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06.10.2016by: Alex Maidy

Top 10 Greatest Sequels of All Time

This summer has not been very kind to sequels. From NOW YOU SEE ME 2 to ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS and THE HUNSTMAN: WINTER'S WAR, sequels have been mediocre at best and doesn't bode well for franchises in the future. As much as we complain about sequels, there have been quite a few great films, some of which have been as good or surpassed their predecessors. Here is our ranking of the ten greatest sequels of all time. If you disagree or think we missed a great sequel, let us know in the talkbacks below.

#10 - SUPERMAN II

While the change in director has resulted in two very different versions of SUPERMAN II, it is easy to say that this film is fantastic thanks to Terence Stamp's iconic performance as General Zod. When you think of Christopher Reeve's portrayal of Superman, you likely are remembering something from this film. While the slapstick elements in Richard Lester's theatrical version may have been a little goofy, check out the director's cut to see the film how Richard Donner intended.

#9 - STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN

After the very pensive and meditative STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, Nicholas Meyer took a big budget cut and managed to deliver the definitive Star Trek film. A sequel to both the first film and a classic episode of the original series, THE WRATH OF KHAN is an action-packed thriller that set the bar for a very different kind of Star Trek movie, one that would serve as the template for all future sequels.

#8 - TOY STORY 2

Originally conceived as a direct to video follow-up, John Lasseter and Pixar rescued this movie which would go on to surpass the original both critically and technologically. Pixar has not had much luck with sequels outside of the TOY STORY franchise but that seems to be because the simple and heartfelt tale of Woody and Buzz Lightyear works thanks to chemistry between the cast and crew who cannot help but tug at our heartstrings and make even the most hardened adult feel like a kid again.

#7 - THE DARK KNIGHT

Christopher Nolan made a good film with BATMAN BEGINS, but with THE DARK KNIGHT, he made a great one. While the film has some shortcomings, it manages to be more of a Batman movie than it's predecessor. Heath Ledger's immortal performance as The Joker has made it virtually impossible to criticize this film and for good reason. This is a damn fine work that is better scripted, acted, and executed than BATMAN BEGINS.

#6 - SPIDER-MAN 2

Possibly the best superhero sequel ever made, Sam Raimi's film embraces the pop and humor that makes comic books what they are. The cast is at their best here and Alfred Molina plays Doctor Octopus as both a menace and a sympathetic monster. From the train sequence to the final battle, SPIDER-MAN 2 is everything that sequels should strive to be.

#5 - ALIENS

Ridley Scott's ALIEN is a masterpiece of gothic horror. But, instead of making the sequel a carbon copy, James Cameron changed the tone and style and made ALIENS a military action film. While none of the further sequels managed to capture the raw energy of either of the first films, both ALIEN and ALIENS rank as some of the best science fiction films of all time. It is almost unfair to compare them because they are so dramatically different, but that should speak volumes about the achievement the sequel is in the world of movies.

#4 - MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Thirty years between sequels doesn't bode well for the quality of a film but fans were frantically anticipating George Miller's fourth Mad Max movie. While all three of the original films are good, none quite matched the scope and scale of FURY ROAD. Despite not having Mel Gibson in the title role for the first time, George Miller managed to create an astounding piece of action cinema and one that would go on to critical acclaim and an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. How many sequels can claim that?

#3 - THE GODFATHER PART II

Francis Ford Coppola's THE GODFATHER is one of the greatest films ever made. But, the sequel is superior in many ways. Going forward and backward in the saga of the Corleone family, THE GODFATHER PART II continues the story of the original film in an organic manner that almost makes it feel like it was made concurrently with the first movie. Unlike THE LORD OF THE RINGS, which is really sections of a larger novel, THE GODFATHER PART II manages to feel seamless with the original despite being made two years later.

