The Top Ten Greatest Film Trilogies of All Time

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Earlier in the year I had the opportunity privilege (right?) to introduce my fiancée to Star Wars (both trilogies, for better or worse). And recently we finally got around to watching my all time favorite movie series, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, something she had also never seen before. Ultimately it got me thinking about what my favorite trilogies are, and how my opinions ranked against others’.

So today I give you Geekritique’s top ten greatest film trilogies of all time. But not really. Odd enough, the way I came about this list isn’t my personal preference, or any opinion of mine whatsoever. Lists as massive as these require more than one opinion. So naturally I went to the Internet, pooled together 14 ranked lists of favorite trilogies and averaged their placement to find a truer consensus of which trilogies are actually the greatest. Perceived fan wisdom, if you will. Some sites listed more than 10 trilogies, but I only qualified those in the top ten bracket. I also disqualified several sites for only providing top 5’s as this skewed my data. Some sites (annoyingly) gave tie votes to some rankings (of which I chose my personal favorite of the two).

Although the data pooled together far more film trilogies than simply these ten, I chose only those top ranked candidates which were voted highest and most often for this list. Notable mentions include Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Three Colors trilogy, Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance trilogy, and Sam Raimi’s Evil Dead trilogy. Links and citations to each of the lists pooled from below.

10. The Matrix Trilogy
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Directors Andy and Lara Wachowski mined some serious cinematic gold with their 1999 release The Matrix. It’s one of those films we still see the ramifications of in modern television and filmmaking, let alone the uncountable bullet-time parodies and rip-offs we’ve seen since. I’ll be the first to mention though that The Matrix trilogy shouldn’t be in the top ten. The second and third installments really fell off the map, despite their aim of making the series even more epic. But hey, I didn’t put it here. Complain somewhere else.

9. Indiana Jones Trilogy
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For the sake of this list, let’s just forget about the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and focus on the true trilogy. Steven Spielberg’s Indiana Jones is an undeniable classic. Hot on the heels of The Empire Strikes Back, Harrison Ford gets another once in a lifetime role. As I write this all my mind can conjure is the immense score by John Williams. Seriously, you know it’s stuck in your head too.

8. Back to the Future Trilogy
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Interestingly, not all of the lists I pooled data from included Back to the Future in their top ten, but when they did it was ranked consistently very high. I will concede that I’ve never been a huge fan of the series, but I can’t deny its popularity among filmgoers. The first two are classics, but unfortunately the third is largely one big self-referential joke. I’d have switched this one for Indiana Jones if it were my opinion.

7. Jason Bourne Trilogy
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When I was debating in my mind which film trilogies would or should make the list (prior to my research), this trilogy completely slipped my memory. But it is an immensely popular film series, and one that included consistently good movies (which is important to me). Although I admit I’m no fan of your typical political thriller, the Bourne trilogy is one I’ve watched many times (and on more than one occasion have marathoned my way through).

6. The Man with No Name/Dollars Trilogy
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No list is complete without Sergio Leone’s The Dollars Trilogy. Although now over 50 years old, it is bar none the greatest cinematic masterpiece of the Spaghetti Western genre. Clint Eastwood’s The Man with No Name is one of the greatest film characters of all time and Ennio Morricone’s soundtrack is iconic of the film genre – one you’ve heard even if though you might not have watched the films. Interestingly this appears on every list except one.

5. Toy Story Trilogy
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If there was ever going to be an animated trilogy on this list, it could only have been this one. Pixar and Toy Story set the standard by which all other CGI animation is held against and broke the floodgates for other companies to try and reach its beautiful, simplistic glory. Despite being a cartoon meant for children, it transcends that by giving one of the most heartwarming stories we’ve seen in the past 20 years. Each film was consistently astounding (and when ranked on RottenTomatoes Toy Story comes out on top). The great thing about Toy Story for me is that it always echoed my growth in life with Andy’s. By the time I graduated, Toy Story 3 came around and Andy too graduated from high school and was moving on with his life. The scene where Woody waves to Andy before he drives off and he chokes up… Gosh. One of favorite scenes of all time.

