Hollywood has a knack for fictitiously obliterating important landmarks throughout the world, and they do it well. In the beginning of Olympus Has Fallen, we see an army of people — and a few helicopters — not only destroy the front of the White House but the Washington Monument. This got us thinking about other moments in Hollywood history where filmmakers have taken it upon themselves to decimate famous monuments in order to progress the story line. So in honor of the fictional destruction, we’d like to look back on some of the biggest ones to take place in film.

5. Cloverfield


Oh those monsters, they’re always making a big mess. When you’re faced with the threat of a large monster who’s ready to stomp all over your city, you want to dispose of them as fast as possible. Unfortunately in Cloverfield , the city of New York in the movies is just not ready to handle this kind of attack just yet, which leads to the almost complete destruction of their neighborhood. In Cloverfield the monster decides to rip the head off of the Statue of Liberty with it’s own hands. We don’t actually see the creature tear the head apart from it’s metal body, we just see it hurled into the streets, but that is definitely one way to send a message to the city of New York that there’s about to be a big bad monster roaming around those parts.

4. X-Men: The Last Stand


This may not be everybody’s favorite sequel in the X-Men movie franchise, but X-Men: The Last Stand does stand out in one way, and we’re not talking about in the how-much-it-sucked way. At one point Magneto and a good chunk of mutants decided they’ve had enough with all of this discrimination and will give the humans something to really fear about. Determined to destroy the mutant cure, Magneto takes it upon himself to move the Golden Gate Bridge over towards Alcatraz. Then Alcatraz is kind of torn up too when Dark Phoenix comes out and tries to kill everything in sight. Oh those silly mutants.

3. Battle Los Angeles


Since we’re talking about destroying things, you knew that aliens would come up on this list sooner or later. One of the more intense sci-fi action movies to come out in recent years is Battle Los Angeles, which takes a slightly realistic take on what it would look like if Los Angeles was completely destroyed by extraterrestrial life. Not only do they destroy some famous landmarks scattered throughout the city, but they pretty much torch the whole place in the process, leaving it looking like filming location Baton Rogue. It’s nothing but rubble by the end of the movie. Lord only knows how big the bill would be in order to clean up the entire city once the aliens take off.

2. Mars Attacks!


Speaking of aliens, we can’t talk about squashing big American landmarks without bringing Mars Attacks! into this conversation. Not only do these strange green little creatures fry any human that they see, but they manage to do some landmark redesign in the process. Sure they destroy the Washington Monument, but they fix up Mt. Rushmore to have alien faces carved into the iconic rock. It’s their land now and they’re making sure everybody knows it through their loud cackles.

1. Independence Day


Last but never least is what may be one of the most played movies during the 4th of July. Independence Day is a slightly goofy sci-fi action film that too many of us have watched on repeat over and over again. At the time of its release, the most iconic portion of the movie was the total annihilation of major U.S. landmarks. They destroyed the White House, the Empire State Building, the US Bank building in Los Angeles and any other big city they could fly towards. Obviously the humans take back their land but not without some landmark casualties.

What are you favorite moments of monument destruction?