Essential James Cameron Movies To Watch After Avatar 2 | Pretty Reel

Hollywood box office king James Cameron is finally back. The Oscar-winning director is back with the long-awaited sequel to Avatar, Avatar: The Way of the Water, 13 years after the release of the original film. Although he only directed eight films, with his ninth soon to hit theaters, Cameron revolutionized the film industry in many ways and set new standards for visual effects and more.

Avatar: The Way of Water will take place after the events of Avatar 2009, featuring new and unseen aspects of Na’vi culture. Cameron is hoping – and anticipating – that it will be a huge box office success, given that he’s already penned a few other Pandora stories.

We take James Cameron for granted. The man has delivered some of the greatest blockbusters of all time, and still,…

Here is a list of the best James Cameron films to watch before (or after) Avatar: The Way of the Water.

Aliens (1986)

It wasn’t easy to deliver a sequel to Ridley Scott’s critically acclaimed original 1979 film, which featured the Xenomorph as the deadliest creature in space. Still, Cameron worked her magic and even convinced a reluctant Sigourney Weaver to reprise her role as Ellen Ripley, thanks to a solid script. The result was one of Weaver’s finest performances and a milestone in movie history. Aliens follows what happened to Ripley during her convoluted return to Earth. The film was a big hit at the box office and met the likes of critics, racking up seven Oscar nominations – including Best Actor for Weaver – and winning Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects. Aliens solidified the success of the original Alien movie, turning the story into a franchise that boasts eight movies and an upcoming live-action TV series that’s in pre-production at FX, among other media outlets.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

The 90s were particularly successful and productive for Cameron. In 1984, he offered an original story in Terminator, but Cameron unleashed the full potential of the killing machine embodied by Arnold Schwarzenegger in his sequel. Terminator 2: Judgment Day was the most expensive film ever made at the time, with a production budget of around $100 million. Audiences loved the gripping story, proof of that is the $520 million gross. It also set a very high standard for science fiction films, thanks to its impeccable visual effects, which were awarded by the Academy with an Oscar.

True Lies (1994)

The collaborations between Cameron and Schwarzenegger have been both successful and critically acclaimed. In their latest work, the pair have teamed up for a delightful spy story that also stars Jamie Lee Curtis. Harry Tasker (Schwarzenegger) is a secret agent posing as an annoying computer salesman. Completely unaware of her husband’s double life, Helen (Curtis) becomes the target of a jihadist organization. The film was the third-highest-grossing film of 1994 and also landed an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects.

Titanic (1997)

If there’s one movie that can sum up Cameron’s work, then the choice is Titanic. The 1997 blockbuster has everything a good movie needs: an all-star cast, fantastic visual effects and a harrowing, impossible love story. Titanic launched the careers of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslett, who rose to global stardom as Jack and Rose, respectively. The film was a huge box office success and was the highest-grossing film in history before Avatar, and then Avengers: Endgame, took its place. The film won 11 Oscars, including Best Director, but none involved DiCaprio. The ensemble cast also included Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warner, and Bill Paxton, among others. By far, Titanic is one of James Cameron’s best films, if not the best.

Avatar (2009)

There seems to be an ongoing revisionism towards the director’s biggest blockbuster, but it’s hard to argue that Avatar is one of James Cameron’s best films. Cameron worked on Avatar for years, developing the awe-inspiring and immersive Pandora and its blue-skinned inhabitants, the Na’vi. In short, the story sees an army of colonizers attempting to conquer Pandora to extract its precious minerals. Expect the Na’vi to be unwilling to see their planet exploited. Some colonizers end up falling in love with the Na’vi people and culture.

Before Avatar, no one ever pushed visual effects and computer-generated imagery to the limit the way Cameron did, besides bringing 3D movies back into fashion for a while. Grossing $2.923 billion, Avatar reigns supreme as the biggest box office hit in history. For the occasion, Cameron teamed up with Weaver in an ensemble cast that also included Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldaña, Stephen Lang, and Michelle Rodriguez, among others.

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Essential James Cameron Movies To Watch After Avatar 2 | Pretty Reel