A still from Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

All ‘Mad Max’ Movies Ranked Worst to Best

George Miller’s Mad Max franchise is revered as one of the greatest sets of action movies ever made, with Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga soon to join the collection.

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The franchise has had four installments so far, and here they are ranked from worst to best:

4. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome poster
(Roadshow Film Distributors)

Mel Gibson’s last film as “Mad Max” Rockatansky, Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, is a good film in itself but falls short of the lofty standards George Miller has created for himself. Featuring “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll” Tina Turner in the iconic role of Aunty Entity, the film follows Max’s adventures as he is converted into a gladiator after stumbling into an evil town. He is then rescued by a group of orphans, who believe he has come into their lives to lead them to the promised “tomorrow-morrow land.”

The film has multiple action sequences that can be called an improvement over its prequels, and a more humane side of Max is explored, but it still unfortunately falls flat in comparison to other movies in the franchise.

3. Mad Max (1979)

Mel Gibson in Mad Max (1979)
(Roadshow Film Distributors)

Looking back, Mad Max, the first film in the franchise, doesn’t essentially feel like it belongs in the same genre as the others. The film has a rather sombre tone initially, before picking up the pace and turning into a revenge drama, and it shows the audience how Max Rockatansky eventually became what he became.

Max is a traffic cop in a dystopian future who kills a member of a biker gang, who in turn exact revenge by murdering Max’s best friend and family. This leads to Max going on a violent rampage, finishing the gang by himself, one by one. The film has sublime visuals, which played a massive role in pulling fans to theaters and helping Miller’s movie gross more than $100 million worldwide.

2. Mad Max: The Road Warrior (1981)

Mel Gibson in Mad Max: The Road Warrior
(Roadshow Film Distributors)

Fueled with incredible and never-seen-before chase sequences along with an impressive catalogue of villains, Mad Max: The Road Warrior remains the standout film from the OG trilogy. Following the narrative style of classic Spaghetti westerns, the film revolves around Max’s attempts to defend a peaceful group of people led by Pappagallo (Mike Preston) against a gang spearheaded by Humungus (Kjell Nilsson).

1. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road
(Warner Bros. Pictures)

Mad Max: Fury Road is considered one of the best action movies of the 21st century; the ten Oscar nominations are a testament to that claim. After the film was in development hell for years, George Miller was finally able to realize his project in 2010, when production began with Tom Hardy replacing Mel Gibson as the titular character. Laced with themes of survival and feminism and described as a “western on wheels” by the Australian director, the film was able to rake in $380 million at the box office.

Praised for its set designs, makeup, camerawork, and performances, Mad Max: Fury Road is undoubtedly the best film from the franchise so far, and it will be fascinating to see if Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga ends up measuring up to it.

(featured image: Warner Bros. Pictures)


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Evan Tiwari
Evan is a staff writer at The Mary Sue, contributing to multiple sections, including but not limited to movies, TV shows, gaming, and music. He brings in more than five years of experience in the content and media industry, both as a manager and a writer. Outside his working hours, you can either catch him at a soccer game or dish out hot takes on his Twitter account.