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Construction at the Movies!

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Escape into a few of these feature flicks.

Our Top 10 List of Movies Prominently Featuring Construction at Work or Construction Jobsites

We all love a good movie. Even some bad ones can still be a pretty entertaining escape from our daily lives. Just about every different walk of life has been represented in cinema in some shape or form. Some professionals you see frequently in flicks, like law enforcement, military, healthcare, athletes and musicians. Others, like say white collar sales data analysts or blue collar manufacturing line workers are rarer to see.

Construction falls somewhere in the middle, as there are not a whole lot of movies that revolve around construction as their main theme, but our industry is fairly well represented in key parts of major motion pictures. With than in mind, here are 10 movies — in no particular order — that feature construction themes, highlight construction work or involve construction jobsites:

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)

Starring William Holden and Alec Guinness

In this Oscar-winning film, British POWs captured by the Japanese during World War II build a rail bridge over the Kwai river. Guinness oversees the construction, determined to prove to the Japanese how capable his men are. What he doesn’t know, however, is that Allied forces have plans of their own – to destroy the bridge.

The Money Pit (1986)

Starring Tom Hanks and Shelly Long

In this hilarious comedy with a heart, a couple tired of the urban life find their dream home (for too good a deal) not far from the city. Only after they scrape together every cent to buy the place do they begin to realize the house was not all it was cracked up to be. Some of the best scenes involve the very questionable contractor – and subcontractors Hanks hires to try and save their investment.

The Lego Movie (2014)

Starring Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell and Elizabeth Banks

Before he goes on his epic quest to save the world he knows, our hero is just a regular guy, working his regular construction job in the Lego universe. The scenes of the Lego construction sites are a blast to watch because, “Everything is Awesome!”

The Great Escape (1963)

Starring Steve McQueen, James Garner, Richard Attenborough, Charles Bronson and many others

In this star-studded movie, based on a true story, Allied soldiers plan for hundreds of prisoners to escape a German POW camp during World War II by construction three tunnels underneath their barracks. The tunnels themselves are works of marvel, each with their own support systems and mini rail lines to move materials and men.

Casino Royale (2006)

Starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green and Judi Dench

The first of the Daniel Craig era of James Bond movies, Casino Royale has a spectacular chase scene through a construction site that would have any health and safety inspector in fits.

Construction (2015)

Starring Victor Hawks and Gino Anthony Pesi

Not a widely-known movie, this surprisingly touching and warm comedy centers around three blue collar guys that struggle with getting their lives together and watching dreams they had in their youth fall by the wayside.

Editor’s note: the following is a Red-Band trailer intended for mature audiences:

Darkman (1990)

Starring Liam Neeson and Frances McDormand

This dark, twisted anti-superhero movie directed by Sam Raimi sees our characters’ pivotal end battle take place high above the city below on an under-construction office building.

Good Will Hunting (1997)

Starring Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Robin Williams

This award-winning drama, penned by Damon and Affleck follows a 20-something Damon as a janitor with an unstable past trying to come to grips with his life. Along the way, he intrigues a professor at the university he works with his untapped genius in the field of mathematics. Some of the best scenes involve construction sites where Damon also works with his best friend, Affleck.

Lethal Weapon 3 (1992)

Starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci and Renee Russo

The third installment of this buddy cop series features one hell of an end fight scene, taking place at an under-construction subdivision of homes. As flames rage around the jobsite, our heroes go toe to toe with the baddies!

Office Space (1999)

Starring Ron Livingston and Jennifer Anniston

Okay, so it’s not focused on construction, but this Mike Judge comedy on the drains of everyday work life in a drab, corporate office environment does feature a prominent construction character in the form of Lawrence, the lead actor, Peter’s next-door neighbor. Lawrence is a contractor who ultimately gets Peter into construction at the end of the movie. Plus, this movie might just make you thankful if you’re not tied to your office chair or doing daily battle with a fussy printer each and every day.

Honorable Mentions:

Here are a handful of honorable mentions that just missed the cut.

  • Total Recall– Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life before his trip to Mars? An everyday construction worker
  • The Happening– This M. Night Shyamalan supernatural thriller was not his best work by far, but it does feature a shocking scene on a construction site at the beginning of the movie
  • The Crying Game— After a botched kidnapping by the IRA, one of the members disappears to London and finds work at a construction site … among many other things.
  • The Terminal– Tom Hanks portrayal as a man without a country, trapped at New York’s JFK International Airport due to war breaking out in his homeland is a gem. He eventually finds work in construction at the airport.
  • The Accountant – Not construction related, but since our work here at Viewpoint revolves a large part around construction accounting, we’d be remiss not to include this action thriller in which Ben Affleck makes his living as an accountant for some dangerous criminal enterprises/

Did we leave a few good flicks off the list? Let us know in the comments! And be sure to subscribe to our blog for the latest trends and industry news, or visit viewpoint.com to learn how leading-edge technologies can help grow your construction operations.

Posted By

Andy is Marketing Content & PR Manager at Viewpoint. He has worked in the construction software arena since 2011. Previously, he netted multiple awards as a newspaper and trade media editor.

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