The 13 Greatest Movie Trilogies of All Time

There’s something special about a movie trilogy that just can’t be accomplished in one movie. This storytelling format is a popular one for good reason. But only a small number of trilogies are remembered as the best of all time.

Here are the most iconic and best movie trilogies of all time.

1. The Lord of the Rings

Lord of the Rings, Cate Blanchett
Image Credit: New Line Cinema.

The most popular answer by far was The Lord of the Rings. This iconic fantasy trilogy is famous across the globe for its dramatic story and iconic characters.

Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) is a young hobbit who is tasked with a massive quest: to destroy The One Ring and save the future of civilization itself.

The colossal fanbase is because the trilogy entices all film lovers from battle scenes to comedy and friendship. If you’re not into fantasy shows, you will be after watching LOTR.

2. The ‘Before’ Trilogy

Before Sunset Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy
Image Credit: Warner Independent Pictures.

The ‘Before’ Trilogy consists of three romance movies directed by Richard Linklater called Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight.

The trilogy follows a romance that blooms one night in Vienna between an American traveling home early the next morning and a woman who lives in Paris. They spend a night learning about each other, which turns into years of not seeing one another and reuniting to discover that they still love each other.

You’ll be swept away romanticizing about love watching this realistic and relatable love story.

3. Planet of the Apes

Planet of the Apes Charlton Heston, Kim Hunter, Roddy McDowall
Image Credit: 20th Century Fox.

The three modern re-imaginings of the original Planet of the Apes movie series from the late 60s and early 70s are Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and War for the Planet of the Apes.

The trilogy follows Caesar (Andy Serkis), a monkey that was genetically modified in the womb by a scientist who becomes more human-like than ever seen before. But the world takes Caesar’s intelligence as a threat.

“Fantastic series even if it makes me feel sad for Caesar every time I watch any of them. Andy Serkis really is phenomenal,” said u/sweetscot.

4. The Dark Night Trilogy

Batman Begins Christian Bale
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment.

Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, and The Dark Knight Rises are three excellent films that make up The Dark Knight Trilogy.

The trilogy tells the story of Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) and how he became the iconic Batman, all the way to one of his most challenging battles in Gotham.

These action-packed superhero films are said to be one of the best pop culture series of all time.

5. Star Wars Original Trilogy

Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford in "Star Wars A New Hope"
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

The first three Star Wars movies created by George Lucas captivated viewers’ fantasies when they were released in the late 1970s and early 80s.

Can the rebellion against the Galactic Empire save Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and alter the fate of the galaxy?

George Lucas tapped into something we all crave but can’t quite put our finger on. The story is epic and timeless, which appeals to our desire for escapism.

“May the Force be with you.”

6. Back to the Future Trilogy

Back to the Future II
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

These sci-fi comedy movies take time travel to a whole new level. When a wacky scientist accidentally sends a teenage boy from small-town California back in time 30 years to the 1950s, he works tirelessly to ensure that his parents fall in love to make sure he is eventually born.

It’s safe to say that Back to the Future will continue to stand the test of time as one of, if not the, greatest sci-fi movies ever made.

“Silence, Earthling!”

7. How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera
Image Credit: Dreamworks Animation.

The How to Train Your Dragon Trilogy is a delightful series of children’s movies about a kid who grows up in a society that fears dragons, which are a very real threat in their world. But when the kid befriends a wounded dragon named Toothless, he must show the world that dragons and humans can team up and work together.

The bond between dragon and human is captivating.

There are many great movie trilogies out there, but these seven are the most iconic of all time, according to Redditors. Each one has made a lasting impression on audiences and will be remembered for years to come.

8. Indiana Jones

Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

While we’ve seen subsequent releases in the Indiana Jones franchise, the original trilogy from Raiders of the Lost Ark through The Last Crusade holds up extremely well today.

Harrison Ford’s performance as Indiana Jones, as well as the iconic score, help make the films as beloved as they are today.

9. The Bourne Trilogy

The Bourne Ultimatum Matt Damon Edgar Ramírez Joan Allen
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Matt Damon is a well-known actor for a variety of performances. To some, his most iconic is his turn as Jason Bourne.

While the Bourne franchise continued after 2007’s The Bourne Ultimatum, the three movies Damon stars in from 2002 through 2007 are some of the best modern action movies ever made.

10. Toy Story

The Toy Story Tim Allen
Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures Distribution.

Disney and Pixar seem keen to keep releasing Toy Story movies. While Toy Story 4 proved to be a worthy entry, the jury is still out on the upcoming Toy Story 5.

No matter the case, the first three Toy Story films are movie perfection. They’ll bring a tear to the eye of even the most cold-hearted moviegoer.

11. The Terminator

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kristanna Loken
Image Credit: IMF Internationale Medien und Film GmbH & Co. 3 Produktions KG.

The original Terminator film set the bar for what fans can expect from an epic sci-fi action film. Then came Terminator 2: Judgment Day, one of the best sequels of all time.

While the subsequent third entry in the series, Rise of the Machines, didn’t deliver the same quality, it’s an enjoyable enough film to make it a worthy trilogy to watch.

12. The Cornetto Trilogy

Shaun of The Dead Kate Ashfield, Simon Pegg
Image Credit: Rogue Pictures.

The Edgar Wright films Shaun of the DeadHot Fuzz, and The World’s End make up what is known as the Cornetto Trilogy. They are connected by the cast (Sean Pegg, Nick Frost), and crew. Outside of that, there isn’t anything holding them together outside of cameo appearances of Cornetto ice cream.

Still, these three comedies are absolute classics that are well worth watching.

13. John Wick

John Wick: Chapter 2
Image Credit: Lionsgate.

Keanu Reeve’s performance as John Wick in 2014 told audiences loud and clear that he was, indeed, back.

Since its debut film, the John Wick franchise now has four highly successful and critically acclaimed movies under its belt. It seems like there’s no stopping this franchise as spin-offs and additional sequels are in development.

A thread inspired this post.

This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.

Maya (she/they) is a queer entertainment and culture journalist. They cover interviews, reviews, roundups, news, and more. She loves horror, history, and creativity. They hope their writing both entertains readers and inspires them to think critically. Her favorite pastimes include needle felting, gaming, and drawing.

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