#2 - TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY

THE TERMINATOR was the perfect mix of slasher movie and science fiction action. What it was not was a massive film in terms of scale. What James Cameron did with TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY was turn that slasher concept and make this film into a blockbuster summer movie full of memorable dialogue and cutting edge special effects. There are few films that hold up as well as TERMINATOR 2 but even fewer exceed the quality of their predecessor. TERMINATOR 2 is almost a perfect movie which is why it deserves this spot on our list.

#1 - THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

Was there any doubt? THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK could be the perfect sequel. At no point does this movie try to up the ante or outdo the original STAR WARS but instead takes the story we came to love and continued it. The villains are back, the stakes are the same, and our heroes are growing, but we have new settings, new reveals about both sides of the Force, and an ending that doesn't end on a happy note. This is a movie that stands on its own as a great film but also manages to compliment what came before it. Few sequels can claim to do that as well as THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK.

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10:17AM on 06/12/2016

Nice list, but . . .

No love for X2: X-Men United?
No love for X2: X-Men United?
Your Reply:



+0
9:31PM on 06/11/2016

Winter Soldier

I love Mad Max Fury Road, but not belong to this list, its the 4th movie of a franchise, i would prefer put ther Winter Soldier that was superior Sequel too and just quit Superman II and put Batman Returns .... Ok
I love Mad Max Fury Road, but not belong to this list, its the 4th movie of a franchise, i would prefer put ther Winter Soldier that was superior Sequel too and just quit Superman II and put Batman Returns .... Ok
Your Reply:



+0
8:31PM on 06/11/2016

Where is Winter Soldier

I love Mad Max Fury Road, but not belong to this list, its the 4th movie of a franchise, i would prefer put ther Winter Soldier that was superior Sequel too and just quit Superman II and put Batman Returns .... Ok
I love Mad Max Fury Road, but not belong to this list, its the 4th movie of a franchise, i would prefer put ther Winter Soldier that was superior Sequel too and just quit Superman II and put Batman Returns .... Ok
Your Reply:



4:23AM on 06/11/2016

Decent List

It's a decent list but Road Warrior is still the best Mad Max film in my opinion.
It's a decent list but Road Warrior is still the best Mad Max film in my opinion.
Your Reply:



+0
10:03PM on 06/10/2016
I love Spider-Man 2, it's one of my personal all-time favorites, but I will concede that TDK is the better of the two. I agree with the other posters, Batman Begins is great, but shoot, if any superhero sequel deserves to be on this list, it's this one.
I love Spider-Man 2, it's one of my personal all-time favorites, but I will concede that TDK is the better of the two. I agree with the other posters, Batman Begins is great, but shoot, if any superhero sequel deserves to be on this list, it's this one.
Your Reply:



6:24PM on 06/10/2016
Where's Police Academy 2? It's far superior to the first movie.
Where's Police Academy 2? It's far superior to the first movie.
Your Reply:



6:02PM on 06/10/2016

standard list

Dream warriors
Two towers
Dream warriors
Two towers
Your Reply:



-2
3:10PM on 06/10/2016

I'm not arguing about Empire being on the list

This seems like a decent list if you're going just for action movies/ fanboy friendly titles, but it also seems like one that required minimal effort and thought and just went for the easiest choices possible. I mean where the heck is "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly?" Where's "Bride of Frankenstein?" If you're going for the fanboy stuff where's "Goldfinger" or "Evil Dead 2,"or... even better, "Dawn of the Dead?" Aside from The Godfather Pt. II, where's anything from before the 80's? I mean
This seems like a decent list if you're going just for action movies/ fanboy friendly titles, but it also seems like one that required minimal effort and thought and just went for the easiest choices possible. I mean where the heck is "The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly?" Where's "Bride of Frankenstein?" If you're going for the fanboy stuff where's "Goldfinger" or "Evil Dead 2,"or... even better, "Dawn of the Dead?" Aside from The Godfather Pt. II, where's anything from before the 80's? I mean this is supposed to be an "all-time" list, and time was kind of around for a while before then...

