Dinosaurs have captured the imaginations of kids and adults alike and have made their way into mainstream cinema. Be it comedy, sci-fi, or drama; you can find the ancient beasts in all types of films.
In this post, we bring you a curated list of some of the best and most rewatchable dinosaur movies in the history of Hollywood cinema. Moviegoers of all ages truly love them. So, here it is:
Jurassic Park (1993)
“They’re lethal at eight months, and I do mean lethal. I’ve hunted most things that can hunt you, but the way these things move…”
The 1993 classic, Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on Michael Crichton’s bestselling novel, was a major hit and its special effects are impactful to this date. If you’re fascinated by T. rex, raptors, and other dinosaurs and love action-adventure, this is one of the best dinosaur flicks to watch.
In this film, a group consisting of paleontologists and a mathematician tour a dinosaur theme park on an island. The park had real dinosaurs as they were cloned and created from DNA strands salvaged from prehistoric mosquitoes preserved in amber. One thing led to the other during the group’s stay, and the deadly dinosaurs escaped the enclosure, resulting in one of the best adrenaline-pumping adventures of all time.
Did you know this movie was such a huge hit that there had been a record increase in paleontology students since its release?
Night at the Museum (2006)
“I’m not a giant, guys, alright? You guys are really little.”
If you want a blend of comedy, fantasy, and adventure, Night at the Museum is the film for you. Directed by Shawn Levy, it’s based on its 1993 namesake book. It stars Ben Stiller as the new curator of the New York’s National Museum of Natural History. Upon his night duty, he discovers that the exhibits in the museum come to life at night. Of the several exhibits, one was of a T. rex called Rexy. It’s not a typical intimidating tyrannosaur; in fact, you’ll love his ability to play fetch like a dog.
King Kong (2005)
“Ladies and Gentlemen… I give you… KONG! THE EIGHTH WONDER OF THE WORLD!”
King Kong, a remake by Peter Jackson, was a smash hit in 2005 with its stunning visuals. This action-packed adventure is filled with ferocious dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures like a giant gorilla, Kong, on a mysterious Skull Island. In this film, a film crew visits the island only to be attacked by bizarre beings they never knew existed. King Kong garnered three Oscars for sound mixing, sound editing, and visual effects.
Jurassic World (2015)
“Watch your six! Raptors got a new alpha!”
If cloned dinosaurs of Jurassic Park (1993) weren’t enough, Jurassic World has genetically modified ones too in a theme park. This 2015 film starring Chris Pratt as a raptor trainer, directed by Colin Trevorrow, is part of the Jurassic Park franchise. The theme park is on the same fictional island and has a new addition, Indominus rex, a transgenic dinosaur.
It has won several awards, including the Guinness World Record Award for the highest-grossing domestic weekend opening and the fastest movie to gross a billion dollars.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
“I rode a motorcycle through the jungle with a pack of raptors.”
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a sequel to Jurassic World (2015) and an action-packed adventure film. The main characters, Owen and Claire from the prequel, return to Isla Nublar to save the dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption by relocating them with the help of a mercenary team.
On the island, they discover the team’s profiteering motives of selling the dinosaurs, which could also potentially threaten the entire planet. Instead of relocating the dinosaurs, they transfer them to be sold off in an auction.
The film ended with Dr. Malcolm declaring a neo-Jurassic Age where humans and dinosaurs coexist. To know what happens next, watch its sequel, Jurassic World: Dominion, releasing in June 2022.
The Good Dinosaur (2015)
“Sometimes you got to get through your fear to see the beauty on the other side.”
Directed by Peter Sohn, The Good Dinosaur is a Pixar animated film featuring a timid Apatosaurus named Arlo. When you watch it, you wouldn’t help but wonder: What would have happened if the giant asteroid didn’t strike the earth and the dinosaurs weren’t extinct? This compelling version of alternate history portrays a different picture of the ancient beasts, which can coexist with humans.
The Land Before Time (1988)
“Let your heart guide you. It whispers so listen closely.”
Directed and produced by Don Bluth, The Land Before Time is an animated drama adventure film about young dinosaurs belonging to different species on their journey to the Great Valley. The dinosaurs Littlefoot, Ducky, Petrie, and Cera, encounter several hardships along the way, one of which was the predatory Tyrannosaurus called Sharptooth. Eventually, after an enduring journey fueled by the wisdom of Littlefoot’s mother, the group reaches its destination. The film, distributed by Universal Pictures, gained a generally positive reception worldwide.
“It’s hope that’s gotten us this far.”
Dinosaur is an animated adventure film by Walt Disney Animation in collaboration with the Secret Lab. This film centers around a young Iguanodon raised by a lemur family on an island. When a meteor shower destroys their land, the family moves out in search of a new place and befriends some dinosaurs on their journey to the “Nesting Grounds.” The perilous journey is packed with adventure as predatory creatures like Carnontaurus hunt them.
Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
“Buck, when exactly did you lose your mind?”
Dawn of the Dinosaurs is an animated adventure comedy movie directed by Carlos Saldanha. It was the highest-grossing animated film and the third-highest overall of 2009. This comedy story is about Sid, a ground sloth abducted by a female Tyrannosaurus for stealing her three eggs. What follows after is an adventurous rescue mission for Sid by the herd of sloths leading an underground lost world.
Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
“Haven’t you ever seen a dinosaur before?”
Directed by Eric Brevig, Journey to the Center of the Earth is an adventure film starring Brendan Fraser as a volcanologist named Trevor. Trevor and his nephew Sean travel to Iceland to investigate his missing brother. Once they get there, they team up with Hannah and embark on a journey exploring the mountains when there is a lightning storm, and they somehow discover a lost world: the Center of the Earth.
Be sure to check out our review of Jurassic World: Dominion here!