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The Live-Action Transformers Movies, Ranked From Worst To Best

The Live-Action Transformers Movies, Ranked From Worst To Best Image
  • Posted on 08th Apr, 2022 15:50 PM

Although they raked in money at the box office, not all the Michael Bay Transformers movies were that great. Here's everyone one of them, ranked.

p>The Transformers movies do a good job of bringing childhood heroes to the big screen in mind-boggling 3D. When the first movie was released, it was a huge deal that served as a springboard for the release of other epic cinematic adventures in the franchise. As the movies kept coming, however, their stories and action set pieces grew more bloated and convoluted. Consequently, the series garnered a negative overall reception, at least with critics; however, financially, Transformers largely performed well at the box office.

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Hardcore fans were especially disappointed with the fifth movie, as it completely contradicted the films that came it. Polarizing as they can be, Michael Bay's Transformers clearly strike a chord with plenty of people, even if the movies' low points are among the worst in the entire franchise's history. Since it's obvious that not all the movies are of the same quality, which is the best Transformers movie?

Updated April 2, 2022 by Mark Sammut: More than three years have passed since the last Transformers movie, Bumblebee, but the future still looks bright for the Autobots and Decepticons. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts is scheduled for a 2023 debut, and a prequel is expected to drop a year later. While originally associated with Michael Bay, the franchise has moved on to other filmmakers, with Travis Knight handling Bumblebee and Steven Caple Jr. directing the upcoming sequel. As exciting as the series' future is, the past also holds plenty of robot-themed awesomeness. Consequently, this article has been expanded to include more information about the best live-action Transformers movies.

6 Transformers: The Last Knight

Release Date June 21, 2017
Director Michael Bay
Rotten Tomatoes Score 15%
Box Office Earnings (Worldwide) $605,425,157

If there was a movie that wrecked the storyline of the Transformers franchise, it was The Last Knight. The whole story was very confusing. Not only did it claim that the Transformers have been here for millennia, but it also made mention of Bumblebee's participation in World War 2. This was a total contradiction to the first movie that clearly showed the Autobots' first arrival to earth.

Although, the second installment in the franchise also claimed that the Transformers have been on Earth for a long time, The Last Knight went too far by telling audiences that Bumblebee was a World War 2 veteran. Also, including Merlin in the whole thing made the story almost disastrous. That said, the fight scenes and Optimus' speeches made up for some of the movie's flaws.

5 Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen

Release Date June 24, 2009
Director Michael Bay
Rotten Tomatoes Score 20%
Box Office Earnings (Worldwide) $836,303,693

When Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was released, a lot was expected from it due to the fact that its predecessor was quite good; sadly, the sequel couldn't keep up with the previous movie, and it received backlash from fans. The movie seemed to suffer from a lack of Optimus Prime. After the first film, it was safe to say that fans wanted more of the iconic Autobot, however, Optimus was mostly absent in the sequel.

Besides that, Revenge of the Fallen takes viewers on a journey with the protagonists as they go to find what could potentially resurrect Optimus so he could defeat the Fallen once and for all. The climactic fight is entertaining too as both Autobots and humans give it their all to stop the Decepticons. The way Optimus brings the fighting to an end is jaw-dropping as well. In all, this movie has decent moments but is let down by poor pacing, an overly long runtime, and some questionable humor.

4 Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Release Date June 27, 2014
Director Michael Bay
Rotten Tomatoes Score 17%
Box Office Earnings (Worldwide) $1,104,054,072

Transformers: Age of Extinction presented the Autobots as terrors to the human race and how the world tried to get rid of them. This concept wasn't all that bad, but the annoying part was the aspect of creating man-made Transformers. These suddenly made the Autobots and Transformers in general feel less special, especially since a major draw to the series is the fact that they are alien beings that fight to protect mankind. Age of Extinction adding soulless robots to the mix did nothing good for the franchise.

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There was also the case of Lockdown, the bounty hunter, whose role in the story was almost insignificant. It was hard to see him as anything other than a distraction. Besides these flaws, Age of Extinction is still entertaining in its own right thanks to some epic fight scenes and fun performances from the likes of T.J. Miller, Stanley Tucci, and Kelsey Grammer.

3 Transformers

Release Date July 3, 2007
Director Michael Bay
Rotten Tomatoes Score 58%
Box Office Earnings (Worldwide) $709,709,780

The first installment in the Transformers franchise is also one of the best Transformers movies so far. Audiences were introduced to an average teenage boy who tries to buy a car and winds up in the middle of an alien conflict.

Viewers saw how Sam befriended the Autobots and their leader, Optimus Prime. When fighting broke out on Earth, soldiers were at a complete disadvantage because they had no clue how to battle such strange beings, but the Autobots were able to even out the playing field as much as possible, making the battle balanced rather than a one-sided massacre. This first movie had a lot to offer Transformers fans, and it delivered an intriguing plot that entertained from start to finish. Due to its streamlined runtime, the 2007 film is also one of the most rewatchable in the franchise.

2 Transformers: Dark Of The Moon

Release Date June 21, 2017
Director Michael Bay
Rotten Tomatoes Score 35%
Box Office Earnings (Worldwide) $1,123,794,079

When it comes to a thrilling storyline and epic fights, Dark of the Moon takes the cake as it connects the moon landing to the Cybertron war. The movie introduces audiences to Sentinel Prime who ultimately betrayed the Autobots. The battle of Chicago is gruesome, and it brings out the best in humans and Autobots alike.

For long-time fans of the Transformers cartoons, they could look forward to seeing Shockwave join the action. Dark of the Moon also shows Optimus in all his butt-kicking glory. The fight are long and exhausting for both parties, but the climax is highly satisfying.

1 Bumblebee

Release Date December 21, 2018
Director Travis Knight
Rotten Tomatoes Score 90%
Box Office Earnings (Worldwide) $467,989,645

By the time The Last Knight debuted, Transformers was starting to experience franchise fatigue, so a change of pace was desperately needed. Despite being the least commercially successful entry in the series, Bumblebee garnered a positive critical reception, something that had eluded these movies since the original live-action release.

Taking a page from classics like E.T., Bumblebee feels like a throwback to charming "human befriends alien" movies from yesteryear. Boasting great performances by Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena, this spin-off tells the most straightforward and simultaneously the most emotionally nuanced story in the franchise, all the while presenting the titular Autobot at his most lovable.

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