Top 10 Best Action Movies

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Whether you’re watching at home or at the cinema, there’s nothing like a good old action movie to get the adrenaline pumping and lose yourself in right?

Below we list our pick of the best 10 action movies ever created. You’ll notice that any comic-book/superhero movies have been left out of this list completely. That’s not to say that they’re not worthy of being on this list because a lot of them provide some of the best action set pieces you’ll ever see. We’ve left these movies out as we’ve dedicated an entire page on the Top 10 Best Comic Book Superhero

Movies, which you can check out here.

On this page we’ve chosen to concentrate on other action spectacles that don’t fall into the superhero movie category.

Speed (1996)

We kick things off with Speed starring Keanu Reeves. This isn’t the last time Mr Reeves will be on this list mind you. With the most basic of narratives, we have one of the best action movies ever here. The premise of the movie is simple. A bus is rigged with a bomb full of innocent people. If the speed of the bus drops below 50 mph, then kaboom! That’d be all she wrote.

We go through so much intensity and drama throughout our time on the bus. Near head on collisions, swerves, and misses. Breathtaking sequences to say the least leaving the audience at the edge of their seats throughout the entire runtime of the movie. And what’s more, you never get bored with the limited set pieces on offer here. That’s the mark of a good movie if there ever was one.

Interestingly, Speed is studied in film schools to this day. Easy to see why. If you need a lesson in Action Movie 101, what better movie is there than Speed? Simple in its idea, but explosive in its execution (no pun intended).

10.

9.

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

You can’t have a list of the best action movies ever made and not have Tom Cruise in there somewhere. Edge of Tomorrow primarily centers around a time loop our protagonist is stuck inside. A concept made famous by Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day Movie.

Cruise plays an inexperienced officer who is thrown into a battle against invading aliens. Unsurprisingly he dies instantly, but finds himself waking up to relive the same day over and over again. As a result, the same set pieces are used multiple times but the events that happen are tweaked on each occasion based on the decisions Cruise’s character makes until he finally discovers how to defeat the invading foes.

What we get are scenes of intense combat, intensity and not to mention hilarity which makes this movie such a joy to watch. You find yourself urging Cruise on, hoping that this time he’s made the right call. A complete thrill ride from start to finish.

8.

Inception (2010)

Chistopher Nolan is well known for making mind bending movies, which include Memento and Interstellar. Inception is no different. The intricate plot details about dreams within dreams (within dreams) may require some thought to completely understand, but the visual effects of the movie are dazzling and stay with you for a long, long time.

Anyone remember the shifting cityscapes, snow sequences and of course that fight scene in the hallway where the direction of gravity continually shifts? All of those visual spectacles usually take place during an intense shootout, chase scene, or an action sequence of some kind. No action movie has done things like this before, save for perhaps The Matrix, but not on this scale.

Inception doesn’t stop there, it includes a completely jam packed A-list cast with expectedly phenomenal performances. Standout names include Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy and Michael Caine.

Put all of the above ingredients together and of course you’ll get nothing less than one of the best action movies ever made.

7.

Robocop (1987)

There is so much more to Robocop than meets the eye initially, which is why this movie absolutely has to be up there as one of the best action movies ever created. Robocop completely satirizes modern day ethics, cultures and values – and it does so by throwing out explosive wall to wall action. Who won’t dig that?

State of the art special effects were used at the time to bring our heroic cyber cop to life. Indeed the effects do seem dated if viewed today, but the parody and satirical nature of the movie are still a joy to watch. The ultra violent essence of the action is also something to behold as you rarely see things like that anymore even in the most R-rated modern pictures.

Robocop became a recurrent figure in modern pop culture, eventually going on to have two sequels and also a TV series. Various video game incarnations of Robocop have also been created which is still happening today with the current generation of games consoles. The influence of Robocop is undeniable.

6.

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard is regarded as the ‘original’ action movie by many, notwithstanding the many action movies that came before it. John McClane kind of just finds himself in a precarious position and has to get out of it by any means necessary. In this movie those means include a load of bullets and a horrific body count.

A lot of movies have tried to follow the simple, yet effective formula laid down by Die Hard. Most recently, Dwayne Johnson’s Skyscraper comes to mind.

There have been many sequels to Die Hard over the years, but none capture the magic of the original. Bruce Willis was cast perfectly for the role and produced one of the most famous one liners in Hollywood history.

Does Die Hard get our vote as one of the best action movies of all time? Yippee Ki Yay it does! A true timeless action movie classic.

