As a quick note, there are several great movie trilogies that aren’t on this list (“The Dark Knight” Trilogy, the “Bill & Ted” movies, the “Spider-Man” movies, “The Naked Gun” movies, the “Dollars” movies, etc.). The reason they aren’t on the list is simply because there’s only ten slots. Keep in mind, this is totally subjective (except for my #1 pick). My ranking is largely based on the consistency and flow between the films. This means that even if one trilogy has a better film than another trilogy, it isn’t necessarily superior.
10. The “Back to the Future” Trilogy
The first “Back to the Future” is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s a true classic that is fun, exciting, and brilliantly written. Unfortunately, the next two films aren’t as strong. While I like both movies, they still aren’t written as well as the first.
9. The “Austin Powers” Trilogy
This often forgotten trilogy consists of some of the funniest comedies released in the past few decades. Dr. Evil, Austin Powers, Mini Me, and Fat B*stard are all hilarious. There are a ton of laugh-out-loud moments throughout all three movies, and I always enjoy myself while watching one of these.
8. The First 3″Terminator” Movies
The first two Terminator films are truly revolutionary and have clearly inspired hundreds of other movies (and rip-offs). The exoskeleton is such a cool design, most of the special effects still hold up, and this franchise catapulted Arnold Schwarzenegger to stardom. However, the third film isn’t nearly as good as the first two, and some of the time travel plot points don’t make much sense (but that’s to be expected with a time travel movie).
7. The First 3 “Die Hard” Movies
“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…” Die Hard’s John McClane is an awesome action hero because he is the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not only are the first three films of the franchise supported by an extremely likeable lead, but the action (especially in the third film, “Die Hard With a Vengeance”) is enthralling and intense. John McTiernan directed the first movie & the third movie, and he did a perfect job. McTiernan truly is the best action director to date. The problem is that “Die Hard 2” is a little boring because it has the exact same plot as the first movie, except McClane is stuck in an airport instead of a building.
6. The First 3 “Indiana Jones” Movies
Steven Spielberg and George Lucas’ callback to classic 1930’s adventure serials has created one of the most recognizable movie characters of all time. The iconic set pieces, brilliant direction, snappy dialogue, and fun sidekicks make these movies so much fun. Plus, “Raiders of the Ark” is my favorite action movie of all time, and it is one of the very few films I would call perfect. However, “Temple of Doom” was a little too weird and tonally different than the first film, and while “The Last Crusade” is a lot of fun, it’s full of special effects & green screen that don’t hold up at all.
5. “The Godfather” Trilogy
“The Godfather” is possibly my all-time favorite movie, so obviously the legendary Corleone family is special to me. Marlon Brando gave one of the best performances of all time and Mario Puzo’s (the writer) scripts for the first two movies were brilliant & complex. Unfortunately, “The Godfather: Part III” is truly awful. I hate what was done with Michael, and the idiotic decision to kill off Tom Hagen between films was extremely disrespectful. It is mindblowing to me how large the gap in quality is between the first two films and the abysmal third movie.
4. The “Captain America” Trilogy
This placement might be shocking to some, but I stand by it. All three movies have a strong narrative flow despite being in the overcrowded MCU. We got to see a beautiful arc for Steve Rogers, in which he went from a naive victim of bullying to a damaged veteran who’s lost in time. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is one of the best comic book movies (it’s also the best MCU movie), and “Civil War” is another great film. This trilogy contains some of the best action sequences of the 2010’s, and it isn’t afraid to go dark despite being in the overly lighthearted MCU. Marvel was able to turn a one-dimensional character from the comics into one of the best superheroes ever put on the big screen. Plus, “I can do this all day” is one of the best movie quotes of the past decade.
3. Andy’s “Toy Story” Trilogy
The original three “Toy Story” movies are all modern classics. Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Rex, Mr. Potato Head, and the other toys will continue to be part of childhoods for decades to come. The movies are thoroughly enjoyable for all ages despite being movies aimed at children; kids will get some laughs and adults will enjoy the emotional moments. It is one of the few trilogies in which all three films are great, and it is especially rare for the third movie to be the best, but somehow “Toy Story 3” is the best of them (in my opinion).
2. The Original “Star Wars” Trilogy
George Lucas’ legendary space epic is not only exciting and fun, but also emotionally impactful. No series of movies has ever made as big of an impact on pop culture than Episodes IV-VI. With characters like Darth Vader, Han Solo, and Luke Skywalker, it is impossible to not enjoy these films. Lucas and company pushed the boundaries for special effects in movies, bringing lightsabers, x-wings, and the Force to moviegoers. Plus, Reel Opinion wouldn’t exist without the 1977 classic that made me love movies.
1. “The Lord of the Rings” EXPERIENCE
I can’t properly sum out how good these movies are. Such a beautiful story is told through these 3-hour-long films that feel like 2 hours. No franchise has or will ever reach the greatness of these movies. Even if you hate fantasy stories, it doesn’t matter. “The Lord of the Rings” films transcend the fantasy genre and redefine what movies can accomplish.
Why “The Dark Knight” Trilogy isn’t on this list: https://reel-opinion.com/2020/08/30/the-dark-knight-is-not-a-batman-movie-overrated-movies-1/
My ranking of all 11 “Star Wars” movies: https://reel-opinion.com/2020/10/28/all-11-star-wars-movies-ranked/