Skip To Content

    People Are Sharing The Movie Sequels They Think Totally Outshine Their Original Films, So Take Notes For Your Next Movie Night

    High School Musical 2 superiority.

    When it comes to movies, everybody's a critic. People all have their own unique perspectives and tastes, which can lead to some fun debates and hot takes.

    NBC / Via media.giphy.com

    We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us what movie sequel they think is wayyy better than the original, and some of the responses honestly shocked me. Here are the hottest takes:

    1. The Dark Knight (2008)

    heath ledger as the joker
    Warner Bros / Everett Collection

    "It's a masterclass in creating culturally impactful, meaningful villains. It made us take superhero movies seriously."

    sjrose1995

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! The Dark Knight received 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Batman Begins only received 84%

    2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

    captain america and black widow looking at something
    Walt Disney Co. /  Everett Collection

    "It's much better than Captain America: The First Avenger. The storyline was better, the action sequences were superior, and overall, it was just a better movie. And, it was also the first time we saw The Falcon."

    kfurlic88

    "The first movie really sets up his origin story, but the second one has so much more action and drama. The scene where we see Bucky for the first time gives me chills. Plus, Black Widow makes everything better!"

    smokeyandvv

    "The plot, the character development, the humor, the action — everything was perfect. It’s been my comfort movie for years. It’s just so iconic."

    gabbyk45f81d9e9

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! Captain America: The Winter Soldier received 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Captain America: The First Avenger received 80%

    3. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)

    katniss and peeta sitting in a crowd together
    Lions Gate / Everett Collection

    "The original sets up the story really well, but Catching Fire really developed the already-likable characters, introduced us to Finnick and Joanna, and also started to show the revolution in Panem building up against the Capitol."

    aeriawitch87

    "The sequel did a much better job of following the books, and gave us a more in-depth look at the world, the characters, and their situations."

    angrycupcake

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! The Hunger Games: Catching Fire scored 90%, while The Hunger Games scored just 84%

    4. High School Musical 2 (2007)

    cast of high school musical dancing and singing in a kitchen
    Disney Channel /  Everett Collection

    "This may be an unpopular opinion, but I personally think High School Musical 2 is the best movie in the franchise. I mean, how can you beat 'Fabulous, 'Bet On It,' and 'I Don't Dance'?"

    ericam446b6a3d0

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! High School Musical 2 scored 83% on Rotten Tomatoes, while High School Musical scored 63%

    5. Shrek 2 (2004)

    fiona and shrek meeting fiona's parents
    Dreamworks /  Everett Collection

    "It's so funny and all the songs are great. We get to meet Puss in Boots, and the giant gingerbread man is so cute! The fairy godmother is a prime character and I love her personality. I will never forget this one."

    onion2009

    "The hair ball scene is a classic."

    karens4198c4f9d

    "I have argued with so many people about this, but it really does have everything you want in a sequel: a better story that builds off of the first movie, a great villain who is instantly iconic, even more hilarious jokes and references than the first, and new characters that compliment the original cast. And, can we talk about the perfect climax with 'I Need a Hero'? Also, does anyone else remember 'Far Far Away Idol'?"

    nadinehelgason

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! Shrek 2 earned 89% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Shrek earned just one percent less at 88%

    6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)

    jack sparrow approaching a wooden chest
    Walt Disney Co. / Everett Collection

    "It’s a lot more fun than the first movie, and has more jokes and better action scenes. Plus, Davy Jones is such a great villain."

    jedi11knight

    "The first movie was iconic, but I found the second one to be more developed. The characters were more involved with each others' storylines, Beckett was an interesting villain, Davy Jones was a fantastic villain, and it was just a lot more fun and enjoyable."

    dauntlesschristina

    Did critics agree?

    No! Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest only scored 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl scored 79%

    7. Frozen 2 (2019)

    sven, kristoff, olaf, anna, and elsa looking up
    Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures / Everett Collection

    "We get to see a lot more character depth and get closure on lots of things. Besides, who doesn’t want to see our Elsa become a badass?"

    squishmallowslover

    "There was so much more character development, and although I can see where people might have had an issue with the plot, it did make sense and the music was better, IMO."

    dauntlesschristina

    Did critics agree?