5.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

If you didn’t experience Mad Max: Fury Road on the big screen when it was first released, then it’s safe to say you probably missed out on half the spectacle. That’s not to say the movie doesn’t provide a competent thrill ride during a home viewing session, because it really does.

 

There was just something about watching this over the top, insane, and sometimes nonsensical vision of Mad Max play out on the big screen that can’t quite be fully comprehended without the big screen experience.

From start to finish this is an adrenaline fuelled affair taking viewers through a roller coaster of intense emotions including hyper joy, tension, paranoia and ecstasy. There’s really nothing quite like it out there.

Even Tom Hardy admitted to having trouble keeping up with the hectic nature of the shooting schedule and the overall demands of the project.

In an era where there’s an over reliance on CGI, practical effects and stunts seem to take precedence over computer generated graphics in this movie, adding a sense of realism to the insanity that occurs from start to finish. This movie makes no apologies for being ludicrous, and it shouldn’t. It just wouldn’t be as brilliant if it was any different.

4.

The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

The Bourne trilogy ends with The Bourne Ultimatum. While Ultimatum’s predecessors kept presenting more questions than answers, we go full circle with the third entry in the series to wrap up the convoluted mystery that surrounds Jason Bourne’s story.

The Bourne Ultimatum is the most successful of the three Bourne movies from a commercial standpoint – which gives you an idea of just how much the audience kept investing more and more in Bourne’s story throughout the narrative that was being unfolded up to the culmination of the trilogy.

From the shaky camera angle that was used to surprisingly good effect to add to the intensity, to the breakneck speed of fight sequences – the Bourne Ultimatum is a real heavy hitter in the action movie world.

Matt Damon’s performance deserves praise here as well. Of course, now he’s known as a solid A-Lister in Hollywood circles. A lot of that is due to the foundations he laid for himself as a credible protagonist in the Bourne movies.

3.

John Wick (2014)

When I watched the first few minutes of John Wick, I was left feeling a little bemused admittedly. He gets that annoyed at someone killing his dog so he goes on a murder spree? Really? I soon bought into the hype though, as I realized that the brilliance of this movie lies in its simplicity.

John Wick was always going to go on a rampage in this movie, no matter the motive. What follows is a relentless motion of action set pieces – one after another. In your face. Without mercy. Add to that the humour that’s sprinkled throughout the film and the gravitas of Keanu Reeves in the role as an unrelenting and ridiculously skillful assassin – and you have a more than competent action movie in your hands.

The original John Wick made way for two subsequent sequels. It seems that this franchise keeps going from strength to strength with each new release – progressively upping the ante with its action set pieces and choreography (underwater shooting scene in John Wick 3 anyone?). John Wick became an instant classic on release, and intends to stay like that. If you have a problem with that, take it up with John Wick if you dare.

2.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

You just can’t praise Terminator 2 enough, it’s just that good. If you’re an action movie fan, you could watch this movie over and over again without getting bored.

Everything from the story, to the action and pacing is on point. Let’s not forget about the iconic and unmistakable theme song for the movie either… you’re playing it in your head now aren’t you? And now you’re heading over to YouTube to play it for real… it’s okay I’ll wait.

 

Fans were used to seeing Arnie play the bad guy in the original Terminator movie, so the switch up at the beginning where he’s actually revealed to be the savior was quite the surprise for first time watchers.

Terminator 2’s interpretations of time travel implications are still used today in many pop culture mediums – i.e. the effect on the future of eradicating something important from the past.

The special effects and set pieces are one of the things that make this movie stand out a lot amongst all the other things mentioned. 30 years on from the original release, Terminator 2 has aged very well and holds up magnificently. Truly the definitive role for Arnold Schwarzenegger, and one of the best action movies ever created.

1.

The Matrix (1999)

The Matrix was, and still is, nothing short of remarkable cinema and film making. More than 20 years on from its release, it’s still the best action movie ever made.

The bullet time effects that were used at the time were awe inspiring. The intense fight scene choreography and hard hitting soundtrack, coupled with the concepts explored of what’s real and what’s not give this movie extra layers of depth that most other action movies just can’t compare or measure up to.

The Matrix also put Keanu Reeves on the map as a bona fide action movie star, and one of the best to ever do it. Reeves is still benefiting from the propulsion he gained from the Matrix so many years ago as the face of the very successful John Wick movie franchise.

Before the Matrix was released, audiences hadn’t quite seen anything like it. It could be argued that there really hasn’t been any action movie quite as ground breaking as The Matrix ever since.  An all time classic, and the best action movie to ever hit our screens.

Do you agree with our list of the Top 10 All Time Best Action Movies? Let us know in the comments below.

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