Sequels, Trilogies and More: The 10 Best Film Series to Binge This Weekend
There's nothing like settling in for a weekend indoors in front of the biggest screen you can find. Definitely make sure you do some light exercise and consume some healthy food, but if you feel inclined to spend the majority of your downtime time horizontal on the couch getting deep into a film series, we would not judge.
Blessed by streaming technology, we have hours and hours of movie magic at our fingertips. From teenage vampires to '80s classics; fantasy adaptations to European art cinema, here are just 35 of our favourite binge-worthy sequels, trilogies, tetralogies (that's four), and pentalogies (five) that are (mostly) available to stream right now.
*Some of the titles we've linked to may not be available in your location.
The Twilight Saga
Twilight author Stephenie Meyer recently released Midnight Sun, the sixth book in the epic vampire series and the first told from the perspective of Edward instead of Bella. After it sold a million copies in its first week, the author announced that there were more books to come. Celebrate (or commiserate) this important news by revisiting all five of the wonderfully absurd film adaptations.
Twilight (2008) | Netflix
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) | Netflix
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010) | Netflix
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (2011) | Netflix
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) | Netflix
Back to the Future
A perennial '80s classic, Back to the Future has been touted as the best blockbuster movie of all time, at least according to the Gen-Xers writing lengthy missives about just how good it is. See for yourself, you're bound to have plenty of popcorn fun with this time travel adventure romp, and its just as fun sequel.
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
It is this writer's opinion that the scenes in the first LOTR movie that are set in Hobbiton are a prime example of the soothing qualities of the cottagecore aesthetic. Enjoy Peter Jackson's quintessential fantasy trilogy once again, or for the first time. You might be surprised about just how much you enjoy the experience.
The Hobbit trilogy
Once you're in a Middle Earth state of mind it can be hard to get out. So if you've made it through the LOTR trilogy, why not stay awhile? Also based on books by J. R. R. Tolkien, the Hobbit series acts a prologue to the main trilogy, set before Frodo's epic journey that begins in The Fellowship of the Ring, instead focussing on Bilbo Baggins, played here by the delightful Martin Freeman.
The "Depression" trilogy
This super dark but incredibly beautiful trilogy from Danish director Lars Von Trier clocks in at just over ten hours all up, so if you intend on binge-watching all three (technically four) films in one sitting be sure to prepare yourself, physically and emotionally. Start with Antichrist, a strange psychological horror starring Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg, and then witness the truly excellent Melancholia, with Gainsbourg returning opposite Kirsten Dunst in one of her career-best performances. Finish with Nymphomaniac, an erotic art film in two parts, with an all-star line-up including Shia LaBeouf, Christian Slater, Uma Thurman as well as Gainsbourg and Dafoe once again.
Whatever your feelings about Quentin Tarantino as a person, he sure knows how to make a movie. The Kill Bill films are the director's homage to a whole bunch of niche cinema and include wildly entertaining performances from Uma Thurman, Daryl Hannah, Vivica A. Fox and more.
The Godfather trilogy
Francis Ford Coppola's historic mafia trilogy ran so that The Sopranos could fly. The oft-quoted, frequently referenced films followed the Corleone family and the drama behind the scenes in organised crime. If nothing else, you'll finally understand what's going on next time someone quotes one of the famous lines. Be prepared, the first and second in the series are brilliant and highly awarded (some say the second is the greatest film of all time) but the third is not so bueno.
The first film in this dystopian action thriller series was credited with widening the global audience for Australian New Wave cinema in the early '80s. Set in a bleak future where society has collapsed and chaos rules. George Miller's original films were ahead of their time, gaining a cult following and critical acclaim since initially polarising audiences. The fourth film is as iconic, with Miller back at the helm and high energy performances from Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, and more familiar faces.
Tom Cruise is Ethan Hunt, a secret agent undertaking Impossible Missions in this film franchise based on the TV '60s TV show of the same name. The series has been highly successful, entertaining audiences for more than 20 years and grossing more than $3.5 billion USD to date (despite Tom Cruise being a somewhat problematic human being).
Mission: Impossible (1996) | Stan
Mission: Impossible 2 (2000) | Stan
Mission: Impossible 3 (2006) | Stan
Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011) | Stan
Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation (2015)
Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018)
The Bourne movies
It's got action, it's got thrills, it's got Matt Damon. What else can be said about this incredibly straightforward action-thriller series based on Robert Ludlum's novels? Follow the trials and tribulations of Jason Bourne, who is, per Wiki, "a man suffering from extreme memory loss who has to discover his true identity amidst a clandestine conspiracy within the CIA". I have not seen this franchise.