Ranked: ‘Jurassic Park’ and ‘Jurassic World’ Films from Worst to Best 

Steven Spielberg’s 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, based on Michael Crichton’s 1990 novel, is a landmark sci-fi adventure that was a gamechanger for visual effects. It quickly spawned a pop culture franchise and has five film sequels to date. The latest, Jurassic World Dominion, just dropped in theaters. So what better time to rank all of these dino flicks? Here’s how I stack them against each other, from worst to best. 

6. Jurassic World Dominion  (2022)

Unfortunately the latest – and supposedly final – entry in the franchise is the weakest in my opinion. It’s a bloated mess at 2.5 hours that thinks plots about child kidnapping and locusts are more interesting in a dinosaur movie than the dinosaurs themselves. They’re not. The dialogue is also abysmal at times and the Biosyn villains range from obvious to embarrassing. The return of the legacy characters from the original film provides some occasional charm, with Laura Dern doing the best as Ellie Sattler. DeWanda Wise is also welcome as new character Kayla Watts. There’s a fun chase scene in a city that gets in some genuine thrills too. Jurassic World Dominion from director Colin Trevorrow is still watchable and entertaining at times, but a lot of it just feels like soulless studio filmmaking and disappoints. Grade: C+

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom  (2018)

J.A. Bayona is an excellent director and he does what he can against a silly script with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. After the events of Jurassic World, a volcano eruption threatens to wipe out the cloned dinosaurs on Isla Nublar. Instead of doing the obvious thing and relocating the dinos to Isla Sorna, the characters decide to bring the dinos to the mainland – and then there are some duuuumb plot decisions involving a cloned girl and a black market. The volcano sequence itself is a visual marvel and Bayona stages other scenes well throughout. The plot and character decisions throughout are mostly nonsensical though, and character Franklin Webb (Justice Smith) is one of the most annoying of the franchise. Grade: C+ 

4. Jurassic Park III  (2001) 

Jurassic Park III is the shortest film in the series and also the simplest in terms of plot, moving quickly and providing plenty of popcorn thrills. With Alan Grant (Sam Neill) helping a divorced couple find their son on Isla Sorna, the movie isn’t very ambitious in terms of new ideas (and it has some lame moments, including the talking raptor dream). But it does what it does well for the most part, has a fun cast (William H. Macy is always great in everything), and features a knockout aviary sequence. Director Joe Johnston is no Spielberg, but he did a decent job filling in for the third entry. Grade: B-

3. Jurassic World  (2015) 

After years of no films, the series rebooted with Jurassic World, with the bold decision of bringing in a director who had only one indie feature under his belt (Trevorrow with Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)). The plot shows John Hammond’s vision brought to life with a dinosaur theme park, only for it to come crashing down once a hybrid dinosaur gets loose. The film has some nostalgic sweet spots and a solid leading man in Chris Pratt, who has a good time as raptor trainer Owen Grady. Its one major fault is the stupid subplot involving militarized raptors, which is just really idiotic. Otherwise this is an entertaining reboot. Grade: B+ 

2. The Lost World: Jurassic Park  (1997) 

After the original film blew the doors open, there was a lot of hype for a sequel. Four years later came The Lost World: Jurassic Park, with Spielberg returning as director and Jeff Goldblum coming back as Ian Malcolm and becoming the main character. He joins a group that is documenting dinosaurs on Isla Sorna and they come up against InGen employees who are looking to exploit the remaining dinosaurs. While it isn’t nearly as masterful as Jurassic Park, the underrated second film also isn’t nearly as bad as some make it out to be. Goldblum is amusing once again as Malcolm and he’s aided by a strong supporting cast (including Pete Postlethwaite as the hunter Roland Tembo). The film has many thrilling sequences that are excellently paced and staged by Spielberg, including the memorable cliffside scene with two Tyrannosauruses. Grade: B+      

1. Jurassic Park  (1993) 

Of course this is number one. The plot of a group testing a potential dinosaur clone theme park only for it to become a disaster is simple on its surface, but the script keeps the ideas and characters interesting and Spielberg displays amazing craftsmanship with every frame (all set to a beautiful John Williams score). The visual effects were mindblowing when the film first came out and they remain impressive to this day, with the blending of animatronic and digital effects making the dinosaurs feel alive. Spielberg’s classic helped define a generation and remains one of the best cinematic thrill rides around. Grade: A+

Written by
Daniel Rester is a writer for the We Live Film portion of We Live Entertainment. He is a Southern Oregon University alumnus and has a Bachelor of Science degree with a double major in Communication (Film, Television, and Convergent Media) and Emerging Media and Digital Arts. He has been involved with writing and directing short films for years. Rester also won 2nd place in the Feature Screenplay Competition in the 2015 Oregon Film Awards for his screenplay "Emma Was Here," which is currently in post-production and will be Rester's feature directorial debut.

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