All good things must come to an end. All bad things must also come to an end. Basically, everything ends. Besides the Monopoly board game. It goes on forever.
The more sequels and trilogies Hollywood churns out, the clearer and clearer it becomes how difficult it is to wrap up a long-running story in a satisfying way. For proof, check out our lists below of the best and worst third films in film trilogies. Adding to the list of the worst was easy! There were many potential candidates. Completing the best list was a lot more difficult because making a truly great third film in a trilogy is also difficult.
Note that we only looked at “trilogies” that had a well-defined trio of films that are best understood together. When a franchise was churning out one sequel after another, you could technically pick any three consecutive titles and call them a trilogy. But it felt like cheating. For example, some may object to this Goldfinger this is the end of the first trilogy of James Bond films Doctor No and From Russia with love. If so, it’s a great third film in the trilogy. But Bond’s producers intended the series to be open-ended; the fourth 007 movie, Thunderstormwas released just 14 months later Goldfinger. On the other hand, there are some franchises – such as Star Wars — which have distinct trilogies, even if they spanned more than three films, so it felt appropriate to include them.
That was our criteria. And here are our choices.
The best third films in film trilogies
These films accomplished the difficult task of completing a great trilogy in a wonderful way.
The worst third films in film trilogies
For some reason, it is very difficult to achieve the finale of a film trilogy. And here is the proof.