Best Action Movies in the World ...ever! that you should watch

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Let's see if we can get to 100 recommendations. As Casino Royale made the list, I think the below are just as deserving

Goldfinger
Probably the definitive Bond film, that all the homages/cliches/parodys/ripoffs come from, Setpieces, Globetrotting, Girls, Gadgets, Guns, Mega-Villains and Henchmen. Arguably not Connery's best Bond film, but probably the most popular and definitive.

The Spy Who Loved Me
My earliest cinema memory, and the best-balanced of Moore's films, a simply fun, engaging and breathtaking romp through all the things that make Bond movies great.

Goldeneye
An absolute master-class of how to introduce a new Bond for a new generation, with someone that was born to play the role. Some genuinely incredible sequences, and a tightness of plot, script and performance that unfortunately proved to be the highlight of the Brosnan era, albeit the rest had their moments.
 

BontaKun3000

Active Member
Die Hard - anyone that liked action films in any form and is of reasonable age will have liked this.
We got explosions, great bad guys and fantastic one liners.

The Bourne Identity - I love all the Bourne films but this is the one that started it all and still my favourite of the bunch.
High octane precision action, that action scene in the flat with the other agent was brilliant.

The Matrix - well i simply love this film cause its awesome.
There be octopus robots, cyberspace, martial arts, your just swimming in the action.

Hardboiled - the hospital scenes are fantastic action, especially the long corridor one.
Might not have the precision of modern day production but thats part of the charm of some older films like these.

Goldeneye - pretty much my "first" james bond film. I was 10 when it was out, altho i'm sure i had seen other james bond film before then i didn't know about the franchise.
Still my favourite james bond to date.

Once upon a time in China 1 & 2 - i love a good old martial arts flick and these are some of my favourites.
2nd had Jet Li and Donnie Yen match against each other and was great.

Black Hawk Down - as far as military action films goes, this one is my all time favourite.
There are better military action films(most recent 13 hours is fantastic) and not sure why i like this so much but i just do.

John Wick - Keanu at some of his best with this, maybe more so than with Matrix, hard call really.
 

Belzok

Well-known Member
I think the Bourne Identity has got be right up there as it changed the way fights were done in films from then on.

First Blood is one of my favourites and clearly Die Hard is right up there.

Commando is a proper 80s actioner but there are so many to choose from, target rich environment anyone 😁

La Femme Nikita is great, although not so much action perhaps.
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Die Hard - anyone that liked action films in any form and is of reasonable age will have liked this.
We got explosions, great bad guys and fantastic one liners.

The Bourne Identity - I love all the Bourne films but this is the one that started it all and still my favourite of the bunch.
High octane precision action, that action scene in the flat with the other agent was brilliant.

The Matrix - well i simply love this film cause its awesome.
There be octopus robots, cyberspace, martial arts, your just swimming in the action.

Hardboiled - the hospital scenes are fantastic action, especially the long corridor one.
Might not have the precision of modern day production but thats part of the charm of some older films like these.

Goldeneye - pretty much my "first" james bond film. I was 10 when it was out, altho i'm sure i had seen other james bond film before then i didn't know about the franchise.
Still my favourite james bond to date.

Once upon a time in China 1 & 2 - i love a good old martial arts flick and these are some of my favourites.
2nd had Jet Li and Donnie Yen match against each other and was great.

Black Hawk Down - as far as military action films goes, this one is my all time favourite.
There are better military action films(most recent 13 hours is fantastic) and not sure why i like this so much but i just do.

John Wick - Keanu at some of his best with this, maybe more so than with Matrix, hard call really.
Nice additions, but unfortunately will have to exclude the Matrix. That's one for The Best Sci-Fi and Fantasy Films ever.....
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
La Femme Nikita is great, although not so much action perhaps.
I guess that's the one that started the genre of 'Female Assassin' flicks, I don't recall anything before that on film.
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Once upon a time in China 1 & 2 - i love a good old martial arts flick and these are some of my favourites.
2nd had Jet Li and Donnie Yen match against each other and was great.
Just ordered the Eureka trilogy special edition on Amazon for just over £20, seemed like a good deal, as I’ve never seen these.
 

moraghan

Active Member
I’m not really a fan of making lists as I like so many films that its difficult for me to narrow down on absolute favourites! That said, I will compile a list (but it’s not set in stone or anything like this) for some of my faves which might go in a top ten, and most importantly, fit the criteria of the thread.

