Top 15 Best 3D Movies You Should Not Miss Out On

Last Updated: March 20, 2015

Film makers and movie executives are pretty much convinced that they have to make use of stereoscopic technology and get out the 3D version of the movie no matter what genre it is. With these VFX-powered 3D movies coming thick and fast in the theaters these days, finding a good movie rendered beautifully in 3D is becoming a daunting task for the movie lovers. If you might have been settled to the notion that every movie in 3D makes a good case, try watching the disastrous failure – Jaws 3D!

While there are technologically inspired directors like James Cameron in Hollywood, there will be movies hitting the screens that push technology beyond its realms and possibilities. On the darker side of the industry are those money-grubbing studio executives who are just trying to make the most of this 3D scenario and push out low cinematic experience movies or piggyback on the successful releases of the olden days! One thing all of us movie junkies would gracefully accept is how Avatar has been one of the best 3D movie, that would make our list, but let’s see where it ranks when pitted against some of the best 3D titles coming from the Hollywood.

15 best 3D movies of all time

Whatever the case might be, finding a meaningful and beautifully scripted movie made in 3D will be made easy with our list of the top 15 movies to be ever made into 3D.

15. Journey To The Centre of the Earth (2008)

Genre: Action, Adventure

IMDb Rating: 5.8

Journey to the Centre of the World is a light take on Indiana Jones, rendered in 3D. The movie is about an explorer who sets out for an extinct volcano in Iceland, along with his nephew and their adventures. The 3D flick was made to make the most of 3D technologies and beautifully render all the epic-scenes in the movie including the T-Rex and the mine car chase sequence which is nothing short of a full-blown roller-coaster trip.

This adventure-family entertainer does not fail to live up to its expectations.

14. Beowulf (2007)

Genre: Action, Adventure

IMDb Rating: 6.3

BeoWulf manages to capture efficient storytelling with beautifully rendered technological 3D visuals. The story is one of the oldest stories in English literature and is retold in a magnificent manner by putting forth the efforts of technological advances. The big-scale action fantasy does not fail to live up to its hype created by Angelina Jolie’s role of playing as Grendel’s mom. This movie was a huge step forward for 3D movies and the technological advances of this time spurred on further development in this field.

13. The Polar Express (2004)

Genre: Animation, Fantasy, Adventure

IMDb Rating: 6.6

A part of the 3D movie trend can be credited to The Polar Express and its director – Robert Zemeckis. The movie was the first 70 mm flick to be re-released simultaneously on both the 3D and 2D versions of the rendered original movie. The movie is a perfect experience on the IMAX 3D screens with tales about how a boy boarding a magical train taking him to the north pole on Christmas Eve. This movie also opened up new avenues for studio executives who were shown how people were interested to watch a visually rendered re-release of their favorite movie flick.

12. The Nightmare Before Christmas 3D (1993)

Genre: Animation, Fantasy

IMDb Rating: 8.0

The dark thrilling animation adventure flick was re-released as a 3D rendered movie in 2006 and it sure raised some eyebrows with its beautifully rendered stop-motion fantasy. With the latest 4D version of this film released in 2010, this flick is just improving on the visuals front with every release passing by. This story about the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town captures the darker side to the celebrations and Christmas spirit of the town.

11. Ghosts of the Abyss (2003)

Genre: Documentary, Family

IMDb Rating: 6.9

Ghosts of the Abyss, directed by James Cameroon is an unscripted documentary about his exploration of  ‘The Ship of Dreams’ – The Titanic RMS. While many would call this as a sequel to Titanic, this documentary is where James Cameron takes his 3D cameras and his team 2 miles into the ocean to explore the wreckage of the sunken ship. The movie is specifically shot to be a visual masterpiece on the IMAX 3D and is one that shouldn’t be missed at any cost.

10. Gravity (2013)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Thriller

IMDb Rating: 7.9

Alfonso Cuarón’s Sci-Fi masterpiece has bagged all the major plaudits at the Academy Awards with the movie fetching awards for Best Screenplay, Direction and Visual Effects. The flick is about two astronauts stuck in the worst possible place – The outer space! With time running out on their side, they have to find a way back to Earth and the dazzlingly realistic animation and 3D effects were the most talked about regarding this movie. Get lost in this realistically rendered 3D flick while binging on your popcorn.

09. Tron: Legacy (2010)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Action, Adventure

IMDb Rating: 6.8

Tron: Legacy is a full-blown 3D Hollywood flick of epic proportions. The sequel to the 1982’s classic flick is one great treat for both the eyes and the ears. The movie is about a young man who goes on the look for his father, where he mistakenly enters a 3 dimensional world created by his dad. The lighting and effects are powerfully rendered and the entire visual efforts are supported by a brilliant soundtrack developed by Daft Punk.

The boldly shot scenes in 3D capture the 3-dimensional world in all its glory and this heart-pounding Sci-Fi thriller is one 3D movie you mustn’t miss out on.

08. The Avengers (2012)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

IMDb Rating: 8.2

The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon is Marvel’s mash of all superheroes in the form of Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and all their other equally powerful friends team up for this mega-blockbuster movie of 2012. With 3D and other CGI effects added to the plot, we can now witness the Marvel heroes battle Loki in this epic 3D masterpiece.

This highly intensive superhero 3D Hollywood flick has been a big hit on both the box office and viewer’s hearts.

07. Up (2009)

Genre: Animation, Adventure

IMDb Rating: 8.3

UP definitely deserves a place among the best 3D movies with its colourful visuals and a deeply moving animated feature flick developed by Pixar Animation Studios. An old man’s and his wife’s lifelong dream of exploring the world after her sad demise is an exceptionally well scripted and perfectly executed 3D movie that entertains the audience of all ages. The amazing way in which the old man traverses the world by tying up thousands of balloons to his house has been well rendered in 3D and the vibrant choice of colours make it a spectacle to watch.

06. The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Genre: Animation, Action, Adventure

IMDb Rating: 7.4

If there’s one animation movie that pretty much excited me and the audience on the 3D animations fronts, it has to be Steven Spielberg directed The Adventures of Tintin. The movie adapted from one of the plays by Hergé, is a CGI spectacle and Spielberg effectively benefited the advances in technology by the time this movie was made to be.

Steven Spielberg’s adventurous animated flick does not fail to capture the attention of people of ages and tastes.

05. Toy Story 3 (2010)

Genre: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

IMDb Rating: 8.4

Being from one of the Pixar’s widely famous franchise, Toy Story 3 too adds its own flair of storytelling and 3D animations and does not disappoint viewers who loved the previous parts. While being funny and thought-provoking at the same time, Toy Story 3 is the final part of the Toy Story trilogy where 18 year old Andy is set to leave for college and his abandoned toys are contemplating their future.

The brilliant settings and 3D rendering makes the movie an even worthwhile watch for home settings.

04. How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

Genre:  Animation, Adventure, Family

IMDb Rating: 8.2

I’ve always been a huge fan of animated feature films and How to Train Your Dragon does not disappoint on any level as a 3D flick. DreamWorks was counted upon for producing the animations for this movie and what an excellent job they have done. The tale of a young Viking befriending a deadly dragon whom his townspeople are ready to exterminate is one magnificent storytelling and the 3D visuals add to its beauty.

The movie’s high intensity and adrenaline flying animations are set to entertain audiences of all ages.

03. Hugo (2011)

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family  

IMDb Rating: 7.6

Hugo is one of my most favorite 3D movies of all time and would easily place it among the Avatar and the like. When Martin Scorsese was officially announced to direct this full-blown fantasy epic set in the early 1930’s France, many heads were turned. Adapted from the novel Brian Selznick’s The Invention of Hugo Cabret, the story is about an orphan living in the walls of a train station and his exploration of life and his purpose.

James Cameroon himself deemed this movie as a ‘Masterpiece’ and the best 3D movie he has ever watched at a screening in Los Angeles.

02. Avatar (2009)

Genre:  Action, Adventure, Fantasy

IMDb Rating: 7.9

While anyone would expect James Cameron’s Avatar to come out on top of this list, a little loosely crafted script let Life of Pi take the honours here. Avatar was an altogether different level of experience in 3D, with an immense depth and diversity in the beautifully rendered landscapes. James Cameroon alone has contributed more to the field of movies than anyone has ever before! The pioneering brilliance of this movie and the way 3D has been rendered take its place as the all time top grossing movie in the history of Hollywood.

With the announcement of Avatar 2 for 2015, we must just wait and watch what’s in store from James Cameron this time around.

01. Life of Pi (2012)

Genre: Adventure, Drama

IMDb Rating: 8.0

Ang Lee’s masterpiece Life of Pi bagged three of the most prestigious Academy Awards for Best Directing, Cinematography and Visual effects. The 3D version of this movie is just not comparable with the 2D one. This tragic and uplifting story of an Indian boy stuck on an endless ocean along with a bunch of some zoo animals would be expected to succeed the least by any movie goer. But the director just delivered a masterpiece, competing and beating James Cameroon’s epic Avatar on many levels.

Ang Lee and his beautifully crafted masterpiece, which was adapted from a novel on the same title, is an artistry magnificence to watch and would be one of your most memorable 3D movie experience ever.

 SEE ALSO: 15 Best Inspirational and Motivational Movies of All Time

What do you think of these 3D Hollywood flicks? Do you feel any of your favorite 3D movie is missing from this list? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.

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Srikanth A.N. is a freelance writer whose articles got mentions from the likes of The New York Times, Kissmetrics and AllTopStories. He writes articles, novels and poems; spends most of his time reading everything he could get his hands on. He is currently pursuing his Masters from The University of Illinois and holds a Bachelors in Electronics Engineering from the University of Mumbai. He is a programmer, a motivational writer and speaker. Reach him at his social media profiles linked below.

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