Movie sequels have a reputation for crushing the high expectations set by their predecessors. It’s hard to get a sequel right. They can be repetitive, stale and sometimes even missing the original cast — in short, sequels tend to be letdowns.

But not every sequel flops. In fact, some even earn higher scores from critics. Here are 10 movie sequels that critics liked better than the original.

1. ‘Mama Mia! Here We Go Again’ (2018)

The “Mamma Mia!” sequel greatly surpassed its predecessor in terms of critics scores and reviews. Movie critic Richard Brody wrote, “If you fused the virtues of the original ‘Mamma Mia!’ and its new sequel, ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again,’ the result would be one good movie,” per The New Yorker. “‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’ stands the earlier movie on its head (while using only a few of the songs that were prominently featured in it).”

Original movie: “Mamma Mia!” (2008).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 55%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 79%.

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2. ‘Paddington 2’ (2017)

With an impressive Rotten Tomatoes score of 97% on the original “Paddington” movie, it took a lot to top — but the filmmakers pulled it off with an almost perfect score on the sequel.

“How rare that a sequel improves upon its original, and rarer still is a perfect film. But ‘Paddington 2’ is both, encouraging gentleness, politeness, and decency,” wrote Roxana Hadadi in Chesapeake Family Magazine.

Original movie: “Paddington” (2014).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 97%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 99%.

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3. ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ (2015)

More than three decades after the release of the original “Mad Max” movie, director George Miller resurrected his story for a fourth time — and it surpassed scores from the previous three and won six Oscars.

“The earlier ‘Mad Max’ films, it pains me to report, have not weathered well,” panned Anthony Land in The New Yorker. “The good news is that “Mad Max: Fury Road” exists in a different league.”

Original movie: “Mad Max” (1979).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 91%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 97%.

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4. ‘Lethal Weapon 2’ (1989)

It’s a close call — but the second “Lethal Weapon” movie impressed critics more than the original. Roger Ebert said the sequel had the same “wild energy” as the first movie and other critics agreed.

“Unlike most sequels “Lethal Weapon 2” is neither predictable nor conventional,” wrote Empire Magazine. “It’s just pumped full of juice.”

Original movie: “Lethal Weapon” (1987).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 80%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 82%.

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5. ‘The Addams Family Values’ (1993)

The 1991 interpretation of “The Addams Family” earned mixed reviews from critics — it was called out for its “repetitiveness” and for being “predictable.” But the sequel exceeded the low exceptions set by the original.

“‘Addams Family Values’ is a slick, witty and mischievous delight, and one of those rare sequels which surpasses its predecessor. Not that the latter was a difficult task,” said the Sydney Morning Herald.

Original movie: “The Addams Family” (1991).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 67%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 75%.

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6. ‘Spider-Man 2’ (2004)

Both the original and the sequel are highly-rated movies — by both fans and critics — but the sequel outstripped the original for being “simultaneously funnier, darker, and more emotional,” per AV Club.

“Like its Marvel Comics cousin ‘X-Men 2,’ this sequel, freed from the dreary burden of exposition, is better than its predecessor, and also superior to most other comic-book-based movies,” claimed A.O. Scott in The New York Times.

Original movie: “Spider-Man” (2002).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 90%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 93%.

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7. ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008)

Every one of the Christoper Nolan-directed “Batman” movies received praise. But out of the critically-acclaimed trio — “The Dark Knight” was appreciated the most. Maybe it’s because it’s where Health Ledger proves his Joker is “mad-crazy-blazing brilliant” or that “it’s full of surprises” — but this movie sealed the trilogy’s fate as a fan and critic favorite.

Original movie: “Batman Begins” (2005).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 84%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 94%.

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8. ‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ (2018)

Marvel movies are vulnerable prey to harsh critics — but the “Ant-Man” movies impressed critics in the original film, and even more in the sequel.

“‘Ant-Man and the Wasp’ is a respite, a fast-moving, cleverly written follow-up that offers up consistent laughs, refreshingly low stakes, and plenty of sight gags,” wrote Roxana Hadadi in Chesapeake Family Magazine.

Original movie: “Ant Man” (2015).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 83%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 87%.

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9. ‘Shrek 2’ (2004)

“Shrek” and its sequel are almost tied in the eyes of critics, but “Shrek 2” is a hair ahead of its predecessor.

“Can an ogre live happily ever after? Can fairy tale characters be content with their fairy tale lives? Can an Oscar-winning animated success generate a successful sequel? To all these questions, ‘Shrek 2’ is happy to answer yes, yes and yes,” praised Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times.

Original movie: “Shrek” (2001).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 88%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 89%.

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10. ‘The Bourne Ultimatum’ (2007)

It wasn’t the second, but the third movie in the “Bourne” series that trumped the original movie, “The Bourne Identity.” Empire Magazine called it “the payoff Bourne fans have been waiting for.”

Original movie: “The Bourne Identity” (2002).

Rotten Tomatoes score of the original: 84%.

Rotten Tomatoes score of the sequel: 92%.

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