action The Greatest Action Movies of All Time  

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Originally by Ranker Community
211.3k votes 13.8k voters 526.3k views 711 items

List Rules Movies in the action genre only.

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 actions 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
3,280 1,305
Die Hard is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Die Hard Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia 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

2
2,955 1,155
Indiana Jones and the Raiders ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark Harrison Ford, Alfred Molina, Karen Allen 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

3
2,933 1,097
Terminator 2: Judgment Day is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Terminator 2: Judgment Day Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton 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

4
2,114 1,000
The Terminator is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Paxton, Linda Hamilton 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, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, ...more

5
2,859 1,022
The Dark Knight is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Dark Knight Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and District ...more

6
2,382 1,306
The Matrix is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Matrix Keanu Reeves, Hugo Weaving, Carrie-Anne Moss 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

7
1,813 989
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Aliens Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn 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

8
1,683 881
Lethal Weapon is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Lethal Weapon Mel Gibson, Gary Busey, Danny Glover 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

9
2,101 886
Predator is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Predator Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers 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

10
1,868 857
Saving Private Ryan is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Saving Private Ryan Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel 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

11
1,656 994
The Bourne Identity is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Bourne Identity Matt Damon, Clive Owen, Julia Stiles 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

12
1,958 632
Star Wars is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
gamedemon24 added Star Wars Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill 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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13
1,646 575
Indiana Jones and the Last Cru... is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, River Phoenix 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

14
1,670 851
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Jurassic Park Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough 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

15
1,575 729
First Blood is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
First Blood Sylvester Stallone, Brian Dennehy, David Caruso 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

16
1,589 512
Star Wars Episode V: The Empir... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill 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

17
1,687 588
Gladiator is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Gladiator Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Michael Sheen 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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18
1,645 833
The Avengers is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
KarenHarris added The Avengers Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo 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

19
1,498 615
Braveheart is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Braveheart Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Brendan Gleeson 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

20
1,396 778
Taken is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Taken Liam Neeson, Famke Janssen, Maggie Grace Taken is a 2008 French action thriller film directed by Pierre Morel, written by Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and starring Leland Orser, Liam Neeson, Maggie Grace, Jon Gries, David ...more

21
1,160 783
Die Hard with a Vengeance is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Die Hard with a Vengeance Bruce Willis, Samuel L. Jackson, Jeremy Irons Die Hard with a Vengeance is a 1995 American action film and the third in the Die Hard film series. It was produced and directed by John McTiernan, written by Jonathan Hensleigh, and stars Bruce ...more

22
1,511 610
The Lord of the Rings film tri... is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Lord of the Rings film trilogy The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The ...more

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23
1,347 630
Iron Man is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Iron Man Robert Downey Jr., Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges 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

24
1,331 791
300 is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
300 Gerard Butler, Michael Fassbender, Lena Headey 300 is a 2006 American fantasy war film based on the 1998 comic series of the same name by Frank Miller and Lynn Varley. Both are fictionalized retellings of the Battle of Thermopylae which took ...more

25
978 596
Dirty Harry is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Dirty Harry Clint Eastwood, Don Siegel, Andrew Robinson Dirty Harry is a 1971 American action film produced and directed by Don Siegel, the first in the Dirty Harry series. Clint Eastwood plays the title role, in his first outing as San Francisco ...more

26
1,027 517
Total Recall is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Total Recall Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sharon Stone, Michael Ironside Total Recall is a 1990 American science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Ticotin, and Sharon Stone. The film is loosely based on the Philip ...more

27
959 763
Batman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Batman Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger, Michael Keaton Batman is a 1989 American superhero film directed by Tim Burton and produced by Jon Peters, based on the DC Comics character of the same name. It is the first installment of Warner Bros.' ...more

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28
1,027 592
True Lies is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
True Lies Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eliza Dushku, Jamie Lee Curtis True Lies is a 1994 American action-comedy film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead roles with Tom Arnold, Bill Paxton, ...more

29
1,041 656
Independence Day is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Independence Day Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox Independence Day is a 1996 American science fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, ...more

30
892 596
Mad Max 2 is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Mad Max 2 Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells Mad Max 2 is a 1981 Australian post-apocalyptic action film directed by George Miller. The film is the second installment in the Mad Max film series, with Mel Gibson starring as Max Rockatansky. ...more

31
768 447
Lethal Weapon 2 is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Lethal Weapon 2 Mel Gibson, Joe Pesci, Danny Glover Lethal Weapon 2 is a 1989 American buddy cop action film directed by Richard Donner, and starring Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joe Pesci, Patsy Kensit, Derrick O'Connor and Joss Ackland. It is a ...more

32
816 623
RoboCop is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
RoboCop Alex Van Halen, Peter Weller, Leeza Gibbons Sergeant Warren Reed is a fictional character from the film series RoboCop, RoboCop 2, RoboCop 3.

