of the film revolves around a massive bomb that Troy has placed in downtown LA. Though the classic ticking bomb suspense is lacking, the film is fantastically twisted and for that reason alone, the Bomb storyline has earned a spot on the list. Hallelujah!!!!!
13. The Peacemaker (1997)
With a story line of an Army Colonel and a civilian reporter tracking down a stolen Russian nuclear weapon from a group of a radical terrorist, The Peacemaker was not the most original film ever made. However, with these roles played by a very young looking Nicole Kidman and George Clooney, Director Mimi Leder pulled off a decent thriller here with a NYC bomb threat at its core. Definitely worth a watch.
12. The Sum of All Fears (2002)
CIA analyst Jack Ryan must stop the plans of a terrorist faction that threatens nuclear war between the United States and Russia. With a nuclear weapons set to go off at a football game in Baltimore, the Tom Clancy adaptation starred Ben Affleck as Ryan and Morgan Freeman as the newly elected President. Though this movie was often considered mediocre, any bomb movie with Morgan Freeman can make my list.
11. Blown Away (1994)
An Irish bomber (Tommy Lee Jones) escapes from prison and targets a member of the Boston bomb squad (Jeff Bridges). The film is a 90’s classic ends with a dramatic performance of the Boston Pops orchestra. Will Bridges make it on time? That’s why this is a classic.
10. Fight Club (1999)
Also one of my favorites of all time, this anti-establishment thriller culminates with a series of bombs destroying the downtown financial system. Though the ultimate bomb storyline does not cover the entire film, once the truth about Tyler Durden is revealed, it is a race to the finish for The Narrator to prevent the oncoming disaster from himself. What a film!
9. Angels and Demons (2009)
Based on the best selling Dan Brown novel, Angels and Demons revolves around Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon attempting to solve century old secrets in order to prevent a colossal bomb from going off somewhere in the bowels of the Vatican. Tom Hanks does the most with Langdon and Ewan McGregor is always solid as the Camerlengo. The film is not as good as the novel but the drama is there as the anticipated clock ticks away.
8. V For Vendetta (2005)
This was kind of a strange but also genius film. From director James McTeige, the film revolves around the criminal vigilante known as V who fights against the British Totalitarian government. V played by Hugo Weaving makes a friend in Natalie Portman and thus begins the start of a beautiful friendship that terrorizes and brings down the fictional country with a terrorist bomb to take down the government. We all know the bomb is coming but the buildup is nonetheless memorable.
7. Dr. Strangelove (1964)
Any product from the mind of renowned filmmaker Stanley Kubrick has the potential to be memorable. This film also titled “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” is a classic. As an insane general starts the process of a nuclear holocaust, a board room full of politicians and generals frantically tries to prevent the end of the world as we know it. In the final scene as our crazy Slim Pickens (Major King Kong) rides the nuclear bomb to the ground, a lasting image was forever implanted in our minds.
6. The Dark Knight (2008)
My favorite film of all time is not always seen as a good “bomb film” but it is one of the best. The bomb and subsequent hospital explosion is truly one of the most realistic and amazing movie bomb/explosion moments ever. Considering that Nolan actually blew up a building, we all bought into his genius. Add to that the scene with two bombs on two separate boats with each ship in control to detonate the other and The Dark Knight has definitely earned its place on the list.
5. Sudden Death (1995)
Yes this film has everything great and horrible about those amazing 1990 action films. Jean Claude Van Damme is a firefighter who saves the Vice President, kills some terrorists, stops a major bomb from exploding an arena and makes a game saving save in the Stanley Cup Finals all in the span of an hour and a half. The film is very underrated and is amazingly entertaining. With the clock ticking on both the bomb and the game clock, this classic will forever be frozen in my memory.
4. Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995)
The third film in the Die Hard series is a classic film as Det. John McClane must work with a disgruntled Samuel L. Jackson to solve the riddles of a bomb making terrorist name Simon, played by Jeremy Irons. As The duo play the deadly game of Simon Says, the anticipation of the NYC bomb and ultimate diffusion of the bomb is as intense and dramatic as it gets and makes this an instant classic on par with the original film.
3. Speed (1994)
I was once told that no Keanu Reeves film should ever be on a “best” anything list but I couldn’t help it. The film revolving around a young cop who must diffuse a bomb and save hostages is insanely entertaining. The fact that the bomb is on a bus that will set off the bomb if it goes below 50 MPH is a beautiful touch. The film is a bomb lover’s dream and has great big explosions from start to finish. Sorry haters out there, but this film deserves this spot on the list.
2. Arlington Road (1999)
Already seen on thekolbreview for having such an amazing ending, Arlington Road is a fantastic bomb movie. A college professor (Bridges) specializing in counter terrorism, whose wife was killed by domestic terrorist, suspects his neighbor (Robbins) of being a terrorist as well. The film builds the drama and tension beautifully as there is such anticipation that perhaps Professor Faraday is right about his “architect” neighbor. As the story reaches its climax, the truth about the bomb and the terrorist comes to a sad, ironic and amazing conclusion. Arlington Road is forever one of the best.
1. The Hurt Locker (2008)
The multi-Oscar winning film about a bomb squad stationed in Iraq is without a doubt the greatest and most suspenseful bomb film of all time. As the bomb squad who we come to loath, love, and obsess over makes their way from site to site, the suspense is spine tingling as any person, any object and any moment can turn into a deadly explosion. The tension that award winning director Kathryn Bigelow builds is quite amazing. From start to finish you will be on the edge of your seat just wondering when the next IED will detonate.