Trilogies really started to become a thing during the 70s and by the time the 80s were in full swing, it seemed like every property that was relatively successful was automatically turned into one. This list will attempt to showcase the best and most cohesive of trilogies within the film world.
LIST CRITERIA: There are 2 major factors we will be considering when making our picks.
1: Trilogy Quality – How good are all the films within the trilogy? If there’s a stinker in the mix, it probably won’t make the cut… sorry Godfather Trilogy, but part 3 is an embarrassment in an otherwise flawless collection of films.
2: Trilogy Integrity – Is there continuity within the trilogy? Do they have an integrated storyline with the same characters, style, aesthetic, settings, and feel? We love The Vengeance and Dollars Trilogies but they are not narratively connected, and for that, they don’t make the cut.
THE OCEAN’S TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Based off the 1960s film with Frank Sinatra, this remake by Steven Soderbergh became a huge success. Follow Danny Ocean and his crew as they plan numerous heists in Vegas and Europe.
Why did you pick it?: It almost didn’t make the cut. Ocean’s Eleven is fantastic, but the next two installments were a little lack luster. Don’t get us wrong, they’re not bad films, they just don’t live up to Ocean’s Eleven. Stylistically, all the movies have the same feel and most of all the cast is consistent throughout. Soderbergh always manages to make an entertaining film and The Ocean’s Trilogy is no exception.
THE JASON BOURNE TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Secret agent Jason Bourne awakes from a coma with amnesia after being rescued at sea and has to try and piece together who he is and what happened to him.
Why did you pick it?: The Jason Bourne Trilogy is a beast of a series of films and unlike a lot of trilogies on the list, it keeps getting better with each installment within it. Matt Damon is solid in all three films and once Paul Greengrass takes over directing on Bourne Supremacy, things really start to solidify.
THE BACK TO THE FUTURE TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Doc and Marty travel through time to correct events that could have disastrous effects on the future.
Why did you pick it?: There are two major strikes against this trilogy’s continuity, Claudia Wells and Crispin Glover are replaced with new actors after part one. Outside of that, the trilogy is airtight. Obviously these films are time honored classics and everyone has seen them at this point… if you haven’t, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
THE TOY STORY TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Follow Woody, Buzz, and the rest of the gang of toys as they struggle to remain relevant in the eyes of Andy, their human owner.
Why did you pick it?: Toy Story was a game changer in the animation world, but besides being innovative, it was also an amazing movie. Then, to top themselves, Pixar created two other installments that were equally as impressive. The only thing that’s not consistent in these films is the animation… it keeps getting better with each picture.
THE BEFORE TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Director Richard Linklater takes you on a 20 year journey with Jesse and Celine. Start in Paris where the couple meet, reunite with them 9 years later, and then see where they end up 9 years after that.
Why did you pick it?: This trilogy is flawless. Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy unleash a believable and realistic portrait of a young couple falling in love and learning about who each other really are. Like all Linklater films it’s littered with philosophical and thought provoking dialogue which makes it a true stand out in the list.
THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Director Christopher Nolan reboots the Batman franchise and allows us to follow Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) on a series of adventures fighting crime in Gotham City.
Why did you pick it?: Nolan’s approach to comic book films turned the genre upside down. It felt like every superhero movie that came after Batman Begins was steeped in realism and had a dark grittiness to them that just wasn’t there before it. In addition, Bale’s performance of Batman is arguably one of the best and Heath Ledger’s Joker is one of the most memorable comic book villains in cinematic history.
THE INDIANA JONES TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Indiana Jones is the iconic archaeologist whose adventures find him in some of the most unbelievable situations and exotic locations across the globe.
Why did you pick it?: The Indiana Jones Trilogy is Spielberg blockbusting at its finest. If you were a child of the 80s, chances are you owned and wore out a copy of one of these films on VHS. Harrison Ford’s charisma turned Dr Jones into a lovable, but sometimes salty, protagonist that anyone could get behind.
THE LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: Director Peter Jackson brings to the big screen J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic tale of Frodo and his 8 comrades who set out to destroy a magic ring and the Dark Lord Sauron.
Why did you pick it?: This trilogy is the definition of continuity. Each film plays perfectly into one another and if given 558 minutes of time to sit down and watch them all back to back they would seem like one unified film. If you love the fantasy genre you’re probably already on board for these, if you don’t like fantasy… well we’re ok with that. We won’t judge you [weirdo].
THE STAR WARS TRILOGY
What’s the trilogy about?: As if you didn’t know already… OK, incase “you’ve been living under a rock” as they say. Luke Skywalker joins forces with a pilot, a wookiee, a princess, and some droids to do battle against Darth Vader and the empire.
Why did you pick it?: The original trilogy is a staple of our childhood and its view count is unknown to us at this point. The three films work harmoniously together, which is impressive considering there were different directors involved on each of them. It’s the quintessential cultural institution that helped pave the way for most of the trilogies on this list.
The Godfather Trilogy: As stated before, part 3 is unbearable… especially considering how good the first 2 films are.
The Matrix Trilogy: Reloaded isn’t bad, but Revolutions is a joke compared to the first film.
The Spiderman Trilogy: Almost added this, but part 3 is a train wreck.
The X-Men Trilogy: Last Stand wasn’t the greatest, and with the Origins film, it doesn’t feel like a true trilogy.
The Evil Dead Trilogy: While we love all three films, The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 are practically the same movie.
The Jurassic Park Trilogy: Like Spiderman, this almost made the cut, but the lack of Spielberg and Goldblum in part 3 kinda put a damper on the trilogy for us.
The Alien Trilogy: Part 3, while not horrible, just feels outta place compared to Alien and Aliens.