Now that Jurassic World Dominion (2022), the sixth entry in the Jurassic Park series, has been out in theaters for a few months and has grossed over $990 million worldwide, it’s time to rank all six movies in the series.
So here are all the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movies, ranked worst to best. But hold onto your butts – this is probably not what you’re expecting…
6. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) picks up three years after the events of Jurassic World (2015), in which the dinosaur theme park collapses after a genetic hybrid escapes its enclosure and wreaks havoc on the island. Now, a volcano threatens to wipe out the dinosaur population (pretty poor research on InGen’s part), which leads to polarizing opinions around the world about what to do with the dinosaurs.
Meanwhile, former park operations manager Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) and animal behaviorist/raptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) lead a new team back to the island so that they can rescue as many dinosaurs as possible (sound familiar?). However, their financier and military escort have other plans — sell the dinosaurs at an illegal auction in a mansion on the mainland.
From volcano-driven dinosaur stampedes to creepy genetic hybrids stalking humans in a gothic mansion, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is not without some huge thrills. But as a film of two halves (with a jarring central shift in both setting and tone), we can’t help but feel that there was a tug of war between the studio and director JA Bayona.
It’s easily the bleakest affair in the franchise too, and while we understand that the goal was always to bring the dinosaurs to the mainland, the film feels far too contrived to be anything particularly clever. And not only are the characters’ motivations deeply vague, but they also appear to share the same goals as the villains from The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which can leave you feeling pretty conflicted.
5. Jurassic Park III
Jurassic Park III is generally considered the worst movie in the franchise, and there’s really no surprise (although we clearly prefer it to Fallen Kingdom). A troubled production got the film off to a bad start, and even without a script in place, the cameras started rolling. But has time improved this threequel, or does its off-screen problems still show?
Directed by Joe Johnston, Jurassic Park III picks up four years after The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), and Site B — the second island with dinosaurs (which doesn’t have a volcano yet) — has been long declared a ‘no-fly’ zone by the Costa Rican government. However, that doesn’t stop young Eric Kirby (Trevor Morgan) and his stepfather Ben Hildebrand (Mark Harelik) from going parasailing along the island’s coast.
We then catch up with Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who is approached by a couple — Paul Kirby (William H Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Tea Leoni) — requesting his services to be their guide on an aerial tour of Site B. But when they land their plane on the island, Grant learns the pair are actually Eric’s parents. While the plot is paper-thin, the film wastes no time in getting down to business — and it’s dinosaurs galore within minutes.
You could easily compare Jurassic Park III to one of the Jurassic Park-themed attractions at Universal Studios. From start to finish, it’s a rollercoaster ride that doesn’t let up (it’s also very short). With that said, it’s by no means problem-free, and its poor performance at the box office sent the franchise into extinction for what felt like 65 million years (though it was only 14).
4. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The direct sequel to Jurassic Park was the last film in the series to be directed by Steven Spielberg (though he would return as the producer for subsequent films). It’s also the last entry to be based on a novel, which like the original bestseller “Jurassic Park” (1990), was penned by the late Michael Crichton. And just like the first book, there are some huge differences.
This time, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) returns as he leads a rescue mission to Site B, where his palaeontologist girlfriend Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) has been sent by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to study dinosaurs, a mission the entrepreneur hopes will dissuade the InGen board members from taking dinosaurs from the island for a San Diego-based Jurassic Park.
However, with Hammond ousted from the board, InGen shows up at the island with a team of game hunters, and soon they cross paths with Malcolm’s expedition. But when a pair of tyrannosaurus rexes avenge the maiming of their infant, both teams join forces and try to make it off the island in the same number of pieces they arrived in.
Like in the first film, there are lots of “oohs” and “aah’s”, and later a lot of “running and screaming” too. The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a solid successor to the 1993 classic, even if it does suffer from an overuse of comedy — especially during a third act that should have been entirely nail-biting. Nevertheless, unlike any other sequel to follow, the atmosphere here is on point.
3. Jurassic World Dominion
Jurassic World Dominion was released in theaters on June 10, so by now, you’ll have no doubt heard all the many negative criticisms about the latest sequel in the blockbuster franchise, despite the fact that it is closing in on $1 billion at the worldwide box office. But as you can see, we’ve ranked it in third place (which we’re sure will rattle some cages).
