The Jurassic Park Movies, Ranked

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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. 

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