4. The Dark Knight Trilogy
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The only superhero trilogy on the list, and rightly so, Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy sets itself apart from all others by making Batman a very believable, very dark, and very damaged hero. The data may be slightly skewed with this entry, as some lists were compiled before 2012, which is when the third release, The Dark Knight Rises was pushed out. But realistically if it were changed at all, it’d only really make third place instead of fourth.

3. The Godfather Trilogy
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I, like Peter Griffin, don’t really care much for the Godfather series. It just doesn’t do anything for me. But it did apparently do some great things for many others, meaning I’m in the minority here. I can’t deny the powerful/realistic subject matter, the haunting score by Nino Rota, the jaw dropping acting talent involved, Coppola’s vision, and that terrible third installment. Yeah, I went there.

2. Star Wars Original Trilogy
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This was bound to make it in. The first movie I remember playing over and over again as a child was The Empire Strikes Back, and to this day it’s my favorite of the three. With Star Wars, Lucas forever changed the way movies would be made. More than any other film, trilogy, or series, Star Wars is the most influential film to date. It defined what it means to be a blockbuster. It shook the lines between science fiction and fantasy, merged them, and created something wholly new and fun. And it has perhaps the most iconic film soundtrack of all time.

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
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Ahh yes. If it wasn’t Star Wars at number 1, it really couldn’t be anything other than Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy to take the cake. It has always been my favorite movie series, without any doubt, and why shouldn’t it be? It’s an immensely-scaled epic of a story, it’s the cornerstone of all modern fantasy, it’s perhaps the longest trilogy out there and it stays consistently good. It’s also a miracle of a feat that each installment was progressively better than the last despite how strong the previous installments were. It comes as no surprise that the trilogy holds more Academy Awards than any other, and alone The Return of the King has 11 wins (which is a tie for the most ever for one film). If any one facet of the trilogy were out of place, the acting, the music, the location shooting, the use of make-up instead of CGI, it may as well have flopped. But it all worked perfectly. Of all the lists I got my data from, the lowest rank Lord of the Rings ever received was a number 4. I, Geekritique, claim that this series above all others is the greatest cinematic feat ever (transcending the rank of mere trilogies) – my opinion, but still. The Lord of the Rings remains a touchstone for those who’ve grown up in this generation. One trilogy to rule them all. And if you’ve yet to see the extended editions, ha, that’s a couple more hours of awesome.

Below are the websites I pooled data from. I wish I could have found at least twenty, but 14 seemed to be pretty concise. Empire, HitFix, What Culture, MensXP, Buzzfeed, That Film Guy, WatchMojo, Pop Matters, The Top Tens, Rope of Silicon, Film.com, Quora, College Times, Nerdly.

Arrow: Sara (EPISODE REVIEW)

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To review this episode, the 2nd of season 3, is impossible to do without divulging major spoilers for last week’s episode, The Calm. What I’m trying to infer is that if you’ve yet to catch up don’t read any further. You’ve been warned. So Sara died in the last episode (see, told you not to read on). It was an excellent cliffhanger (or buildingfaller?) to an overwhelmingly enjoyable episode. How does the follow up hold? Well.

The episode is appropriately titled ‘Sara’. Although the episode rarely gets emotional on you, it follows the morose theme of a close friend dying (or rather, getting murdered). Interestingly everyone took the news in their own way. Oliver was deeply effected, but steeled himself for the times ahead and fought off his emotions, but this strategy eventually imploded on him. Felicity found she couldn’t sit around anymore and wanted more out of life than their vigilante crew could offer: namely love, which was denied her last episode also. Laurel was understandably hit worst of all, having seen the events of Sara’s demise unfold before her, the fact that it was her sister, etc. and she let those emotions lead her to attempt revenge. Not surprisingly the most level-headed of the group is the ex-soldier John Diggle, who takes it all in stride, not without empathy however, and he names his newborn daughter after her. Naturally Roy’s reaction is to angst angst angst.

