Special Report

The 25 Best Movie Sequels of All Time

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

15. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
> Starring: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan
> Worldwide box office: $1.2 billion (inflation-adjusted)

In the final film of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, an aging Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) is brought out of retirement to face Bane (Tom Hardy) and save Gotham yet again. Nolan assembled an all-star cast, featuring Michael Caine, Gary Oldman, Anne Hathaway, Morgan Freeman, and more. Though it was not as highly rated as the previous Batman film, critics on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a Freshness rating of 87% and 90% of audiences liked it.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

14. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
> Starring: Matt Damon, Edgar Ramírez, Joan Allen
> Directed by: Paul Greengrass
> Worldwide box office: $591.2 million (inflation-adjusted)

Like its two predecessors — “The Bourne Identity” and “The Bourne Supremacy” — “The Bourne Ultimatum” is also certified Fresh by Rotten Tomatoes. “The Bourne Ultimatum” is the top-rated film of the five Jason Bourne movies. Matt Damon plays the titular Jason Bourne, a trained killer with no memory on a mission to find out who he is and who is out to get him.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

13. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
> Starring: Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Alison Doody
> Directed by: Steven Spielberg
> Worldwide box office: $1.1 billion (inflation-adjusted)

The third film of the Indiana Jones franchise enlisted legendary actor Sean Connery to play Jones’ (Harrison Ford) father. This time, Indy and his allies must prevent the Nazis from acquiring the Holy Grail. The pairing of Connery and Ford met approval of critics who liked the fact that the sequel was “lighter and more comedic than its predecessor,” according to Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes. “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” received a Freshness rating of 88% from critics, while 94% of audiences liked the movie.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

12. Paddington 2 (2017)
> Starring: Ben Whishaw, Hugh Grant, Hugh Bonneville
> Directed by: Paul King
> Worldwide box office: $197.3 million (inflation-adjusted)

It’s not often that a children’s movie sequel is so charming, entertaining, and well done that moviegoers are genuinely upset it is not nominated for the Oscars. But “Paddington 2” is such a film. The talking bear in a coat charmed audiences and critics, earning a rare 99% Freshness rating from Rotten Tomatoes. According to the Critics Consensus, the story of the sequel is “perfectly balanced between heartwarming family fare and purely enjoyable all-ages adventure.”

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

11. Toy Story 2 (1999)
> Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack
> Directed by: John Lasseter, Ash Brannon, Lee Unkrich
> Worldwide box office: $925.7 million (inflation-adjusted)

The Toy Story franchise helped establish Pixar’s reputation as the creator of entertaining and endearing films that people of all ages can enjoy. Buzz, Woody, and the rest of Andy’s toys return for another adventure — this time in an attempt to rescue Woody from a toy collector. The Critics Consensus on Rotten Tomatoes hails the film as “The rare sequel that arguably improves on its predecessor.” The site awarded the film a 100% Freshness rating, while 87% of audiences liked it.