'The Dark Knight,' 'Star Wars,' 'The Godfather' and more
4. The 'Lord of the Rings' Trilogy
Films: "The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001), "The Two Towers" (2002) and "The Return of the King" (2003)
Director: Peter Jackson
Best of the bunch: "The Two Towers"
Weakest Link: "Return of the King" (if only for its length)
Why it's a great trilogy: This feels like somewhat of a cheat because it's basically just long movie (not to mention that the franchise continued with the "Hobbit" prequels), but Jackson and his writers accomplished a nearly impossible task by translating Tolkien's fantasy epic into box office -- and Oscar -- gold. Anchored by an endlessly quotable script, the sprawling cast's rich chemistry and envelope-pushing effects work, "LOTR" is a towering achievement which, despite its grand scale, never loses its humanity or its sense of giddy, child-like wonder.