    No! Frozen 2 earned 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Frozen earned 90%.  

    8. Back to the Future Part II (1989)

    michael j fox and christopher lloyd
    Universal /  Everett Collection

    "The hoverboard, the fashion, Biff Tannen (who could not have been more obviously modeled after Donald Trump). It just hits different."

    laural470cf68a2

    Did critics agree?

    No! Back to the Future Part II only received 66% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Back to the Future earned 96%

    9. The Godfather: Part II (1974)

    table full of men
    Paramount Pictures / Everett Collection

    "It's unparalleled. It's a damn treasure that did the first movie proud as the greatest sequel of all time."

    loulabelson

    "I love the back story about how Vito Corleone became the Don. Oh, and that scene where Michael reveals to Fredo that he knows about his betrayal."

    acorden

    Did critics agree?

    No! The Godfather: Part 2 earned a whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, but The Godfather earned 97%

    10. Toy Story 2 (1999)

    Walt Disney Co. / Everett Collection

    "After rewatching the first one, I realized a lot of it is rather sad with Woody hating Buzz and the rest of the toys ganging up on Woody. But, in the sequel, it’s so cool to see all the toys so intent on getting Woody back. Plus, with the introduction of Jessie and Bullseye, and them being included in the family, it’s just great vibes all around."

    aurorgel

    "They set it up beautifully in the first film, and then knocked it out of the park with the second!"

    cassandrajaneh

    Did critics agree?

    Actually, both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 earned 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

    11. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005)

    the baker family on a beach ready to compete in games
    20th Century Fox /  Everett Collection

    "It's an absolutely hilarious sequel that brings in the amazing Eugene Levy and young Taylor Lautner. While the first movie was good, the sequel is much funnier and has such an entertaining plot!"

    mgwalker8

    Did critics agree?

    No! Neither film scored particularly well. Cheaper by the Dozen 2 only earned a 6% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Cheaper by the Dozen earned 24%

    12. Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016)

    a woman with a demon girl behind her
    Universal /  Everett Collection

    "It was WAY better than the first movie. It's a sequel film, but also a prequel since it gives us all the backstory that was missing in the original film. The casting, the characters, and the film's pacing were vastly superior compared to the original."

    senpainoticedu

    Did critics agree?

    Oh yes! Ouija: Origin of Evil earned 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Ouija only earned 6%

    13. D2: The Mighty Ducks (1994)

    man holding up a hockey jersey in front of kids
    Buena Vista Pictures / Everett Collection

    "It kept the main core of characters while also diversifying the cast. It's laugh-out-loud funny and could almost be a stand-alone film. The new characters were funnier than most of the original ones, and the soundtrack is killer. Also, it taught me that 'Greenland is full of ice, but Iceland is very nice.'"

    maureenr4311f2759

    Did critics agree?

    No! It was a close one, but D2: The Might Ducks scored 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, while The Mighty Ducks scored 21%

    14. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

    Spider-Man on top of a movie train
    Columbia Pictures /  Everett Collection

    "It improves on everything that was great in the first film. The action is phenomenal, the visual effects are great, the musical score is spectacular, and Peter Parker was more relatable than ever."

    arikagan

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! Spider-Man 2 received 93% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Spider-Man received 90%

    15. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

    the terminator on the floor at a mall
    TriStar Pictures / Everett Collection

    "The first movie is great, but the second is just superior in every way. The story, pacing, dialogue, action, and special effects are all better. The series should have just stopped there."

    weaponx34

    Did critics agree?

    No! Terminator 2: Judgment Day earned 93%, while The Terminator earned 100%

    16. Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls (1995)

    ace ventura hanging from a tree upside down
    Warner Bros /  Everett Collection

    "I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen it, but I die laughing every time. For me, it's so much better than the first!"

    erins0815

    "It's hilarious and extremely quotable. 'Bumblebee Tuna!'"

    jamesarthurwrites

    Did critics agree?