I get arthouse and foreign stuff like "Before Sunset" or "Three Colours: Red" or "The World of Apu" not being on the list, even though they should probably be on a real "Best Sequels of All-Time" list pretty easily. But come on man, this just seems like it took all of five minutes to come up with. I probably sound like I'm being a massive dick, and maybe I am, and I also get that you only have ten slots. But "Superman II" over "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly?" I mean come on now. It just seems like you could have come up with a much better, more interesting (and more accurate to the title) list if you'd done some minimal research. Heck, Google "best sequels of all time" and the Rotten Tomatoes list comes right up which is chock-full of wonderful options.
Your Reply:



10:20PM on 06/10/2016
I don't know man, that's not really what the starting page says. When something says "The 10 Greatest Sequels of All-Time" it's kind of implying that they're the ten best ever.
I don't know man, that's not really what the starting page says. When something says "The 10 Greatest Sequels of All-Time" it's kind of implying that they're the ten best ever.
4:57PM on 06/10/2016
I think this is meant to be a list of Alex Maidy's favorite sequels, not the ones considered to be the best.
I think this is meant to be a list of Alex Maidy's favorite sequels, not the ones considered to be the best.
2:30PM on 06/10/2016

Great list

also.. X-Men 2, The Two Towers, and The Winter Solider are up there as great sequels.
also.. X-Men 2, The Two Towers, and The Winter Solider are up there as great sequels.
Your Reply:



+1
2:14PM on 06/10/2016
I realize I'm likely to be in the minority on this one, but while it's a really fun movie and accomplishes what it sets out to do pretty well, I still think the first film is better and there's no way in heck this should be higher than Aliens, let alone the freaking Godfather Pt. II.
I realize I'm likely to be in the minority on this one, but while it's a really fun movie and accomplishes what it sets out to do pretty well, I still think the first film is better and there's no way in heck this should be higher than Aliens, let alone the freaking Godfather Pt. II.
Your Reply:



2:04PM on 06/11/2016
Luke, I am your...agree-r. First one to me is superior, more muscly and lean and darker, which is always better.
Luke, I am your...agree-r. First one to me is superior, more muscly and lean and darker, which is always better.
9:23PM on 06/10/2016
Sorry I have to disagree, but to each their own.
Sorry I have to disagree, but to each their own.
+0
2:11PM on 06/10/2016
This is a down vote for this not being #1. I mean a film that's consistently ranked in the Sight & Sound poll, and most other major film polls, as being one of absolute best films ever made? Seriously, what's going to top this?
This is a down vote for this not being #1. I mean a film that's consistently ranked in the Sight & Sound poll, and most other major film polls, as being one of absolute best films ever made? Seriously, what's going to top this?
Your Reply:



+0
2:08PM on 06/10/2016
This is another one I definitely agree with, still James Cameron's best film in my book, awesome blend of action, very solid characterization (even in minor roles) and ridiculously good practical effects that still impress today.
This is another one I definitely agree with, still James Cameron's best film in my book, awesome blend of action, very solid characterization (even in minor roles) and ridiculously good practical effects that still impress today.
Your Reply:



+0
2:05PM on 06/10/2016
I like Spider-Man more than I like Batman, by quite a bit. I also like Spider-Man 2 better than I like The Dark Knight, but no way in heck would I rank Spider-Man 2 as better (or higher on pretty much any kind of list) than The Dark Knight. I'm happy to see this one on here, because I love the heck out of it and think that with the recent glut of quality superhero films, a lot of people forget just how good it is, but I don't think I'd put it on a best sequels EVER list (just like I wouldn't
I like Spider-Man more than I like Batman, by quite a bit. I also like Spider-Man 2 better than I like The Dark Knight, but no way in heck would I rank Spider-Man 2 as better (or higher on pretty much any kind of list) than The Dark Knight. I'm happy to see this one on here, because I love the heck out of it and think that with the recent glut of quality superhero films, a lot of people forget just how good it is, but I don't think I'd put it on a best sequels EVER list (just like I wouldn't put Warth of Khan on a bet sequel EVER list).
Your Reply:



