Greatest Sequels Of All Time: You Can Only Pick 3

movies sequels

When I think of a movie sequel, I automatically think of a film that’s bigger and raised the stakes from its predecessor. That doesn’t mean it works. In fact, I’d argue that most sequels fail because it can’t recreate the magic that made the first film successful. In turn, failed sequels usually don’t bring anything new to offer so the film can’t stand on its own. When a sequel is done right, it’s special. When a sequel outdoes the original, it’s legendary.

On the Unafraid Show’s Twitter, we asked which three sequels would you pick from a list of nine films.

The Choices

  • The Dark Knight
  • The Godfather Part II
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (T2)
  • Toy Story 2
  • Aliens
  • Star Wars Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  • Before Sunset

This lineup is the 1927 Yankees aka Murderers’ Row. Not only are they some of the best sequels ever made, but these movies are some of the most important films ever made. It’s like choosing between children (that I don’t have). One is by far your favorite, but all the others make compelling cases for spots two and three. You truly can’t make a bad decision when it comes to narrowing it down to three films, or can you?

By definition, a sequel is any movie that continues the story or expands upon the previous entry so, therefore, you could make a case that the third, fourth, and fifth films from a series are sequels. However, when I think of sequels, it’s the second movie that comes out after the original or the second film in a series of movies. It’s why films like Toy Story 3 or Mad Max: Fury Road were not included on the list.

Here are my picks.

The Dark Knight – This is my favorite child out of the nine. The Dark Knight is one of my top five films of all time. I hold it near and dear to my heart. It changed how I thought critically about films. A superhero premise disguised as a neo-noir blew my mind. Christopher Nolan, one of my favorite filmmakers ever, opened up new doors for comic book adaptations and how these films could be massive events on a global scale. I haven’t even mentioned Heath Ledger yet, who gave the most memorable performance by any actor in the last forty years. Whenever The Dark Knight is on television, whatever I planned to do takes a backseat to the cat-and-mouse game between Batman and The Joker.

Aliens – Imagine looking at Alien and The Terminator (which Cameron wrote and directed) and thinking not only could you make a sequel, but you could make it better than the original? There’s a reason why James Cameron has two films on this list. T2 is a great movie, but Aliens kicks so much ass. It’s one of the greatest action films ever. Alien is more of a slow burn as the Xenomorph plays “hide and seek” as it takes out the crew one by one. On the other hand, Aliens is in-your-face, nonstop action as soon as Ellen Ripley and the crew land on LV-426. Aliens changed genre filmmaking forever. Aliens include edge-of-your-seat thrills along with being downright terrifying especially when the marines invade the nesting ground of the creatures. This movie was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Actress for Sigourney Weaver. A female action star receiving a Best Actress nomination in a sci-fi epic is something that doesn’t happen today. That’s how important Aliens is to the history of moviemaking.

Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – When making this list, I did not expect The Two Towers to crack the top 3 with the likes of Empire Strikes Back, Godfather Part II, and T2 still on the board. However, when I started to compare The Two Towers to its competitors in terms of rewatchability and enjoyment, The Two Towers stood taller than the rest. It starts and ends with The Battle of Helm’s Deep. Battle scenes were not a new thing in 2002. Just look at the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan and the fighting scenes in Braveheart. However, Helm’s Deep became the new standard for battle scenes thanks to its use of CGI. Before the Battle of Winterfell in Game of Thrones, The Two Towers had the title of the longest consecutive battle scene in movie and television history. The Battle of Helm’s Deep is a spectacular feat of filmmaking. However, the quieter moments behind the city walls and the scene-stealing Gollum are what make The Two Towers one of the best fantasy films ever made.

We took the discussion to Twitter and let’s just say people had some thoughts.

@JagsApologist, Spider-Man 2 barely missed the cut. It’s in the Top 15.

Which three sequels are you picking? Let us know on Twitter, @unafraidshow.

Tom Hanks: The Scream King

Tom Hanks A League of Their Own

Tom Hanks has played some of the most recognizable and iconic characters in movie history. All of Hanks’ roles all have one common trait: screaming. Hanks loves to yell and we love him for it.

Jamie Lee Curtis is universally known as the Scream Queen. Ever since Curtis played Laurie Strode in her feature film debut, Halloween, Curtis became the staple for scream queens in horror films. Just like Curtis is the top scream queen, there is a top scream king and the answer might surprise you. The Scream King is Tom Hanks.

Tom Hanks? The two-time Academy Award winner and one of the most decorated actors ever is a scream king? It’s more like a yelling king. While Curtis screams in terror during horror films, Hanks yells to emphasize his feelings, thoughts, and emotions. These screams range from complaints, exclamations, and even starling revelations about toys. Start running through Hanks’ filmography and almost every film includes the actor raising his voice and letting off a trademark howl.

The time he yelled at a volleyball

WILSON! WILSON! Who knew that yelling at a volleyball would automatically go into the Hall of Fame of Tom Hanks Quotes. Not everyone has seen Cast Away, but I’d argue that if you drop a “Wilson” around someone, they’re going to understand the reference. It’s a gut-wrenching scene that made the world care about a volleyball. A volleyball! Don’t forget that Hanks showcased his trademark squeal earlier in the movie when he learned to build a fire.

Tom Hanks is a yeller and screamer in movies

The time he yelled at Buzz Lightyear for being a toy

Toy Story Woodie Tom Hanks scream

The truth hurts and when that truth goes against your entire system of beliefs, it hurts even more. Woody executed a heel turn that would make Vince McMahon jealous. Woody screaming “You are a toy” to Buzz in Toy Story was flat-out mean. Was Buzz delusional? Yes. Was Woody too harsh? Absolutely. It’s one of the few moments where Hanks became the villain, not the hero.

The time he yelled that there’s no crying in baseball

Remember when I said Hanks went full heel in Toy Story? It turns out Hanks had another personality shift in him when he went full asshole as the manager in A League of Their Own. Is it ok to cry in sports? Depending on what era you were raised in might effect your answer. It’s ok to cry tears of joy after winning a championship. It’s ok to cry tears of despair after blowing the game on your mistake. However, as Tom Hanks screamed, “There’s no crying in baseball.” I don’t make the rules. I only enforce them.

The time he yelled that he was not a fish

Tom Hanks Scream movie

Because of giant romantic comedies like Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail in the 1990s, Splash tends to be forgotten when mentioning Hanks’ best romantic comedy roles. However, Splash may be the most underrated movie in Hanks’ filmography. Surrounded by two comedic legends in John Candy and Eugene Levy, Splash was the match that lit the career of Tom Hanks. Per usual, Hanks had some memorable screams including his “I am not a fish” speech in the tank. It’s safe to say that Tom Hanks is indeed, not a fish.

The time he told Jenny to go home to Greenbow, Alabama

Oh, Jenny. Why couldn’t you just listen to Forrest and go home to Greenbow, Alabama? All Forrest ever wanted was to protect you and keep you safe. You would’ve had a nice life on the Gump estate after the Apple stock kicked in. Instead, you chose a life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. I’m not mad, Jenny. I’m disappointed.

These aren’t the only movies where Hanks will let off a signature yawp. Youtube User Owenergy created a supercut of Hanks yelling throughout his career and includes additional clips from Big, Turner & Hooch, and Dragnet.

Here’s to a lifetime of screams Tom Hanks movies. Hanks will play Fred Rogers in a biopic later this year. If anyone can make Mr. Rogers scream in the neighborhood, it’s Hanks.