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The Right Way to Watch the 'Transformers' Movies in Order

Nov 06, 2023Nov 06, 2023

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Autobots and Decepticons have been locked in conflict for thousands of years, but the Transformers have only been a major, non-animated film franchise since 2007. Still, they've managed to accomplish a lot in such a (relatively) short time: There are already six films logged in the franchise, and a seventh film, Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, is due out in theaters on June 9. The films have also jumped around in time, switched leads and leveled a whole bunch of CG cities along the way.

Does this make for a complicated mythology? You bet your AllSpark it does! If you want to refresh yourself before Rise of the Beasts hits theaters this summer — or if you want to try and dive in for the first time — here's how to watch all of the Transformers movies in order. They're in release order, since that's how most audiences have experienced them, but if you're looking for a chronological order, there's a list at the end (featuring two modes of difficulty). There's also information about where to stream all of the movies for your catch-up — you'd think, since they're all Paramount movies, that they'd all be on Paramount+, and while that's mostly true, of course it's never so simple.

Once you've finished with the Transformers, you can move on to other franchises that have new entries this year and watch the Spider-Man movies in order, the Indiana Jones movies in order, the Rocky and Creed movies in order and the Marvel MCU movies in order.

This movie is your typical story about a teen (Sam Witwicky, played by Shia LaBoeuf) and his love for cars — only the car in question is a thousands-year-old robotic being who wants to find the AllSpark and give it to Autobot leader Optimus Prime so he can rebuild their world of Cybertron. Typical teen-movie stuff, right? Standing in their way is Decepticon Megatron, who wants to capture the AllSpark and use it for his own purposes.

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After the events of the first movie, Sam just wants to have a normal college experience and have fun with his girlfriend, Mikaela (Megan Fox). But the Decepticons won't leave him alone, and to stop them, he's eventually lured into a globe-hopping quest to find the ancient Matrix of Leadership, which was hidden on Earth centuries before.

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It seems like Autobots and Decepticon have sneakily been around for all of the most important moments in human history, right? In this movie, during the Space Race the robots in disguise leave an artifact on the dark side of the moon. Decades later, Decepticons use it to cause havoc. Fans remember this one for an extended action scene that takes place across Chicago (a city that rarely gets destroyed in disaster films).

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This is the first Transformers movie that doesn't follow Sam Witwicky — LaBoeuf is out, and in his place is inventor Cade Yaeger, played by Mark Wahlberg. Yaeger gets pulled into the world of the Transformers when an injured Optimus Prime stumbled into his path, and Yaeger chooses to try and fix him instead of alerting the authorities.

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The Transformers go medieval! In this one, Yaeger in informed that ye olde Transformers have stashed Merlin's staff — which is actually alien tech — somewhere underground. Only this time, the one trying to stop Yaeger and his crew from retrieving the staff is Nemesis Prime, a brainwashed version of Optimus.

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Bumblebee features another lineup change, only this one is behind-the-scenes: In place of director Michael Bay, who directed the first five Transformers installments, the director for this one is Travis Knight, known for the stop-motion animated Kubo and the Two Strings. This one takes place in the '80s and has no Witwickys or Yaegers, so it also feels stand-alone. It follows a girl named Charlie Watson (Hailee Steinfeld) who finds and fixes up a yellow VW Beetle — only to, of course, find out it's a Transformer.

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The newest installment introduces viewers to the Maximals, whose transformations resemble animals. This one wasn't directed by Michael Bay or Travis Knight but rather Steven Caple Jr., writer of Creed II, and it stars In the Heights's Anthony Ramos. It'll hit theaters on June 9.


Untangling the whole Transformers timeline is tricky, since, as we know by now, these robots have disguised themselves on Earth for millions of years. But if you want to do it the vaguely easy way, you can watch them in this order after Rise of the Beasts comes out.


Transformers: Rise of the Beasts


Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Transformers: Age of Extinction

Transformers: The Last Knight

If you really want to try and see the whole film series in a strict chronological order, get ready to skip around! The prologues of all the movies flash back to different time periods, reaching far back into the past. To see how the history of the Transformers on Earth parallels all of human history as we've experienced it, you'd have to watch them like this.

Prologue to Transformers: Age of Extinction (takes place in dinosaur times)

Prologue to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (starts of in 17,000 BC)

Prologue to Transformers: The Last Knight (takes place in the Middle Ages — there's also a portion that takes place during World War II and if you're really, really committed, you'll throw this back on after the net one)

Prologue to Transformers (takes place on an arctic expedition in 1897)

Prologue to Transformers: Dark of the Moon (takes place in the '60s Space Race)


Transformers: Rise of the Beasts

The rest of Transformers

The rest of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

The rest of Transformers: Dark of the Moon

The rest of Transformers: Age of Extinction

The rest of Transformers: The Last Knight

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