best movie sequels of all time

movies that need to be followed

1. “The Godfather” (1972)

“The Godfather.” 

“The Godfather” (and its sequel) is just one of those perfect movies. The story, casting, and direction all work together to create onscreen magic.


2. “Do the Right Thing” (1989)

Do the right thing
“Do the Right Thing.” 

With its carefully built complex narrative, Spike Lee’s is a visceral movie about race in America that lends itself to new interpretations every time you watch it.


3. “Citizen Kane” (1941)

citizen kane rko pictures
“Citizen Kane.” 

“Citizen Kane” isn’t just essential viewing because critics often agree it’s the best movie of all time. It’s a timeless story of greed and power.


4. “Before Sunrise” (1995)

before sunrise
“Before Sunrise.” 

Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” — and its sequels, each made nine years apart — are the most romantic movies ever made.


5. “Boyhood” (2014)

Boyhood Sundance

“Boyhood,” another Linklater film, was filmed over a period of 11 years to capture the life of a character growing up.


6. “8½” (1963)

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Fredrico Fellini’s “8½,” a classic of arthouse cinema, is a comedy about the messy romantic and professional life of a filmmaker trying to get a movie off the ground.


7. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

2001 a space odyssey original
“2001: A Space Odyssey.” 

Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” came out in 1968, but its special effects — and its message — are just as brilliant today as they were back then.


8. “The Rules of the Game” (1939)

The rules of the game movie film
“The Rules of the Game.” 

Few movies take as sharp a knife to the pettiness of class distinctions as “The Rules of the Game,” Jean Renoir’s hilarious yet moving satire.


9. “Toy Story” (1995)

toy story
“Toy Story.” 

Of all the Pixar films, “Toy Story” is still the most essential. It’s a moving tale that changed animation forever. While you’re at it, watch its sequels as well.


10. “Psycho” (1960)

psycho movie

Alfred Hitchcock was the master of suspense, and “Psycho” is one of his best works.


11. “Seven Samurai” (1954)

Seven Samurai
“Seven Samurai.” 

It’s a toss up between “Seven Samurai,” “Rashomon,” and “Ran” over which is legendary director Akira Kurosawa’s best movie, but there’s no doubt over which is the most influential.

“Seven Samurai” — about a villager who convinces seven samurai to defend his town from bandits — has been the template for everything from “The Magnificent Seven” to “Star Wars: Rogue One.”


12. “The Muppet Movie” (1979)

the muppet movie
“The Muppet Movie” 

Every kid should watch “The Muppet Movie,” which helped bring the charms of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, and the rest of the gang to the world.


13. “Bicycle Thieves” (1948)

bicycle thieves
“Bicycle Thieves.” 
Bicycle Thieves (1948)

“Bicycle Thieves” unfolds like a fable, with emotional clarity and a powerful social justice message in a simple story about a father, a son, and a bike.


14. “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952)

Singin in the rain
“Singin’ in the Rain.” 

“Singin’ in the Rain” is more than a sprightly musical comedy — it doubles as a history lesson for how movies evolved from silent to sound.


15. “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)

beauty and the beast
“Beauty and the Beast.” 

1991’s adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast” is one of Disney Animation’s crown jewels.


16. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)

et the extraterrestrial movie universal pictures
“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.” 

For kids, “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” is a sweet story as well as a valuable lesson about being skeptical of authority.


17. “Jaws” (1975)

jaws movie 1975

Every kid remembers the first movie that terrorizes them. To make it a good one, watch Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” or “Jaws.”


18. “Groundhog Day” (1993)

groundhog day
Bill Murray’s movie feels much more relatable now. 

“Groundhog Day” is a classic not just because it’s horrifyingly good at capturing the repetitive nature of adult life, but because it knows how to shake you out of accepting it.


19. “Goodfellas” (1990)

Goodfellas movie

Of all of Martin Scorsese’s films, “Goodfellas” is his most masterful. It shows what can go wrong in the life of a promising young person, and how it can go spiraling down — all while being hilarious.


20. “The Shining” (1980)

The Shining
Here’s Johnny! 


21. “Moonlight” (2016)

Moonlight movie

Barry Jenkins’s “Moonlight” may be new but — in its portrayal of neglected lives and their pitiable turns — it’s already essential.


22. “Some Like it Hot” (1959)

Some Like it Hot
“Some Like it Hot.” 

Billy Wilder has made about a dozen classics. “Some Like it Hot” stands out as having not only one of Marilyn Monroe’s finest roles, but a surprisingly progressive commentary on gender politics.


23. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004)

eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.” 

“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” combines the best elements of a mind-bending psychological thriller and an epic, unforgettable romance.


24. “The Shawshank Redemption” (1994)

Shawshank Redemption, rain
“The Shawshank Redemption.” 

“The Shawshank Redemption” was somewhat overlooked upon its release in 1994, but it’s since cemented itself as a universal favorite — and it’s guaranteed to make you cry.


25. “Die Hard” (1988)

die hard 20th Century Fox
Bruce Willis in “Die Hard.” 

John McClane (Bruce Willis) is just an off-duty cop trying to save a bunch of hostages from a terrorist named Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) at a Christmas party.


26. “Blazing Saddles” (1974)

blazing saddles
“Blazing Saddles.” 

“Blazing Saddles” is Mel Brooks’ boldest work, a searing satire of racism in America and the western genre starring Gene Wilder.


27. “The Lion King” (1994)

the lion king
“The Lion King.” 

Adapting “Hamlet” as a musical would be hard, but “The Lion King” succeeds wonderfully by turning all the characters into animals.


28. “Mulholland Drive” (2001)

mulholland drive
“Mulholland Drive.” 

There are no other movies like “Mulholland Drive,” which has a dreamlike aesthetic, cryptic narrative, and dark humor that pushes the possibilities of cinema itself.


29. “The Dark Knight” (2008)

the dark knight
Heath Ledger’s the Joker in “The Dark Knight.” 

Christopher Nolan’s second Batman film elevated the genre to new, darker heights and made it worth taking seriously.