10 Best 3D Movies Of All Time – Screen Rant

With Avatar: The Way of Water hitting theaters, fans can look back on some of the other great movies that used 3D to brilliant effect.
With Avatar: The Way of Water hitting theaters later this year, many are discussing the original movie's reintroduction of 3D in modern movies. There has long been a debate about whether 3D is a worthwhile pursuit in a movie or if it is a cheap gimmick. However, there have been enough movies that have proven how effective it can be if done properly.
Some of the greatest filmmakers in the world have found impressive and inventive ways to use the technology. These movies are not only great on their own, but they show the wonders 3D can add to a cinematic experience.
In earlier days, 3D was commonly seen attached to schlocky horror movies, including the first Piranha movie. But just like that creature feature exceeded the gimmick, so did the 21st century remake of Piranha 3D.
While the movie doesn't break new ground in terms of story or characters, it wisely leans into a dark sense of humor, outrageousness, and buckets of gore. The messy 3D mayhem is in full glory in the climactic attack sequence.
While Dial M For Murder might not be remembered as one of Alfred Hitchcock's most rewatchable movies, it is still an expert thriller. It is also an interesting experiment for the filmmaker with its original 3D presentation only recently being restored.
The movie tells that story of a wealthy man who schemes to carry out the perfect murder of his wife. The movie is based on a play and Hitchcock seemed to have that in mind as the 3D makes it appear as if it is taking place on a stage set, adding a captivating element.
Much like Piranha 3D, My Bloody Valentine is a remake of a horror movie that used the 3D style in a gimmicky yet fun way. The remake took a similar approach to Piranha 3D in also embracing that cheesy quality in a fun way.
It takes place in an old mining town where the anniversary of a brutal massacre leads to a string of new deaths. With some fun twists, a fun energy and some inventive kills that utilize the 3D, My Blood Valentine is a surprising horror gem.
Sometimes, all it takes is one epic sequence to make a movie's use of 3D worthwhile. The Walk star Joseph Gordon Levitt in the true story of a man who walked on a tight-rope between the two World Trade Center buildings in New York City in 1974.
In terms of the story, The Walk doesn't add too much to the real events and might even seem a bit slow in building to the big moment. But Robert Zemeckis pulls the titular walk off brilliantly with the 3D putting fans as much in that harrowing position as they would be comfortable being.
Ang Lee won his second Best Director Oscar for Life of Pie, showing that even the Oscars are willing to embrace 3D when done successfully. The movie follows a young man who, following a shipwreck, finds himself surviving on a lifeboat with a tiger.
There is a certain magical quality to the movie which is amplified through the 3D. It is easy to get swept up in the human story at the center of Life of Pie just as it is to be dazzled by Lee's handling of the movie's visual effects.
Animation can be particularly tailored for truly breathtaking 3D movies and How to Train Your Dragon is one of the best examples of this. The movie is set in a Viking society where a timid young man forms a bond with a dragon, the sworn enemies of his people.
With humor, heart and fun action, How to Train Your Dragon is a wonderful animated adventure for all ages. But it is in the amazing flying sequences that the beauty of the 3D is really shown.
With the long-awaited sequel finally arriving, many fans will be revisiting Avatar, especially with its re-release. The movie carries on James Cameron's trend of ground-breaking special effects in his movies and he also helped usher in a new era of 3D movie-going.
Cameron helped to change 3D from a gimmick to a truly immersive experience, allowing audiences to feel as though they are in Pandora. It will be interesting to see how he furthers this in the sequels.
Though it is a movie with only two characters, Gravity was hailed and a masterful movie unlike anything else. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star as astronauts left stranded in space following a disaster and searching for a way home.
Director Alfonso Cuaron seems to have done all he could to make the audience feel as though they were sharing this intense experience with the characters. Not only is it in beautiful 3D, but it is also shot as one long continuous take, making for a pulse-pounding ride.
Following up two successful Toy Story movies was certainly a difficult task, but Toy Story 3 is not only considered one of Pixar's best, but also one of the best threequel movies of all time. With Andy grown up and going to college, Woody, Buzz and the other toys find themselves at a daycare.
The movie offers all the emotion and laughs fans would expect from a Pixar movie, but with the typical beauty of Pixar animation, it is brought stunningly to life with the 3D approach.
The idea of Martin Scorsese doing a 3D movie once seemed as unlikely as Scorsese making a kid's movie, yet he did both with Hugo. The movie follows the titular young boy who is left orphaned and decides to live secretly in a Paris train station in 1931.
A one-shot take through the train station is all the proof anyone needs to whether Scorsese would use the 3D meaningfully. And while it all might seem like a departure for the filmmaker, Hugo is also a beautiful love letter to cinema itself.
NEXT: Avatar's 10 Main Cast Members (& Where Are They Now)
Colin McCormick is a Senior Writer with Screen Rant and has been a proud member of the team since 2019. In addition to his work as Screen Rant, Colin is also a writer of News, Feature and Review pieces at Game Rant. Colin has had a long passion and obsession with movies going back to the first time he saw The Lion King in theaters. Along with movies, Colin stays up-to-date on the latest must-see TV shows. While he loves to find interesting projects in any kind of genre, he has a special movie of crime stories that are infused with a little dark humor much like the work of his favorite author, Elmore Leonard.


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