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33
966 712
Speed is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Speed Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper Speed is a 1994 American action film directed by Jan de Bont in his feature film directorial debut. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, and Jeff Daniels. A ...more

34
783 502
Heat is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Heat Natalie Portman, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro Heat is a 1995 American crime thriller film written, produced and directed by Michael Mann, and starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, and Val Kilmer. The film was released in the United States on ...more

35
874 554
The Fifth Element is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Fifth Element Milla Jovovich, Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman The Fifth Element is a 1997 English-language French science fiction action film directed and co-written by Luc Besson. It stars Bruce Willis, Gary Oldman and Milla Jovovich. Mostly set in the ...more

36
837 551
Léon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Léon Natalie Portman, Gary Oldman, Jean Reno Léon: The Professional is a 1994 English-language French action crime thriller film written and directed by Luc Besson. The film stars Jean Reno and Gary Oldman, and features the film ...more

37
818 456
Enter the Dragon is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Enter the Dragon Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung Enter the Dragon is a 1973 Hong Kong martial arts action film directed by Robert Clouse; starring Bruce Lee, John Saxon and Jim Kelly. This was Bruce Lee's final film appearance before his death ...more

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38
927 445
Batman Begins is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Batman Begins Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson 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

39
919 403
Indiana Jones and the Temple o... is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Harrison Ford, Steven Spielberg, Dan Aykroyd Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the second installment in the Indiana Jones franchise and a prequel to the 1981 film ...more

40
926 621
Kill Bill Volume 1 is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Kill Bill Volume 1 Uma Thurman, Lucy Liu, Quentin Tarantino Kill Bill: Vol. 1 is a 2003 action film written and directed by Quentin Tarantino.

41
712 561
Goldfinger is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Goldfinger Sean Connery, Honor Blackman, Garry Marshall Goldfinger is the third film in the James Bond series and the third to star Sean Connery as the fictional MI6 agent James Bond. It is based on the novel of the same name by Ian Fleming. The film ...more

42
883 511
Alien is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Dismalhead added Alien Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm Alien is a 1979 science-fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and starring Tom Skerritt, Sigourney Weaver, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm and Yaphet Kotto. ...more

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43
799 426
Die Hard 2 is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Die Hard 2 Bruce Willis, John Leguizamo, Dennis Franz Die Hard 2 is a 1990 American action film and the second in the Die Hard film series. It was released on July 4, 1990. The film was directed by Renny Harlin, and stars Bruce Willis as John ...more

44
871 547
Skyfall is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Skyfall Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain. It ...more

45
889 270
Return of the Jedi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Return of the Jedi Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill Return of the Jedi is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas was from a story by Lucas, who was also the executive ...more

46
814 489
The Bourne Supremacy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Bourne Supremacy Matt Damon, Julia Stiles, Michelle Monaghan The Bourne Supremacy is a 2004 American-German action and spy film starring Robert Ludlum's Jason Bourne character. Though it takes the name of the second Bourne novel, its plot is entirely ...more

47
820 319
The Fugitive is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
The Fugitive Julianne Moore, Harrison Ford, Tommy Lee Jones The Fugitive is a 1993 American action film based on the 1960s television series of the same name created by Roy Huggins. The film was directed by Andrew Davis and stars Harrison Ford and Tommy ...more

48
661 468
Beverly Hills Cop is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Beverly Hills Cop Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Paul Reiser Beverly Hills Cop is a 1984 American action comedy film directed by Martin Brest and starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a street-smart Detroit cop who heads to Beverly Hills, California to ...more

49
774 479
Scarface is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
Scarface Michelle Pfeiffer, Al Pacino, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio Scarface is a 1983 American crime drama film directed by Brian De Palma and written by Oliver Stone. A remake of the 1932 film of the same name, Scarface tells the story of Cuban refugee Tony ...more

50
658 367
Black Hawk Down is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Action Movies of All Time
wiabux added Black Hawk Down Ewan McGregor, Tom Hardy, Orlando Bloom Black Hawk Down is a 2001 American-British war film directed by Ridley Scott. It is an adaptation of the 1999 book of the same name by Mark Bowden based on his series of articles published in ...more