Reddit users weighed in on their favorites, and the results may surprise you. Forget the old adage that sequels are never as good as the original. When it comes to trilogies, the third time can absolutely be the charm.
Whether it’s the epic conclusion to Frodo’s quest in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King or Woody and the gang’s bittersweet goodbye in Toy Story 3, some trilogy-cappers manage to stick the landing and then some. These are the third movies in a trilogy that Reddit says are the best.
10 Logan (2017)
Logan is a gritty and violent take on an aging Wolverine. Set in a dystopian future, Logan emerges from isolation to protect a young mutant girl with similar abilities. Hugh Jackman gives a poignant final performance as the grizzled Wolverine in this acclaimed third installment of the X-Men spin-off trilogy.
Redditor artpayne suggested Logan saying, “Logan was way better than the first two Wolverine movies.” Redditor mrjake118 supports his argument by saying, “By such a wide margin it’s ridiculous. The first was flat-out terrible and best forgotten, the second was director James Mangold trying to do something better but still safe.”
9 For a Few Dollars More (1965)
When it comes to spaghetti westerns, For a Few Dollars More is considered by many to be the best third installment in a trilogy including Redditor SoulMaekar. Clint Eastwood returns as the Man with No Name, teaming up with Colonel Douglas Mortimer to hunt down wanted outlaw El Indio.
The story is darker and more complex than A Fistful of Dollars, with Mortimer seeking vengeance against Indio for a personal reason. Eastwood and Van Cleef have great chemistry and play off each other well. The music is once again composed by Ennio Morricone, and the film features stunning cinematography of the Spanish countryside.
8 National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
The Griswold family hosts a disastrous Christmas reunion in this hilarious sequel. Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as Clark and Ellen Griswold, determined to have a fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. But their relatives seem to descend on them in droves, and soon the holiday cheer turns into holiday chaos.
Redditors bacardi250 and z12345z6789 praise the movie by commenting, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The first is a classic but Christmas Vacation is required viewing every year,” and “YES!!! It’s become a bona fide classic, respectively.”
7 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade brings the adventure trilogy to a satisfying conclusion. This crowd-pleasing installment pairs Harrison Ford’s Indy with his father, played by Sean Connery, for an exciting quest to find the Holy Grail. Their journey is filled with dangerous enemies, ancient traps, and witty banter showcasing Ford and Connery’s chemistry and comedic timing.
Out of all the sequels, The Last Crusade is considered by many fans such as Redditor nick1121 to capture the spirit of Raiders of the Lost Ark and provide a sense of closure to Indy’s adventures. With its blend of humor, mystery, and escalating set pieces in exotic locations, this final chapter cements Indiana Jones as one of the greatest film franchises of all time.
6 The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
The epic conclusion to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King is considered by many to be the best film in the series. After following Frodo and the Fellowship for two movies, you finally get to see if Frodo can make it to Mount Doom and destroy the One Ring once and for all.
Redditor hesacuriouscat says, “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy I could argue the third movie is the best but honestly all of them are super good.” This goes to show just how good the end to the trilogy really is for the quality of cinematography the other two movies provided.
5 The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)
The third film in the Bourne trilogy, The Bourne Ultimatum, is considered by many to be the best. Released in 2007, it provides a satisfying conclusion to the series while still keeping you on the edge of your seat. Director Paul Greengrass’s signature shaky-cam style and fast-paced action sequences will leave you breathless. Matt Damon gives a nuanced performance, showing Jason’s humanity beneath the hardened exterior of the trained assassin.
If you enjoy intelligent, gritty spy thrillers, The Bourne Ultimatum is a must-watch. Redditor JimPalamo goes as far as to say, “It is impossible to pick a clear best film of the three. They’re all very nearly as good as each other.”
4 Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
The final film in the Thor trilogy, Ragnarok, is considered by many to be the best. This sci-fi action comedy directed by Taika Waititi breathes new life into the series. Rather than another brooding story of family drama and responsibility, this installment leans into humor and fun.
“Thor: Ragnarok. Good thing they didn’t make a 4th movie, that would have been a terrible idea,” said Redditor InsidiousColossus initiating a rant about Thor: The Dark World, to which Redditor mynameisevan replied, “I sat here for a for a couple of minutes completely confused over you calling Ragnarok the third one. I could have sworn it was the second one. Turns out I just completely forgot that Thor: The Dark World existed.”
3 Evil Dead: Army of Darkness (1992)
The finale to the Evil Dead trilogy, Army of Darkness, is considered by many fans to be the best film in the series. In this comedic horror sequel, Ash finds himself transported to medieval times when the Deadites still exist. Armed with his chainsaw hand and boomstick, Ash must lead the kingdom’s army to defeat the evil creatures.
Full of over-the-top action and effects, quotable one-liners, and Bruce Campbell at his hammy best, it’s a fantastically fun finish to the trilogy that leaves you wanting more adventures of the legendary Ash Williams. Redditor Gray-Hand supports nick1121‘s suggestion by saying, “Army of Darkness is the easy answer given that it is also the best movie of all time.”
2 Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors (1987)
As mentioned by Redditor oneir0naut0, Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors is considered by many fans to be the best sequel of the series. In this installment, Freddy Krueger returns to terrorize the teenage residents of Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital. However, these teens all possess a special ability that allows them to fight back in their dreams.
With imaginative dream sequences, humor, and likable characters, Dream Warriors strikes a perfect balance of horror and fun. It’s a true ’80s slasher classic that still holds up today. If you’re looking for the best of the Elm Street sequels, you can’t go wrong with this one.
1 Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3 is the perfect ending to the beloved trilogy (before the fourth film years later, that is). As Andy prepares to leave for college, Woody, Buzz and the rest of the toy gang find themselves donated to a daycare. At first, it seems like a dream come true with endless playtimes and children. But the harsh reality of life as a toy in a daycare center quickly sets in. Lotso, a pink teddy bear, rules the place with an iron fist. You’ll laugh and cry as the toys embark on an epic adventure to escape and return home to Andy.
This heartfelt conclusion to the series reminds us of the power of friendship and finding purpose even when life moves on without us. Redditor CharlieChando is one of many who loved this film by saying, “Toy Story 3 is almost a perfect film, the first two are very good, but the third was a phenomenal stopping point.” No wonder Reddit voted it the best third film in a trilogy. The perfect ending to a perfect series.
NEXT: From ‘Toy Story 3’ to ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: Best 3rd Movies in a Franchise