Cinema history has many amazing movie trilogies. From Francis Ford Coppola’s acclaimed Godfather Trilogy to Jean Cocteau’s Orphic Trilogy, and from Michelangelo Antonioni’s Trilogy on Modernity and its Discontents to Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Three Colors Trilogy, it is not that difficult to remember how many great trilogies cinema has.
But, some great trilogies sometimes are not as remembered as they deserve and those are the films we are approaching in this article. Working as sequels to one another or having themes in common, this list approaches great trilogies that should definitely be remembered more often.
In this article, I will try not to get too much into the plots of the films in order to not make this list too long. If you think any other film trilogy should be on this list, please leave it as a recommendation in the comments section below. It is never too late to remember that these trilogies are not ranked, but feel free to share your own ranking on the comments.
So, here are 10 great movie trilogies that should definitely be remembered more often:
10. The Pusher Trilogy, dir. Nicolas Winding Refn
– Pusher (1996)
– Pusher II: With Blood on my Hands (2004)
– Pusher III: I’m the Angel of Death (2005)
Nicolas Winding Refn is probably best remembered for the amazing film “Drive” starring Ryan Gosling, and a movie that won the Prix de la Mise en Scène, the best director award at the Cannes International Film Festival. But before that, in 1996, he released “Pusher,” his directorial debut and the beginning of a very interesting trilogy.
The first movie starts with a drug pusher who loses a lot of money when a deal goes wrong and who has only a few days to pay the money he owes. Full of great sequences and with two good sequels, the Pusher Trilogy is a series of films that should definitely be watched by any cinephile.
9. The Hometown Trilogy, dir. Zhangke Jia
– Pick Pocket (1997)
– Platform (2000)
– Unknown Pleasures (2002)
Zhangke Jia is one of the best directors from the last decades, from “Pick Pocket,” his first feature film, to his latest movie “Mountains May Depart” (2015), he proved to be one of the most intriguing filmmakers working today.
His first three feature films form the Hometown Trilogy, where he explores stories that take place in the Chinese province of Shanxi. Although not actually being a documentarian, his movies with their long takes somehow have the aura of a documentary.
The way he is able to conduct the mise en scène of his films is remarkable, but the characters in his films are probably the highlight of these movies for how complex they are. Zhangke Jia is not only one of the best directors working today, but one of the best screenwriters as well.
8. The Taiwanese History Trilogy, dir. Hsiao-Hsien Hou
– A City of Sadness (1989)
– The Puppetmaster (1993)
– Good Men, Good Women (1995)
Taiwanese director Hsian-Hsien Hou is a very important figure in world cinema and in the Taiwan New Wave. Starting his career as a director in 1980, he has made more than 20 films, the most recent being “The Assassin,” which won the Prix de la Mise en Scène, the best Director Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
In the films “A City of Sadness” (winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival), “The Puppetmaster” and “Good Men, Good Women,” he approaches Taiwanese history in a very interesting way.
Approaching the story of four brothers, the story of a puppeteer who is telling his life story and of a woman being persecuted by a man, he is able to approach the history of Taiwan in three great films.
Hou delivered a remarkable and very intriguing film series with the Taiwanese History Trilogy that every cinephile should definitely check out.
7. The New York Crime & Family Trilogy, dir. James Gray
– Little Odessa (1994)
– The Yards (2000)
– We Own the Night (2007)
James Gray is one of the best and most underrated directors working today. Allying great mise en scène with amazing screenwriting, he is truly one of the most interesting filmmakers of his generation.
With “Little Odessa,” “The Yards” and “We Own the Night,” his first three feature films, he approaches very interesting characters in stories taking place in his hometown, New York City.
Gray is truly a great screenwriter. The way he is able to build complex characters while moving intriguing stories forward is definitely remarkable.
Although “The Yards” is not as great as the other two films in the series, Grays’ New York Crime & Family Trilogy is definitely one of the best trilogies made in the last few decades and is a series of films that should without a doubt be checked out.
6. The War Trilogy, dir. Andrzej Wajda
– A Generation (1954)
– Kanal (1956)
– Ashes & Diamonds (1958)
Andrzej Wajda is without a doubt among the best filmmakers in history.
Often remembered for “The Man of Marble” (1977), “The Man of Iron” (1981), “Danton” (1983) and, of course, “Ashes & Diamonds” – the last installment in this War Trilogy – he is definitely a filmmaker whose movies are worth checking out.
Approaching war with great directing, these films that have great importance in the Polish Film School are definitely among the best of his career. For its great characters, story and directing, this thematic trilogy directed by Wajda definitely should be watched by every cinephile.