Entertainment

The Best Action Movies of 2011 

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated September 29, 2019 1.2k votes 211 voters 21.6k views 39 items

List Rules Movies must have been released in 2011

The best action movies of 2011 managed to combine thrills, feats of strength, a few pretty amazing car chases and explosions, a few impressive gun fights and, most importantly, heroes who managed to fight against overwhelming odds (including some really bad, bad guys) for the greater good. I've tried to list all of the best action films of 2011, but I am sure I've left off more than a few. If your favorite is missing, add it! And if your personal fave did make the cut, vote it up. See an action movie on this list that you thought was terrible? Vote it down!

2011 brought us some pretty good superhero action movies, like 'Thor' and 'Captain America: The First Avenger' (I thought both of these were fantastic, but I still can't wait for the 'Avengers' movie in 2012!). Moviegoers also got their fill of sci-fi action movies like 'Super 8,' 'Cowboys & Aliens' and 'Attack the Block.' The absolute best action drama movie of the year, in my humble opinion, was 'Drive' starring Ryan Gosling, but there were many others (hint: Add them if they aren't already on this list). Other standouts, to me, were '30 Minutes or Less' (great action comedy), 'Immortals,' 'Warrior' and 'Real Steel' (really, how can you screw up with fighting robots, right?). And of course, no list of great 2011 action movies would be complete without the final Harry Potter movie: 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part II.'

For movie fans, 2011 offered a little bit of everything. Can't remember some of the great movies you saw? Check out this list of the best movies of 2011, along with lists of the best comedies and horror movies of the year. Sometimes, it's easier to recall the worst movies of the year, so check that list as well (and make sure to add your personal worst if it's not already on the list). So what was the best action movie of 2011?  That's up to you to decide.
list ordered by
1
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Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender

Released: 2011

Directed by: Matthew Vaughn

X-Men: First Class is a 2011 American superhero film, based on the X-Men characters appearing in Marvel Comics. It is the fifth installment in the X-Men film series. It serves as a prequel to ...more

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#178 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #19 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #526 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

2
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Tom Cruise, Paula Patton, Jeremy Renner

Released: 2011

Directed by: Brad Bird

Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol is a 2011 American action spy film directed by Brad Bird, and the fourth film in the Mission: Impossible series. The IMF is shut down when it's implicated in ...more

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#31 of 51 The Most Rewatchable Action Movies #277 of 324 Movies with the Best Soundtracks

3
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Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Jordana Brewster

Released: 2011

Directed by: Justin Lin

Fast Five is a 2011 American action film directed by Justin Lin, and the fifth installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise. Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew of street racers plan ...more

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#181 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #238 of 410 The Best Rainy Day Movies

4
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Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman

Released: 2011

Directed by: David Yates

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is a 2011 fantasy film directed by David Yates, based on the novel by J. K. Rowling and the final film in the series. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron ...more

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#72 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #84 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

5
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Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Kevin Durand

Released: 2011

Directed by: Shawn Levy

Real Steel is a 2011 film directed by Shawn Levy.

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#95 of 116 Movies That Need Sequels #302 of 565 The Greatest Sci-Fi Movies of All Time

6
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Christina Hendricks, Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan

Released: 2011

Directed by: Nicolas Winding

Drive is a 2011 American neo noir arthouse action directed by Nicolas Winding Refn, starring Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Bryan Cranston, Oscar Isaac and Albert Brooks. It is adapted from the ...more

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#241 of 351 The Best Movies Based On Books #103 of 243 Critically Acclaimed Movies That Kinda Suck

7
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James Franco, Freida Pinto, John Lithgow

Released: 2011

Directed by: Rupert Wyatt

Rise of the Apes is in pre-production as of May 2010. This origin story for a new franchise takes place in modern day San Francisco and will star James Franco. It is currently scheduled for a ...more

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#131 of 157 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #25 of 165 Live Action Films with the Best CGI Effects

8
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Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Shia LaBeouf, John Malkovich

Released: 2011

Directed by: Michael Bay

Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a 2011 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on the toy line, and the third film in the series. The Autobots learn of a ...more

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#389 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #122 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #17 of 165 Live Action Films with the Best CGI Effects

9
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Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston

Released: 2011

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh

Thor is a 2011 American superhero film directed by Kenneth Branagh, based on the Marvel Comics character. The powerful, but arrogant god Thor (Chris Hemsworth), is cast out of Asgard to live ...more

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#188 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #26 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made

10
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Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Evans, Tommy Lee Jones

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Johnston

Captain America: The First Avenger is a 2011 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character Captain America, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures. It is ...more

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#12 of 165 The Greatest Comic Book Movies of All Time #98 of 101 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made

11
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Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga

Released: 2011

Directed by: Duncan Jones

Source Code is a 2011 science fiction film directed by Duncan Jones, written by Ben Ripley, and starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga, and Jeffrey Wright. The film had its ...more

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#183 of 254 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #855 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #15 of 46 The Best Train Movies

12
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Jennifer Morrison, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte

Released: 2011

Directed by: Gavin O'Connor

Warrior is a 2011 American sports drama film directed by Gavin O'Connor and starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton as two estranged brothers whose entrance into a mixed martial arts tournament ...more

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#1,443 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #47 of 292 The Top Tearjerker Movies That Make Men Cry

13
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Rachel McAdams, Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law

Released: 2011

Directed by: Guy Ritchie

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows is a 2011 British-American action mystery film directed by Guy Ritchie and produced by Joel Silver, Lionel Wigram, Susan Downey and Dan Lin. It is a sequel to ...more
14
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Jason Statham, Donald Sutherland, Mini Andén

Released: 2011

Directed by: Simon West

The Mechanic is a 2011 American action thriller film starring Jason Statham and Ben Foster. Directed by Simon West, it is a remake of the 1972 film of the same name, directed by Michael Winner, ...more
15
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Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Keith Richards

Released: 2011

Directed by: Rob Marshall

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides a 2011 action adventure film based on Tim Powers' novel. The film is directed by Rob Marshall

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#133 of 624 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #323 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies The Best Characters in the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies

16
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Elle Fanning, AJ Michalka, Kyle Chandler

Released: 2011

Directed by: J.J. Abrams

Super 8 is a 2011 American science fiction horror film written, co-produced, and directed by J. J. Abrams and produced by Steven Spielberg. The film stars Joel Courtney, Elle Fanning, and Kyle ...more

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#25 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies #49 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

17
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Dianna Agron, Teresa Palmer, Alex Pettyfer

Released: 2011

Directed by: D. J. Caruso

I Am Number Four is a 2011 American teen action science fiction film, directed by D. J. Caruso, starring Alex Pettyfer, Timothy Olyphant, Teresa Palmer, Dianna Agron and Callan McAuliffe. The ...more

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#139 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #136 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

18
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Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Angela Bassett

Released: 2011

Directed by: Martin Campbell

Green Lantern is a 2011 action fantasy film written by Greg Berlanti, Michael Green and Marc Guggenheim and directed by Martin Campbell.

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#13 of 101 The Worst Superhero Movies Ever Made #159 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made The Most Obscure Bits Of Green Lantern Mythology Explained

19
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Mickey Rourke, Freida Pinto, John Hurt

Released: 2011

Directed by: Tarsem Singh

Immortals is a 2011 3D mythology fantasy film directed by Tarsem Singh and starring Henry Cavill, Freida Pinto, and Mickey Rourke. The film also stars Luke Evans, Steve Byers, Kellan Lutz, ...more

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#29 of 32 The Best Fantasy Movie Posters #176 of 222 The Best R-Rated Action Movies of All Time, Ranked #29 of 202 The Best R-Rated Fantasy Movies

20
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Olivia Wilde, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig

Released: 2011

Directed by: Jon Favreau filmography

Cowboys & Aliens is a 2011 American science fiction Western film directed by Jon Favreau and starring Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, and Olivia Wilde. The film is based on the 2006 graphic ...more

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#128 of 157 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #61 of 191 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

21
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Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Wright

Hanna is a 2011 action thriller film that contains prominent fairy tale elements, directed by Joe Wright. The film stars Saoirse Ronan as the title character, a girl raised in the wilderness of ...more

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#22 of 82 Great Movies About Furious Women Out for Revenge #15 of 34 The Best Snowy Thriller Movies, Ranked #20 of 26 The Best Movies About Agents and Operatives

22
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Nick Frost, John Boyega, Luke Treadaway

Released: 2011

Directed by: Joe Cornish

Attack the Block is a 2011 British science fiction comedy film. The film was written and directed by Joe Cornish and stars Jodie Whittaker, John Boyega, Nick Frost and Luke Treadaway. Attack the ...more

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#610 of 1,009 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #296 of 568 The Greatest Disaster Movies of All Time #31 of 45 The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made

23
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Daniel Craig, Simon Pegg, Jamie Bell

Released: 2011

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

The Adventures of Tintin, also known as The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn, is a 2011 3D motion capture computer-animated epic adventure film based on The Adventures of Tintin, ...more

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#23 of 33 The Best Steven Spielberg Movies #452 of 590 The Best Animated Films Ever

24
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Liv Tyler, Ellen Page, Kevin Bacon

Released: 2010

Directed by: James Gunn

Super is a 2010 American superhero dark comedy-drama film written and directed by James Gunn, starring Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler, Kevin Bacon and Nathan Fillion. The film premiered at ...more

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#112 of 184 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #49 of 60 The Funniest Superhero Movies Ever Made

25
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Jesse Eisenberg, Aziz Ansari, Nick Swardson

Released: 2011

Directed by: Ruben Fleischer

30 Minutes or Less is a 2011 American action comedy film directed by Ruben Fleischer starring Jesse Eisenberg, Danny McBride, Aziz Ansari and Nick Swardson. It is produced by Columbia Pictures ...more