Movie Sequels That Were Better Than the Original

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

20. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
> Original in franchise: Mission: Impossible (1996)
> IMDb user rating: 7.4/10 (sequel), 7.1/10 (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 94% (sequel), 66% (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (sequel), 71% (original)

This popular franchise took on a new style and tonality with its fifth installment, which pits Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) against the powerful Syndicate. It’s one among numerous collaborations between Cruise and filmmaker Christopher McQuarrie. The two reunited for 2018’s “Fallout” and for the upcoming “Dead Reckoning Part One.”

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
> Original in franchise: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (sequel), 7.6/10 (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (sequel), 81% (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 86% (sequel), 82% (original)

The one and only Harry Potter film from Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón is the franchise’s third overall. Upon their return to Hogwarts, Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his peers find themselves in the crosshairs of escaped prisoner Sirius Black (Gary Oldman). “Cuarón brought to the Potter franchise a quality curiously missing from the two previous films: magic,” wrote critic Christopher Orr for The Atlantic.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

18. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
> Original in franchise: Captain America: the First Avenger (2011)
> IMDb user rating: 7.8/10 (sequel), 6.9/10 (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (sequel), 80% (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 89% (sequel), 74% (original)

An Avengers movie in all but name, this blockbuster entry calls upon the franchise’s most essential characters. When political protocols force oversight upon superheroes, it creates a deep rift between Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr). As the tension escalates, everyone must choose a side.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

17. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
> Original in franchise: Captain America: the First Avenger (2011)
> IMDb user rating: 7.7/10 (sequel), 6.9/10 (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 90% (sequel), 80% (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 92% (sequel), 74% (original)

The second Captain America film takes cues from classic political thrillers and represents a major step up from its uneven predecessor. Set in Washington D.C., it thrusts the titular superhero and his allies into the heart of a deadly conspiracy. This was the first Marvel movie directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, who went on to helm some of the MCU’s most vital entries.

Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

16. Thor: Ragnarok (2017)
> Original in franchise: Thor (2011)
> IMDb user rating: 7.9/10 (sequel), 7.0/10 (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer score: 93% (sequel), 77% (original)
> Rotten Tomatoes audience score: 87% (sequel), 76% (original)

The Thor series found its groove with this third installment, in which the hammer-wielding superhero (Chris Hemsworth) must save his home planet from destruction. Director Taika Waititi injects a colorful palette and comic touch when bringing the adventure to life.

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