#1) The Godfather: Part II

I’m not sure if you’ve heard of The Godfather, but apparently the second one is kind of good. It’s got something to do with Robert De Niro and Al Pacino in alternating timelines and follows the rise of Michael Corleone as the Don of a legendary crime family, while simultaneously exploring the background of the late Vito Corleone and the beginnings of his crime empire. I don’t know. It sounds kind of lame to me (sarcasm alert!).

Who am I kidding, The Godfather: Part II is a sprawling epic that captures the intensity of Al Pacino’s Michael Corleone in a way the first film simply couldn’t. While Godfather II doesn’t necessarily introduce a new scene-stealing new character like others on this list, it did broaden the scope of the iconic Vito Corleone with the sub-plot origin tale of how the Don came to be.

The scene that stands out and attacks the true heart of this film is also the coldest. The boat scene closes the complicated and fascinating relationship between Michael and his brother Fredo. The well-paced progression of their struggling brotherhood perfectly mirrors Michael’s own boiling rage, as he loses control of himself and his family. The image of Fredo on the boat is one I think of every time I look at a lake.

While The Godfather: Part III lacks the general adoration amongst movie lovers that the first two got, it may be the fault of a sequel which set the bar so high it still seems almost insurmountable. Anybody looking for a lesson on how to tell a great story need look no further than this sequel – the greatest of all time. Is it any coincidence that the writer, Mario Puzo, is on our list twice? (Puzo also wrote Superman II.)

What do you think? Is the list solid or would you change it around? Tell us about your favorite sequels and why they belong in a top list. Sound off in the comments section below, but don’t forget this is an opinion and not fact. Everybody has their favorites and they are likely all different.

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