10 Best Movie Trilogies Ever Made

Movie threesomes you just can't refuse. 

the godfather marlon brando
Paramount Pictures

With a 90% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a current 8.4 score on IMDb and a box office cume that’s now eased past the billion-dollar mark, Captain America: Civil War is already being hailed as one of the superhero genre's best offerings.

The First Avenger's unashamedly pulpy, old-fashioned approach wasn't for everyone but The Winter Soldier follow-up was a universally lauded triumph, and plenty of people will tell you Civil War is even better.

Which rather begs the question: is it too early to cite the Captain America films as one of cinema's best trilogies? And how ridiculous would that have sounded just five short years ago?

Perhaps there will be a fourth solo(ish) outing for Steve Rogers. Hopefully not.

Several franchises – Indiana Jones, Toy Story, the Jason Bourne films – have effectively removed themselves from this conversation with planned or completed fourth instalments when two sequels often prove one too many. After two outstanding movies, the Alien franchise has been forever tainted by the films that followed, likewise Terminator. Die Hard prompted a couple of good sequels among a couple that were average at best.

Fortunately, some film series know when to quit before the inevitable diminishing returns kick in, and occasionally even bring a compelling saga to an apt, satisfying conclusion.

Here are 10 trilogies that, by design or happenstance, got out while the going was great.

10. The Evil Dead Trilogy

the godfather marlon brando
New Line Cinema

Back when Sam Raimi launched what would prove to be a hugely impressive career with low-budget horror flick The Evil Dead in 1981, he could never have imagined its impact and ongoing legacy. The original 'Cabin In The Woods' gave rise to video games, comic books, a soft reboot and most recently its very own TV series, which debuted successfully last year and has been picked up for a second season.

It's a remarkable story given how Raimi, Bruce Campbell and producer Rob Tapert started out. Despite minimal filmmaking experience, they nonetheless set about concocting and drumming up finance for a feature-length horror. The Evil Dead became a sleeper hit, garnering critical praise for its gripping, gory content and leading to a sequel six years later.

Evil Dead II – many a fan's pick as the best of the bunch – amped up the comedy and kept the carnage, and the surreal silliness stepped up another gear with Army of Darkness in 1992, with anti-hero Ash transported to the Middle Ages to again wage war with the Deadites.

The Evil Dead trilogy wasn't conceived as such, and every now and then rumours surface of a fourth instalment. The fans wouldn't say no, but the original three films remain the perfect blend of horror, comedy and boomstick.

Altogether now: "Klaatu Barada…"


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