No, not Part 5’s. Don’t be absurd.
That was honestly where I was going to go, but JESUS CHRIST that would be near impossible to make even halfway entertaining. There would, what, 3 quality movies? MAYBE?
So I decided to throw everything left all into the pot for this one and make a list of the best movies that were released fifth or further along! So this will end the series I’ve been doing, yes, but… what a note to go out on!
(Actually, I never did a Best Part 2 list, so theoretically, I could go back to that well at my leisure. But it’s not imminent. Or maybe it is. Sounds fun now that I think of it)
So in my expansion, I did decide one thing early on: I would have to limit myself some way. So any particular movie series was only allowed one entry onto this list. After all, no movie had multiple Parts 3 or 4, so this was a given rule for the last two entries. So if a franchise had a great part 6, 7, 10, and 11 (GEE WHO COULD THAT BE FOR ME?), I’d only allow one of those four. I realized early on that if I didn’t do this, the list would be dominated by three franchises. And that’s no fun.
Also, remember back on the Threequels how I counted Infinity War, Ragnarok, and No Way Home? I did! So I tossed the entire MCU here. It was officially barred from consideration since no sub-branch of it has had a fifth movie.
Even then–even with discounting the MCU and not allowing any particular franchise to crowd the joint–this ended up being a surprisingly strong list. I mean, of course there was some cheating and shifty counting, but… I’ll get into that as I get there.
Let’s see who made the cut!
10. Amazing Spider-Man 2
Haha what? This is a Part 2, you idiot. It even says that in the name.
I mean, yes. This is the biggest case of my SUPER CHEATING. Because of what No Way Home gave us in its multiverse smashing glory, I decided that the Sam Raimi and Marc Webb Spider-Man movies count as one big five-part PRE-MCU series.
Because here’s the thing: I haven’t seen a single Mission Impossible or Fast & Furious movie that was a Part 5 or later, and I was REALLY on the struggle bus for a #10 entry here.
And that puts us here! Andrew Garfield’s second outing as Spider-Man sneaks onto the list. Emma Stone and Garfield are great in these movies. Let’s just… end the review there…
9. The Last Jedi
Okay, so first of all: no.
Empire Strikes Back does not count.
I know it is “Part 5”, but it was the SECOND Star War movie released. And I already counted Return Of The Jedi as one of the best Threequels.
So, for my money, the race for Star Wars’ contribution to this list boiled down to Last Jedi, Revenge of the Sith, or Rogue One.
Rogue One was good, but the story was an unnecessary cash grab and all the characters die because it wrote itself into a corner. Also, creepy CGI Tarkin and Leia squigged me out. I don’t like thinking about them AT ALL.
Revenge of the Sith was strongly considered, but ultimately, I went with Last Jedi. My rationale being that a Star War with Mark Hamill is always better than one without. I liked what they did with Luke here, and the fight scene near the end with the red sands flying up everywhere? That was GORGEOUS. So we’ll put this ahead of the one with the ridiculously easy kill of Samuel L Jackson and all the memes about killing kids and high ground.
Look… I know TLJ is divisive, but by Star Wars standards, I kind of liked it. And it’s #9, so I’ll either piss everyone off for including it AND putting it so low, or I’ll make everyone somewhat happy for the same reasons.
Let’s go happy! Gimme happy!
8. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare
I’ll be rewatching this soon for a Nightmare On Elm Street series recap, but this episode is a few weeks off yet. The last time I saw this was… within the last decade? Decade-ish?
Anyway, it’s an interesting return to form for the franchise after Freddy had been turned into a goof over the previous five flicks. New Nightmare about-faces him to his purely terrifying roots. And really, it’s Craven’s proto-Scream. It’s where he first toyed with the journey into meta territory. Honestly, New Nightmare is more meta than Scream; it’s just not as witty.
7. Days Of Future Past
So here’s where some of the counting continues getting wonky (but not where that ends!). Days of the Future Past is the 5th straight X-Men movie released, but… you could also consider it part 2 of the McAvoy/Fassbender series. Or part 4 or the Stewart/McKellan/Jackman franchise? Whatever, I don’t care. Honestly, as of Days Of Future Past, it still felt kind of like one timeline that all worked. Making this, yes, the FIFTH entry.
I regret nothing!
This was the perfect bridge of the two other segments, though, where you had the Wolverine of the Stewartverse interacting with McAvoy and Fassbender in their own time to save his future. Did it feel a bit pandering to give the lead role here to Jackman’s Wolverine instead of Kitty Pryde (the character who gets this treatment in the comics)? Sure, but he’s a star who does a great job with it.