+0
1:59PM on 06/10/2016
Now this is one I definitely agree with,I guess I always felt that three was the best, but after recently re-watching the series, I think that 2 is definitely the high point of the series by a wide margin. Which is not to say that the other two aren't strong -- I just think #3 relies on a super solid ending and a good but not stellar rest of the film that rehashes a lot of the themes from #2.
Now this is one I definitely agree with,I guess I always felt that three was the best, but after recently re-watching the series, I think that 2 is definitely the high point of the series by a wide margin. Which is not to say that the other two aren't strong -- I just think #3 relies on a super solid ending and a good but not stellar rest of the film that rehashes a lot of the themes from #2.
Your Reply:



1:58PM on 06/10/2016
The Dark Knight is the better film, but Batman Begins is still great.
The Dark Knight is the better film, but Batman Begins is still great.
Your Reply:



+1
1:52PM on 06/10/2016
This is the only one on the list that I flat out disagree with. I know that it has the reputation of being better than the original, but it's just a campy mess with super cartoony performances and plot holes so big that they consume the story, The Richard Donner cut honesty isn't that different (or that much better) from the version we're all familiar with.
This is the only one on the list that I flat out disagree with. I know that it has the reputation of being better than the original, but it's just a campy mess with super cartoony performances and plot holes so big that they consume the story, The Richard Donner cut honesty isn't that different (or that much better) from the version we're all familiar with.
Your Reply:



+1
12:11PM on 06/10/2016

Great List

Although I wouldn't have The Dark Knight behind Spider-man 2, but that's nitpicking really.
Although I wouldn't have The Dark Knight behind Spider-man 2, but that's nitpicking really.
Your Reply:



-7
12:08PM on 06/10/2016

10/10: SHREK 2 (missing from the list)

-3/10: THE GODFATHER PART II
-4/10: MAD MAX 4
-5/10: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK; SUPERMAN II
-6/10: ALIENS
-8/10: TERMINATOR 2
-9/10: THE DARK KNIGHT; SPIDER-MAN 2; TOY STORY 2
-3/10: THE GODFATHER PART II
-4/10: MAD MAX 4
-5/10: THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK; SUPERMAN II
-6/10: ALIENS
-8/10: TERMINATOR 2
-9/10: THE DARK KNIGHT; SPIDER-MAN 2; TOY STORY 2
Your Reply:



10:00AM on 06/13/2016
GTFO.
GTFO.
10:28PM on 06/10/2016
Well if The Godfather is a 7 in your book then we have very, very, very different tastes.I will agree that the third one sucked though,I think I'd probably give it a 4/10. To me a 1 is like "Superhero Movie" or those other crap spoof films that were big a few years back.

I would also agree that Superman II's only a 5/10. I mean I get that people like it,but just because you like a movie doesn't mean it's necessarily amazing and just because you hate a movie doesn't mean it necessarily
Well if The Godfather is a 7 in your book then we have very, very, very different tastes.I will agree that the third one sucked though,I think I'd probably give it a 4/10. To me a 1 is like "Superhero Movie" or those other crap spoof films that were big a few years back.

I would also agree that Superman II's only a 5/10. I mean I get that people like it,but just because you like a movie doesn't mean it's necessarily amazing and just because you hate a movie doesn't mean it necessarily sucks, which is why I'm really surprised to see it on here. I mean if someone likes Superman II then cool, we've all got on our tastes, but to say it's actually one of the ten best ever? Just seems really weird and random, like putting Days of the Future Past or Rogue Nation on the list. I get that people like them, but best ever?
4:56PM on 06/10/2016
I gave the first one a 7 and the third one a 1.
I gave the first one a 7 and the third one a 1.
3:13PM on 06/10/2016
Are you saying you'd only rate the Godfather II a 3 out of 10? I'm curious what you'd give the first one.
Are you saying you'd only rate the Godfather II a 3 out of 10? I'm curious what you'd give the first one.
+0
11:59AM on 06/10/2016
X-Men 2
Two Towers
Die Hard With A Vengeance
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
X-Men 2
Two Towers
Die Hard With A Vengeance
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Your Reply:



