With the release of The Dark Knight Returns this weekend, Christopher Nolan completes his Batman trilogy. Where does it fall among the all-time great trilogies?
Building off the success of the first X-Men movie, the Spider-Man trilogy launched Superhero movies back into the limelight and paved the way for many more comic book titled to be adapted into movies. The original Spider-Man movie had been in development for over 25 years, and at one point James Cameron was attached to helm the project. Duties were eventually handed over to Sam Raimi (who's own Evil Dead trilogy narrowly missed making this list), who put together three films in seven years. While never approaching the greatness of some of the other trilogies on this list, the Spider-Man movies were, for the most part, what you'd expect Spider-Man movies to be: enjoyable, summertime, popcorn films.
Best of the trilogy: Spider-Man 2
Back to the Future
In 1985 when the original Back to the Future hit theaters, not one but two sequels were immediately greenlit, but production would take another four years to complete. While the sequels would not rise to the creative power of the first film, shooting the two films back to back allowed producers to drop in subtle hints in the second movie and set the direction for the third. Furthermore, by exploring alternative realities and traveling both to the near future and the Old West, the trilogy manages to keep things fresh and interesting.
Best of the trilogy: Back to the Future
The first three Indiana Jones moves were released as a trilogy in short succession, from 1981 to 1989. While there is a fourth film in the series, that was more of an afterthought, an attempt to revive a long prominent franchise that was nowhere close to the quality and enjoyability of the original trilogy. The trilogy is treated as three standalone adventures, with Indiana Jones being the only character who appears in all three movies. Furthermore, the second movie in the series, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is actually a prequel. Still, the trilogy remains a classic today, despite the efforts of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Best of the trilogy: Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Man With No Name
Also known as the "Dollars" trilogy, this trio of spagetti westerns starring Clint Eastwood includes three of the most popular westerns of all time: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. The three films were not originally planned to be a trilogy (which is why Eastwood's character has a different nickname in each movie), but were marketed as such by an American promoter, and have regularly been regarded as such.
Best of the trilogy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly