What a Lovely Franchise! All 4 Mad Max Films Ranked

Mad Max Fury Road blew everyone’s apocalypse loving minds. Critics loved, the public adored it and I randomly inserted “what a lovely day” into conversations.

In this inaugural (fancy huh?) post of rankin’ t’ing where we (surprise surprise) rank movies in a franchise from worst to best we feature the four films of the Mad Max series. So it’s time to go back, way back, back into time. Actually into the future since it’s a post-apocalyptic series. I’ve confused myself now. On to the rankings!

I'm not cleaning that mess Max.
I’m not cleaning that mess Max.

#4 – Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

The third film in the series finds our wandering ex-cop hero Max Rockatansky (Mel Gibson) at Bartertown, a filthy town run on pig crap and populated by strange and dangerous characters. We have Tina Turner as boss lady Aunty Entity and the two man team of Master Blaster – one part dwarf, one part giant. The most iconic scene is the battle in the eponymous Thunderdome: two men enter, one man leaves!

Sadly Beyond Thunderdome strays a little too much into camp, skimps on the action and the third act with the dessert children is mostly a snooze fest. An okay watch but not a must see other than for curiousity sake.

Just a boy and his dog.
Just a boy and his dog.

#3 – Mad Max (1979)

The movie that introduced us to the titular hero, we see Max go from cop and family man to leather clad demon of vengeance after his family is killed by road thugs. This is brutal, dark, haunting and a great watch.

It is only because the next two entries delved more into apocalyptic world and are such fine pieces of film making that the original is ranked third on the list. But do put it on your viewing list.

And today all our leather neck collars are half off.
And today all our leather neck collars are half off.

#2 – The Road Warrior (1981) 

Ermagerd! I love this movie. The world has gone belly up and every is in the desert scrounging for scarce resources, particularly gas. Here we find Max helping a group of settlers fend off a crazy gang of colourful characters led by the hockey mask wearing Lord Humungus, who may or may not be a descendant of Jason Voorhees.

We also introduced to the quirky Bruce Spence as the gyro captain (he returns in Thunderdome) and the creepy but adorable feral kid who goes from smiling to homicidal in 60 seconds. This movie is bloody, gritty and thrilling. The final act where Max and the settler convoy clash with the gang is epic and brilliant. Go watch this movie. Now. Don’t make me tell you twice!

Dentistry has changed quite a bit in the apocalypse.
Dentistry has changed quite a bit in the apocalypse.

#1 – Mad Max Fury Road (2015) 

So after that gushing review of The Road Warrior you may be wondering why it is not number one. Because, dear reader, Mad Max Fury Road is almost cinematic perfection. Tom Hardy takes over the role of Max and takes it even further that Gibson did. But the real stand out is Charlize Theron as the strong but vulnerable Imperator Furiosa. Max and Furiosa team up to protect the five wives of the wonderfully over the top villain Immortan Joe.

George Miller has directed all the Mad Max films and Fury Road, a mind boggling 30 years after the last one, is his magnum opus. Beautiful cinematography, intense practical action sequences that make many CGI pieces look lame and a dark world brought to life are just a few reasons this is the best of the series and one of the best movies ever. The movie was nominated for a staggering 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director, which would be quite an accomplishment for a sequel much less a fourquel (or quadquel. I dunno). It took him six statuettes: Best Costume Design, Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. You don’t get better than Fury Road. (Rocks out with flamethrower guitar).


So that’s it. Have you seen all the Mad Max movies? What do you think of my ranking? Am I spot on or have I been sniffing chrome? Comment and share your views. And you can like and subscribe too. That would be cool.

For more Mel Gibson movie goodness you can check out my ranking of the Top 4 Lethal Weapon movies here. Catch you on the flip side.




  1. Fury Road did not win 10 academy awards (sadly), and did not take home best picture or director as you claim. It got 10 nominations, including the two aforementioned, an important distinction. It won 6 however, which is still pretty great.

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