10 of The Best 3D Movies You Need To Watch
Updated · Aug 02, 2022
When it comes to immersive entertainment, there's nothing quite good like 3D movies.
Whether flying through the air with superheroes or diving into the depths of the ocean, 3D offers a unique experience that can't be replicated on a traditional 2D screen.
So if you're looking for a truly unique cinematic experience, check out our list of suggestions for your next movie night.
What Is a 3D Movie?
3D technology has been around in some form or another for a century, though it has only become widespread in the last few years.
So what exactly is it?
In a nutshell, a 3D movie uses special glasses to produce the illusion of depth. This effect is achieved by projecting two separate images onto the screen. The glasses filter them so that each eye sees a slightly different version of the scene. The brain then processes the images and tricks you into perceiving depth.
Of course, not all 3D films are made equal. Some use very subtle effects, while others go for a full-on spectacle. Regardless of their use, 3D effects add a unique layer of immersion to your movie-watching experience.
10 Best 3D Movies to Watch
Ready to jump right into it?
Here are our picks for the very best titles worth your time:
10. Ready Player One (2014)
When the world is on the brink of destruction, the only thing left to do is play video games, right?
That's the premise of Steven Spielberg's film Ready Player One, which is based on the novel by Ernest Cline.
The movie follows Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), a teenage orphan who spends his days in the virtual world of OASIS. He dreams of finding the Easter egg to grant him control of the game.
When Wade's crush Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) also begins searching for the egg, he finds himself swept up in a race against time—and evil corporate mogul Nolan Sorrento (Ben Mendelsohn)—to discover it first.
Ready Player One is a fun, fast-paced thrill ride that will leave you wanting more. It's among the best 3D movies to watch at home with friends or by yourself.
Whether you're a diehard gamer or just a casual player, this one is sure to entertain. So power up your console and get ready for some serious fun.
9. Hugo (2011)
Few movies have captured the audience’s imagination quite like Hugo.
The first undertaking of Martin Scorsese in 3D films tells the story of a young orphan who lives in a Paris train station and is trying to solve a mystery.
The film was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won five, including Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. Its fantastic cast features names like Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Chloë Grace Moretz, Jude Law, and Christopher Lee.
The magical story and enchanting visuals have truly made Hugo one of the best examples of 3D cinema. From the breathtaking train station set to the innovative use of 3D technology, it's a stunning film that transports viewers to another world.
Additionally, the heartwarming narrative of friendship and adventure and the atmospheric soundtrack by Howard Shore will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
Whether you're a longtime fan or just discovering this gem, Hugo is sure to take your breath away.
8. Gravity (2013)
Gravity is a visual masterpiece that won seven Academy Awards, including Best Director.
Sandra Bullock and George Clooney perform outstandingly as astronauts stranded in space after their shuttle is destroyed.
The effects are so realistic that the film is often considered a technical marvel. To create the zero-gravity environment required for the film, director Alfonso Cuarón and his team had to develop new technologies and filming techniques.
They made a special rig that allowed the cameras to move freely in all directions. Also, thought of new ways of lighting scenes and choreographing action.
As a result, Gravity isn't only an aesthetically beautiful film but a groundbreaking achievement in cinematic history. It's also considered to be among the best 3D movies on Blu-ray.
7. Avatar (2009)
James Cameron's Avatar was released to critical and commercial success. The movie has packed up an all-star cast, featuring Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Zoe Saldana.
It might feel like a lot with a runtime of over two and a half hours, but it's not even close to the longest movies ever made.
What matters is that this is a truly immersive experience and is considered one of the best 3D movies of all time.
It tells the story of a group of humans sent to Pandora, a lush and beautiful planet inhabited by a peaceful race of blue aliens called the Na'vi.
The protagonists' mission is to mine Pandora for a rare mineral called unobtanium, but they soon discover the planet is home to many wonders worth protecting.
Avatar was groundbreaking for its use of cutting-edge special effects! Cameron's film is a timeless classic that’s one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, still entertaining and inspiring audiences worldwide.
We just can’t wait for its sequel—Avatar: The Way of Water!
