9. 'Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald' (2018)
“Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” came into the franchise on slightly shaky feet. Not only was the first's reception mixed-to-lukewarm, there was also a swirl of controversy around the casting (and continued employment) of Johnny Depp as the titular dark wizard. (When J.K. Rowling has to issue a statement on Twitter, you know it’s a big deal.) So it’s a relief to say that the sequel is a total blast, an ornate, appropriately epic follow-up that feels like an honest-to-goodness part of the franchise (and not some weird side quest, like the first one did). Eddie Redmayne, as the twitchy Newt Scamander, endears more than annoys this time around, and Jude Law as Sexy Young Dumbledore is a welcome addition. (Also, critics be damned, Depp is terrific.) Darker, stranger, and more pointedly political, even if you weren’t a fan of the first, this should cast its spell on you.