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Boom and Bust: 10 Best Michael Bay Explosions

He’s made critical bombs but some awesome blockbuster carnage — here’s the cream of the director’s kabooms


Jaimie Trueblood/Paramount/courtesy Everett Collection

Action-movie auteur/helmer of international blockbusters/strong contender for the most hated man in film-fanatic circles Michael Bay has never hidden his affection for things that go boom, things that produce fireballs and flaming debris, things that go oh my god, do you think everyone on the pyrotechnics crew is okay?!? You can debate whether his work is Big Dumb Fun at its supersized summer-movie best or the nadir of lowest-common-denominator Hollywood filmmaking; if nothing else, Bay's signature style has given us plenty of massive cinematic explosions that double as awe-inspiring eye candy.

Summer Film Preview 2014: The Season of 'Fierce'

So in honor of the director's latest sturm und drang assault on filmgoers who frequent air-conditioned multiplexes during the summer months — Transformers: Age of Extinction — we've ranked the director's 10 very best on-screen explosions. Guard your eyes and cover your ears, people: You’re about to get Bay-bombed. By Kate Erbland

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1. ‘Armageddon’: Bruce Willis vs. the Evil Asteroid

Technically speaking, the detonation that rocks the literal giant rock at the center of Armageddon isn't Bay's most impressive FX feat; the kaboom looks conspicuously fake and obviously crafted on a computer. Yet it's also dizzyingly over-the-top and the natural culmination of Bay's facility for choreographing big bangs – an explosion that's emotionally charged, saves the entire world and involves hallucinations about Liv Tyler. It's not his most jaw-dropping moment of cinematic destruction, but from a storytelling point of view, it's arguably his best. Plus anything that starts with Ben Affleck cry-screaming, "I love you!" is an automatic winner.

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