The newly released trailer and poster for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has excited numerous fans. On July 29, Facebook listed the video as a trending topic. Directed by Peter Jackson, The Hobbit trilogy is the prequel to The Lord of the Rings. These movies are based on the books written by J.R.R. Tolkien, and both the films and books are highly acclaimed by many critics. Rotten Tomatoes put all three Lord of the Rings movies on their top 50 list of fantasy films. Although The Hobbit trilogy has not been as well-received, fans still flocked to the first two films. According to Box Office Mojo, the second film The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is ranked at the 4th highest grossing film that ever opened in December.
Film trilogies are fairly common. Second and third movies can further delve into previous characters and plots to finish a story. Other times, they can introduce new twists to the original film and take it in a new direction with different characters. Whichever path the films take, trilogies leave fans waiting for more films and spending more time watching them. Arguably, this makes people understand and connect more with the characters.
Out of all the trilogies created, some films stand out as truly amazing. Here are 10 of the most acclaimed and enjoyed movie trilogies by films and critics alike.
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10. The Ocean’s Trilogy
A remake of a 1960s film, Ocean’s Eleven begins this trilogy that centers on master thief Danny Ocean. He robs casinos in Los Vegas and Europe along with a team of accomplices. Through this process, the criminals must face obstacles such as corrupt casino owners, ex-wives and others thieves.
Instead of having a serious and violent tone, these films use humor to connect with the audience. Although critics enjoyed the Ocean’s Eleven more than its sequels, having charismatic stars such as George Clooney, Matt Damon and Brad Pitt makes this an enjoyable series.
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9. The Matrix Trilogy
Set in the future, these films explore the concept of reality versus human perception. Neo, the protagonist, discovers that machines are creating a distorted reality and controlling the earth by living off of humankind’s energy. A rebellion begins against the machines as people strive to take back power.
The special effects of this film were trendsetting, such as “bullet-time” wher action is shown in slow motion. Because of this, The Matrix won four Academy Awards: Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects and Best Sound. Despite worse reception for the sequels, many critics regard these films as innovative and pivotal to the science fiction genre.
Films: The Matrix, The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions
Directed by: The Wachowski Brothers
Starring: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne and Carrie-Anne Moss
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8. The Back to the Future Trilogy
This films follow teenager Marty as he travels in time with his friend, Dr. Emmet Brown. Together, they attempt to prevent disasters (such as Brown’s death) while creating new dilemmas (such as Marty’s parents never having him). Only by traveling to the past can they fix the present and future.
Made in the 1980s and early 1990s, these films are still remembered and enjoyed by current audiences. The first two in the series won Academy Awards for the Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects respectively. However, it is the humorous and clever script, as well as nostalgia, that most viewers enjoy.
Films: Back to the Future, Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Starring: Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd
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7. The Bourne Trilogy
After being found alone with no memories, a man strives to figure out his past. Clues begin to prove that he worked as an assassin. However, just as he is uncovering his identity, this man begins to be targeted by a CIA agent and other skilled enemies.
Action-filled and suspenseful, this trilogy is one of the few that received better ratings as it continued. In fact, The Bourne Ultimatum recieved three Academy Awards: Film Editing, Sound Mixing and Sound Editing. Based on thriller novels by Robert Ludlum, critics and fans alike lauded this series.
Films: The Bourne Identity, The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum
Directed by: Doug Liman (The Bourne Identity) and Paul Greengrass (The Bourne Supremacy and The Bourne Ultimatum)
Starring: Matt Damon and Franka Potente
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6. The Spider-Man Trilogy
One of Marevel’s greatest super heroes, Spider-Man is depicted here as a shy young man who must learn how to use his new-found powers. Meanwhile, he also needs to live a “normal” life as Peter Parker. Keeping his loved ones safe, wooing his dream girl and battling villains are just a few elements of his complicated life.
Super hero movies tend to do well in the box office. This trilogy was no exception. Although remakes have already begun, these films still have devote fans because of the likable hero, intense special effects and compelling plots. Spider-Man 2 even won an Academy Award for Visual Effects.
Films: Spider-Man, Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3
Directed by: Sam Raimi
Starring: Toby Maguire and Kristen Dunst
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5. The Three Colors Trilogy
These French and Polish films are named after the colors of that nation’s flag. Each tells an unique story with new characters that is set in modern France. Themes of loss, love, revenge and privacy are dealt with in a poignant manner.
The deep and rich nature of this trilogy has fascinated viewers. Three Colors: Blue won three Golden Globe Awards for Best Foriegn Language Film, Best Original Score and Best Actress in Drama. Much symbolism is hidden in each film, but critics also enjoyed the intense emotion and beautiful performances.
Films: Three Colors: Blue, Three Colors: White and Three Colors: Red
Directed by: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Starring: Juliette Binoche, Irène Jacob and Zbigniew Zamachowski
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4. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Trilogy
Based on the trilogy by Stieg Larsson, these Swedish films tell the tale of a journalist searching for a missing woman. Lisbeth, a mysterious computer hacker, helps him. But slowly, he begins to learn about her dark past when she is accused of three murders.
Dark and gritty, this trilogy captivated readers and viewers. The strong female lead holds part of the attraction as does the social issues addressed such as rape. Although an English version of the film came out in 2011, most fans prefer these three.
Films: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest and The Girl Who Played with Fire
Directed by: Niels Arden Oplev (The Girl with the Dragon Tattooa) and Daniel Alfredson (The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest and The Girl Who Played with Fire)
Starring: Noomi Rapace, Michael Nyqvist, Lena Endre and Annika Hallin
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3. The Godfather Trilogy
Depicting the inner core of a family and crime ring, this trilogy is now a classic. This Italian-American family gives the audience a glimpse into loyalty, unity and other noble traits from inside the mafia. This mixture makes the plot exciting and the characters flawed but likable.
Critics lauded these films, especially the first two. The Godfather won three Academy Awards while The Godfather, Part II won six including Best Picture both times. The respected actors, well-crafted script and intense plots cause this trilogy to be on many lists of the best movies ever.
Films: The Godfather , The Godfather , Part II and The Godfather , Part III
Directed by: Francis Ford Coppola
Starring: Al Pacino, Marlo Brando, Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton
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2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
An epic battle between the evil Lord Sauron and the good creatures of Middle Earth begins and ends in this trilogy. Frodo Baggins, an innocent hobbit, finds himself with a dangerous ring of power which must be destroyed. A fellowship of companions helps him through his perilous journey in hopes of ending the darkness spreading across the lands.
The special effects in the battle scenes of these movies were enough to thrill many fans. Although some Tolkien fans disliked how the books were depicted, many appreciated the trueness to the spirit of the works. Every film won multiple Academy Awards especially The Return of the King which won all 11 that it was nominated for including Best Picture and Best Director.
Films: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Tower Towers and The Return of the King
Directed by: Peter Jackson
Starring: Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood and Viggo Mortensen
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1. The Toy Story Trilogy
Bringing inanimate objects to life, this last trilogy centers on the toys of a boy named Andy. Buzz Lightyear, an astronaut who does not believe he is a toy, and Woody, a bossy but good-hearted cowboy, lead their friends through many adventures. As Andy grows up, they face challenges such as competition with new toys, being forgotten and their owner leaving for college.
Children and adults alike having enjoyed these Pixar animated films. In fact, Toy Story 3 was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year in the Academy Awards. Although it did not win, all three movies won several other Academy Awards. The funny lines, clever ideas and amazing animation make these films so loved.
Films: Toy Story, Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3
Directed by: John Lasseter (Toy Story and Toy Story 2) and Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3)
Starring: Tom Hanks and Tim Allen