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1. Die Hard

It has to be, doesn’t it. Of course we had action films before Die Hard but MacTieran’s actioner felt fresh and innovative in terms of a protagonist who didn’t appear to be indestructible, and you see actually getting hurt quite a lot. McClane is also actually shown doing some police work such as assessing how many bad guys there are in the building. It has everything that makes it the prototype for the modern action blockbuster, spawning it’s own sub genre (Die Hard on a....etc.):

  • great central performance from Willis (sad to see what he’s like these days)
  • perfect screenplay with brilliantly realised characters such as Gruber, Holly, Karl, Dwayne Robinson, Al, Ellis....I could go on
  • endlessly quotable one liners and dialogue
  • brilliant set pieces obviously

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2. Police Story

The Hong Kong equivalent of Die Hard. You just have to see the amount of Hollywood movies which have lifted set pieces from Police Story (Tango & Cash and Bad Boys II to name a couple). Jackie Chan was keen to move away from traditional (Drunken Master) or period (Project A) kung fu films, and boy did he do it in style. The opening set piece starting from the shanty town pursuit to the runaway bus is still exhilarating to this day.


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3. Fist of Fury

Most people like to say Enter The Dragon but I just love Lee’s rage and intensity here. For action scenes, it’s between FoF and Way of the Dragon (which of course is iconic for Lee versus Norris at the Collesuem).


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4. Commando

For pure action escapism and over the top-ness (if that’s a word?), look no further than Arnie’s big screen version of what a GI JOE movie might have been like. This was definitely Arnie’s answer to Rambo, but Commando is much more fun than the more po-faced Rambo II and III. Crazy set pieces, trademark cheesy one liners, Vernon Wells’ Bennett channelling Freddie Mercury in a chainmail-type vest. It’s all here.


View attachment 1456350

5. Fist of Legend

Jet Li at his best, stunning kung fu set pieces courtesy of Yuen Woo Ping at his most creative, and a film which is arguably better than Bruce Lee’s Fist of Fury (which reflected it’s time in terms of portraying Japanese as mere evil stereotypes).


View attachment 1456352

6. Sha Po Lang

I’m a huge fan of Donnie Yen and he made some of his best action films before Ip Man gave him worldwide recognition. Working with the latter’s director, Wilson Yip, Sha Po Lang (or the blander international title Killzone) is a police versus triad themed action drama with some ridiculously good martial arts set pieces, and Yen is basically the Tom Cruise of HK/Asian cinema in this movie. That’s without mentioning the intense finale which sees Yen face off against the legendary Sammo Hung in an extremely brutal showdown.


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7. Flash Point

Donnie Yen again working with a pre Ip Man Wilson Yip. Another cops versus Triad story and excuse to show off some very innovative urban martial arts set pieces. I think Yen was among the first to incorporate MMA techniques into his sequences (he’s also the fight co-ordinator), and the camera work and action is among the best I’ve seen from a modern perspective.


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8. Hard Boiled

You can’t have a list like this without John Woo, and Hard Boiled would be my pick for an outright Woo action picture (A Better Tomorrow and The Killer are great but have much higher doses of melodrama).


View attachment 1456355

9. Lethal Weapon 2

The original is fantastic, arguably the benchmark for the buddy cop subgenre. However, the action in that film is poor compared to the sequel - see the crap fight at the end between Riggs and Mr. Joshua. It can be argued that the sequel improves upon the first with much nastier bad guys, even better chemistry between the leads, better set pieces such as the bomb on the toilet and great finale (and Leo Getz!).



View attachment 1456356
10. Heat

Not strictly an action film but probably the best weapons set pieces ever filmed.

If Heat is an action film then its deffo number 1 by a country mile .... its one the greatest movies ever made period IMHO. Watched it again a few weeks back .... seriously what a movie. TBH though I can’t really class it as an action movie.

Makes me cry witness to the utter sh*t£ that De Niro appears in these days ...... he is just destroying his own reputation. He is the epitome of cool in Heat.
 

bruce-leroy

Distinguished Member
If Heat is an action film then its deffo number 1 by a country mile .... its one the greatest movies ever made period IMHO
Watched it again a few weeks back .... seriously what a movie. TBH though I can’t really class it as an action movie.

Hence my “Not strictly an action film but probably the best weapons set pieces ever filmed.” ;)

Great film for sure. :) This and Casino are among De Niro’s last truly top tier films.
 

bruce-leroy

Distinguished Member
Don't forget Ronin, great car chases and gun battles.

Yes! There were quite a few of these types of films in the mid nineties - the likes of Heat, Ronin, Leon.
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member

scrowe

Distinguished Member

scrowe

Distinguished Member
Mechanic series and transporter series.
I mean I can add them, The Transporter is already on there, but as much as I like the Stath, and as much as I recognise we are on 70+ rankings, are the Transporter 2,3,4 and The Mechanic 1&2 the ...best ever? at this point? Can you justify them for this list?
 

BontaKun3000

Active Member
Not a fan of lists either but cannot believe your missing The Long Kiss Goodnight.
Omg can't believe forgot The Long Kiss Goodnight, Geena Davis in over the top action with added Samuel Jackson on top.
 