    No! Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls only earned 25% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Ace Ventura: Pet Detective scored 49%.

    17. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981)

    mad max in a car
    Warner Bros / Everett Collection

    "It redefined the action and post-apocalyptic movie genres, launched Mel Gibson into mega 'A-list' superstardom, single-handedly made the Australian movie industry into a worldwide force, and set the stage for another quality and under-appreciated sequel, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, and then the hugely-respected Mad Max: Fury Road. It's such an amazing sequel that most American movie fans seem to think it's the original first movie in the franchise."

    djchameleon

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior earned 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Mad Max earned 90%

    18. Deadpool 2 (2018)

    deadpool holding up a small tape deck playing music while a cab waits behind
    20th Century Fox / Everett Collection

    "I liked the sequel a little bit better than the first movie. The intro set to '9 to 5,' the X-Force team members, Wade dealing with loss and trying to help Russell, Cable... I could go on."

    monikap6

    Did critics agree?

    No, but it was a close one! Deadpool 2 earned 84% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Deadpool earned 85%.

    19. The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride (1998)

    an animated baby and adult lion
    Walt Disney Pictures / Everett Collection

    "Don’t get me wrong, the original was an absolute classic, but its sequel had fantastic characters, animation, plot and so much more! It answered a lot of the questions I had about the first movie, and added onto the original with more depth, understanding, and emotion."

    giantbuffswordlady

    Did critics agree?

    No! The Lion King 2: Simba's Pride only earned 62% on Rotten Tomatoes, while The Lion King earned 93%

    20. Addams Family Values (1993)

    wednesday addams leading other kids around
    Paramount /  Everett Collection

    "It's way better than the first movie. They expanded on the characters from the first movie, gave Wednesday a bigger storyline, and added Joan Cusack as Debbie, who totally steals the show! It is my favorite movie to watch during spooky season for sure!"

    dylshay

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! Addams Family Values earned 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, while The Addams Family earned 64%

    21. Doctor Sleep (2019)

    ewan mcgregor looking at a wall that reads "murder"
    Warner Bros. / Everett Collection

    "The Shining was great, but it was so slow. I loved the way Doctor Sleep changed the context of The Shining, and, in my opinion, improved on the themes and added depth to the story."

    trent1479p

    Did critics agree?

    No! Doctor Sleep earned 78% on Rotten Tomatoes, while The Shining scored 84%

    22. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

    a frightened man and woman looking up
    Renaissance Pictures / Everett Collection

    "The original was straight-up horror with just an oddball moment thrown in here or there, while the sequel brought an absurd black comedy element that made it stand apart in the genre."

    jadefishes

    Did critics agree?

    Actually, both The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn earned 95% on Rotten Tomatoes. 

    23. Magic Mike XXL (2015)

    Warner Bros / Everett Collection

    "They found their humor in the sequel and really sealed the deal with us middle-age women by casting Jada Pinkett Smith, Andie MacDowell, and Elizabeth Banks."

    emilyjoon

    Did critics agree?

    No! Magic Mike XXL received 65% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Magic Mike earned 79%

    24. Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

    anna kendrich and hailee steinfeld signing on stage
    Universal /  Everett Collection

    "It had better music and better jokes, and the overall experience of watching it is so much more enjoyable."

    justchillman

    Did critics agree?

    No! Pitch Perfect 2 scored 65% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Pitch Perfect earned 81%

    25. Finally: Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    star wars characters staring out into space
    Lucasfilm Ltd. / Everett Collection

    "I mean, c'mon. Epic battle on Hoth, the introductions of Yoda, Boba Fett, and Lando Calrissian, the cliffhanger ending, and — above all else — the huge Darth Vader twist. Perfection from start to finish."

    scottaaronm

    Did critics agree?

    Yes! Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back scored 94% on Rotten Tomatoes, while Star Wars earned 92%.

    Did we miss any? Let us know if you have a favorite movie sequel that outshines its original! Or, if you disagree with any of these takes, tell us in the comments!

    Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form