Whenever we talk about 3D films, we tend to associate them with high-end visual effects combined with a classic plot which makes it the perfect flick to watch whilst laying on your couch.
The standard of 3D cinema has gone one notch higher as the years have passed with many action and science fiction films now being made completely in 3D.
And with all things moving digital and 3D being a popular genre of films, here’s a list of the best 3D movies with pop-out effects that you should be watching at any cost! (Don’t forget your 3D glasses though!)
15 Best 3D Movies With Pop-Out Effects
1. Avatar (2009) and Avatar: The Way of Water (2022)
- Cast: Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver
- IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
This Oscar-winning film helmed by James Cameron set the benchmark for 3D films to come in the future. The plot of this film revolves around Jake, a paraplegic marine corp who happens to replace his twin on the Na’avi owned Alpha Centauri star system, Pandora.
With time, James is welcomed and accepted by the Na’avi clan. However, James is left in perplexity as to where does his actual loyalty lie- towards Earth or Pandora?
The film goes on to explore the lives of the Na’vi clan and the scintillating landscapes of Pandora whilst adding James’ indecisiveness as a key to the plot.
With stunning visual effects and an equally impressive plot, the film not just went on to shatter box-office records but also won the Oscars in 2010. After all, who would love to miss a film that the Oscars also love!
You can watch Avatar on Disney+, and Google Play Movies.
2. Life of Pi (2012)
- Cast: Irrfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma
- IMDb Rating: 7.9/10
Here’s another Academy award certified 3D film- The Life of Pi. Based on the namesake novel, this film is about Pi Patel, an Indian Tamilian boy who hails from a zoo-keeping family and is heading toward his destination on a ship.
However, things take a turn for the worse when the ship is struck by a thunderstorm and Pi uses one of the lifeboats to survive.
On further exploration, the film goes on to depict the exciting company that a deserted Pi gets in the form of a hyena and zebra whilst innovating some fantastic things to survive the ordeal.
With mesmerizing visual effects of the marine world and some powerful performances, The Life of Pi would be a treat to your eyes!
3. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
- Cast: Andy Serkis, Toby Kebbell, Keri Russel
- IMDb Rating: 7.6/10
Third, in the list of best 3D movies with pop-out effects, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is a sequel to the Rise of the Planet of the Apes after a ten-year hiatus.
The film is centered on a group of people in San Francisco who happened to survive the Simian Flu but are in for a rude shock when Ceasar, the leader of an intelligent tribe of apes decides to invade the city due to a misunderstanding between the human race and his tribe.
The film also shows the massive amounts of destruction caused by the apes and the eventual war between the humans and Ceasar’s army. Both of them refuse to listen to each other and reach amicable solutions to resolve the issue with things reaching a standstill
Boasting some world-class VFX effects along with an exciting action plot, this is one of those 3D films which can have you at the edge of your seat and your heart racing in no time!
4. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (2012)
- Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Josh Hutcherson, Vanessa Hudgens
- IMDb Rating: 5.8/10
Based on the Jules Verne novel, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island is about the story of Sean, who receives a coded message from an uninhabited island and suspects it to be that from his missing grandfather.
His stepfather Hanks teams up with him and a bunch of other mates and set themselves on a mission to find Sean’s grandfather and the mythical island.
The story further narrates the exciting series of adventures that the quartet experiences on their quest. From interactions with a giant frilled lizard to crossing mountainous terrains amidst giant bee-eating birds, one of the best 3D movies with pop-out effects scores brilliantly on the adventure count and the box-office collections.
However, its critical reception wasn’t well-received which shouldn’t take away much of this flick made exclusively for adventure junkies.
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5. Finding Nemo (2003)
- Cast: Albert Brooks, Alexander Gould, Barry Humphries
- IMDb Rating: 8.1/10
Set in Australian waters in the Great Barrier Reef, Finding Nemo is the tale of Marlin, an Australian clownfish whose son Nemo is trapped in an aquarium and is in search of a route to escape and reunite with his father, who had lost his everything in a barracuda attack.
