10 Movie Franchises That Actually Ended On A High

9. Back To The Future

Lord Of The Rings Aragorn
Universal Pictures

Robert Zemekis' 1980's time traveling romp can be considered one of the best film trilogies out there. Every film feels like every last detail was meticulously fussed over until it was absolutely perfect. And while there are some parts we like to poke fun at, there's no denying one thing: these movies knew when to come in, and knew when to leave.

The issue with centring your entire story's premise around time travel is that, if your rules are set a certain way, there are only so many stories you can tell in that universe without breaking your carefully thought out rules over your knee.

And while it never got that bad, by the time the third film had wrapped up, these movies had basically explored how time travel works in their universe as thoroughly as they can without breaking it in ways that actually matter.

And frankly, that's the best time to end a franchise, isn't it? You explore a concept, or world, or a character arc, or all three at once, until you are absolutely sure you can't do any more without straining your idea to the point where it breaks. And therein lies the true strength of Back To The Future, and the rest of the franchises on this list. Not just knowing where or when to end, but how.


John Tibbetts is a novelist in theory, a Whatculture contributor in practice, and a nerd all around who loves talking about movies, TV, anime, and video games more than he loves breathing. Which might be a problem in the long term, but eh, who can think that far ahead?