For a final time, these are movies which IMDb has classified as Action alone. Any film that was Action/Adventure I have placed in a different list. So before you complain about a movie that is missing, please check to see if IMDb classified it as Action/Adventure.
This is MY list of favorite action films. Some I truly consider the best all-time. Some are just fun or have a personal connection to me. If you disagree with my list. I welcome a civil discussion. Even more, I welcome hearing what your list is. Maybe a top 5, top 10, or even top 50. I love discussions about movies.
Things I look for in action films.
1-Some high quality action.
2-A memorable hero and villain.
3-Solid Writing (for an Action film)
4-A touch of humor/great one-liners.
I wanted to say that I did leave one person out of this list. A man by the name of Bruce Lee (Perhaps you have heard of him?) Anyways, I have great respect for Bruce Lee as a fighter and some of his action sequences are the gold standard. Please check out Enter the Dragon (1973), The Way of the Dragon (1971), and The Big Boss (1971) for all your Bruce Lee needs.
Some of the films will get more discussion time, video and posts. Some will only get a few lines. If you have a great piece/video about one of these movies and want to share it. I will gladly add it into this post.
10-Speed– (1994) This movie has Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, and Keanu Reeves. It is all sorts of awesome. The concept is simple, a bus loaded with explosives which can not stop or slow down. They create some creative stunts to make this work. It really is a fine film.
9-The Bourne Identity- (2002) Matt Damon impresses me in this quickly paced action thriller about a special agent/assassins with amnesia. This is the best of the four currently out. With such high standards, I would hope the newest one can stand its ground.
8-The Dark Knight Rises-(2012)- The fight scenes between Bane and Batman in this movie are reason alone to watch. They are stunning! The rest of this film is quite beautiful. Well acted, well directed (it’s Nolan at some of his finest). I know many say this (because it’s true), but for a darker styled comic book film. Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy is the gold standard.
7- The Transporter-(2002) The key to this film is Jason Statham being awesome. He pulls off some great fight scenes, does his own stunts,makes a very simple plot work for him.
6-The Matrix-(1999) The Wachowski Siblings really created a masterpiece here (if only they knew what to do with it.) Neo is a great character, albeit not that original. It has great special effects, wonderful action scenes, humor, and a solid cast (Reeves doesn’t suck!)
5-Predator-(1987) Arnold has made some mistakes in his life (film and otherwise), but he also made some marvelous action films. This action film is iconic and the fact that they are now remaking it fills me with infinite rage. (SMASH!) This film will always be beautiful because of how and where it was shot. The special effects for the time being quite incredible. Let’s not forget an all-star cast of testosterone. I have literally watched this film five times in a single day (The only other movie I can say that about is Tremors (1990))
4-Aliens-(1986) Again, I have my issues with James Cameron, but his early work is some of the finest I’ve ever seen. Aliens takes all the awesome that is Alien (1979) and accelerates it to new levels. It does what a sequel should do, escalate and it does it superbly well. This film has one of the greatest one-liners in the history of cinema as well.
3-The Dark Knight-(2008) I love this film so much. It is one of the few true modern classics out there. I can understand why some dislike aspects of the film, but I connected with it. I understood some of The Joker’s philosophy, I connected to it. Though I also connected to Batman. I could see both sides of this coin. The music was great, the action, it had this dark and twisted sense of humor to it (thank you Heath Ledger). The Dark Knight is a beautifully shot film where just about everything goes right. It is pretty darn close to being interchangeable at number 1.
2-Die Hard (1988) Sure, Die Hard could easily be my number one film. It has everything you cold ask for in an action movie and more. Great villain and hero. Great action, some humor mixed in. Some awesome sequences, one liners, and explosions. It has everything an action film needs and more.
1-Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
Why did this film beat out Die Hard? Well, it has stuck with me even as a child. As a young boy of 6-7, the T-1000 was my hero (yeah, that’s right T-1000, Is that normal?) I loved this film when i was 6, when I was 16, and even now I love it. The special effects for its time groundbreaking, awesome robotic and human characters. It was a hard R, but not without a little bit of humor scattered about.