This page shows you the list charts. By default, the movies are ordered by how many times they have been marked as a favorite. However, you can also sort by other information, such as the total number of times it has been marked as a dislike.
How do you define a “trilogy”? Is it a series of three connected stories? One big story told in three parts? What if you have a series with more than three films? Can three of them be plucked out of the sequence and considered a trilogy?
In this case, we’re accepting all of the above in our definition of film trilogy. What we’re not considering are movies that are linked only thematically. Screen Rant loves us some “Cornetto” trilogy, aka the films of Edgar Wright starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, but strictly speaking, Cornetto isn’t a trilogy — it doesn’t share any common characters, settings, or plots.
A genuine trilogy can be constructed in different ways. In its purest form, a trilogy is planned from the outset as a three-part story. It starts with the first movie, which is an introduction to the world and its characters and overall scenario. It continues with numerous plot complications and heavier drama in the second part. The finale wraps up the entire saga with an ending that remembers everything that came before. That said, there are also excellent trilogies where a solo flick was so successful that its filmmakers decided to add two more films to continue and finish the tale.
To create our definitive list of the top 15 trilogies in cinematic history, we carefully considered a variety of factors, such as quality, reception, lasting influence on cinema and/or pop culture, and the actual scores a movie was assigned by both critics and general audiences. With that in mind, here’s Screen Rant’s take on The Best Movies Trilogies Of All Time.
It’s safe to say that, unless they are based on some similarly styled source material (book, play, etc.), the motion picture trilogy is a product of popularity. Though its narrative and cinematic symmetry can be breathtaking to behold, most three part films were not preplanned. Instead, they were forged out of a desire to please the audience mixed with a need to repay the cast/crew. George Lucas can argue all he wants to that his Star Wars saga—now finally out on Blu-ray—was always intended as three separate three-part projects (guess the crappy prequels destroyed that dream, right big G?) but Fox barely wanted to release the first film. So what fodder did he have for contemplating such a massive vision? The answer is obvious—he didn’t. Like most eventual franchises, box office gave Luke Skywalker’s real pappy a chance to dream, resulting in the genre’s first example of the law of diminishing returns.
There are a couple of factors inherent in determining the best trilogies of all time. First, the three films included have to be linked in some significant way. They can’t be a pure product of money-oriented moviemaking. Secondly, all three movies must be worth watching. A sloppy second act or atrocious third movement means the overall quality is compromised. A few can survive this kind of scrutiny—most cannot. Finally, there is a subjective element known as “completeness”. Do the films that make up this multi-faceted narrative really deliver on their designs, is there an all encompassing arc, or are we stuck seeing the same old story told over and over again? By answering these important questions, and taking into consideration other objective criteria like continuity and completeness, a final assessment can be reached.
With the high def arrival of everyone’s favorite (?) space sagas, now’s as good a time as any to countdown the all time greats of triangular tale-spinning. Some may surprise you. Others will shock you. But in the context of this discussion, all are worthy of classics consideration: