Our relationship with dinosaurs is…complicated. We love them; we want them back, but we understand why that’s a bad idea. But we also love seeing what would happen if they did come back. The first Jurassic Park movie came out in 1993, and it was a revolution. The CGI was mind-blowing back then. Spoiler: it doesn’t hold up. The movie’s actual star was the giant T-Rex puppet, which almost killed someone on its own because the machine’s hydraulics were so dangerous. Jurassic Park was such a success it inspired a trilogy, which inspired remakes in this modern age, where nothing is new. They’re not all brilliant cinema, but here’s their official ranking.
Jurassic Park Movies, Ranked
1. Jurassic Park
Obviously. It started a whole new generation of monster movies that weren’t hokey. They got A-list stars, witty, dramatic scripts, and took genuine pride in the monsters’ portrayal. And while the CGI doesn’t hold up–those dinosaurs gathering around a lagoon aren’t quite as mind-blowing as they were in the 90s. But you know what holds up? The T-Rex puppet. It still looks as impressive now as it did back then.
2. Jurassic Park III
One of the most compelling storylines for Jurassic Park was Dr. Grant coping with the horror-show of seeing living dinosaurs was for him. He got PTSD from realizing a lifelong dream. Jurassic Park III digs deeper into Dr. Grant’s crisis, even showing his struggle to continue working in paleontology in a post-Jurassic Park world. This film’s also ranked second for the William H. Macy/Téa Leoni pair up as a bickering divorced couple.
3. The Lost World
It’s not as good as the original, but there’s so much high-quality content in the Lost World. The return of Jeff Goldblum, his gymnastic-star daughter who sneaks onto a dinosaur-filled island. Vince Vaughn as an obsessive gum-chewer and cynic. Julianne Moore as a wildlife photographer/paleontologist. The first half of this movie has so much promise, and it goes flops in the second act. Stay on the island! The ghost-ship pulling into San Diego is pitch-perfect spooky, but T-Rex running around the city falls flat.
4. Jurassic World
If your relationship with Chris Pratt began during his Park and Rec era, seeing him in glossy blockbusters as a heartthrob is always lolz. The movie is basically a remake of Jurassic Park, with a contemporary remodel of the park. The return of BD Wong as a super-villain geneticist is kind of worth the whole movie for me?
5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Woof. The Lost World rules apply for this, the bottom-ranked Jurassic Park movie. Leave the dinosaurs on the island. The campiness of running-from-dinosaurs goes from immersive cinema straight to off-putting hack every time they take a super-predator off the island and into the real world. And while the premise of Jurassic Park is a reach, the “super-smart apex predators are the weapon of the future” is so preposterous it becomes a chore to watch.