The film goes on to explore the adventurous and Houdini-like escape of the father-son duo who with the help of other fish- Dory, Bubbles, Peach, and Bloat, to name a few. While it does have an adventurous and suspense-oriented plot, the film also showcases the heartwarming father-son bond and the love between them. The 3D film received positive critical appreciation and was a massive commercial success.
6. Pacific Rim (2013)
- Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, Charlie Day
- IMDb Rating: 6.9/10
This 2013 Sci-Fi Hollywood flick is about the fight between the humans and the Kaijus, a monster group of monster creatures having their origins at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean.
It comes, from Stacker Pentecost, a scientist who believes that his range of Jaegers would solve this menace for good and would save humanity from a catastrophic crisis.
The focal point of this movie is the war between the Kaijus and the Jaegers and the exhilarating fight sequences between the two monster clans and the crisis that humanity faces while they wage a war. With high-octane action and 3D brilliance being the spine of this film, this one is for you if you are a big fan of monster-themed stories.
7. Monsters University (2013)
- Cast: Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Charlie Day
- IMDb Rating: 7.2/10
Seventh on the list of one of the best 3D movies with pop-out effects is Monsters University. Produced by Pixar Animation Studios, Monsters University is about two monsters named Mike and Sulley who join Monsters University to graduate and become the most intimidating monsters on the planet. The two happen to be arch-rivals who cannot stand each other but eventually go on to become the closest of friends.
Monsters University also touches on the spirit of competitiveness between the two of them with each one trying to outperform the other in the annual Scare Games. Seasoned with a zest of humor and some brilliant 3D effects, Monster Games is a perfect film to indulge in when you’re down in the dumps!
8. Despicable Me 2 (2013)
- Cast: Kristen Wiig, Steve Carrell, Miranda Cosgrove
- IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
The second in the list of the Despicable Me series, this animated 3D film is about the robbery of a potent mutagen named PX-41 and the bad guy turned full-time dad Gru being hired to track down the gang involved in the theft of PX-41. Gru initially refuses the offer, but ultimately accepts the offer after his aide goes rogue.
The adventurous crime saga and the well-executed screenplay happen to be the highlights of this film. Not to forget, the trademark Pixar animation is visible in every single frame, thereby making it a must-watch for all the 3D enthusiasts out there.
9. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)
- Cast: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrera, Gerard Butler
- IMDb Rating: 7.8/10
Succeeding from the first part, the second installment has Hiccup and Toothless as the central characters, who are faced with the threat of Drago, a dragon trapper. Drago decides to create mayhem all over Berk by capturing all the other dragons and constantly attacking the village. The two boys decide to take things into their own hands and save Berk from a massive catastrophe.
The film majorly revolves around the action sequences between Drago and the duo of Hiccup and Toothless and the well-captured direction in 3D form. The animation along with the exciting twists is what makes this film a good one for kids to relish!
10. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)
- Cast: Peter Jackson, Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman
- IMDb Rating: 7.4/10
Directed by Peter Jackson, this film is about Bilbo who has to fight several enemies to save his dwarf friends and protect his village after a major conflict has arisen in his village.
The film witnesses a series of action-packed sequences and plenty of fights along with quality 3D effects which make it a decent watch for any action and 3D lover.
11. Ant-Man (2015)
- Cast: Paul Rudd, Evangeline Lilly, Michael Douglas
- IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
This 2015 film is about Scott, a professional thief, who comes across a certain YellowJacket, which gives him the ability to shrink, and tries to misuse it after knowing of its benefits. However, he needs to ensure that his so-called superhero status is protected and is a secret to the outside world.
The film rides high on action and visual effects and the constant vying for the ownership of the jacket between Scott, Lang, and Pym is what adds more spice to this 3D plot. If you’re a die-hard Marvel fan, then this one is definitely for you!