I was disappointed by the actions of Laurel, as too was she in retrospect. When confronting the archer she originally believed to have murdered Sara, she pulled the trigger on what she assumed was a loaded gun, in the hopes of getting revenge for her sister’s death. I felt bad for her up until that point. It shows a lot about her character that she intended and attempted to kill. This after the fact that she realizes the archer isn’t actually the one who shot down Sara. No good Laurel.

But now that begs the question: who the heck killed Sara, if it wasn’t the masked archer Lacroix? In the comments section of last week’s review I had a conversation with someone who thought it was Thea, and they brought out excellent points. Well, I take that back now. Before Sara gets shot she says “What are you doing here?” Im going to go out on a limb and say that she was surprised to see that Ra’s Al Ghul (the leader of the League of Assassins) had followed her to Starling City and he was the true perpetrator.

Oliver’s slight meltdown this episode, where he comes clean and reveals that he believes he’ll “die down here” (in reference to his secret headquarters, but more symbolically about his current lifestyle), is believable. He sees people fall left and right, but now that it’s one of his crew I think it struck him just a bit harder. To juggle all the responsibility on his shoulders like he does must be tiring. But he’ll snap out of it. And if anyone’s immune to death it’s him, seeing as how the show kinda revolves around his extreme lifestyle.

Brandon Routh seriously has the most trustworthy face ever. He oozes good guy! Perhaps I still picture him as Clark Kent, so I may be biased. But so far his character on the show as Ray Palmer (ahem Atom) livens things up quite a bit. I really like how forward he is with Felicity – whether professional or not is to be seen, but either way I’m sold. Favorite character of the season so far. I will say that I didn’t care much for Felicity’s quick turnaround. That really should’ve been stretched out further.

It was really good touch putting Tommy in this episode, albeit a flashback. So far this season’s flashbacks haven’t been awkwardly intrusive, nor have they tried too hard to parallel Oliver’s current predicaments (which I’m extremely grateful for). I think it was high time he got off the island, because it was starting to feel a bit LOST…

THEA! Stop sparring and answer your phone!

Which DC Comics Movie Are You Looking Forward to Most? (POLL)

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Yesterday at a Time Warner investors meeting, CEO Kevin Tsujihara announced the current lineup of all their DC Cinematic Universe films to 2020. This certainly took some spotlight off of RDJ and Cap 3

Below is the list of films. Which are you most looking forward to? Take your vote!

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25, 2016) Directed by Zack Snyder, and will feature Henry Cavill as Superman, Ben Affleck as Batman, Jesse Eisenberg as Lex Luthor, Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, Jason Mamoa as Aquaman and Ray Fisher as Cyborg.

Suicide Squad (August 5, 2016) Directed by David Ayer. Purportedly 4 A-listers are in talks to play as-of-yet unknown characters.

Wonder Woman (June 23, 2017) Starring Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, she will head the solo-hero films, and will be the first female-led superhero film (unless you count Elektra… or Supergirl).

Justice League Part One (November 23, 2017) Directed by Zack Snyder – The film will likely involve all heroes introduced up to this point. Rumored villain is Brainiac.

The Flash (March 23, 2018) It was announced yesterday that Ezra Miller will be the movie universe Flash, firmly confirming that neither the Flash or Arrow television series’ are canon in the film universe.

Aquaman (July 27, 2018) Starring Jason Mamoa – we all knew he was Aquaman, but yesterday that was officially confirmed.

Shazam (April 5, 2019) It was confirmed Dwayne Johnson would be playing Black Adam (the assumed villain) for this film a few months back.

Justice League Part Two (June 14, 2019) Directed by Zack Snyder. Will likely introduce Flash and Shazam into the team roster. Rumored villain is Darkseid.

Cyborg (April 3, 2020) Starring Ray Fisher. I assume he’ll have a strong presence in a few movies, but this’ll be his solo outing.

Green Lantern (June 19, 2020) Will not feature Ryan Reynolds as Green Lantern – will be altogether rebooted.

Solo Superman and Batman films are also said to be in the works, and could likely land before 2020 – will likely depend on how well Batman v Superman does.