All of them are bad. But given that the series has thankfully come to an end with Fifty Shades Freed, let’s take a reluctantly nostalgic look back at how the three films rate against each other, as we see the Fifty Shades Of Grey movies RANKED.
3. Fifty Shades Darker (2017)
The second instalment of the series, Fifty Shades Darker, is the worst simply because it’s the one that got too big for its boots.
Following the undeniably monumental box office success of the first film, the sequel went all out to craft a story with the potential to set up an entire Fifty Shades Cinematic Universe, with the introduction of a whole host of new characters from Christian Grey’s mysterious past, as well as opening up entire new plot lines beyond that of simply the relationship between Anastasia and Mr. Grey.
With that said, the film is also by far the most boring of what is frankly an incredibly tedious franchise. Attempting to emulate the mystery of Eyes Wide Shut with its move to the land of fancy secret balls and more, the film falls completely flat on its face, all the while feeling even more like a dull sitcom that had been put on the big screen with the inclusion of romantic tension and love triangles that lasts for all of twelve minutes.
And along with the awful dialogue that has plagued the entire series, this film loses the sleek visual style of the original, the only thing that was even redeemable about that film, somehow making it even more of a disappointment and waste of time.
2. Fifty Shades Freed (2018)
The word ‘climax’ was thrown about a lot in the marketing for Fifty Shades Freed, but you’ll never see a franchise finale more underwhelming than this one.
Although not as arrogant and awful as Fifty Shades Darker, the third film in the series is further proof that this is a franchise with absolutely no depth and no ideas. Casting aside all of the attempted setups of the previous film, Fifty Shades Freed randomly decides to go all out with a crime-thriller story that makes it feel completely different to the rest of the series, randomly turning into something that seems almost entirely irrelevant from everything that came before it.
What’s more is that, unlike most conventional film series, this film doesn’t even bother to tie up any of the franchise’s loose ends, rather leaving everything hanging and having you wondering what it actually added to the overall story arc.
Three films in, everything here feels even more tired than before, with car chases and kidnappings thrown in as an excuse to waste time, as well as the odd random sex scene (none of which ever offer any intrigue whatsoever), while the performances are just as poor all round, and the dialogue is as terrible as ever.
While it’s not quite the worst, Fifty Shades Freed has to go down as one of the worst finales in film history, simply because it’s so underwhelming and so random, failing to bring about a story that would give even the slightest bit of intrigue or excitement to an eternally tedious series.
1. Fifty Shades Of Grey (2015)
The one that started it all. The one that made $571 million at the worldwide box office (one of the highest-grossing R-rated movies of all time), and briefly had the world’s media at fever pitch for a film that had all the promise of crossing the boundary of what was acceptable to show on the big screen.
Alas, Fifty Shades Of Grey was nothing more than a dull romantic drama, nowhere near as provocative as its hype promised, and a stunning depiction of how a terrible screenplay and original book can make even people with talent churn out a truly awful movie.
A superficial, pointless, slow and repetitive film that took itself way too seriously, there was nothing to care about on the dramatic level that was intended by the original story, turning it into 125 minutes of pure boredom that you’ll never get back in your life.
The only saving grace for the movie came in the form of director Sam Taylor-Johnson, who soon correctly realised that she was far too skilled to be wasting time on a project like this and avoided the sequels. As terrible as the story is throughout, the film does have an air of mystery to it, surrounding the character of Christian Grey and his extravagant wealth, furthered by a genuinely sleek and good-looking visual style throughout that made the film feel a lot more competent than it actually was.