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The Best Action Movies of 1996

Updated September 23, 2019 604 votes 43 voters 2.3k views50 items

List of the best 1996 action movies, ranked by how many upvotes they've received by other fans of the genre. These movies give you car crashes, explosions, gun fights and everything else you could hope for in a good action flick. These are all the action movies that defined the year 1996, so vote for your favorites and help them rise to the top. This poll is also a great resource for finding new movies that you haven't already seen, especially since you can watch trailers for each film right on this page. To make sure this list is as accurate as possible, please don't downvote a movie if you haven't seen it.

Examples of movies on this list include Independence Day and From Dusk till Dawn. This isn't necessarily a list of all action movies from 1996, but it does contain all the ones worth watching.
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  • Independence Day1
    33
    10

    Independence Day

    Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum

    Released1996

    Directed byRoland Emmerich

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  • Twister2
    32
    12

    Twister

    Helen Hunt, Philip Seymour Hoffman

    Released1996

    Directed byJan de Bont

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    #148 of 246 The Best Rainy Day Movies#197 of 549 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made

  • The Ghost and the Darkness3
    18
    7

    The Ghost and the Darkness

    Val Kilmer, Michael Douglas

    Released1996

    Directed byStephen Hopkins

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  • The Substitute4
    14
    5

    The Substitute

    Tom Berenger, Marc Anthony

    Released1996

    Directed byRobert Mandel

  • Spy Hard5
    11
    4

    Spy Hard

    Hulk Hogan, Ray Charles

    Released1996

    Directed byRick Friedberg

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  • The Rock6
    14
    8

    The Rock

    Nicolas Cage, Sean Connery

    Released1996

    Directed byMichael Bay

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  • Mission: Impossible7
    12
    7

    Mission: Impossible

    Tom Cruise, Jon Voight

    Released1996

    Directed byBrian De Palma

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  • Mars Attacks!8
    12
    7

    Mars Attacks!

    Natalie Portman, Jack Nicholson

    Released1996

    Directed byTim Burton

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  • Chain Reaction9
    9
    5

    Chain Reaction

    Morgan Freeman, Rachel Weisz

    Released1996

    Directed byAndrew Davis

    Watch for Free with Amazon Prime Free Trial
  • Eraser10
    10
    6

    Eraser

    Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Caan

    Released1996

    Directed byChuck Russell

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  • The Trigger Effect11
    9
    5

    The Trigger Effect

    Elisabeth Shue, Kyle MacLachlan

    Released1996

    Directed byDavid Koepp

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  • The Quest12
    7
    2

    The Quest

    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Roger Moore

    Released1996

    Directed byJean-Claude Van Damme

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  • The Phantom13
    8
    6

    The Phantom

    Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kristy Swanson

    Released1996

    Directed bySimon Wincer

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  • The Crow: City of Angels14
    6
    4

    The Crow: City of Angels

    Iggy Pop, Mia Kirshner

    Released1996

    Directed byTim Pope

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  • Broken Arrow15
    8
    7

    Broken Arrow

    John Travolta, Christian Slater

    Released1996

    Directed byJohn Woo

  • Maximum Risk16
    5
    3

    Maximum Risk

    Jean-Claude Van Damme, Natasha Henstridge

    Released1996

    Directed byRingo Lam

  • Escape from L.A.17
    5
    4

    Escape from L.A.

    Kurt Russell, Steve Buscemi

    Released1996

    Directed byJohn Carpenter

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  • From Dusk till Dawn18
    8
    8

    From Dusk till Dawn

    Salma Hayek, George Clooney

    Released1996

    Directed byRobert Rodriguez, Sarah Kelly

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  • Daylight19
    8
    9

    Daylight

    Sylvester Stallone, Viggo Mortensen

    Released1996

    Directed byRob Cohen

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  • Set It Off20
    4
    4

    Set It Off

    Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre

    Released1996

    Directed byF. Gary Gray

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  • The Long Kiss Goodnight21
    7
    9

    The Long Kiss Goodnight

    Samuel L. Jackson, Geena Davis

    Released1996

    Directed byRenny Harlin

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  • The Glimmer Man22
    4
    5

    The Glimmer Man

    Steven Seagal, Alexa Vega

    Released1996

    Directed byJohn Gray

  • Indian23
    4
    5

    Indian

    Kamal Haasan, Aruna Irani

    Released1996

    Directed byS. Shankar

  • Don't Look Back24
    4
    5

    Don't Look Back

    Billy Bob Thornton, Eric Stoltz

    Released1996

    Directed byGeoff Murphy

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  • Screamers25
    5
    2

    Screamers

    Peter Weller, Jennifer Rubin

    Released1995

    Directed byChristian Duguay