We all agree that Jurassic Park is a masterpiece, right? Perfectly directed and acted, and augmented by one of John Williams’ best scores. And we should also agree that the rest of them are trash. To be clear, I don’t mean that derisively—killer dinosaur movies should be kind of trashy. While Steven Spielberg brought a sense of wonder and genuine emotion to the first film, not even he could make the sequel anything more than a nasty movie about dinosaurs eating people.
That fact has been the blessing and curse of the Jurassic franchise. Only one movie has been able to transcend the trashy joy of dino mayhem, but even the worst of the series (the recently released Jurassic World Dominion, according to our own David Crow) still has dinosaurs, and dinosaurs are awesome.
For that reason, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to rank the Jurassic films. Instead we should rank the dinos that appear in those films! Like the forward-thinking folks at InGen, I’ll be using a scientific model that’s sure to work out perfectly. Namely, I’ll be using the following three criteria:
Awe – Does the dino do something awesome in the movie?
Effects – Does the dino actually look cool and make sense in the scene?
Legend – Does the dino achieve legendary status in the six movies?
In the case of a tie, I will consult my five-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter. Because it doesn’t matter how many Ph.D.s you might have, kids remain the ultimate experts on dinosaurs. Like John Hammond’s scientists, I’m standing on the shoulders of giants.
One last note. I initially wanted to rank every single dino in the Jurassic franchise. But while I was too busy wondering if I could do it, my editors stopped to ask if I should. And they decided that I should limit the list to just the best dinos. This means that I will only complain a little bit about Indominus Rex instead of complaining a lot about Indominus Rex.