Top 10 Best Movie Sequels

Its rare for a sequel to equal or even surpass the original. Usually the follow-up trips over the weight of its predecessor and diminishes the series. While this is usually true, there are a handful of movies that took what we loved best about what came before and took the story and characters to the next level. Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 Best Movie sequels.
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Top 10 Best Movie Sequels


Ya the first one’s good, but the second one’s better! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Best Movie sequels.

#10- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)


How do you revive a beloved franchise? You add Sean Connery. Not only did the film offer top-notch chemistry and laughs, but all of the excitement and adventure was much more in tune with the original “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” More Nazis! More horrific death! More…of Indy’s backstory..?

#9- Spider-Man 2 (2004)


With the lengthy origin story out of the way, Sam Raimi decided to improve upon his original by offering up a smarter outing, complete with a deeper emotional focus, more comedy, and better action. Most importantly, it benefited from its grown up themes and pitch-perfect villain.

#8- Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)


Second time’s the charm! This brutal sci-fi follow-up was everything the original should have been! It had the budget and was bigger in every way! Not just more exciting and fiercely intense, The Road Warrior single-handedly came to define the post-apocalyptic genre. You can honestly skip the first one, but this is really a classic among classics.

#7- Aliens (1986)


Ridley Scott’s original sci-fi horror film was a claustrophobic masterpiece that introduced audiences to cinema’s most unique and terrifying alien design. James Cameron decided to take the franchise in a more action heavy direction by adding way more aliens, and of course, space marines, unwittingly creating years upon years of inspiration for pretty much every science fiction videogame ever. We’re looking at you Halo.

#6- Back To The Future: Part 2 (1989)

Great Scott!

Another sequel that was bigger in every way, the decidedly darker tone of Back to the Future II took the time travel premise to it’s full potential. A story that treks across 3 time periods, each with their own specific tone, Back to the Future 2 manages to be hilarious, dazzling and terrifying at all the right moments. The 50’s was great fan service, alternate 1985 was haunting and gritty, and the future was just…so…cool.

I defy you to watch this movie and not want a hoverboard. And those shoes.

#5- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)


Okay, fine…it wasn’t too hard to improve upon the first Star Trek film, due in no small part to its use of bland color palettes and the endlessly journey through a screensaver.

That being said, Trek II is considered the best of the series for a reason, namely that it had the best villain! It also had the perfect pace, featured a gripping space battle, dealt with mature themes, and gave fans a deeply emotional ending.

Interestingly, Kirk and Khan never even met face-to-face: defying the notion that every great sci-fi movie needs to end in a fistfight!

#4- The Godfather Part 2 (1974)


This sequel managed to outdo its predecessor to become quite possibly greatest gangster movie of all time. This is the result of being a deeply compelling character study of Michael Corleone, a man who’s every action is shown to be psychologically intense and emotionally captivating. Like all the best sequels, it raised the stakes while telling a darker, deeper and in this case more brutal tale.

#3- The Dark Knight (2008)


Following in the wake of Christopher Nolan’s mature Batman reboot, this enthralling action sequel managed to become the series’ throaty masterpiece. A gripping crime drama that just happened to feature guys in costumes, it was not only an intelligent and moody romp, but became the definitive superhero movie. It’s hard to imagine a cooler character than Heath Ledger’s joker…

#2- Terminator 2 (1991)


He did say he would be back! T2 landed as an instant classic: the effects were ahead of the curve, the violence was shocking and brutal, and of course, the star was larger than life. Basically one amazing chase scene after another, the pace of Terminator 2 was just as relentless as it’s antagonist.

#1- Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)


Taking the top spot on our list is the darker sequel that not only had the empire return with a vengeance, but improved upon the original in just about every way. Moving past the need to introduce the characters, it featured a much more rapid pace, and was far more complex, emotional, funny and dazzling to behold. It also arguably features cinema’s greatest twists...

Agree with our list? What is your favorite movie sequel? For more great Top 10s, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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