Walk of Fame These are the Best Action Movies of all Time! Published 3 years ago on Feb 28, 2016 By Isabelle Garreaud It seems like every year, we add more and more action movies to the best of all time list. They seem to only get better as technology improves and computer-generated imagery keeps showing us that anything is possible. As much as we love comedies and dramas, the best movies are those that include covert operations, killers, and explosions! From movies that make you doubt everything to superhero’s saving the world to revenge, these are the best action movies of all time! How many of these action movies have you seen? 1. Speed (1994) Sandra Bullock’s characters are always getting themselves into tricky situations and in this movie, she’s the driver of an explosive bus! 20th Century Fox Jack Traven (Keanu Reeves) and Harry Temple (Dennis Hopper) are LA SWAT officers who learn that a city bus is rigged with a bomb. The bomb will go off if the driver goes below 50MPH and Annie Porter (Bullock) ends up in the driver’s seat. As you can imagine, it is a very suspenseful action film! 2. From Russia With Love (1963) Obviously, James Bond has to be on this list but picking the best ones is definitely hard. This one was actually based on the book by Ian Fleming of the same title. United Artists This is the second James Bond film and Sean Connery reprised his role as the 007 agent. SPECTRE wants revenge for Bond killing Dr. No and the whole showdown happens in Turkey. The spy thriller did even better in the blockbuster than the first film and pretty much established that the James Bond franchise was going to be a thing! 3. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991) Whether you hate Arnold Schwarzenegger or not, you got to admit that Terminator was an entertaining action movie and the second one was even better! TriStar Pictures The Austrian actor is memorable for playing the cyborg assassin who is once again, set back in time to complete a specific mission. Only this time, he is going to protect John Connor, the future Human Resistance leader and ultimately prevent the nuclear holocaust, aka Judgement Day. Robert Patrick plays the advanced terminator who goes back in time to kill John. The visual effects and action scenes are what made this a great movie! 4. Rocky (1976) Rocky’s ready to make a move, yeah/Rocky’s ready he just can’t lose, yeah… You don’t even have to be a fan of the series to recognize its catchy music! United Artists After the first Rocky film was released, it became the highest-grossing film of the year! The film stars Sylvester Stallone, who also is the movie’s writer, as a young boxer trying to make something of his life. As great as the sequels are, it is always the classic original that people love the most! 5. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) This was the third Indiana Jones film collaborated by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg. They decided, though, to make this one less bloody and violent. Paramount Pictures The Last Crusade is the Nazi era one that features the archaeologist’s dad played by Sean Connery. The plot is actually about going after the disappeared Henry Jones, Sr who went looking for the Holy Grail. Remember when Indiana Jones got his father’s diary signed by Hitler by accident? 6. The Matrix (1999) Ah, the movie that made you doubt your existence and the world around you. Are we in the real world or in a virtual reality created by machines? Warner Bros. The Matrix itself is the simulated reality that most humans in the future are living in. When the computer programmer Neo finds out that his world isn’t actually the real one, it causes problems. Now, we have humans fighting life-like machines and a lot of slow-motion action scenes! 7. Jurassic Park (1993) Here is another action film based off of a novel. Jurassic Park takes after the 1990 Michael Crichton book of the same name and the rights to make a movie were bought before the book was even published! Universal Pictures Steven Spielberg was certainly right that this sci-fi movie would be a hit! It ended up being the highest-grossing film ever in 1993 and would hold that record for 4 years. The story goes that a billionaire philanthropist created a wildlife park of cloned dinosaurs on a small island. As you can imagine, a lot of things go wrong! 8. Die Hard (1988) Bruce Willis was certainly remembered for this movie series! It all began in 1988, directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. mentalfloss.com Willis plays John McClane, an NYPD officer who decides to do some unofficial investigation after his wife and her employers get held hostage by what appears to be a terrorist group. He ends up having to take on organized criminals, whose leader is Hans Gruber played by Alan Rickman. This action packed movie definitely influenced later films of the same drama! 9. Dirty Harry (1971) Action series really are a popular thing. The Dirty Harry series is one of Clint Eastwood’s most memorable movies and people are still quoting his character today! Warner Bros. In 2012, the film was chosen to be preserved in the National Film Registry because it was “culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant.” It is based on the real-life Zodiac Killer case, except they made it more appealing by having a San Francisco inspector chasing after the serial killer. As you know, Dirty Harry Callahan doesn’t break murder cases, he smashes them! 10. Goldfinger (1964) The third James Bond film had an iconic scene that people are still replicating today! I mean, how could you forget a beautiful woman painted entirely with gold paint, which ultimately kills her! United Artists Sean Connery is once again playing the M16 agent and his life is still very thrilling. There were two memorable bond girls in this movie—Shirley Eaton, who played the gold-covered Jill Masterson and Honor Blackman as Pussy Galore. Bond’s mission this time around is investigating gold smuggling by Auric Goldfinger. This James Bond film was the first to become a blockbuster and win an Oscar! 11. Aliens (1986) After the first sci-fi/horror movie Alien, created by Ridley Scott, did so well, James Cameron decided to give it a shot at creating his own! 20th Century Fox Aliens is the sequel to Scott’s and brought back Sigourney Weaver’s character, Ellen Ripley. She decides to go back to the same planet she dealt with in the first film but brings along a unit of space marines to help her out. Invading an alien-infested planet is never a good idea and it ends how you think it would—with war. 12. Star Wars: Episode IV—A New Hope (1977) Any Star Wars fan knows that the episodes do not happen in order. Episode IV is actually the first installment in the franchise and was originally just called Star Wars. Disney Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and Carrie Fisher made their debut as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia. As you probably know, the story is about the Rebel Alliance trying to take down the Galactic Empire’s space station, the Death Star. After this film was released, their lives changed forever because their movie would go on to become one of biggest movie series ever! The first episode is currently the second-highest-grossing film in North America! 13. Enter the Dragon (1973) There is probably only one actor you would recognize from this film as the main character is the iconic martial artist, Bruce Lee! Golden Harvest Enter the Dragon is a Hong Kong-American martial arts film and a lot of people argue that it is one of the greatest martial arts films of all time. It was Lee’s last film and is preserved by the National Film Registry for its cultural significance. The movie shows the battle between the crime lord Han and Lee after the latter gets hired to take him down. 14. The Delta Force (1986) Speaking of martial artists, this film stars the infamous Chuck Norris—the guy who is so tough no one can beat him. Cannon Films This film also stars Lee Marvin as the commander of the Delta Force unit and it is based on the actual U.S. Army Delta Force unit. Norris plays the other leader of the Delta Force, Major Scott McCoy and together with Marvin’s character, Colonel Nick Alexander, they deal with a terrorist situation on a plane. This movie definitely helped with the meme that Norris is one badass guy! 15. Taken (2008) Here is another movie that started a meme! Remember the famous line, “I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.” 20th Century Fox Liam Neeson plays the guy who said that iconic line after his daughter gets kidnapped while vacationing in France. The Albanian human traffickers had no idea that Bryan Mills (Neeson) was a former CIA operative who would stop at nothing to save his teenage daughter, Kim (Maggie Grace). The whole movie is action packed until the end when Bryan fulfills his promise. 16. True Lies (1994) Sometimes you need to hide your identity from your wife because it is a matter of national security if you tell her what your job really is. 20th Century Fox Yet, it is bound to come out sooner or later and that is where the plot of this movie comes in. Arnold Schwarzenegger plays Harry Tasker who lives a double life as a black operative for a covert counter-terrorism task force but his wife, Helen, (Jamie Lee Curtis) thinks he is a computer salesman. In between the action-packed moments, there are funny scenes where a car salesman hits on Helen pretending to be a spy. 17. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) This movie is actually the 4th one in the Mad Max installment and seems to be the favorite in the action series. This one was actually released 30 years after the 3rd one. Warner Bros Mad Max fans were happy to see their favorite dystopian series be revived. Mel Gibson did the first three films but wasn’t in this one. Instead, Tom Hardy is Mad Max Rockatansky and the future is as grim as it was with scarce water and gas. He and Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) try to escape the cult leader Immortan Joe, which leads to an exciting, violent road battle! 18. Cell 211 (2009) This is a very suspenseful prison movie that gets overlooked when talking about best action movies but it deserves recognition because of its memorable characters and gripping storyline. Telecinco Cinema The movie stars Alberto Ammann as Juan Oliver, a new prison guard who needs to join forces with his inmates in order to survive. By luck, the prisoners think he is one of them when Malamadre (Luis Tosar) starts a riot and it soon gets more violent when everyone finds out there are Basque terrorists amongst them. You won’t be able to look away until the last second! 19. The Hurt Locker (2009) This movie is considered to be one of the best war films and it proved so during the Academy Awards by winning 6 Oscars! Summit Entertainment The action-thriller is about the Iraq War Explosive Ordnance Disposal team, who are being attacked by insurgents. Cue a lot of booby traps, explosions, and ambushes. The film wasn’t just about the action, though, as it showed a lot of the PTSD affects soldiers have and how each soldier responds to things differently. The movie’s writer, Mark Boal, wanted to make this movie as authentic as possible so he drew on the real-life experiences of soldiers! 20. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) The movie that brought “all” the Marvel superheroes together to save the world (aka, NYC) from an alien attack led by Loki (Tom Hiddleston). Marvel While you didn’t need to have watched the other 6 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe leading up to The Avengers, it certainly would have given you some background of the major characters. Iron Man ( Robert Downey Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), and the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) are recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to save Manhattan from Thor’s mad brother. 21. Casino Royale (2006) The 21st James Bond film decided to be a complete reboot of the famed series, including a reinvention of the 007 agent. Columbia Pictures Casino Royale brings James Bond back to when he first started out as an M16 agent who hasn’t received his license to kill yet. Actor Daniel Craig was chosen to be the new face of the agent, succeeding 2002’s Pierce Brosnan. Besides a new timeline, the film made James Bond appear to be more vulnerable, less cold-hearted, and even less experienced, which fans loved! 22. Avatar (2009) James Cameron managed to pass his own record of having the highest-grossing film of all time (Titanic) and Avatar was also the first film ever to gross more than $2 billion! 20th Century Fox Cameron actually started this project back in the 1990’s but put it on hold because he felt that technology wasn’t advanced enough to give him what he wants. The wait ended up paying off because the film’s visual effects and cinematography turned out to be amazing! The movie’s main setting, the habitable moon Pandora, was beautifully created and the blue-skinned Na’vi tribe made this movie iconic! 23. Superman II (1980) The actor Christopher Reeve was the original Superman/Clark Kent and Superman II seemed to be more thrilling than the first DC Comics film! thatmomentin.com In this Superman movie, you have the criminals General Zod (Terence Stamp), Ursa (Sarah Douglas), and Non (Jack O’Halloran) wanting revenge for being banished to the Phantom Zone. By revenge, I mean they attack astronauts, an Idaho town, and then eventually, hold the U.S. president hostage. Now, it is up to Superman to save the world again while also dealing with the fact that Lois Lane figures out Clark Kent’s secret identity. 24. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) This movie is the sequel to Return of the Jedi (1983) and the first film in the Star Wars sequel trilogy. It is also the first film in the series to not be produced by George Lucas. Disney Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher reprise their old roles while a whole lot of new characters were added for fans to obsess over. The Force Awakens takes place 30 years after Return of the Jedi where Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron go on a mission to find Luke Skywalker and defeat Kylo Ren. 25. Independence Day (1996) The Fourth of July may be the date of our nation’s birth but to action movie fans, it is the day Will Smith save the world from an alien invasion! 20th Century Fox The movie was released on July 2nd, the same day the story begins, and ended up grossing over $817.4 million worldwide! The story is about an alien invasion that happens in major cities around the world, causing panic and thousands of deaths. With the help of a trained satellite technician and a Marine F/A-18 pilot, the world eventually gets saved. 26. The Raid: Redemption (2011) As great as computer-generated imagery is, it is not all that necessary to make a good movie. Sometimes, you just need good characters and old fashion fighting skills! Celluloid Nightmares The Raid: Redemption is an Indonesian martial arts action movie that uses the traditional fighting style, Pencak Silat. We see a lot of intense hand-to-hand choreography scenes between SWAT members and criminals. Did I mention that they all are trapped in an apartment building? 27. Gladiator (2000) Here is one of Russell Crowe’s most memorable movies in which he plays a general turned slave turned revenge seeker. Universal Pictures Crowe’s character, Maximus Decimus Meridius was a skilled general in the Roman army and was going to be appointed a ruler but then the emperor’s son murders his own dad. Worst comes to worst and Meridius finds his family murdered and gets captured by slavers. He gets turned into a gladiator and becomes a victorious one at that, using his fame to get closer to the emperor’s son so he can kill him. Definitely a lot of action in this movie! 28. Bad Boys (1995) I mean, you have Martin Lawrence and Will Smith playing Miami narcotic detectives who manage to blow things up. What more do you need? Columbia Pictures Michael Bay directed this buddy-cop action movie and it ended up turning into a franchise! Detectives Marcus Burnett and Mike Lowrey are in charge of protecting the murder witness Julie Hott while also dealing with a case of stolen heroin. It is a typical action movie with guns, explosives, and chases but this one includes funny actors running around Miami in a Ferrari because why not? 29. RoboCop (1987) Terminator meet Iron Man. RoboCop is exactly what you think it is about but has more graphic violence than you think! Orion Pictures In fact, the producers had to cut a lot of scenes out in order to get it to an R-rating. Despite the fact that they lessened the violence, it is still an action-filled movie that will make you wonder if this is what our future is. They certainly guessed that Detroit will be a city high of crime but maybe a superhuman cyborg isn’t the way to deal with that. Either way, Peter Weller did a remarkable job as a human/robot! 30. Lethal Weapon (1987) Here is another popular action movie from 1987 but it is certainly different from RoboCop! It is more of a comedy for starters and is considered to be the basis of buddy-cop movies! Warner Bros. What made this movie stand out is its dichotomy. You have the young narcotics Sergeant Martin Riggs (Mel Gibson) partnered with the 50-year-old homicide Sergeant Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover). One of them is totally fine with shooting his gun at any moment and the other is a bit shy with his gun. They eventually have to put their differences aside, though, to take down the criminal Joshua (Gary Busey). 31. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) This film is the first one of Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker’s crime comedy series that is based on the TV show, Police Squad! Paramount Pictures Leslie Nielsen starred in it as the police lieutenant Frank Drebin, Priscilla Presley as Jane Spencer, George Kennedy as Capt. Ed Hocken, and Ricardo Montalbán as Vincent Ludwig. O.J. Simpson was also in this action movie, playing LA Detective Nordberg who manages to get shot in the beginning. The Naked Gun is one of the lighter action movies that will be making you laugh more than shocking you! 32. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003) This movie is one of those movies you just have to watch to realize why everyone talks about it. It is definitely a hard movie to forget! Miramax Films Quentin Tarantino created a story of a bride who spends the whole film seeking revenge on the Deadly Viper Assassination Squad. Uma Thurman is simply known as the bride and her mission is to kill. By kill, I mean shed a whole lot of blood that you will get used to seeing by the time the movie ends. 33. Captain America: Civil War (2016) Captain America and Iron Man have been building up tension between each other since the first Avengers movie so it wasn’t surprising when they finally fought each other! Marvel Although it isn’t officially an Avengers movie, Captain America: Civil War has the majority of the superhero gang minus the Hulk and Thor. In this Marvel movie, we get 12 of our favorite superheroes (including Spiderman!) and even though they were