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The Greatest Action Movies of All Time 

Ranker Community
Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 20, 2020 430.2k votes 29.6k voters 1M views 747 items

List Rules Be a real action hero and vote up your favorite movies in the action genre.

The greatest action movies of all time starring some of the best action stars to have ever fought on screen. The best action movies tend to be the ones where we get a little substance to go along with the shooting; a little banter along with the battles. This list has some of the most awesome action films of all time, and it's now up to Ranker users to vote on which of these are truly the top action movies of all time. If you're looking for some of the greatest action movies of all time that are streaming on Netflix or Amazon, check out The Best Action Movies on Netflix Instant and The Best Action Movies On Amazon Prime

The list of greatest action movies ever has a mix of one man renegades (Die Hard), supernatural thrills (Alien), and science fiction dreams brought to reality on the big screen (Terminator, Jurassic Park). You'll even find some great comedic performances among the gun fights, smack talking, and explosions. Heck, you could probably fill a New Jersey size dump with all the stuff that gets blown up in these action films. The list covers a broad time range as well with nearly as many classic action movies making the list as newer, big budget CGI action-fest. Other good action movies to watch include The Matrix Trilogy, the John Wick movies, and The Bourne Series

Don't see your favorite action movie on the list? Shoot it up there! This is a fan ranked list and if you know that the best action movie of all time hasn't been added yet, put it on there and vote it up so everyone can know that the biggest action movie of all time was actually...(this is where you fill in what you think the coolest action movie ever is). Make your voice heard and don't forget, these are action films so you're gonna have to be loud. And, if you love action movies, check out this list of the best action shows

list ordered by
1
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger

Released: 2008

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more

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2
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia

Released: 1988

Directed by: John McTiernan

Die Hard is a 1988 American action film directed by John McTiernan and written by Steven E. de Souza and Jeb Stuart. It is based on the 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, by Roderick Thorp. Die ...more

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3
Terminator 2: Judgment D... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1991

Directed by: James Cameron

Terminator 2: Judgment Day is a 1991 American science fiction action thriller film written, produced and directed by James Cameron. The film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Robert ...more

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#9 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #22 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Madelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
Star Wars Episode V: The... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1980

Directed by: Irvin Kershner

The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 American epic space opera film directed by Irvin Kershner. Leigh Brackett and Lawrence Kasdan wrote the screenplay, with George Lucas writing the film's story ...more

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5
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
gamedemon24 added Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1977

Directed by: George Lucas

Star Wars is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. The first release in the Star Wars franchise, it stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter ...more

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6
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen

Released: 2000

Directed by: Ridley Scott

Gladiator is a 2000 American-British epic historical drama film directed by Ridley Scott, starring Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen, Ralf Möller, Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou, ...more

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7
Indiana Jones and the Ra... is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen

Released: 1981

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan was from a story by George Lucas and Philip Kaufman. It was produced by ...more

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8
Predator is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers

Released: 1987

Directed by: John McTiernan

Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill ...more

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9
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton

Released: 1984

Directed by: James Cameron

The Terminator is a 1984 American science fiction/horror action film directed by James Cameron, written by Cameron and the film's producer Gale Anne Hurd. Schwarzenegger plays the Terminator, a ...more

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10
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson

Released: 1995

Directed by: Mel Gibson

Braveheart is a 1995 epic historical medieval war drama film directed by and starring Mel Gibson. Gibson portrays William Wallace, a 13th-century Scottish warrior who led the Scots in the First ...more

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11
Indiana Jones and the La... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix

Released: 1989

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is a 1989 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, from a story co-written by executive producer George Lucas. It is the third installment in the ...more

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12
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

Released: 1998

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Saving Private Ryan is a 1998 American epic drama war film set during the Invasion of Normandy in World War II. Directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Robert Rodat, the film is notable for ...more

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13
The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
KarenHarris added Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo

Released: 2012

Directed by: Joss Whedon

Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a ...more

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14
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss

Released: 1999

Directed by: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski

The Matrix is a 1999 American-Australian science fiction action film written and directed by The Wachowskis, starring Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving, and Joe ...more

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15
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Released: 1993

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise. It is based on the 1990 novel of the ...more

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16
John Wick is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
MarioArley added Keanu Reeves, Willem Dafoe, Adrianne Palicki

Released: 2014

Directed by: Chad Stahelski, David Leitch

John Wick is a 2014 American action thriller film directed by Chad Stahelski and David Leitch. Starring Keanu Reeves, Michael Nyqvist, Alfie Allen, Adrianne Palicki, Bridget Moynahan, Dean ...more

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17
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson

Released: 2005

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

Batman Begins is a 2005 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. After training with his mentor (Liam Neeson), Batman (Christian Bale) begins his fight to ...more

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18
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover

Released: 1987

Directed by: Richard Donner

Lethal Weapon is a 1987 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, starring Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as a mismatched pair of L.A.P.D. detectives and stars Mitchell Ryan and ...more

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19
First Blood is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso

Released: 1982

Directed by: Ted Kotcheff

First Blood is a 1982 American psychological thriller and action film directed by Ted Kotcheff, co-written by and starring Sylvester Stallone as John Rambo, a troubled and misunderstood veteran. ...more

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20
Iron Man is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges

Released: 2008

Directed by: Jon Favreau filmography

Iron Man is a 2008 American superhero film directed by Jon Favreau, based on the Marvel Comics character. After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark (Robert ...more

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21
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn

Released: 1986

Directed by: James Cameron

Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more

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22
Star Wars: Episode VI –R... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill

Released: 1983

Directed by: Richard Marquand

Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand, and the third and final film in the original Star Wars trilogy. After a daring ...more

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#16 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #17 of 599 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

23
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles

Released: 2002

Directed by: Doug Liman

The Bourne Identity is a 2002 American-German action spy film adaptation of Robert Ludlum's novel of the same name. It stars Matt Damon as Jason Bourne, a man suffering from extreme memory loss ...more

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24
Taken is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace

Released: 2008

Directed by: Pierre Morel

Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel. A former CIA operative (Liam Neeson) sets about tracking down his teenage daughter Kim (Maggie Grace) and her best friend ...more

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25
Indiana Jones and the Te... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd

Released: 1984

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, and the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise and a prequel to the 1981 film ...more

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