Action movies used to be all the rage in Hollywood. All throughout the 80’s, 90’s, and early 2000’s we flocked to the theaters and our favorite rental place to see our favorite action stars blow shit up. Stallone, Schwarzenegger, Willis, and Russell have all become synonymous with over-the-top action and cheesy one-liners.
But which action films are the best of the best? Well, we’ve sifted through all the chaff and extracted the gold nuggets for your viewing pleasure. You’re welcome.
12. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
The first Terminator film was groundbreaking and still worth watching today. But part two ups everything with bigger explosions, better performances, and more Arnold being a badass. Just more of all the good stuff. Plus, there’s a lot of kneecappin’ going on.
11. Lethal Weapon (1987)
We’ve all seen Mel Gibson being crazy on screen. This is where is starts. Perfect performances from the two leads and an awesome script come together for one of the most fun films you will ever see. This thing’s full of action, explosions, swearing, and Gary Busey. It’s on-screen insanity overload!
10. Conan the Barbarian (1982)
Arnold wielding a big sword and kicking ass for 2 hours. What else do you need to know? A word of warning…if you see Conan stepping out of a checkered cab and speaking with a voice like a dude from Iowa, you’ve accidentally cued up Hercules in New York.
9. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 (1985)
First Blood was a great film, but Stallone didn’t stop there. Rambo: First Blood Part 2 ups the action and adds more explosions and more blood with an even angrier John Rambo. There might not be a lot substance here, at least not as much as other films on this list, but sometimes you just want mindless popcorn action.
8. Predator (1987)
The predator effects may not hold up as well anymore, but the action does. Watching this movie will make you a goddamn sexual tyrannosaurus. Get to the chopper!
7. Skyfall (2012)
Easily one of the best Bond films in years, it’s a non-stop action ride that is so satisfying that once it’s done, you want to go again. Daniel Craig hasn’t made a better film yet.
6. RED (2010)
One of my favorite films of the past twenty years. Fun, exciting, and plenty of over-the-top action. The sequel wasn’t quite up to par, but this film is one of the greatest things originating from a comic book that you’ll ever see. Not counting Hentai, if that counts.
5. Tango & Cash (1989)
Old school action with a little bit of sophistication thrown in. It’s Kurt Russell doing Kurt Russell and Sly Stallone doing Sly Stallone. The characters may seem familiar, but this film is still a guilty pleasure worth watching. Who holds the pink slip on this thing, Satan?
4. Big Trouble In Little China (1986)
Great fights, explosions, and magic, with Kurt Russell as the lead. It only gets more awesome from there. It’s a great cult movie and doesn’t need a reboot. The original still holds up very well.
3. Mad Max Fury Road (2015)
Watch it. Trust me. This is a cinematic masterpiece.
2. Escape From New York (1981)
Another Kurt Russell film, this one is really where the man becomes a household name. The entire city of New York is a maximum security prison, and Russell is trying to get out. A dark, gritty action film that stands up against most of the other action crap that came out in the 80’s.
1. Die Hard (1988)
If you’ve seen any action films starring Bruce Willis, you owe it all to this film. His first big action role just happened to be one of the greatest action spectacles of all time. You owe it to yourself to see this film.
All opinions are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Deck Ape...or anyone else. Arrr!