6. Casino Royale
Again! Look, this is like the 48th James Bond movie, and I have NO IDEA how that timeline works. Is there one James Bond, and we ignore that he always looks and acts different? Multiple timelines? 007 as a mantle that is passed down? I got no clue. Hell, aren’t there two movies called “Casino Royale”? Ugh. I know two things about this flick:
First, it’s the only James Bond movie I ever watched.
And second, I liked it!
So I had zero qualms putting it on this list when I needed franchises to fill it out.
Anyway, like I said, I really did enjoy this movie; I’m surprised I didn’t end up keeping up with the Daniel Craig run. I’ve heard that was very up-and-down, though, so maybe I don’t regret it. What are the other good ones in this run? Can I just watch those without worrying about Quantum of Solace and the other bad one?
5. Scream 5
This really surprised me. I had next to zero expectations for this film. Especially after the fourth Matrix movie passed out in a puddle of its own vomit the month before, and I’d been decrying both of these flicks together as the “Who thinks these will be good?” releases.
My order of enjoyment for the first four Scream movies went as exactly as they were released. The original, then Two, then Three, with Four in last place. That trajectory left me feeling underwhelmed at the notion of this one. Like I said… given that development arc, WHO THOUGHT THIS WOULD BE GOOD?
And then I saw it, and you know what? I really liked it! It subverted what you have come to expect from the whole Opening Scene Of A Scream Movie trope. I really enjoyed that, while the classic cast was there, they did not overshadow the interesting new protagonists. Everything seemed to come together really well here, and you know what? This jumped all the way up to my #2 spot in the franchise.
The reveal was as predictable as any in the franchise had ever been, though. But that only hurt it a little bit in the grand scheme of what I liked.
The seventh Halloween movie.
The third in its sequential timeline.
Come on, movies. Stop rebooting. This list is hard.
Anyway, there were a few other Halloweens in consideration here, but it was ALWAYS going to be H20. The horses closest to it in the race were:
-Halloween 5 – an objectively not very good movie I nonetheless enjoy.
-and Halloween Kills – uhhh… same, honestly.
Halloween H20 is why I’m baffled Halloween 2018 needed to exist. We already had a substantially better version of it from 20 years earlier. 2018 is just the shittier version of H20.
Was H20 inspired by Scream? Yes. Did it have anything important to say? No. Was it a lot of callbacks to the classic 1978 flick to remind us what we loved originally? Hell yes it was. But it was also a good bit of fun (LL Cool J is a knockout here), and the character development of Laurie Strode is, again, a hundred times better than what 2018 gave us where she felt like a cartoon character.
3. The Order Of The Phoenix
Arguably the last truly great Harry Potter movie, the others eligible here were never in consideration for the HP spot on this list. We get Dolores Umbridge in this one! And she is one of the most despicable characters in fiction. But in that good way!
I will say I think the next BOOK–Half Blood Prince–is a better book than Order of the Phoenix, but it made a really poor transition to cinema. Whereas OotP carried much of the weight of dread and action that the massive book gave us, even with all of the edits required to make it a two hour movie.
I could really watch Prisoner, Goblet, and Order almost on a loop and not worry too much that they made five other movies.
This just came out of nowhere, right?
I know there was that Rocky Balboa movie a few years before this, but that seemed to just quietly come and go without making any real cultural impact. Which makes the fact that they elected to continue this franchise even stranger.
But I’m super glad they did, because both Creed movies are GREAT.
My love for Part 4 aside, cinematically, this is far and away the best Rocky since the original, the only other one where the boxing feels secondary to the character story.
1. Jason Lives
IT WAS ALWAYS GOING TO END THIS WAY.
You can’t even make me feel bad about it; I adore Jason Lives. I adore the whole Jason series, but my favorite always comes down to this or Part 2 (so, uh, remember that if I do Best Part 2…).
After a huge misstep with Friday The 13th Part 5, the franchise came back in a massive way with Part 6 by hiring Tom McLoughlin who just GOT what this series was supposed to be. Jason Lives took delight in making fun of itself and the whole idea of the franchise.
It’s by no means a full on self-parody because there are some of the scariest scenes in any Jason movie here–the shot where the camera pans up and Jason is looking in the window or the scene where Jason enters the cabin full of children and confronts the little girl–but this entry blended everything together so well.
And it ends with Tommy and Jason struggling to drown each other WHILE CRYSTAL LAKE IS ON FIRE WHAT ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?
Tom McLoughlin should direct literally every movie ever, come on. Why do we need Martin Scorsese when we have this guy. THE LAKE WAS ON FIRE!
I actually rewatched Jason Lives after writing that.
ANYWAY… give me your best movie that are at least the fifth made in their franchise? What do you have?
Until next time… take care!