The Best 3D Movies Of All Time

3D Movies have been around for years.
3D Movies have been around for years.

Recent revolutionary directors such as James Cameron have brought a new form of stereoscopic 3D filming to the industry which has revolutionized film making, and presented a clear path for the future. However, as advanced and effective as these techniques are, they were certainly not the first ever 3D filming techniques utilized by movie makers. Some of the best 3D movies were made many years ago. The first known show to be shot in 3D was all the way back in 1922 and since then the technology has been on and off.

Here are a collection of the best 3D movies ever.

Avatar (2009)

Upon its initial release, Avatar was touted as being one of the most revolutionary movie technologies of all time and a movie going experience like no other. Including James Cameron's ground breaking Real 3D technology, the film did not disappoint. It was visually like nothing that had ever been done before, and brought a whole new meaning to the idea of being placed into the action. Starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana and Signourey Weaver, the film revolved around a world where soldiers can be placed in control of 'avatars' of themselves, capable of much more than an everyday human. While the plot was not as groundbreaking as the visuals, it certainly sufficed in creating a film that set the stage for modern movie technologies, and films like 'Gravity.'

James Cameron's Avatar set the stage for modern 3D experiences
James Cameron's Avatar set the stage for modern 3D experiences

Gravity (2013)

One of my favorite films of 2013, is Alfonso Cuaron's stunning visual masterpiece, 'Gravity'. Starring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock as astronauts thrown into a stunning struggle for survival, the film puts the viewer as close to the action as possible. In full IMAX 3D, there has never been a movie going experience that literally placed you into the action and into the shoes of the characters you are watching. When our characters feel stranded, so do we. When they feel dizzy, the visuals make us dizzy as well. Then to add to the absolutely brilliant visuals, the film is also emotionally packed with character development and some wonderful symbolism and themes that are open for interpretation. If you haven't seen Gravity yet, please do.

Gravity may have overtaken Avatar for the crown of the greatest visual 3D movie ever.
Gravity may have overtaken Avatar for the crown of the greatest visual 3D movie ever.

How To Train Your Dragon (2010)

One of the biggest surprise animated hits in recent years, How To Train Your Dragon was a big win for Dreamworks Studios in it's battle again rival Pixar. The film includes the voice acting of Gerard Butler, and is about a young boy who befriends a dragon, despite his people considering them their mortal enemy. The film includes some real excitement, including a fantastic aerial chase scene, but also includes some really strong themes and emotional moments. Doing what Pixar usually does best, this is a must see and the 3D works seamlessly to bring the animation to life.

Beowulf (2007)

Starring a strong cast, this adult animated feature from Robert Zemeckis stars Ray Winstone and tells the legendary story of Beowulf, a warrior who must protect towns from the evil monster Grendel and its mother (played in fantastic fashion, by Angelina Jolie). Featuring fantastic 3D animated visuals, stunning violence and good old fashioned battles, this was fun film to watch. The highlight may be the scene where Beowulf encounters Grendel's mother in her cave, and Angelina Jolie rises from the water, clothing free, to seduce our hero. The sexiest animated character I've ever seen, that's for sure.

Toy Story 3 (2010)

The third, and quite possibly the best in Pixar's flagship animated franchise, Toy Story 3 was a brilliant way to finish the trilogy. It embraced the Real 3D technology, and applied it beautifully to it's already perfect formula of fun and emotion. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen put in their usual fantastic voice performances, and the story takes things to a whole new level as their owners begin to get older and out grow them. Hilarious, but oftentimes genuinely sad, Toy Story 3 is one of the finest animated films ever created.

The Creature From The Black Lagoon (1954)

The oldest film on this list by a good 50 plus years, this old school monster movie wasn't a classic movie by any means, and the 3D technology was certainly not something James Cameron would pump out. But for the time it was released, it was insanely creative and a did a wonderful job helping to pioneer a 3D movement that took place in the 1950's. While the special effects can be considered dated, you'd be surprised to see how well some of the 3D tricks come out, with the highlight being a couple occasions when the sea monster reaches his arm out into the crowd. If you ever get a chance, pick up some 3D glasses and try and catch this classic to see where the movement started, and how far it has come.

Clip from The Creature From The Black Lagoon

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4 comments

Elias Zanetti profile image

Elias Zanetti 3 years ago from Athens, Greece

To be honest I haven't see a lot of 3D films so far but I feel really overwhelmed with Gravity. Seems that most reviewers agree that it is a film that definitely one should watch in a 3D big screen.


jmartin1344 profile image

jmartin1344 3 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan Author

Thanks for reading Elias! I agree - I would definitely recommend watching it in a fantastic movie theater!!


Janellegems profile image

Janellegems 2 years ago from Virginia

I did not know the first 3D film was in 1922. Good fact to know. Definitely have to watch Gravity in 3D and the others you recommended. Thanks for a descriptive list of the best movies in 3D. Voted up!!!


jmartin1344 profile image

jmartin1344 2 years ago from Royal Oak, Michigan Author

Thanks Jenellegems! It is really interesting - who would have thought 3D was used way back then!

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