There’s actually a pretty large amount of great trilogies. Some were a series unrelated movies while some were an epic tale of connected narratives. Some were also ruined by their sequels but they still redefined awesomeness. Here’s Crizic’s list of the 12 greatest movie trilogies of all time.
12. The Matrix Trilogy
Films: 1. The Matrix/ 2. The Matrix Reloaded/ 3. The Matrix Revolutions
Directors: The Wachowskis (Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski)
Starting off this list is The Matrix trilogy. While the third movie was not up to the mark of the first two films (unfortunately that happens with many series), still it doesn’t cloud the epicness of the other two. Keanu Reeves was tremendously strong both as a character in the movie and as an actor and The Matrix is a really great trilogy to binge watch.
11. Infernal Affairs Trilogy
Films: 1. Infernal Affairs/ 2. Infernal Affairs 2/ 3. Infernal Affairs 3
Directors: Andrew Lau and Alan Mak
Infernal Affairs features Andy Lau, Tony Leung, Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang, a star-studded cast including some of Hong Kong’s top actors. A similar doing was seen in the Hollywood remake of the first Infernal Affairs movie, The Departed which starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Matt Damon and Mark Wahlberg and we all know how great The Departed turned out. So if you liked The Departed, then you must not miss watching the Infernal Affairs trilogy.
10. The Cornetto Trilogy
Films: 1. Shaun of the Dead/ 2. Hot Fuzz/ 3. The World’s End
Director: Edgar Wright
The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy stars the duo of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost who along with director Edgar Wright forms a trio who make a series an absolutely hilarious and entertaining movies we can watch again and again and never get bored. The mention of the Cornetto trilogy so low on this list doesn’t undermine its greatness. It’s just that there are some trilogies slightly better than it.
9. The Vengeance Trilogy
Films: 1. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance/ 2. Oldboy/ 3. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance
Director: Park Chan-Wook
The Vengeance Trilogy doesn’t include movies whose stories are linked to each other but all three can be found to be thematically connected as each emphasize on themes of revenge, violence and salvation. While Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance was not a box office success even though it was a good movie, the praise and love for the trilogy was sparked by the trilogy’s second installment (which also turned out to be one of the greatest thrillers ever), Oldboy (not the Hollywood remake, the Korean one, the one that released in 2003). If you have Oldboy and two other good movies as part of a trilogy, then that trilogy certainly deserves a spot on this list.
8. The Dark Knight Trilogy
Films: 1. Batman Begins/ 2. The Dark Knight/ 3. The Dark Knight Rises
Director: Christopher Nolan
Christian Bale is undoubtedly the best Batman we have seen on big screen and maybe no one will ever be able to match his level of performance. Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy gave a new definition to the superhero and attracted a large fanbase for The Dark Knight. The second movie, The Dark Knight can surely be considered as the best among the bunch. Afterall it was this movie that gave us another iconic and unforgettable ‘Joker’ played by Heath Ledger after Jack Nicholson’s portrayal of Joker in Burton’s version of Batman. Batman Begins was a good start for the trilogy, then came The Dark Knight and then final conclusion of the trilogy in The Dark Knight Rises. Though The Dark Knight Rises was slightly weak compared to the first two but it still was the perfect farewell for Nolan’s version of the caped hero, The Dark Knight.
7. Three Colors Trilogy
Films: 1. Three Colors: Blue/ 2. Three Colors: White/ 3. Three Colors: Red
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Krzysztof Kieslowski gave us three remarkable pieces of cinema in his Three Colors Trilogy. Surprisingly all three movies are great which is quite rare especially when even The Godfather trilogy couldn’t do it. The idea of human connection while focussing on the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity forms the theme of the trilogy.
6. Toy Story Trilogy
Films: 1. Toy Story/ 2. Toy Story 2/ 3. Toy Story 3
Director: John Lasseter (Toy Story and Toy Story 2), Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3)
Pixar released the first Toy Story movie back in 1995 and since then two more movies have been released about Andy’s toys and one cannot simply ignore the depth and emotions in every movie. To infinity… and beyond! Toy Story will always be epic.
5. Back to the Future Trilogy
Films: 1. Back to the Future/ 2. Back to the Future Part 2/ 3. Back to the Future Part 3
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Agreed that each sequel Back to the Future franchise made was not as good as its predecessor and that makes the first Back to the Future movie to be the best among all but the three movies altogether is still the classic sci-fi adventure we love. We can never forget the adventures of Marty McFly and Doc Brown and the famous DeLorean time machine. The Back to the Future movies are certainly absolutely fun to binge watch.
4. The Dollars Trilogy
Films: 1. A Fistful of Dollars/ 2. For a Few Dollars More/ 3. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Director: Sergio Leone
Sergio Leone’s The Dollars Trilogy is one of the very few movie series out there which actually gets better and better with every movie. And there is no doubt that The Good, the Bad and the Ugly was insanely good. We know the man called Clint Eastwood because of the Man with No Name Trilogy. Joe, Manco or Blondie, pick anyone and you’ll remember Clint Eastwood for his remarkable performance as each one of them. The three especially the third one are surely one the greatest Western films ever.
3. The Original Star Wars Trilogy
Films: 1. Star Wars (1977)/ 2. Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back/ 3. Episode Vl – Return of the Jedi
Directors: George Lucas (Star Wars), Irvin Kershner (The Empire Strikes Back), Richard Marquand (Return of the Jedi)
This list would be incomplete without the mention of the epic adventure in a galaxy far far away, George Lucas’s original Stars Wars trilogy. Star Wars gave us one of the most iconic villains ever, Darth Vader. And of course, not to forget, Lightsabers. There would hardly be any person living on this planet who hasn’t heard of Star Wars.
2. The Godfather
Films: 1. The Godfather/ 2. The Godfather: Part ll/ 3. The Godfather: Part lll
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
The first two movies of The Godfather trilogy are simply excellent. Still its hard to have all three films on par with each other. The third Godfather movie was a decent one but one easily realises its mediocrity when it is compared to the first two movies. As a sequel to two of the greatest crime movies ever, The Godfather 3 was very weak. But still the influence and greatness of the first two alone is enough to put The Godfather Trilogy so high on our list.
1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Films: 1. The Fellowship of the Ring/ 2. The Two Towers/ 3. The Return of the King
Director: Peter Jackson
Not a single movie in Peter Jackson’s LOTR Trilogy was a disappointment in any way. There were so many characters to handle and Peter Jackson did handle them quite well. The same can’t be said for The Hobbit though. The rarity of all three movies of a trilogy being good has been pointed out earlier as well. And Lord of the Rings is one such rare trilogy and surely the best among all.