The 17 worst sequels to great movies, ranked

Paramount Pictures‘Terminator Genisys.’

Whenever a critically acclaimed movie does well at the box office, Hollywood studios are eager to throw money into a follow-up picture or even a series of sequels.

But some movie premises aren’t meant to be extended.

And many, many sequels aren’t executed with the thought or care of their far-superior original films, especially in series that have stretched over many years – as one sees in the chasm of quality between “The Terminator” (1984) and “Terminator Genisys” (2015).

We adapted this ranking from our list of the worst sequels of all time, selecting the films that had a vast discrepancy in Rotten Tomatoes critic scores between their terrible sequels and great originals.

Here are 17 of the worst sequels to great movies, ranked by the increasing discrepancies in their critical reception:

17. “Friday After Next” (2002)

New Line Cinema

Critic score: 26%

Sequel to:Friday” (1995) – 74%

Discrepancy: 48%

What critics said: “The jokes are sophomoric, stereotypes are sprinkled everywhere and the acting ranges from bad to bodacious.” – San Francisco Chronicle

16. “Batman & Robin”

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 10%

Sequel to:Batman” (1989) – 72%

Discrepancy: 62%

What critics said: “A sniggering, exhausting, overproduced extravaganza that has virtually all of the humanity pounded out of it in the name of an endless parade of stunt sequences.” – Chicago Tribune

15. “The Fly II” (1989)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 27%

Sequel to:The Fly” (1986) – 91%

Discrepancy: 64%

What critics said: “It’s got nothing on Cronenberg’s original – or the Vincent Price classic” – Sunday Times

14. “Rocky V” (1990)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 28%

Sequel to:Rocky” (1976) – 93%

Discrepancy: 65%

What critics said: “Whereas the first and far superior Rocky had real heart, this tries and fails to have brains.” – Time Out

13. “Exorcist II: The Heretic” (1977)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 19%

Sequel to:The Exorcist” (1973) – 86%

Discrepancy: 67%

What critics said: “An often astonishingly terrible and inept sequel.” – Reel Film Reviews

12. “Poltergeist III” (1988)


Critic score: 18%

Sequel to:Poltergeist” (1982) – 86%

Discrepancy: 68%

What critics said: “Falls right in line with its entirely underwhelming predecessor.” – Reel Film Reviews

11. “Caddyshack II” (1988)

Warner Bros.

Critic score: 4%

Sequel to:Caddyshack” (1980) – 75%

Discrepancy: 71%

What critics said: “The kind of film that sends careers spiraling downward.” – The New York Times

10. “S. Darko: A Donnie Darko Tale” (2009)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 13%

Sequel to:Donnie Darko” (2001) – 86%

Discrepancy: 73%

What critics said: “A thick, viscous sludge of clich├ęs, stereotypes, and poorly written dialogue.” –

9. “Terminator Genisys” (2015)


Critic score: 26%

Sequel to:The Terminator” (1984) – 100%

Discrepancy: 74%

What critics said: “It is mechanical in the worst way.” – Minneapolis Star-Tribune

8. “Little Fockers” (2010)


Critic score: 9%

Sequel to:Meet the Parents” (2000) – 84%

Discrepancy: 75%

What critics said: “It may be time to try another household for laughs.” – Entertainment Weekly

7. “Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles” (2001)


Critic score: 11%

Sequel to:Crocodile Dundee” (1986) – 87%

Discrepancy: 76%

What critics said: “I’ve seen audits that were more thrilling.” – Chicago Sun-Times

6. “A Good Day to Die Hard” (2013)

20th Century Fox

Critic score: 14%

Sequel to:Die Hard” (1988) – 93%

Discrepancy: 79%

What critics said: “This is the fifth and least of the Die Hard movies.” – Grantland

5. “The Next Karate Kid” (1994)

Sony Pictures

Critic score: 7%

Sequel to:The Karate Kid” (1984) – 88%

Discrepancy: 81%

What critics said: “The franchise is still kicking — but not very high.” – Variety

4. “Staying Alive” (1983)


Critic score: 0%

Sequel to:Saturday Night Fever” (1977) – 85%

Discrepancy: 85%

What critics said: “A sequel with no understanding of what made its predecessor work.” –The New York Times

3. “Speed 2: Cruise Control” (1997)


Critic score: 3%

Sequel to:Speed” (1994) – 93%

Discrepancy: 90%

What critics said: “Frantic action, tinny dialogue, perfunctory characterization and tried-and-false plot pilferings.” – The Wall Street Journal

2. “The Sting II” (1983)

MCA Universal

Critic score: 0%

Sequel to:The Sting” (1973) – 93%

Discrepancy: 93%

What critics said: “A clumsy counterfeit that is a real-life con game involving the ticket buyer.” – People

1. “Jaws: The Revenge” (1987)


Critic score: 0%

Sequel to:Jaws” (1975) – 97%

Discrepancy: 97%

What critics said: “Dumb beyond belief, hollow, bloody and nonsensical.” – LA Times

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