25 Best Movie Prequels of All Time

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON October 15th, 2019

12. Red Dragon (2002)

Red Dragon 2002 Movie

The infamous Hannibal ‘the Cannibal’ Lector from the iconic film The Silence of the Lambs, is by far the most intriguing psychopath in crime movies. With 5 Oscars to its name, the movie makes it to #23 in IMDb’s top movies of all time.

Red Dragon is another crime thriller that features Hannibal Lector and his complementary Will Graham, an FBI agent and his arch-nemesis who has to track down a serial killer, “the tooth fairy”. Whether Hannibal aiding Will or the serial killer remains to be seen.


11. Puss in Boots (2011)

Puss in Boots

Bringing together different characters from fairy tales and children’s nursery rhymes and spinning them all into one lovable story, director Chris Miller has produced a marvel for kids. Puss in Boots narrates the times before Puss meets Shrek and his donkey in the second part of the Shrek series.

A witty and a stylish swords-cat, Puss, is looking to clear his name from charges against him. With help from Kitty Softpaws, a female cat, and Humpty Dumpty, his old friend who betrayed him, Puss must get hold of the magic beans, reach the Giant’s castle and get the golden goose.


10. Monsters University (2013)

Monsters University Animated Movie

Image Source: variety.com

The best in animation production and credited for reviving Disney, Pixar have created a masterpiece in Monsters University. Prequel to Monsters Inc., where Mike and Sully are two adorable friend monsters, Monsters University shows them both aiming to become scary monsters.

At loggerheads with each other before ending up as friends, they both reluctantly fall in one team and must win the scare games to get reinstated in scare class.


9. Infernal Affairs 2 (2003)

Infernal Affairs 2

Hong Kong’s theatrical enterprise, ‘Mou gaan dou’ or Infernal Affairs, was a splendid action-packed crime thriller that showed the police department and the triad family (mafia) looking for the mole in their midst.

Its second installment goes back eleven years in time when Yan, an auspicious young police cadet, gets the sack and accepts to be the mole in triad family while Ming, a triad member, is assigned to join police academy and act as triad informant. A lot of action including politics, murders, blackmail, and heist unfolds that leads to the rise of Ming and Yan in their respective departments.


8. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Best Prequel Rise of the planet of the Apes

Image Source: Weta Digital/20th Century Fox

Starring James Franco of Freaks and Geeks fame, and more recently making highlights for his role in The Interview, this movie is essentially a prequel to the original Planet of the Apes series.

Will Rodman (James Franco playing a scientist) is the pioneer behind the development of a drug that enhances his pet chimp’s intelligence to the point where it becomes self-aware and helps his fellow chimps with the same drug. With the power to think like humans, these apes attempt to overthrow human dominion on the planet.


7. X-Men: First Class (2011)

X Men First Class

Image Source: 20th Century Fox

With some popcorn and coke in hand, mutants with cool powers fighting each other makes for excellent television time. X-Men movies are based on Marvel comics and the third installment in the series and a prequel X-Men: First Class, takes us back in the time where Erik Lensherr (Magneto) and Charles Xavier (Professor X) are not arch enemies but best friends.

With an evil mutant (who can absorb kinetic energy) trying to start a nuclear war, the younger versions of Professor X and Magneto must unite and form a team to foil his plans. In the process, differences between them grow which will result in both parting ways.


6. Batman Begins (2005)

Batman Begins

When legendary Christopher Nolan is the director, the movie is bound to be a box office hit. In this venture, he brings in a star-studded cast that includes the versatile Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne, classy Liam Neeson as Ra’s Al Ghul and the man with a voice of gold, Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.

Taken from DC comics, Batman is by far the coolest and most embraced superhero of all time. Behind the mask is Bruce Wayne, a billionaire, and CEO of Wayne Industries.

In this prequel to The Dark Knight, Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) matures from a kid who has seen his parents’ death, to a trained vigilante under Ra’s Al Ghul’s training, the head of League of Assassins. When he comes back to Gotham, the city is in shambles. It is up to Batman to fight the crime mafia and save his hometown from a plot of its destruction.


5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

The creator of Star Wars, George Walton Lucas Jr., has produced another gem of a series in Indiana Jones. Rich in history with light comedy and a lot of action/adventure, these movies are certainly worth a watch. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom movie is set in the year 1935, a year before its predecessor (Raiders of the Lost Ark).

Charming Harrison Ford takes the lead role (Indiana Jones) and this time his adventures are in a village in British India. A sacred stone is stolen and children are missing from the village. Indiana Jones, with help from his alibis, unveils and attempts to foil Thuggee’s plan of collecting 5 Ankara stones to rule the world.


4. Casino Royale (2006)

Casino Royale

Image Source: Digital Filmmaking, News Blog

With a license to kill, wearing a black tuxedo, wielding the latest innovative weapons and gadgets, and scoring hot girls left and right – the British secret service agent 007 is everyone’s favorite bad boy. Taken from Ian Fleming’s spy novel series, James Bond is the perfect secret agent specimen.

Following on from Dr. No (First Bond movie) in 1962, Casino Royale is the 21st edition in Bond franchise with a new face as 007, Daniel Craig.

It is a prequel to Die Another Day that shows the spy in his first kill with a government license. With blonde hair, cold demeanor, great sex appeal and a stunning French Vesper Lynd (Eva Green) as his aid, Bond is sent to play poker with a man responsible for funding terrorists – Le Chiffre. He must win to stop Le Chiffre from raising big money.


3. Star Trek (2009)

Star Trek 2009 Prequel

Image Source: StarTrek.com

Star Trek originally began as a TV series in 1966 but was cancelled due to poor ratings. The success of Star Wars in the ‘70s convinced Paramount Pictures to start a movie franchise of Star Trek with the first installment coming in 1979, Star Trek: The Motion Picture.

Star Trek (2009) is essentially a reboot of the original TV series. Following its wild success (1 Oscar win and earned $350+ million worldwide), Star Trek Into the Darkness was released as a sequel and Star Trek Beyond is bound to be released in 2016.

The basic plot is that a defiant Kirk and stern Commander Spock, along with their crew, must save humankind from a time-traveling alien bent on destroying the Federation.


2. The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II

Image Source: This Cinematic Life

Regarded as one of the best movies of all time, The Godfather movies are based on Mario Puzo’s (an Italian-American) novel with the same name. It is based on the life of an Italian-American crime mafia Don, Vito Corleone, who brands his own kind of justice.

The Godfather II is a prequel to the first part because it rewinds the clocks to the time where Vito is a young man who gradually gets corrupted and enters the vicious crime mafia. Then the story catches up with the present where Vito’s third son, Michael Corleone, struggles at many fronts as he gets acquainted with the family business.

Possibly the finest actor to have graced Hollywood, Al Pacino (Michael Corleone) plays the role to perfection. Robert Di Nero as Vito Corleone brings a sense of seriousness in the movie that syncs well with the movie theme.


1. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Image Source: MGM

Director Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly tops our list of best prequels and makes it to #8 on IMDb’s best of all time movies. It is a prequel to For a Few Dollars More where two bounty hunters team up to take down an outlaw.

In this movie, Blondie (The Good), Angel Eyes (The Bad) and Tuco (The Ugly) all stumble upon a dying man who tells them about buried gold. Each with a different clue, they rely on each other and yet must get to the treasure before others.


Honorable Mentions

We can’t resist mentioning these classic prequels as well:

  • Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009)
  • Hannibal Rising (2007)
  • The Exorcist: The Beginning

Feel free to share your views about our list of the best movie prequels of all time in the comments below!