12. The Invisible Man (2020)
- Cast: Elizabeth Moss, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Aldis Hodge
- IMDb Rating: 7.1/10
Loosely based on the namesake novel by HG Wells, The Invisible Man depicts the tale of Cecilia, whose abusive ex-boyfriend fakes his death and has gained the power of invisibility. He uses it to stalk and mentally torture her to the point of her experiencing hallucinations. She senses something wrong and sets herself up for a meeting with the actual truth.
Cecilia’s tale of horror and misery has been further amplified using some marvelous 3D technology which is enough to send some shivers down your spine as well. With a blend of eye-popping 3D and some psychological thrill, The Invisible Man is a perfect recipe for seamless visual trickery.
13. Underworld: Awakening (2012)
- Cast: Kate Beckinsale, India Eisley, Theo James
- IMDb Rating: 6.4/10
This Action/Horror movie describes the tale of Selene, a vampire warrior, who discovers that humans have decided to eradicate her community and decides to lead a battle against them for doing so. She teams along with another vampire girl, and David, a young vampire and devises a plan to become the party poopers of the human race.
Underworld: Awakening has plenty of gory and gruesome action in it which is further intensified with the usage of uber-cool and modern 3D technology. The characters become larger than life and with plenty of depth in the storyline, this makes it a pretty good watch for this genre.
14. The Walk (2015)
- Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Charlotte Le Bon, Ben Kingsley
- IMDb Rating: 7.3/10
If you’re a person who loves adventure and daredevilry, this film is tailor-made for your requirements. The Walk is the story of French street performer, Phillipe Petit, who has a kick for performing daredevil and dangerous stunts. His dream is to walk on a tightrope between the Twin Towers of New York and he recruits a team of people to help him live that dream.
While the extreme amounts of adventure seem to quadruple with the 3D effects in place, it surely is going to bring a tear to your eye as it may bring back the haunting memories of the 9/11 attacks. Notwithstanding that, The Walk will take you on a journey full of experiences, possibilities, and an outstanding 3D atmosphere.
15. Gravity (2013)
- Cast: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Ed Harris
- IMDb Rating: 7.7/10
If you ever want to experience the world of outer space to its fullest, consider Gravity your best. The movie pivots around the lives of two space scientists- Dr. Ryan Stone, an engineer, and Matt Kowalski, an astronaut.
They are en route to a space mission and that’s when tragedy strikes as their spacecraft has been struck by high-speed debris. With things getting grim after the death of Kowalski, Dr. Stone must make all efforts to survive the catastrophic ordeal.
The movie’s visual effects are its biggest USP as the outer-space action seems larger than life where the debris almost seems to pop out of your screen. Coupled with an invigorating survivor plot, Gravity will make sure that you lose your gravity after watching those jaw-dropping visuals!
With major restrictions around due to the pandemic and boredom becoming your best friend now, these 3D movies with pop-out effects will break the monotony from your life and be the silver lining in the cloud in challenging times like these.
How To Watch 3D Movies On the Quest 2 and Meta Quest Pro?
To watch 3D movies on the Oculus Quest 2, you will need to have a compatible 3D movie file and a VR media player app.
- First, transfer the 3D movie file to your Quest 2. You can do this by connecting the Quest 2 to your computer using a USB cable, and then transferring the file to the device’s internal storage or an external USB storage device.
- Next, download a VR media player app such as VRPlayer or VRTV Player from the Oculus Store on your Quest 2.
- Open the media player app and navigate to the location of the 3D movie file.
- Select the movie file and choose the appropriate 3D format option. Most VR media players support different 3D formats such as side-by-side, over-under, and anaglyph.
- Put on your Quest 2 headset and adjust the settings in the media player app to enable 3D viewing.
- You should now be able to watch the 3D movie in a virtual cinema-like environment.
Note: Some 3D movies are also available to buy or rent on platforms such as Oculus TV, which is an app that offers a variety of movies and TV shows.
Hope this list of the best 3D movies with pop-out effects ends your search here but there is more to experience: