Top 10 Action Movies of All Time

It was actually an amusing trip down memory lane coming up with a list of the top 10 action movies of all time. Action movies exist, for the most part, as pure popcorn fare, light on dialog and heavy of course on action. Few movies in this genre will ever be nominated for an Oscar, but that is a good thing. Critics be damned. The films on this list of the top 10 action movies of all time are about pure visceral entertainment, and they deliver that in spades. This list might create some controversy – we all have our own idea as to what constitutes good action, so be sure to leave your own comments and let me know if I’ve left anything out.

10 – Predator – You knew the Governator was going to snag at least one spot on this list of the top 10 action movies of all time. No, he couldn’t act, and his accent was so thick we didn’t know what he was saying half the time, but when it came to tearing the city (or jungle) down around his enemies’ ears few could do as thorough a job as Arnie.

9 – Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade – Though many fans of Raiders of the Lost Ark might thing it is sacrilege I actually consider this film to be the best of the Indiana Jones movies. The addition of Sean Connery to the cast everything is just spot on in this film. A perfect action/adventure film with more than its fair share of comedy. Absolute classic.

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8 – The Road Warrior – Mel Gibson is no stranger to action movies, and one of his Lethal Weapon movies could easily have made this top 10 list, but in my mind The Road Warrior is just more definitive of just what an action movie should be. This one should be on most people’s lists and it wouldn’t surprise me if I get some comments wondering why I didn’t rate it higher.

7 – Gladiator – The role Russell Crowe was born to play. This Ridley Scott film is riveting from the opening scene to the end credits. It’s got violence, gore, and a hero you find yourself honestly pulling for. No, there are no car chases or flying bullets, but to the death combat in a gladiatorial arena should help you overlook those other flaws.

6 – Goldfinger – You didn’t think I could write a list of the top 10 action movies of all time and not include a Bond film did you? Now, to be fair, this film is certainly showing its age. With all the technological advancements in film one of the more contemporary Bond films might be better suited to this list, but that would be unfair. This film is the best of the Bond movies, and though the action scenes might look a little cheesy by today’s standards it still stands the test of time as an all time classic in any genre.

5 – Enter the Dragon – Forget Jackie Chan and Jet Li, this guy didn’t do stunts. He didn’t have invisible wires pulling him around through the air. He just plain kicked ass. The ultimate kung fu master no one could stand against this Dragon’s fury, and the battle scenes in this movie are second to none.

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4 – Aliens – A sci-fi thriller that was so far ahead of its time it absolutely must find a spot on the list of the top 10 action movies of all time. Perfectly casted, equal parts horror and action, with incredible special effects for its time, Aliens was the second movie in the series and is hailed by fans as the best by far.

3 – Terminator 2 – Surprise, surprise Arnie claims another spot. He is, after all, perhaps the greatest action movie hero of all time. Though many might put the original Terminator in its place this movie was just so much better on all levels, and had mind-blowing special effects that only perhaps Jurassic Park and The Matrix can trump relative to the technology at the time each movie was released.

2 – The Matrix – Speaking of The Matrix, this film really stood the movie industry on its ear when it came out. The Wachowski brothers really hit a home run with this incredible, revolutionary Sci-fi action film. It was the performance of a lifetime by Keanu Reeves (not saying much, I know). The special effects were absolutely jaw-dropping, and the action was non-stop. Absolutely glorious! Too bad the sequels couldn’t quite live up to the promise of the original.

1 – Die Hard – There was only one logical choice, really, for top spot on the list of the top 10 action movies of all time. Bruce Willis has starred in many duds in his career, including Die Harder, and Live Free Or Die Hard, but the original movie was absolutely spot on. Few heroes have been as believable as they achieved the unbelievable. Easily the best action movie in cinematic history. I defy you to find me one that’s better.