For the purpose of not mixing too many genres into this list we have left out science fiction and superhero movies, these will all have lists of their own. You may notice that some of the movies on the list have some features of these genres but are action movies through and through. Be ware there are some spoilers in this article, feel free to comment with your top 10 if you disagree. Enjoy!
10. Rumble in the Bronx: The movie that helped Jackie Chan breakthrough to stardom in the United States, Rumble in the Bronx is a great mixture of action and comedy. Doing all of his stunts Jackie Chan is spectacular in this low budget action romp. From one on one fights to chase scenes including a hovercraft, this movie is nonstop fun from beginning to end.
9. First Blood: A much more serious and well done film than its successors, this movie is one of Stallone’s greatest pieces of work. Using his guerilla tactics that he learned in Vietnam, Rambo takes down any and all who oppose him. This movie while having great action scenes does have a deeper meaning to it touching on issues like the mistreatment of Vets and dealing with PTSD. This movie is a must see for any action fan or even people looking to get into the genre.
8. Predator: A non stop action flick starring some of the biggest names in the genre, this movie sparked multiple sequels that could never quite live up to the original. Set in the jungles of mexico, special force ops soldiers are fighting a seemingly unstoppable beast. The soldiers are being taken out one by one in a gruesome manner, this all comes to a boil in an epic battle between Arnold Schwarzenegger and the predator and ends in an explosive fashion. This is a movie that you will definitely enjoy watching and rewatching.
7. Bourne Ultimatum: A highly stylized and non stop action thrill ride, this movie has you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. The movie revolves around Jason Bourne, who as you find out in the first movie is trying to figure out his own past. All of this while being chased and shot at by members of the same organization that he was hired into. The camera work really makes you feel like you are in the action and the fight scenes are extremely realistic and well done. This movie is a must watch for anyone, just make sure to check out the first movie before jumping to this gem.
6. Lethal Weapon: The first in a series of great action movies, this helped redefine the genre of the 80’s/90’s action movies. This movie centers around a rogue cop with a death wish and his conservative partner. This oddball couple of action movies is trying to take down the drug smuggling Kingpin and his militia. With a great combination of action, drama and comedy this movie is a classic that you can enjoy at any time. It’s guaranteed that you will never be “too old for this shit”.
5. Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark: A classic action/adventure movie in every sense of the word, this movie is one of the all time greats regardless of genre. Starring Harrison Ford as the unorthodox archeologist who has adventures you would never expect outside of a tomb raider video game. Raider’s transports you back in time to this white knuckle thrill ride, where you face Nazis and ancient face melting spirits. This is a must see for people of any ages.
4. Kill Bill Vol. 1: In Tarantino’s highly stylized Kung Fu film, you learn about Beatrix Kiddo and her plot for revenge; A well deserved revenge might I add. In this first installment of a 2 part film you are treated to some of the best fight scenes ever shot. From the one on one fights to the slaughter of the crazy 88, the action in this movie is unparalleled. Be careful who you watch this one with though, it is very bloody and has some adult themes. Even with that, Kill Bill is an all time great action movie, that needs to be watched by any action fan.
3. Terminator 2 Judgement Day: Far better than its predecessor, Terminator 2 is one of the best all around action movies. The battle between Human and robot gets more intense as a liquid metal, shape shifting robot is sent back in time to kill the leader of the human resistance. This time though, there is a Terminator on John Conner’s side as well. Sent back by the older version of himself, this equals out the playing field. With one of, if not the most epic car chase scenes in movie history, Terminator 2 is a dazzling thriller. Solid acting accompanied by brilliant special effects, this movie is on the top of any action movie enthusiasts list.
2. Die Hard: This movie will have you saying Yippee Ki-yay Mother F*$#er, relentless action throughout, this is a great action movie. John McClane is a cop who is thrown into a hostage situation where his wife happens to be one of the people held captive. With witty one liners and non stop badassery Bruce Willis portrays what many consider to be one of the best action heroes of all time. Gun fights, explosions, foreign terrorists and the epitome of Man give Die Hard all the elements of a great action movie.
1. The Matrix: The Matrix has it all, martial arts, robots, gun fights, explosions, agents, bullet dodging and slow motion action scenes. This movie will blow your mind when you watch it for the first time. Set in a dark future where humans are being used by computers for an energy source, Neo who is believed to be the one is given a way out of the matrix and back into the real world. Once going through some training with Morpheus (the leader of the ship) on how to use martial arts and bend the perception of reality Neo becomes a fighting machine. Taking on Agents like no one else could. With great chase and fighting scenes this movie is nonstop until the very end. This action great spawned multiple sequels and full length animated movies, and is a film that any fan of movies in general should have in their collection.
Mad Max: Fury Road
Point Break (1991)