The 27 greatest movie franchises of all time, according to critics

New Line Cinema‘The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.’

Over the past decade, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has built an expansive set of films while raising the critical and commercial expectations for ongoing movie series.

But extensive film franchises have been around for a while, and several older series, like the film adaptations from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth books, have received more positive critical acclaim on average than Marvel’s. And some are only getting better as time goes on, like “Mission: Impossible,” which reached its critical zenith with “Fallout.”

Stretching from the first James Bond film, 1962’s “Dr. No;” to the latest MCU and “Star Wars” entries; this list we compiled from Metacritic data ranks prominent film franchises by their average critical reception (derived from the critical scores for each movie in a franchise).

Note: Metacritic only included franchises that had more than four films with scores on its site, and it excluded horror films and animated series.

Here are the 27 greatest movie franchises of all time, according to critics:


27. “Die Hard” — 58.4%

20th Century Fox‘Die Hard.’

“Die Hard” (1988) – 70%“Die Hard 2: Die Harder” (1990) – 67%“Die Hard: With a Vengeance” (1995) – 58%“Live Free or Die Hard” (2007) – 69%“A Good Day to Die Hard” (2013) – 28%


26. “Alien” — 59.5%

20th Century Fox‘Aliens.’

“Alien” (1979) – 83%“Aliens” (1986) – 84%“Alien 3” (1992) – 59%“Alien Resurrection” (1997) – 63%“Alien vs. Predator” (2004) – 29%“Aliens vs. Predator – Requiem” (2007) – 29%“Prometheus” (2012) – 64%“Alien: Covenant” (2017) – 65%


25. “Jack Ryan” — 59.6%

Paramount‘The Hunt for Red October.’

“The Hunt for Red October” (1990) – 58%“Patriot Games” (1992) – 64%“Clear and Present Danger” (1994) – 74%“The Sum of All Fears” (2002) – 45%“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (2014) – 57%


24. “View Askewniverse” — 60.0%

The Weinstein Company‘Clerks II.’

“Clerks” (1994) – 70%“Mallrats” (1995) – 41%“Chasing Amy” (1997) – 71%“Dogma” (1999) – 62%“Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” (2001) – 51%“Clerks II” (2006) – 65%


23. “Dirty Harry” — 60.8%

Warner Bros.‘Dirty Harry.’

“Dirty Harry” (1971) – 90%“Magnum Force” (1973) – 58%“The Enforcer” (1976) – 58%“Sudden Impact” (1983) – 52%“The Dead Pool” (1988) – 46%


22. “Rocky” — 61.1%

MGM‘Rocky Balboa.’

“Rocky” (1976) – 70%“Rocky II” (1979) – 61%“Rocky III” (1982) – 57%“Rocky IV” (1985) – 40%“Rocky V” (1990) – 55%“Rocky Balboa” (2006) – 63%“Creed” (2015) – 82%


21. “Barbershop” — 61.3%

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer‘Barbershop.’

“Barbershop” (2002) – 66%“Barbershop 2: Back in Business” (2004) – 59%“Beauty Shop” (2005) – 53%“Barbershop: The Next Cut” (2016) – 67%


20. “James Bond” — 62.1%

United Artists‘Dr. No.’

“Dr. No” (1962) – 78% “From Russia With Love” (1963) – 85%“Goldfinger” (1964) – 87%“Thunderball” (1965) – 64%“Casino Royale” (1967) – 48%“You Only Live Twice” (1967) – 61%“On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969) – 61%“Diamonds Are Forever” (1971) – 59%“Live and Let Die” (1973) – 55%“The Man With the Golden Gun” (1974) – 43%“The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977) – 55%“Moonraker” (1979) – 66%“For Your Eyes Only” (1981) – 54%“Octopussy” (1983) – 63%“Never Say Never Again” (1983) – 68%“A View to a Kill” (1985) – 40%“The Living Daylights” (1987) – 60%“Licence to Kill” (1989) – 58%“GoldenEye” (1995) – 65%“Tomorrow Never Dies” (1997) – 52%“The World Is Not Enough” (1999) – 57%“Die Another Day” (2002) – 56%“Casino Royale” (2006) – 80%“Quantum of Solace” (2008) – 58%“Skyfall” (2012) – 81%“Spectre” (2015) – 60%


19. “Batman” — 62.3%

Warner Bros.‘The Dark Knight.’

“Batman” (1966) – 71%“Batman” (1989) – 69%“Batman Returns” (1992) – 68%“Batman Forever” (1995) – 51%“Batman and Robin” (1997) – 28%“Batman Begins” (2005) – 70%“The Dark Knight” (2008) – 82%“The Dark Knight Rises” (2012) – 78%“Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016) – 44%


16 (tie). “Hannibal Lecter” — 62.4%

Orion Pictures via YouTube‘The Silence of the Lambs.’

“Manhunter” (1986) – 75%“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) – 85%“Hannibal” (2001) – 57%“Red Dragon” (2002) – 60%“Hannibal Rising” (2007) – 35%


16 (tie). “Terminator” — 62.4%

Paramount‘Terminator Genisys.’

“The Terminator” (1984) – 84%“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” (1991) – 75%“Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” (2003) – 66%“Terminator Salvation” (2009) – 49%“Terminator Genisys” (2015) – 38%


16 (tie). “Planet of the Apes” — 62.4%

Fox‘War for the Planet of the Apes.’