KiLLiNG-TiME

Distinguished Member
Omg can't believe forgot The Long Kiss Goodnight, Geena Davis in over the top action with added Samuel Jackson on top.
Reading the thread back I have to say to be fair it was mentioned in post #20 by scrowe but never made the list so just an oversight but as you say it deserves to be there for its balls to the wall action very pure.

A lot of my favourite action films cross genre's like Assault on Precinct 13 1976 but if I had a list it would be up there as in its time it was to my mind a genre defining movie even though if you think about it, it was just a reimagining of Rio Bravo but taken to a whole other level.

Hence why I find this kind of exercise difficult to do, examples The Lone Wolf & Club films / Dirty Harry / etc
 
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scrowe

Distinguished Member
The Last Boy Scout
Bruce Willis, partnering Damian Wayans for wise-cracking buddy/cop action, with Shane Black writing and Tony Scott directing, arguably a trio of action greats at the peak of their powers.

Tears of the Sun
A later years Bruce Willis vehicle, directed by Antoine Fuqua, with Bruce leading a Special Ops team to evacuate relief workers and refugees whilst being hunted across the Nigerian Jungle. Quite a tight, well-crafted movie.

The 13th Warrior
Antonio Banderas in action mode, directed by the great John McTiernan, and seemingly Michael Crichton on reshoots and re-edits, a historical Viking saga. Worth a rewatch, I just remember it being relentlessly brutal, and compelling.

Shooter
An early Mark Wahlberg actioner, with decent cast, helmed by Antoine Fuqua, about an army sniper setup as an assassin, as part of a larger, twisting conspiracy. Spun off as a TV series more recently.
 

bruce-leroy

Distinguished Member
The Last Boy Scout
Bruce Willis, partnering Damian Wayans for wise-cracking buddy/cop action, with Shane Black writing and Tony Scott directing, arguably a trio of action greats at the peak of their powers.

This definitely. One of my faves from the 90s!
 

Belzok

Well-known Member
The Last Boy Scout
Bruce Willis, partnering Damian Wayans for wise-cracking buddy/cop action, with Shane Black writing and Tony Scott directing, arguably a trio of action greats at the peak of their powers.

Shooter
An early Mark Wahlberg actioner, with decent cast, helmed by Antoine Fuqua, about an army sniper setup as an assassin, as part of a larger, twisting conspiracy. Spun off as a TV series more recently.
Two utterly cracking films, watched The Last Boys Scout recently, first time in ages, and it still works.

Shooter is very, very good and has an early outing of the truly scrumptious Kate Mara.
 

Casimir Harlow

Blu-ray Reviewer
I mean I can add them, The Transporter is already on there, but as much as I like the Stath, and as much as I recognise we are on 70+ rankings, are the Transporter 2,3,4 and The Mechanic 1&2 the ...best ever? at this point? Can you justify them for this list?

They're not even really top tier Statham. Some of his more left-field outings like Crank, Safe and Blitz are much better. But Best Action Movies in the world ever? I guess if your list is REALLY long. Maybe top 500?

Then again, I wouldn't have Baby Driver anywhere near a top list, let alone an action list, as it doesn't really seem like it fits that category. And Faster? Damn, The Rundown or his recent Welcome to the Jungles are much better in the action category...

FWIW, I'd consider (as personal favourites which haven't, as far as I can see, been mentioned)

Last Boy Scout - Shane Black script, Tony Scott direction, Willis on form
Crying Freeman - Mark Dacascos, Christophe Gans adapting manga
Brotherhood of the Wolf - Mark Dacascos, Christophe Gans blending genres
Hard Target - Woo lands in Hollywood with one of the best Van Damme movies
Top Gun - although this is going to lead to all kinds of trouble and we'll have to include Blue Thunder too
Bad Boys 1 & 2 - sure, comedy is there, but they're still actioners
True Lies - again, lots of comedy, but some tremendous action from Arnie and Cameron
Red Heat - Arnie and Belushi, Walter Hill
Delta Force - Chuck in a serious actioner, until we get to rocket bikes!
Desperado - Banderas and Hayek shooting in slow-mo
Beverly Hills Cop - plenty of comedy, but a fair amount of action too with a 'serious' story (we've got 48 hours after all...)
Hanna - Superb action, tremendous score, stylish as all hell
Haywire - Yes, yes, Gina Carano, but this was pretty damn good
Fugitive - Ford vs. Jones, more a thriller? Well lots of action though
Wild Bunch - Ok, drifting here, but Peckinpah was the progenitor of Woo-style slo-mo
Extreme Prejudice - if we don't want Wild Bunch, just do Walter Hill's contemporary homage
The Driver - Walter Hill again, an almost dialogue-less Ryan O'Neal, and some excellent driving action
Drive - speaks for itself
Drive (Mark Dacascos) - underrated little Dacascos actioner where he shows off his skills
Rapid Fire - Brandon Lee kicking all kinds of ass and showing the first signs of taking over his father's mantle, pre-tragedy
Marked for Death - Seagal at his peak (pre-Under Siege success)
Police Story 1, 2 (maybe 3) - Chan on fire
A Better Tomorrow 1 and 2 (maybe 3) - Chow Yun Fat makes his entrance
The Indy sequels (ok not KOTCS) - well, we included raiders...
Inception - tremendous action
The Killer - contender for Woo's best, perhaps bested by Hard Boiled
Enter the Dragon - Bruce Lee!
Mad Max 1-3 - well, we did Fury Road strangely...

