Fewer franchises have more goodwill than the John Wick franchise. From the humble beginnings of the first film as a B-movie, which started quietly in autumn 2014, to the latest installment John Wick: Chapter 4‘s big-budget tentpole release, the John Wick films have only grown in popularity and critical acclaim in their nine years of existence.
Every John Wick film has been acclaimed for its innovative action and stylish direction, but which one comes out on top? Is it the original John Wick who started the series in the first place? Or is it parabellum, which dramatically expanded the scope and depth of the franchise? The following is a list of all the John Wick films, sorted in ascending order by their Rotten Tomatoes score.
4.John Wick (86%)
John Wick (2014) – Official Trailer – Keanu Reeves
It’s shocking to find out that the original John Wick, which started it all, is the lowest-rated film in the series. But make no mistake; A score of 86% is very impressive, not just for an action film, but for any film in any genre. The film introduced action film vet Keanu Reeves as the titular killer who, still grieving the death of his wife, accepts one final gift from her: an adorable puppy. Being an action movie, the dog is brutally killed by a Russian gang and Wick seeks revenge for his beloved puppy.
Most critics, like Time’s Richard Corliss, praised director Chad Stahelski’s unique approach to a tired trope, the brooding killer, by “bringing[ing] a sleek, chic enthusiasm for the six or seven big action scenes, where the chaos is filmed in long takes rather than broken down into short shots.” Similarly, Reeves, whose faltering career was revived on the back of the film’s success, described as “in his element: a natural at sharp-edged action thrillers”. speed To The Matrixhe benefits from a script that gives him little to say.” The people who initially caught John Wick in theaters agreed and helped popularize the film, which really caught fire on DVDs and streaming.
3. John Wick: Chapter 2 (89%)
John Wick: Chapter 2 – Trailer 2 – Warner Bros. UK
With John Wick quickly became a word-of-mouth hit, it was only inevitable that a sequel would be made. three years later John Wick: Chapter 2 was released in 207 and continues the story of Reeves’ assassin who is drawn into his former profession by Italian gangsters and the mysterious ways of The Continental, the super-secret organization to which just about every assassin in the world belongs. A bigger budget meant more action and more stars, so it was his turn to join Reeves in that chapter matrix Co-stars Laurence Fishburne, Common, Ruby Rose and John Leguizamo.
Chapter 2 emerged as the rare sequel to outperform the original as critics once again hailed Wick and his hyper-realized world of secret societies, blood oaths and archaic codes. Detroit News’ Adam Graham praised the film, claiming that “in the wrong hands something like this could be a liability, but John Wick 2 is one of the funniest action pictures of recent memory.” Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun-Times thought Reeves was the reason for the successful sequel and asked rhetorically: “Who would have thought that Keanu Reeves’ stoic, black-clad one-man killing machine THE villain/action hero of the world would become in the 2010s?” Audiences agreed, doubling the overall grossing of its predecessor and demanding a third chapter in the series.
2. John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (89%)
John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum (2019 Movie) New Trailer – Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry
Just two years later, they got their wish when Chapter 3 was fast tracked and fast shot and released in Summer 2019. Like the last, the third John Wick brought in even bigger names like Oscar winners Halle Berry and Angelica Huston, expanding the notoriety of Wick and the Continental High Table a legitimate threat and planting the seeds for future spin-offs like Ana de’s Armas-led ballerina.
Surprisingly, Chapter 3 received as many awards as Chapter 2. NPR’s Chris Klimek compared the John Wick films to another popular action franchise, claiming that “the set pieces are more imaginative and daring than ever. The action has a musicality and wit that only the Mission: Impossible series can match,” proclaimed Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune parabellum “the best of the three yet,” while Little White Lies’ Matthew Thrift said it was an “amazing display of action and staging.” Again, moviegoers couldn’t get enough parabellum With 328 million US dollars in the account, it becomes the highest-grossing John Wick film to date.
1. John Wick: Chapter 4 (95%)
John Wick: Chapter 4 (2023) Final Trailer – Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen, Bill Skarsgård
Fourth parts in film franchises don’t usually go over well with critics; just look up scream 4 or Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. [Better yet, don’t.] But John Wick: Chapter 4 bucked the trend and became the most acclaimed part of the nearly decade-old franchise. With its 169-minute running time, epic action scenes offer competition Mad Max: Fury Road‘s breathtaking stunts and an expanded cast that now includes martial arts master Donnie Yen, It Actor Bill Skarsgård and pop singer Rina Sawayama, Chapter 4 took the series in exciting new directions and could become the highest-grossing John Wick film to date.
With an impressive 95% Rotten Tomatoes rating, it’s not only the highest-rated John Wick film yet, it’s also one of the best pictures of 2023. The critical consensus can be found in the MovieFreak.com review, where critic Sarah Michelle Fetters writes that “few shows of its kind have maintained this level of quality and ingenuity across four episodes without going stale”. Even the New York Times loved it and proclaimed it Chapter 4 was “pure, flashy, body-shaking, transporting entertainment, something that (to borrow from another philosopher) has a good beat and you can dance to.” While Digital Trends’ own review of John Wick: Chapter 4 was mixed, just one of the few to find fault with it, and the film received almost unanimous praise. If ever there is John Wick: Chapter 5it will be hard to beat Chapter 4but if any series can do it, it’s John Wick.
John Wick: Chapter 4 is currently in cinemas. For John Wick fans: John Wick: The End of Chapter 4 Explained, John Wick: The Best Scene of Chapter 4, 5 Reasons John Wick is the Best Action Movie Ever, and Does John Wick Die at the End of John Wick: Chapter 4?