“Planet of the Apes” (1968) – 79%“Beneath the Planet of the Apes” (1970) – 46%“Escape from the Planet of the Apes” (1971) – 69% “Conquest of the Planet of the Apes” (1972) – 49%“Battle for the Planet of the Apes” (1973) – 40%“Planet of the Apes” (2001) – 50%“Rise of the Planet of the Apes” (2011) – 68%“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” (2014) – 79%“War for the Planet of the Apes” (2017) – 82%


15. “Star Trek” — 62.5%

Paramount Pictures‘Star Trek: The Motion Picture.’

“Star Trek: The Motion Picture” (1979) – 48%“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan” (1982) – 66%“Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) – 56%“Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986) – 71%“Star Trek V: The Final Frontier” (1989) – 43%“Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” (1991) – 65%“Star Trek Generations” (1994) – 55%“Star Trek: First Contact” (1996) – 71%“Star Trek: Insurrection” (1998) – 64%“Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002) – 51%“Star Trek” (2009) – 82%“Star Trek Into Darkness” (2013) – 72%“Star Trek Beyond” (2016) – 68%


14. “X-Men” — 62.8%

20th Century Fox‘X-Men: Days of Future Past.’

“X-Men” (2000) – 64%“X2: X-Men United” (2003) – 68%“X-Men: The Last Stand” (2006) – 58%“X-Men Origins: Wolverine” (2009) – 40%“X-Men: First Class” (2011) – 65%“The Wolverine” (2013) – 61%“X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014) – 75%“Deadpool” (2016) – 65%“X-Men: Apocalypse” (2016) – 52%“Logan” (2017) – 77%“Deadpool 2” (2018) – 66%


13. “Ocean’s Eleven” — 63.8%

Warner Bros.‘Ocean’s 8.’

“Ocean’s Eleven” (2001) – 74%“Ocean’s Twelve” (2004) – 58%“Ocean’s Thirteen” (2007) – 62%“Ocean’s 8” (2018) – 61%


12. “The Muppets” — 62.5%

ITC Entertainment‘The Muppet Movie.’

“The Muppet Movie” (1979) – 74%“The Great Muppet Caper” (1981) – 70%“The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984) – 64%“The Muppet Christmas Carol” (1992) – 64%“Muppet Treasure Island” (1996) – 64%“Muppets from Space” (1999) – 53%“The Muppets” (2011) – 75%“Muppets Most Wanted” (2014) – 61%


11. “Spider-Man” — 67.8%

Sony‘Spider-Man 2.’

“Spider-Man” (2002) – 73%“Spider-Man 2” (2004) – 83%“Spider-Man 3” (2007) – 59%“The Amazing Spider-Man” (2012) – 66%“The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (2014) – 53%“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017) – 73%


10. “Indiana Jones” — 68.0%

Paramount Pictures‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.’

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981) – 85%“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) – 57%“Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989) – 65%“Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008) – 65%


8 (tie). “The Hunger Games” — 68.3%

Lionsgate‘The Hunger Games.’

“The Hunger Games” (2012) – 68%“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (2013) – 76%“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” (2014) – 64% “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2” (2015) – 65%


8 (tie). “Millennium Series” — 68.3%

‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.’

“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (2009) – 76%“The Girl Who Played with Fire” (2010) – 66%“The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” (2010) – 60%“The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” (2011) – 71%


7. “Marvel Cinematic Universe” — 68.4%

Marvel‘Avengers: Infinity War.’

“Iron Man” (2008) – 79%“The Incredible Hulk” (2008) – 61%“Iron Man 2” (2010) – 57%“Thor” (2011) – 57%“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011) – 66%“Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012) – 69%“Iron Man 3” (2013) – 62%“Thor: The Dark World” (2013) – 54%“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” (2014) – 70%“Guardians of the Galaxy” (2014) – 76%“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015) – 66%“Ant-Man” (2015) – 64%“Captain America: Civil War” (2016) – 75%“Doctor Strange” (2016) – 72%“Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” (2017) – 67%“Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017) – 73%“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017) – 74%“Black Panther” (2018) – 88%“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) – 68%“Ant-Man and the Wasp” (2018) – 70%


6. “Bourne” — 69.0%

Universal‘The Bourne Supremacy.’

“The Bourne Identity” (2002) – 68%“The Bourne Supremacy” (2004) – 73%“The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007) – 85%“The Bourne Legacy” (2012) – 61%“Jason Bourne” (2016) – 58%


5. “Star Wars” — 69.6%

Lucasfilm Ltd.‘Star Wars.’

“Star Wars” (1977) – 90%“The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) – 82%“Return of the Jedi” (1983) – 58%“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1999) –51%“Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (2002) –54%“Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005) –68%“Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens” (2015) –81% “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016) – 65%“Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi” (2017) – 85%“Solo: A Star Wars Story” (2018) – 62%


4. “Mission: Impossible” — 69.7%

Paramount Pictures‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation.’

“Mission: Impossible” (1996) – 59%“Mission: Impossible 2” (2000) – 59%“Mission: Impossible III” (2006) – 66%“Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol” (2011) – 73% “Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation” (2015) – 75%“Mission: Impossible – Fallout” (2018) – 86%


3. “Harry Potter” — 73.0%

Warner Bros.‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.’

“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001) – 64%“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002) – 63%“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (2004) –82%“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” (2005) – 81%“Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007) –71%“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (2009) – 78%“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1” (2010) –65%“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2” (2011) –87%“Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them” (2016) – 66%


2. “Middle-earth” — 76.0%

New Line‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.’

“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001) – 92%“The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” (2002) – 87%“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) –94%“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012) – 58%“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” (2013) – 66%“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” (2014) –59%


1. “Mad Max” — 77.8%

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.‘Mad Max: Fury Road.’

“Mad Max” (1979) – 73%“The Road Warrior” (1981) – 77%“Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” (1985) – 71%“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) – 90%

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.