9 best movie sequels of all time, ranked

Photo: Batman Returns. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe
Photo: Batman Returns. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe /
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Batman, The Dark Knight
Photo: The Dark Knight.. Image Courtesy Warner Bros. / DC Universe /

3. The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight film series is considered one of the finest trilogies in film history and the biggest reason for that is The Dark Knight. A rare example of the middle movie in a trilogy being its strongest outing, the 2008 film wasn’t designed to bridge the gap between the first chapter and the final chapter, it was a standalone entry that changed the face of superhero movies.

The Dark Knight is widely regarded as one of the greatest movies of the century because of just how incredible it is. It’s often easy to forget that it’s actually a sequel because there are quite a few tonal shifts from the more Gothic Batman Begins. It’s less eerie and more grounded, with The Joker’s anarchy setting the stage for a gripping crime-thriller that really doesn’t feel like a comic book movie in any way, shape, or form.

Christian Bale continued to make a case for why he could be the best Batman, while Nolan’s ensemble cast was once again impeccable. The standout, of course, was the late, great Heath Ledger whose Joker remains a larger-than-life presence in movie history nearly two decades later.

They didn’t make superhero movies like this before The Dark Knight, and they still don’t even after its game-changing presence was felt.