What is a movie trilogy? Is it a series of three connected stories? Or a big story told in three parts? What if a series has more than three movies? Will that be considered as a trilogy?
In this case, we a considering all of the above cases for our list of 7 best movie trilogies that we see fit to be in this list. We’ve considered a variety of factors, such as quality, storyline, impact on the audience and cinema, and the actual scores assigned by the critics. With all this in mind, here is our list for 7 of the best trilogies ever.
7. The Bourne Trilogy
Genre: Action, Thriller
Cast: Matt Damon, Julia Styles
Movies: The Bourne Identity (2002), The Bourne Supremacy (2004), The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
Best of the Bunch: The Bourne Identity
Jason Bourne has always had one mission: to find out who he really is. It is the mystery that made him one of the most iconic action movie character of all time. He didn’t have to rely on Gadgets like Ethan Hunt. Nor did he need that swagger of James Bond.
Jason Bourne is a man with remarkable survival abilities who suffers from retrograde amnesia, and must seek to discover his true identity. In the process, he must also reason out why several shadowy groups, a professional assassin, and the CIA want him dead.
The movie trilogy is based on the Novels by Robert Ludlum.
6. Toy Story Trilogy
Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Cast: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
Movies: Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999), Toy Story 3 (2010)
Best of the Bunch: Toy Story
Pixar changed the feature animation game forever with the release of the first Toy Story in 1995, taking a simple premise and jacking it up with cutting-edge computer animation, a crackerjack storyline and a host of wonderful characters. The attention to the latter two elements is what makes the series as a whole work, and it’s what separates the “Toy Story” trilogy from other animation franchise like Ice Age and Madagascar
The franchise is based on the anthropomorphic concept that all toys, unknown to humans, are secretly alive, and the films focus on a diverse group of toys that feature a classic cowboy, Sheriff Woody and modern spaceman, Buzz Lightyear. The group unexpectedly embark on adventures that challenge and change them.
A fourth film, Toy Story 4 is in production and set for release in 2018.
5. Indiana Jones Trilogy
Genre: Adventure, Action, Fantasy
Cast: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Karen Allen
Movies: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Temple of Doom (1984), The Last Crusade (1989)
Best of the Bunch: Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Best thing about Indiana Jones franchise is that no two movies are similar. The makers were careful enough to not use the formula of previous movies which resulted in a fresh story and structure each time.
The franchise is based on the adventures of DR. Henry Indiana Jones, a fictional Archaeologist. The movies manage to mention some of the most precious religious artifacts naming The Ark of the Covenant, The Holy Grail and The Crystal Skull.
A fourth film was added to the trilogy in 2008 named The Kingdom of Crystal skull.
4. The Dollars Trilogy
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Mario Brega, Lee Van Cleef
Movies: A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a few dollars more (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
Best of the Bunch: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Also known as The Man with no name Trilogy, these movies were of uncommon attire from the start. For an Italian filmmaker to remake a Japanese samurai movie (Yojimbo) in the form of an American Western must have seemed crazy, but in execution, it serves to illuminate both source and subversion. The movies made Clint Eastwood an international star, and for perfectly understandable reason: he is the movie star in every scene, in all three films.
Though the three films are not related to each other in any way, the character of Clint Eastwood is somewhat common to all three. While his name changes in all the films, his personality doesn’t.
The series has become known for establishing the Spaghetti Western genre, and inspiring the creation of many more Spaghetti Western films. The three films are consistently listed among the best rated Western films of all time.
3. Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Genre: Adventure, Drama, Action
Cast: Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom, Elijah Wood
Movies: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), The Return of the King (2003)
Best of the Bunch: The Return of the King
One of the reasons why Lord of the Rings is considered to be the greatest trilogy series of all time is its consistency. Based on the novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, Lord of the Rings managed to create a world of its own. There’s no denying that it is perhaps too difficult to create such a vast universe and sell it to the audience in the form of three movies.
Another reason why Lord of the Rings is so great is perhaps because it gives us another aspect of our chaotic world. It shows how man can be corrupted so easily and how power is the ultimate weapon. The cinematography is absolutely perfect and Peter Jackson sure has done a wonderful work in adapting Tolkien’s work. A special mention to Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, A movie that was nominated for 11 Oscars and won them all. Wowza!
2. The Batman Trilogy
Genre: Action, Adventure
Cast: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman
Movies: Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008), The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Best of the Bunch: The Dark Knight
In 1997, the Batman Saga seemed to die when George Clooney donned the Batman suit in critically-reviled Batman and Robin. But that changed in 2005 when Christian Bale put on the Batman suit and Christopher Nolan stood behind the camera. Together they made a trilogy that turned out to the standard for superhero movies
Never descending into silliness and stupidity, these movies maintained a serious tone even as other superhero movies offered a more light hearted fare. Everyone today knows about the performance Heath Ledger gave as the Clown prince of Gotham. His portrayal of Joker, Batman’s arch-enemy is still unparalleled.
The Dark Knight is the only movie of its genre to be in the Top 100 movies of all time.
1. Back to the Future Trilogy
Genre: Sci-fi, Adventure, Comedy
Cast: Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson
Movies: Back to the Future (1985), Back to the Future Part II (1989), Back to the Future Part III (1990)
Best of the Bunch: Back to the future
There’s not just one reason to describe Back to the Future trilogy as the best trilogy of all time. It is not just about the characters, or story or even the direction. Back to the Future manages to do something that no other movie could do. It turned dreams into reality.
In the 80s, it was only a dream for the common American people to even think about time travel. Back to the future not only manages to grab the essence of it but sold it to the people in a way they actually wanted. Showing the future must have been difficult but the movies actually do a pretty good job with it.
It is safe to say that the Back to the Future trilogy is as close as you can get to a true American comedic franchise. The entire trilogy is basically on a character-based saga. It manages to keep the story to one point only. Save Marty Mcfly’s family. Too often the Back to the future trilogy is dismissed as mere popcorn escapism, but in reality it is one of the smartest franchises of the last half-century and deserves to be called as one of the best trilogies of all time.