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Jurassic Park III

Dino Might

The 10 Best Movie Dinosaurs

Catch a Jurassic Park movie marathon Sunday, Jan. 31st starting at 6P on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

“God creates dinosaurs, God kills dinosaurs, God creates man, man kills God, man brings back dinosaurs.” Those are the words of Michael Crichton, from his blockbuster 1990 novel Jurassic Park, and they would prove to be spot-on. From the dawn of movies, filmmakers have been obsessed with bringing dinosaurs back from the dead, whether with wire and clay or computer pixels. Before you catch IFC’s Jurassic Park movie marathon, check out this list of the best big screen dinos that’s 65 million years in the making.

10. Indominus Rex, Jurassic World

Legendary Pictures

Legendary Pictures

Much like the movie itself, which picked over the bones of past Jurassic Park films to create something new, Indominus Rex was something of a Frankenstein monster, combining elements of everything from Tyrannosauruses and Velociraptors to Tree Frogs and Viper Snakes. What resulted was the first genetically modified dinosaur in the franchise’s history, a hybrid that was intended to be the most kick-ass creature we’d ever seen. While “Indominus Got Next” couldn’t make us forget the thrills the franchise had once delivered, it did help Jurassic World become the third highest grossing movie ever…well, until a dinosaur of ’70s cinema called Star Wars reared its head once again.

9. King Koopa, Super Mario Bros.

Buena Vista Pictures

Buena Vista Pictures

Nintendo was still new to the movie world when they signed away the film rights to their video game hit Super Mario Bros., leading to a dystopian nightmare of a movie that owed more to Blade Runner than Donkey Kong. The push and pull between dark, adult fair and cartoon nonsense is right there on the screen, right down to a truly bizarre performance from Dennis Hopper. (As if there’s any other kind.) Playing King Koopa, a T.rex descendant who rules over an alternate dimension called Dinohattan with an iron fist, the actor goes full Hopper here, helping turn this crap-tastic movie into a camp classic.

8. Dimetrodon, Journey to the Center of the Earth

20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox

While the 2008 remake may have had bigger thrills (and a hunk-splosion in the form of Brendan Fraser), the 1959 original Journey to the Center of the Earth takes the cake for one reason: iguanas playing dinosaurs. (Iguanas! With weird appliances glued onto their backs!) Between actor Clifton Webb falling ill and having to be replaced, and Arlene Dahl passing out after screaming for her life during a difficult stunt, this movie seems like it was a bit of a disaster. But nothing can beat the awe-inspiring sight of a pet shop lizard with a green fin glued onto its spine.

7. Allosaurus, The Lost World

First National Pictures

First National Pictures

This 1925 silent adventure film, based on the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle story, was the first movie about dinosaurs ever made. Full of effects and thrills that were unheard of at the time, it paved the way for classics such as King Kong, which wouldn’t be made for another eight years. While Brute Force, made in 1914, was the first movie to feature a dinosaur, this was the first movie to have them be the driving part of the story, and do battle with each other. And if we have to pick just one favorite, we’ll go with the feisty Allosaurus who seems to pick fights with any dinosaur it comes across.

6. Grimlock, Transformers: Age of Extinction

Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures

Moving up the list, it was inevitable that we’d find our way to robot dinosaurs. That’s just common sense. While the dignified dinos above could all kick some serious ass, none could transform into a 40-foot tall centurion, complete with an Energon sword used to create maximum carnage. Sure, the Transformer film franchise might not be great art, but this is a robot dinosaur people! It can shoot fire out of its mouth! It would be irresponsible to rank it any lower than 6th on this list.

5. T. Rex, Caveman

United Artists

United Artists

When the T. Rex in this 1981 Ringo Starr camp classic ate a magical fruit that worked just like cannabis, he became ravenous. Hey, we’ve all been there. That led to the inevitable question: if you were seriously stoned, which member of The Beatles would you eat? While the movie has been much derided over the years, how many dinosaurs can claim to have hung with one of the Fab Four?

4. Dino, The Flintstones

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Arguably the most famous dinosaur in the history of pop culture, this CGI version of The Flintstone’s dino-pooch did a decent job of capturing the original Hanna-Barbera magic. For anyone who’s ever had a beloved pet, they can relate to the special relationship Dino shares with his family. Sure, he may be single-handedly responsible for the glut of misinformation that’s out there about human and dinosaur cohabitation. But who could resist those slobbery kisses when coming home from a long day at the Slate Rock and Gravel Company?

3. Littlefoot, The Land Before Time

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures

Poor Loveable Littlefoot, a young Brontosaurus who lost his mother, and had to rely on his friends to help him make it to the “Great Valley” before all of the dinosaurs went extinct. A heartbreaking children’s movie from the minds of Steven Spielberg and George Lucas, this animated classic was Bambi for kids of the ’80s. We grew up with Littlefoot, who would go on to front 13 different movies and a TV series. Sure, not all were classics, but we’ll always remember Littefoot’s mother telling him, and all of us, “let your heart guide you. It whispers so listen closely.”

2. T. Rex, King Kong

RKO Radio Pictures

RKO Radio Pictures

If you’re talking movie star dinosaurs, few are more famous than this Tyrannosaurus Rex, who turned a butt whooping at the hands of King Kong into one of the most famous scenes in movie history. This is a movie that’s been remade twice, and placed on the National Film Registry, which means that there’s a good chance aliens will be watching these two behemoths doing battle long after we’re all extinct.

1. TIE: T. Rex and Velociraptors, Jurassic Park

Universal Studios

Universal Studios

There’s just no way to pick between these two dinos, who helped turn Jurassic Park into the biggest movie of 1993, and usher in the dawn of CGI. Between the terrifying majesty of T.rex, and the slow realization that the Raptors aren’t the mindless beasts we assumed them to be, this movie mixes the taut tension of a thriller with some of the most jaw-dropping action sequences in the history of film. It’s no wonder that the climactic moment of the movie is when the T. Rex and the Raptors finally face off in a throw down for the ages.


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…


A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.