In 2002, Milla Jovovich took on the role of Alice in the sci-fi horror movie, Resident Evil. The film told the story of a viral outbreak, which turned humans into zombies, with Alice caught up in the midst of the chaos.

Due to the financial success of Resident Evil, the film was soon followed by a succession of sequels, which continued the story. Across the course of six movies, Alice fought for survival in an apocalyptic world, entertaining audiences along the way.

But while fans of the franchise will no doubt tell you they have a favourite amongst the series, if we were to cut to the chase, which Resident Evil movie would rank the best? And more importantly, how would we rank all the films?

Well, that’s what the subject of this post is all about. Below I am taking a look at the six Milla Jovovich Resident Evil movies, to see if there is a way to decide which movie is the best.

I’ll be looking at the critical and commercial response to the films, and sourcing information from three well-known websites to aid me. But before I get to all that, here’s a quick reminder of the Milla Jovovich Resident Evil films in order:

  • Resident Evil (2002)
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004)
  • Resident Evil: Extinction (2007)
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010)
  • Resident Evil: Retribution (2012)
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016)

As you can see, there are six movies in total, beginning with Resident Evil, and continuing through Apocalypse, Extinction, Afterlife, Retribution, and The Final Chapter.




Image: ©Constantin Film/New Legacy Film

OK, to kick things off, let’s take a look at the rankings of the Resident Evil movies according to the Internet Movie Data-base (IMDb). Users of IMDb post reviews and leave scores for the movies, which in turn get turned into a score out of ten, and this is how the Resident Evil movies shape up.

  • Resident Evil (2002) – 6.6/10
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) – 6.1/10
  • Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) – 6.2/10
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) – 5.8/10
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) – 5.5/10
  • Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) – 5.3/10

Hmm… now this is interesting. As you will see from the above list, the ranking of the movies almost relates to their release order, with each movie ranking a little less as the series progresses.

The only exception to this are the placements of Retribution and The Final Chapter. The two movies switch places on the list, with The Final Chapter (movie no. 6) appearing in fifth place, as it is slightly better received than Retribution (movie no. 5).

So, from this list, the original Resident Evil is ranked as being the strongest title, while Resident Evil: Retribution is viewed as the weakest.



Rotten Tomatoes

Image: ©Constantin Film/New Legacy Film

Onto Rotten Tomatoes now, which is a site that compiles scores from critics, as well as from members of the general public. The scores/percentages I am looking at here are taken from the collective opinions of professional critics (only), and are as follows:

  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) – 37%
  • Resident Evil (2002) – 35%
  • Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) – 28%
  • Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) – 24%
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) – 21%
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) – 19%

Hmm… very interesting results here, as they differ considerably from the IMDb rankings. As you can see from the above list, Rotten Tomatoes ranks The Final Chapter as the best movie, with Apocalypse seen as the weakest entry.

All of the other entries shift along a little, and none of them have particularly high percentages. It seems that the critics do not look on the Resident Evil series favourably, and this is reflected in the overall low scores.



Box Office Mojo

Image: ©Constantin Film/New Legacy Film

And finally, onto the box office results now, which are sourced from Box Office Mojo. These results highlight how financially successful the films performed around the world, during their theatrical run.

  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2016) – $312,242,626
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) – $300,228,084
  • Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) – $240,159,255
  • Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) – $147,717,833
  • Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) – $129,342,769
  • Resident Evil (2002) – $102,984,862

Well, here we are with some more interesting results, and a bit of a change around. As you can see, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter appears at the top of the list (again), with a box office take of over $300 million, while at the bottom of the list is the original Resident Evil with a figure just shy of $103 million.

What’s perhaps interesting to note here, is that at the beginning of the franchise, each new entry took more money than the film that preceded it: Extinction (film No.3), took more than Apocalypse (film No. 2), which in turn took more than Resident Evil (film No.1). Things changed slightly with the release of Afterlife (film No. 4) and Retribution (film No. 5), which sidestepped the pattern, but The Final Chapter (film No. 6) followed suit to become the most successful.

It’s also worth noting that with the sixth entry making more money than the other films, the Resident Evil movies were still proving a big draw at the box-office even at the end of their run. Even if the critics weren’t on side, audiences kept showing up and this was reflected in the money that was generated.



Image: ©Constantin Film/New Legacy Film

So, what do the rankings tell us? Well, it is a bit of a mixed bag in all honesty.

From the information taken from IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes there is no clear ‘favourite’ amongst the films. The original Resident Evil ranks high up, suggesting this is viewed as one of the best entries, but everything else is a bit interchangeable.

In terms of the commercial success of the films, each new entry generally took more than the one that came before, and all were financial hits. This suggests that regardless of which movie is viewed as the ‘best’ (or ‘worst’), audiences were invested in the overall story and followed it through to its conclusion.

So, which is the best of the bunch? Well, ultimately, that’s up to you to decide as there is no outright winner.

Personally, I like the original Resident Evil the most, but I feel that all of the films are generally of the same quality. If you like one of them, then you will like the rest, as they are all similar beasts.

On the flipside, if you don’t enjoy the first film, then I can’t see you enjoying any of the others. The series is very closely knitted together, and only really works for audiences who are willing to invest time in all six chapters.


Thank you for stopping by It’s A Stampede! to read this post about the Resident Evil movie series – I wish it were more conclusive, but it is what it is. For more posts, be sure to check out the recommended reads below.