17 Sequels You Can Watch without Seeing the First Movie

Sometimes, watching a sequel can be daunting if you haven’t seen the first movie. However, there are some sequels that stand alone and can even be better than the original. In this post, we’ll highlight 18 sequels you can watch without seeing the first movie (and probably should), from action-packed blockbusters to heartwarming comedies.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is a high-octane thrill ride that stands alone, with no need to see the previous films. Its incredible action sequences, compelling characters, and stunning visuals make it a must-watch.

The Dark Knight (2008)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” is a modern classic. Although it’s the second in a trilogy, the film stands on its own with Heath Ledger’s iconic performance as the Joker.

Aliens (1986)

Aliens 20th Century Studios
Photo Credit: 20th Century Studios.

James Cameron’s “Aliens” expands upon the universe established in the original film. The sequel works as a standalone film, focusing more on action and suspense than its predecessor.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

While “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” is the third movie in the series, its plot is relatively independent from the other films, and it can be enjoyed without needing to watch the previous installments.

Casino Royale (2006)

Photo Credit: MGM.

“Casino Royale” marks a reboot of the James Bond franchise with Daniel Craig’s debut as 007. This film is an excellent starting point for newcomers, requiring no knowledge of previous films.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Photo Credit: Marvel Studios.

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” stands out as a strong entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with its political thriller tone. It can be enjoyed without having watched “The First Avenger.”

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm.

Technically a sequel in George Lucas’ grand space opera, “A New Hope” was the first Star Wars film released and thus can (and should) be watched without prior knowledge of the prequel trilogy.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

Photo Credit: Tri-Star Pictures.

“Terminator 2: Judgment Day” takes what worked in the original “Terminator” and elevates it. The sequel stands alone, delivering memorable action sequences and a compelling narrative.

Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

Blade Runner 2049 Warner Brosjpg
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

“Blade Runner 2049” is a visually stunning and philosophically intriguing film. While it continues the narrative of the original, the sequel’s unique story and themes make it compelling even without knowledge of the first film.

Toy Story 3 (2010)

Toy Story 3 (2010) Walt Disney Pictures
Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

“Toy Story 3” is a beautifully crafted animation that both kids and adults can appreciate. It’s a standalone emotional journey, and you won’t feel lost if you haven’t seen the first two films.

The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

“The Bourne Supremacy” can be enjoyed without watching the original. Its compelling narrative, high-stakes action, and Matt Damon’s performance make it a strong standalone action thriller.

The Godfather Part II (1974)

The Godfather Part II (1974) - Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“The Godfather Part II” is often considered even better than its predecessor. Its dual narrative works well on its own, tracing the rise of a young Vito Corleone while expanding upon Michael’s story.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

Spider-Man_ Into The Spider-Verse (2018) - Sony Pictures
Photo Credit: Sony Pictures.

“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” is a fresh take on the Spider-Man universe that requires no prior knowledge of earlier films. Its unique animation style and compelling narrative make it a fantastic standalone film.

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (2011)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

“Ghost Protocol” reinvigorated the “Mission: Impossible” franchise with thrilling action sequences and a tight plot. It can easily be enjoyed without having seen the previous films.

Desperado (1995)

Desperado Photo Credit Columbia Pictures.
Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

“Desperado” is Robert Rodriguez’s stylish action-packed sequel to his indie film “El Mariachi”. Despite being a sequel, it can be fully enjoyed as a standalone film, thanks to its gripping narrative and star-studded cast.

Skyfall (2012)

Photo Credit: Eon Productions.

“Skyfall” is an excellent James Bond film that can be enjoyed without watching the previous installments. Its self-contained story, combined with great performances and action scenes, make it a solid standalone film.

The Color of Money (1986)

Photo Credit: Touchstone Pictures.

“The Color of Money” is a sequel to the 1961 film “The Hustler.” However, the Martin Scorsese-directed film is an engaging exploration of ambition and redemption in its own right.