While most of the criticisms are valid — the movie certainly doesn’t spend a great deal of time focusing on dinosaurs living among us in the modern world, as all the marketing promised — we think fans and critics have been far too harsh on Jurassic World Dominion. In fact, we (evidently) think it’s far more entertaining than some of the other sequels.
The truth is that it was never going to live up to the original 1993 film — in fact, the only entry in the series that has come close is the first Jurassic World movie. Nevertheless, Jurassic World Dominion still manages to deliver dinosaur mayhem in spades, while also reuniting us with the original Jurassic Park (1993) characters.
Seeing Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern reprise their roles as Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ian Malcolm, and Dr. Ellie Sattler is a pure joy, as is seeing them team up with the Jurassic World ensemble. And while the plot that brings them together comes out of left field, Jurassic World Dominion boasts some of the most terrifying dinosaur sequences in the entire franchise.
2. Jurassic World
When Colin Trevorrow told us that he was the ultimate Jurassic Park fan (that the series was his answer to Star Wars growing up), we knew the franchise was in great hands. And when Jurassic World finally hit theaters in summer 2015, following what was perhaps the biggest marketing campaign we had seen for a blockbuster movie for a long time, it definitely delivered.
For the first time since Jurassic Park, the long-awaited sequel takes us back to the original island, where the Masrani Corporation has built the ultimate dinosaur theme park resort — quite literally on top of the original one that collapsed all those decades ago. But now, to keep investors and guests keen, a new hybrid dinosaur has been created.
Naturally, in true Jurassic Park fashion, things go awry when the Indominus Rex breaks free from its enclosure and wreaks havoc all over the island. And operations manager Claire Dearing and raptor expert Owen Grady are the only ones who can stop the genetic abomination, with help from a pack of trained raptors and the original Jurassic Park t-rex, of course.
Jurassic World is easily the strongest sequel in the entire Jurassic Park/Jurassic World series. And even if it is a blatant love letter to the 1993 classic, it still manages to forge its own identity. While it’s definitely an outlandish sequel (the dinosaur fight at the end feels like a WWE match), it’s still an epic follow-up that saved the series from extinction without the use of mosquitos.
1. Jurassic Park
You can accuse us of being predictable, but we’re convinced the top of your list is the same. While opinions are of course subjective, and there are probably many fans out there whose number one is different to ours, Jurassic Park is and always will be our favorite movie in the entire franchise.
When three scientists are invited to an island theme park resort to give their seal of approval before it opens to the public, nothing could have prepared them for real-life dinosaurs. But when they put their wonder aside, Dr. Alan Grant, Dr. Ian Malcolm, and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) begin to question the morality of InGen’s genetic exploitation.
Beneath this artificial paradise there are many flaws, but all it takes to bring Jurassic Park down is one disgruntled employee (Wayne Knight’s Dennis Nedry) and a spot of industrial espionage. And when the power is out, so are the dinosaurs, and the guests are pitted against some of the deadliest predators to have ever walked the Earth.
Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a landmark film that changed cinema as we know it. And its prehistoric cast members look so convincing that we question whether dinosaurs were actually genetically engineered by Amblin Entertainment. But putting all the surface-level quality aside, this science-fiction adventure is nothing short of a thrilling masterpiece.
As per the Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment website, here’s the official synopsis for Jurassic World Dominion:
From Jurassic World architect and director Colin Trevorrow, Dominion takes place four years after Isla Nublar has been destroyed. Dinosaurs now live — and hunt –alongside humans all over the world. This fragile balance will reshape the future and determine, once and for all, whether human beings are to remain the apex predators on a planet they now share with history’s most fearsome creatures.
Jurassic World Dominion is directed by Colin Trevorrow and stars Bryce Dallas Howard (Claire Dearing), Chris Pratt (Owen Grady), Mamoudou Athie (Ramsay Cole), Isabella Sermon (Maisie Lockwood), Omar Sy (Barry Sembène), BD Wong (Henry Wu), Campbell Scott (Lewis Dodgson), DeWanda Wise (Kayla), Jeff Goldblum (Dr. Ian Malcolm), Sam Neill (Dr. Alan Grant), and Laura Dern (Dr. Ellie Sattler).
Jurassic World Dominion follows the four previous Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movies — Jurassic Park (1993), The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), Jurassic Park III (2001), Jurassic World (2015), and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018).
How would you rank the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World movies? Let us know in the comments down below!