+4
11:49AM on 06/10/2016
Love The Dark Knight, but much prefer Begins.
Love The Dark Knight, but much prefer Begins.
Your Reply:



+0
11:23AM on 06/10/2016

This is a fine list

I love Lethal Weapon 2 and Beverly Hills Cop 2, but it's impossible to make a list of only ten without leaving out somebody's favorites.

I love Lethal Weapon 2 and Beverly Hills Cop 2, but it's impossible to make a list of only ten without leaving out somebody's favorites.

Your Reply:



11:13AM on 06/10/2016
I thought The Road Warrior would have been in there since it's more of a direct sequel to Mad Max, but I'm happy that Fury Road got the nod. Have to take exception to Superman II because I did not think it was better than the first film and was a bit uneven because of Lester's slapstick humor and the absence of the deleted footage in the superior Donner Cut. I would have put Blade 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past or The Two Towers in it's place.
I thought The Road Warrior would have been in there since it's more of a direct sequel to Mad Max, but I'm happy that Fury Road got the nod. Have to take exception to Superman II because I did not think it was better than the first film and was a bit uneven because of Lester's slapstick humor and the absence of the deleted footage in the superior Donner Cut. I would have put Blade 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past or The Two Towers in it's place.
Your Reply:



+1
10:55AM on 06/10/2016

who got replaced

Ahhh, this list hardly ever changes. Except for maybe the order/rank of the films. But this year looks like Mad Max is the new entry. Which film got bumped off?
Ahhh, this list hardly ever changes. Except for maybe the order/rank of the films. But this year looks like Mad Max is the new entry. Which film got bumped off?
Your Reply:



+0
10:50AM on 06/10/2016

Honorable Mention

This list should include Lethal Weapon 2, which IMO, is one of the greatest (if not the best), buddy-comedy action movie.
This list should include Lethal Weapon 2, which IMO, is one of the greatest (if not the best), buddy-comedy action movie.
Your Reply:



10:49AM on 06/10/2016
X-Men 2

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Blade 2
X-Men 2

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Blade 2
Your Reply:



10:07AM on 06/13/2016
The list isn't called "Best sequels to shitty fims"... It's best sequels in terms of how they surpassed the quality of their predecessors which were already masterpieces.
The list isn't called "Best sequels to shitty fims"... It's best sequels in terms of how they surpassed the quality of their predecessors which were already masterpieces.
10:57AM on 06/10/2016
I thought WS would be on a list of honorable mentions since there are a lot of other sequels out there that are pretty good.
I thought WS would be on a list of honorable mentions since there are a lot of other sequels out there that are pretty good.
10:37AM on 06/10/2016

No 2 Towers!?!?

Can't fathom why LoTR: The Two Towers isn't on this list.
Can't fathom why LoTR: The Two Towers isn't on this list.
Your Reply:



4:11PM on 06/10/2016
agree with Alex here. When they were first published, Fellowship was two books as was The Two Towers, so really Two Towers is the 3rd book in the saga. It was only later that they were combined into single editions. So considering the entire LOTR as one film makes sense because it never takes off more than a few mins after t he last one and it continues the SAME story.
agree with Alex here. When they were first published, Fellowship was two books as was The Two Towers, so really Two Towers is the 3rd book in the saga. It was only later that they were combined into single editions. So considering the entire LOTR as one film makes sense because it never takes off more than a few mins after t he last one and it continues the SAME story.
10:54AM on 06/10/2016
I thought about it but ultimately considered it to be the second part of a single film.
I thought about it but ultimately considered it to be the second part of a single film.

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