6. Rogue One (2016)
Rogue One is the first standalone film in the Star Wars franchise. As such, it didn't disappoint. It's definitely among the 3D movies on Amazon Prime that you shouldn't miss.
The story follows a group of rebels tasked with stealing the plans for the Death Star. The film is packed with action, suspense, surprises, and top-notch special effects. The cast is excellent as well, featuring Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Mads Mikkelsen, and many others.
But what really makes Rogue One shine is its willingness to deviate from the traditional Star Wars formula.
There are no Jedi knights or Force-wielding heroes in this story; instead, the rebels are a ragtag group of misfits, outcasts, and criminals. This is a darker, grittier movie than we're used to seeing from Lucasfilm, and it's all the better for it.
Rogue One is a jarring contrast to the usual stories of heroism, offering a more realistic portrayal of war.
If you're looking for a fun, exciting blockbuster that breaks the mold, this one is well worth your time.
5. Life of Pi (2012)
Life of Pi is a beautiful 3D film about an Indian boy named Pi who gets lost at sea for 227 days with a Bengal tiger.
The story does an excellent job of exploring the themes of religion, hope, and survival. It's also visually stunning, with sweeping shots of the ocean and amazing special effects. Additionally, Suraj Sharma gives an outstanding performance as the titular character.
Life of Pi is a truly moving and spirit-lifting film that is sure to leave audiences inspired.
4. The Martian (2015)
This one was released quite a while ago but remains one of the best 3D Blu-ray movies.
Ridley Scott's The Martian was praised for its realistic portrayal of a mission to Mars. Based on the novel by Andy Weir, the film starred Matt Damon as an astronaut stranded on the Red Planet after being presumed dead.
The film's stunning visuals aren't the only thing that makes it great; the thought-provoking themes about human survival and determination will haunt you for a while afterward.
While the movie was a box office success, it also received criticism for its lack of scientific accuracy at times. However, The Martian isn't meant to be a documentary; instead, it's an exciting tale of survival against all odds.
Despite its minor shortcomings, the film is an entertaining and suspenseful ride that is sure to please any science fiction fan.
3. Blade Runner 2049 (2017)
Another great example of stereoscopic movies is Blade Runner 2049—the much-anticipated sequel to the 1982 classic Blade Runner.
The original film, set in a dark and dystopic future, follows the story of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), a blade runner tasked with hunting down and retiring rogue replicants.
2049 picks up thirty years after the events of the first film, with a new blade runner, Officer K (Ryan Gosling). He discovers a long-buried secret that could have profound implications for the future of humanity.
Blade Runner 2049 is visually stunning, with innovative special effects and breathtaking cinematography. It features strong performances from its two leads (yes, Ford makes a comeback) and Jared Leto as the villainous Niander Wallace.
With its intelligent and thought-provoking screenplay, Blade Runner 2049 is a worthy successor to the original film that will surely leave audiences captivated.
2. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Mad Max: Fury Road is among the most visually stunning films of the past decade. It still enjoys immense popularity, much more than most 3D movies released in 2022.
Director George Miller took the already wild and chaotic world of Mad Max and cranked it up to eleven, creating a non-stop, visually arresting feast for the senses.
The film follows the titular character (played by Tom Hardy) as he tries to escape the clutches of Immortan Joe—a tyrannical ruler who controls access to water in the post-apocalyptic world. Along the way, Max encounters a group of rebels led by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), attempting to overthrow Joe's regime.
What follows is two hours of breakneck action, with Miller seamlessly interweaving elements of comedy, drama, and suspense.
With all of this, it's no wonder that Mad Max: Fury Road has been hailed as one of the best action films of all time.
1. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
It probably isn’t surprising that Marvel’s box office success would top our list.
Avengers: Infinity War was one of the most highly-anticipated 3D movies… and for a good reason.
It brought together an all-star cast of Marvel superheroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Black Widow, and the Hulk. They were joined by newcomers, such as Doctor Strange, the Black Panther, and a bunch of other renowned heroes.