fighting each other, we loved it! It was the Sokovia Accords, an agreement where the government can control people with powers, that divided the team in two. 34. The Jungle Book (2016) Disney’s The Jungle Book was a classic movie back in 1967 and 49 years later, the studio decided to turn it into a live-action film! Disney Although it is based on the kid-friendly animated version, this PG-rated remake is meant for older children because it has some scary scenes. It still tells the story of the orphan Mowgli who gets raised by wolves after he gets abandoned in the jungle. The action part comes in when he has to return to the human village after the tiger Shere Khan threatens to kill him. 35. The Bourne Ultimatum (2007) This was the last film in the Jason Bourne film series and proved to be the best one in the trilogy! It seems like each movie was better than its last! Universal Pictures While there are two more Bourne films, this is the last one with Matt Damon playing the lead character. The former CIA assassin is still having memory problems and wants to learn more about his past, the life he had before Operation Treadstone. Of course, going down memory lane leads to dangerous situations and he becomes a target. Damon/Bourne certainly knows how to go out with a blast! 36. Star Trek (2009) The same director from The Force Awakens directed this beloved sci-fi movie and it is a reboot of the original TV series from the 60’s. Paramount Pictures This 2009 film is the 11th one in the franchise and features Chris Pine as James T. Kirk and Zachary Quinto as Spock. Both of them, along with their crew, travel through space aboard the USS Enterprise, trying to defeat the Romulan, Nero. The movie has an alternative reality thing going on because Nero and the older Spock are from the future! 37. Iron Man (2008) Iron Man had two movies done before he became an Avenger and Robert Downey Jr. made him a very popular superhero! Marvel The first Iron Man movie gives Tony Stark his background story and basically explains why he is the way he is. Like he told Captain America, he really is a genius, billionaire, and playboy but he is also a man who suffers from PTSD after being kidnapped by a terrorist group. That kidnapping is what leads him to create the Iron Man suit and ultimately, changing his way of life. 38. The Dark Knight (2008) The Dark Knight is part of the other superhero universe, DC Comics, and is the second movie in the Dark Knight trilogy. Warner Bros. Pictures Christian Bale is, once again, Batman/Bruce Wayne and, along with James Gordon (Gary Oldman), and Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), tries to put an end to organized crime in Gotham City. Heath Ledger is memorable for his fantastic role, playing the Joker who wants to defeat Batman. 39. Snowpiercer (2013) Snowpiercer is a Korean sci-fi film based on a French graphic novel with English-spoken language starring a guy from Massachusettes. CJ Entertainment Snowpiercer is the name of the train that travels the world with the last humans on Earth. Millions of people died after an Ice Age gets triggered when scientists try to end global warming. If that wasn’t enough of a story line for you, the movie becomes even more interesting after the lower-class citizens of the train revolt against the elite passengers! 40. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) This is the Marvel movie that explains the infinity stones that play a role in Age of Ultron and in the upcoming movie, Infinity Wars. Marvel For non-Marvel fans, this is just a funny movie about misfits in space trying to avoid getting arrested for stealing an artifact. The main character is Peter Quill, played by Chris Pine, who pairs up with a talking Raccoon called Rocket, a tree named Groot, Gamora, and a warrior named Drax. The action-movie was a hit for its soundtrack, hilarious dialogue, and space fighting scenes! SHARE this article if your favorite action movie was on this list! UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... Next Page Related Topics:action moviesaliensavatarbad boyscaptain americadie harddirty harryenter the dragonEntertainmentfilmsGladiatorgoldfingerGuardians of the GalaxyIndependence DayIndiana Jonesiron manjames bondJurassic ParkKill BillLethal Weaponmad maxMoviesRoboCopRockyspeedStar Trekstar warssuperman IIsuperman: the movietakenThe AvengersThe Bourne UltimatumThe Dark Knightthe delta forceThe Hurt LockerThe Jungle BookThe MatrixThe Naked Gunthe raidthe terminatortrue lies Up Next Breathtaking Feeding Of The Cobras Don't Miss Remember These Famous Shows from the 1980s? Continue Reading You may like Christopher Nolan Will Unveil His Next Film In July 2020 So What Exactly Goes Down At The End Of ‘The Shining’? Where Is The Cast Of ‘Sucker Punch’ Now? 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