Every Jurassic Park Movie Ranked Worst To Best

As soon as the concept for Michael Crichton's novel "Jurassic Park" made headlines, Hollywood raised its eyebrows. The idea that dinosaurs could be brought back to life through (somewhat) credible science had the potential to be a great franchise. It was a close battle to land the rights to "Jurassic Park." James Cameron attempted to acquire the property, but Steven Spielberg beat him to it by only a few hours. Spielberg didn't even need to read the book to know that he had a real winner on his hands.

"Jurassic Park" changed the film industry forever. Audiences couldn't get enough of the dinosaur adventure. Steven Spielberg silenced his doubters once again, and for the third time in his career, he could say that he directed the highest-grossing film of all time. Legendary visual effects artist Stan Winston created the incredible blend of animatronics and computer-generated imagery that made the dinosaurs feel so real. "Jurassic Park" proved that CGI was here to stay. It's incredible to see how well "Jurassic Park" holds up to today's blockbusters. The visceral scares and emotional beats haven't aged a day.

To say that the overall "Jurassic Park" franchise has been uneven would be an understatement. How much can you do with dinosaurs? While the sequels had the difficult task of living up to a perfect film, the quality gaps are significant. Many of the subsequent films don't make a compelling case for their existence.

Here is every "Jurassic Park" film, ranked from worst to best.

6. Jurassic World Dominion

The "Jurassic Park" franchise has strayed further and further away from the original premise. "Jurassic World Dominion" turns the series into an international espionage caper film that features gadgets plucked right out of the "Mission: Impossible" saga. Unfortunately, this means there's less time to focus on the one thing that audiences have always cared about: the dinosaurs. Even though it was marketed as the "end of the Jurassic era," the sixth entry in the saga doesn't deliver the dinosaur spectacle that fans have come to expect.

"Jurassic World Dominion" combines two generations of heroes. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie Satler (Laura Dern), and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) join Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), and their adopted daughter, Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), on an adventure to stop the BioSyn Corporation from disrupting the fragile peace between humans and dinosaurs. The return of the original stars from the 1993 original is easily the best part of the film. Neill and Dern do a great job at acknowledging Alan and Ellies' mutual affection for each other, even if they are both afraid to express it. Goldblum is just as charismatic as anyone would expect. Unfortunately, the characters aren't all brought together on screen until the very end.

The characters are caught within a convoluted storyline that takes them all over the globe. While there is a lot of action, there aren't many sequences that feel particularly memorable. It's an underwhelming wrap-up to the series.

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

While "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom's" box office didn't suffer in comparison to the other films, it marked a new low for the saga's writing. Obviously, the science behind "Jurassic Park" has always been shaky. However, "Fallen Kingdom" doesn't even try to make its story seem plausible. Between dinosaur trafficking, human cloning, and sudden volcanic eruptions, "Fallen Kingdom" seems like it's begging to be lampooned. The original "Jurassic Park" is considered a cinematic classic that elevated the art of blockbuster storytelling. If it wasn't for the incredible visual effects, "Fallen Kingdom" would feel like a direct-to-DVD movie from The Asylum.

"Fallen Kingdom" features the worst performances in the entire series. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are both talented actors, but they are given absolutely nothing to work with. Owen Grady (Pratt) is selfish, impulsive, and borderline toxic. Claire Dearing (Howard) seemingly didn't learn any lessons from the events of the last film. It's hard to invest in these characters when the film fails to make them accountable for their actions. Although Pratt and Howard do their best with the romantic dialogue, they have no chemistry whatsoever.

Perhaps "Fallen Kingdom" would have been entertaining if it had embraced its inherently ridiculous premise. However, the way the film depicts the dinosaurs being abused is actually pretty disturbing. After an eruption on Isla Nublar, the dinosaurs are held in captivity by businessman Mr. Eversoll (Toby Jones). Who wants to see dinosaurs murdered, tortured, and enslaved?

4. Jurassic Park III

"Jurassic Park III" was the first film in the series that was not directed by Steven Spielberg. Director Joe Johnston is certainly worthy of the utmost respect. He served as an art designer on "Return of the Jedi" and directed memorable adventure films like "Jumanji," "The Rocketeer," "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids," and "Captain America: The First Avenger." Unfortunately, Johnston wasn't able to collaborate with Chrichton. Unlike the first two films, "Jurassic Park III" is not based on one of Crichton's novels. The chaotic production made it even more challenging for Johnston to live up to the preceding films.

"Jurassic Park III" brought back Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who had been absent from "The Lost World." Neill's performance is easily the best part of the film. Grant isn't looking to take advantage of the situation. He only agrees to give Paul (William H. Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Teo Leoni) an illegal tour of the island Isla Sonar when they offer to fund his research project. Grant quickly gets annoyed by the obnoxious rich couple. Unfortunately, so did the audience. It's hard not to cringe when comparing Paul and Amanda's irritating romantic interactions with the genuine chemistry between Neill and Laura Dern in the first film.

"Jurassic Park III" at least embraces its campiness, unlike "Fallen Kingdom." Without context, the battle between the Tyrannosaur and the Spinosaurus is a great action sequence. If you ignore the human characters altogether, "Jurassic Park III" could work as a B-movie.

3. Jurassic World

In the past two decades, Hollywood has been desperate to cash in on nostalgia. Sequels like "Creed," "Tron: Legacy," "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," "Ghostbusters: Afterlife," "Terminator: Dark Fate," "Mary Poppins Returns," 2022's "Scream," and 2018's "Halloween" all had the same basic formula: They reimagined the same story from the first film in the series and revamped it with different characters. These films work because they honor what came before but introduce new heroes. By comparison, "Jurassic World's" Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) is a bland action hero who lacks the knowledge of science that Dr. Grant and Dr. Malcolm possess.

"Jurassic World" simply coasts on nostalgia. Ironically, the story itself revolves around the idea that people are tired of dinosaurs. To get audiences of spectators excited again, the designers of the new park start messing with the original formula. The park's director, Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), has to stoop to the demands of her corporate sponsors, who only care about profit. Unfortunately, "Jurassic World" commits all the sins that it's trying to satirize.

The film introduces a new dinosaur attraction known as the "Indominus Rex." Unlike the other creatures, the Indominus Rex was created specifically for the park. The Indominus Rex seemingly assumes any powers that the script requires, including camouflaging itself and avoiding heat detection, but then never uses them again. Criticizing these logical errors may seem overly critical, but if the screenwriters don't care, why should the audience?

2. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

1997's "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" is easily the most underrated film in the series. Even when he's not on his A-game, Steven Spielberg knows how to create a taut, suspenseful thrill ride. "The Lost World" turns Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) from a standout supporting character to the saga's new protagonist. Malcolm has been humbled by his experiences in the first film. He's been exposed to real danger and realizes that all of his cynicism was justified.

Malcolm retains his established honor. He is approached by John Hammond's (Richard Attenborough) nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard), to lead an expedition to the abandoned Isla Sorna. Ludlow has replaced his uncle as the CEO of InGen. Initially, Malcolm is skeptical, but he ultimately accepts the job to save his girlfriend, Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore). It's humorous to see Malcolm deal with the awkward romantic tension. Despite facing a Tyrannosaur, nothing scares Malcolm more than expressing his sincere feelings.

In the first film, Grant gets over his dislike of children as he watches over Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards). Malcolm is forced to learn the same lessons when his daughter, Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester), sneaks on to his mission. Malcolm faces questions about his future. Can he be the father and boyfriend that Kelly and Sarah deserve? His journey from playful comic relief to empathetic hero is a compelling character arc. Goldblum's understated performance is not given enough credit.

1. Jurassic Park

What else could it be? "Jurassic Park" has something that few other blockbusters have: patience. It does not rush into its story or immediately overload the viewer with dinosaur action. The audience is able to feel the same sense of wonder that the characters do as they see the dinosaurs for the first time. Alan Grant, Ian Malcolm, and Ellie Satler are essentially the audience's avatars. There are many character-based scenes before the dinosaurs are revealed in full for the first time. Steven Spielberg builds the anticipation before he delivers his spectacle.

John Williams' beloved musical score is iconic for a reason. The prominent brass tones of the "Jurassic Park Theme" capture the inherent beauty of the dinosaurs as they exist in nature. Spielberg doesn't rely on jump scares, but he certainly uses them well. The raptor popping out to surprise Ellie is one of Spielberg's greatest moments.

"Jurassic Park" wrestles with deeper themes than its sequels. What are the drawbacks of bringing back creatures that have no place in the modern ecosystem? As Malcolm famously tells Hammond, "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should." The characters face actual consequences for their actions. The bravery of Grant, Malcolm, and Satler is rewarded, while the greed of Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) results in his brutal death. Tim and Lex are forced to grow up quickly, and Hammond has to reckon with his dream project resulting in tragedy.