And if we've got Hobbs and bloody Shaw in there there's zero reason not to include all the other FF sequels beyond (but not including) 3: 4, 6, 7 and 8. Some the best big budget action out there. I'd probably stick MI2 in there for completeness too, it's the most 'action' of all the films, and it is Woo, after all.

The John Wick sequels too, tremendous action sequences, amidst the best of the last few years.

Damn, it's so hard to cater for this though, too many possibilities...

I feel like once Faster got added, basically anything was fair game (apart from, ironically, Fair Game)

I also thing that we're blurring the lines here with genres, as Mad Max Fury Road is as much sci-fi/fantasy as something like T2 isn't it? Hence why I chipped in MM1-3

This is a tough list!!
 

scrowe

Distinguished Member
They're not even really top tier Statham. Some of his more left-field outings like Crank, Safe and Blitz are much better. But Best Action Movies in the world ever? I guess if your list is REALLY long. Maybe top 500?

Then again, I wouldn't have Baby Driver anywhere near a top list, let alone an action list, as it doesn't really seem like it fits that category. And Faster? Damn, The Rundown or his recent Welcome to the Jungles are much better in the action category...

FWIW, I'd consider (as personal favourites which haven't, as far as I can see, been mentioned)

Last Boy Scout - Shane Black script, Tony Scott direction, Willis on form
Crying Freeman - Mark Dacascos, Christophe Gans adapting manga
Brotherhood of the Wolf - Mark Dacascos, Christophe Gans blending genres
Hard Target - Woo lands in Hollywood with one of the best Van Damme movies
Top Gun - although this is going to lead to all kinds of trouble and we'll have to include Blue Thunder too
Bad Boys 1 & 2 - sure, comedy is there, but they're still actioners
True Lies - again, lots of comedy, but some tremendous action from Arnie and Cameron
Red Heat - Arnie and Belushi, Walter Hill
Delta Force - Chuck in a serious actioner, until we get to rocket bikes!
Desperado - Banderas and Hayek shooting in slow-mo
Beverly Hills Cop - plenty of comedy, but a fair amount of action too with a 'serious' story (we've got 48 hours after all...)
Hanna - Superb action, tremendous score, stylish as all hell
Haywire - Yes, yes, Gina Carano, but this was pretty damn good
Fugitive - Ford vs. Jones, more a thriller? Well lots of action though
Wild Bunch - Ok, drifting here, but Peckinpah was the progenitor of Woo-style slo-mo
Extreme Prejudice - if we don't want Wild Bunch, just do Walter Hill's contemporary homage
The Driver - Walter Hill again, an almost dialogue-less Ryan O'Neal, and some excellent driving action
Drive - speaks for itself
Drive (Mark Dacascos) - underrated little Dacascos actioner where he shows off his skills
Rapid Fire - Brandon Lee kicking all kinds of ass and showing the first signs of taking over his father's mantle, pre-tragedy
Marked for Death - Seagal at his peak (pre-Under Siege success)
Police Story 1, 2 (maybe 3) - Chan on fire
A Better Tomorrow 1 and 2 (maybe 3) - Chow Yun Fat makes his entrance
The Indy sequels (ok not KOTCS) - well, we included raiders...
Inception - tremendous action
The Killer - contender for Woo's best, perhaps bested by Hard Boiled
Enter the Dragon - Bruce Lee!
Mad Max 1-3 - well, we did Fury Road strangely...

And if we've got Hobbs and bloody Shaw in there there's zero reason not to include all the other FF sequels beyond (but not including) 3: 4, 6, 7 and 8. Some the best big budget action out there. I'd probably stick MI2 in there for completeness too, it's the most 'action' of all the films, and it is Woo, after all.

The John Wick sequels too, tremendous action sequences, amidst the best of the last few years.

Damn, it's so hard to cater for this though, too many possibilities...

I feel like once Faster got added, basically anything was fair game (apart from, ironically, Fair Game)

I also thing that we're blurring the lines here with genres, as Mad Max Fury Road is as much sci-fi/fantasy as something like T2 isn't it? Hence why I chipped in MM1-3

This is a tough list!!
Wow, after that we probably have the top 100 cracked!
 

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