The Best and Worst Third Movies in Trilogies
All good things must come to an end. All bad things must come to an end as well. Basically, everything ends. Except the board game Monopoly. That goes on forever.
The more sequels and trilogies that Hollywood makes, the clearer and clearer it becomes just how difficult a task it is to conclude a long-term story in satisfying fashion. For proof, check out our lists below of the best and worst third films in movie trilogies. Filling up the worst list was easy! There were many potential candidates. Filling out the best was a lot trickier — because making a really great third film in a trilogy is tricky too.
Take note that we only considered “trilogies” where there was a clearly defined trio of movies that were best understood together. If a franchise cranked out one sequel after another, you could technically pick any three consecutive titles and call them a trilogy. But that felt like a cheat. For example, some might argue that Goldfinger is the end of the first trilogy of James Bond movies, following Dr. No and From Russia With Love. If that’s the case, it’s a great third film in a trilogy. But Bond’s producers intended the series to be open-ended; the fourth 007 film, Thunderball, was released just 14 months after Goldfinger. On the other hand, there are some franchises — like, say, Star Wars — that do have clear-cut trilogies even if they lasted for more than three films, so it felt appropriate to include those.
So that was our criteria. And here are our picks.