Together, the Avengers faced their greatest challenge yet: the evil Thanos, who was intent on collecting all six Infinity Stones to destroy half of the universe.
The movie was packed with action, humor, and heart, leaving the fans eager for more.
Avengers: Infinity War was a true cinematic event that is regarded as one of the best (superhero) movies of all time.
When Were 3D Movies Invented?
3D films have been around in some form since the early days of cinema, or more specifically—1922.
However, it wasn't until 1952 that the technology began to gain popularity.
This happened with the release of Bwana Devil. The film used a different process known as stereoscopic 3D, which involved projecting two images side by side onto the same screen.
Today, with the development of 3D rendering technology and other innovations, such movies can pride themselves on offering a uniquely immersive experience.
What Was the First 3D Movie?
The first-ever 3D movie screened for a paying audience was The Power of Love starring Elliot Sparling and Barbara Bedford.
It used a process known as anaglyph 3D that requires two different color filters on each eye, creating the illusion of depth.
The film, directed by Nat G. Deverich and Harry K. Fairall, tells the story of a young man falling in love with a woman who has to marry another person.
While the plot may sound like a typical romance, the film is actually quite unique due to the innovative use of technology.
It offered the audience the chance to experience two different endings. Depending on which lens of the spectacles they choose to look through, they see the story's tragic or happy development.
Despite this plot twist, the film wasn't received well and was only screened once.
3D movies offer audiences a unique and immersive experience that has captivated people for a century now.
While technology has come a long way since the early days of cinema, the appeal of these movies remains the same.
Whether you're a fan of action-packed blockbusters or heartwarming romances, there's sure to be a 3D movie out there for you.
So put on your glasses and enjoy the show!
Are 3D movies still a thing?
In the early days, 3D technology was often more gimmicky than anything else.
Films were overloaded with objects flying straight at the camera, and audiences would leave the theater feeling dizzy and nauseous.
However, filmmakers have since learned to use 3D effects more sparingly, resulting in a more immersive and realistic experience.
Today, these films are released to critical acclaim and strong box office numbers.
In particular, horror films have benefited from the added dimension, as it allows for scares that are truly jump-out-of-your-seat moments.
Whether or not 3D is here to stay remains to be seen. But for now, audiences are still eager to don their glasses and be transported to another world.
When did 3D movies come out?
It's hard to believe that 3D films have been around for a century already. The Power of Love was the first to be released in 1922. However, this one wasn't a hit with audiences.
Over the next few decades, 3D technology became increasingly popular, and by the 1950s, it was a more common occurrence in Hollywood cinema.
Today, 3D titles are again enjoying a surge in popularity, thanks to technological advances and the increased demand for immersive cinematic experiences.
Whether you're a fan of classic movies or contemporary blockbusters, there's no denying that this technology has come a long way since its early days.
How are 3D movies made?
The creation of three-dimensional movies uses a process called stereoscopic cinematography.
Two cameras are mounted on a rig, side by side, each capturing a slightly different perspective of the scene.
The two images are then combined to produce the illusion of depth. The brain interprets the difference between the two images and creates a sense of three-dimensional space.
Special glasses are worn that filter out the double image to make the experience even more realistic. This allows each eye to see only one perspective, just as it would in real life.
Unlike the first 3D movie in 1922, the result is an immersive viewing experience that makes audiences feel as though they're inside the movie.
What is a stereoscopic film?
A stereoscopic film is a motion picture that creates the illusion of three-dimensional depth from two-dimensional images.
It uses a stereoscopic lens to record two separate images from slightly different perspectives, and these images are projected using a special projector with two synchronized projectors.
Viewers wear special glasses that allow each eye to see only one image, creating the illusion of depth.
Today, stereoscopic films are used primarily for entertainment, some of the most popular 3D movies including Avatar (2009) and Hugo (2011).
Velina describes herself as passionate media savvy and a versatile individual with numerous different interests, most a result of her Media & Communications BA. She has also developed a keen interest in Digital Marketing and Advertising. Her never-ending desire to constantly learn new things and enrich herself and her ultimate dream to go around the globe before 45 are her driving forces.
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