3rd: Batman Begins (2005)
This superhero movie based on the Batman character from the DC Comics and co-written and directed by Christopher Nolan represents the rebirth of Batman as a hero in the cinematic universe. Starring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, Michael Cane as Batman’s butler and friend Alfred Pennyworth, Liam Neeson as the antagonist Ra’s al Ghul, Gary Oldman as Lieutenant Jim Gordon and Katie Holmes as Bruce’s love interest Rachel Dawes.
The movie follows Bruce’s beginning as a child who witnessed his parents’ murder and then as an adult travelling the world. In Asia, Bruce seeks counsel with Ra’s Al-Ghul, a well-known ninja cult leader. When Bruce finally returns to Gotham, the city has decayed being overrun by crime organizations and his family’s company is being slowly taken away from him. To put an end to this situation, Bruce becomes Batman, but his mission is not easy, especially when his mentor comes back as his worst enemy.
The Dark Knight (2008)
One year later, Batman continues his war against crime with the help of the Lieutenant Jim Gordon as well as the District Attorney, Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart).
Their mission is successful until the infamous Joker (Heath Ledger) appears in Gotham with the sole purpose of creating more chaos. And he does succeed once he destroys the love triangle Harvey – Rachel (Maggie Gyllenhaal) – Bruce by killing Rachel and scarring half of Harvey’s face in an explosion. But not only is his physical aspect damaged, but also his mind. So now Bruce has to sacrifice Batman to cover for Harvey.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
Eight years after the death of Dent and the fall of Batman, Gotham is finally at peace. But this peace is at peril when an evil force going by the name of Bane (Tom Hardy) arrives in Gotham with the purpose of taking over the city and exposing Dent’s dark secrets.
In order to avoid this, Bruce must come back after years of hiding in the dark. But with such a threat like Bane, few are the ones willing to aid Batman. Alfred Pennyworth, Lucius Fox (Morgan Freeman), Selina Kyle aka Cat Woman (Anne Hathaway) and Miranda Tate (Marion Cotillard) are by his side, but Batman does not know that one of them is not who s/he claims to be.
Right from the very first film, the influences from the DC comics were easy to spot. The trilogy starts its references with the scene with young Bruce falling through the well and startling the bats and witnessing his parent’s death to actual scenes from Gotham.
The Dark Knight had a great representation of The Joker as in Batman: The Cult, but also from Batman #1 from 1940 with the Joker posing as a police officer and from Batman: The Killing Joke regarding the scene from the interrogation room. The Dark Knight Rises did well in portraying Jim Gordon, especially on the hospital bed, as well as Bruce’s physical struggles and some chasing scenes and the fight moments with Bane.
2nd: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Due to his great success with the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson ventures once more in J. R. R. Tolkien’s works of fiction, this time following the 1937 novel The Hobbit, which he divided in 3 parts, despite the novel’s short number of pages. The story begins in the Kingdom of Erebor, which was taken by the evil dragon Smaug.
In order to recover it, the Wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) goes to the hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and, along 12 dwarfs led by the king Thorin (Richard Armitage) – who has nothing to do with Thor – decide to go on an adventure to get rid of Smaug. But their journey is difficult right from the beginning as they have to fight against Orcs and Trolls and as Bilbo encounters Gollum (Andy Serkis) and his precious ring.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug (2013)
The Hobbit Bilbo and his friends return once more. After they crossed over and under the Misty Mountains, Thorin and his army are looking for a powerful stranger who might be of great help. Dealing with giant spiders, they encounter Wood-elves and Legolas (Orlando Bloom) who capture and imprison them.
The only one left free is the sneaky Bilbo. Later they reach the Lonely Mountain where they found Smaug and when their plan of bury the dragon alive in molten gold, they know that their journey is still not over.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy comes to an end. After the release of Smaug, the people of Laketown are in danger. Everyone – orcs, dwarves, elves and humans get ready for war.
While the citizens of Laketown flee to the shadow of the Lonely Mountain, where they encounter a marching army of Elves and while Gandalf is still imprisoned in the ruins of Dol Guldur, an army of Orcs and Wargs comes from under the earth. Five armies join the battle and the end will not be without sacrifice.
The Hobbit trilogy was so successful in the USA and worldwide that it grossed almost $3 billion. The costs for all three movies were around $765 million and it is no wonder with all the special and visual effect and the freaking dragon. But that was money well spent as the trilogy made $2.916 million by the beginning of 2015. If that does not scream success, I don’t know what it does. But still… there is another trilogy which is better than this one. So here comes number one.
1st: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Before The Hobbit, there was The Lord of the Rings. Despite being the sequel of The Hobbit, this trilogy was brought on the big screen long before its predecessor.
Directed by Peter Jackson and following J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the story is set in Middle-earth and it is centred on the destinies of the hobbits Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin), Pippin Took (Billy Boyd), Merry Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan), the dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies), the prince of elves Legolas Greenleaf (Orlando Bloom), the ranger Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) and, of course, the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen). Their mission is to destroy an ancient powerful ring, which once belonged to Sauron the Dark Lord and who wants it back once more.
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
After the death of Boromir (Sean Bean), the departure of Sam and Frodo and the capture of Merry and Pippin, the Fellowship has been broken. All by themselves, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli seek aid in King Theoden’s men. At the same time, the two towers between Mordor and Isengard have united and not for a noble purpose, but for destruction, while the evil Saruman has built a dangerous army bent to serve the forces of evil. But our heroes manage to get closer to Mordor and to the annihilation of Sauron and the ring.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Sauron is one step from conquering the Middle-earth, but Gandalf, King Theoden and his army are ready to face him. Frodo is falling under the ring’s spell and is getting mad like Gollum, but Sam is there for him to help him do the right thing. Meanwhile, Aragorn finds out that he is the heir to Gondor’s throne and had to overcome his insecurities and fears. A great battle happens and the ending is the one desired. Now that the king has returned and the evil defeated, everything is fine; and the wedding bells are about to ring too.
The Lord of the Trilogies
The Lord of the Rings has had mixed reviews and despite being so successful and loved, there are some people who disliked it. Though, they are not really aware of how fascinating this story is. It has many sub plots which are individually explored and developed as well as characters, being a rather faithful replica of a multi-dimensional book.
In fact, the first movie was such an original piece, that it was more risky than one would imagine. But fortunately, it was worth it and the movie was acclaimed enough to win many Academy Awards. And is no surprise, having a soundtrack made by THE Hans Zimmer and having used many smart old school filming techniques along CGI.
We think we made our point. Now all you have to do is watch them or rewatch them and enjoy them. And while you are waiting to get your hands on the movies from this list, maybe you could take another peek at our other articles. We know you’ll find more interesting facts and lists.