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6 Of The Best Movie Trilogies Of All Time

Is there any such thing as the perfect movie trilogy? Perhaps not, as there will always be flaws in any film, let alone three in a row. However, there are trios of movies that rate high on most peoples’ watch lists. Here, we break down six of the best, some well-known, some right out of left field.

Back To The Future, Back To The Future Part II, Back To The Future Part III (1985-1990) 

Its hard to believe that Back To The Future will celebrate its 35th birthday in 2020. The film is an absolute classic and one that is in the group of of movies that absolutely should never be remade. The original movie is easily in the top ten (if not the top five) of the best movies ever made, and one that easily stands up to repeat viewing. Some may argue that parts 2 and 3 are inferior, but take a revisit, especially to Part II, and just see how the filmmakers bring a new story to the screen whilst also using the original as a template for success.

The Star Wars Trilogy –  A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, Return Of The Jedi (1977-1983)

Often referred to ‘The Holy Trilogy’ before Disney bought Lucasfilm and made tons more movies in the Star Wars universe, the first three films, while part of a much bigger franchise now, were, for a long time, untouchable in terms of consistent quality, unrivalled in a run of blockbusting success. The Empire Strikes Back in particular, was one of those films that bettered the original, and even now, with six films in the Skywalker saga, and two major spin-offs, remains the best of the bunch. For many years, the Star Wars movies were a staple at Christmastime TV programming, and for good reason.

The Lord Of The Rings – The Fellowship Of The Ring, The Two Towers, Return Of The King (2001-20030

For three Christmases from 2001-2003, we were treated to some of the best mainstream cinema ever brought to the big screen. Peter Jackson took on the unenviable task of bringing J.R.R. Tolkien’s original book to the screen across three movies, and did it magnificently. The Lord Of The Rings movies brought in a huge $2.9 billion at the global box-office, and secured no less than 30 Academy Award nominations across the three years. ‘Return Of The King’ landed the most wins (11), including Best Picture and Best Director for Jackson.

Goodfellas, Casino, The Irishman (1990-2019)

Hold on, I hear you scream – ‘this isn’t a proper trilogy!!!’ Well. technically, no it is isn’t, but unofficially this trio of crime movies is the culmination of 30 years of stunning filmmaking from Martin Scorsese and co. New York-set Goodfellas kicked things off back in 1990 before Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci and Scorsese reunited just five years later for the Las Vegas casino drama set in the glory days of Sin City, before the online gaming industry took over, and before the towering theme park-like hotels and casinos that we know today popped up all over town. 24 years on and The Irishman brings back together Scorsese, De Niro and Pesci, along with the likes of Al Pacino and Harvey Keitel in an already well-received adaptation of the book ‘I Heard You Paint Houses’. Running at around three and a half hours, The Irishman is set for release Netflix at the end of November. It might round off the greatest trilogy of crime movies ever committed to the screen.

Toy Story, Toy Story 2, Toy Story (1995-2010)

I think that it is safe to say that Toy Story has a permanent place in most people’s hearts whether it was one of the first films you ever saw at the cinema, or whether you enjoyed one of the movies with your own offspring. I firmly believe that Toy Story is one of the few perfect trilogies out there, and one of the most beloved too. When a fourth movie was announced, and then released in cinemas in the summer, may thought that the legacy of this pioneering franchise would be tarnished and, while the fourth may be the weakest of the four, it still stands taller than most animated features.

Before Sunset, Before Sunrise, Before Midnight (1995-2013)

If you’re unfamiliar with the story of Jesse and Céline (Ethan Hawke and Julie Delphy), then you’re missing out on one of the greatest love stories of all time. There’s no mistake in the spacing between the three movies (released in 1995, 2004 and 2013) respectively, as filmmaker Richard Linklater uses the passing of time for us to catch up on these two star-crossed lovers who meet by chance on a train in Vienna, Austria. I won’t give away too much here, but the trilogy is a wonderful story that should really be experienced if you haven’t managed to already.


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