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Best Threequel


Well, that was fun
Staff member
People often discuss the best sequels to movies. Terminator 2, Empire, Aliens, etc.

Less frequently they talk about the best threequels. Which movies have had a strong third instalment?

(For shared universes, count the individuals — eg Iron Man 1, 2, 3)

I’m thinking —

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade
Return of the Jedi
Thor: Ragnarok

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Matrix 3 was a good conclusion to the trilogy along with John Wick 3, but that was less story and more same killing. Then there is LotR Return of the King and even the Hobbit3. Battle of 5 armies which could have been shorter set of movies if they had gone by the books, but a bunch of other stuff was thrown in. They were good for movies and not for comparing to the books.

Hard to argue with Thor: Ragnarok or Return of the Jedi. I'd add George Romero's Day of the Dead. The Return of the King springs to mind as well, though admittedly it fumbled a few spots.

I'm tempted to mention Halloween III: Season of the Witch - I think it deserves more credit than it gets, and the series would've be stronger had it gone with an anthology format rather than focusing solely on Michael Myers.


Unserious gamer
Avengers: Infinity War (my 2nd favorite MCU movie)
Iron Man 3 (the MCU movie that's most grown in my estimation upon rewatch)
Thor: Ragnarok (redefined the whole series for the better)
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Toy Story 3
Logan (if you count X-Men Origins and The Wolverine to make a loose trilogy)


I always thought Star Trek III was a lot better than the old "all odd-numbered Trek movies are bad" adage gave it credit for. Star Trek II, III and IV make a very solid trilogy.
Wasn't IV the one where they went back in time to collect a whale? Personally I thought that was the weakest of the old movies.


Unserious gamer
Not to me. It's still good, but there was a subtlety to the storytelling in Fellowship of the Ring that was progressively lost over the two subsequent movies, ending with Sauron as a literal guard-tower searchlight in RotK.
I think it depends on whether you read the OP as "what 3rd movies in a series are really good movies in general" or "what 3rd movies are really strong in comparison to the other movies in the series".

I agree with you that RotK is the weakest of the 3 LotR movies, although I'd view it as an A-/A movie where FotR is an A/A+ movie. They're all really good, and any weakness is subtle.

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